Secrets tapes of NRA leadership reveal debate over post-Columbine strategy : Planet Money : NPR

August 9, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja



Charlton Heston (left), then president of the NRA, meets with fellow leaders Wayne LaPierre (far right) and Jim Baker (center) on April 30, 1999, ahead of the NRA’s annual meeting in Denver. Around the same time, leaders discussed how to respond to the shooting at Columbine High School in nearby Littleton, Colo. More than 20 years later, NPR has obtained secret recordings of those conversations.

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Kevin Moloney/Getty


Charlton Heston (left), then president of the NRA, meets with fellow leaders Wayne LaPierre (far right) and Jim Baker (center) on April 30, 1999, ahead of the NRA’s annual meeting in Denver. Around the same time, leaders discussed how to respond to the shooting at Columbine High School in nearby Littleton, Colo. More than 20 years later, NPR has obtained secret recordings of those conversations.

Kevin Moloney/Getty

Note: This episode of Up First originally ran in 2021.

A lone gunman killed 19 students and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. The National Rifle Association is set to host its annual convention in Houston, Texas on Friday, just a few hundred miles away. Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the event.

It’s a moment that’s eerily similar to one that occurred more than two decades ago, when the NRA’s annual event was set to begin in Denver just days after two gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. A day after that horrific school shooting in 1999, leaders of the NRA gathered to craft their response. Tim Mak of NPR’s Investigations team obtained secret recordings of how they debated how to respond and whether to hold their annual meeting. What the NRA decided then would become a standard response the organization would use for decades of school shootings to come.



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