The National Rifle Association is the single most effective lobbying organization in America. By feeding the paranoia that the federal government will eventually confiscate guns, they’ve succeeded in making the “right to bear arms” our most protected right.
If you want a sense of how powerful the NRA is, take a look at the only piece of legislation even being discussed in the aftermath of the Newtown mass shooting in which 20 first- and second-grade schoolchildren were shot dead. The renewal of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban being pursued by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) would prevent the sale of specific assault weapons. But the bill also would “grandfather” existing weapons so the owners can keep them.
Authorities in Oakland and Los Angeles recently offered gun buybacks to get weapons off the street. But the idea that the federal government is going to track down and take away guns of law-abiding citizens would be laughable, if it weren’t stopping us from doing anything to fight gun violence, which is on the rise for the first time in decades.
But fostering paranoia and hostility toward the government is just one way the NRA keeps us from taking logical steps that would prevent gun violence. Here are five more.
Photo credit: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci