The debate over the future of gun policy in America is not going away any time soon. Last month, 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, were killed in a high profile mass shooting, and in the aftermath of that incident, students at the school have taken it upon themselves to help lead the charge for common sense gun control.
One of the main opponents to such common sense gun control is the National Rifle Association, that massive political advocacy group that has donated tens of millions of dollars to prominent Republicans throughout recent years. The lion’s share of the group’s donations go to Republican candidates; in the most recently completed Congressional elections — those that took place alongside the presidential election in 2016 — the NRA gave $1,071,100 to Republicans and only $10,500 to Democrats, according to Open Secrets.
All of those contributions have helped the NRA become firmly entrenched in American society, evidently to the point of their leadership finding it nothing to antagonize survivors of the Parkland school shooting.
Survivors David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez appeared on CBS this week to discuss their take on the conversation about gun violence and revealed as much.
Pressed about the role the NRA plays in pushing “negative coverage” in relation to gun policy, Hogg praised rank-and-file members of the organization, explaining that his issue with the organization is over the way in which those at the top seek to capitalize on fear and funnel legitimate concerns into rage — and gun sales.
As he put it:
‘I don’t think NRA members are bad people at all. I think they’re responsible gun owners that want to become politically active and make their voices heard in this democracy. I think the problem comes in when it’s people at the top of this organization that don’t listen to their constituents, and continue to scare people into buying more guns, creating more violence so they can scare more people and sell more guns.’
Asked further about whether or not, in the face of their concerns, the NRA had actually reached out to them, Hogg and Gonzalez painted a disturbing picture of the private overtures of those at the top of the gun rights group.
‘The way that they’ve been reaching out to us is basically threatening us.’
Gonzalez immediately followed that up by saying
‘They’ve been instigating things. And then we reply, they shy away. Like they can dish it out, but they can’t take it.’
Check out the video below.
“The way that [the NRA] has been reaching out to us is basically threatening us,” David Hogg says on the NRA communicating with student activist.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 19, 2018
Both students have made a string of media appearances in the aftermath of last month’s Parkland shooting, and the two of them have, along with other survivors and their allies, led efforts to push for common sense gun policy reform in the wake of the shooting.
Those efforts culminated in part in a recent “National School Walkout Day,” held last Wednesday, which was the one month anniversary of the Parkland shooting.
The Trump administration has dragged its feet in response to the pressure to impose common sense gun control to say the least, recently releasing a school safety plan that includes government support for arming teachers and establishes a commission for investigating school safety issues led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
DeVos has in the past expressed the belief that guns should be allowed in schools because of bears possibly threatening some of them, so her leadership isn’t exactly welcome news for many.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video