Among the greatest national shames is the United States' mass shooting epidemic. As of November 8th - the 312th day of the year - there had been 307 mass shootings in the country. A majority of Americans support stricter gun laws, but the National Rifle Association, in donating tens of millions of dollars a year to Republican candidates, has kept enough lawmakers at its disposal to halt any meaningful legislation to remedy the problem.
Now, it looks like Americans may finally be wising up.
The NRA reported losing nearly $55 million in donations over the course of 2017, and now Yahoo News is reporting that gun manufacturers are subsequently taking a hit as well, with even the most formidable companies seeing a drop in the value of their shares.
Sturm, Ruger & Company, the largest gun manufacturer in the US, fell 1.3% Tuesday. American Outdoor Brand Corporation, which owns the Smith & Wesson brand, saw a decline of 2.9%, and Vista Outdoor, which makes ammunition and rifle-scopes was down 3.9%. Olin, an ammunition manufacturer, however, saw a 0.6% increase.
Though many Republican politicians - including the president-are still in the pocket of the NRA - its influence in the political sphere hinges on the organizations overwhelming amount of donations to buy influence over the majority party. With less donations and falling stocks, their financial foothold may be beginning to weaken.
It's a promising start, but the efforts to mobilize and save lives aren't weakening.
@shannonrwatts @NRA Not enough!! #BANKRUPTTHOSESUCKERS— 🇺🇸🌿🕊🌿🌍 (@🇺🇸🌿🕊🌿🌍)1543461763.0
@shannonrwatts @NRA Good. We're not done until there is no NRA.— Marqizzle Fashizzle (@Marqizzle Fashizzle)1543461980.0
@shannonrwatts @NRA Gosh, I feel really bad for all those gun manufacturers and #NRAIsATerroristOrganization Oh w… https://t.co/Xx4x7j4Mlz— WhensDinner (@WhensDinner)1543449274.0
@shannonrwatts @NRA I simply can't contain the schadenfreude. But I will offer my thoughts and prayers to both the… https://t.co/MH92st34AN— Richard Flom (@Richard Flom)1543448905.0
Though the share values in the gun market may be dropping, it just might be possible that American values - like prioritizing self defense without fetishizing tools designed to kill - are on the rise.
After years of seeming insurmountable, this new momentum has many calling out the insidious relationship between the NRA and gun manufacturers.
@Pedro_VFP @CBCNews @FBI The NRA does not protect the constitution. It protects gun manufacturers. And, again, beli… https://t.co/WZsHkIqobk— Dave K (@Dave K)1543594088.0
@politvidchannel @NRA needs to reassess its position and shift focus to individual firearms sportsmen, rather than gun manufacturers— Phoenix Wright (@Phoenix Wright)1543595379.0
This is a perfect example of the NRA and weapon manufacturers in this country having too much leeway with the sales… https://t.co/KEdsmmcSM5— Gun Control (@Gun Control)1543292212.0
@NRA We are well-paid advocates for profit-maximizing gun manufacturers. We are sick and tired of people calling ou… https://t.co/xaApE6atC2— Donald Chandler (@Donald Chandler)1543550290.0
But possibly even more than an economic shift against the gun market, a more gradual ideological one seems to be collectively occurring as well.
As young people born post-Columbine begin to emerge as adults, the majority are calling for stricter gun control laws after growing up in a culture fraught with active shooter drills and news of mass murders at the hands of gunmen.
After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, students of the school quickly mobilized, using their platforms as survivors to bolster their platform and eventually catapulting them into the national spotlight as the newer, fresher faces of the gun control movement. Their activism led to a resurgence of faith in the voices of young people across the world.
@GetUp Parkland kids inspired the world.— Fact You Very Much (@Fact You Very Much)1543588623.0
Thank you Parkland kids. https://t.co/CEnLNuI5Mk— Nick Paleologos (@Nick Paleologos)1543539277.0
@TIME The Parkland Kids/ The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School #NeverAgain https://t.co/2meEgCvlwA— MJ Gannon-Maxwell (@MJ Gannon-Maxwell)1543402708.0
Though the National Rifle Association has long used fear, misinformation, and death to turn a profit, the tide may finally be turning.