Josh Powell, former chief of staff to longtime NRA leader Wayne LaPierre, writes in "Inside the NRA" — out Sept. 8 from Twelve — that the pro-gun group botched its response to the Parkland shooting of 2018, when "for the first time, parents and politicians began to fight back in a bigger, more organized way".
What they're saying: "Wayne went on the attack, blaming Democrats, the FBI, and socialism for the tragic shootings. ... Six years after Sandy Hook, it felt like we had done nothing to stop the violence and prevent shootings like Parkland from happening."
- "And now the frustration boiled over, as the survivors of Parkland took to the airwaves to plead for an end to the violence, to plead on behalf of their slain classmates. ... [T]he NRA offered its standard playbook and the party line."
Powell says he realized he had "become the cover‑up, or at least an accomplice":
- "[T]he waste and dysfunction at the NRA was staggering, costing the organization and its members hundreds of millions of dollars over the years. ... [T]here are so many ways that membership money went up in smoke. ..."
- "I’d come to believe I’d failed the team. ... I’d lost the larger plot and was overtaken with just winning the fight at all costs. ... To me, the NRA has completely shirked its obligations to gun owners, citizens, and the children of our country."