The NRA Abroad

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David Morton of Foreign Policy has a long and fascinating piece this month on how the NRA has become a global lobby of sorts, fighting against arms control laws abroad and giving “gun-rights” movements in other countries aid and assistance. And it’s working: the NRA has helped defeat gun-control legislation in Brazil and Australia, and has managed to help stall arms control efforts at the UN.

All these efforts seem a bit like overkill, though. So long as the United States continues to make cheap arms by the ton and sell them all around the world, international arms-control efforts will never really get anywhere anyway. And the NRA has pretty much ensured that American arms manufacturers are untouchable here at home. So why spend all the extra effort in tiny countries abroad? A variety of reasons, sure, though Morton gets at the “sordid” one: even when the NRA fails to defeat gun-control legislation abroad, “doing battle with the United Nations and promoting fears of a global gun-grabbing conspiracy is a boon for fundraising and publicity back home.” So there.

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