The NRA and It’s Political Influence
The gun control debate is an issue in our country that stirs up highly passionate arguments from both the pro-, and anti-gun side of the debate. As I have mentioned in my post on the multiple perspectives of this topic, both sides have some great ideas on what should be done. Although, I personally believe that there is no right answer in applying these ideas and policies successfully to our country. My opinion? I believe the gun control debate is not a debate anymore at all, but it is a conflict. When no further policies or regulations on guns were put in effect after the Sandy Hook shootings, our country made its decision that the killing of children was bearable. Who is on top of this conflict and why?
The NRA is the leading pro-gun organization, that’s fundraising and strong support has resulted in its overwhelming political influence. The NRA lobbies to block bills from passing that would put stricter limits on the sales of firearms. They have a very widespread support from citizens throughout the United States, with 4.5 million members. This support gives the NRA financial advantage over its opponents. For example, The NRA spent $3.6 million dollars in 2015 alone on lobbying against gun control. In comparison the leading pro-gun organization, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence spent $150,000 on lobbying for gun control in 2015.
The character of the NRA in their influence of politics and lobbying to protect the rights for citizens in the U.S. shows the character of the citizens of this country who support this organization. Mass shootings have stirred up a lot of conversation of what should be done. Time and time again the frenzy of news coverage, iPhone recorded videos, and the self-righteous statements from both pro-gun and anti-gun people has become a normality. And if people can accept and move on from these mass shootings, it illustrates that our country just doesn’t find it necessary to take the steps to begin to approach the issue. In 2015, senior editor for an online news outlet Quartz, Gideon Lichfield weighed in on the reoccurring mass shootings and the news coverage that follows to just be,” … It’s theater, created to sustain not the impression that we care but the fiction that caring makes a difference.” Lichfield is speculating that the news follows these mass shootings so widely not to make people thing that we are concerned about the issue, but that being concerned alone will make a difference in these mass shooting and gun violence in the country.
As of right now, the gun debate is bigger than a lot of other issues in the country because of the upcoming presidential election, depending on who’s nominated could alter the course for how things will play out. But in a way the NRA is already elected, and is not going anywhere soon. Even if its biggest opponent Hilary Clinton is elected in November, the first female president will be losing the gun control conflict.