Tying up some loose ends

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — I have written on several occasions about the misdirected wrath aimed at the National Rifle Association for enriching itself as a result of the introduction of gun control legislation in Congress and probably every state legislature. 

The NRA was created to be the lobbying and political action arm of the gun manufacturing industry. 

Everything it does is perfectly legal and it includes gun safety courses an other public service projects. 

Many industries have such organizations. 

Years ago when I was representing school employees, I was standing in line at the Secretary of State’s office to register our organization when a good friend ahead of me registered New Mexicans for Better Roads. 

I mentioned to him that I never had heard of that organization. He replied that since the state had some surplus money that year, the word was that road improvements would be a likely recipient. 

So highway contractors had hired him to help channel as much money as possible into the state road fund. And why not improve your image by calling the entity New Mexicans for Better Roads? It doesn’t really have any members, he said. It’s just an old trick. 

The National Rifle Association does exist and has many loyal members. 

And it sounds much better than the National Gun Manufacturers Association. It is taking the heat and that is according to plan. 

Likely, there will be somewhat less heat if people think of their friends instead of gun makers when they hear of the NRA. It is difficult to make your friends the bad guys. 

In this case, it is Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA who is the bad guy. His job is to take the heat and get dragged before Congress as the auto execs had to do. 

The moguls of the gun industry have handled it well. The NRA is seen as the most powerful lobby in Washington because it has mobilized millions of Americans to feel more strongly about their right to have a gun than any of the many other freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, 

The power of the NRA was represented most cogently during the days following the Newtown massacre. Members of Congress were incessantly asked for their comments. Those who were big supporters of the NRA said they would be waiting until Friday before making a comment. That was the day the NRA announced its official response to the shootings. 



This column has talked about solutions to our poor education performance internationally. Most of the solutions tried in this country have failed, mainly because they are too weak-kneed. 

The countries that have succeeded most are those which have stiff penalties on parents. Most of those countries also publish the academic rankings of every student. In our country we worry about that ruining self-confidence and self-concept. 

One idea currently gaining favor in some legislatures is suspending or revoking the driver’s licenses of kids caught ditching school. 

That, of course, means more trouble makers in class. But if it helps test scores, let’s try it. 



It seems ridiculous to oppose the use of drones to kill American citizens in foreign countries who have joined Al Qaeda and are now the enemy. They no longer deserve the protection of our court system. 

Drones are the face of modern warfare. They are efficient and they save the lives of our own pilots. 

I did receive an email this week; however that makes me wonder if maybe we could do without them. 

It is easy to tell when the opposition thinks Hillary Clinton is a big threat for the presidency again. The anti-Hillary stories are starting to roll in again. 

The latest one is the old story telling of the 47 people whose assassinations Hillary has arranged. 

If that is true, why are we spending so much money on drones? Hillary could have wiped out al Qaeda by herself. 

Jay Miller is a syndicated columnist based in Santa Fe.