Tom Diaz

Tom Diaz in the News


Tom Diaz

January 4, 2013—The Young Turks, Current TV, “Power and influence of NRA a ‘self-serving myth’ that progressives make worse, says gun culture author.”

Cenk talks to Tom Diaz, author of The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It, ( about the ongoing gun violence since the Newtown school shootings and the influence of the NRA — including a museum showing off famous weapons from films. “The whole thing is in a way just a big advertisement,” Diaz says. “It’s also an example of the blatant hypocrisy and bald-faced lying that the NRA does every day.” Still, Diaz says, if you look at the win record of candidates they’ve supported, “The NRA really does not have much power… This is a kind of self-serving myth that, surprisingly enough, people who call themselves progressives, liberals, Democrats, have bought into. They make the NRA as powerful as it can be.”

January 4, 2013—, “Does NRA Exploit Violent Movies to Sell Guns?

A gun industry analyst says NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre is hypocritical in his latest attack on violent movies.”

January 3, 2013.  Guest on an hour of the Leslie Marshall Show.

Here is the audio of the show: LM 01-03 Hour#2

January 3, 2013—The Independent (London), “NRA’s Hollywood Guns display is ‘hypocritical.’”

But a gun-control advocate, Tom Diaz…said in his blog this week that the NRA and the gun industry exploit the popularity of violent films to sell more firearms. “It would be hard to find a more hypocritical statement.”

January 2, 2013—The Hollywood Reporter, “NRA’s ‘Hollywood Guns’ Museum Exhibit Continues Amid Violent Movie Criticism.

 As highlighted in a new report by Tom Diaz, the National Rifle Association has hosted the display of famous guns at its National Firearms Museum since 2010. The museum’s website boasts of the exhibit’s vast collection of guns used in famous films and routinely reports on the NRA’s lending of certain guns to various conventions of weapons enthusiasts and law enforcement officials.

 January 2 2013—Americablog, “NRA Web site glorifies violent Hollywood movies after NRA chief criticizes violent Hollywood movies.”

 From a new report by Tom Diaz, who visited the NRA’s museum, which was still up and running after the NRA’s LaPierre excoriated those who glorify Hollywood violence.  (Embarrassing.)

December 30, 2012—The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), “Editorial: NRA call for guns at schools obscene.”

 In fact, facts are the enemy of the organization, according to Tom Diaz, a former gun owner and former NRA member who … has written extensively about the NRA and the gun lobby.

“The gun industry realized that it really loses every argument where you can have facts,” he recently told NPR.

 December 27, 2012—The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), “Editorial: The gun lobby’s secret weapons.”

 Known as the “Tiahrt amendment,” named for a Republican former congressman from Kansas, it bans the ATF from disclosing data that would tell the public how often people are killed or injured with specific types of firearms, such as the popular “Bushmaster” semi-automatic assault rifle involved in the Connecticut and New York shootings this month.

“We’re shut down,” Tom Diaz…said in an interview this month with National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. “ATF collects by make, model, caliber – data about the guns and the type of crimes they’re used in.”

“The data is available in the files of the ATF, but it cannot release it,” he said. “It is forbidden by law from releasing it.”

Mr. Diaz noted that transparency is the gun lobby’s enemy.

“The gun industry realized that it really loses every argument where you can have facts,” he said.

 December 20, 2012—The Associated Press, “Gun laws show difficulty of stemming violent acts.”

Tom Diaz…said lawmakers should focus on a weapon’s firepower. In the Colorado theater shooting and the deadly attack at a suburban Portland mall, police said the accused shooters used AR-15 assault rifles, versions of which were outlawed under the 1994 ban. Diaz said bullets fired from those types of guns are powerful enough to pierce all but the highest-grade, military-style, bullet-proof vests.

“It’s designed for battlefield use,” Diaz said.

 December 20, 2012—National Public Radio, Fresh Air, “Assault-Style Weapons In The Civilian Market.”

Guest, one hour show.

 December 15, 2012—The Bradenton Herald (Florida), “New calls for gun control after tragedy.”

“Whether Glock or Sig Sauer, it’s the number of rounds and ease of reloading that makes them so lethal,” he said. “If you can reload and you have 4-5 magazines, you’ve got firepower to unload a hundred rounds.”

With such weapons, Diaz said, a mass murderer doesn’t “need a hundred-round drums” similar to what Holmes used in Aurora.

December 26, 2012—Dayton Daily News (Ohio), “Officer deaths up 3rd year; 50 law enforcement killings came via handgun.”

Tom Diaz…said the increase of officers killed with firearms is due to multiple factors. Diaz said it’s a natural consequence of the proliferation of firearms, more powerful and affordable semiautomatic weapons and a growing ideology of anti-government sovereign citizens.

Diaz said there are rank-and-file police organizations who are reluctant to endorse gun control because their membership at large blame the crooks and not the guns. “They need to wake up and smell the coffee because this trend is not going to go away,” Diaz said. “It’s going to get worse, and their members are the ones who are going to [suffer] for it.”

December 17, 2012—The New York Times, “Rifle Used in Killings, America’s Most Popular, High-lights Regulation Debate.”

‘”The people we’re talking about, once they get into ‘I want to kill a lot of people,’ it’s not a leap for them to see that these guns are made and designed for war,”’ said Tom Diaz…. ‘”And if you look at the industry advertising, that is a consistent theme.’”

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