Is the NRA doomed?
via AP

Is the NRA doomed?

#NRAisDoomed
#NRAwillTriumph
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For the first time ever, more Americans view the National Rifle Association negatively than positively. Gun-control advocates say the Parkland students and the grassroots movement they inspired, combined with the NRA's attacks on the teenage activists, caused this shift in public opinion, and many think that shift could spell the end of the NRA's dominance over American politics. But others argue two out of three gun owners still view the organization favorably. Is the NRA losing power? 

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#NRAisDoomed
46.4%
#NRAwillTriumph
53.6%

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 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 today, 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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