For those who continue to parrot talking points about how politicians are being “controlled by the NRA,” allow me to disabuse you of this uninformed, idiotic viewpoint.
First, it’s important to point out that the NRA [National Rifle Association] does not represent the gun industry; it represents gun owners. It does not lobby on behalf of the gun industry. In fact, it frequently acts to the detriment of the gun industry.
The organization that lobbies on behalf of the gun industry (i.e. gun manufacturers, accessories, trainers, etc) is the NSSF — not the NRA. [The NSSF is the National Shooting Sports Foundation.]
Here are a few facts to consider:
Total lobbying expenditures in 2018 by the NRA were just over 5 million dollars.
Total lobbying expenditures in 2018 by the NSSF were just under 4 million dollars.
Neither of these figures even breaks the top 50 in a list of biggest lobbying spenders in Congress.
As a matter of fact, the NRA would have to increase their lobbying budget by nearly 50% just to have a shot at 50th place. Meanwhile, nobody accuses the president of being “controlled by” Verizon, a company that spends double what the NRA does. Nobody accuses the president of “selling out” to FedEx, which spends three times (3X) what the NSSF does on lobbying. Not surprisingly, the lobbying group that represents the media outlets feeding you gullible people this narrative about the big, bad gun lobby that holds Congress hostage? It spends four times (4X) what the gun industry spends.
To really drive my point home, the National Association of Realtors spent nearly $65 million on lobbying, or thirteen times (13X) what the NRA spends, and nobody appears to have the slightest issue with that. But then they turn around and regurgitate a narrative describing how the NRA has “bought and paid for” its political influence.
The gun industry’s lobbying money doesn’t even count as lunch money in DC. If your favorite gun control bill isn’t being passed, it’s certainly not because the gun industry has “bought” any meaningful influence.
Neither by the NRA nor the NSSF.
By way of comparison, contrast the spending and influence of the gun industry with that of the insurance industry, and all of a sudden, it becomes very clear that the ACA [Affordable Care Act] was basically written by insurance companies to benefit themselves. The best the gun industry has ever been able to do is occasionally make proposed gun-control bills slightly less violative of Constitutionally protected rights.
A LIE REPEATED IS NOT TRUTH.
From the editor:
You can read up on Gun Rights vs. Gun Control spending on OpenSecrets.org.
Don’t like the NRA but want to fight gun control efforts? Check out the Firearms Policy Coalition.
But first, read this.
As far as the so-called “red flag laws” people are talking about, consider the fact that Connecticut had a red flag law prior to the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Even the ACLU says, “the categories of people that federal law currently prohibits from possessing or purchasing a gun are overbroad, not reasonably related to the state’s interest in public safety, and raise significant equal protection and due process concerns.”
And that’s before any executive orders creating what amounts to a Fairness Doctrine for the internet.
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t be taking mental illness into account in an effort to save lives — but throwing together some slapdash hopefully-it’ll-work legislation isn’t the answer. Not least because it’d could (and would) violate the rights of completely innocent people. And, like many gun-related laws already on the books, there are red flag measures already in place that probably wouldn’t work even if they were enforced properly.
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