Just Stop! The NRA Hasn't 'Bought' Anyone

One of the more tired talking points of the anti-gun crowd is their constant reference to the National Rifle Association (or any gun rights group, really) “buying” politicians. The argument is intentionally inflammatory, a sort of kafkatrap where they either have to abandon their principles and the people who voted for them or be labeled corrupt.

Yet it’s downright annoying in that it continues to come up despite this argument never actually working. The latest example comes from Ohio.

On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine laid out the details of his 17-point plan – the STRONG Ohio plan – to address gun violence in the wake of the Aug. 4 mass shooting in Dayton that left nine dead and dozens wounded.

It is a plan, the Republican governor said, the Ohio legislature – dominated by his fellow Republicans – would vote to approve.

Really? This would be the same legislature that has been the property of the National Rifle Association and its bottomless pit of campaign dollars for what seems like forever?

Uh, guess again, governor.

Ah, the hubris of the anti-gunner.

You see, they perpetually labor under the belief that their positions are just so obvious that no one could possibly disagree with them unless they’re paid to do so. They can’t fathom a world where people could disagree with them in good faith.

However, let’s be realistic here. In the 2018 election cycle, anti-gun groups outspent the NRA. If anyone is going to claim someone was bought and paid for by special interest, right now the most likely culprits would be anti-gun lawmakers. They’re the ones who received a big boost from gun control groups in 2018 and would likely need to make sure not to alienate those supporters, right?

Besides, if the NRA could just buy politicians, why are there so few pro-gun Democrats in office right now?

Don’t try to tell me that Democrats are somehow above such things. This is the same party that had one of their own convicted of gun-running at the same time he’s pushing for gun control. Are you going to try and tell me that Leland Yee was a man of such profound conviction (no pun intended) that he simply couldn’t have been bought? This is a guy who tried to sell RPGs–something the NRA hasn’t been pushing to legalize, I might add–to an undercover FBI agent. I’m pretty sure his integrity was negotiable.

Yet why didn’t the NRA try and buy him?

Probably because they don’t buy politicians. They donate to those who appear to back gun rights, same as groups like Giffords does. If you’re going to claim that one set of donations amounts to buying politicians, you don’t get to pretend the other set of donations for the opposite side of the coin are somehow pure. They’re either both clean or both dirty. Plain and simple.

It’s well past time to stop pretending the NRA buys anyone. They don’t and, deep down inside, everyone knows it. Claims to the contrary are nothing more than a naked attempt at trying to intimidate lawmakers to take a position after other arguments failed. It’s nothing more than political sour grapes.

It really needs to end.