NRA… Advocating Violence?

Sungwon Chung ‘22

Recently, the NRA (National Rifle Association) was under scrutiny after criticizing a new character in the Thomas and Friends show, Nia. According to the UN official website, Nia resembles an African heritage, and was included by the show after partnering with the UN to promote both ethnic and gender equality among children at a young age.


However, Dana Loesch, the NRA spokesperson gave a different thought, stating in September, “Am I to understand this entire time that Thomas and his trains were white? Because they all have gray faces. How do you bring ethnic diversity? I mean they had to paint what I guess they thought was some sort of African pattern on the side of Nia’s engine.” On her powerpoint, she had the characters from Thomas and Friends in Ku Klux Klan attires and on flaming tracks.


Some analysts see this as a representation of what they call the NRA’s “true motives”: protecting gun rights, possibly leading to violence. Although it is most likely an exaggeration, Loesch’s comments are certainly not something that can be taken lightly. Being the NRA’s spokesperson means that many in the association respect her, and despite her rash comment, it is hard to determine how many people in the NRA actually believe in it. When asked to give a comment from multiple news networks, the association has yet to respond.


The reason for the NRA’s creation in 1871 was for people to have the right to own weapons, fight for gun legislation, and learn about marksmanship as well as firearm safety. However, every country has criminals, and the NRA’s attempts to protect the people’s gun rights may just as well be harming public safety. According to Everytown Research, thirty six thousand people die every year as a result of gun violence, and over a hundred thousand are injured. This is a direct result of  the NRA protecting ownership of rifles, large magazines, as well as accessories that could make guns almost as deadly as those used in the military.


If the NRA is truly trying to help Americans stay safe by advocating for individuals owning weapons, there is no reason that they should have referred to racial injustice and the KKK during a press conference. The leaders of an organization responsible for distributing firearms to Americans must have trustworthy management and leadership skills necessary for public safety and national security. Such is now in question after the comment made by Loesch.


Loesch has also been under scrutiny after a conference with CNN during a town hall meeting at Parkland, Texas. During the town hall, she did not speak about limiting gun rights and refused to give her own opinion on the subject matter of young adults owning rifles and accessories. Instead, she seemed to be blaming the Sheriff and law enforcement for not noticing and acting when “red flags” were displayed by Nikolas Cruz, who according to her had trouble with law enforcement 39 times. However, Scott Israel, the sheriff in charge during the Parkland School shooting, stated that her comment was incorrect.


According to Rohan Dupaguntla ‘22, “Dana is a horrible person; she made the world a worse place. She is a bad influence on children because she wants slavery and injustice.” This goes to show how serious the problem is. She is definitely a bad influence on future generations since they wills see what she does and think that such actions are acceptable, and may take them even further, or make it into reality.


The NRA protects the second amendment which allows Americans to own weapons along with many accessories that make them lethal. For “killing people instead of self defense” as some critics say. If the association does not change its views on gun control to be morally correct and make America safe, there will always be a risk of another massacre.


Unfortunately, people do not understand how serious the problem is until they face it. Now it is time to step up and direct the country to disarm its citizens and make America safe. However, the change is not possible without the NRA changing its stance from limited control, to full gun control with a better background checking system. This makes it unacceptable for their members to be putting children’s shows in KKK masks, and they should make sure that all of their members to be well suited for the task of protecting gun laws in the country.