Who does the National Rifle Association really speak for? The NRA represents deer hunters, self-defense and Second Amendment devotees. But in a very direct way the NRA also represents Bushmaster, Browning, Smith & Wesson, and the rest of the gun industry. Gun makers have donated at least $39 million to the NRA in recent years, and have become deeply enmeshed with the organization.

As a result, the NRA adamantly opposes virtually all restrictions on gun sales — even ones that NRA members support, such as requiring background checks at gun shows and banning sales to people on terrorist watch lists.

Gun makers can no longer depend on a shrinking pool of hunters; they need to sell arsenals of powerful weaponry to hard-core gun devotees preparing to fight a tyrannical government.

So when the NRA speaks, it’s these extremists and their suppliers who are talking, not “your average Joe Six-Shooter.”

Ron Lowe

Santa Monica

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