Political Influences

Respond to #1

For my final forum this week I have chosen the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is one of the most popular and powerful interest groups in the United States.  This interest group helps uphold and protect and preserve the citizens of the United States Second Amendment rights to bear arms, which is continually tested by state governments.  But probably it’s most important purpose is firearms education.  The NRA is a public interest group that advocates for the society as a whole as defined in our textbook (Holman, Lentz 253).

The NRA has been around for a very long time.  Started in 1871 by Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate (NRA 2017).  Today the NRA is led by Wayne Lapierre.  The total number of members in 2016 was 5, 0000, with an annual NRA revenue of 348,000,000 (static brain 2016).  For political campaigning and lobbying the NRA spent a total of 3,605,000 in 2016 according to (static brain 2016).

Now that I have given you a little history and statistics about the NRA, I’d like to discuss an article from the Los Angeles Times about a weapons sale ban on semiautomatic rifles equipped with bullet-buttons that allow for the quick removal and replacement of ammunition magazines that was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown (McGreevy 2017). The NRA’s methods and tactics in this lawsuit are much like previous cases in the United States.  They are claiming that the new law infringes on the Second Amendment “the right to bear arms.” Also they are pleading a case that the law will not stop terrorists or criminals.  The NRA continually claim that gun laws never work, and such guns like automatic assault rifles are almost never used in criminal activity.  The NRA always argues that the Second Amendment was put into place for citizens of this great nations to have the choice to bear arms for their protection and the safety of their families.

Gun rights have always been important to me and many Montana’s where I live.  It’s a way of life for us, and we don’t have the problems that California and many cities have.  Then again we were raised around them by being educated in hunter safety and by our families.  It’ my opinion that interest groups like the NRA are just as important as educators as they are for protecting our rights to bear arms.

Thanks for taking the time to read my last forum post.  It has been a pleasure taking part in this class.  I have learned a lot of great knowledge, yet I still have much to learn about government, but aleast I’m moving in the right direction to better understanding the systems put in place by our founding fathers.


Holman M, Lentz T “American Government.” Florida Atlantic University

Department of Political Science.  2013. Retrieved from http://ebooks.apus.edu.ezproxy2.apus.edu/POLS210/Lenz_2013_FullText.pdf. Accessed April 27, 2017.

McGreevy, P. “NRA Announces Legal Challenge to California’s

Assault Weapon Ban and Other New Gun Laws.” Los Angeles

Times.  April 24, 2017.  Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-nra-announces-legal-challenge-to-1493069809-htmlstory.html. Accessed April 27, 2017.

National Rifle Association.  2017.  NRA Explore.  Retrieved from

https://home.nra.org/about-the-nra/.  Accessed April 27, 2017.



Static Brain “National Rifle Association (NRA) Statistics.” August 2, 2016.

Retrieved from http://www.statisticbrain.com/national-rifle-

association-nra-statistics/.  Accessed April 27, 2017.



















Respond to #2


For this week’s forum on interest groups, I chose the NRA (National Rifle Association).  The NRA was founded in 1871 to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis” according to the co-founder Col. William C. Church.  Today the NRA focuses on firearm education, hunting and shooting sports, as well as being a major supporter of gun owners’ rights.  The NRA is a single interest group that focuses on the second amendment; A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.  Indirect lobbying is where the NRA focus their strategy, by having their millions of members send letters, emails, and to vote “pro second amendment”.   While they mostly focus on indirect, they also use the strategy of direct lobbying.  When elections are running across the United States, the NRA will endorse a candidate in hopes that their members will in turn vote for the candidate that will support their side.  These tactics have been useful for the NRA with the support of President Ronald Regan and now President Donald Trump.  President Trump was endorsed by the NRA in 2016 while running for president and will be the first president to speak at the NRA annual convention in 2017.  With the grassroots approach that has been used to lobby for the second amendment rights, the political participation will validate the efforts made by members of the NRA.  President Trump speaking at the NRA convention will encourage more direct lobbying from the NRA to promote continued support from the White House.  The direct and indirect lobbying tactics typically change with the party that is in “power”.  Direct lobbying techniques are used more when conservative, pro-second amendment politicians are in “power”, whereas indirect techniques are used when liberal, pro-gun control politicians are in “power”.  Like so many things in government, interest groups adjust their lobbying techniques based on the political climate.


“NRA | About the NRA.” NRA | Home. Accessed April 27, 2017. https://home.nra.org/about-the-nra/.


Sherfinski, David. “Trump To Be First President Since Reagan To Personally Address NRA Convention.” FoxNation.com The Washington Times. Last modified April 27, 2017. http://nation.foxnews.com/2017/04/27/trump-be-first-president-reagan-personally-address-nra-convention.




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