Three days after a gunman calling himself the Joker from the Batman series shot dead 12 people in a suburban Denver movie theater, the National Rifle Association sent out a letter asking for money, reports Bloomberg News. “The future of your Second Amendment rights will be at stake,” the letter said. The letter dated July 23, sent to NRA supporters including people in Colorado, doesn’t mention the gunfire during the July 20 showing of the new Batman movie in Aurora, Co. The four-page solicitation from NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre was sent to help underwrite an advertising and grass-roots campaign to defeat President Obama and elect gun-rights supporters in Congress. The letter was “very insensitive,” said Eileen McCarron, president of the Colorado Ceasefire Capitol Fund, a gun-control advocacy group.
The NRA has publicly been silent on gun-control proposals since the Colorado shooting. Fundraising is increasingly important to the NRA, based in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Fairfax, Va. The gun-rights organization’s membership dues were 44 percent of its income in 2010, down from 58 percent in 2008. The NRA’s political-action committee raised almost $10 million from January 2011 through June 30, 2012, to spend on election campaigns, about two-thirds of what it collected in 2007 and 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The solicitation letter says that Obama’s re-election would result in the “confiscation of our firearms” and potentially a “ban on semi-automatic weapons.” James Holmes, 24, the suspect in the Aurora killings, had four semi-automatic weapons at the theater, police said.