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Resource ID: #26186
On Friday, December 21, 2012, one long week after the Newtown, Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the National Rifle Association's longtime CEO, Wayne LaPierre, finally addressed the nation. He spoke at length but took no questions from the press. LaPierre refused to draw any link between the nation's gun policies and the grisly tragedy, or to acknowledge any possible negative role played the NRA to influence gun policies. Instead the longtime NRA CEO suggested that the fault of the tragedy lied with local authorities and educators as no one at the grade school was armed. Less than four weeks later, on January 16, 2013, Mother Jones ran the story, "EXCLUSIVE: Unmasking the NRA's Inner Circle." The piece revealed the shadowy, inner workings of the NRA leadership through a previously unpublished internal "Report of the Nominating Committee" to the NRA board: The CEO of the firm that made the Bushmaster rifle used inside the school had quietly served on the NRA board's Nominating Committee to help control the NRA's latest elections, and the "chairman" of the Nominating Committee was a longtime (and still) NRA board member who --unbeknownst to all the press that had recently scoured Newtown-- lived and owned a home in Newtown less than three miles from the Sandy Hook school. The story revealed --within less than 30 days of LaPierre's national television address-- the depth of the NRA's ties to the gun industry including Freedom Group whose profits have led the industry through sales of Bushmaster AR-15 rifles. The piece, which noted that the NRA board operates in secrecy more like a private corporation or Communist-era politburo than any nonprofit group, showed how the NRA board's ruling clique tightly controls who is nominated for the NRA board to thwart any possible challenges to their power. The "exclusive" went viral on the Internet, as any Google search can confirm, and led me to become an MSNBC contributor , identified repeatedly by Lawrence O'Donnell over the ensuing year as the investigative reporter "who went inside the NRA."