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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 12, 2013 - 8:08 am

A Connecticut Democrat is trying to pressure NASCAR to remove the National Rifle Association as title sponsor of a Sprint Cup Series race on April 13.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) last week sent a letter to Brian France, chairman and CEO of NASCAR, asking that the decision be reconsidered because of the NRA’s “unprecedented extreme position in the debate over the proper response” to the Sandy Hook shooting.

“By giving the NRA sponsorship of a major NASCAR race, NASCAR has crossed a line – you have decided to put yourself in the middle of a political debate, and you have taken a side that stands in opposition to the wishes of so many Newtown families who support common sense gun reform.  Whether or not this was your intention, your fans will infer from this sponsorship that NASCAR and the NRA are allies in the current legislative debate over gun violence,” the letter states. “By announcing this new partnership at the very height of Congress’s deliberations over gun reform, NASCAR has inserted itself into a political debate that has nothing to do with the business of NASCAR.  To me, this seems an unwise break with precedent.”

On MSNBC this morning, Murphy noted that both the CEO and the NASCAR foundation donated $50,000 to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund in the wake of the tragedy.

“To announce that the NRA is going to be sponsoring a major NASCAR race at the height of a legislative debate in which the NRA has taken a pretty extreme position, not just against the assault weapons ban but even against background checks, I just think is out of bounds,” the senator said.

“I’m not going to introduce legislation to stop them from doing it. But I think in the interest of a lot of their fans who support the kind of common sense gun measures that we’re debating here, they should stay out of this debate.”

Murphy charged that the NRA has become a “captive” of the gun industry.

“And the industry is now reliant on feeding this paranoia about government out to get you, because 50 percent of Americans don’t own guns any longer. In fact, it is a very small percentage of Americans who are hoarding and stockpiling guns because they have been fed this paranoia of government by the NRA,” he said.

“So the NRA has taken an extreme position in this debate in part because the business model of the gun industry, which funds the NRA, is now dependent on this small number of people buying more and more and more dangerous weapons.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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Interesting that during the last race the announcers began cracking jokes about Sarah Palin. Could be that the government is pressuring NASCAR behind the scenes like it is pressuring every other business out there.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Could also be that Michael Waltrip made a mistake.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Was having a conversation this morning with a young lady acquaintance who just purchased her first firearm - a .38 Special for concealed carry. I was offering advice on holster choices.

She has several other female friends who likewise are in the process of trying to save enough to do the same.

Anyone on the gun control side who actually believe gun ownership is going down in this country has seriously OD'd on the koolaid.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, the Democrats - the party of the 50 million abortions - now want to disarm everyone, so the criminals and the psychos can do what they want, and in addition to this they want to destroy the oldest civil rights association in America.
Congrats.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And the April 13 race is in Texas. Don't think many fans down there are going to be offended.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Take a poll of NASCAR fans regarding gun control and I think you'll see a different result than if you take a poll of people in Newtown, CT
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
the balls on these guys, what possibly legislation could he propose to stop NASCAR from accepting sponsorship dollars from the NRA?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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