Is The NRA About To Fall?
In wake of the recent gun violence seen in America, gun-maker stocks Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ: SWHC) and Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE: RGR) have experienced quite a run up, with the former up more than 13 percent in the last month and the latter up roughly 30 percent in the same period.
The NRA, the National Rifle Association, has likewise been pushed into the limelight recently. As political rhetoric begins to encroach on everyday life ahead of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and the body count from gun violence continues to tick higher, the NRA is seen stage right of the most popular political debates.
Throughout its tenure, the NRA has become almost synonymous with the Republican Party, with both having quite similar demographics, and the NRA being a constituent of the GOP. The NRA power appears to be at an all-time high, but that means it could be all downhill from here.
As explained by Bloomberg's Francis Wilkinson, "Like the GOP, which dominates state governments and has reached peak numbers in Congress, the National Rifle Association appears to be at the height of its considerable powers. It is well funded, professionally staffed and deeply entrenched in U.S. politics, having fully hitched a major political party to its single cause. NRA ideology is popular, often intuitive and packaged in easily digested talking points and aphorisms — 'good guy with a gun,' 'if guns are outlawed...' — that are widely repeated by millions of gun enthusiasts."
However, the NRA demographics are in steady decline, while minorities increasingly support gun control, and Asian and Hispanic populations are on the rise. "The NRA's old, white base is in steady decline as both a portion of the population and electorate," Wilkinson summarized.
Furthermore, the sheer number of gun-related accidents, violence and death has become daunting. "That's a staggering price to pay for policies specifically designed to facilitate gun possession," Wilkinson added.
Wilkinson continued, "[I]t's more than likely that, for the NRA, it's downhill from here. In fact, some of the organizations strengths may prove to be its undoing."
"Technology, politics, demography and reason itself will eventually gang up to defeat a movement that demands guns for everyone, anywhere, all the time, for any reason," Wilkinson argued. With recent gun violence all too prevalent, gun control has never been a bigger issue, and the NRA stands to be a major player over the coming months heading into the presidential election.
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Rebecca Sheppard contributed to this article.
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