NRA deems AR-15 'everyday gun for everyday citizens', Angry Internet slams it as 'terrorist organization'
America's debate over gun policy and the use of firearms has been a longstanding one. On July 12, gun rights advocacy group National Rifle Association (NRA) sent out a tweet, raising the ire of many users on the platform. "The AR-15 is the modern-day musket," the NRA tweeted. "An everyday gun for everyday citizens."
The NRA is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1871 by two former Union Army officer veterans of the Civil War, who were disappointed that they had been outshot by their Confederate opponents. The NRA was set up after being granted a charter by the state of New York and stands for the protection of the Second Amendment which safeguards citizens' right to bear arms.
According to a magazine editorial written by Church, the NRA's primary goal would be to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis". For more than a century, the association had focused on firearms education, gun safety and hunting. However, in 1977, activist board members of the NRA took control and transformed it into an advocacy group for gun owners' rights. This came 10 years after the Gun Control Act was implemented, which restricted firearms sales. The NRA has nearly 5M members as of December 2018, per the organization, although the figure hasn't been independently confirmed.
The NRA's tweet from July 12 sparked widespread backlash and Twitter users took to the platform to condemn the organization for promoting the use of guns among civilians. One among those who criticized the organization was David Hogg, the co-founder of 'A March for Our Lives' and survivor of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting in 2018.
"6 minutes 20 seconds is all it took for the shooter at my high school to fire over 100 rounds from his AR-15 to shoot 34 people. In that same amount of time even the most trained person would have only been able to fire 18 rounds with a musket. Modern day musket my a**", he wrote in a tweet. Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime Guttenberg, one of the victims of the Parkland shooting and now an activist to end gun violence, also slammed the organization in a tweet: "The AR-15 is the modern weapon of choice for mass murders. It was used to kill my daughter and 16 others in school in 6 minutes. An everyday gun for those who want to kill as many as possible."
Other users were quick to join in with their opinions and criticisms of the NRA's tweet. "The @NRA is a terrorist organization! Everyday Americans don’t need AR-15s anymore than they need personal nuclear weapons," a user said. "The NRA attitude that the AR-15 is 'an everyday gun for everyday people' is precisely why school shootings and gun violence have become an EVERYDAY EVENT in the United States," another commented. "It sounds like you are talking about a coffee machine not something that kill 1000s of American every year," said a peeved user, while another added, "When you understand NRA positions itself along with Russia’s anti-American ideology. You’ll see the NRA as the fraud it is set up to be."
"Do you have any idea just how unhinged you sound?" a user wrote in a tweet addressing the NRA. "Who needs a war gun outside a war zone?" another asked rhetorically. "I prefer to live in a country where a gun isn't an 'every day' thing", a user concurred, as another affirmed, "The @NRAis the modern-day drug cartel. Except instead of Cocaine, they sell fear and hatred."