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The National Rifle Association

Posted February. 19, 2018 07:51,   

Updated February. 19, 2018 07:51

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The United States is once again in the grip of fear. Seventeen high school students were killed Wednesday when a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida opened fire at the building. Parkland was listed as the safest city in Florida. Former U.S. President Barack Obama took to twitter to express support for tighter gun control laws. However, it fizzled out every time because of the National Rifle Association’s lobby and the constitutional right of gun ownership.

The NRA, founded in 1871 by Civil War veterans, is well known for its monetary prowess and membership of nearly five million from various social classes. Fortune magazine named it the most influential interest group supporting legitimate firearm ownership. Out of 28 former U.S. presidents, eight former presidents and President Donald Trump are members of the organization. During the 2016 presidential election, the NRA spent 11.4 million U.S. dollars supporting Donald Trump and 19.7 million dollars opposing Hillary Clinton.

The history of U.S. gun control goes back to the constitution and national foundation. The Second Amendment was adopted in 1791 to guarantee the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Many Americans still believe that gun ownership is a basic right that cannot be violated, and what keeps them and their family safe is a gun, not the police. This was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that the Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons.”

About 35 countries around the world including England allow individual gun ownership. But none of them has as many firearm incidents as the United States. More than 40,000 American citizens have been injured or killed every year since 2015. Trump just emphasized mental health of the suspect of the Florida massacre, and skirted the issue of lax firearm control system, because the United States widely acknowledges people’s right to self-defense. But there is a remaining question on how to protect the right of children and civilians who are indiscriminately killed.


Jin-Kyun Kil leon@donga.com