One of the more constant charges against the National Rifle Association from anti-gun forces is the claim that the NRA “buys” lawmakers. To be sure, they donate money to friendly campaigns and try to help keep pro-gun legislators in office, much like any other special interest group. While we can all lament how special interest money influences elections, so long as we have people running for office and needing money to campaign, this is bound to happen.
It doesn’t mean anyone has bought anyone else.
But, I didn’t make the rules. Anti-gunners have long claimed that the NRA is buying state and federal politicians. If that’s the case, then Everytown for Gun Safety and similar groups are just as guilty.
Gun control advocacy groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Protect Minnesota appear to have spent significantly more than gun rights groups. The two groups spent a combined $280,000 in 2019, up about $95,000 over the previous year. The National Rifle Association spent $40,000, the same as the previous year, and the collective spending of Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and Minnesota Gun Rights dropped from $60,000 to $0.
Now, playing by the rules the anti-gunners have claimed exist, they simply bought the Minnesota state elections.
This is something that we haven’t done a good enough job of putting out there, though. We’ve spent so much time trying to fight against claims that the NRA is buying officials that we haven’t really pointed out that the NRA got outspent in recent elections, thus meaning gun control groups are the ones buying elections.
We need to fix that.
If elections are so easily purchased, then the group that spent the most is clearly the group trying to buy lawmakers to do their bidding in legislatures throughout this country. Everytown, Brady, and Giffords are all desperate to simply purchase enough legislators that they can cram gun control down our throats whether the American people want it or not.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather we not have this discussion at all, but again, I didn’t make the rules. I’m just some poor schlub trying to follow them.
And really, they’re confusing. After all, the NRA was outspent in 2018 across the board, yet they’re still accused of buying lawmakers while their opponents are given a free pass. It seems that there is no two-way street about this. The NRA will always be considered evil in their minds and no amount of factual information will change their minds.
Then again, those aren’t the minds you’re going to change.
There are a lot of people who are open-minded but simply don’t get both sides of the story. They hear the news talk about the NRA buying elections and see it all over social media and they simply don’t realize the NRA is being outspent in recent years and how if spending somehow equates to buying votes, then the other side is doing it as well.
It’s up to us to fix that. We can change that by attacking the very nature of anti-gun groups spending and reframing it much as they have reframed pro-gun contributions.
Do that and start watching how things change.