Lo and behold, the report they produce recommends their own products! Seems like a good scam, if they can get some schools to buy in.
Media Matters notes the claims of Asa Hutchinson, the taskforce head, about its supposed independence from the NRA, and how the media has been more than happy to buy into his propaganda and ignore any potential conflict of interest. This is CBS' uncritical gushing on the subject.
Hutchinson stressed that the "initiative" is fully independent from the NRA -- which he said budgeted $1 million for the effort -- and that the pro-gun lobby was under no obligation to enforce any of its recommendations.Media Matters also cites examples from the NYT and TPM about the report. But this is the reality...
"The NRA has fulfilled its side of the bargain and has given us the level of independence," he said. "These recommendations are the recommendations of task force. This is our event, and the NRA will separately consider and respond to it."
In fact, the report presents a clear conflict of interest as five of the 13 named members of the taskforce are employees of Phoenix RBT Solutions, including the company's CEO. RBT Solutions is a global non-lethal ammunition distributor. According to their website, the company is a global distributor for Ultimate Training Munitions, a type of wax round specifically marketed by RBT Solutions to private security and law enforcement. RBT Solutions also sells a wide array training and defensive gear for security personnel and rents a "portable training facility."So, as it turns out this is just another proposal from the right wing to take money from the government and hand it over to their own financial interests. It's worse, really, than the war profiteering of Halliburton and the like. This is profiteering off of gun violence, from tragedy. On the graves of the dead from Newtown, these shameless ghouls are presenting the country with a supposedly independent and wholesome taskforce, with a plan that just happens to seek to line their own pockets.
While Hutchinson repeatedly insisted the project was conducted independently of the NRA and without the group's influence - the press conference was organized by the NRA's press office, paid for by the group and the website for the project was www.nraschoolshield.com.Asa Hutchinson will continue to make the rounds and spew his talking points regardless (I watched him spar with Lawrence O'Donnell yesterday). And the NRA has not yet fully endorsed the plan, as they're pretending to need time to review it. But it will come as no surprise when they do.
Ok, as if profiteering off of gun violence isn't bad enough, Mother Jones reports that the taskforce report cites a made-up mass shooting at a school in Minnesota -- a school where a student brandished a gun and terrorized people, but never fired a shot. According to Asa Hutchinson & co., six people died there. Must be news to the folks at Hastings Middle School. MJ tracked down the actual news from the incident: