How much responsibility falls on the NRA?

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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JessNWheeler
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How much responsibility falls on the NRA?

Post by JessNWheeler » 01 Mar 2018, 13:35

Should the NRA have taken any responsibility for the tragic events presented in this book? Consider the organization’s media appearances and the discounts the NRA was offering. How were the NRA leaders and members portrayed in this book?
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Post by Spirit Wandering » 02 Mar 2018, 10:52

I haven't read this work yet. However, from the reviews I have looked at, it would appear that the author argues in favor of gun control, which would put the book in a positon directly opposite the NRA. While I haven't read the book, I am very familiar with the NRA's views and actions. I would argue that the NRA definitely has some responsibility for mass shootings, by adamantly opposing any and all gun controls. Although I would also argue that the societal issues that result in mass shootings go a lot deeper than the efforts of the NRA.

A brief primer about the NRA for anyone who isn't familiar with them. In 2015, the last year for which I could find online their required annual reporting, their revenue was almost $400 million. In the world of non-profit organizations, that makes them a very large one indeed. They are organized as a 501(c)4 non-profit, which designates them as a "social welfare" organization. Personally, I find this designation ironic, given their activities. However, I would imagine that their members feel that the organization's stated mission to "protect" the constitution, particularly regarding the second amendment, would meet the standard of promoting social welfare.
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Post by JessNWheeler » 02 Mar 2018, 12:40

Spirit Wandering wrote: ↑
02 Mar 2018, 10:52
I haven't read this work yet. However, from the reviews I have looked at, it would appear that the author argues in favor of gun control, which would put the book in a positon directly opposite the NRA. While I haven't read the book, I am very familiar with the NRA's views and actions. I would argue that the NRA definitely has some responsibility for mass shootings, by adamantly opposing any and all gun controls. Although I would also argue that the societal issues that result in mass shootings go a lot deeper than the efforts of the NRA.

A brief primer about the NRA for anyone who isn't familiar with them. In 2015, the last year for which I could find online their required annual reporting, their revenue was almost $400 million. In the world of non-profit organizations, that makes them a very large one indeed. They are organized as a 501(c)4 non-profit, which designates them as a "social welfare" organization. Personally, I find this designation ironic, given their activities. However, I would imagine that their members feel that the organization's stated mission to "protect" the constitution, particularly regarding the second amendment, would meet the standard of promoting social welfare.
I agree, the NRA definitely owns some responsibility for mass shootings. Also, I’m sure that the organization’s members do believe that it is an organization of social welfare, but it does seem ironic. Thanks for providing these facts.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. - Oscar Wilde

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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Mar 2018, 20:52

I'm not so sure. When a drug that the FDA has approved turns out to be deadly, people blame the drug manufacturer not the FDA. Isn't this similar?
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Post by HouseOfAtticus » 03 Mar 2018, 05:24

Not exactly. The FDA might approve the drug, but they don't actively promote it. And in this case, it is known that guns are deadly.

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Post by khusnick » 03 Mar 2018, 17:00

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
02 Mar 2018, 20:52
I'm not so sure. When a drug that the FDA has approved turns out to be deadly, people blame the drug manufacturer not the FDA. Isn't this similar?
The FDA doesn't try to push for the things they approve to be used or bought. The FDA doesn't lobby for political campaigns. The NRA has been harassing survivors of the Parkland shooting. Personally, I don't think anyone in the FDA would be doing that if someone survived after taking drugs that killed other people or to the people that were related to the deceased.

The FDA looks into their mistakes. They're willing to change their approvals when things become deadly. The NRA pushes for more guns in response to a gun problem. It's not quite the same. They absolutely are responsible because pumping more guns into the hands of angry and clearly sensitive people is their only answer. They want more sales because they get their money from corporations that want more sales, and they use that money to convince politicians to be complicit in the deaths of innocent people in huge numbers.

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Post by jessinikkip » 04 Mar 2018, 02:58

I think that VitalTech and the NRA share the responsibility here. VitalTech for giving the Final Notice even after they knew what was going on and the NRA for not reconsidering their huge gun push. They continue to offer discounts and lower rates and everything to get people to buy and buy and buy guns, but no option for how to avoid or prevent the violence these guns are causing. It's less like the FDA and more if I started selling live bombs to people, am I responsible if they explode? YES

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Post by CatInTheHat » 04 Mar 2018, 06:08

In this situation, both the NRA and VitalTech share responsibility. In general, the NRA bears a lot of responsibility as they refuse to be a part of the solution. Note that I'm not anti-gun, but we stopped being members of the NRA a long time ago.
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Post by Anirudh Badri » 04 Mar 2018, 07:45

The answer would depend on whether we are talking about moral responsibility or legal culpability. If it is the latter, then that would not be workable. On the other hand, moral responsibility can only be assumed and not pushed onto anyone.
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Post by sepicatt » 04 Mar 2018, 09:50

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
02 Mar 2018, 20:52
I'm not so sure. When a drug that the FDA has approved turns out to be deadly, people blame the drug manufacturer not the FDA. Isn't this similar?
Interesting thought. I think the problem when it comes to the NRA is how they handle the situation. I don't see the FDA stand there blatantly arguing against issues and making social stances the way they do. I think that is where the problem lies. The whole issue appears to be being approached as a social/rights issue rather then being looked at scientifically if that makes sense. Not saying the FDA never does anything questionable.

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Post by melissy370 » 04 Mar 2018, 19:03

The NRA might have some culpability in the problems. However, they were quite demonized in the book to extreme. I don't think they have that much political clout as was portrayed.

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Post by azerikaj » 04 Mar 2018, 20:02

Kandis, I'm not sure that the FDA injects itself into every part of the political process as fully as the NRA does.(For one thing, as a gov't agency, I'm almost sure it can't promote candidates.)

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Post by Roggyrus » 05 Mar 2018, 01:53

In my opinion, no organization or regulating body should be taken into accountability. As I have been asserting, for any shooting to take place, the individual involved must be predisposed to do the act. We have been in proximity to knives on the table, knives in the kitchen, then why is it that we did not stab anybody yet? Or why didn't the soldiers who live with guns all their lives did not go on a shooting rampage just because they have guns?

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Post by Haute_Coffee » 05 Mar 2018, 08:54

The thing about the NRA promoting gun ownership is that they were directly targeting a group that has been made to feel powerless. In US society today, senior citizens are often made to feel redundant and powerless. We see this in the very beginning of the book when Vince is pushed down while shopping. He feels old, powerless, and embarrassed.

The NRA is directly manipulating these feelings by encouraging senior citizens to "brandish weapons" to give them their power back. Then they push the discount and bam! It makes having a gun seem very attractive.

I agree with the poster who said they don't have this kind of clout but I think this was a way of imagining what could happen if gun laws went in a certain direction. Like if we really passed the "Stand Your Ground" law like they had in this book.

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Post by khusnick » 05 Mar 2018, 10:46

Roggyrus wrote: ↑
05 Mar 2018, 01:53
In my opinion, no organization or regulating body should be taken into accountability. As I have been asserting, for any shooting to take place, the individual involved must be predisposed to do the act. We have been in proximity to knives on the table, knives in the kitchen, then why is it that we did not stab anybody yet? Or why didn't the soldiers who live with guns all their lives did not go on a shooting rampage just because they have guns?
Some people do go on stabbing sprees or just suddenly stab someone in their kitchen. Some soldiers do abuse their gun rights. Those aren't things that never happen, and they aren't an accurate comparison.

If you knew someone you cared about was suicidal, you probably wouldn't give them a bunch of knives and leave them alone with them.

If you cared about a veteran who grew up around guns had PTSD that made them unpredictable at times, you probably wouldn't want them around a gun anymore.

The NRA repeatedly demonizes common sense gun laws because it messes with their "freedoms," but in reality, the only people who would struggle to get guns through most of the things people propose would be people who have some mental instability that makes them a danger to themselves and others.

Morally, they are responsible. They've decided that innocent lives are an appropriate cost to make gun sales. Some of their representatives have been harassing the teenage victims of the Parkland shooting online. They survived a school shooting, and they're receiving death threats for not wanting anyone else to have to experience anything like what they went through. Is there no need for accountability there?

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