Once again, the National Rifle Association has flexed its muscles on a national stage.
The NRA is sponsoring a NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Texas International Speedway, according to a report by ESPN.com.
The race will be dubbed the NRA 500, and I cringe at the thought of this awful organization gaining any more national recognition.
This is not the NRA of past. This organization doesn’t care about gun owners or gun rights. They care about one thing and one thing only: gun production.
The main goal of the organization is to keep companies mass-producing guns. This brings the organization lots of money to continue sending the irresponsible message that more guns equals less crime.
This is beyond an issue of sports. This is an issue of national security.
Yes, it’s true that NASCAR generally has high viewership among pro-gun activists, but that’s also irrelevant. NASCAR is going down a very slippery slope.
Let’s not forget, NASCAR is one of the top-five most watched professional sports leagues in the U.S.
The NRA is the same exact organization that called President Barack Obama an “elitist hypocrite,” following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
This commercial aired across the nation, because the president simply suggested that America, the world’s greatest super power, should have responsible gun laws. It’s truly unconscionable.
So here we are. On April 13, the NRA 500 will air on television screens across the country. I can only imagine the commercials the NRA will sponsor.
NASCAR made a major mistake allowing the NRA to be the brand of a major race.
The brass at NASCAR suggests this is a match made in heaven. The NRA raises lots of money for charitable organizations and tries to “educate” people about gun safety.
Give me a break.
The NRA and its friends at Congress are the most repulsive liars in the entire country.
This is the same organization that shut down a federally funded study at the Centers for Disease Control about gun ownership and violence. Because of this, our country legally cannot fund any studies on gun violence.
The argument the NRA and pro-gun rights activists make is both naïve and uneducated. It’s uneducated, because we really don’t know what the correlation between gun ownership and gun violence is, because we legally can’t study it.
This is what we do know.
In America, it’s relatively easy to obtain a gun. It’s even relatively easy to obtain automatic machine guns in some states, including Arizona.
According to a study on deaths by the CDC, there were 11,078 homicides by gunshot wound in 2010 in America. This is a staggering figure to say the least.
According to Gun Control Network, England puts us to shame.
Let me put that in perspective for you. In 2010, in the United Kingdom, where it’s nearly impossible to legally obtain a firearm, there were 58 deaths caused by firearm homicide.
That’s a significant drop off. Like I said, this is a matter of national security and American lives.
The ultimate question is how does this relate to sports in America?
I believe that having the NRA sponsor a sporting event significantly affects our gun culture. It glorifies guns.
If you heard Bob Costas during Sunday Night Football back in December, he made his opinion very clear. Costas believes that guns are glorified in our country and in our society.
Let me be clear: I’m a patriot. I strongly believe in the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.
That being said, I do find it very disturbing that we can’t have an educated discussion about gun control.
We respect the U.S. Constitution. I’m not suggesting we that we take guns away from law-abiding citizens.
However, I find it foolish that we can’t fund research on the issue or even talk about it.
One thing I do know is that glorifying guns in professional sports in not good for our society.
Sports and athletes influence mass opinion. This is what the NRA wants.
When I see the NRA slowly creeping into American sports, it scares me.
Am I a big NASCAR fan? No, but I’ve been to a few races and respect that fact that the sport is in the national spotlight.
The NRA and sports don’t mix together in any circumstance. This is the kind of propaganda that contributes to a dangerously misinformed society.
When this organization gains access to national airwaves, we all lose.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org