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August 1, 2017 Cam Uptmor 0Comment

The NRA is freedom’s safest place.

Many people claim that the National Rifle Association is an evil group, only interested in making money by way the pockets of billionaires, and without a care to the safety of our nation’s citizens. The NRA takes blame for any lack of gun restricting legislation because of their political contributions and lobbying efforts. They are often accused of bribing politicians to advance their policy preferences. Others, even college professors here in Ohio, have gone as far as to call for marching upon the NRA headquarters and killing everyone inside. (Oh, the irony.) However, these claims could not be further from the truth. The National Rifle Association is America’s best, most proactive, and truest contributor to gun safety.

In the realm of political contributions, the numbers simply don’t add up. In the 2016 election cycle, the NRA contributed $1, 087,700 to political campaigns and other political groups, such as the Republican National Committee. One million dollars — that’s a lot of money, right? Wrong. That amount ranks the NRA as only the 460th highest monetary contributor. By comparison, the top contributor, Fahr LLC, has contributed $90,622,606. All of it has gone to Democratic candidates and liberal political groups.

The NRA is not bribing politicians, it is educating citizens. Firearm education is among the National Rifle Association’s top priorities. Their training isn’t limited to learning how to shoot. Certified NRA instructors teach how to safely handle a firearm, improve school safety, and even teaches children how to handle being faced with a gun.One such program is Eddie Eagle, a cartoon character that teaches children from preschool through the third grade how to react when happening upon a gun.

The Left often portrays the NRA as advancing their agenda against the best interests of children. When in reality, gun safety is of the utmost importance to the NRA. Specifically, Eddie Eagle advises children — should they find a gun — to stop, avoid touching it, leave the area, and inform an adult. It is common sense to instruct gun safety, as many schools do with lighters, matches, alcohol, drugs, and even sex. Instead, schools across the country remain gun-free zones both physically and educationally. If young children are completely shielded from firearms — which now outnumber American citizens — where will they learn how to safely approach a gun upon discovery of one?

The National Rifle Association has another initiative to protect our children, but takes a different approach. The National School Shield program is the NRA’s plan for practicing effective school security. This isn’t just for school shootings — it helps protect against any form of violence at school. It does not solely consist of beefing up school security by way of guards. It uses different techniques regarding personnel, technology, infrastructure, and school policies. The program works to raise awareness for the most effective preparation: educating and training schools on better security, advocating for schools in their community, and even providing grants through the NRA Foundation to fund improvement projects. With 65 percent of our nation’s public schools reporting at least one violent incident in the 2013-2014 school year, we need strong & effective plans such as the NRA’s to keep our children safe.

“The NRA is not bribing politicians, it is educating citizens.”

Lastly, the National Rifle Association provides training to more than one million Americans each year. Their network of more than 125,000 instructors across America teaches the public how to responsibly handle a firearm, and the proper shooting etiquette. I have personally been through this training, and I found it to be extremely educational.

My Boy Scout Troop hosted two certified NRA training counselors who taught us about guns. As teenagers who had not yet gained extensive shooting experience, this was important for us to learn. It was not meant to be a fun day consisting of playing with guns. The instructors were serious and mature about what they were teaching us. Among the topics discussed were basic types of firearms, how to safely carry and store guns, and shooting range safety. They made it clear that guns are not meant to be a toy, but a tool. As with any tool, they can be dangerous without proper training and precaution. The importance of safely handling a firearm was not lost on any of us. To this day I still practice what those NRA instructors taught me.

Despite the NRA’s plethora of initiatives to increase firearm safety, leftist organizations continuously tout them as a threat. One example being Everytown for Gun Safety (EGS), an anti-Second Amendment organization started by former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, blatantly accuses the NRA of dangerous practices and incites malicious targeting against them. EGS has zero educational programs on their website about gun safety. The National Rifle Association has seven.

Oh, the irony.

Follow this author on twitter: @camuptmor

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