Is the N.R.A. losing it’s grip?

Op Ed

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Depending on what you label “mass shooting,” there were between 289 and 297 of them in the United States between January 1 and September 3. While there are many different ways to define “mass shooting,” the most common seems to be four or more people shot in one incident, at one location, at roughly the same time.

Using that definition, we’ve had more than one a day since the first of the year with a peak of 53 in June. No matter how you keep the stats or what you think the solution is, most Americans can agree that this is just too many innocent lives damaged or lost to continue to allow it to continue. As kids have gone back to school and had to face “active shooter drills,” to prepare themselves in the event it happens to them, many parents are taking up the call to do something to reverse these statistics.

Most Americans are happy to support the second amendment that guarantees our right to bear arms. We at this newspaper, along with the majority of the people in our mountainous region believe strongly in the use of guns for hunting, for safety, for target shooting and for a host of other activities.

Without saying specifically what action they would individually support, all recent polls taken say that most Americans want to see some “common sense” regulations enacted to reduce gun violence. This can be anything from allowing medical facilities and research institutions to maintain accurate statistics on gun injuries and deaths to expanding background check procedures and databases.

Few would argue that the reason no effective action has been taken is because the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.) is such a huge, strong lobbying organization that political leaders don’t dare challenge them. But at least one American thinks the N.R.A. might be losing its grip.

Aaron Davis once worked for the organization, helping to spread its message and generate its wealth. But despite success there, he became uneasy with what he saw and experienced. Davis left the N.R.A. and today speaks out about the group.

Davis believes the N.R.A. is losing its grip. Though information on membership and fundraising are very private and closely guarded, Davis points to other signs of cracks in the N.R.A. walls. “Even folks like Lindsey Graham want red flag laws. Walmart is removing all handguns and handgun ammo from their stores. NASCAR is removing ads from gun companies that aren’t training focused. Losing in a lot of ways.”

Davis, a strong proponent and guardian of the Second Amendment, today speaks out and gives voice to people willing to share their thoughts and ideas in calm and positive ways. His goal is to create conversations and find common ground that might lead to solutions. At our request, Davis has written the following Op- Ed piece about why he believes the N.R.A. is losing its grip.

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