How the NRA Got So Powerful: New Report From Brookings Institution

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Just as the gun safetydebate heats up again after Zimmerman Trial verdict, the Brookings Institution released an extremely informative essay titled The Promise: The Families of Sandy Hook and the Long Road to Gun Safety". I highly recommend you read it, regardless of where you stand on the gun control issue.

“Our hearts our broken; our spirit is not.”

WASHINGTON D.C., Jan. 26, 2013 People hold signs against gun violence in front of the Capitol Hill during a march in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Jan. 26, 2013. Thousands of people, including family members of victims and survivors of shootings at Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook elementary school and others, took part in a march for stricter gun control laws here on Saturday. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun) (Credit Image: © Zhang Jun/Xinhua/

The Promise tells the story of Sandy Hook Promise, the gun safety advocacy organization formed by families in Newtown, Connecticut to support the victims and survivors of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, through the eyes of their Washington D.C. advisor, Matt Bennett. It shows the difficulty in challenging one of the most sophisticated special interest groups in modern history and the perseverance by a uniquely dedicated team of advocates.

However, the essay is not just a rehash of Sandy Hook and the road these advocates are on to implement real change in the system. It is also a look at the history of gun laws in our country, as well as an examination of the roadblocks and hurdles.

The largest hurdle is the NRA. The essay details the "bullying" the NRA has done over the years to keep any real change from occuring and limitations or regulations being placed on guns and gun control.

Even if those measures made sense and posed no threat to gun owners.

When the iconic firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson agreed to a deal with the Clinton administration on the issue of trigger locks, the NRA called for a boycott. Smith & Wesson sales dropped 40 percent, after which the company went private, fired its management and abrogated its agreement with the White House.

This is just one of many interesting anecdotes about how the NRA has used their position and authority to throw a wrench in any advances that might actually make our country safer from bad people with weapons.

It comes down to this:

Are we willing to accept a broken system that allows Columbines and Sandy Hooks and Virginia Tech shootings to occur, or are we willing to stand up and say "Enough already!"

We CAN have a system that allows law abiding citizens to own their guns while deterring bad people from getting them.

I have a six year old son. I cannot imagine being one of the families in Newtown that will never see their precious six year old again. I also cannot imagine him being shot dead in the street by someone in a “stand your ground” state and that being OK.

Are you willing to join the discussion?

You can start by reading "The Promise."

And while you're at it, send out a few tweets and share this information!

Education is power.

Sample Tweets you can extrapolate to Facebook updates

@BrookingsInst new longform interactive essay #ThePromise explores the politics of #guns and #gunsafety in America:

The #gunsafety debate heats up again after #ZimmermanTrial verdict. The Brookings Essay #ThePromise is a must read:

How can deaths due to gun violence be stopped? Read #ThePromise by @ThirdWayMatt for overview of #gunsafety debate




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