Ruger .45 semi-automatic pistols seen during the142nd annual National Rifle Association(NRA) convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center May 4, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
Like they say, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” And the 2013 N.R.A. annual meeting and convention held true to the saying with its enormity. The N.R.A. is clearly one of the most powerful and influential lobbies in America. One only needs to attend their annual National Convention and do just a little research to realize the enormity and structure of their clout.
The crowds that attended will go down in N.R.A. history as record for most attended. The widely quoted number of 70 thousand will be proven to be considerably lower than the actual numbers that the convention registration has compiled. Every event and speaker was sold out long before the convention dates.
The resent shootings have brought fear, rumors, and emotion to the future of gun ownership. There are never ending fear peddlers that profit in the steep rise in profits from the inflated prices of guns and ammo. For these people it is important to spread fear of gun control, registration, and even confiscation to drive the prices through the roof proportionate to their success in spreading fear. But who is behind these trends and fads? Would it surprise you to know that many members of Congress are invested in defense and arms? How about the fact that we have been engaged in 97 wars/military actions since 1776 which averages one war/military action every 2.43 years. Guns, government and our economy are interdependent on each other.
Not only are lawmakers invested heavily invested in guns, so are Americans in general, with gun-owners in 42 percent of all households and 30 percent of all individuals having guns. This breaks out to 23% of Democrats, 41% Republicans, and 27% of Independents owning guns. Simply put, America has a love affair with guns, as the turnout at this year's N.R.A. convention in Houston reflects.
The crowd at the convention ranged from camo-wearing infants in strollers to surviving WWII veterans. All the events and speakers were sold out and the George R. Brown Convention Hall was literally shoulder to shoulder throughout the entire massive structure. Even outside, convention-goers covered every sidewalk within blocks coming in and out.
Since the shooting at Sandy Hook there have been numerous bills, proposals, and executive orders that all amount to lip service aimed at pacifying the anti-gun minority in America. The anti-gun contingent has gained nothing that didn’t already exist, with many exposed as unaware of the current guns laws that are already in place. They will continue to demand what they will never get.
The upside of a lobby-controlled government is that it works in the favor of individuals just as well as it does for the mega large corporations. The N.R.A. is a good example of lobby muscle funded by 5 million plus Americans with their dues. We the People can be the special interest of legislation on all issues if only we lobbied in mass numbers like the example of muscle flexing the N.R.A. displays. There is undoubtedly strength in numbers but we tend to let the cries of a few dictate the actions of many.