Free The Power Of NRA: A Review Critical Thinking Sample

Type of paper: Critical Thinking

Topic: Politics, United States, America, Power, Education, School, Students, Government

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/12/12


Power and influence of National Rifle Association (NRA) in PBS's documentary "Gunned Down" is exposed. NRA exerts a substantial influence on executive power, which often does not respond adequately, and holds a considerable sway over American public, which is outraged by a growing number of mass shooting accidents at schools. A series of school shootings has not been enough to deter NRA. Columbine High School shooting has been of particular note: uncovering underlying biases and exposing more risks in assembling arms very easily by unstable teenagers, Columbine High's incident further erode NRA's moral ground. Opposing calls from activist groups, lobbyists and conventional power players gain momentum as NRA continues to gain more grounds. Possible roots of NRA's power are attributed to her exploitation of American public's faith in self-protection and individual freedoms. The battle for / against gun control remains an ongoing one which is being shaped by America's shifting politics.

Lobbies in America come in all shapes and sizes. Each lobby has a history of lobbying dynamics as well as ups and downs. Typically, lobbies align along specific political lines by which stated goals are achieved. Few lobbies manage to survive U.S. unique and rapidly shifting politics. Fewer lobbies still have managed to grow stronger in spite of increasing pressures from America's public, opposing movements and conventional political opponents. Probably, no one lobby has raised controversy in U.S. politics like America's NRA. Given a series of school shootings over years, NRA remains a powerful lobby of gun rights activists. As a PBS documentary highlights ("Gunned Down"), NRA spans a wide range of political maneuverings and has proven agile enough to overcome crises and challenges which encountered her over years. This argument is, accordingly, a response to PBS's presentation of NRA as a powerful organization.
In presenting a series of school shooting events, NRA is shown as political powerhouse even U.S. presidents cannot contain adequately. As "calls to just do something" continue to exert pressure on Washington to respond, federal government appears, eerily, irresponsive and sometimes silent. At one event, President Obama delivered a powerful and eloquent speech denouncing a recent school shooting. However, political cost, he was advised, would be too great if he chose to take serious action.
In one notable development – i.e. Columbine High School shooting – gun control came up to surface again more persistently as unfolding events uncovered frightening facts about gun rights and ownership. Of particular note, gun ownership has proven risky and out of control given how easy young teenagers can assemble arms and kill people en masse. In spite of being a particularly eventful moment, NRA held ground and seemed powerful enough to weather criticism and possible federal actions. Indeed, NRA was even more assertive and emphasized her historical stand of achieving more protection by arms ownership, not by control or ban.
As well, in spite of few victories by Democrats over years in battle against gun ownership – including, for example, Lyndon Johnson's Gun Control Act of 1968 and Bill Clinton's Brady Bill and Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 – NRA's figures such as Wayne LaPierre, her Executive Vice President, continued to voice NRA's powerful influence in American politics. Translated into a controversial presidential victory in 2000 elections, NRA showed her actual mettle. As later, more school shootings emphasized – e.g. Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting – attempts by anti-gum movements, lobbies and legislators failed to pass an amendment suggested by Senator Joe Manchin in Congress and hence further cemented NRA's status as a powerful lobby.
If anything, America's NRA power seems to stem from a deep American faith in self-protection and individual rights. By hammering down a message of right to self-protection and appealing to American Constitution, NRA exercises a psychological sway over American public. Backed by a powerful industry – i.e. arms industry – NRA has a substantial political clout in Washington Beltway and in legislature. Further, by persisting on holding her own ground NRA proves a reliable and steadfast leader to her supporters and sympathizers. However, in long range, NRA might be set to lose political capital as supporters and sympathizers continue to drop out of her membership and as gradual, society-wide movements continue to undermine NRA's political as well as moral grounds for gun ownership. After all, power balances remain a space of very fluid and great potential.
In conclusion, NRA exerts an influential power in American politics. In spite of a series of lethal events, federal government as well as anti-gun movements, lobbyists and activists cannot still deflect NRA's political power. NRA's power appears to stem from NRA's appeal to Americans' cherish of individual freedoms and self protection. By shifting political power, NRA might experience erosion in her support base.

Works Cited

"Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA." Frontline. PBS. WPBS-DT, Arlington. 6 Jan. 2015. Television.

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"Free The Power Of NRA: A Review Critical Thinking Sample," Free Essay Examples -, 12-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 17-Apr-2024].
Free The Power Of NRA: A Review Critical Thinking Sample. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 12, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2024.

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