Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) explained that Republicans are afraid of the perception of the NRA, but the reality is that the gun lobby is weak and in chaos.
Sen. Chris Murphy destroys the myth of the all-powerful NRA. pic.twitter.com/CzckQwBUT9
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 20, 2019
Sen. Murphy said on MSNBC:
So, it is a really complicated answer to that question because it makes no sense, right? You know, there’s nothing in American politics today that enjoys 90% public support. Background checks are more popular than grandma, apple pie, baseball, you name it. Yet they can’t get passed through Congress. The reason is this perception of how powerful the gun lobby is that isn’t really matched by reality.
The mythology in the Republican party that if you cross the NRA you will lose a primary election or lose a general election against the Democrat. That’s just not true. It’s never been true. The NRA has never been as powerful as Republicans think they are. Today the NRA is in absolute chaos. Their board is in meltdown. People aren’t signing up to be members of the NRA and the way they used to. So, there is no risk in crossing the gun lobby today and there really wasn’t much of a risk five or ten years ago. But that perception of power the gun lobby has stopped a lot of Republicans from crossing that bridge and standing with the 90% of their constituents that want universal background checks.
Sen. Murphy is right. The NRA is a crumbling organization. Their power has always been in threats of doom to Republicans if they don’t toe the line, but the reality for years has been that there is little consequence for going against the NRA. Since Parkland, there has been more political benefit to be gained by opposing the NRA than having their support. The NRA is as it used to be is dying.
Each mass shooting pushes the NRA a little bit closer to extinction as a political force.
However, until Republicans get over their fear of the myth of the NRA, nothing will happen to lessen gun violence.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association