NRA compares itself to Toys for Tots while asking for money a week after mass shootings


The NRA is struggling financially as it works to stop gun legislation.

The NRA compared itself to charities like the Boys & Girls Club and Toys for Tots just days after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

The foundation arm of the pro-gun organization made the statement as it petitioned the state of Washington to allow it to raise more money from raffles.

"But with questions and investigations swirling around the NRA’s use of money, along with a continuing stream of deadly shootings around the nation, the Washington State Gambling Commission has voted to delay a decision on lifting the cap for the coming year," the Seattle Times reported on Sunday.

In response to the delay, the NRA compared itself to widely recognized charities.

"As a recognized public charity — much like the Boys & Girls Club, Toys for Tots, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art — the amount of money the NRA Foundation donates every year depends on the amount of the money raised," NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide said in a statement released Friday.

None of the referenced charities are so intertwined with efforts to keep America awash in guns as the NRA is.

The political arm of the organization is currently engaged in efforts to lobby the Trump administration against enacting gun safety standards supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans.

"The NRA, a key ally of Trump's, has spent big money lobbying against background-checks expansion legislation, and last week reminded him of its staunch opposition," the Daily Beast said on Monday.

Those provisions have the support of citizens, police chiefs, and hundreds of mayors, including those from the two cities where the shootings took place. But not the NRA.

At the same time their foundation is scrounging for money and comparing themselves to legitimate charities, the NRA has been embroiled in a major scandal about misuse of funds.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre reportedly pushed the organization to purchase him a $6 million mansion in Dallas, and the Wall Street Journal obtained a $70,000 check from the NRA that was part of that scheme.

Other investigations have discovered that the organization spent over $400,000 on travel and clothing for LaPierre.

The company, meanwhile, was so short on cash that it stopped giving employees free coffee.

On Monday, the NRA lost its fourth board member in two weeks as the fallout from the company's internal fighting continues.

The NRA and its varying arms are tainted by its affiliation with gun violence and financial scandal. Comparing itself to other, well-regarded charities is unlikely to make the NRA's very big problems go away.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.