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National Rifle Association Nra Politics Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 3107 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The National Rifle Association of America is an American non-profit association that was established in the year 1871 by Union veterans of the American Civil War. The group is known for promoting private ownerships of firearms, as well as providing proper law enforcement training, as well as encouraging the safety of firearms, highlighting the importance of marksmanship, hunting activities and self-defence training in the United States.

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The National Rifle Association is also the parent associations of affiliated groups such as the tax-deductible NRA Foundation, a charitable organization, in addition to a lobbying group, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA). The NRA is one of the United States’ largest certifying bodies for firearm safety training and proficiency schooling courses for law enforcement departments, leisure hunting, and adolescent firearm safety. The organization has published several magazines and sponsored plenty of marksmanship events that features shooting skills and sports. Due to their charitable contributions through the manner of being premier firearms education organization in the world, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a revenue service responsible for collecting taxes and the elucidation and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code has designated the NRA as a 501(c)(3) organization. This allows the NRA organization to be exempted from federal taxes as well to ensure that the financial support for firearms-related activities would be available now and for future generations.

Goals, aims and objectives

The primary goal of the association when it was first created would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis’. That statement was in accordance to a magazine editorial written by one of the founders. But as time goes on, with multiple incidents throughout the United States that involve massive casualties in regards to misuse of firearms, from the Virginia Tech to the latest Sandy Hook disaster, the NRA had to take a stronger stand against the new firearms bills in addition to the repeated attacks towards the Second Amendment and their new goals, aims and objectives had to reflect that. After all the NRA’s political movement has always been based on the initiative that the firearm ownership is considered to be a civil right that is protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Therefore the NRA is making it, it’s mission to maintain the Second Amendment rights and advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. At the same time, the Association still aims to be the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services alongside promoting the shooting sports as a whole by focusing on these objectives;

Firearms Training and Owner Education

Even though the NRA is profoundly mixed up in political lobbying, the organization is still staying strong on their roots by offering a variety of security programs to promote the responsible use of firearms. The group offers hunting protection instructive courses for adults and children; it reaches towards the youth through its Eddie Eagle program. The NRA also makes an attempt to coach firearm owners on the secure storage of firearms through an assortment of publications at their disposal.

Confiscation of Firearms in Disaster Situations

Following the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in the year 2005, the state of New Orleans law enforcement police officers were instructed to de-arm citizens before allowing them into evacuation centres. The NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation filed for a temporary restraining order on Sept. 23, 2005 and the order was granted by the U.S. Further gun confiscations was barred, as well as the demand for the return of previously confiscated guns to their lawful owners. In June of the same year, the NRA came out in support of Act 275 which was signed by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. The act forbids the confiscation of firearms from lawful citizens in declared states of emergency.

International arms control

La Pierre perceives that the United Nations debate of an Arms Control Treaty as an attack on national independence and towards the Second Amendment. He argues that their debate about human rights does not fall under the Second Amendment which is the right to defend oneself. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated, in 2009, that the United States has in place an extensive and rigorous system of controls for arms transfers, without calling for additional restrictions. La Pierre, however, argues that Clinton did not bother to mention the Second Amendment or the U.S. sovereignty in her speech and that her silence on those seminal elements of the freedom, stands in stark gap to the impudent defence of the liberty of America as a country.

Proposition H in San Francisco

The majority of supporters in San Francisco approved of Proposition H in November 2005, which, the outcome, would prohibit the sale, assemble and circulation of firearms and ammunitions inside the city limits, and it will be effective as of 1st January, 2006. Within a day after the election, the NRA, alongside other gun advocacy groups, filed a lawsuit towards the ban. The law, according to the NRA, is impeding towards a matter that for all intents and purposes should be regulated by the state. San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren had sided with the NRA despite the city trying to appeal to the courts and failed.

Political Victory Fund

The NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) plays the role of the NRA organization’s political action group. The PVF would rank various political candidates, in spite of party attachment, based on their voting accounts, open statements and reactions towards a PVF questionnaire. These results are then entered into a record, which potential voters are able to search by using zip codes.


As mentioned above the NRA considers the right to keep and bear arms to be a civil right that is protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Consequently the National Rifle Association (NRA) is doing everything in its power to make sure no American citizen would forget what the Second Amendment stands for;

The statement that was approved by the Congress:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”-Congress

The statement that was ratified by the States and authenticated by the Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”-Thomas Jefferson

In layman’s terms, this amendment states that the American citizens have the right to own a gun. But the world is perceptibly poles apart than it was in the 18th century, and many politicians believe that firearm possession should be restricted and regulated especially with the increase of firearm violence putting more pressure on every side. The NRA however isn’t pushing for complete freedom in regards to public ownership of guns, but they are concerned that some of these new gun legislation would infringe upon the citizens’ civil rights. Civil rights after all defines itself as a class of rights that protects an individuals’ freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, in addition to ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.

Organizational structure and system of administration

The National Rifle Association is overseen through a board of directors, usually reaching to be about 75 people. The board is in charge of picking the president, who will act as the organization’s representative, from among their members. Among the group’s most noteworthy leaders was actor and advocate Charlton Heston, who had stepped down in April 2003 after discovering that he had developed Alzheimer’s disease. The NRA’s sixtieth and present president is Ron Schmeits, who has held the position of first vice president prior to replacing John C. Sigler in May 2009. Sandra Froman has held the post from 2005-2007. Marion P. Hammer, who is surprisingly the group’s first female president, had served the organization from the year 1995 to 1998. Both Froman and Hammer currently still serve on the board of directors who are also charged with the task of appointing an executive vice president, which is currently held by Wayne La Pierre, Jr. La Pierre functions as the chief executive officer, while Chris W. Cox embraces the position of executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, along with Kayne Robinson who is the current executive director of NRA General Operations. The present NRA Headquarters can be found situated at 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax , Virginia, United States.

Historical development until present


The National Rifle Association was founded shortly at the very end of the American Civil War, but it was only several decades after Samuel Colt had opened the first private gun manufacturing facility in 1836. Samuel Colt’s company had allowed firearms to be fashioned on a hefty scale, leading to the majority use of firearms as sensible and leisure devices. Civil War General, Ambrose Burnside, who was also a U.S. Senator at the time and the former governor of Rhode Island, became the NRA’s first president. Burnside was no stranger to firearms, due to both the Union and the Confederacy ramping up the mass production of weapons throughout the early 1860s. The Civil War is the apex that launched America into a new epoch in terms of arsenal, and the National Rifle Association has since stepped up to become a leader in said rising trade.

Early Years

Near the end of the 19th century, industrial units were producing weapons at reasonable prices, creating widespread individual ownership of weaponry. The NRA trained many of these new gun owners, frequently men who were in the army. The organization at this point in time, was not concerned with public policy; very little lobbying were done, and they were more concerned with developing gun safety classes for the masses. The group’s first rifle range, situated on Long Island, was granted by the New York stage legislature. In 1903 Congress set up the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice, now known as the Civilian Marksmanship Program, in which the NRA volunteered to help to run. Congress eventually gave additional artillery to NRA-sponsored rifle clubs, permitting the association to develop westward. Due to an overwhelming awareness in the NRA’s shooting programs, the faction had to be expanded to a new facility that was created near a Lake Erie in Ohio.


In the year 1934 the NRA formed its Legislative Affairs Division with the intent to take upon the grounds of protecting the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The NRA at that point was not involved in lobbying, but the group did mail out legislative facts and summaries to their members, who are capable of taking subsequent action. The NRA offered its services to the government during World War II; the organization even encouraged its members to serve as guard members during the war. The association went on to develop training materials for industrial security, and helped to gather more than 7,000 firearms for Britain’s defence against a possible invasion from Germany.


The mood of the association transformed after the second world war, as the NRA began to accommodate the more leisure sportsman. The NRA came out in support of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which forbade the exchange of artillery. In 1980 the group sanctioned a presidential contender, Ronald Reagan, for the first time. To further its defence of gun rights, the NRA ultimately fashioned the Institute for Legislative Action, or ILA, in 1975. In 1997 the NRA began publication of The American Guardian to appeal to a more conventional audience and focus less on the technical feature of firearms; the publication was renamed to America’s 1st Freedom in the year 2000. NRA’s present shooting range, Camp Perry, is now currently the dwelling of the yearly National Matches, an NRA marksmanship competition that sees more than 6,000 people competing against each other every year.

Achievements and failures

In addition to helping to overturn Proposition H in San Francisco and supporting Act 275 in Louisiana the NRA can boast a number of political and legislative victories. The NRA’s Political Victory Fund endorsed several candidates in races in Virginia in November of 2009-Bob McDonnell for governor, Ken Cuccinello for attorney general and Bill Bolling for lieutenant governor. All three candidates won their relevant races, as well as 58 out of the 59 nominees in the Virginia House of Delegates who were endorsed by the PVF. In nationwide congressional races in 2008, 230 of the 271 candidates (85%) endorsed by the PVF were triumphant. In addition, the PVF attained an 84% achievement rate in thousands of state legislative races the same year.

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Despite these amazing numbers of political and legislative victories, the NRA still faces a huge amount of failures on their part. For years the NRA has had a net positive ranking with the community. No longer. A recent poll from Public Policy Polling found that in the period following the Sandy Hook massacre, support for the firearm advocacy association cut down from 48 percent to 42 percent, at the same time as negative views amplified from 41 percent to 45 percent. With the recent rise of terror and violence that centres around firearms being easily accessible to purchase to anyone with the means to do so, the NRA has failed to convince the public that it is alright to indulge in purchases that not only is a given right to the people by the people, in regards to bearing in arms under the code of personal safety but also that by letting the government control the rights in weapon purchasing ownership, will equal to the masses being submitted to a tyrannical ruling. Many have pointed out that the organization’s actions may perhaps have a secondary agenda which involves the 12 billion dollar gun industry; their alliance has allowed firearm makers and firearm distributors broad, and unparalleled, protection from a wave of legal responsibility lawsuits related to gun violence in America’s cities.

Is the nation’s most powerful gun lobby are mostly looking out for its foundation constituency, the approximate 80 million Americans who owns a gun? Or is the group acting on behalf of those that make and sell those guns? According to a 2012 poll conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 74 percent of NRA members actually support the mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, a position that the NRA has stridently opposed.

“There’s a big difference between the NRA’s rank and file and the NRA’s Washington lobbyists, who live and breathe for a different purpose,” Mark Glaze, the executive director of the gun control group, said.

In short NRA has failed to live up to the pedestal that they have initially carved, their recent statements has shown contradictions in their objectives such as promoting firearm safety; events like the Sandy Hook carnage made it apparent that there is no association between the NRA’s defence of semi-automatic weapons that can fire off dozens of rounds in a few seconds which was the weapon of choice by the Sandy Hook killer, and the artillery that the daily gun owners require for hunting or for their personal safety. A nation’s safety is jeopardize when it’s civilians is allowed to own high-capacity guns and magazines designed and manufactured for mass-killings of humans without any background security check done towards them.

Future development

On January 16, 2013, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and other overwhelming national tragedies, President Obama had announced a preparation for improving the control of firearms in the United States, along with providing better admission to mental health services. The plan had included proposals for new laws meant to be passed by Congress, as well as a sequence of executive actions that does not require Congressional endorsement.

The goal of the proposed actions was to discover a way to make it a little bit more complicated for individuals who have no legal right to have a gun for them to obtain it. While the senate may have voted down the first part which is background checks on firearm buyers, the recent surge of anger and public frustration has proven that more and more people are raising up to be against gun crimes and unlawful ownerships.

This could lead to more trouble for the NRA’s current standings and their future developments which is to continue opposing for the most part the new gun-control legislation. The NRA instead calls as an alternative, for stricter enforcement of active laws such as segregation of convicted felons and violent criminals from possessing firearms and the improved sentencing for gun-related crimes. The NRA also would also still be continuing to advocate for the practice of concealed carry and takes stronger standings on non-firearm hunting issues, such as supporting wildlife management programs that would allow hunting. This is also in addition to opposing restrictions on devices like crossbows and leg hold traps. As part of their response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting incident, the NRA has reached out towards the United States Congress to fund suitable funds for a program that aims to provide armed law enforcement representatives that would guard students in every learning institute as part of their future ventures; this is in addition to another future formation of a program that would advocate areas of security, building design, access control, information technology, and student and teacher training for the very best practices.


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