LISA GRAVES [email]
Executive director of PR Watch, Graves just wrote “Big Money, ALEC and the Gun Agenda,” which states: “‘We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years,’ President Obama said in response to horrifying shooting massacre of 20 little children and six of their educators in Connecticut.
“‘Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,’ he noted.
“‘Meaningful action’ has been thwarted, largely because of the power and wealth of the National Rifle Association (NRA). One of the key avenues it has used to exert its influence is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). For decades, the NRA has helped bankroll ALEC operations and even co-chaired ALEC’s ‘Public Safety and Elections Task Force,’ where it secretly voted on bills alongside elected representatives. At ALEC’s annual meeting this summer, the NRA had the biggest booth at the convention in Salt Lake City and also underwrote a shooting event along with one of the largest sellers of assault weapons in the world.
“Numerous bills to bar or impede laws that would help protect Americans from gun violence were drafted by the NRA and adopted by ALEC corporations and legislators as ‘models’ for the rest of the country. And, dozens of these special interest bills have become law in states across the country. As a result of the NRA’s efforts, a city in Connecticut recently repealed the only ban in the state on carrying a concealed firearm. Allowing ‘concealed carry’ has been a long-standing part of the NRA-ALEC agenda, passing in Wisconsin a year ago at the urging of Governor Scott Walker, who was given an award by the NRA for making this item law along with a version of the controversial ALEC-NRA ‘Stand Your Ground’/’Castle Doctrine’ bill. A concealed carry law also was just passed last week in Michigan, along with the so-called ‘Right to Work’ union-busting bill on ALEC’s corporate wish list. …”
Graves previously served as the chief counsel for nominations on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice.