Multiple tragic shooting events are driving debate on how to approach safety in schools. Unfortunately, one of the primary arguments we’re seeing is the one for more restrictions (or even a ban) on guns. Specifically, lobbyists and activists are coming after the National Rifle Association (NRA), an organization they believe supports gun enthusiasm to an unhealthy level that directly leads to gun crimes. Taking a close look at the facts, however, paints a much different picture. The secrets of the NRA are closely tied to gun safety, rather than gun sales or mass shootings.
• Certainly, the NRA does support gun ownership. They’re a grassroots organization that has focused on the Second Amendment and the freedom to bear arms for decades. But they also champion the cause of responsible gun ownership, safety and proper training alongside civil rights.
• The NRA strongly believes the way to a safer society is by allowing citizens to arm themselves against potential threats. That was certainly the case for Stephen Willeford, the man who stopped a mass shooter at Texas’ First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Williford’s training allowed him to react on a dime to stop further deaths during the event.
• One of the primary missions of the NRA is gun safety in the form of in-depth training. In fact, the NRA is known as the “gold standard” when it comes to gun training certification.
• The NRA does not sell guns. While anti-gun enthusiasts are focused on the link between money and the NRA, they fail to realize that the NRA not only does not sell guns, but sets the standards for appropriate safety and training for gun owners.
• The NRA created the Hunter Training Program, which is designed to teach safety to hunters, reducing the number of accidental shootings and unsafe hunting practices.
• Members of the NRA are kept abreast of changes in gun laws as they happen.
• Blaming the NRA for gun crime is short-sighted. It doesn’t address the real root of the problem; instead, it only serves as a distraction. It’s akin to blaming the DMV for drinking and driving; irresponsible use lies in the hands of the person using the device irresponsibly.
• Calling for a boycott against the NRA may even make gun crimes worse. They’re universally responsible for more training, more gun safety awareness, and more guidance on responsible ownership than any other organization in America. If the NRA disappeared tomorrow, guns would remain legal – but Americans would have one less source of reliable information on gun responsibility.
• Gun ownership is an American right. To champion against the NRA is to directly attack everyday Americans and the Constitution that protects them.