Hallie Lauer | Layout Editor
On average, seven children are killed a day in some gun related incident, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The issue of gun violence in America will be addressed at an upcoming film viewing hosted by Duquesne’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.
The film “Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA” will be shown Wednesday, Jan 18 in 105 College Hall at 7 p.m., the first film in the department’s annual Human Rights Film Series.
This year’s theme, “For the Sake of Humanity,” will bring films about Syrian refugees, homeless teenagers and migrant workers in California.
“Our purpose is to raise awareness within the Duquesne community and the larger Pittsburgh area of human rights issues, and to get the attendees thinking about potential solutions to the problems,” said Mark Frisch, associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and a member of the film series committee.
All of the films except “Making A Killing” are accompanied by an expert speaker that leads a question-and-answer session.
The movie by Brave New Films, a non-profit organization, features stories from people who have been personally affected by gun violence. The film also looks into unintentional shootings, domestic violence, suicides, mass shootings and gun trafficking.
“For several years, we had been searching for a good film on gun rights and gun control to present at our series, because we see it as a serious human rights issue confronting our country,” Frisch said. “This film highlights the link between the present leadership of the NRA and the organization’s financial support by the gun manufacturers who want to maximize their profits by not limiting gun sales in any way.”
The NRA was founded in 1871. According to Colonel William C. Church, one of the original founders, the NRA was developed with the goal to promote and “encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.”
According to BBC News, the NRA’s political presence did not begin until the 1930’s when different firearm bills were being enacted.
Today, according to BBC News, the NRA has a budget of about $250 million a year. It is also said that about $3 million of that goes into influencing gun policies in Congress.
Much of the current dispute over gun rights comes from whether or not a person should be required to have a background check before being able to purchase a firearm.
According to Amy Campbell, a banquet chairperson at Tri-County Friends of the NRA, which covers Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties, “If you’ve never gone through [a background check] you cannot [legally] get a firearm in the state of Pennsylvania.”
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a system that allows cashiers who are selling firearms to check and see if the buyer has a criminal record or is otherwise ineligible to purchase a firearm. This does not apply to interstate trade between private parties however.
“It’s about freedom of choice,” Campbell said. “Without the Second Amendment, you will not have the Constitution.”