This past week, the gun violence prevention group Everytown released a report on the state of the NRA. The report, titled “Not Your Grandparents’ NRA,” details how and why the NRA changed from an organization that promoted hunting, marksmanship, safety training and common sense gun laws, into the radicalized group it is today.
The report theorizes that the sea change came with the 1977 election of Harlon Carter as executive vice president of the NRA, and that the increasingly inward-facing and uncompromising nature of the organization was due to his influence.
According to Everytown, “the report highlights some of the extreme positions the NRA has taken and some of the tactics it uses to subvert public safety and advance its agenda, including:
- Fighting to allow felons and terrorists to buy and own firearms;
- Campaigning to put guns in places like bars where they are at high risk of being misused, despite the documented dangers of mixing guns and alcohol;
- Promoting gag orders to block pediatricians and military commanders from discussing gun safety with parents and at-risk service members;
- Endangering law enforcement and hobbling their efforts to fight gun crime by sabotaging the introduction of proven, innovative gun-tracking technology;
- Handcuffing communities beset by gun violence by thwarting their efforts to tailor gun laws to local conditions; and, finally,
- Blacklisting individuals and private sector companies that buck NRA orthodoxy or offer any measures to reduce gun violence or mitigate its costs.”