Initially, the National Rifle Association was created for marksmanship and rifle training, but what about now?
In an article written by Jamie Tarabay, a writer for Aljazeera, it is being argued that the National Rifle Association (NRA) no longer represents the values and ideals it was created for.
Even after World War II, the NRA focused their efforts mainly on educating and training hunters. This kept true to the group’s original intention with its clear interest in the hunting community. However, in the 1970s there was a cultural shift that did not miss the NRA.
In the piece, Donald Macalady, an avid Kansas hunter says the NRA began to,“cater to a more mainstream audience, with less emphasis on the technicalities of firearms, and a more general focus on self-defense and recreational use of firearms.”
This switch in focus attracted a different cohort, and not necessarily one based on hunting.
Many argue that the NRA no longer works for the efforts of hunters, but rather for gun lovers. When the shift happened in the 1970s, the group became more of a gun group and less of a hunting community.
However, people would also likely agree that the NRA is not completely against sportsmen. The NRA is still very supportive of conservation efforts, something very highly valued to hunters, and it is much appreciated.
Critics of the NRA walk a fine line these days, as it is still an American value and right to bear arms. Even though assault rifles are not traditionally used for hunting, and a hunter is lucky if he gets a couple of shots in a day anyway, they are still legal to be owned.
Ari LeVaux, another hunter wrote that,“the NRA couldn’t represent me less. And as a human being, I object to being associated with those bullies. The NRA is not for hunters, any more than AAA is for bicyclists,” he wrote. “First and foremost the NRA serves gun fetishists and the firearms industry.” Rather than representing hunters, those who eat and use their kills, LeVaux argues the NRA serves only the modern consumerism values.
In another argument opposing modern-day NRA values, a conservationist writes that the NRA “considers any attempt to restrict gun access an attack on all gun owners.” For example, he says, in a demonstration for the Sandy Hook victims, the organizer asked that there not be any semi-automatic weapons at the event out of respect, and NRA members boycotted this.
The gun debate continues, and it looks like many more people are coming out and standing up against the NRA saying that they no longer represent what they used to. Are hunters increasingly beginning to say The NRA is not us?
What do you think about this argument?