Why Can’t Democrats Pass Gun Control?

Why Can’t Democrats Pass Gun Control?

Theo Volpatti/Contrasto/Redux President Joe Biden was dealt a significant setback this month when he was forced to abandon David Chipman, his nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The nomination was only the second he was forced to withdraw, and it was a blow to the gun-control groups who had backed Biden’s pick. What went wrong? One explanation gun-control advocates often lean on when they face setbacks involves the power of the National Rifle Association. The NRA creates “puppet politicians” who do “nothing but lie and continue taking the NRA’s dirty money,” March for Our Lives wrote in a September 15 fundraising appeal. Brady, another gun-control group, appealed to its donors a week later to give more so they could stop “the NRA and their bought-and-paid-for politicians” from enacting more permitless-gun-carry laws. In an August 21 message to supporters, Brady said it was fighting to break the “NRA’s stranglehold on our democracy.” The narrative is familiar: Gun-control measures can never pass, because the NRA forbids it. The group buys off all the politicians with its incredible campaign spending. Then it owns their votes, and gets everything it wants. But the reality is starkly different. In the 2020 election cycle, the NRA contributed less than $1 million directly to candidates. That made it the 996th-largest donor for the cycle, according to OpenSecrets . The group spent about $5.4 million on lobbying in that same time frame, which put it a bit higher, at 169th. Since 2012, […]

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