Over the past decade or two the NRA has become increasingly monomaniacal. It has gone from an organization working towards the general advocacy of guns and their appropriate use to a right-wing noise machine whose only goal is absolute gun-weilding freedom. Its strong-arm tactics, combined with weakness from gun-control groups, has cowed legislators and moved popular opinion towards increased absolutist support the second amendment.
But the NRA may have painted itself into a corner. It’s hard to see how the NRA, after its absolutist, ideological postures, can be part of a constructive discussion on gun rights, mental health and the control of gun-assisted violence. There is no room for compromise in NRA rhetoric. If the NRA begins to show movement towards the center, it will be viewed as weak and “political” by its core supporters.
This suggests a series of possibilities.
- The NRA will be ostracized from the national debate on gun-related violence.
- The NRA (and supporters) will be viewed as discontinuous with the democratic process.
- Without the NRA, the consensus that emerges from national debate will be for large change.
- There will be great tension between the result of the national gun-violence debate and the remnants of the NRA. Leading to …?
- The remnants of the NRA will be small, but unwavering.