Why the Gun Lobby Usually Wins

April 18, 2007 at 3:34 am 8 comments

Even after the deaths of more than 30 people at Virginia Tech, it is still unlikely that gun control legislation will be passed in Congress or state legislatures. Why? The NRA.

The NRA is the most powerful special interests group in the country. You probably remember the quote from Charleston Heston, a key NRA spokesperson, in which he said, “You will have to pry my gun from my cold, dead hands!” The NRA has been masterful at manipulating language and at building a grassroots constituency that is obsessively focused on only one issue: what it sees as the right to bearing any arms whatsoever without an kind of measures design to prevent needless deaths and injuries caused by gun violenece.

The NRA will fight for your right to own an AK-47 assault rifle, to carry concealed weapons will shopping at the market and to purchase guns at gun shows with little or no background check. Of course, its usually framed as protecting the second amendment, though I doubt that the auothor’s of the Constitution had AK-47s in mind when they talk about the right to bear arms.

This graphic shows that the NRA as spokes quote fluently the language of politics: money.


From the Politico:

At its towering headquarters in Fairfax, the NRA was also bracing for a potential showdown. Staff members were in strategy meetings most of the day, and NRA state representatives were instructed not to speak publicly. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families,” the organization said in a public statement Monday. The NRA declined to provide comment for this report.

Much of the infrastructure the organization needs for a legislative showdown was built years ago and has been maintained since. Between 1997 and 2006, the NRA spent nearly $16 million on outside lobbying shops that worked alongside its five full-time lobbyists.

Between 1990 and 2006, the organization doled out another $16 million in campaign contributions, of which 83 percent went to Republicans. The organization has also invested millions in campaign television and billboard advertising, and delivery of its 15 million-strong direct-mail voter scorecard can move the polls in House races overnight.

Its membership stands at about 3.8 million, down about 200,000 from 2004. But the relatively small rank and file can have outsized political impact because their members vote at a higher rate — 95 percent — than the overall electorate.


Entry filed under: Congress, Conservatives, Democrats, Politics, Uncategorized.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Matt Rupert  |  April 18, 2007 at 8:27 am

    Just remember, freedoms, when the are taken away, are ALWAYS taken away in the name of public safety.

    I am confused that anyone who despises the Patriot Act can also favor outlawing gun ownership.

  • 2. bloggernista  |  April 18, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Matt, at what point did I suggest outlawing gun onwership? Yeah, I definitely think that there should be strong gun control laws including background checks, strict controls on gun shows, and a ban on assault weapons.

    Why do YOU anyone should have access to any gun that they might want for whatever reason?

  • 3. Fred44  |  April 18, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Wow. The brief interchange between Matt & Blogernista says it all. The NRA hype is that their “opposition” wants to outlaw guns. Rational bans on assuault weapons, background checks, waiting periods, good record keeping, etc. hardly seem to violate anyone’s Consitutional rights. The NRA is like most right leaning groups….including the Republican Party these days….scare people.

  • 4. Coyote  |  April 19, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    The issue here is:
    Guns kill people who shoot them.
    Whether your good or evil, if you own a gun and you carry a gun and you shoot it, chances are your more likely to be killed or injured by a gun. Hasn’t anyone seen The Departed??
    I’m pretty sure most of you have!

    The bigger problem that is facing America is its addiction to speed and violence. Today we are living through a constantly accelerating pace of culture. A culture that is fueled by images and information that can be delivered through many different channels of varying speeds and levels of clarity and communication. The key to solving problems like what has happened most recently at Virginia Tech is putting a greater emphasis on social responsibility in our day to day consumption of entertainment media and advertising. Violent outbursts like V.T. have been ongoing during the last 40 years or so at a steadily increasing rate in highschools, college campuses, office buildings and on street corners both in the suburbs and big cities. Most of the readers of this blog are connected with the ad/marketing/media industries so why not ask yourselves, is there a better more human way to create and distribute effective non-violent messages to people? Why are we so enamered with violence today? Most people I know aren’t genuinely angry, they just choose to buy into violence and extreme Points of View as a way to distract themselves from what they are really feeling. I believe most people are genuinely passive, loving, caring and nurturing human beings who have been persuaded away from their natural insincts of behavior for one reason or another. Its time to embrace a change and a new direction for American culture. No more senseless war, famine and destruction! More Hope, Opportunity and Education that will break down stereotypes, fears and the insecurities that we all share as we live through our lives today! So put away your guns, your bullets, your bombs and go hug someone you love or wish you could love because that is what didn’t happen to Cho Seung-Hui. He chose to embrace violence in place of love and humility.

  • 5. Dave  |  July 19, 2007 at 6:55 am

    * No matter what you think the 2nd Amendment means, you know that “assault weapons” are necessary for “a well regulated militia.”
    * Gun registration makes a nice list for the tyrant to pick from when he wants to disarm the opposition. It’s been done before and it WILL be done again (hopefully no one tries that for 1000 years, but it could be 2 years, you never know).

    This is why you liberals all think the NRA is crazy. Because the NRA looks at history, sees gun confiscation in tyrannical regimes of the past and knows that history will repeat itself.

    And never forget Thomas Jefferson: “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
    — Thomas Jefferson -Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov. 13, 1787

  • 6. CHris  |  January 10, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I have a NRA life member sticker on my truck….

    try to take it off. I dont believe in killing , but , I have the ability to defend my family. Why should the criminals be the only ones with guns? Look at all the cities that outlaw their citizens to have guns… and you WILL see that the crime rate goes up! Simply, cause if I was a thief, guess where Im going….. GET IT??? ITS SiMPLE>


  • 7. CHris  |  January 10, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    OHHH yeah,,, dont EVER say anything bad about Charlton Heston, he was a better man then Anyone who will EVER visit this site.That includes the webmaster.

    Republicans Rule!!!

  • 8. Lawful123  |  January 31, 2009 at 4:13 am

    And never forget Thomas Jefferson: “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
    – Thomas Jefferson -Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov. 13, 1787

    This is why the second amendment was written. So it’s people can bear arms to defend themselves from the government. why restrict what arms can be had? Back when the constitution was written everyone had black power guns, The government and the people. Now its clear the the government has allot of arms the people cannot have. So if the people had to rise up against a tyrannical government they would be vastly out gunned. Is this fair?


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