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NRA and Politicians

Dayana Plaisime, Reporter

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Since the terrible shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 18 casualties, the national debate on gun control has been sparked once again. As always, there are two sides to the issue: those opposing gun control and those for gun control.  The shooting sparked activism among the survivors. They urged government officials to do something to prevent another mass shooting from happening.

According to abc15.com as of April 22, the Gun Violence Archive recorded a total of 67 mass shootings. Sunday morning, Travis Reinking went into a Waffle House in Tennessee and killed 4 people with an AR-15.

The result of gun violence has caused a national outcry to Congress; people have protested, thousands of students participated in the national walkout day to protest gun violence, and survivors from the shooting went on national television to demand gun safety as well as gun reforms. So, why hasn’t Congress acted to make changes to gun laws? The answer is simple: high ranking politicians all across our government have received funding from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The recent shootings have reignited the national gun debate over the NRA influence on politics. In terms of politics, the NRA has become one of the top gun rights petitioning groups in the United States. They actively contribute money to congressional candidates and political candidates in general. The NRA spends millions of dollars each year to advance its agenda through Congress. The NRA has a major influence in politics, and its monetary contributions play a huge role in the gun debate.

According to Business Insiders, in 2016 the NRA’s total contributions to candidates exceeded $834,000 for the campaign cycle. However, this does not include contributions made to political parties, committees, and other groups. The NRA spends millions to support candidates as well as millions to oppose candidates who go against their agenda.

A prime example is when NRA spent millions in support of Donald Trump during his campaign and millions of dollars in opposition to Hillary Clinton. In Missouri, Republican Senator Roy Blunt has received $4.5 million in funding from the NRA. It’s no wonder he voted “no” on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets, and it’s no surprise that the NRA spends money on opposing Claire McCaskill, who advocates for more gun control.

Instead of passing laws to reduce gun violence, politicians should instead come up with solutions such as allowing teachers to carry guns in case of a school shooting or metal detectors in schools rather than ratifying reform gun laws. Politicians should stop offering us their thoughts and prayers when a mass shooting occurs if they continue to act on behalf of the NRA instead of the people.

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NRA and Politicians