Taking on the NRA

Despite the fact that less than 2% of Americans belong to the National Rifle Association, the NRA is one of the most, perhaps the very most, potent political organizations in the US. Only about 25% of Americans own guns, and only 3% of the Americans own half the guns, but no meaningful legislation to limit guns has passed the Congress in recent memory. In contrast, laws to protect the "right" to pack guns everywhere have expanded dramatically, and one of the first laws passed in the Trump era prevented FBI background checks from using mental illness as a grounds for limiting gun ownership.

The strength of the NRA is its ability to mobilize a fanatical minority of single-issue "gun-rights" voters, as well as the financial support of gun manufacturers. Every gun outrage, like the most recent one in Florida, has prompted a storm of anger from citizens, but the NRA knows how to weather these - hunker down and release yet another cloud of bullshit claims that more guns are the only answer.

One difference is that this time students are speaking out and asking their parents to hold legislators accountable. One GOP contributor has pledged not to support any candidate that won't support an assault weapons ban. What the country needs is a large group of voters pledged to vote against any candidate who will not commit to sensible gun regulation, starting with universal and thorough background checks of all gun purchasers, bans on so-called bump-stocks, seizing the weapons of those who make illegal threats, and those on terrorist watch lists.

I would be happy to pay the equivalent of an NRA membership to join such an organization.

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