Despite incident after incident of mass shooting episodes in the US, the NRA apparently has been unwavering on its stance concerning gun control legislation.
The National Rifle Association is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington. It has flexed its muscles to prevent numerous attempts at passing legislation to toughen US gun regulations. The organization has now reportedly instituted a new strategy to ensure that its agenda remains intact.
According to a report from Yahoo! News, the NRA is now attempting to oppose President Obama's federal judicial nominees that it believes will be supportive of tougher gun-control measures. The organization is also reportedly attempting to influence the balance of power at local and state levels as well. The NRA used these tactics to oppose the appointments of justicesand Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.
The organization even went to the length of warning lawmakers who voted to confirm the appointees.
According to the report, the NRA issued the following message to legislators: "In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, (Kagan) refused to declare support for the Second Amendment, saying only that the matter was 'settled law.' This was eerily similar to the scripted testimony of Justice Sonia Sotomayor last year, prior to her confirmation to the court. It has become obvious that 'settled law' is the scripted code of an anti-gun nominee's confirmation effort."
The statement added,"The NRA is not fooled."
In what could be construed as somewhat of a veiled threat, the NRA made it clear to lawmakers that there were consequences attached for any who showed support of the president's nominees.
"I am a bit concerned that the NRA weighed in and said they were going to score this. I don't think that was appropriate," Republican Sen.of Alaska said at the time. "A vote on a Supreme Court justice, in my mind, should be free from those political interest groups that are going to pressure you," the report stated.
Murkowski then went on to vote against confirming the two justices. In fact, only seven GOP members voted for Sotomayor in 2009 and five for Kagan.
To send a clear message to any lawmaker who opposed it, the NRA spent $200,000 to unseat six term Sen.(R-Ind.) in a primary against Richard Mourdock.
There are several things wrong with this picture. First we have a private organization with enough influence to basically intimidate lawmakers into doing their bidding on pain of losing their much-needed campaign support. Secondly, we have a problem created by the first. It is the problem of said private organization writing law by proxy.
More importantly, we have the issue of the NRA, through its strong-arm tactics, blocking laws that could protect the public from danger.
This brings up a big question: Is the NRA's approach to gun rights making it easier for deranged gunmen and homegrown terrorists to obtain the means to inflict their deadly imperatives upon innocent, defenseless citizens? Is the presence of its powerful lobby a corrupting influence on those tasked with ensuring the people's interest? Should an organization be allowed to exert that much influence over our elected officials?
Is this really an endeavor by the NRA to preserve the Second Amendment, or is it simply a ruse to continue receiving support from the multi-billion dollar firearms industry that continues to supply this country with instruments that serve no other purpose than to kill people?
Is the NRA the same American institution it used to be? Is it really interested in saving lives, or has it become a propaganda machine that only serves as a go-between to channel money from the firearms industry to influence lawmakers?
Is the NRA truly concerned with Americans' safety and preserving the Constitution, or has it decided that allowing madmen easy access to tools that facilitate the killing of people in a movie theater or gunning down innocent children in our schools is simply the price of doing business?