Thursday, April 19, 2012

The NRA’s star may be on the wane

Opinion from the Economist blog: Democracy in America

Apr 19th 2012, 20:25 by N.L. | ST LOUIS

 ONE of the things Europeans find incomprehensible about America is its love of guns. There are two reasons they don’t get it. One is that Europeans live in a much more urbanised, regulated and crowded part of the world. More importantly the concept of owning a gun as an essential civil liberty is entirely absent. There is no second amendment guaranteeing the right to bear arms, and there is little sense that it is up to the individual to defend one’s family and property.

The organisation most associated with America’s culture of guns is the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—which drafts model legislation—have been enormously successful at pushing pro-gun laws in state legislatures. These days the debate is no longer whether assault rifles ought to be banned, but whether they should be allowed in bars, churches and schools. One group, Students for Concealed Carry, even argues that carrying concealed weapons on university campuses would be an effective means of self defence. [More...]