In the wake of the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” has turned its sights on the National Rifle Association (NRA). On Thursday’s episode, Bee tracked the development of the NRA over the years from its origins to the more familiar institution we know today. “Full Frontal” correspondent Amy Hoggart also headed to Houston for the NRA’s annual convention, which took place just four days after the tragic event and just 300 miles away from Uvalde.
“It’s really happy inside,” one attendee said of the mood at the convention. “It’s kind of like a little party. It’s pretty sweet.”
When asked about the Uvalde shooting, another NRA convention attendee said that “everyone is extremely upset about the timing” and that it was “incredibly, incredibly awkward.” Noting that the shooting took place during an election week and right before the annual event, the attendee said the timing was “convenient” for “the left.”
“Back then, the NRA actually worked with the government to make sure guns were only used for things like hunting, sharp shooting and making Marty McFly do the moon walk,” Bee joked about the organization’s early years in the mid 1800s. She noted that throughout the 1920s and ’30s, the NRA actually helped draft state and federal laws enacting waiting periods, concealed carry permits and banning sales to people convicted or indicted for violent crimes.
The episode then explored how the NRA’s policies have changed over the years with certain factions growing more militant in response to prospective gun control legislation. Bee noted that new leadership instructed followers to oppose all forms of gun control in Washington and in the state capitals. As the NRA grew increasingly political beginning in the 1970s, it began to exert more influence in legal decision making across the country.
“Changes in campaign financing laws allowed the NRA to begin begin funneling money directly into the pockets of lawmakers and the NRA also led a pro-gun P.R. blitz to rewrite history,” she said.
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” airs Thursdays on TBS. Watch the NRA segment in the video above.