Questions & Thoughts About the NRA

As I begin this blog it is Saturday, March 24, 2018 and all over the world people are gathering in protest of gun violence. The subject cannot be addressed in America without mention of the National Rifle Association and answering several important questions about the organization. Following is a small list of questions that we as a nation should be addressing:

  1. Should the NRA be a tax-exempt organization? The subject is complex but for simplicity, is there any reason for the NRA to be tax-exempt? The concept implies that some charitable activity is taking place, that somehow society is being served by the institution’s activities. We all know of the Salvation Army’s work during  troubled times and probably don’t question their tax-exempt status. What does the NRA do that resembles the work of the Salvation Army?
  2. Should trying to influence politics threaten tax-exempt status? If organized religions become involved in influencing the political outcomes in America, should they lose their tax-exempt status? Is the same true of the NRA? In 2016 the NRA spent tens of millions trying to influence political outcomes. They gave over $30 million alone to the election of Donald Trump. In the eyes of democracy, the collective donations of such groups far outweighs what the American people can bring forth. Should this be more tightly regulated?
  3. In 2011 Stephen Colbert wanted to show just how simple it is to raise money and play with the outcomes of American elections. He announced his candidacy for President of South Carolina and hired a lawyer to advise him about creating a tax-exempt “super”

    PAC to raise money. This short video clearly demonstrates the    system as it exists. Should these doors be slammed shut?

  4. The NRA likes to claim that it was founded to improve the marksmanship of the American rifleman and thereby help create a better prepared military. It also claims it was founded to fight against the effects of slavery and the power of the KKK. While these claims may have some merit they are certainly not the guiding spirit of today’s NRA. I would argue that well over half of all NRA efforts are aimed at promoting and protecting gun ownership and protecting the interest of the gun manufacturers. How do you feel about this?
  5. The NRA likes to claim that it was founded to improve the marksmanship of the American rifleman and thereby help create a better prepared military. It also claims it was founded to fight against the effects of slavery and the power of the KKK. While these claims may have some merit they are certainly not the guiding spirit of today’s NRA. I would argue that well over half of all NRA efforts are aimed at promoting and protecting gun ownership and protecting the interest of the gun manufacturers. How do you feel about this?
  6. 501 (c) 4 groups are not required to reveal their sources of income. Should this be changed?

This list is certainly not all inclusive. There are many more questions that need to be discussed. Feel free to ask your questions and leave your comments below.

 

 

 

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