The NRA evolved from backing a 1934 ban on machine guns to blocking nearly all firearm restrictions today.

By Robert Spitzer, The Conversation

The mass shootings at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, just 10 days apart, are stirring the now-familiar national debate over guns seen after the tragic 2012 and 2018 school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida.

Inevitably, if also understandably, many Americans are blaming the National Rifle Association for thwarting stronger gun laws that might have prevented these two recent tragedies and many others. And despite the proximity in time and location to the Texas shooting, the NRA is proceeding with its plans to hold its annual convention in Houston on May 27-29, 2022. The featured speakers include former President Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican.

Henry rifles are on exhibit at the 147th NRA annual meeting held at the Kay Bailey Hutchisons convention center.

After spending decades researching and writing about how and why the NRA came to hold such sway over national gun policies, I’ve seen this narrative take unexpected turns in the last few years that raise new questions about the organization’s reputation for invincibility.

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