In the brouhaha that has followed the Parkland school shooting, the media has repeatedly shown its liberal bias against legal gun
owners. Amid the demonization of the National Rifle Association by most media outlets, there is an occasional breath of fresh air. Michael Graham’s op-ed for CBS News is one such point of clarity and honesty.
Graham cuts to the heart of the liberal attacks on the NRA by comparing the gun rights organization to the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Unlike the beer trade group, which is made up of corporations, the NRA is made up of individuals who have banded together to protect Second Amendment rights.
“The NRA isn't the beer sellers,” Graham points out. “It's the beer drinkers.”
At its core, the NRA is a civil rights group made up of concerned American citizens. The NRA gets its power from the fact that a large segment of the American public believes that the right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed upon.
Much has been made of the money that the NRA donates to political campaigns, but little consideration has been given to where the NRA gets that money. The group does not sell guns or ammunition. Instead, those funds come directly from members who believe in the NRA’s pro-Second Amendment positions.
The NRA does support friendly politicians as well as attacking unfriendly ones. The same is true of many other political organizations on both the right and left from the ACLU to the World Wildlife Fund. The right to band together as an association and to petition members of Congress is guaranteed by the Constitution.
A common trope among politicians and pundits on both sides is to attack “special interests.” In reality, special interests are groups of voters whose positions are on the opposite side of the political spectrum from the speaker. Special interests are union members, environmentalists, feminists and, yes, gun owners.
When the left attacks the NRA, it isn’t because the group is made up of evil people who chortle with glee at the thought of another school shooting. The NRA is a staunch proponent of law enforcement and responsible gun ownership. Instead, the left attacks the NRA because it is effective at defending the right to keep and bear arms and the left desperately wants to outlaw guns.
The problem for the left is not that the NRA’s campaign contributions convince members of Congress to oppose their agenda. The problem is the fact that the NRA has five million members who vote their pro-gun principles. Politicians are much more afraid of angering voters and losing their jobs than they are of losing a few thousand dollars in campaign contributions.
As Jim Butcher wrote, ad hominem attacks are “usually used to distract the focus of a discussion - to move it from an indefensible point and to attack the opponent.” The left’s attacks on the NRA are a reflection of the fact that the liberals have not been able to make a logical case for gun control and have been incapable of winning the American people to their cause.