Is the NRA doomed?
via AP

Is the NRA doomed?

#NRAisDoomed
#NRAwillTriumph
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For the first time ever, the majority of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the National Rifle Association. Gun-control advocates say the Parkland students and the grassroots movement they inspired caused this shift in public opinion, and that shift could spell the end of the NRA's dominance over American politics. Not to mention the NRA's latest decision to make Oliver North the new president. But others argue two out of three gun owners still view the organization favorably. Is the NRA losing power? 

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#NRAisDoomed
67.1%
#NRAwillTriumph
32.9%

According to Bussiness Insider, several polls indicate the American public is turning against the NRA.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 40% of people surveyed had a negative view of the NRA, while 37% had a positive view. That represented a significant drop from April 2017, when the same poll found a 45% positive to 33% negative divide. It is the first time since at least 2000 that the poll registered a negative favorability rating for the gun-owners group.

The latest decision to make Oliver North—the central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal—the NRA's new president only threatens to make things worse.

North became a national figure during the Reagan administration as a public face of the Iran-Contra scandal and faced years of legal battles as a result before his charges were dropped in 1991. The scandal arose over secret arms sales to Iran; the US used the proceeds to fund anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua, called the Contras. Iran-Contra was a central controversy for President Ronald Reagan.

Some find Oliver North to be a fitting president of the NRA.

The NRA's massive power and influence comes from their deep pockets and their ability to mobilize gun rights advocates to vote. What happens if gun control groups match their funding and their motivated voters?

But others say that though the NRA's favorability may have taken a hit, they are still one of the most powerful groups in American politics, with a virtual chokehold on the passage of any gun control measures. There's a reason politicians fear them—money can't buy you this kind of devoted, passionate following.

Not only does the NRA outspend gun control groups but it’s also simply better at mobilizing its base (it boasts a membership of 5 million) against candidates it deems a threat, according to the Violence Policy Center's executive director, Josh Sugarmann.
"I think across the board, if you compare the NRA core to any progressive issue, the NRA core supporters are completely willing to follow orders,” he said. “When they are told to make a call, knock on a door, they do it.... The word comes down from above, and they do it.”

The Parkland students are compelling messengers for gun control and leaders of what looks like a new surge in advocacy for gun control—but the NRA has been around for many decades and "has built an army of single-issue voters."

As heartwarming as it is to see high school students organize anti-gun marches, they are no more likely to be successful in busting the NRA narrative, or separating politicians from NRA money, than the parents of Columbine and Sandy Hook. The gun rights community is steeled against succumbing to sympathetic victims, as they have convinced themselves that they are above the politics of knee-jerk emotion.

But others say the Parkland teens have been able to expose the NRA as a paranoid, morally bankrupt group better than any liberal politician. They've pulled back the curtain and there's no unseeing what we've seen.

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