The Irony of an NRA Gun Ban

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The Irony of an NRA Gun Ban

Sarah Wang, Staff Writer

In a controversial move on behalf of the U.S. Secret Service, the National Rifle Association (NRA) banned all guns at Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance at a pro-gun rally on May 4, officially titled the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum. Despite the irony of the new policy, the NRA held firm that “firearms and firearm accessories, knives or weapons of any kind will be prohibited in the forum prior to and during [Pence’s] attendance.” For many, the recent announcement suggests hypocrisy of the NRA’s long-championed “good guy with a gun” motto, especially in the light of the United States’ influx of mass shootings — the Parkland shooting, in particular.

Opponents of the NRA’s open-carry belief had a field day with the policy, claiming that the mandate suggests that guns are too dangerous to be around the Vice President but safe enough for children, who lack the immense security detail that follows the Vice President around. The policy seems to come as an insult to victims of gun violence and mass shootings, particularly to survivors of February’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) shooting. “It’s ironic that they feel the need to ban guns to protect themselves, especially after their main philosophy has been more guns equals more protection,” shared MSD student leader and gun-control advocate David Hogg, “yet they don’t think they need to protect our kids the same way.” His classmates chimed in with similar sentiments, Cameron Kasky dubbing the NRA “a hilarious parody of itself” and Matt Deitsch adding that “the NRA wants to protect people who help them sell guns, not kids.”

Indeed, the Trump administration has benefited greatly from the NRA’s continuous support throughout Trump’s campaign season and current presidency. In the 2016 presidential election, the NRA and its affiliates spent over $50 million dollars supporting Republicans who promised to support gun rights and attacking Democrats who advocated for stricter gun control. Among the Republicans who received financial support from the gun lobby, The Hill’s 2017 investigation found that now-President Trump was by far the largest beneficiary of the lobby’s donations. In fact, Trump received over $31 million in funding for his presidential campaign alone, not considering any donations made after his win. Not surprisingly, the president now riles up supporters at his rallies by promising to protect their gun rights.

Of course, in retrospect, the Vice President of the United States requires much more protection than the average citizen would. Some would argue that extra security measures are simply a testament to the vitality of the Vice President to the nation’s stability; others choose to interpret the NRA’s move as an implication of the worth, or lack of, of our children’s lives. Regardless of opinion, until further action is taken, gun rights and our interpretation of the Second Amendment will remain an issue that divides and antagonizes the American people.

Photo courtesy of HUFFINGTONPOST.COM