[from October 2005 issue]


What a hypocritical outfit this is! Their nonprofit “Charitable Foundation” certainly has no idea of how to be charitable to the hands that feed it. Among other things, the foundation’s mission statement tells us that its goal is to utilize its assets “to make a positive and measurable impact on youth in the greater Washington, D.C. region in the areas of literacy, youth development, education, community service and health and wellness."

We presume the foundation, by this statement, truly believes in extending its largess to the youth of inner city DC and thereby help to lift their sights to a higher purpose than being caught up in the potential dead-end future that can so easily engulf them in their neighborhoods in which violence is so prevalent.

Violence that is made so easy to come by thanks to the constant flood of guns -- everybody seems to be able to get a gun at a moment’s notice and too many of those kids think nothing about shooting each other with them just to settle some trivial argument over things like buying someone’s girlfriend a snow cone or simply mouthing off as teenagers are wont to do.

So here we are with our civic leaders and ministers and elected officials all uniformly struggling to find a way to get guns out of the hands of the kids -- and note that we are emphasizing the kids and the need to make their lives safe and hopefully meaningful and not even addressing the other side of the coin, which is about getting the guns out of the hands of criminals -- yet one of our city’s most prominent corporate citizens is in fact noting the supposed glamour of gun usage!

What we are specifically on our high horse about is the participation by the Redskins and its owner, Daniel Snyder, in the forthcoming October 25th National Rifle Association (NRA) “shooting event” which is to be a fund-raiser to benefit the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation.

Ladd Everitt, president of the DC chapter of the Million Mom March which, working closely with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, is the nation's largest national, non-partisan grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, as we were getting ready to go to press issued the following statement with which we are in absolute agreement:

“There is no way that the Redskins can reconcile the stated mission of their foundation with the tacit endorsement of an organization [NRA] that disrespects District residents to such a degree that they would push legislation that directly endangers our children's lives. The NRA's attempts to repeal our gun laws are a historic violation of DC home rule and an absolute slap in the face of every victim and survivor of gun violence in this city.”

As the DC-based Violence Policy Center pointed out in an October 10th letter to Daniel Snyder, the NRA “is currently lobbying Congress to overturn Washington, DC’s gun laws. The bills to repeal the District of Columbia’s gun laws promoted by the NRA would: legalize handguns as well as semiautomatic assault weapons and 50-caliber sniper rifles; allow any person to carry, openly or concealed, loaded handguns and other concealable firearms in houses, places of business, or other land ‘possessed by that person’; and, severely weaken the District’s ban on armor-piercing handgun ammunition.”

The mayor and all our officials of government, including all members of the city council must make it absolutely clear to Daniel Snyder that he forthwith disengage the Redskins organization from any connection with this or any future NRA-sponsored event. Just the mere fact of any connection between an organization that professes to be part and parcel of our city’s civic life and a vicious organization such as the NRA has absolutely no justification. Further, should Daniel Snyder not see how horrific is his involvement with the NRA then it would not be at all out of line for our city’s leaders to sever all relationships with the Redskins organization.

Just take a look (if you can control your nausea) at the cover of the current issue of the NRA’s monthly magazine, America’s 1st Freedom, and you will see our city once again vilified with that old Right Wing canard of “Washington, D.C., America’s Murder Capital” and the mayor depicted as a patsy in a two-page photo spread showing him seemingly holding up his hands as if to give in to criminals, with the caption, “D.C. to Criminals: We Surrender! The mayor of Washington, D.C., the Murder Capital of the U.S. for 14 of the last 15 years, strikes a telling pose as he defends D.C.’s absurd gun laws.”

This is all just simply too disgusting to deal with any further other than to reiterate our urging that either Daniel Snyder get rid of the NRA or we get rid of him and his team!