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The Dayton and El Paso killings reach a fragile NRA

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During Donald Trump's speech at the NRA's annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 26. SETH HERALD / AFP

As after each of the mass killings that regularly bereaved the United States, the tragedies of El Paso and Dayton revived calls for greater control over access. to firearms. They also reiterated questions about the deterrent power of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The powerful lobby has been able in the past few years to frustrate any attempt at regulation, defending a laxness that makes the United States both the country the most Armed with the world but also the champion of gun homicides and suicides. With the election of Donald Trump, backed up in 2016 by up to $ 30 million, the NRA seemed to be at the helm of his power.

The arrival at the White House of this unconditional supporter has nevertheless coincided with an unprecedented crisis. She appeared in broad daylight at her annual convention in April, marked by the ousting of her president, Oliver North, after the charges against the powerful executive director of the lobby, Wayne LaPierre, implicated for a lifestyle and spending sumptuary judgments.

The arrival at the White House of Donald Trump, a supporter of the NRA, coincided with an unprecedented crisis

An important cog, Chris Cox, head of Congressional Relations, was also swept away by the storm. The management of the organization is now at loggerheads drawn with the communication agency which helped to establish the image in the American opinion of what was not Originally an association of hunters. One of the agency's top executives, Angus McQueen, who had campaigned for the creation of a television channel, was honored for his punchy pleas. , died in July as a result of lung cancer.

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This crisis has highlighted the financial difficulties of the NRA, which has accumulated losses for three years and sees its ranks diminish. This disarray is paradoxically due in large part to the belief that the current president is the best bulwark of the second amendment to the Constitution on the right to own a firearm, pushed in this direction by his two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. The NRA seemed indispensable during the two mandates of the Democrat Barack Obama, who did not deny his criticism against her. This is no longer the case.

The National Rifle Association is also weakened by the accumulation of mass shootings. In the aftermath of the Dayton Massacre (9 dead), two of the Republicans from Ohio that she had actively supported in the 2018 elections, Governor Mike DeWine and Rep. Mike Turner, have publicly supported management measures she is fighting, such as the verification of the buyers' past, a proposal yet supported by a crushing majority of the American population. Including those who hold a firearm.