how the NRA, one of the most powerful pro-gun lobby groups in the world, is building its influence

Despite a new massacre that left 21 dead in Texas on Tuesday, the NRA is holding its annual convention, which takes place this weekend. The very powerful pro-gun lobby in the United States has infiltrated the political world of millions of dollars and television spots.

A member of the NRA, in 2018. © AFP / LOREN ELLIOTT

After a recent massacre that killed 21 people (including 19 children) at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, many American voices are once again rising against the NRA. Starting with the US President: “When, for God’s sake, are we going to face the gun lobby?” launched Joe Biden. Originally an American sports association created in 1871, the National Rifle Association gradually became a strong pro-gun lobby with heavy political influence.

Despite this new hunt and the violent criticism against it, the NRA is maintaining its annual convention, which takes place this weekend in Houston, Texas. Several pro-gun politicians are expected to speak, from former President Donald Trump to Republican Party figure Sen. Ted Cruz to Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Their presence illustrates the influence of the American lobby, which has been able to disrupt all aspects of political life.

Millions of dollars have been paid to American politicians

Brady, an American resistance association “The Epidemic of Gun Violence in the United States” and resisting the omnipotence of the NRA, listed pro-gun lobby donations to American senators. And that is in the millions of dollars. Mitt Romney previously, according to the association, received more than $ 13.5 million from the NRA in his career. Ted Cruz, who will speak at the convention this weekend, received more than $ 176,000. And the National Rifle Association’s biggest donation goes to its biggest supporter: Donald Trump. In 2016, the association contributed $ 54 million for the election of the American billionaire to the White House.

With a total budget of approximately $ 300 million a year, the lobby that claims 6 million members allocates a large portion of its finances for politicians. One way, at the time of the gun law votes in the country, is to ensure that a hardening cannot be put in place. And so far, it works. Several times in his two terms, Barack Obama tried to change the law on guns, which has fought in Congress.

Everything is done to discredit the opponents

The NRA doesn’t just give money, it campaigns, almost like a political party. Dana Loesch, spokeswoman for the association, did not hesitate to threaten journalists or athletes who oppose her. Ultra conservative and mother of two, she multiplied provocations, like this pomegranate -shaped cake prepared for her son’s birthday. “The countdown has begun” he also said in 2018, about “journalists who lie”. Donald Trump defended the right to hold a weapon in front of the NRA by mimicking the act of murder. Regular surprising words or actions within the association.

On its website, the NRA also rates elected American officials from “A” to “F” according to their political positions on gun control. “A” corresponds to best esteem, while “F” refers to elected officials who oppose NRA doctrine. Records which members have access, and which may be weighty in a local election.

An omnipresent lobby, on the street and on TV

The association, which claims 6 million members, relies on citizens committed to its goal to put pressure on politicians. With these ratings given to elected officials, a resident can easily position themselves for or against a candidate during the election. Members who sometimes give a lot of money, are convinced that without the NRA, their weapons will be taken from them. A message was also aired on television. For several years, stars like Chuck Norris appeared in NRA commercials. In these videos or photos of members posted on social networks, it is a question of defending the second amendment of the American Constitution that guarantees every citizen the right to bear arms.

The NRA also has a television channel, “NRA TV”, which was created in 2016 and stopped broadcasting in 2019. The association also shared messages for weapons there, or tips for learning to shoot. There are also videos of the same concept on the lobby’s Youtube channel. The NRA also owns two newspapers, “America’s 1st Freedom” and “American Rifleman”. Two newspapers with websites where, not surprisingly, articles on weapons are offered for reading.

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