It is talked about so much, that it is never explained what it is. Here is a brief guide to understand what the National Rifle Association (NRA) is.


During the Civil War, the soldiers of the North – who opposed slavery – had shown disastrous marksmanship, so two veterans (one of them, a former journalist for the ‘New York Times’) created the NRA in 1871 to teach people to use weapons effectively and safely. Among its objectives was the limitation of the possession of weapons that were not for hunting or target shooting.

Absolutely. Until 1977, the NRA supported taxing firearms, banning the public display of weapons, and abolishing machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, silencers, and other weapons used by criminals. Yes, it sounds very different from today’s NRA, which in 2017 proposed, with the support of Trump’s eldest son Don ‘Junior’, to liberalize the sale of silencers on the grounds that noise from guns is noise pollution.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the US experienced a brutal increase in crime, accompanied by small leftist and black terrorist movements, which is why part of the NRA began to advocate that people arm themselves to protect themselves. This is how the ‘Cincinnati Revolt’ came to be: a flawless palace coup carried out at the 1977 NRA caucus in Cincinnati, in which the pro-gun liberalizing group took over complete control of the organization.

Today’s NRA is the brainchild of ‘Cincinnati Revolt’ leader Harlon Carter, who transformed the NRA from an organization of hunters into a group opposed to racial integration and fiercely anti-immigration (Carter himself had murdered the 18 years to a Mexican in a street brawl). Ronald Reagan, who came to power in 1981, understood the mobilizing power of NRA voters, and he and Carter forged an unbreakable alliance between the Republican Party and the Association.

No. In fact, fewer and fewer Americans have guns, although those that do have more and more. The NRA is a political organization that defends the most conservative and ‘nativist’ Republican ideology, with weapons as a symbol.

For their donations to campaigns and, above all, for the US electoral system, which gives a lot of weight to rural areas. It is estimated that the NRA has some 4 million members -although it has never published the number of its partners-, with an enormous degree of political mobilization, who vote in the Republican primaries and in the general ones.

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