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Cover: Twelve

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."
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Go deeper

Sep 15, 2020 - Podcasts

The politics of evacuation orders

We know that our media diets can have an influence on who and what we trust. But now, researchers at UCLA found that even includes evacuation orders before a natural disaster, whether it's a hurricane, or a wildfire. Their study looked at evacuation patterns of Florida residents before Hurricane Irma in 2017.

  • Plus, misinformation may have met its match with Gen Z.
  • And, the NRA's dwindling political influence.

Guests: Axios' Bryan Walsh, Stef Kight, and Sara Fischer.

Credits: "Axios Today" is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Carol Alderman, Cara Shillenn, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Alex Sugiura and Naomi Shavin. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com.

Go deeper:

Instagram's boss faces Congress' questions on harm to teens

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED

The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress' crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations — protecting youngsters online.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revelations in The Wall Street Journal about Instagram's potential harm to the mental health of teen girls.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
54 mins ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.