In Wake Of Uvalde School Shooting, Gun Rights Advocacy Groups Fill Void Left By NRA
On May 24 a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas killing 19 students, two teachers, and wounding 17 others. The horrific shooting has rekindled the decades-long debate in the United States between gun control and gun rights advocates. Within economically developed countries, the United States by far outnumbers other countries in terms of both gun ownership and gun deaths per capita. Among gun rights advocacy groups, however, the infighting and reputationally-damaged NRA has provided an opportunity for other organizations (many tax-exempt) to fill the void, according to reporting from The Washington Post. The National Association for Gun Rights, a 501(c)4 group that often criticizes the NRA for being too compromising, saw revenue increase to $15 million, up from $6 million in 2019. Other gun rights groups have seen similar increases in revenue and capacity.
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Rough Transcript:[00:00:00] George: This week on the nonprofit news feed we have got in the wake of the Uvalde, the school shooting information about how gun rights advocacy is actually increasing for some nonprofits and a number of other summary articles. Following coming after, uh, this Memorial day weekend, NEC. [00:00:21] Nick: It’s going good, George. We have a lot to cover this week. Of course, the first story we’re going to talk about is. Uh, around what happened in your Uvalde and better conversations about gun rights and gun control advocacy groups. So last week on May 24th government opened fire the Robb elementary school in , Texas killing 19 students to teachers. [00:00:46] And wounding 17 others. And this terrific shooting has rekindled a decades long debate in the United States between gun control and gun rights advocates. Uh, now within economically developed countries, the United States by far outnumbers others in terms of both gun ownership and gun deaths per capita. [00:01:06] Um, but along the debate about how to solve. You have gun rights, advocacy groups on one side and gun control advocacy groups on the other. Uh, we wanted to highlight an article from the Washington post, which is talking about a little bit of the landscape change on the side of the gun rights advocacy groups. [00:01:30] We’ve talked about those on this podcast before how the NRA has suffered from lots of infighting and legal challenges. As a whole has seen its reputation damage quite significantly over the past couple of years. Um, but as the Washington post points out, a lot of other tax exempt organizations now seem to be filling the void, um, and potentially taking the lead on the gun rights. [00:01:59] Side of the issue here. The national association for gun rights is a 5 0 1 C4 group that often criticizes the NRA for being too compromising saw revenue increase to 15 million up from just 6 million in 2019 on the article sites that lots of other gun rights groups have seen similar increases in revenue and capacity. [00:02:25] So the takeaway here is that what was. Very consolidated. Uh, landscape in terms of advocacy with one go-to group is now splintering and other groups are taking the place, uh, and serving the role once filled by the NRA. But George, this comes as the NRA held its annual conference in Texas, just three days after the shooting. [00:02:51] Um, this conference was on last Friday and it’s a fraught moment in the United States. And, um, You know, personally, I think that that gun control and gun safety needs to be acted upon and legislative upon. And unfortunately that were happened, but interesting, nonetheless, to see the landscape on the gun rights side, change in pretty significant. [00:03:12] George: Yeah, it’s sort of inevitable the thought that tamping down the NRAS ability to sort of fundraise and operate effectively to assume that that would stop. The progress of guns in this country. And it’s unbelievable power in terms of putting money into politics is, is errand, right? It is. It’s sort of targeting your energy at the, the wrong enemy because like a hydro, when you cut off its head to more show up in its place, inevitably the source of the money is not going away. [00:03:51] The amount of guns purchased after an event like this inevitably increases, and that simply puts more money in the hands of manufacturers, which then finds its way inevitably into any functioning non-profit willing to carry the flag of, of gun rights over human. And so, you know, in a moment like this, there’s a, you know, a rare opportunity to get the country’s attention and to focus on something. [00:04:18] I am having a hard time finding faith in Congress that immediately chose the bold action of going on vacation and leadership that has just polar polar views. Interesting narratives that I’ve seen coming out here are, is around the fact that we actually had a ban on assault. Right. Had a band. And if you look at the number of mass shootings prior to 2004, when it went out of the fact where he was put into place in 1994, by president than bill Clinton, the number of mass shootings go up. [00:04:52] The question that is just hard to reconcile is why, you know, 18 year olds or frankly anyone needs access to high capacity, uh, firearms, if not to kill it. It makes zero sense other than to line the pockets of [00:05:08] these manufacturers under this like misconceived notion of the right to bear arms and it’s absurd extent, you know, why, why draw the line of dissolves? Shouldn’t we all have, uh, you know, explosives, why am I put on Dara’s watchlist? If I buy a extreme amounts of. It’s because you have intent to do harm to large amounts of people. [00:05:32] There are potential solutions being talked about that that could work. And you mentioned the sort of larger fact of how America has more guns than other countries. You said, uh, a lot more though, you know, and I think it’s important to note that our, our guns, our guns per a hundred people are 120 guns per people. [00:05:52] The next closest is Candace at 34 guns for people. You know that there are more guns than there are people here. Um, and somehow we continue to purchase more. And then that inevitably leads to gun murders per a hundred thousand, which is 30 times worse than Australia’s. And a number of times worse than Canada’s we’re at 3.4 deaths per and Canada is at 0.6. [00:06:14] So, you know, I think what needs to happen differently this time than the last time we had a tragedy. This magnitude, which was Sally and, you know, Sandy hook, December of 2012 is a reasonable step forward. It’s easy to respond extreme to extreme, but I think you, what I’m saying, you, I think. Progressive legislators advocates. [00:06:43] Non-profits people speaking to this need to couch, the anger and rage and focus on small wins, which feels just painful to say, but small wins and steps toward reasonable controls on. Anywhere that you can gain this, and I’m not going to list the number of policies out there, but there are areas where Americans all can agree and should agree. [00:07:08] So I think I’m, I’m being a sort of moderate in my expectation, uh, and also analyzing some Google trends and seeing. That so far, we actually haven’t hit the overall searches search volume that we saw about a decade ago. Um, in 2013, far from it, in terms of Google trends, searches for gun control as a topic. [00:07:30] So I haven’t seen it take off as high as it probably needs to, to actually move the needle. And again, Congress going on a brave vacation. During this time, uh, is going to slow any potential policy. So the question is for, for how long can the state in the media narrative and hopefully not get taken over also by a counter narrative, which is going to be incredibly attractive to take, which is why the sheriff overseeing this, uh, this, this tragedy chose to wait for. [00:08:06] Over 15 minutes to take action. And that’s, that’s not the point. The point is there’s an 18 year old who needed medical help and instead he got help from a local gun store. [00:08:17] Nick: I definitely agree with you. I think to your point for too long folks on the side of the policy debate about wanting stricter gun control have propped up the NRA as this kind of buggy man. But the truth of the matter is. Is ideological divide in this country. And there are a lot of people who repeatedly vote in candidates who are. [00:08:45] Pro gun. And that, that ideological messaging on the right is, is extreme. And I think it’s beyond just money and lobbyist. It’s a genuine ideological, perhaps demagogues, but it’s an ideological difference. And I think that for folks who are looking for solutions need to understand that it’s not just countering dark money and politics, it’s actually. [00:09:09] Changing minds and having those debates and meeting people where they’re at to your point about small wins. Um, but something, something we’ll continue to watch. And unfortunately I’m not super hopeful as well, but that being said, um, you have to try and, and we’ll keep trying. And this year we have a chance to try again. [00:09:33] So, uh, something, a story and a narrative will continue to be. [00:09:37] All right, shifting gears a little bit. I can take us into the summary. This one comes from NBC in Chicago, and it’s about a nonprofit beginning to track anti Asian hate crimes in the Midwest. So over the course of the pandemic, uh, organizations that track statistics of, um, Uh, hate crimes against Asian Americans have seen in over 300% increase. [00:10:03] And this particular organization that Asian American foundation is setting up a program to track hate crimes and AAPI violence while providing legal and other support to victims. Um, To build trust, um, and break down barriers with communities, particularly immigrant communities or non native English speaking communities, um, to, to help these folks feel supported in a time where unfortunately, they’re seeing a surge in violence against them. [00:10:33] And I live in New York and there’s been really tragically high profile, um, hate crimes against. Asian folks in the New York city area. So there’s just something that’s, that’s very close to us. And I know a lot of here, all of us here at Holwell. So, um, just awesome. Worked from a nonprofit, stepping up to fill that dough, that void when it comes to data and reporting, and that is hugely important when it comes to creating policy decisions and other sorts of interventions to address such violence. [00:11:05] George: Yeah, I think it’s important that. Sir, not the qualitative, but the quantitative on this one, trying to document and get the data of what’s going on. So you can really understand the scope of the problem. There’s one thing to say, one-off events and like it’s easy then for the public to say, oh yeah, but that’s just like one lone actor as opposed to the larger incidents going up. [00:11:28] So yeah, I like this. [00:11:30] Nick: Okay. All right. Our next story is interesting one, and this comes from the Chronicle of falling anthropy and it talks about how the buffets, um, have stopped funding programs that support women and girls, particularly in the United States. So this article talks about, um, the foundation, um, the, the Novo foundation. [00:11:55] Uh, quote unquote stunned the nonprofit world by announced thing at the height of the pandemic, that it was halting funding for critical programs, focused on women and girls. And the article goes on to talk with some of the, uh, uh, grant recipient organizations that have been on the receipt had been on the receiving end of such funding, seeing it suddenly dry off. [00:12:17] And, uh, the, the, the TLDR of this article is. When it comes to corporate philanthropy, single similarly split second decisions can have really lasting and unfortunate ramifications. And, uh, the article kind of goes on to talk about the need for organizations to diversify funding, which is of course easier said than done. [00:12:40] Um, but George, what’s your take on this? [00:12:42] George: No, we covered the Nova foundation out and shift, and this is just the second order or logical next order effect of that, where, you know, the Nova foundation accounted for or reported 96% of funding for that type of work. And it’s. It’s it’s unfortunate because it does then a cliff and raises questions about, you know, was this? [00:13:04] you know, especially if they’re trying to turn long-term impact, it’s hard to do when your funding can drive overnight. [00:13:09] So, you know, we’ll call for much more responsible philanthropy and just, just a warning for anyone who’s funding relies heavily 70%, 50% more on one story. [00:13:19] Nick: All right. Our next story comes from nine news.com K USA. And it’s about Coloradans being asked to take a water conservation pledge. This is kind of a cool one. It’s called the water 22 pledge, and it includes 22 ways for every Coloradan to save 22 gallons of water every day. And according to this nifty infographic, um, Each Colorado and saves 22 gallons per day. [00:13:49] That’s 8,000 gallons per year, or approximately 48 billion gallons per year for the statewide. So, uh, this of course addressing the, some, uh, climate concerns around, uh, drought and lack of, uh, clean water, um, and, and really, really dangerously low water levels out there. Um, so, uh, I love it. I love this, this kind of educational approach to addressing environmental impacts. [00:14:19] And of course it takes much more than that, but the fact that this is just one kind of component of that I think is really cool and something we’re going to need a hell of a lot more of as we start and continue to tackle the climate crisis. [00:14:33] George: Yeah. I like stories like these sort of, non-profits stepping up for water crises, which are absolutely going to happen across the west Midwest. This. Based on what they’re reporting. I think those, those points are incredibly important, but the practical environmental scientist. That I once potentially wanted to be in, in college, uh, has to also point to the fact that in terms of water consumption, agricultural water use is 89% of Colorado state wide usage. [00:15:07] So, you know, the, the individuals, you know, cutting back certainly helps, but I think there’s also a lot of room for improved farming practices and, uh, smart irrigation systems that can save quite a bit more if we’re just being. Logical about it. So, you know, I, I see stories like this. I’m excited about citizens getting in there, but I hope it doesn’t stop there. [00:15:28] And also, you know, allocates for more intelligent, more intelligent ways to save. [00:15:33] Nick: Absolutely. Our next story is from CNBC and it says the tax breaks. Aren’t the prime reason for high net worth philanthropy or. So the study conducted by BNI, BNY Mellon wealth management asserts that in fact, tax benefits are not the primary reason that people donate to charity, um, including, um, hyper wealthy people. [00:16:03] Um, and the top reasons for charitable giving include they’re donated to a special cause they wanted to see impact they, or they want to give back or increase their legacy. Um, so. Maybe the folks who are a little bit too cynical about, uh, charitable giving. So take a look at this and, and of course, you know, there’s exceptions well, um, but it restores your faith a little bit, and it talks about interestingly and perhaps more importantly trends amongst younger people, millennials and gen Z while still building up. [00:16:37] For, as you talk a lot about the greatest wealth transfer in history is about to come our way, um, increasing trends in terms of young people, uh, donating and caring about, uh, social. [00:16:49] George: Yeah, quoting here. The younger generations are more charitably inclined and they care more about impact and nearly three quarters of high net worth millennials and eight and 10. Gen X-ers investors have a charitable giving strategy according to this report. And I think it’s important to note that the, the rising generation and the rising generation of frankly, a million multi-millionaires seem to have that type of lens and probably parked under the effective philanthropy, uh, effective philanthropy, effective altruist type of mantra, where they, you know, the care of where the dollars go in terms of trackable impact into causes and issues that serve a greater. [00:17:28] Systemic solution. I would say, uh, also, you know, notably people like, um, one of the youngest, uh, new billionaires out there in crypto sandbank, then freed is also said to be making money so that he can spend money aggressively, uh, in, um, in his work. And it’s a good trend to be aware of as some, you know, one large donor can, can make a, quite, quite a difference, especially as how. [00:17:57] Craft your, your narratives and communications to your general audience, because inevitably there are probably a power law dynamic of 1% of that audience has 99% of the wealth. [00:18:08] Nick: Definitely that’s a great analysis and something, I guess we’ll see, play out over time, but toward time out, I feel good story to finish. [00:18:18] George: Um, [00:18:19] Nick: All right. This comes from KTH news.com, Kilian daily Herald, and it’s about a nonprofit keeping them Memorial day, traditional Latifah playing taps. The Mecca Ts multi educational cross-cultural arts of central Texas is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and spreading the awareness of cultural music and dance gathered to play taps. [00:18:46] Veterans grades and honor of their service and sacrifice this Memorial day. And it talks about Mecca Tech’s leader and retired us army criminal, Daniel , who was 90, who began this year’s remembrance at the grave of his friend. Um, another former board member of this nonprofit retired Sergeant first class Jose land does. [00:19:07] So, uh, music can be an important and valuable way to serve. That part of our life journey and, uh, recognizing, um, friends fallen and war celebrating life morning life and just overall expression. Um, he’s like, it’s really important to me and I know to a lot of other people, and this is great to see a nonprofit, uh, using it to pay their respects this Memorial day. [00:19:38] George: Beautiful way to remember people that have given the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms that we enjoy. And so yes, to, to the veterans and to the people that are remembering Memorial day, uh, it’s much appreciated and like to see non-profits involved in, in keeping these types of traditions alive. Thanks, Nick. [00:19:59] Nick: Thanks, George.