The NRA loves freedom but disregards equality
It seemed to me that the word “freedom” is constantly present on the NRA-ILA website. I wanted to understand a little more about why? I know the NRA’s single motivational focus is to earn more money for their gun manufacturers and gun dealers. I thought it would be interesting explore their strategy of using the word “freedom” to sell more guns.
Look at how often they use the word “freedom”
Using their own search icon at NRA-ILA, I tallied up the posts that included several key words during 2019:
|Search Word||Web Pages on NRA-ILA|
The word “freedom” is mentioned on 240 out of 1320 posts. That is almost one out every five posts, which are largely used to advocate for pro-gun legislation. The similar word “liberty” is used nearly as often. Why the stress on the concept of freedom?
Take a look at how “freedom” is used on the NRA-ILA website:
- “[The NRA] Freedom’s safest place.”
- “[gun control groups]…undermining our Second Amendment ”
- “The NRA will always fight to protect our members and the constitutional freedoms in which they believe.”
- “NRA-ILA is the foremost defender of our Second Amendment, the safeguard of freedom”
- “…NRA and its 5+ million law-abiding God-fearing, freedom-loving patriotic members.”
- “They know that in order to achieve their ultimate goal of destroying American freedom, of replacing our beloved market-driven Republic with some socialistic and totalitarian abomination they must first destroy the NRA and your will to stand up to them and to thwart their evil plans.”
- “Instead of trampling the freedom of law-abiding Americans, the government should focus upon actual solutions.”
- “Donald Trump isn’t afraid to stand on the side of freedom and defend our God-given right to self-defense.”
- “President Trump promised to the cheering, capacity crowd that he will protect the firearms freedom of law-abiding Americans.”
- “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts.”
- “ 821 the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry in the provision of financial services.”
- “Today was a celebration of freedom for the law-abiding people of Kentucky.”
- “When it comes to gun rights, remember, it’s more than guns it’s Freedom.”
Whats wrong with equality?
“Equality” is often thought of as the opposite to “freedom”. What does “equality” mean to Republicans? The term “equity” repulses them. They think it is related to the idealistic idea that life should be fair. If someone doesn’t have a roof over their head and food in the refrigerator, the government should provide for them. The result, in their minds, is to take money from you to provide for those lazy people who aren’t hungry enough to go out and get a job.
For an example, they cite what happened in the USSR under communism. The government tried to provide everything and ended up with a country of lazy people who didn’t bother to work very hard. This is what many far-right Republicans think Democrats want for this country. A communist style government that creates dependence and a uniformity of individualism.
Why does the NRA favor Republicans?
The NRA supports the Republican party because they are a ready-made block of voters. Additionally, the Republicans political philosophy is ripe for assisting the NRA in its pro-gun promotions. So, to understand why the NRA courts Republicans, we should take a quick look at what Republicans believe in.
They base their political philosophy on the idea that humans need incentives. They have a simplistic dog-eat-dog outlook on economic success. Their thinking to incentivize individuals, each must be desperate enough lift themselves up by the boot-straps and get a job. This motivation only comes from individualism, competition and capitalism. The result of this competition is improving the wealth for everyone, so the theory goes.
Can equality help freedom?
Equality for Democrats actually means that the government should strive to provide equality of opportunity to everyone. The government strives to help all individuals fulfill their potential. Equality and freedom work together in harmony to improve growth across the board. This doesn’t exclude a safety net for those who can’t take advantage of these opportunities themselves.
But what good is free enterprise if you don’t have the skills to participate in that freedom. Many don’t even know how to go about obtaining those skills. Advanced education and skills are needed to succeed in today’s economy. Freedom is not possible without equality of opportunity. If either equality or freedom are emphasized too much, the other disappears.
Equality of opportunity provides a better opportunity for all and leads to growth of the community. This growth includes more than just the goal of economic growth. All human endeavors develop when opportunities for support and education flourish.
Why does the NRA promote freedom, not equality?
Just recently on October, Wayne LaPierre, the leader of the NRA, released a statement on The Future of the NRA. In his first paragraph he used the word freedom twice.
“When I see an NRA hat across the room, I smile because I know that person is a boldly proud American. I know that person is for individual freedom. I know that man or woman is someone we can count on when times are hard. I know that individual appreciates how unique and fragile this American freedom of ours really is.”
Hammering away at the promotion of “freedom” has other advantages besides getting Republican support. It helps eliminate any laws restricting gun usage to increases sales. Another words, they want the “freedom” to sell more guns. They believe the government should stay out of our lives, essentially so they can sell more guns. A population that can rely on the government for their protection doesn’t feel the need to buy guns for self-protection. For the NRA, building individualism and distrust of the government are key to building the insecurity needed to sell more guns.
Is the NRA’s free society actually free?
A friend of mine, Allyn Winslow, who was a high school drama teacher in Brooklyn, went for a bike ride in Prospect Park. While in the park, four boys threatened him because they wanted his bike. Instead of giving it to them, Allyn tried to ride away, only to be shot in the back and killed. This tragedy occurred in June of 1983.
I mention this incident to illustrate how boasting one person’s feeling of freedom takes away other people’s freedom. A gun in the hands of a dangerous person takes away my freedom to walk the streets safely.
Where do they intend to lead us?
The word “freedom” must sound simple and pure to NRA members. What comes to mind is the old west image of protecting one’s homestead with a rifle at the ready. Now, extend that image to our modern dayly life. Think about going to your child’s school play equipped with a gun at your side. Then imagine all the other parents just as prepared and ready to draw their loaded gun at the first sign of a threat. Everyone has guns, so threats from guns can come from anywhere at any time. In this future world that they are taking us to, we must be ready at all times for someone to start shooting because sluggishness under threat leads to becoming a victim.
We know, the NRA intends to lead us further down the road of guns galore. Definitely this is the way to go if you want more chaos and anarchy, which we already have in many inter-cities. We can see what the U.S. will be like when we look at the Central Americans countries of Nicaragua, Ecuador and Honduras. Refugees from those countries are forced to leave their homes largely to flee the everyday violence resulting from the flood of guns that have come from the U.S.
The NRA’s ideas of freedom and anti-government is fostered on their members to selling more guns. Guns are made to be the symbol of freedom and individualism. This is a selfish attitude with indifference to the greater good.