by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
One of the most transparent acts of cowardice in American politics is promising to “stand up to the NRA” and “gun lobby.” The “gun lobby” played a prominent role in Joe Biden’s mendacious gun-control speech last week, wherein the president continued to mythologize the power of the NRA, while depicting tens of millions of gun owners as dupes.
Bloomberg says “NRA Keeps Its Hold on US Politics, Despite School Shootings and Internal Strife.” The BBC wonders: “US gun control: What is the NRA and why is it so powerful?” In a Hill piece — laughably headlined, “NRA contributions underscore grip in GOP” — we learn that the Second Amendment advocacy group contributed “roughly $149,000 to Senate recipients in the 2020 cycle, with nearly all the funds going to Republicans, according to OpenSecrets.”
Let’s for a moment set aside the fact that anti-gun rhetoric used in major media and cultural outlets amounts to tens of billions of in-kind contributions to Democrats every year. From the years 2017-2022, Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer received $3,754,646 from investment firms and another $3,038,489 from law firms. Where are the articles about the “iron grip” lawyers and hedge funds have over the majority leader and his party? The “gun lobby” hardly even makes a blip on Mitch McConnell’s fundraising portfolio. McConnell’s political support for gun rights is probably predicated on the fact that nearly 55 percent of adults in his state reside in a household with a firearm. (And because gun owners aren’t exactly sharers, you should assume that number is higher.)
In 2016, the NRA, which some Democrats have branded a “domestic terrorist organization,” spent $54.4 million on outside spending. That fell to only $29.3 million during the 2020 election. Gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety spent $60 million in the 2020 election. To put that in perspective, $14 billion was dropped on the 2020 election. …