Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist

Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist

by Richard Feldman
     
 

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Ricochet
Confessions Of A Gun Lobbyist

"Ricochet tells the truth. With each page I can hear the echo of footsteps down the Rayburn Building's marbled halls as Feldman tells the intimate story few know and even fewer survive."
—Jack Brooks (D-Tex.), former Chairman, U.S. House Judiciary Committee

"Ricochet casts an eye-opening spotlight

Overview

Ricochet
Confessions Of A Gun Lobbyist

"Ricochet tells the truth. With each page I can hear the echo of footsteps down the Rayburn Building's marbled halls as Feldman tells the intimate story few know and even fewer survive."
—Jack Brooks (D-Tex.), former Chairman, U.S. House Judiciary Committee

"Ricochet casts an eye-opening spotlight on the shadowy world of behind-the-scenes gun politics. Is it accurate? Absolutely! I was there."
—John Aquilino, former Director, NRA Public Education

"Ricochet is right on target. Feldman's behind-the-scenes memoir vividly describes America's firearms debate and struggle to win in extraordinary detail. I thoroughly enjoyed it."
—John W. Magaw, former Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Like haggis, Antonioni films, and Hillary Clinton, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is something you either hate or love. Only the AARP can rival it for power, and even the "gun grabbers"-an NRA term for those who support gun control-know that it is supremely effective. Feldman, a lawyer with a political itch who worked for the NRA in the 1980s, effectively makes his case for the Second Amendment as he entertainingly presents his work organizing and lobbying on the state level. He disdains the NRA leadership of Wayne LaPierre, painting him as an overpaid, ethically questionable, scorched-earth extremist who won't compromise and is more interested in fund-raising than results. The book is weak in covering the last 20 years of the NRA since Feldman was an outsider-he was heading a gunmakers' lobby in the 1990s-and presents only his own observations. He gives readers too many boogeymen and too much internal NRA drama. Nevertheless, Feldman does show us how the NRA achieves its goals, making this a worthwhile purchase for public libraries.
—Michael O. Eshleman

Kirkus Reviews
One of its former regional political directors charges the National Rifle Association with being "a cynical, mercenary political cult."Feldman, an avowed supporter of the right to bear arms, thought he had landed the perfect job when the NRA hired him in 1984 as a state liaison for its lobbying arm. Within about three years, however, he ran into serious conflicts with his boss, whom he depicts as a narrow-minded functionary jealous of his successes in the field. Feldman was forced to quit, but his subsequent position with the firearm industry's trade association kept him in touch with the NRA; he was a political consultant for the organization in both New Jersey and Virginia and later coordinated efforts to defeat the Brady Bill on Capitol Hill. The scope of these campaigns and his personal role in them are detailed with gusto. Feldman provides a capsule history of the NRA from its 19th-century sporting origins through its burst of growth after World War II and its emergence as a powerful lobbying force in the 1970s. He devotes considerable attention to internal struggles for control and to the advertising agency that became its in-house public-affairs department. His major complaint is what he sees as the organization's manipulation of members in order to enhance its political power and enrich its senior executives. It is not, he claims, interested in solutions to problems, but in prolonging conflict over issues. Citing its reaction to such events as the 1984 Bernhard Goetz shooting in a New York subway and the shootout at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, he concludes that the NRA relishes fights with anti-gun groups because such controversies increase membership andstimulate contributions. Throughout, Feldman pulls no punches, naming names and calling names. A breezy, easy-to-read expose, though the author's staunch pro-firearms position may alienate readers who are anti-gun as well as anti-NRA.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471679288
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
10/26/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
937,898
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.75(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Ricochetis right on target. Feldman's behind-the-scenes memoir vividly describes America's firearms debate and struggle to win in extraordinary detail. I thoroughly enjoyed it."--John W. Magaw, former Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

"Ricochet casts an eye-opening spotlight on the shadowy world of behind-the-scenes gun politics. Is it accurate? Absolutely! I was there."--John Aquilino, former Director, NRA Public Education

"Ricochet tells the truth. With each page I can hear the echo of footsteps down the Rayburn Building's marbled halls as Feldman tells the intimate story few know and even fewer survive."--Jack Brooks (D-Tex.), former Chairman, U.S. House Judiciary Committee

Meet the Author

Richard Feldman was a regional political director for the National Rifle Association during its rise to power in the 1980s. In the 1990s he was chief lobbyist and spokesman for the firearm industry's national trade association. The founder of MLS Communications, a public relations and political consulting business, Mr. Feldman is also an attorney specializing in public affairs.

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