Home » Opinion » Editorials
The NRA's clout: It comes from the people
In the days since the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Conn., there has been a great deal of talk about the "power" of the National Rifle Association (NRA). As gun-control advocates present it, the NRA is this great, malevolent force that gets common-sense gun-control legislation killed through some mysterious combination of money, deceit and corruption. They have it all wrong.
Gun rights are not popular in America because the NRA is so politically influential. The NRA is politically influential because gun rights are popular.
There was no NRA when James Madison penned the Second Amendment, and the belief that the Constitution protected the individual right to bear arms pre-dates the NRA. (UCLA constitutional law professor Adam Winkler has detailed how the 14th Amendment was proposed and ratified in part to guarantee that former slaves could not be disarmed, as the Ku Klux Klan and many Southern state legislators were trying to do.)
Many on the left believe that if the American people do not agree with them, then the people must have been brainwashed by powerful forces. They cannot fathom why their opposition to guns and gun rights is not the dominant view. It must be that evil NRA.
But the NRA did not write the Second Amendment or make it popular. The group would have little clout if it did not have 4 million members and the support of millions of non-member gun owners who see a need to become politically active to protect their right to bear arms from liberals who openly advocate eroding it.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Colorful Tradition at UNH - 0
- Media Power Youth targets preventing youth violence - 0
- Better parent-child communication is Pembroke talk topic - 0
- Rivier University in Nashua aims to transform campus with $4 million plan - 0
- Move to Concord eyed for offices of university system - 5
- Nashua in running for education grant - 0
- Teacher cuts proposed in Londonderry - 22
- Derry school district expects 2014-15 25-student enrollment increase - 0
- Derry teacher who brings science to life a national award finalist - 0
READER COMMENTS: 3
- Suicide bomber, gunmen kill 52 in Yemen - 0
- Manchester gas station burglarized - 0
- Conn. tractor-trailer driver charged in Manchester hit and run - 1
- John DiStaso's Granite Status: Scott Brown to be in Londonderry tonight, says 'nothing is really changed' on political plans - 10
- Goffstown man held in Triangle Credit Union robbery, burglaries - 0
- 2 Bay State men arrested for Peterborough credit union robbery - 1
- Hudson man facing DWI charge after crash - 0
- Minimum wage rally at South Willow McDonald's - 10
- Frisbie hospital seeks hearing on network exclusion, information denial - 0
Dingman granted conditional parole
John DiStaso's Granite Status: Scott Brown to be in Londonderry tonight, says 'nothing is really changed' on political plans