Democrats have demonized the National Rifle Association to such a degree that it’s almost laughable. The NRA is the organization that is far more likely to sit down and work out its differences with politicians of all stripes, to try and find common ground to help protect the Second Amendment while also working to solve whatever problems exist.
Still, Democrats have demonized the organization and made it out to be the boogieman for the left, all while ignoring that if the NRA went away, someone else would take its place. They forget that much of the NRA’s power rests in the millions of members who support it.
Meanwhile, the NRA’s financial woes have been well-documented.
But it looks like House Democrats may just be the ones to save the NRA. And, of all people, it’s Michael Bloomberg who points it out.
The National Rifle Association may be about to reap a bounty from an unlikely source: congressional Democrats.
If history is any guide, a Democratic push for gun control measures once the party assumes control of the House of Representatives in January would send money pouring into the NRA’s coffers before the 2020 election. “They’re going to be growing when their issue is under threat,” says Richard Feldman, a former NRA lobbyist who supports gun rights but has been critical of the organization. Democratic control of the House produces that kind of threat.
It couldn’t come at a better time for the NRA. While the organization won’t release 2018 funding numbers until later this year, it saw a huge drop in revenue in 2017, to $312 million from $367 million in 2016, the group’s most recent tax filing shows. In the 2018 midterms, the NRA and its PAC spent just $10 million backing or opposing candidates, a 64 percent drop from the $28 million it contributed to races in 2014 and a small fraction of the $55.6 million it spent in 2016.
Bloomberg argues that the NRA donations and its spending skyrocketed following Newtown, as did the public’s spending on firearms in general. He’s not necessarily wrong.
He’s also right that House Democrats may well spark a donation frenzy to the NRA. After all, once they start going after guns and gun owners with the silliness they’ve promised, it’ll be time to dig in and fight. Gun control debates benefit the NRA, and gun control groups as well since they spur funding.
This is especially good for the NRA, which is currently catching flak over the Trump Administration’s bump stock ban. If you remember, in the immediate aftermath of Las Vegas, the NRA called for the ban to be handled just this way. Now that it has, it’s renewed outrage over the suggestion.
Democrats trying to push through new gun laws, however, will likely allow the NRA to step up and act as the shield against new regulations that it’s always promised to be. It will give them a golden opportunity to throw memories of the bump stock ban support into the trash bin of history.
Again, that’s good for the NRA and gun owners as a whole. It will allow our largest and strongest civil rights group to get even larger and stronger. It will allow it to fund candidates that can overturn the threat to our Second Amendment rights.
I’m sure Bloomberg disagrees with me, of course. He wants to destroy the Second Amendment.
Luckily, I’m fine with his disappointment. Frankly, he should be used to it by now.