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National Rifle Association

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a United States organization for riflemanship training and gun owner's rights advocacy. The organization was established in New York in 1871. It is considered by some to be one of the most influential political lobbies in the US.

Wayne LaPierre has been the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the NRA since 1991. [1] (http://nramemberscouncils.com/wayne/bio.shtml) Charlton Heston, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, stepped down as the organization's president and celebrity spokesman in April of 2003. Kayne Robinson[?] took over Heston's duties.

The NRA sponsors a broad range of safety programs to educate and encourage the safe use of firearms. Their "Eddie the Eagle" video intended for school-age children encourages kids to "Stop! Don't touch! Get an adult!" if they ever see a firearm lying around. The NRA has claimed that studies prove the "Eddie the Eagle" program reduces the likelihood of firearms accidents in the home; opponents of firearm ownership generally reject these claims and condemn the video as an attempt to "indoctrinate" children into a "gun culture".

In its lobbying for gun rights, the NRA asserts that the Second Amendment protects broad rights to individuals as gun owners and users. The NRA typically opposes measures which it asserts would conflict with the Second Amendment "right to bear arms" and or the right to privacy enjoyed by law-abiding gun owners.

This organization has been criticized by gun control advocates, such as controversial filmmaker and lifetime NRA member, Michael Moore, the producer of the movie "Bowling for Columbine". Moore accused the NRA of changing from a gun safety organization to a political front for the firearms industry. Opponents have accused the NRA of deliberately holding pro-gun rallies days after shooting incidents such as the Columbine High School massacre, which they see as highly insensitive towards the feelings of victims' families. Some opponents, who advocate measures such as gun registration, ostensibly to assist police investigations into crimes involving guns, also criticize the NRA for opposing their advocacy. Additionally, some Americans who believe that the right for private citizens to own firearms is absolute have criticized the NRA from the other side, arguing that the NRA's support for bans on some automatic weapons and waiting periods for purchasing guns abridges this right.

See also:

External link: Official web site of the National Rifle Association (http://www.nra.org)

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