As the conversation heats up regarding the spread of gun violence back into our schools, malls, restaurants, theaters, there will be two voices in direct opposition on the subject…On one side the folks who support the need to look at regulations, to consider whether all types of weapons really make since in a 21st Century reality and, on the other side gun owners who don’t want complications in the pursuit of their hobby and the big dog in the argument – the Gun Lobby. In the past 13 years the Gun Lobby has spent $73MILLION dollars in lobbying to Congress.
Many of the same folks who so quickly give to the NRA and the GOA are the very same folks who line up against lobbying of the financial sector, automobile manufacturing sector, Wall Street.
The gun lobby is usually thought of by the general public as the NRA…they are the most vocal. But behind the scenes there are more organizations that promote the gun culture. And they have deep pockets. Let’s review the players.
With between 2 and 4.5 million members [depending on which part of the NRA’s website you read], and a leader with a love of the camera, the NRA is the most visible face of the Gun Lobby.
National Shooting Sports Foundation
Less well known is the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the collective of the gun manufacturing industry. They are the folks who, while much quieter speak for manufacturers and have a vested interest in a wide open gun market. An interesting bit of IRONY…their national headquarters are located just a bit over a mile away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
Gun Owners of America
While the smallest, this group is also the least flexible, representing the most libertarian wing of gun owners. When asked “So how would you use your Second Amendment rights if you didn’t like the way your congressman or senator is representing you? GOA Executive Director Larry Pratt suggested that gun owners should use their weapons when the government steals elections, when “they” define tyranny to mean a position to which they don’t agree.
This article is a work in progress, it will change over time as I dig through details of these organization.