Those opposed to effective gun control always seem to dominate the discussion. The internet, TV interview programs, gun control articles and opinion pages look as if the majority of Americans are rabid about “gun rights” or “the right to bear arms.” This is a false impression. Over two thirds of American households have no guns. The overwhelming majority of us doesn’t like or don’t care about guns. Only one in ten women owns a gun. The angry rhetoric about the 2nd amendment is irrelevant to most Americans. Equally significant is that most guns in America are owned by a tiny minority. About 6.4 percent of the population owns 65 percent of the guns! If only 6 percent of the population are fanatical gun collectors then why is our national dialogue dominated by their angry, persecuted opinions in one gun control article after the next? The answer is the NRA. The NRA is not a sportsman’s association. It is the lobbying arm of gun and ammunition manufacturers. Despite claims to independence, the NRA’s financial support overwhelmingly comes from gum makers not gun owners. With an annual budget in excess of $300 million and only about 4.1 million members paying $25 a year it is easy to see who the NRA serves. In 2010 they received $71.1 million in donations. In 2012, the biggest NRA donor was Midway Corp an ammunition producer and maker of high capacity magazines. The founded the “Round UP” program where gun buyers round up their purchases to the next dollar the difference going to the NRA. At least 50 other companies in the gun industry have joined the program. They sponsor of the pro gun control articles across America. The NRA proclaims that its mission is to defend the 2nd amendment. However, its efforts have consistently focused on legislation that benefit weapons makers. According to a recent gun control article, in 2005, it lobbied to pass a law that gave gun manufacturers and distributors immunity from lawsuits from victims of gun violence. Cities, such as New Orleans, had also filed suits seeking damages for health care costs and other expenses resulting from gun violence. The NRA also speaks against the sentiments of its own membership. In a recent gun control article, Republican pollster Frank Luntz sited gun control statistics showing that very few members agree with the organization’s stances on gun control. According to Luntz’s survey 82 percent of all gun owners, and 74 percent of NRA members, support requiring criminal background checks for gun purchasers. The NRA does not. The NRA is transparently the voice of weapons makers and has dominated the public’s perception of the issues regarding gun control. It is time for the majority of Americans to stand up against the NRA message. Learn the facts and advocate for safety not violence.
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