When the Obama administration announced plans to halt the domestic sale of most elephant ivory, the National Rifle Association urged its members to mobilize against the ban.
While the NRA said it agreed with the goal of ending endangered elephant poaching, it warned that something far more important was at stake: “This is another attempt by this anti-gun administration to ban firearms,” the organization asserted in an alert.
When it comes to defending gun rights, no issue is seemingly too obscure for the NRA — not even the ivory trade. Amid the high-profile epic battles, including the recent clashes following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, there have been smaller, under-the-radar ones, too — often appearing to touch only tangentially on actual guns.
Indeed, the NRA doesn’t pick its battles: It fights every single one, according to Professor Robert Spitzer, a political scientist at the State University of New York in Cortland and author of “The Politics of Gun Control.”
“Part of their political strategy is to look for any issue, any time, any place, any moment where they can exert some political pressure,” Spitzer said, “because the larger strategy is to be aggressive and always be on the offensive.”