Friday, April 25, 2014

The Times Has Finally (Quietly) Outed an NRA-Funded “Independent” Scholar

Last Friday The New York Times finally addressed a conflict of interest that it had been ignoring for years. Although, among the powerful institutions that have long done so, the Times is hardly alone. The matter helps illustrate how the gun lobby has managed to shape the nation’s gun debate without showing its hand. The news comes to light one day before the start of the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Indianapolis.

David Kopel is the Research Director and Second Amendment Project Director of the Colorado-based nonprofit Independence Institute, which describes itself as a “free-market think tank.” He is an Associate Policy Analyst at the Washington-based Cato Institute, and an adjunct professor of advanced constitutional law at Denver University. Kopel is also the author of 15 books and 90 scholarly articles many having to do with the Second Amendment and gun policies.

Kopel is widely known as one of the nation’s leading legal scholars on gun issues, writing from a pro-gun rights perspective. He testified in the Senate last year as an apparent independent expert in the nationally televised hearings held in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. For even longer, he has regularly written opinion pieces for newspapers like The Wall Street Journal while being similarly identified as an independent scholar.

Read on....

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