The NRA loves freedom but disregards equality
The word “freedom” appears throughout the NRA-ILA website. The NRA-ILA is the legal advocacy arm of the NRA. I wanted to understand why? I know the NRA’s single motivational focus is to earn money for their gun manufacturers and gun dealers. I thought it would be interesting to explore their strategy of using the word “freedom” to sell 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” appears 240 times in 1340 posts on the NRA-ILA website, the legal advocacy arm of the NRA. The similar word “liberty” appears nearly as often. Why the stress on the concept of freedom?
Take a look at quotes with the word freedom from 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.”
What’s wrong with equality?
Republicans think “Equality” and “freedom” oppose each other. What does “equality” mean to Republicans? The term “equity” repulses them. They think equality is the idealistic idea that life should be fair. If someone lacks a roof over their head and food in the refrigerator, the government should provide for them. Republicans and the NRA think government assistance takes their money to provide for those lazy people who aren’t hungry enough to 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. 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 are ripe for assisting the NRA in its pro-gun promotions. So, to understand why the NRA courts Republicans, we should take a 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. They think, everyone must be desperate enough lift themselves up by the boot-straps and get a job. This motivation 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?
For Democrats, equality means that government should provide equality of opportunity for everyone. The government strives to help all individuals fulfill their potential. Equality and freedom work together in harmony to improve growth across the board. Equity provides a safety net for those who can’t take advantage of opportunities themselves.
But what good is free enterprise if we don’t have the skills equired for that freedom. Many don’t know how to obtain those skills. Succeeding in today’s economy requires advanced education and skills. Freedom of opportunity requires equality of opportunity. If we emphasis either equality or freedom to much, the other disappears.
Opportunity for all leads to growth of the community. This growth expands to all human endeavors when opportunities for support and education flourish.
Why does the NRA promote freedom, not equality?
Wayne LaPierre, the leader of the NRA, recently released a statement called “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 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 guns.
They believe the government should stay out of our lives. Government interferes with selling guns. A population that relies on government protection doesn’t feel the need to buy guns. For the NRA, building individualism and distrust of the government are key to building the insecurity needed to sell guns.
They don’t understand that opportunity for all leads to growth of the community. This growth includes expands to all human endeavors develop when opportunities for support and education flourish.
Is the NRA’s free society actually free?
A friend of mine, Allyn Winslow, A Brooklyn high school drama teacher, went for a bike ride in Prospect Park. While in the park, four boys threatened him because they wanted his bike. Instead relenting, Allyn tried to ride away, received a bullet in the back and death. This tragedy occurred in June of 1983.
A gun in the hands of a dangerous person removes my freedom to walk the streets safely. Many gun owners feel that easy access to a gun gives them a feeling of freedom. At the same time, it eliminates my feeling of freedom and safety.
Where do they intend to lead us?
The word “freedom” sounds 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 daily lives. Think of attending your child’s school play equipped with a gun at your side. Imagine all the other parents 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. This is the future they want. We must be ready for someone to start shooting because sluggishness under threat leads to victimization.
We know, the NRA intends to lead us down the road of guns galore. This is the way to go if you want street shooting, like in many inter-cities. We can see a future U.S. in the Central Americans countries of Nicaragua, Ecuador and Honduras. There, refugees flee their homes and violent communities fearing gun violence resulting from the flood of guns that have come from the U.S.
The NRA’s pushes the ideas of freedom and anti-government on their members to selling guns. Guns symbolize freedom and individualism. This is a selfish attitude with indifference to the greater good.