Lawrence’s Last Word: The NRA Is Finally Attacking The Right Enemy | The Last Word | MSNBC

Lawrence's Last Word: The NRA Is Finally Attacking The Right Enemy | The Last Word | MSNBC

The NRA is at war with itself over Wayne LaPierre’s out of control spending on himself and a young woman.
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Lawrence’s Last Word: The NRA Is Finally Attacking The Right Enemy | The Last Word | MSNBC

Oliver North forced out as NRA president amid bitter power struggle

NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, left, and president Oliver North, right, have been involved in a power struggle.

Oliver North appeared to be heading out of the National Rifle Association amid a dramatic and fast-developing power struggle at the top of the influential gun rights organization.

North announced during the annual NRA meeting in Indianapolis he had been told he could not seek re-election as president, ending a brief one-year tenure.

The unexpected moved comes less than 24 hours after it was reported that North and long-serving NRA executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre were locked in conflict over the group’s future direction and a swirl of legal troubles.

“Please know I hoped to be with you today as NRA president endorsed for re-election. I’m now informed that that will not happen,” North said in a letter read at the NRA’s national convention by the group’s second vice-president Richard Childress.

It was unclear exactly what North’s announcement meant amid the apparent power struggle, and it comes before a key meeting of the group’s board on Monday, when North’s term ends.

(@StephenGutowski)

There is an empty spot on stage at the members meeting where Oliver North, President of the NRA, should be. pic.twitter.com/VkPRosFQ2e

April 27, 2019

Stephen Gutowski

North, a longtime conservative commentator best known for his central role in the 1980s Iran-Contra affair, said in his letter he was being forced out due to his allegations that NRA leaders engaged in financial improprieties.

NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Warns of Plot to Oust Him

NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre speaks at Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2019, in Oxon Hill, MdCPAC LaPierre, Oxon Hill, USA - 02 Mar 2019

NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre claimed to the NRA board that Oliver North, the organization’s ceremonial president, is trying to oust him.

Jose Luis Magana/AP/REX/Shutters

Wayne LaPierre, the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association, has written an extraordinary letter to the board of the NRA, accusing the organization’s ceremonial president, Col. Oliver North, of both seeking his ouster and threatening to share a “damaging letter” with the NRA board if LaPierre refused to resign.

In the letter, LaPierre links the ouster threat to the NRA’s longtime PR firm, Ackerman McQueen, which the NRA recently sued for not being transparent about its spending, including on North’s multi-million-dollar NRATV contract.

The letter was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which posted it in full. (The NRA did not respond to a Rolling Stone request to confirm the document’s authenticity. Rolling Stone messages to North and to Ackerman McQueen were also not immediately returned.) The letter comes just as the NRA is celebrating its annual convention in Indianapolis, where Donald Trump delivered a keynote address on Friday.

N.R.A. Proposes Having Second Armed Teacher in Every Classroom to Stop First Armed Teacher from Misfiring

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Hours after an armed teacher in a Northern California classroom fired a gun and injured a student, the head of the National Rifle Association proposed placing a second armed teacher in every classroom, to shoot the first armed teacher before he or she can do harm.

Kamala Harris positions herself for White House run

Sen. Kamala Harris is increasingly positioning herself for a what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary for the White House in 2020.

The former California attorney general, who is just at the beginning of her second year in the Senate, is taking positions that could endear herself with the Democratic base while allowing her to stand out from a group of Democrats who might seek the progressive mantle.

Harris voted against a Senate immigration bill backed by centrists from both parties earlier this month, waiting until the last minute to break with other liberals such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who both backed the measure.

She argued that while the bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants who entered the country illegally, she could not support it in good conscience because of the inclusion of money for President Trump’s proposed wall on the Mexican border.

“While this bill would put Dreamers on a pathway toward citizenship, the appropriation of $25 billion for a border wall is a waste of taxpayer money,” she said. “A wall will not secure our border and I remain concerned those billions of dollars may also be used to implement this Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda — one that targets California and its residents.”

Harris has also sought to highlight her positions on gun control while carving out an identity as a hard-core critic of the National Rifle Association.

On Thursday, she was quick to highlight an attack by the NRA’s chief at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“I am not going to be silenced by attacks from the NRA or anyone else,” she wrote on Twitter, minutes after NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre labeled Harris and other Democrats “new European-style socialists bearing down upon us.”

Last week, after the nation began another discussion on gun control following the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school,…

Trump at CPAC: the invasion of the body snatchers is complete

The strangest moments from Donald Trump’s CPAC 2018 speech – video

The invasion of the body snatchers is complete. Donald Trump has taken over the conservative movement and bent it to his will.

“Do you remember I started running and people would say, ‘Are you sure he’s a conservative?’” an exultant US president asked the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday.

“I think now we’ve proved that I’m a conservative, right?”

Or perhaps more accurately, the conservatives gathered in the cavernous ballroom proved they are all Trumpians now. There were “Make America Great Again” caps, raucous chants of “Lock her up!” and “Build that wall!” and loud boos for the demons of the left. Old-school Republicans were thin on the ground, usurped by a crowd that included young and sometimes rowdy students.

How much has changed in two years of CPAC, the biggest annual gathering of grassroots conservatives, a Woodstock of the right. In 2016, with the presidential election on fire, Trump pulled out to avoid a potentially humiliating walkout. CPAC’s official Twitter account posted: “Very disappointed @realDonaldTrump has decided at the last minute to drop out of #CPAC – his choice sends a clear message to conservatives.”

But the billionaire businessman and reality TV celebrity went on to win the Republican nomination and then the presidency. CPAC 2017 was effectively a coronation, though still with a strong hint of danger and uncertainty in the air. The white supremacist Richard Spencer turned up outside the main auditorium and had to be ejected. Another white supremacist – in some eyes at least – Steve Bannon spoke from the stage.

This week, by contrast, the National Harbor in Maryland was relatively sedate and low key, as if Trumpism is a sweater that was at first ill-fitting but now hugs CPAC quite comfortably.

The spotlight was dominated a succession of administration members answering toothless questions. Speakers included Eric…

5 things we’ve learned about our gun politics in the last 24 hours

Trump gun law changes background checks sot_00000000
Trump has new ideas for guns in schools 02:21

Washington (CNN)The last 24 hours have featured a more intense — and, generally speaking, more honest — national conversation about guns and culture than in, at least, the last five years.

From CNN’s terrific — yes, I am biased but it was really good — town hall in Sunrise, Florida, on Wednesday night to a series of tweets and comments from President Donald Trump Thursday morning, the past day has been a crash course in what’s possible (and impossible) in the current gun debate.

Here’s what I have learned about what’s changed — and what hasn’t — about the politics of guns in the wake of the murder of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School eight days ago.

1. This one is a little different

In the immediate aftermath of the Parkland shooting, I wrote a piece arguing that this mass murder would follow the same blueprint of the dozens like it since Columbine in the 1990s. Outrage → calls for action → legislative quagmire → moving on to some other pressing issue.

A week out from the Parkland shootings, there is very little sign that the attention on guns and school violence is fading in the same way most of these events do. (538’s Nate Silver smartly has documented how search interest in this shooting has remained far higher than in other comparable moments.)

The reason for that is simple: Dozens of Stoneman Douglas students have become articulate and vocal spokespeople in support of future gun control legislation. These students are becoming household names as they rally in Tallahassee, and next month in Washington, to keep the national spotlight on the gun issue.

A cadre of young adults speaking out in the wake of watching their classmates be gunned down is a very powerful force that had not been mobilized in anything close to this manner before.

2. Donald Trump wants to do something — but has no idea what

Trump has been absolutely all over the map when it comes to a way forward. He’s seemingly in favor of arming at least some teachers, banning bump fire stocks, raising the age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21 and strengthening the background check system.

How he does any of…

President Trump Suggests Giving Teachers Bonuses for Going Through Gun Training

President Donald Trump offered a full-throated endorsement of the National Rifle Association on Thursday as the organization mounted an offensive against efforts to tighten gun restrictions in the wake of a Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

It was a jarring contrast just a day after his emotional meeting with students and parents affected by recent school massacres. Earlier Thursday morning, Trump went the furthest he’s ever gone on gun control, saying in a tweet he’d push for tougher background checks that screen for mental health, raising the minimum age of buyers to 21, and ending the sale of bump stocks.

The president Thursday proposed “a little bit of a bonus” for teachers who go through “rigorous” training to carry guns in the classroom, saying he hoped they would be “people with great talent at guns” such as military veterans.

Trump told state and local officials at the White House for a discussion of school safety that “you can’t hire enough security guards” to protect shooters but “you could have” firearms “concealed on teachers” and “nobody would know who they are.”

The president heaped praise on the NRA, which has been one of the most powerful political opponents to gun control measures, just minutes before its chief executive officer, Wayne LaPierre, took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference. LaPierre proceeded to blast school officials, local law enforcement and the FBI for failing to prevent school shootings.

LaPierre and the NRA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, are “Great People and Great American Patriots,” Trump said, adding that “They love our Country and will do the right thing.”

LaPierre called for more armed security at schools and criticized the notion of making schools “gun-free zones,” which he said are targets for potential shooters, echoing the comments Trump has made.

The NRA chief lashed out at Democrats including Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who has long pushed for tighter gun laws, for “politicizing” the Florida shooting. He said “elites” want to “eradicate all individual freedoms.”

“They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security, the failure of family, the failure of America’s mental health system, and even the unbelievable failure of the FBI,” LaPierre said.

Background Checks

While Trump said he would push “comprehensive background checks” with an emphasis on mental health, an Obama-era gun rule aimed at preventing people with serious mental illness from buying guns was one of the first targets of Republicans in Congress last year. Lawmakers used a special procedure under the Congressional Review Act to do away with the…

President Trump Suggests Giving Teachers Bonuses for Going Through Gun Training

President Donald Trump offered a full-throated endorsement of the National Rifle Association on Thursday as the organization mounted an offensive against efforts to tighten gun restrictions in the wake of a Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

It was a jarring contrast just a day after his emotional meeting with students and parents affected by recent school massacres. Earlier Thursday morning, Trump went the furthest he’s ever gone on gun control, saying in a tweet he’d push for tougher background checks that screen for mental health, raising the minimum age of buyers to 21, and ending the sale of bump stocks.

The president Thursday proposed “a little bit of a bonus” for teachers who go through “rigorous” training to carry guns in the classroom, saying he hoped they would be “people with great talent at guns” such as military veterans.

Trump told state and local officials at the White House for a discussion of school safety that “you can’t hire enough security guards” to protect shooters but “you could have” firearms “concealed on teachers” and “nobody would know who they are.”

The president heaped praise on the NRA, which has been one of the most powerful political opponents to gun control measures, just minutes before its chief executive officer, Wayne LaPierre, took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference. LaPierre proceeded to blast school officials, local law enforcement and the FBI for failing to prevent school shootings.

LaPierre and the NRA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, are “Great People and Great American Patriots,” Trump said, adding that “They love our Country and will do the right thing.”

LaPierre called for more armed security at schools and criticized the notion of making schools “gun-free zones,” which he said are targets for potential shooters, echoing the comments Trump has made.

The NRA chief lashed out at Democrats including Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who has long pushed for tighter gun laws, for “politicizing” the Florida shooting. He said “elites” want to “eradicate all individual freedoms.”

“They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security, the failure of family, the failure of America’s mental health system, and even the unbelievable failure of the FBI,” LaPierre said.

Background Checks

While Trump said he would push “comprehensive background checks” with an emphasis on mental health, an Obama-era gun rule aimed at preventing people with serious mental illness from buying guns was one of the first targets of Republicans in Congress last year. Lawmakers used a special procedure under the Congressional Review Act to do away with the…

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: The Gates to the Manafort

Alex Brandon / AP

Today in 5 Lines

Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed new fraud and money-laundering charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates. During a roundtable with state and local officials, President Trump defended the National Rifle Association and expanded on his proposal to arm teachers. In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said “opportunists” exploited last week’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, “for political gain.” The Pentagon is reportedly considering options that would allow Trump to replace National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. And a St. Louis grand jury indicted Missouri Governor Eric Greitens on one count of invasion of privacy.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Is This Time Different?: Over time, mass shootings have become increasingly normalized, but the CNN town hall on Wednesday may have been a sign of real change. (Vann R. Newkirk II)

  • The Potency of the AR-15: Heather Sher, a Florida radiologist, treated victims of the Parkland shooting, and noticed their injuries were different from other shooting victims’: “How could a gunshot wound have caused this much damage?”

  • Can the ATF Ban Bump Stocks?: President Trump’s suggestion that the agency ban the firearm accessories is more performative…