Don’t blame NRA for criminals’ acts

Regarding the July 27 letter, “NRA too powerful for country’s good”: When individuals have common interests, it often makes sense for them to join together in pursuit of those interests. When this happens, a special interest group is formed. These groups then compete for a share of the limited resources distributed through the political process.

While many groups are formed to compete for economic resources, others are formed to support their positions on issues like abortion and gun control. The limited resource these groups compete for is not money or real estate but rather the use of governmental power to enforce a particular set of values. Interest groups attempt to influence public policy in a variety of ways. They try to influence the membership of Congress and who becomes president by giving money to political candidates. Interest groups cannot give money directly to candidates in federal elections — they must form political action committees or PACs. When an interest group’s PAC gives money to a candidate, they hope to help elect someone who is favorable to their cause. After the election, they hope to be able to have access to and work effectively with the people they supported. (Because PAC contributions are limited to $5,000 and congressional campaigns generally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is inaccurate to suggest that any one campaign contribution “buys” a vote.)

Stop blaming the NRA and other legitimate groups that support law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights to own firearms and start holding accruable those people who break the law by enforcing the laws we currently have in place.

Push Congress for tougher enforcement of our current gun laws and mandatory sentences for anyone using a gun in the commission of a crime and for those who aid and abet them.

A non-death-penalty consequence for taking someone’s life will not be an option.

Frank Marino