FedEx Corp, the American courier giant, spurred public debate as it said on Monday that it will maintain corporate perks for the members of the National Rifle Association (NRA), while dozens of major US firms have ended their business partnership with the association after a teenage gunman slaughtered 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Once again, gun restriction advocates thrust the issue into the national spotlight. With mass shootings continuously happening, groundbreaking actions on gun control seem to have failed but with fear rising every time.
Backing for tougher gun rules has reached a peak with 66 percent of voters in favor, and 83 percent demanding a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
The Washington Post said it is higher than it was in 2013, after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Will this time be any different? Or will the voice of protest be drowned again?
US President Donald Trump suggested raising the minimum age to purchase rifles from 18 to 21.
However, the NRA rejected the idea as its Public Affairs Director Jennifer Baker said that it was “depriving them of their constitutional right to self-protection.”
And many found that, after NRA’s opposition, Trump had kept silent about this solution in public, or during the lunch meeting with NRA leaders over the weekend.
Aside from FedEx, many local businesses and companies, including Apple and Amazon, have resisted the call to ditch their partnership with the NRA.
The NRA, powered by some 5 million members, is a formidable force in fundraising and campaign spending, according to National Public Radio (NRP). Since the 1970s, NRA’s uncompromising managers have vowed to oppose all forms of gun control.
Many lawmakers have received money from the group. During the 2016 election, NRA and its affiliates spent a record $54 million to secure Republican control of the White House and Congress, including at least $30.3 million to help elect Trump, the Guardian reported.
What the gun lobby group has been doing to buy political power is mobilization, by forming community attachments for people who treasure their gun rights as stated in the Second Amendment.
News site Vox said that the NRA provided $144.3 million in outside spending, including TV and Internet ads, urging voters to reject anyone who supports gun reform.
Meanwhile, the long-simmering debate on gun control was sparked again after the gun rampage in Florida.
High school students walked out of their classrooms and rallied in the streets, in front of the townhall and outside the White House, demanding that authorities and Congress act on gun violence.
Two national marches and many sister walkouts are scheduled in March and April, which expect some half a million people to attend.
It seems that many people in the US hope to finally move forward on a stricter gun law. But apparently, there are still reasons for them to remain skeptical.