The NRA Is a Threat To Democracy

Vegas isn’t shocking. When I woke up Monday morning to hear of another mass shooting, of course I felt sad for those affected by it, but it wasn’t surprising to me in the slightest. And that is a problem. This is when it becomes evidently clear that America is so used to mass shootings that we’ve almost normalized it. And if all you did was tweet #PrayForVegas and watch a few videos of Jason Aldean running off the stage when the gun shots began pouring down, you’re part of this vicious cycle we’ve adapted.

I’m not here to preach gun control anymore. Limiting how many and what kind of guns and ammunition an American can posses is common sense at this point. While there is a sensible argument of owning a hand gun to protect yourself in times of danger, and of upholding the 2nd amendment, the average American does not need an AK-47. But what is utterly critical to all of this is the role the NRA has played in what transpired Sunday night and in mass shootings before that.

Notice anything weird about all of this? The NRA hasn’t tweeted since the Vegas incident. They can no longer use the narrative of “having a gun would have protected you.” Stephen Paddock was out of sight and out of range, making it impossible for any gun owning American at that concert to impede or prevent him from killing over 50 people and injuring over 500. And now, they don’t know what to do.

This narrative has been critical for the NRA to survive Sandy Hook, Orlando, etc. but now that the deadliest shooting in American history leaves them vulnerable, perhaps this is the time when the American public will see their massive influence on gun legislation in this country.

Over the past year alone, the NRA has spent almost $1 million on donations to primarily Republican members of Congress and $6.4 million on lobbying on over 50 proposed pieces of legislation. And on top of that, to keep their 5 million members and donors happy, they spent over $10 million on advertisements. 

This is the core of the NRA’s power and influence. They spend millions each year to prevent gun legislation and drive profit. That is why over 100 gun control bills have failed to pass through Congress since 2011. The NRA holds a monopoly over all decisions made on firearms in this country and that is the biggest threat to democracy in itself.

The majority of Americans believe in some sensible gun control legislation, yet the active body representing the American people on legislation has failed to pass anything. People like Sen. Dean Heller, a congressmen from Nevada, where the recent shootings happened, accepted $10,000 from the NRA but tweeted out his sympathies for the victims of the shooting as soon as possible. Money becomes the priority.

The NRA simply becomes a threat to democracy when it uses its financial prowess for political gain day after day. It is an abuse of power and insult to the free market. They produce controversial ads to divide the American public and hand checks to Congress if they appease the NRA’s profitability, leaving the average citizen with almost no say.

Mass shooters are responsible for mass shootings and domestic terrorism, but when you peel back the layers and talk about prevention, you’ll see that the NRA and a large portion of Congress will put money before American lives.

This is the reason why we continue to have mass shootings and this is the reason why we are so divided on gun control. We are metastasizing fallacies by a corrupt organization that makes simple background checks and turning sensible gun legislation into a false narrative of repealing the 2nd Amendment. Until this country collectively condemns what the NRA is doing, Vegas will happen again and again.

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Anthony Buonopane
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Anthony is a 19 year old college student attending Boston University/Wheelock College in Boston, MA. Anthony studies political science with a minor in leadership. He is passionate about politics and activism. He also loves sports and Marvel movies. You can follow him on Twitter: @ant_buonopane or Instagram: @abuonopane55

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