With the White House looking like it will now go it alone on gun control policies — pushing an executive order that would cut out Congress rather than utilizing it — Americans are more and more picking sides in the debate.
Are you with the National Rifle Association or against it?
The NRA has become the biggest lightening rod in the gun control battle, as they have consistently sought to protect the Second Amendment, gun rights, and (by extension) personal liberties since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Sandy Hook was, of course, a water-shed moment in the gun control debate, capping an astonishing year filled with high-profile mass shootings. In 2012 alone, over 140 people were killed or injured by mass shooters in the United States.
Because of these efforts, the pro-gun lobby has seen their ranks explode. The NRA has told Politico that it has gained over 100,000 new paid members in the past 18 days (the Newtown shooting was Dec. 14), from 4.1 million to 4.2 million. Wow.
"Our goal is to get to 5 million before this debate is over," an NRA official told Politico.
Membership is $25, and comes with a choice of three gifts: Rosewood Handle Knife, Black & Gold Duffel Bag or Digital Camo Duffel Bag.
And, of course, by joining the NRA you become a default defender of the Constitution.
What if you’re against the NRA? Well, you have some options.
There’s Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) new assault weapons ban, which may be going through Congress soon (and which some are calling “calling” for its opposition to the Second Amendment).
Then there’s the Obama administration, which is considering an executive order on the matter — thus cutting out Congress entirely. According to the Washington Post, the administration is contemplating a set of proposals that would seek to tackle the gun issue in a more comprehensive manner. The proposals are as follows: require universal background checks for gun buyers; create a national database that would include information about gun sales; make it more difficult for those who suffer from a mental illness to acquire a gun by toughening the mental health background checks; and impose stiff penalties on those who provide guns to minors or possessing firearms close to a school.
Recent Gallup polls show that a majority of Americans (51%) still oppose an AWB, while 44% are for it. However, 92% of Americans support requiring background checks for buyers at gun shows.