The NRA’s extreme political views can be infuriating to even sensible supporters of the Second Amendment, particularly when they reek of hypocrisy. Here’s a handful of examples that show how the organization’s stances don’t often line up:
1. Defending the “Rights” of the Dangerous
This week, Thomas King, a board member for the NRA as well as the president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, said that he didn’t want to attend a pro-gun rally in his state because he considered the event “contentious and threatening.”
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“I just don’t want to be a party to anything that may happen,” King said ominously. Despite feeling that his safety is in jeopardy for being around these gun owners, he plays a major role in preventing any restrictions from being placed on his comrades’ right to bear arms. Does he not see the irony there?
2. Blame Hollywood!
After every tragic mass shooting in this country, NRA spokespeople have insisted that guns are not the problem, the problem is movies that glamorize gun violence.
While the organization is quick to blame Hollywood in times of trouble, it’s not as if the NRA is angry at the film industry for this dangerous glamorization. Leaders of the NRA have created a “Hollywood Guns” exhibit at the National Firearms Museum to celebrate cinematic pistols. More over, gun manufacturers, like Glock, have actively marketed to have their style of guns included in movies as a kind of product placement.
3. Violent Video Games
Along with Hollywood, there’s another industry that the NRA points its proverbial finger at: video games. Certainly, shooter games disguised as entertainment do deserve a share of the blame in promoting reckless gun behaviors. Still, that doesn’t absolve the NRA of responsibility for blocking even slight reforms that would prevent shooters from carrying thousands of rounds of ammo at once.
The real hypocrisy, however, is that the NRA seems to enjoy violent video games itself. Within one month of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the NRA released an app where smart phone users get to shoot at coffin-shaped targets. Though not quite as disgusting as shooting at a real person, with the bulls eyes located where the head and heart would be, the coffins served as a symbol for a dead person. It provides players with the same thrill of the kill rather than the “educational material” the app claims to offer.
4. Providing Insurance for Killers
The NRA touts itself as an organization that promotes safe and responsible gun ownership, yet when it comes to one of the most divisive gun laws to gain attention in the past couple of years, the organization places itself squarely opposed to reason and common decency.
In response to the outrage over Stand Your Ground laws, the NRA instituted Stand Your Ground insurance to cover the potential legal costs of alleged murderers. The implication is that rather than protecting potential innocent victims, the NRA is interested in protecting trigger-happy gun owners and their right to shoot first and get away with it later.
5. Which Way Does the Racism Point?
Marion Hammer, former president of the NRA, complained publicly of the discrimination against gun owners, comparing the bias to racism. “Banning people and things because of the way they look went out a long time ago,” said Hammer. “But here they are again. The color of a gun. The way it looks. It’s just bad politics.
While I’m aware of activists trying to ban high-powered and high-ammunition guns that can kill dozens of people in a matter of seconds, I’ve never heard of any plot to outlaw a gun based on its color. Regardless, it’s rich that the NRA feels the world is “racist” against it when more substantial charges have been levied against the organization. Who can forget the NRA-released fundraising pamphlet that warns gun owners of the need to protect themselves against non-white and foreign people? Or that the organization’s most public advocate, Ted Nugent, is an out-and-out bigot?