Politico is out witha piece which explains why the National Roiflle Association has been able to keep American l;awmakers from limiting the sale and purchase of handguns, rifles and assault rifles even as people with those guns have been killing people , adults and children regularly….
It all comes down to something that is known to lawmakers across the nation….
Gun owners tend to be single issue voters….
Why does the NRA always win, despite the repeated national traumas, and despite poll after poll showing a majority in favor of stronger gun control measures? It’s not the money. It’s because the NRA has built a movement that has convinced its followers that gun ownership is a way of life, central to one’s freedom and safety, that must be defended on a daily basis.
The gun control majority gets worked up only in the days after public mass shootings, even though such events accounted for only 71 of the 38,658annual gun fatalities in 2016. Then the news coverage shifts, political prospects for action diminish, and the majority gravitates to other political matters while guns continue to take lives in suicides, domestic violence incidents, other crimes and accidents every day.
Since the progressive political prism views campaign cash as the scourge of democracy, gun control proponents are quick to blame NRA donations for why Congress seems immune to public opinion. In a powerful speech last week in Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Emma Gonzalez excoriated “politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this” and added, “To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you.”
But it’s a mistake to attribute the NRA’s success entirely to its campaign spending. The dollar amount was considerable in 2016: $54.4 million. But that money was not spent on the entire Congress. Thirty million went to Donald Trump, the rest mainly to six Republican Senate candidates in competitive races, five of whom won. For most members of Congress, the amount of money they get from the NRA is a tiny percentage of their overall hauls. If money were the only reason for their gun rights stances, Michael Bloomberg could offer to double whatever the NRA gives them and flip their votes.
To beat the NRA at its own game, the gun control movement needs to better understand how the NRA has built an army of single-issue voters…..