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One Year After Sandy Hook, Shooting is Still a Family Sport
By Frank Smyth, December 13, 2013, The Progressive

What was the mother of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter thinking over a year ago? Trying to find a way to somehow help her clearly troubled youngest son. Gun culture is often associated with red states…

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This Is Why the NRA Endures
By Frank Smyth, September 18, 2013, The Progressive

Earlier this year, long before this week’s latest tragic shooting at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard, one expert after another predicted the gun lobby’s demise. The horrific massacre of mostly first-grade children in Newtown, Connecticut, seemed to have changed the nation’s views of guns. President Obama and Congressional leaders promised action in Washington. Governors in

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Gun lobby: Who got elected to the NRA board?
By Frank Smyth, August 19, 2013, MSNBC

This year’s gun lobby board election brought a few surprises, as the National Rifle Association has been trying to keep the results (and the low voter turnout) quiet. George K. Kollitides II is the founder and CEO of Freedom Group, America’s largest and most profitable firearms consortium. One of the company’s products is the Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle that was used…

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Christie moves right on gun issues with veto
By Frank Smyth, August 18, 2013, MSNBC

Last summer, after Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie showed independence from his own party when he embraced President Barack Obama. The move made Christie a target among his GOP colleagues for appearing to betray then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But Friday night Christie,  a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, seemed to move back to

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Al Sharpton Targeted by Zombie Gun Product?
By Frank Smyth, June 28, 2013, The Progressive

“Poor Al he was a Sharp guy,” begins the description of a gun target firm’s newest “Life-Sized Tactical Mannequin Target.” With a dark skin tone and features that seem to resemble the civil rights figure and MSNBC cable news host Rev. Al Sharpton, the Zombie-looking gun target called “Al Zombie”comes with the disclaimer…

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Six months after Sandy Hook, grassroot groups and the gun debate
By Frank Smyth, June 13, 2013, MSNBC

After the horror of the Newtown shooting, gun reform advocates expected to finally see a change. Yet Friday marks the six-month anniversary of the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and, largely due to the efforts of the gun lobby, none of the nation’s federal gun laws have changed. “The NRA and special interests

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For NRA’s new president, not his father’s gun club
By Frank Smyth, May 6, 2013, MSNBC

James W. Porter, Jr. assumed the unpaid, but politically important post of president of the National Rifle Association Monday. While the role puts the Birmingham, Ala., attorney for the first time on a national stage, he is hardly an unknown within the gun lobby. Nearly 20 years ago, I observed Jim Porter in action behind closed doors at

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