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: 7
- Fetal homicide: A compromise at last? - 4
- Freedom & discovery: A mathematician gets noticed - 0
- Preventing Newtown: Background checks won’t - 29
- Taunting taxpayers: Manchester teachers union won’t budge - 35
- Insurance choices: Shaheen, Shea-Porter, Kuster mislead - 19
- Looking for Abigail: Public can help find her - 3
- Riding lessons: DRED improves horse rules - 5
- Pray for safety: The state did not provide it - 15
- Big league gambling: AG makes right call on casinos - 8
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Manchester's O'Neill, Lebanon's Morrill form UNH's 'Granite Wall' - 0
- Stretch of I-293 North and South closed after propane tank crashes - 1
- $13m contract recommended for next phase of Nashua parkway - 0
- Couple charged in connection with Exeter burglaries - 0
- Proposed article sets rules for use of temporary signs - 0
- Newsreel: State unemployment stable; Gates Foundation CEO named; generic Viagra out soon - 0
- Leclerc takes second place in men's hockey - 0
- Trinity-Central game pushed to tonight - 0
- Derryfield's Hyde, Faulkner star in ski relays - 0
Shaheen, Ayotte split on House budget plan