Those who who oppose the individual right to bear arms recognized by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution love to talk about the “gun lobby.”
They claim that while a majority of American people opposes the “gun lobby,” their elected representatives are enslaved by money provided by this “gun lobby,” supposedly made up of evil corporate gun manufacturers via the NRA.
There is no doubt in my mind that CNN set out to prove these claims when they began working on what eventually became an investigative piece which became known as “The Money Powering the NRA.”
The problem for CNN, and for the anti-gun rights extremists with which they sympathize, is that they found something else entirely.
After first noting that corporations do donate millions to the NRA, and specifying the majority of these donations fund NRA initiatives like member newsletters, sporting events and gun safety education and training programs, the article goes on to explain that NONE of this money is used to support legislators. That’s because “companies are barred from donating to the NRA’s political action committee, which the agency uses to fill campaign coffers, run ads and send out mailers for and against candidates.”
So where does the money that is donated to law-makers come from? CNN (no doubt begrudingly) admiys it comes from the very people who vote to elect them.
From the article:
A CNN Money analysis of federal campaign finance records shows that much of this money comes from everyday Americans. And these contributions, which the NRA uses to keep pro-gun lawmakers in office, are on the rise.
Since 2005, the NRA Political Victory Fund has received nearly $85 million in contributions from individual donors. After the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, donations to this political action committee surged as gun owners worried that their rights to buy and own guns were at risk.
Donations in the 2014 election cycle were up by more than 50% compared to the prior two years, and nearly doubled from a decade ago.
“Americans look to the NRA to defend their constitutional right to self protection,” NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker told CNN Money. “When gun control advocates ramp up their efforts to pass gun control people voice their opposition by donating to the NRA.”
Contributions came from nearly 30,000 donors, with around 90% of donations made by people who gave less than $200 in a single year. According to the NRA, the average donation is around $35.
The report quotes Sarah Bryner, research director at the Center for Responsive Politics, as noting that this level of broad grassroots support is “highly unusual for a special interest group, demonstrating its wide reaching support.”
Among the top donors cited in the article are a computer programmer from Houston, a commercial airline pilot from Texas, a retired publisher from Florida, a pharmacist from texas, a ranch manager from Wyoming, and retired metallurgist from Ohio. The top ten donors all gave more than Alan Mossberg, the former CEO of the oldest family-owned gunmaker in the country.
The article notes that while the majority of donations to its PAC, go to support Republican candidates, “there are a few Democrats in the mix as well, including The Blue Dog PAC for conservative Democrats.”
Unlike Michael Bloomberg’s multitude of astroturf anti-gun groups, small donations are what fuel the NRA’s Political Victory Fund and donations to pro-gun rights legislators.
This is a truly grassroots movement that speaks not for the gun industry, but for freedom-loving Americans all over the country.
NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told CNN “Congress isn’t necessarily listening to the NRA, they’re listening to our members. They know our members support the Second Amendment and vote and give money.”
Thanks, CNN, for telling your viewers what gun owners already know. We are the NRA.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.
Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots political action committee dedicated to defending and advancing the right of Ohio citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities. Visit: www.BuckeyeFirearms.org