The issue of gun control is back in the spotlight with the opening of the annual convention of the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis.
A whole host of Republican governors and senators are slated to speak, and the group also intends to hold a rally so that people can demonstrate their support for their line on gun control.
NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre said the organization is focused on protecting the rights of gun owners, and claimed to have had more than 5 million members as of last May. This figure has been challenged by many, including the Washington Post’s“Fact Checker” blog.
Bruce Drake writing in Fact Tank, quotes some research from the Pew Research Center published last year, which makes interesting reading. He cites the following 5 facts related to the NRA, and the issue of gun rights and gun control:
1. The NRA’s focus has shifted from its start as an organization focused on training and marksmanship, to the political battle surrounding gun control.
Pew Research found that about half (48 percent) of gun owners said the main reason they owned a gun was for protection. Some 32 percent said they owned a gun for hunting.
2. The public is unsure whether the organization exerts too much influence over whether gun control laws are passed or not. While 39 percent say the NRA exerts too much influence, 35 percent said it was the right amount, and only 18 percent said it was too little. An ABC News/Washington Post poll, conducted last May, found similar results.
3. Pew’s survey in May 2013, found that there was a substantial gap in political activism between gun control supporters and gun rights advocates. There was less of a gap on other activities, such as contacting public officials or expressing opinions on social media. However, when combining all the activities, those in favor of gun rights outnumbered gun control supporters by almost two to one.
4. Interestingly, those Americans who live in a household where they, or another family member, belongs to the NRA, overwhelmingly favored the idea of making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. However, far fewer people in NRA households supported proposed bans on assault-style weapons or high-capacity ammunition clips.
5. How widespread is gun ownership? In February 2013, Pew found that 37 percent of adults admitted having a gun in their household and 24 percent said they personally owned the gun; another 13 percent said the gun was owned by someone else in their home.
The greater majority, (58 percent) of people who didn’t have a gun in their household said that having a gun would make them feel uncomfortable.
They obviously do not agree with the slogan of those opposed to gun control which states:
“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”