Editorial: Guns, government and green $$

In a recent infographic published by The New York Times that detailed and ranked the amount of money the National Rifle Association contributed to congress members’ campaigns, North Carolina Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis came in at positions two and four, respectively, when compared to the rest of the Senate. Together, they received a combined $11,404,632 from the NRA. That number is staggering. These two North Carolinians received more money than any other two legislators within a state. 

We must consider Sens. Burr’s and Tillis’s allegiance to the NRA when we consider their response to gun violence in this country. This board holds that the senators must be held accountable for their loyalty to the NRA, especially in light of a national outcry for sensible gun control. 

In an editorial authored by this board on Monday, we condemned the massacre that took place in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 and called for policy to prevent future mass shootings. And this editorial shares those sentiments and holds that Senators Burr and Tillis should not be beholden to the NRA. 

While this board agrees with the need for good policy, we have not reached a consensus on the NRA itself. In the last few months, the NRA has produced and proliferated ads that insinuate a coming civil conflict that would require ordinary civilians be armed like military service members. This kind of fear-mongering is concerning to this board.

But we do see and understand that the NRA is one of the largest and most efficient interest groups in this country. We also understand the desire to own guns for sport and self-defense, and that such a right is understood by most to be guaranteed in the United States Constitution. 

While we may not agree on the role of the NRA in American politics, we do hold that Senators Burr and Tillis make policy independent of their close financial relationships to the NRA. And we call on Senators Burr and Tillis to author, or at least support, some gun control measure to ensure the safety of American citizens. 

Thanks for reading.

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