The NRA has an army of puritanical, loyalist supporters who will oppose any and all attempts at gun control. Almost anyone who owns a gun or supports the Second Amendment is a member of this legion that will rise up in fury if anyone attempts to do something as bold as study gun violence in the United States.
That’s the common narrative that the NRA wants people to believe. In reality, the NRA’s membership is huge, somewhere between 3 million and 4.5 million people, but it is a paltry number compared to the number of gun owners in the United States. Approximately 37% of the United’s States reports that either they or someone in their household owns a gun, making gun owners a minority in the United States. The exact number of people who own a gun in the United States is unclear, but that number has to be much larger than those who are a member of the NRA.
When President Obama announced his plan to enact new gun control laws by using his executive powers, he claimed that gun owners would support the new gun control laws. A CNN/ORC poll reveals that he was right. The Washington Post/Wonkblog compiled the results of the poll into a chart, found below. The poll results show that a majority of people, even gun owning households and Republicans, support the new gun laws. The poll even mentioned President Obama’s name during the poll, which can skew polling results, as Wonkblog pointed out. I think it is fair to say that Republicans have a tendency to have negative view of President Obama. YouGov did an experiment that showed that a mere 16 percent of Republicans supported universal healthcare when they said that President Obama supported it. When pollsters said that Donald Trump supported universal healthcare, 44% of Republicans said that they support it, too.
So, if these new gun law regulations are favorably viewed by the majority and are minimal in their scope, as even the NRA admits, why couldn’t they be passed through Congress? That’s where the real power of the NRA starts to be seen. They just buy candidates. That’s the reality of money in politics, the majority’s opinion does not matter. Congressional representatives appeal to the well-funded minority, ideas of democratic rule by the majority be damned. The executive orders that President Obama plans to make law are not the actions of some despot trying to seize guns away from law abiding citizens as the NRA wants their supporters to believe. His hand is being forced to take these actions by the gun lobby who have made effective government unconscionable in the age of rule by corporate oligarchy.
Featured Image Credit via The White House [Public domain], Wikimedia Commons