Is Blaming The NRA Hurting or Helping Gun Control?

Phil Rossi
PistolJon Rembert/Unsplash

On the eve of President Biden's quest to tackle firearms reform

Despite one’s view of gun control and ownership rights, the NRA is either a parasite or an advocate. Not much in-between, but since the NRA doesn’t pass legislation, why are they always the focal point of the firearms debate?

True, they’re powerful and influence lawmakers through their political lobby groups. They also have a robust membership of 5.5 million people that are growing each day.

Those in favor of gun control might find it more effective to face their elected officials than it is to fight the NRA.

Extensive background checks and the types of weapons available versus illegal for public purchase are steps in that direction.

The change people seek is difficult. Their time, energy, and focus need to be in a more productive and effective place to achieve desired results.

I’m not suggesting Sandy Hook, Parkland, and Columbine could or couldn’t have been avoided, but if so, at what cost? How much freedom are we willing to sacrifice for a higher sense of security? These are the questions our society needs to ask.

It’s easy after the fact. The kid should have been taken off the street. The FBI and local law enforcement should have intervened. They had information on this suspect.


How would you feel waking up to riot gear, battering rams, and a police raid on your house? Turns out it’s no mistake — they have the right place.

You also happen to have a child the school psychologist, classmates, and other parents ‘deem’ the next mass murderer. The campus shooter waiting to hatch. Is this the kind of society we want to live in?

We all seek prevention. We all seek safer streets and schools. We also have to agree on the price our society is willing to pay to achieve these outcomes.

It’s not that simple when democracy affords us all equal rights. Up until these tragedies, mass shooters are no different from their fellow citizens. Most haven’t broken any laws until the moment they begin the massacre.

We need to find measures that will support safety and eliminate tragedy while respecting and upholding civil liberties.

It’s a dark labyrinth we all must enter together, filled with anguish and no easy solutions. It will demand time, respect, and compromise from both sides to solve this social problem.

Demonizing the NRA as more and more attacks unfold isn’t working.

How do we stop this? Where do we go from here?

Of course, there are other dynamics at work, but pointing fingers only stalls the process. It might appear noble running an NRA official off the stage at a CNN Town Hall, but it’s rude and counter-productive.

I’m sure most members of the NRA, everyday folk, want the same safety in our daily lives. Why not invite them into the debate? Wouldn’t you think their kids go to these schools too?

To make a worthwhile change, we need a series of productive discussions.

We have to muster the courage to debate what we are willing to change and how much we are willing to give up. How far will the pro and anti-gun advocates travel to conquer this disease? I hope as long as it takes because it’s a disease that affects us all.

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Phil is a blogger interested in sports, culture, politics, and the art scene.

Hackensack, NJ

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