It’s not the NRA…it’s the People
One of the main talking points of gun control advocates, of whom the two most talked about Democratic hopefuls are vivid examples, is that the only reason the US hasn’t passed more “reasonable” gun control legislation is due to the overwhelming influence of the NRA. President Obama has decried the NRA’s “tight ‘grip’ on Congress.” In my discussions with those who favor more and greater gun control, I’ve noticed a tendency to characterize the NRA (indeed, the entirety of the gun culture) as a sort of monlolithic machine, devoid of anything approximating compassion and common sense, that is willing to sacrifice children on some sort of altar the the second amendment. Usually, at least in my experience, these folks make the NRA synonymous with the entirety of pro-gun people and organizations. That it’s false seems to be largely beside the point.
One of the best blog posts I’ve read on this recently comes from the Geeky Leftist blog. The author,Anarcho-Cynicalist, is a person with whom I disagree on a lot. It’s significant, at least to me, that he does a pretty good job of dismantling the whole “the NRA has bought Congress, leading it to defy the will of 90% of Americans” argument. A few quotes are in order.
“…the NRA doesn’t have that much money. What it has is the support of a very large section of the voters. Many gun owners aren’t members of the NRA. I’m not. Many more members got their membership because it’s packaged free with most new gun sales. But we’re voters who care about much the same things that the NRA cares about.”
“Politicians, pundits, talk show hosts, comedians, and rank and file democrats attack “The NRA”, claiming that its lobbying and money prevents Congress from “making progress” on banning guns. But as a lobby, the NRA is a fricking joke in terms of DC money.”
‘Gun industry’s *monetary* influence on politics is negligible. But the truth, and the thing that drives anti-gunners into a furious and impotent rage, is the fact that it’s individual voters by the millions who drive gun policy. It’s phone calls and emails and letters to politicians, it’s election time volunteering and voting. And gun owners do it better than gun opponents. And they hate us for it.’
Ulitmately, he goes so far as to suggest gun control is the only issue that could cost Democrats control of the White House. He notes
“this is the only thing that could cause the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, not just in 2016 but in 2018 and possibly even 2020. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, even Bernie Sanders are attacking firearms ownership. Democrats have, or had, a significant advantage in the electoral college. Few things could shake that advantage, but this is one of them. It’s not because gun owners are “single issue” voters, but because many of us don’t support being lied to and lied about. If you have Hillary Clinton running on an anti-gun platform (she should talk to her husband about how the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban cost the Democrats control of the House) against a Republican, she loses Ohio, Florida, Virginia, probably Pennsylvania, and almost certainly the Presidency.”
While I disagree with the word “only,” I do think it has the potential to ensure the Democrats lose. Allow me to suggest we should be so lucky.
There’s more at the link. I highly recommend reading it.
“Here is the reality: Congress, imperfectly at times, generally reflects the will of the people. You, fellow denizens of the Acela corridor whose familiarity with guns is limited to TV and movies, are not representative of the rest of the country. The country doesn’t want to take the most commonly suggested actions proposed to prevent mass shootings, and with good reason.”
This one, too, I recommend reading. You can do so, here.