NRA Influence… it’s not the money

By | February 23, 2018

“The NRA is not successful because of its money. To be sure, it is hard to be a force in American politics without money. The NRA has money that it uses to help its favored candidates get elected. But the real source of its power, I believe, comes from voters,” said Adam Winkler, professor of constitutional law at the UCLA School of Law and author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.

Compare the spending for gun rights to the spending for gun control in 2017.


During the last election, spending was, obviously, much higher. But still 2nd Amendment efforts were far out-spent by gun control supporters. But while the NRA is the largest voice for 2nd Amendment rights, less than 20% of the approximately 100 million American gun owners are NRA members. And that is what Congress pays attention to – votes. The total spending by the NRA from 1998 to present totals less than $203 million, a paltry sum compared to the other lobbying efforts. They don’t even make it into the top 50 lobbying organizations.

Demonizing the NRA fails to address any of the causes of gun violence in the U.S. We have far fewer guns today than 30 years ago, yet we suffer under a gun violence epidemic. Clearly gun control does not have the answer, as is so eloquently demonstrated by Chicago’s terrible murder rate in spite of draconian gun laws – or perhaps because of those draconian gun laws. We have a culture problem, not a gun problem.

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