Central New York, Government, Politics

SU Professor Says Mass Shootings Strengthen NRA Supporters

Hearing aid maker Starkey Hearing Technologies is joining other companies that have cut ties with the National Rifle Association after a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018. More than a dozen companies including Metlife, Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Best Western, Wyndham, United Airlines, and Delta, which have ended NRA partnerships since the shooting. (c) (AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)


Click the play button above to learn how mass shootings affect NRA members

Audio Transcript: NRA Future Transcript

By Cameron Tirado SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) –In response to the Parkland shooting just a few weeks ago, companies such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart have put more restrictions on firearm sales. One local family-owned-and-operated store, Ra-Lin Sporting Goods said it has not had any recent issues with the community over gun control issues, and it will continue to sell ammunition as usual in Syracuse.

Students and teachers returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the first time Wednesday since 17 people died in a school shooting on Feb. 14., but for some victims, the battle over gun control is not over.

Students demanded the National Rifle Association, a firearms education group which influences gun legislation, take accountability for harsher gun control laws which will make schools safer. This backlash has caused more than a dozen companies to cut ties with the organization.

Christopher Faircy, a Syracuse University professor of political science, said this recent public pressure won’t deter NRA members from leaving the group. NRA members are often single-issue voters who consider guns a key part of their identity.

“People who’ve done studies of political contacts after mass shootings have found that NRA members tend to get activated after mass shootings and will send in more letters, more phone calls to the representatives arguing against gun control measures,” Faircy said.

Faircy also added that interest groups are more successful when they are unopposed.

“There really, to this point, is no parallel, organized, anti-gun group that can match the NRA,” Faircy said. ‘There’s Mom’s Demand. There’s the Bloomberg organization. These are relatively new. They don’t have the same membership and organization and history as the NRA, so they have to play catch-up.”

He clarified that nearly all Americans support some type of gun control policy, such as stricter background checks for gun owners. This is an issue both political parties can agree on, Faircy said.