The NRA is a problem for sane gun enthusiasts.
By Joshua Holland, AtlerNet, December 14, 2012 |
Editor’s note: a version of this piece originally ran after the Minnesota Sikh Temple shootings in August.
The United States is not the only country to experience the horrors of mass shootings. We are, however, the only society in which a serious discussion of tighter gun controls doesn’t follow incidents like the massacres we’ve seen at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday. In fact, in most countries these kinds of tragedies result in some kind of concrete legislative action.
The reason we can’t have a sane, adult discussion of how to cut down on random gun violence is simple: the NRA has hoodwinked a lot of reasonable gun owners into believing that there’s a debate in this country over banning firearms altogether. We’ll never be able to have a serious discussion about how to cut down on gun violence until that group accepts the actual terms of the debate. And the NRA has a vested interest in making sure they remain obscure because the organization represents gun manufacturers and a small, highly ideological minority of gun-nuts, rather than (typically responsible) gun owners.
And that means that, at least in theory, there is political space for a new kind of gun control advocacy – one that isn’t about whether Americans have a right to bear arms, but instead explicitly advocates safe and responsible gun ownership, a goal the polls tell us most gun owners would embrace.
How the NRA Dupes Gun Owners for Political and Economic Gain
Th idea that someone wants to grab Americans’ guns couldn’t be further from reality. The truth is that Americans’ right to own firearms has never been more secure at any time in our nation’s history. …