Lori Haas in Media Matters For America

Wash. Post overstates the NRA’s ability to influence legislation and elections

The article included only a single piece of plausible analysis. Contrary to the narrative adopted by the rest of the piece, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Virginia Director Lori Haas told the paper, “I don’t believe that Republicans in the General Assembly are doing this only because of the influence of the gun lobby” because “most of them believe in an extremist version of the Second Amendment.”

Haas is correct that Virginia GOP lawmakers seem to need little outside encouragement from the NRA to push an anti-gun-safety agenda. For example, one of the leading pro-gun figures in the Virginia legislature, Republican state Sen. Dick Black, recently published an opinion piece in the Post attacking the gun safety proposals ahead of the legislature’s special session. Black is closely aligned with the extremist state gun group Virginia Citizens Defense League. VCDL has suggested that if its legislative agenda is not passed in the General Assembly, violence would be an acceptable response. VCDL also publishes a newsletter that has shared racist content in encouraging people to arm themselves.

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