What is the National Rifle Association?

The debate on the regulation of weapons in the United States and the pressure ‘lobbies’ that prevent the application of stricter regulations on their use has been reopened after this Tuesday, Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old armed with a Assault rifle shoot indiscriminately at the students of the local primary school, killing at least 19 children and two teachers.

After knowing what happened, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, incited to stand up to the gun ‘lobby’ and many have wondered who is behind this pressure group.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) born in 1871 with a very different vocation than now: teaching American soldiers to shoot.

From its inception until the 1960s, it was dedicated to promoting the sport of hunting and shooting.. And they were often defined as the guardians of the second amendment and the Constitution, which establishes the right to own guns in the United States.

But with some limits: not exhibiting them, having them downloaded at home and abolishing silencers.

In the 1970s, the Association mutated

But little remains of that purpose. It was in the 70s when the Association mutated. Violent crimes quadrupled in the country and a more radical wing of the association changed and he defended having weapons to be safe.

Seven years later they became the majority and took full control of the organization and little by little it became more of a political pressure group.

Today, they are said to be the political arm of the arms industry. of the North American country and that have a great power and political influence thanks to important donations. Each year the NRA earns an estimated $20 million from advertising these companies in its magazines.

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And they are not only known for their millionaire donations in political campaigns, but also for the number of members they have: more than five million people in the country, including famous actors and singers.

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famous for financing political campaigns

In fact, the NRA has helped finance the political campaigns of hundreds of members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, according to the Open Secrets database managed by the Center for Responsible Politics. That great influence on politicians is consequently an influence on gun laws.

Some of them have become president of the United States. donald trump, a strong supporter of the Association and who received a donation of 30 million dollars from the organization. And he is not the only one. At least nine of the 47 presidents of the United States have presided over the Association, including Kennedy or George Bush.

In the United States, you can own a gun and not be a member of the NRA. According to data from 2021, less than 20% of civilians who have weapons in the US are members of that organization.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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