The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the most prominent advocacy group for the continuity, and sometimes expansion, of the rights ordained by the 2nd amendment. The NRA is extremely powerful, boasting an extremely large membership roster and support at many of the highest seats of governance. Indeed, their causes are considered to parallel many of the views on the matter taken by the current president of the U. S. Their influence as a lobbying force has been notable throughout the ongoing debate over the most practical ways to contend with gun violence and crime in America.
Essentially, the NRA has long held the view that the public ownership of firearms is an important way for each citizen to guarantee his own safety. This view of liberty and independence is, the group would argue, consistent with the spirit of the Bill of Rights and the ideology of the Founding Fathers. Likewise, any efforts to limit this right, they argue, would be in direct violation of an important tenet at the foundation of U. S. self-determination.
This is an argument with some merit. Indeed, the presence of illegal firearms with untraceable roots is a serious problem for all Americans. And as it has been established, we do not have the means to eliminate or locate most of these. As such, it would be impractical to consider an outright ban on public purchase of guns. This would create a dangerous circumstance in which law-abiding citizens would be denied the capacity to defend against the upswing in illegal gun possession.
And it is important to note that most of the crimes that are committed with guns are those executed with illegal and unregistered arms. This is to note that the pervasive public ownership of guns under legal and over-the-counter terms is rarely a trend which has been illustrated to be related to gun violence. It is therefore easy to sympathize with the NRA’s position that the government’s attempts to intervene with the public’s entitlement to arms is inconsistent with the lack of effort which it has effectively applied to ending the swell of illegal gun distribution.
Within the context of a discussion of Constitutional Law and the discourse over the ways in which to best contend with illegal gun violence, it is fair to note that the total ban of ownership, distribution or use of firearms is not a realistic or even fair goal. The gun control lobby is thus rarely focused on an outright attack on public gun rights. Still, it is disturbing that in recent years, efforts to contend with gun violence have been so ineffective.
There is no denying that America’s culture, for better or worse, is colored as much by a predisposition to violence as by a collective desire for unfettered access to firearms. The combination of these two qualities has rendered a nation which stands alone from other wealthy, industrialized democracies in its susceptibility to troubling patterns of civil unrest. A relationship between our gun ownership and the occurrence of homicide is not difficult to establish. It has been reported as recently as 2004 “that 70% of American homicides are committed with guns.