In the aftermath of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, the National Rifle Association has suddenly become the left’s new target. At a CNN town hall, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch was called a “murderer,” and the crowd even booed at the mention of a pro-gun rape survivor. Student-survivor turned activist David Hogg has gone beyond mere calls for gun control, and said that NRA members are “child murderers.”
But despite such angry takes from leftists across the country, there’s no real reason to hate the NRA — because they don’t actually have “blood on their hands”, a lack of empathy for victims of violence, or even corrupt lobbying to answer for.
Emma Gonzalez, another Parkland survivor, called taking donations from the NRA “funding the killers.” These kinds of statements might make for good sound bites on CNN, but they’re actually just woefully ignorant of the facts. By and large, NRA members are law-abiding, respectful gun-owners. There has never been a mass shooting of any kind carried out by an NRA member. In fact, some of these people are heroes.
The tragic shooting at a Texas church last year was only stopped when Stephen Willeford, an NRA instructor, grabbed his AR-15 and took down the attacker.
While not every NRA member is a future hero, there’s almost no evidence to suggest that they’re even a threat, let alone “killers” or “child murderers”. In fact, concealed carry permit holders are statistically one of the most law-abiding subgroups of citizens in the U.S.
Still, you could argue that the policies the NRA supports are what allow for shootings like Parkland to occur, so the organization is responsible for that outcome. But essentially, you’re saying that anyone who disagrees with you on guns is pro-child murder. That position isn’t just uncharitable, it’s empirically unsupported.
NRA members do care about stopping violence. Why do you think that they emphasize the hundreds of thousands of times guns are used in self-defense every year? Or the fact that as the number of guns in this country has increased, gun homicides have actually fallen?
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) February 27, 2018
It’s not as if the NRA is indifferent to the very real problem of school shootings — they just have different ideas about how to prevent them. Democrats think that restricting or banning guns could somehow prevent mass shootings, even though prohibition can’t even stop criminals from getting marijuana. Second Amendment activists think that gun control would only disarm the law-abiding, and that the solution to school shootings is more security, not more laws. That makes them realists, not murderers.
The left’s final attack on the NRA is the accusation that because of their lobbying and campaign donations, they’ve “bought” different Republican members of Congress. But actually, the organization is a textbook example of representative democracy in progress. The NRA isn’t some shady group funded by a handful of rich mega-donors. It’s a grassroots organization, with millions of individual members who come together to support a cause they believe in. The left can call that corruption… I’ll just call it democracy.
Besides, aren’t we going to talk about the fact that Planned Parenthood donates just as much to Congress?
— Alexandra DeSanctis (@xan_desanctis) February 28, 2018
As Christian Schneider put it in USA Today, “The double standard is clear: When Democrats work on behalf of a special interest that aborts millions of children, they are doing so from a place of conscience and ideological purity. When Republicans argue in favor of Second Amendment rights, it is because they have been bought off by a disfavored lobbying group looking to profit from carnage.”
So let’s be honest: leftists don’t really hate the NRA. They hate guns, and they hate the Second Amendment. Some look down their nose at gun-owners and don’t bother to imagine things from their point of view. If they did, they’d realize that the NRA isn’t doing anything wrong — unless you consider disagreeing with the left on guns a grave offense.