How the NRA hijacks gun control debates

How the NRA hijacks gun control debates


It’s from a CNN town hall on gun violence held just days after a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. On one side, you’ve got the parents, teachers, and students who survived the shooting, and on the other, you’ve got Dana Loesch, a spokeswoman for the NRA who’s famous for saying things like: They will perish in the political flames of
their own fires. This is what the modern gun debate looks like
in America. We’re so used to hearing from the NRA that we don’t really question it when we see them on TV anymore. But talking to the NRA has turned the gun control debate into a confusing, frustrating
mess. We don’t say that no one has a right to free
speech… I mean, are we talking about prevention or
not? Wait a second, wait a second! And that’s exactly what gun companies were
hoping for. Anything can be qualified as an assault weapon. If you stab someone with a spoon, it can be qualified as an assault weapon. If you go to the NRA’s website right now, you’ll see the group describing itself as “America’s longest-standing civil rights
organization.” We’re the largest and oldest civil rights
organization in America. The NRA really wants you to think of it that
way because it frames the organization as essentially a public interest group, alongside groups like the ACLU and NAACP. That framing is the reason the NRA pops up in every debate about gun control. If you think of the NRA as a group that represents gun owners, you can’t really debate gun policy without them. The problem is… The way they go about this is a charade. It’s a fraud. This is Democratic Congressman Ted Deutch. He represents Florida’s 22nd Congressional
District, which is where the Parkland shooting took
place. And he is tired of arguing with the NRA. This is an organization that receives millions
of dollars every year from gun companies directly, millions more through advertisements. Yeah, you’ve probably heard about the NRA giving money to politicians, but we should talk about how much money the NRA gets from gun companies. Every year, gun manufacturers donate millions
of dollars to the NRA through its corporate partners
program. Some of them sponsor specific NRA projects like “Empower the People,” sponsored by
Sig Sauer. Or “Love at First Shot,” sponsored by
Smith & Wesson. What is “Love at First Shot”? I don’t want to know. Other gun companies give money directly to
the NRA, and ones that donate over a million dollars get to be part of something called the NRA’s “Golden Ring of Freedom.” An honor given to those who make significant
contributions to the NRA’s defense of the Second Amendment. That “Golden Ring of Freedom” includes
companies like Beretta, Remington, Bushmaster, and Smith & Wesson, the manufacturer that
produced the gun that was used in the Parkland massacre. In exchange for their donations, the NRA gives gun companies these tacky golden
jackets. That’s more of a dirty yellow. Yeah, that is not gold. The NRA doesn’t disclose how much money it
gets from these donations. But a report by the Violence Policy Center
estimates the number was anywhere between $20 and $60
million from 2005 to 2013. The NRA makes millions more by selling ad
space to gun companies in publications like American
Rifleman. But maybe weirdest of all, some companies donate a portion of every gun
sale directly to the NRA. Taurus buys an NRA membership for every customer who buys one of their guns. In 2015, Sturm Ruger launched a campaign donating $2 to the NRA for every gun they sold, which explains why so much NRA programming looks like a gun ad. The AR-15 is one of the most effective tools
available to protect yourself and your family. What the… All of this makes the NRA less of a public
interest group and more of an industry lobbying group. And that’s a big distinction. We’re arguing about gun control with a group that makes money when people buy guns. They’re a lobbying group. I don’t know, frankly, that there’s another lobbying organization that drives
the debate on an issue the way that they do, So any time the NRA debates gun control, their priority is protecting the product. To deflect attention away from gun sales, they blame violence on things like video games …vicious, violent video games with names
like Bulletstorm… while blocking the CDC from actually studying
gun violence. Or they say we need to enforce existing gun
laws – We have all kinds of gun laws on the books
right now, John. We don’t enforce any of ’em. while lobbying to gut the agencies that would actually enforce those laws. They blame states for not using the background check system. Do you know that it is not federally required for states to actually report people who are prohibited possessors? And then aggressively oppose background checks because background checks “don’t stop criminals from getting firearms.” You know perfectly well the reason states aren’t mandated to go through that system is because of a lawsuit the NRA filed. Or, most obvious of all, they argue the solution to gun violence is buying more guns. To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun. Yeah, that’s a twofer. They get to talk about something other than all of the things that have broad bipartisan
support, and they get to talk about something that is ultimately going to benefit the gun companies that fund their entire operation. The annoying thing is these distractions work. A Vox study of cable news coverage after the Parkland shooting found that CNN
and MSNBC both devoted serious airtime to debating arming
teachers. How do you feel when you hear these proposals to arm the teachers, given what was going
on? That allegiance to gun companies creates a
warped view of the gun control debate. The truth is huge majorities of Americans agree on things like background checks and
restrictions on assault weapons. And most gun owners, including NRA members, support things like universal background checks. The NRA knows this too. Which is why they work so hard to convince
their members that the government is coming to take away
their guns. Their goal is to eliminate the Second Amendment so they can eradicate all individual freedoms. It is always this attempt to whip people into
a frenzy. This is just the first step. We’re the only thing that stands between you
and tyranny. It’s nonsense. It’s a distraction. It’s also a smart marketing strategy. If you convince people the government is coming for your guns, they’ll buy more. Gun sales usually spike after mass shootings. Thankfully, not everyone is falling for it. This is Ryan Deitsch, a survivor of the Parkland
shooting. He was visibly frustrated at the CNN town
hall. And he says he’s started turning down invitations to debate NRA spokespeople like Dana Loesch. We know what happened at the town hall, and we just did not want to give her that
platform. Deistch isn’t afraid of debating gun control. I love to face the opposition. I’ve been told I’m too nice. But he says talking to the NRA is different. They’re never going to agree because the money flows one way. Please, God, no, not a new Dana. We’ve seen this exact thing happen before: with tobacco. In the ’50s, tobacco companies formed the
Tobacco Institute, a group that spent 40 years fighting against
tobacco regulation. Most of the Tobacco Institute’s work is with people who represent the public’s
interest. The group became one of Washington’s most
powerful, well-heeled, and effective political lobbies. And like the NRA, they did everything they
could to protect the product. They blamed lung cancer on air pollution and
food additives, tried to block government research on smoking, It’s inappropriate for any agency of government to take steps to try to eliminate a legal
product. and peddled junk science. Most smokers don’t develop lung cancer. We think it’s an open question. And believe it or not, lots of news outlets
took the bait. The Tobacco Institute charged that its findings were based on evidence that is not scientifically
conclusive. Looking back, it’s bananas that anyone included the Tobacco Institute in public health
debates. But that’s exactly what’s happening now with
the NRA. There’s no question that having the representative for the biggest gun companies raises all of those same concerns. That doesn’t mean we should ignore the NRA. It’s still an incredibly powerful industry
lobbying group. And we should take that political influence
seriously. But that doesn’t mean we need to take their
arguments seriously. Debates about gun control only work if both
sides are genuinely interested in finding a solution
to gun violence. But in this case, they’re not. If the way that you’re approaching this
is about either having guns or not having guns, then having the gun manufacturers there probably makes sense. But that’s not what the debate should be. That’s not what the debate is. It’s about taking action to keep our communities
safe. That’s a conversation most Americans agree
on. But it’s a conversation that falls apart every time the NRA gets a seat at the table. I want to thank Dana Loesch of the NRA for
being here to listen to your questions.

Author: Kevin Mason

100 thoughts on “How the NRA hijacks gun control debates

  1. The NRA used to teach gun safety but now it's a terrorist organization profiting bigly. LaPierre makes 5 million a year from suckers.

  2. I’m still trying to figure this out. I still don’t quite understand why it’s so bad for companies to support what they are trying to sell. Yes it then pushes another controversial agenda but that’s how they do business. I strongly believe in people in schools with guns to protect us. Guns can only fight guns, and it scares me that people cannot grasp that notion.

  3. 2nd Ammendment allows me carry nuclear weapons and atomic bombs. Of course it's only for self defense. The only way to stop a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a bigger nuke

  4. the NRA doesn't hijack the gun control debate. a little thing called the second amendment is what hijacks the debate. throw out the 2nd amendment, no more debate. but since i like the 2nd amendment, i'll have a thing or two to say when you try to repeal it. just so you know.

  5. The nra has always protected my constitutionally guaranteed rights . Your complaining about political donation ? How about large oil companies giving millions to politicians
    How about the unions donating millions to politicians . How about the pharmaceutical companies donations to politicians

  6. Do you have the same criticism for the FAA? For those who take money from governments to promote a faulty climate agenda? Didn't think so. The NRA is an advocate for the 2nd Amendment and firearms owners, not just for firearms manufacturers. Naturally, the firearms industry has a stake in the matter. But let's get down to the bottom line here; whether or not legislation restricting firearms ownership, purchasing, transfer, appearances, etc. prevent armed crime. Fact is, they don't. If they did we wouldn't be having this discussion. There are hundreds of individual laws restricting these factors on record, yet we see violent crime committed with firearms every week. How can anyone conclude that " gun control " prevents violent crime?
    Fact is, prior to 1968, an adult American citizen needed nothing more than cash or a checking account to buy a firearm over the counter or through a mail order catalog. No FFL dealer, no background check, no magazine limits, just money. Following the GCA of 1968, we can see no permanent reduction in armed crime by virtue of any of the hundreds of laws pertaining to firearms. There is no reason to believe that another piece of legislation is going to accomplish this, as criminals and the disturbed don't care about the law, never have, never will.
    The ball is in your court, prove me wrong or sit back and allow adults to discuss meaningful ways to reduce violent crime.

  7. Dana is being paid big bucks by the NRA. She doesn't seem sincere when she speaks. If she lost a child to gun violence, her demeanor would sound like more like those students who lost friends to this senseless mass shooting.

  8. This viedo is a trick against the American public against 1 of the only organizations that stands up for the constitution

  9. I think every man, woman and child should own an assault rifle. The world would be a safer place.😱 “You’ll shoot your eye out”

  10. Sounds like he's angry because the nra debates with facts and wins. Or mabey he's just mad because he can't win a debate

  11. When the government takes away your right to bare arms it is your duty to take away the governments right to govern. ~George Washington.

  12. “But that doesn’t mean we should take their arguments seriously” funny because we shouldn’t take the lefts arguments seriously. Especially when they don’t know what they’re even talking about. 30 caliber magazine clips.

  13. NRA is in business with Russia.

    How do you think Russian Spy Putina was able to get a job of the NRA?

    Republicans, Moscow Mitch is in business with Russia and the NRA…
    How do you think Russian Spy Putina was able to participate and attend Republican leadership conferences?

    Trump is in business from Russia and Putin and the NRA…
    That's why Russian Spy Putina was able to participate and ask question directly to Trump in Trump functions.

    It's no coincidence people. Russia infiltration inside the WH presidency is here, on day one of Trump taking office.

    And it was a planned infiltration from Republicans, Trump and the NRA.

    Russian Traitors are inside the Republicans Senate- Moscow Mitch is their leader.

    NRA controls are is directly responsible for the mass Shootings, NRA is doing Russias mass domestic terrorist Attacks against the American people.

    Trump working with Russia has publicly ordered the Mass slaughter of Americans over and over again, since taking office.

    And Trump's Corrupt children and son in law are all involved in Russia plan to destroy America from the highest levels of government.

    Those are the FACTS 💯.

    All the Russian Traitors !!!

  14. Yay NRA, keep givin Republicans money,so we can avoid background checks, thin that heard. 58 in Vegas is still the leader in the clubhouse.

  15. They need to STOP calling it gun control and START calling it Gun SAFETY. I am all for the 2nd ammedment, but this issue is not about owning or controlling guns, its about Public Safety. Gun Safety is the debate that we need to start having.

  16. Perhaps if another race of people were doing the mass killing in America other than white people they might do something about the gun laws. Uh,uh

  17. WHY DOES YOUTUBE ALLOW PRO-GUN POSTINGS????? HUH???? BAN PRO-GUN POSTINGS FOR CHRIST SAKE!!! START THE DEMISE OF THE AMERICAN GUN CULTURE NOW!!!

  18. The basis for this video is a strawman premise that the NRA is a group representing the interests of gun manufacturers rather than an organization made up of law abiding, 2A supporting, safe gun owners of America which makes this entire video worthless.

  19. Ok how about you shut your mouth and take your right to speak what you want, if you don't like our civil rights and don't like guns why don't you move to a country where you can't have guns and see how long you last

  20. I thought one of the reasons for Americans wanting to have guns, is so that they can “take out” mass shooters, it never seems to happen though.or does it?

  21. Renaissance man, thanks for that, but for a “limey” the thought of teachers/students being armed is utterly bizarre. Although I would say the fact that we still have unarmed police officers is equally so,

  22. Even the title is a lie. The NRA doesn't represent the "interests of gun manufacturers". The NRA protects the 2nd Amendment rights of its 5 million members.
    Why do Libs hate the truth so much?

  23. I'm pro liberty, pro gun, and anti NRA. NRA does not represent me. I believe military weapons in the hands of civilians is essential to the freedom of those civilians and that current restrictions are an infringement.

  24. Where do you get your statistics from!!!!

    All the gun owners that I know, do not support what what you say they support!!
    We already have background checks, universal background checks equals confiscation!!!!!

  25. How can the government ban in product!!!

    I bought it with my own money!!
    I know where it is at all times!!
    It's locked up in my safe or it on me!!

    Banning guns or they are AR 15 is not going to do anything, but start a war!!

    Gun owners are do not support gun control!!

    These politicians want to take guns from us so they can take the power from us.

    We control the government not the other way around!!

  26. Its funny, if the NRA actually represented its members it would listen to their feedback when 72% say that they are in favour of background checks…

  27. Oh Vox will never tell you this,NRA is struggling in 2019 due to the Trump Slump!!!

    People buy WAY fewer guns ,under Republicans..

    They the NRA was doing much better,during the Barack Boom….

    Barack Obama the Greatest gun salesman in world history,please check this!!! 🙂

  28. If the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, when a mass shooter turns the gun on himself does this mean he dies a hero?

  29. Walmart, Amazon, Google, Facebook! All evil companies that take away from the peoples(citizens) independent income sources and sustainability!

  30. I’m afraid criminals and political gangs will hurt me, so I bought a gun. Wait, I thought the government and their supporters were here to protect me? Communism is compassion right?

  31. how much does Hillary Clintons foundation get from foreign interest group I wonder, and how much does planned parenthood give to democrats

  32. When I was young people who had guns weren't fascinated and obsessed with them. Today a gun is an extension of your biceps or the Washington monument. They buy a Ferrari when all they need is a bicycle. It's a sad joke. Speaking about guns used to be frowned upon by parents. Now it's a handy tool for rage in public. The worst idea is to have a gun on everyone's hip. Everyone will be their own cop . Kiss humility, caution, mercy and charity goodbye.
    Load all of us with suspicion. Everywhere a vice to challenge. Who can draw faster ?

  33. Democrats exploit mourning children and families to villianize honest hard working patriotic Americans. Dems are all emotion and NO logic. Disarming law abiding Americans makes us less safe. When good Americans are armed society is safer against the criminal element.

  34. The 2nd Amend is not UP for debate and Neither is the foundation of this Country: I'm sure the Left will keep trying to create Venezuela tho

  35. I considered selling my weapons back to the government, but after a background check and thorough investigation into the buyer, I determined the buyer has a history of violence and mentally unstable. Big risk to the general population.

  36. Notice Wal mart nor the anti gun groups nor the politicians ever ask mass shooters to not carry their guns just good people.

  37. I am one of the 5.5 million ARMED citizens that are also NRA members. I welcome any liberal to come take my constitutional right, it will be the last decision you make.

  38. The thing wrong with the picture is that its CNN, its Vox, and the shooter bought it from an individual not a seller, in which an FBI check is not done. And assault weapons are banned in america. I can't buy a fully automatic AK-47 from anywhere in america LEGALLY. Criminals dont follow gun laws, we do. A country disarmed is a people subjugated to the will of the government

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