One criticism some have leveled against the NRA in the past is that they were too focused on just gun politics and, as a result, gave good grades to liberals who simply didn’t vote for gun control. Now, the criticism is all about how they’re focused on all these other issues besides guns. In fairness, it’s different people leveling the two criticism, but the current outrage is more interesting right now.
You see, it’s interesting because it seems many of those who are leveling that charge are massive hypocrites.
After all, it seems the groups they support are backing a lot of things that have nothing to do with gun control.
A leading gun-control group is spending millions to boost swing state Democrats, but its latest ads highlight non-gun issues, potentially signaling the limited appeal of gun restrictions in many key Senate races.
Everytown for Gun Safety’s super PAC, backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, is running ads in Iowa and North Carolina that go beyond the group’s core mission of gun control. The ads attack Senator Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) and Senator Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) on health care and energy in addition to mentioning gun issues.
“Ernst has taken thousands and thousands from big oil, the insurance industry, and the gun lobby,” narration in the group’s Iowa ad said. “Voting for them, against us. That’s Joni Ernst.”
In North Carolina, the group first criticized Tillis’s vote to repeal Obamacare and contributions from the health insurance lobby before taking aim at his vote on universal background checks and contributions from gun-rights groups. The ad then claims Tillis’s door is “always open” for “lobbyists with cash.”
Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said Everytown’s attempt to appeal to issues beyond the Second Amendment could indicate that the group is not confident in gun control’s appeal in swing states.
That looks like a solid take on what they’re doing.
When the campaigns first kicked off, Democrats were convinced that gun control was going to be a winning issue for them. At the time, they may have been right. Guns were still being blamed for mass shootings and the pendulum never really swung all the way back from Parkland. Americans were living pretty well and content which meant they felt safe except for a few black swan events like mass shootings, so they were open to supposed solutions to those.
Then COVID-19 hit.
At that point, people started buying guns. Some were worried about being blamed for the virus. Others were worried about the economy and the potential for crime to accompany it.
Then we get the riots and even more people are going out to buy guns.
As a result, we have more than 5 million new gun owners in this country and that number is increasing at a prodigious rate. You’re damn right the anti-gun groups know they can’t win solely on guns, so they’re backing liberal policies as well with only the vaguest hint of gun control being an issue as well.
I’m curious how many of these groups still consider themselves non-partisan. Self-delusion can be pretty powerful.