March for Our Lives on Instagram
March for Our Lives on Instagram

US teenagers are taking on a powerful lobbying group

The NRA has a lot of influence in US politics, but could the Parkland kids overpower it?

Marches took place across the US and around the world on Saturday to demand tougher gun laws after a mass shooting in February killed 17 at a school in Parkland, Florida.

What it means: In the days that followed the Parkland shooting, student survivors quickly joined together to form the #neveragain movement. They've become nationally and internationally recognised for speaking out against gun violence demanding tougher regulation on who can buy a gun, and what types of guns they can own. On Saturday hundreds of thousands of people in 800 places around the world joined the March for Our Lives.

Pretty impressive kids right? It's even more impressive when you consider what they're up against: The National Rifle Association (the NRA) is a huge organisation with 5 million members – changing the law would piss off 5 million people + and no government wants to do that.

The NRA has huge financial power: it can run huge advertising campaigns and its donations to political campaigns are well-documented. It's what's called political lobbying, businesses or organisations use their financial strength to make sure politicians vote in their interests. Politicians want them on side.

The Parkland kids' campaign has captured a national mood in the US, and gun control is firmly on the agenda. The next obvious step for these kids is to make sure new politicians are voted in who will support their campaign and vote for gun reform, but it's not an easy fight.

Learn more how businesses and organisations can influence government

Read this very good explainer on the NRA (Teen Vogue)

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