Think The NRA Throws So Much Money Around? Think Again.

              The mail today included a new and interesting messaging resource for the gun debate, namely, a printed newsletter, The Brady Report, published by our friends at the Brady Campaign. It’s a glossy, four-page document containing brief stories about how the Brady organization is coming down hard on Gun-nut Nation as we gear up for next year’s national campaign. 

              I get almost daily mailings from the NRA, along with a clothing catalog and requests for money from Wayne-o who seems to think that the stink which came out of the stories about his financial flim-flams are a thing of the past. But this is the first time I have ever received a printed communication from the good guys on the other side.

              What caught my eye about the Brady newsletter, however, was a comment from Kris Brown, the President of Brady, who said this: “the gun industry has been making massive donations to their political defenders, making it nearly impossible to pass sensible, lifesaving measures or even to hold manufacturers accountable and put unscrupulous dealers out of business.”

              I’ve been hearing about these ‘massive donations’ made by the gun industry to their political friends for lo, these many years. With all due respect to our friends at Brady and in particular to a dedicated and committed activist like Kris Brown, I’m just not sure this so-called ‘massive’ financial support for pro-gun members of Congress is really all that massive or makes all that much difference at all.

              In 2018, the average cost of a Congressional campaign was $1.5 million for a House seat, more than $5 million for a statewide race. According to Open Secrets, the NRA gave a total of just under $700,000  to all GOP Congressional candidates, which means that, on average, each member of the red team got $2,500 bucks. That’s less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the money needed to run a Congressional campaign. Some of the key GOP leadership in both houses got more – Cruz (R-TX) gets $9,900, Scalise (R-LA) gets $5,450, but most of the spear-carriers are given a whole, big two grand for their campaigns.

              As for the gun manufacturers themselves, companies like Smith & Wesson, Glock and Sig don’t have a PAC.  In fact, even though they benefit from the lobbying done on their behalf by the NRA, in the greater scheme of things they don’t give zilch. The NRA‘s lobbying arm, NRA-ILA, gets its money from the same nickel-and-dime donations the NRA receives from its four million or five million or whatever number of members the organization claims to have.

              Let me make one point very clear, okay?  If the NRA were to close down tomorrow it would make no difference to me.  In fact, they would probably first try to sell off all their nice embossed polo shirts and I’d jump at the opportunity to buy a couple of their shirts at half price. But the argument they make about being the ‘first line of defense’ for the 2nd Amendment has about as much reality behind it as the argument made by Brady and other gun-control groups who claim they are the ‘last line of defense’ against the all-powerful NRA.

              The reason most red-state politicians vote pro-gun is because they represent constituents for whom owning a gun is no different than owning any other basic consumer item found around the house. The average gun owner who walks into my gun shop to buy another gun puts about as much psychic concern into that decision as he puts into deciding which lottery ticket to buy when he stops at the mini-mart for coffee on his way to work.

              Until and unless the gun-control movement confronts the fact that gun nuts don’t think of their guns as ‘weapons of war,’ or ‘threats to public health’ or any other fearsome sobriquet used to describe what is, to them,  just another adult toy, there won’t be the slightest chance that the gun industry will actually have to start putting its money where its mouth is to continue keeping America awash in gun.

11 thoughts on “Think The NRA Throws So Much Money Around? Think Again.

  1. The anti-gunners are at least as dishonest as the the more strident pro gun folks as far as politics is concerned (not to mention that comment about we evil folks with our weapons of war). Here in New Mexico, we heard all the shrieks out of the gun control folks about how the evil NRA was coming into NM to block all those common sense laws. Fact is, Mike Bloomberg alone outspent the NRA by a huge margin last time around, spending around 2500 apiece for most of our key Democrats in the state house. The armies of Moms Demanding faced down the NRA’s lobbyist like the Indians faced down Custer at Little Big Horn.

    And since the GOP has made itself irrelevant in New Mexico by staking out positions to the right of Atilla the Hun, there just ain’t too many GOP legislators worth spending bucks on since they can’t do much anyway. So instead of going after the GOP, the Dems are going after centrist and conservative Democrats.


      • Lol….

        “The average gun owner who walks into my gun shop to buy another gun….”


        Does your shop even sell guns?

        (Because…From the Pics and Reviews, the place looks to be a tiny Dump of a house, with NO GUNS to speak of.)

        “Mike the Gun Guy” is about as much of a ‘Gun Guy’ as Rachael Dolezal is Black!!”
        -Colion Nior

  2. Gosh dang-it Mike, you’re sure in the black with this post! The GVP community does not understand their (supposed) adversary, i.e., we gun nuts. And I’ve found, over many years dealing with them, it’s not in their DNA to learn such lessons.

  3. According to the Violence Policy Center, the NRA gets somewhere between 3% to 9% for their funds from the gun industry. In effect, not all that much.

  4. And when Bloomberg targets a race or a ballot initiative he outspends the NRA, often in orders of magnitude…..and he more often or not loses. I won’t say political money is irrelevant, but I will say that the people who are making noise about it really over-estimate it’s impact.

    You simply can’t buy an election.

      • But those politicians are still beholden to their voters, So politicians like Chuck Schumer will still be drafting anti-gun bills is Michael Bloomberg decided to start spending his wealth on a Mars Colony rather than worry about what people of Earth do, and when (not if) the NRA collapses and is no longer around to contribute to campaigns people like Ted Cruz will still be pushing for pro 2A causes. Neither of them necessarily because they BELIEVE in the cause, but because their constituents believe in it.

        See also why Beto got beaten like a drum when he ran against Cruz, despite having SCADS of money from various national sources. New York and California paid Beto a lot of money to beat Cruz….but only the people of Texas got a say on who won that race.

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