In an act of protest, Adolphus Busch, heir to the Anheuser-Busch beer fortune, has resigned from the National Rifle Association.
A day after the Senate failed to pass the Manchin-Toomey gun bill that would have expanded background checks for people purchasing guns online or at gun shows, Busch sent a forceful and angry letter to the NRA president David Keene. Busch shamed the organization, claiming it was putting interests of gun and ammunition manufacturers above those of gun owners, who largely felt the background check bill was a reasonable safety measure.
"I fail to see how the NRA can disregard the overwhelming will of its members who see background checks as reasonable," Busch wrote. "The NRA I see today has undermined the values upon which it was established. Your current strategic focus clearly places priority on the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers while disregarding the opinions of your 4 million individual members."
Busch has been a member of the NRA since 1975 and has been an avid hunter for decades. Though he is a gun owner, he grew increasingly jaded by the organization’s political dealings, especially in the face of the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam responded to the allegations with a statement to the Huffington Post: "We disagree with his characterization, but we wish him all the best."
As a former CEO, Busch understands how decisions are made in big organizations, and so highlighted the NRA’s board of directors to illustrate how its political leanings and connections have crushed the original intention of the organization to represent gun owners’ interests.
"One only has to look at the makeup of the 75-member board of directors, dominated by manufacturing interests, to confirm my point,” Busch wrote. “The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers rather than gun owners."