Wednesday, February 15, 2023

When all you know is the talking points....

Any time someone starts shouting about the NRA buying people off, or shilling for the gun industry, I know they're an ignorant and lazy fool, simply parroting a party line fed to them by someone else. 

First, the NRA is not an industry lobby, it is a membership organization, acting in the interests of it's 5 million members...  

There IS a "gun industry" lobbying organization, it's called the National Shooting Sports Foundation (the NSSF), and they do a very good job of lobbying for the shooting sports industry as a whole... but they don't actually spend much money doing so, relative to the size of the firearms industry as a whole, or relative to other industry lobbying groups... all of which are utterly dwarfed by the public sector and union lobbies.

The NRA (including the NRA-ILA) is entirely funded by small contributions from it's membership (currently standing at appx. 5 million members), of under $1,000 each. There is no "gun industry money"... if there were it would have to be disclosed, and the FEC filings show nothing at all.

And as far as the "NRA money", the NRA isn't even in the top 500 donors to Republicans or Democrats most years... in fact taken together, individuals and political organizations and lobbyists explicitly advocating for and supporting gun control, give more than 100 times as much money to Democrats and the Democratic party, as the NRA and NSSF combined give to BOTH parties and their candidates combined.

The average donation the NRA gives to any specific candidate or officeholder is just $2,000 per year. 

For the 2016 federal election cycle the NRA and all its affiliates was 488th in donations to parties or candidates... donating just  $1.1 million dollars total for all 470-ish federal races in 2016, with their single largest donation to any candidate being $9,900... and 159th in money spent on lobbying for or against issues or candidates, at just about $3.2 million TOTAL for all federal issues, legislation, or candidates.

Just as a comparison, ONE SINGLE INDIVIDUAL whose primary cause is gun control, donated more to anti-gun activities... $36 million in 2016... including contributions to congressmen and senators, and spends more on anti-gun lobbying every year, than the entire NRA and all its affiliates.... And the Democratic party has a couple dozen of these individual megadonors, and a couple hundred "bundlers" who bundle up anti-gun money. from individuals every year. Another one of their individual megadonors spent 78 million... Though he has TWO issues, climate change and gun control, not just the one. 

The average member of congress.. both house and senate... spends about $2 million a year on campaigning and other partisan political costs. The $9,900 they get from the NRA isn't what sways their votes... it's the FIVE MILLION NRA members who call their offices several times a year, or send letters, postcards, and emails... 

...The NRA sends a lot of postcards and emails to it's members, asking them to call their congressman or senator, about specific issues and legislation... I get several emails a week and a few mailings every month... even the occasional phone call... 

The NRA gives FAR less money total each year, than just as an example, the national dairy farmers association, the national realtor association,  or pretty much any industry lobby...never mind the unions which dwarf all industry lobbies COMBINED... why? 

Because, ONCE AGAIN, the NRA is not an industry lobbying group, it's a membership organization promoting proficiency and safety in the shooting sports. The vast majority of the NRAs money... about 80%... goes to it's actual core mission of promoting firearms proficiency and safety. About 5% goes towards fundraising.

The specific legislative action arm, the NRA-ILA accounts for less than 15% of the NRAs spending annually. The NRA-ILA, gives less in TEN YEARS than any of the top 100 donor groups give in a single year... And again, they don't lobby for the firearms industry, they lobby for individual rights. 

The NRA-ILA lobby for laws and regulations, federally, and in all fifty states, which respect and protect the fundamental, inherent, and pre-existing, individual right to keep and bear arms, for all lawful purposes. 

That's not the NRAs language by the way, it's the constitution's, and the supreme court's. Read DC v. Heller if you're confused.

Oh and by the by, the NRA are non-partisan, and historically speaking, in any given year, about 15-20% of their contributions go to Democrats. Which they actually catch hell for from conservative NRA members who tend to forget that we need pro-gun Democrats as well as Republicans. Though in 2016 it was unsual... They only opposed 2 republicans and only supported 11 democrats. 

Since anyone ranting about the NRA can't even be bothered to find out the most basic facts surrounding their fallacious farce of a non-argument; they can, and should be, at best ignored, if not actually mocked.