Two Reasons To Take Down the NRA

“The NRA is closer than you think,” says the National Rifle Association’s website, in a strict blue font.

Underneath that statement, a map of firearm training and places to shoot within 50 miles of Ann Arbor is provided. However, with such broad advertising, where is the line drawn for gun use?

On Nov. 28, a 57-year-old man named Robert Dear killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic and injured nine others with gun violence. The only thing that has been done since is the defunding of Planned Parenthood by the Senate. This isn’t an issue about Planned Parenthood providing abortions, because less than three percent of the services it provides are abortions. Dear killing people was not an action of defiance against abortion; it is hypocritical to take lives because you believe abortions are murder. It isn’t about needing better mental health care:

“We are not the only country on earth that has people with mental illnesses who want to do harm to other people. We are the only advanced country on earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months,” said President Barack Obama.

This is an issue about the safety of the people in the United States, who could go numb to more gun violence issues because it happens so often. The state with the tightest gun safety laws is Connecticut, and it completely prohibits carrying firearms for personal protection outside the home or place of business. In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, they estimate that the law decreased gun killings by 40 percent between 1996 and 2005; 296 lives were saved in 10 years.


There are two reasons the Senate should have proposed to defund the NRA because so far, nothing has been done to prevent future shootings.

The NRA does not advocate for gun safety laws or regulation.

The NRA has a strategy to reward lawmakers and politicians who fight for policies that support gun rights in any way, and punish those who take even a step away from that. Former Tennessee House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart was a member of the NRA, and was ranked with an “A+” by them until she voted against a bill that would not allow Tennesseans to keep firearms in their parked vehicles. After that, the NRA switched its support to another Republican representative and sponsored ads sarcastically claiming that she does support gun rights, but just like President Obama does. It is using its power to scare politicians who are members into doing what will only help itself, because if they don’t it has the power to take them down.

The NRA has not only targeted Maggart, but many others as well, like House Democrat George Darden, who lost to Republican Robert L. Barr Jr. because the NRA organized conservative religious groups, city council members and county commissioners to support Barr, whose campaign base was a local gun shop. Sen. Boozman, Coats, Capito and 34 other senators received $24,618, $17,917 and $94,261 respectively from the NRA, so they voted against the background check measure today that would deny terrorist suspects from being able to buy guns. The NRA is pressurizing politicians to act this way.

Every right should be accompanied with common sense, and it is completely senseless to wish for loose gun-control, especially with a machine that dangerous. The NRA should at least support regulations so the public understands it wants guns to be used safely and that it does indeed care about safety.

It interferes with public health by not allowing funding for gun violence research.

In 1996, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention wanted to conduct studies on firearms ownership and the effects on public health, but the NRA deemed it useless. Eventually, an NRA member and House representative succeeded in reallocating the $2.6 million the CDC would use for the research into a different topic. The NRA has defended restricting the CDC’s funding and has campaigned for more bans. Another time, it successfully coaxed Congress into forbidding doctors to ask about a patient’s gun use.

“The CDC is there to look at diseases that need to be dealt with to protect public health,” said Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). However, diseases aren’t the only factor that affect public health, because health encompasses many things. The fact that in the past 365 days there were 355 mass shootings suggests that gun violence is indeed an epidemic that is worth researching and finding a solution to.

It’s time for those who refuse to support any gun safety laws try to help solve a problem. When anti-gun control supporters argue that the bad guys will always find a way to access guns they do not realize that, by not implementing gun control rules, we are making it easier for them to buy and use guns. Regulation would never be able to completely taking away guns, but it is unacceptable how many lives have been lost to gun violence and it does not seem justified by Second Amendment rights. In the end, supporters of the NRA can make the choice between supporting it, and losing people that could be their children, siblings, parents or friends to senseless violence.