Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Testing the Power of the NRA: Is There a Real Shift in Gun-Violence Politics?

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The New Republic's Alec MacGillis examines whether changing attitudes about gun violence present an opening for groups such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly's Americans for Responsible Solutions:

The NRA, of course, has real clout. Like many other groups, it lobbies in Washington and state capitals, buys ads and deploys activists during elections, and maintains a ratings system that grades elected officials and candidates on their support for its goals. What sets the NRA apart is its relentless invocation of the Second Amendment, the single-mindedness of its supporters, and the inchoate nature of its hold on politicians. Its approval has come to signify not merely support for gun ownership, but American authenticity. For many in Congress, it’s “a cultural thing,” says one veteran Senate staffer. “You have to pass a cultural test for [constituents] to listen to you on the other stuff.”

And yet for some time now, the NRA’s power has been more a matter of entrenched wisdom than actual fact. Gun ownership is declining—from half of households in the 1970s to a third today. A slew of senators and governors have won campaigns in red or purple states despite NRA F ratings, including Tim Kaine (Virginia), Kay Hagan (North Carolina), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), and Bill Nelson (Florida), who has campaigned on gun control but has won majorities even in deeply conservative Panhandle counties. Senator Chris Murphy, a rookie Connecticut Democrat who has taken a lead on the issue since the Newtown massacre, points out that, of the 16 Senate races the NRA participated in last year, 13 of its candidates lost. “The NRA is just all mythology,” he says. “The NRA does not win elections anymore.”

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

Previously in the Range

More by Jim Nintzel

  • Editor's Note: South By South Wiped

    I'm still a little jangled from spending five days trying to drink from the sonic fire hose that is SXSW...
    • Mar 21, 2019
  • Editor’s Note: Rays of Sunshine

    It's Sunshine Week, which doesn't just mean another week of gorgeous weather here in Southern Arizona. It's also the week when the press points out the importance of having access to public records.
    • Mar 14, 2019
  • Editor's Note: Scam Alert

    This week, staff reporter Kathleen Kunz exposes some of the scams happening in our community.
    • Mar 7, 2019
  • More »
Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Saturday Tour & Tasting

Saturday Tour & Tasting @ Hamilton Distillery

Saturdays, 3-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Menopause the Musical!

The cast of four fabulous women shop for laundry at a Bloomingdale’s sale, sing 25 songs about… More

@ The Gaslight Music Hall Tue., March 19, 6-8 p.m., Wed., March 20, 6-8 p.m., Thu., March 21, 6-8 p.m., Fri., March 22, 6-8 p.m., Sun., March 24, 2-4 & 6-8 p.m., Mon., March 25, 6-8 p.m., Tue., March 26, 6-8 p.m., Wed., March 27, 6-8 p.m., Thu., March 28, 6-8 p.m., Fri., March 29, 6-8 p.m., Sun., March 31, 2-4 & 6-8 p.m., Mon., April 1, 6-8 p.m., Tue., April 2, 6-8 p.m., Wed., April 3, 6-8 p.m. and Thu., April 4, 6-8 p.m. 13005 N Oracle Rd

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. Claytoon of the Day: The Conway Mood Killer (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Laughing Stock: What Will Millennials Do? (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. 25 Great Things to Do in Tucson This Weekend: March 8 to 10 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Thursday, March 21 (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. How Did Edbuild Get Arizona's Per-Student Funding Numbers So Wrong? (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2019 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation