Six similarities between the NRA and Scientology

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, May 25, 2016.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here are 6 creepy similarities between the NRA and the Church of Scientology

    By David Edwards, The Raw Story, May 25, 2016

    While the Church of Scientology and the National Rifle Association may not have a lot of overlap in membership, the two secretive organizations have a lot in common.

    1. Secrecy in the face of controversy

    Whether it’s the massacre of school children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown or the controversial shooting of Trayvon Martin, the NRA has a time-tested strategy of going silent in the face of scandal.

    After the Newtown shooting, the NRA deactivated its Facebook page and refused to comment for days.

    “You see, the NRA and its political minions like to work in the shadows,” the Brady Campaign’s Daniel Gross wrote in 2012 after George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. “They cannot credibly explain to voters why they support loopholes that allow criminals to buy guns without background checks, or allow terrorists to buy all the AK-47s they desire. Secrecy and cynicism are their greatest allies.”

    Scientology has been known to employ a similar media strategy when books and movies expose the church: It refuses to comment on scandals, and then works in secret to discredit enemies.


    2. Insulated leaders who demand blind devotion

    Both Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre are notoriously secretive leaders who show up at events to deliver speeches from an insulated bubble and then disappear from media scrutiny without having to face questions from their followers.

    Of statements by LaPierre that have been fact checked by Politifact, over 80 percent have been found to be half true, mostly false and false. But in recent years, most of his appearances are scripted speeches at NRA conventions and other conservative gatherings. And although he does occasionally grant a Sunday morning interview, he more often than not avoids the press for months at a time.


    3. Scorched earth tactics against opponents

    Through funding pro-gun candidates, lobbying efforts and propaganda, the NRA has nearly mastered the ability to tilt the balance of power in Congress in its favor. It spends nearly 28 times the amount of money as all pro-gun safety groups to defeat candidates and even the most reasonable gun control measures, including the CDC’s effort to use science to understand violent crime.

    “That was the one group where I said, ‘As long as I’m in office, I’m not bucking the N.R.A.’” one congressman told The New York Times in 2013.


    4. Crushing members over small deviations from doctrine

    NRA members who stray from absolute agreement can expect the organization to push back hard. When Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) tried to support universal background checks after the Newtown massacre, the NRA quickly organized against the longtime member to defeat the measure.


    5. Abandoning core mission in favor of profit

    The missions of both the NRA and the Church of Scientology have strayed wildly from their initial charters.

    The NRA was founded in 1871 as one of “America’s foremost pro-gun control organizations,” Alternet pointed out in 2013. “It was not until 1977 when the NRA that Americans know today emerged, after libertarians who equated owning a gun with the epitome of freedom and fomented widespread distrust against government — if not armed insurrection — emerged after staging a hostile leadership coup.”

    And today, less than half of the NRA’s revenue comes from members and programs. Between 2005 and 2013, the gun industry provided as much as $50 million in funds to the pro-gun organization. In fact, many companies in the gun industry donate a portion of their sales directly to the NRA.


    6. Lack of financial transparency

    And good luck finding out where all that money is going.

    According to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the NRA has had nearly $60 million in undisclosed spending since 2008.

    “It seems like every month we find more political activity that the NRA illegally failed to disclose,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder noted earlier this year. “The NRA’s consistent and egregious flouting of laws and requirements in its tax filings has become a disturbing pattern and needs to be investigated.”

    As for Scientology, the IRS awarded the church tax exempt status in 1993 after a long fought battle. And because Scientology is recognized as a church, courts have ruled that it does not have to disclose its finances by filing IRS Form 990 like other tax-exempt organizations.

    Here's the complete article, with open comments:
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  2. anon8109 Member


    I didn't know that the NRA gets over half of its funding directly from gun makers who directly give a portion of their sales.

    This explains much.
  3. JohnnyRUClear Member

  4. RightOn Member

    Three similarities with the COS and shit:
    It can cause pain
    should be flushed and eliminated
  5. DeathHamster Member

    Scary OMG kook-rant from the NRA, because scary OMG sells guns. (Sales are down now that Obama isn't going to "take them away".)

  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    As Usual, The NRA Goes Into Hiding After A Deadly Mass Shooting | HuffPost

    “The myth that they’ve been peddling to the American public has the possibility of being exposed.”


    On Sunday night, a man opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas, killing at least 58 people and wounding more than 500. It is one of the deadliest mass shootings in history.

    As usual, members of Congress quickly put out milquetoast statements offering their “thoughts and prayers,” without any indication that they will follow up with legislative action.

    And the National Rifle Association, the group most responsible for creating a nation awash in easily obtainable firearms, went into hiding.

    Nevada, like many states, has extremely lax gun laws. It’s completely legal to walk down the crowded Las Vegas Strip with a machine gun out in the open.

    As of Monday afternoon, the NRA had not yet put out a statement on the shooting or acknowledged it on Twitter. A spokesman did not return HuffPost’s request for comment. The group has canceled a week’s worth of advertising, which was set to begin Tuesday, aimed at Virginians in next month’s state elections.

    “The NRA has done a very good job of making a lot of people feel that more guns are the answer in America. More people carrying more guns in more places make us more safe. And that’s simply wrong,” said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “When events like the tragedy in Las Vegas happen, the NRA goes quiet because they realize that the myth that they’ve been peddling to the American public has the possibility of being exposed.”

    The NRA’s standard response to mass shootings is to go initially silent, then come out in full force. Anyone looking for contrition from the gun lobbying group in the wake of the Vegas tragedy will likely be sorely disappointed.

    After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre advocated for more guns to stop mass shootings, famously saying, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

    Two days after the June 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, a top NRA official blamed the Obama administration and “political correctness” for the shooting.

    “I’m sure right now they’re huddling and trying to create a message that would make them not vulnerable,” Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said of the NRA. “They have legislation they want to protect. But unlike years past, this will not be an opportunity to say, you better buy guns because the president is going to confiscate them.”

    Continued at

    The Las Vegas shooter had 16 guns. Here’s what we know about them. | The Washington Post


    While much remains unknown about the specific weapons Stephen Paddock fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, killing at least 58 people and injuring potentially hundreds more, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said Monday that 16 firearms were found in the hotel room.

    The sound of gunfire captured on videos recorded during the massacre indicates that Paddock used at least one automatic weapon, a type of firearm that is highly regulated in the United States though a fairly common find at gun shows and firing ranges, including one near Las Vegas that allows customers to shoot military-grade weapons.

    Continued at

    Machine Gun in Las Vegas Harvest Festival Massacre 'Easy" to Make | Phoenix New Times


    People can buy fully automatic rifles in gun stores: [Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau spokesman Thomas Mangan] estimates an average of one per day is sold in Arizona. Buyers must obtain federal registration of the weapon for a fee, plus fingerprinting and a background check.

    Buyers wouldn't normally be able to walk into the gun store to order a machine gun, then walk out the same day with one — the whole process takes 90 to 120 days. Only machine guns made before 1986 can be legally sold in the United States, and that has resulted in a finite population of 125,000 such guns, which usually cost between $18,000 and $40,000.

    "It's an expensive hobby to be buying machine guns," Mangan said. "Just speculating, but it's not somebody really off the street that invests that much money into machine guns."

    The cheaper method is to convert an off-the-shelf, semiautomatic rifle — for which registration isn't required — and convert it to shoot full-auto. "There is a black market — a dark web on that," he said.

    The conversion parts could have been obtained in or outside of the United States, he said. "If someone wants to get their hands on these materials, it's quite easy to do that."

    More at

    After Las Vegas, time for normal gun owners to decide where their loyalties lie: with the NRA, or with the USA

    By Brett Arends, MarketWatch


    How much longer are we going to put up with this? How many more innocents have to die before we start standing up to the National Rifle Association? How many more concert-goers have to be massacred? How many more party-goers? How many more children? How many more kids on the street? How many more policemen?

    The massacre in the Harvest Festival concert in Las Vegas is no isolated event. A staggering 30 Americans are murdered with guns every day. Every. Single. Day. That’s 11,000 a year. The equivalent of a 9/11 every 14 weeks.

    And that’s not even counting the people who use a gun to commit suicide. That’s just the murders. And yet we do nothing.

    Those who say the NRA is a subsidiary of “big gun manufacturers” couldn’t be more wrong. The NRA is a giant, lucrative business on its own. It raked in $345 million in its most recent reported year. It made $33 million in profit. But it paid no tax because it is organized as a “charity.”

    Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre was paid $5.1 million in total compensation, more than the CEO of gun maker Sturm Ruger RGR, +3.48%. The NRA has tens of millions of dollars in assets, including $5 million held offshore in the Caribbean. Some charity.

    After a recent, stupid online argument with NRA trolls, I realized once again that the association’s public voices are, in the main, an unholy alliance of liars, morons and sociopaths. And it’s about time everyone stopped giving them more credit than they deserve.

    Did you know that drivers’ licenses were the “thin end of the wedge” of a secret government plot to ban all cars and force us all onto collectivist trains? Of course you didn’t. But that’s the kind of argument the NRA regularly wheels out to oppose any laws at all about who can buy which guns.

    Did you know that because a bottle of opioids sitting in a cabinet won’t kill or hurt you, opioids aren’t remotely dangerous in the wrong hands, and that therefore we shouldn’t restrict or regulate their sale? Of course you didn’t. But that, too, is the sort of logic they use about guns.

    How about this? Gee, if only everyone at the concert in Las Vegas had been armed, they could have “defended themselves” against the crazy person on the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel. Do you know anyone stupid enough to make an argument like that? Anyone at all? Of course you don’t. But that’s how the NRA rolls.

    Oh, and here’s my favorite: Do you know a single person who said in 2001 that we shouldn’t “politicize” the “tragedy” of 9/11 by passing new laws about airline safety, or new laws about terrorism? Or that we shouldn’t even talk about any new laws following the attacks? Do you know anyone who said anything so utterly moronic, ridiculous and grotesque? Of course you don’t. But that’s exactly the kind of thing the NRA says after each shooting massacre. Let’s not “politicize” this “tragedy” by talking about how to prevent it happening again. And that’s what its fellow travelers will be saying today and this week in response to the tragedy in Las Vegas.

    Here’s one thing we should remember: Only a tiny percentage of Americans are members of the NRA. The association’s annual membership fee is $40. Last year its membership dues came to $160 million. So that’s 4 million members. Out of an estimated 55 million gun owners. Most Americans, including most gun owners, aren’t liars, morons or sociopaths. But the NRA wants to grow its business and keep the dollars flowing in. Wayne LaPierre wants to keep banking his paychecks. And so the NRA works hard to keep spreading lies, hatred and stupidity. It does everything it can to muddy the waters, to turn American against American.

    If you’re a normal NRA member and you’ve been listening to their propaganda, I have some shocking news for you: You’re being lied to. Lied to, lied to and lied to again.

    Hardly anyone wants to take away your family shotgun. Almost no one cares about it. If you turned up in a liberal enclave and offered to “hand in” your family shotgun, people would look at you like you were a nut and tell you to go home.

    And almost no one wants to take away your hunting rifle, either. Most don’t care about it at all.
    You’re just not that interesting. Not even to liberals. Sorry.

    And, assuming you are a normal, mentally stable individual, hardly anybody wants to take away the pistol or the handgun you keep for home defense.

    Sorry if that makes you feel neglected or ignored. Sorry if that offends you.

    If you’re a normal NRA member and you’ve been listening to their propaganda, I have some shocking news for you: You’re being lied to. Lied to, lied to and lied to again.

    Hardly anyone wants to take away your family shotgun. Almost no one cares about it. If you turned up in a liberal enclave and offered to “hand in” your family shotgun, people would look at you like you were a nut and tell you to go home.

    And almost no one wants to take away your hunting rifle, either. Most don’t care about it at all.
    You’re just not that interesting. Not even to liberals. Sorry.

    And, assuming you are a normal, mentally stable individual, hardly anybody wants to take away the pistol or the handgun you keep for home defense.

    Sorry if that makes you feel neglected or ignored. Sorry if that offends you.

    The claim that “libs” (yeah) are plotting to take away all guns is a deliberate lie spread by the NRA to keep you sending in your checks.

    (Incidentally, this caricature of “libs” and “liberals” and “elitists” is a textbook propaganda tool for depersonalizing “the enemy.”)

    Sure, I can find some people who will say they want all or most guns banned, just as I can find some people who will say the Earth is flat, the moon landings were fake, and so on. I can find some left-wing extremists to scare you, just as liberals can try to tarnish you with the brush of some right-wing extremists. I can find people to say anything, if I look.

    But as someone who’s spent plenty of time among those evil “libs,” I can tell you I don’t know anyone who cares about responsible gun owners and normal guns. I know a few who argue that having a gun in your home makes you more likely to become a victim: But they’d add that, ultimately, that’s your choice.

    I’d also add that Supreme Court rulings about the Second Amendment mean no one can “ban” guns like this anyway, even if they wanted, and tried, to.

    All most “liberals” want to do is make it harder for the mentally or emotionally unwell, like the shooter in Las Vegas, it would appear, to get hold of the kind of guns that make it really easy to kill lots of people quickly, like the guns he used.

    And yes, we all know we can’t make the system perfect. But we can surely do things to make it safer. Surely when we suffer a new 9/11 every 3½ months, it’s not unreasonable to see if we can take some simple steps to reduce the death count.

    No other country in the world considers something so obvious to be “controversial.”

    But the NRA doesn’t want you to know this. If you did, you’d stop being afraid of “liberals” taking away your family shotgun. And you might stop sending your membership renewals. And Wayne LaPierre would stop banking $5 million a year.

    So they keep spreading lies — and hate.

    As long as normal gun owners keep paying them money, and drinking their Kool-Aid, and politicians in Washington keep taking them seriously, these massacres will keep continuing. It’s time for normal gun owners to decide where their loyalties lie: with the NRA, or the USA.


    Every Member of Congress Who Took Money From the NRA and Tweeted 'Thoughts and Prayers' to Las Vegas


    Americans woke up on Monday morning to learn of yet another horrific act of gun violence in the United States—this time a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 injured. But it seems unlikely that the politicians in a position to actually change our gun laws will actually do something about it, because they never do.

    So, in lieu of any substantive gun control, what do America’s senators and congresspeople have to offer? That tried and true chestnut of noncommittal national mourning: “Thoughts and prayers.” And just as in the past, those thoughts and prayers seem to have been paid for in part by the National Rifle Association, whose campaign donations and scare-mongering have effectively blocked any life-saving legislation which might prevent a person from getting their hands on a fully automatic machine gun they can then use to pump bullets into dozens of innocent people.

    So who is sending their NRA-sponsored well wishes to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre today? Let’s take a look, with a little help from the campaign contribution database at

    Continued at
  7. DeathHamster Member

    Rather than conversion kits, what about building up a new weapon from spare parts?

    Eventually parts wear out on an automatic weapon, so there must spare parts available. Hopefully BATF keeps an eye on that, but parts would be a lot harder to track than complete weapons.
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Las Vegas, Gun Violence, and the Failing American State

    By John Cassidy, The New Yorker


    Writing on Twitter on Monday, Matt Bevin, the Republican Governor of Kentucky, said, “To all those political opportunists who are seizing on the tragedy in Las Vegas to call for more gun regs . . . You can’t regulate evil . . .” Perhaps not. But, as countries such as Australia, Britain, and Canada have demonstrated, you can certainly regulate the sale of guns, especially weapons of war, to good effect.

    Between 1979 and 1996, Australia had thirteen fatal mass shootings. Since 1996, when the country introduced a law that banned the sale of semiautomatic weapons and launched a buyback program for weapons that had already been sold, there have been no mass shootings. None.

    The United States, by contrast, introduced a ban on certain semiautomatic, military-style weapons in 1994—but allowed it to lapse, in 2004. While there is no agreed-upon definition of what constitutes a “mass shooting” and what constitutes merely another deadly entry on the police blotter, there is little doubt that the frequency of large-scale gun atrocities has increased in the past decade.

    Between the summers of 2015 and 2016 alone, President Barack Obama responded to seven different deadly shootings. On some of these occasions, he didn’t hide his frustration at the inability of the United States to tackle the problem of gun violence. “America will wrap everyone who’s grieving with our prayers and our love,” he said on October 1, 2015, the day that a student at Umpqua Community College shot and killed nine people. “It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America—next week, or a couple of months from now. . . . We are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses or want to do harm to other people. We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months.”

    Citing the example of Australia and other countries, such as Britain, that have passed strict gun-control laws, Obama went on, “So we know there are ways to prevent it . . . And each time this happens I’m going to bring this up. Each time this happens I am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we’re going to have to change our laws. And this is not something I can do by myself. I’ve got to have a Congress, and I’ve got to have state legislatures and governors who are willing to work with me on this.”

    Obama didn’t come out and say it explicitly, but he was suggesting that the U.S. government, in its totality, is abandoning one of its basic duties: the protection of its citizenry from readily identifiable threats. And, of course, Obama was right. Of all the ways in which American democracy is showing symptoms of turning into a dysfunctional state, the inability to face down the gun lobby is surely one of the most egregious.

    In the statement that Donald Trump read out on Monday morning, in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, he didn’t mention guns, gun laws, or semiautomatic rifles—at least ten of which were reportedly found in the hotel room of the alleged Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock. Trump’s omissions were hardly surprising. Addressing the National Rifle Association in April, the President declared, “the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to an end,” and added, “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.” In February, the President signed a law that made it easier for people with a history of mental illness to buy guns, including semiautomatic rifles.

    At the daily White House briefing on Monday, a reporter asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s press secretary, whether the shooting had “made the President think anything more about pursuing tighter gun laws . . . to prevent massacres like this from happening again.” Sanders replied, “There’s a time and place for political debate. But now is the time to unite as a country.” In response to a follow-up question, Sanders tried a different tack, saying, “One of the things that we don’t want to do is try to create laws that won’t . . . stop these types of things from happening. I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over four thousand victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country.”

    In response to the tragedy in Las Vegas, Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, ordered the flags over the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-mast, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, said, “This is a time for national mourning and for prayer.” Neither responded immediately to a call from Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, for the establishment of a bipartisan Select Committee on Gun Violence, which would “study and report back common-sense legislation to help end the crisis.”

    Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, preparations continued for the passage of the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017, a carefully misnamed piece of legislation that would make it easier to import assault-style rifles, transport weapons across state lines, and purchase silencers—the sale of which has been strictly restricted since the nineteen-thirties, when they proved popular with gangsters. Last month, the House Committee on Natural Resources marked up the SHARE Act and passed it. Until the shooting in Las Vegas, it had been expected to go to the floor of the House as early as this week, and its supporters, including the N.R.A., were expecting a victory. “There has never been a better opportunity to pass this important and far-reaching legislation,” a piece on the Web site of the N.R.A.’s Institute for Legislative Action noted last month.

    Following the massacre in Las Vegas, the Republican sponsors of the SHARE Act will probably let a little time elapse before they put it to a vote. But there is little reason to suppose it won’t ultimately get majority support, at least in the House, while efforts to tighten up the gun laws will continue to flounder. In a failing state, that is how things work.

  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jimmy Kimmel on Mass Shooting in Las Vegas

    After the tragedy in Jimmy’s hometown of Las Vegas, he sends love to everyone affected, talks about the major gun violence problem we have in this country, calls out the senators who are in the pocket of the NRA, and asks for common sense and action from our elected officials to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.

    Colbert To Trump: 'Doing Nothing Is Cowardice'

    Stephen commends the victims and first responders of the tragic Las Vegas shooting for their immeasurable courage. Now we need courage from the President of the United States.

    Trevor Responds to the Las Vegas Shooting & Trump Tweets the Weekend Away

    Trevor weighs in on a deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, and President Trump lashes out at North Korea and Puerto Rico on Twitter.

    Seth Meyers Responds to the Las Vegas Mass Shooting

    Seth Meyers addresses the shooting in Las Vegas and Congress' inaction on gun control legislation.

    Conan Addresses The Las Vegas Shooting

    Conan reflects on how often he's had to respond to mass shootings in the last decade.
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Rosanne Cash: Country Musicians, Stand Up to the N.R.A.

    By Rosanne Cash, The New York Times


    I’ve been a gun-control activist for 20 years. Every time I speak out on the need for stricter gun laws, I get a new profusion of threats. There’s always plenty of the garden-variety “your dad would be ashamed of you” sexist nonsense, along with the much more menacing threats to my family and personal safety.

    Last year, I performed at the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence with Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Marc Cohn and the Harlem Gospel Choir, and we got death threats. People wanted to kill us because we wanted to end gun violence. That’s where we are: America, 2017.

    For the past few decades, the National Rifle Association has increasingly nurtured an alliance with country music artists and their fans. You can see it in “N.R.A. Country,” which promotes the artists who support the philosophical, if not economic, thrall of the N.R.A., with the pernicious tag line “Celebrate the Lifestyle.”

    That wholesome public relations veneer masks something deeply sinister and profoundly destructive. There is no other way to say this: The N.R.A. funds domestic terrorism.

    A shadow government exists in the world of gun sales, and the people who write gun regulations are the very people who profit from gun sales. The N.R.A. would like to keep it that way.

    The laws we have in place to prevent the procurement of military-style weapons by mentally ill citizens are laughable by the standards of any civilized society. But even those pathetic restrictions would be eased if the N.R.A. had its way. Just this week, the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on a measure that would loosen restrictions on gun silencers and armor-piercing bullets (the vote was indefinitely postponed after the Las Vegas massacre). It’s not hard to learn about how millions of N.R.A. dollars have spread throughout Congress to influence that vote.

    If the proposed law had passed before the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, and the rifles in the assailant’s hotel room had been fitted with silencers, one could safely assume that the death toll would be much, much higher. Those who ran from the concert and survived did so because they heard the gunfire. None of that matters to the N.R.A.

    I encourage more artists in country and American roots music to end your silence. It is no longer enough to separate yourself quietly. The laws the N.R.A. would pass are a threat to you, your fans, and to the concerts and festivals we enjoy.

    The stakes are too high to not disavow collusion with the N.R.A. Pull apart the threads of patriotism and lax gun laws that it has so subtly and maliciously intertwined. They are not the same.

    I know you’ll be bullied for speaking out. This is how they operate. Not everyone will like you for taking a stand. Let it roll off your back. Some people may burn your records or ask for refunds for tickets to your concerts. Whatever. Find the strength of moral conviction, even if it comes with a price tag, which it will. Don’t let them bully you into silence. That’s where their power lies — in the silence of rational voices and in the apathy of those who can speak truth to power.

    This is a moment in American history that can’t be met with silence. According to PolitiFact, from 2005 to 2015, some 300,000 people were killed by gun violence. That’s roughly the population of Pittsburgh. The grief that extends through the affected families is endless.

    Those of us who make our living in “the tower of song,” as Leonard Cohen so eloquently put it, must let our voices ring out. The N.R.A. will stick to its post-shooting playbook. It will say that we shouldn’t “politicize” the Las Vegas carnage by talking about gun control at this time, and that this isn’t about guns, it’s about people, and that even more of us should be armed to protect ourselves. Enough.

    Patriotism and a belief in strong gun control are not antithetical. We need common-sense gun laws, and I hope my fellow occupants of the tower of song will join me in saying so. In unity, we can drown out the bullies.

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