AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

The National Rifle Association is easily the biggest boogeyman for the Democratic Party. While there are a number of pro-gun Democrats, the party itself tends to focus a lot of attention on anti-gun policies these days. That includes lashing out at the NRA.

While the left mocks mentions of George Soros or Michael Bloomberg as some kind of conspiracy theory, they routinely invoke the name of the NRA as the sole obstacle to gun control being enacted in this country.

Take this column, for example.

Another day, another mass shooting, this time on the far side of the world. Congressional Republicans will offer a deluxe, boxed set of thoughts and prayers, another 50 human lives will be added to the ledger of domestic terrorism, and the whole incident will be eclipsed the next time Taylor Swift sneezes.

Nothing would change if this latest massacre happened in New Hampshire. But the fact that it occurred in New Zealand is significant because gun laws there have changed – substantially – in a mere seven days.

Why are things so different in New Zealand? Because the National Rifle Association and firearms manufacturers don’t have a stranglehold on national politics. With a population two-thirds the size of Washington state, New Zealand is small enough and nimble enough to rewrite its gun laws in relatively short order. If politicians and citizens demand change, they will get it.

Why this laissez-faire approach to the persistent threat of gun violence? Thanks to the NRA’s inordinate financial and political clout, it is political suicide for Congressional Republicans – and most Southern Democrats – to push for any meaningful gun control.

But the NRA’s strength doesn’t come from Joe Everyman gun owners. The real strength, money and power comes from gun manufacturers – many of which are long-established corporations. For example, the Italian company Beretta has supplied arms for every major European war since 1650.

Honestly, this is freaking hilarious.

While the NRA does have money and isn’t afraid to spend it on elections, it’s not the only ones spending money. Where’s the criticism of anti-gun politicians who accept money from anti-gun groups? There was more of that in 2018 than in some times previously, after all. Are those politicians bought and paid for?

And it’s amazing people think the NRA exists on funds from gun manufacturers.

Son, let me explain a few things to you. First and foremost, gun manufacturers aren’t massive businesses. Most are relatively small. For example, American Outdoor Brands, the company that owns Smith & Wesson has 1,820 full-time employees. Beretta employs just under 3,000 people worldwide. To put that in perspective, anti-gun Levi Straus has over 15,000 employees.

And those are two of the largest manufacturers. In the United States, a 2013 story at TheBlaze noted that the entire gun industry employed twice the number of people as who worked for General Motors. That’s an entire industry combined made up just twice the number of a single company.

The gun industry is hardly the monolith anti-gunners like to claim.

But anti-gunners can’t accept the fact that the NRA is backed by regular people. They have to delude themselves into thinking that it’s corporate interests driving the NRA’s efforts rather the will of its members.

Anti-gunners prefer to see greed rather than principle because it’s harder to paint the NRA as a boogeyman if it’s not.

So, anti-gunners will continue to hold up the NRA as the evil empire and spout conspiracy theories about why the NRA doesn’t bend over and kiss the anti-gun ring. Meanwhile, we need to counter this as much as possible.

No, you won’t change their minds. But as fantasy author and pro-gun firearm enthusiast Larry Correia has said more than once, arguing on the internet is a spectator sport. You’re not trying to change their minds. You’re trying to change the minds of people who are reading the discussion from the sides.

That’s especially important when they’re off their guard.