Bang for the Bucks

As long as the debate over gun safety is centered on policy and the 2nd amendment the NRA will win and gun safety and sanity will continue to lose.

We have to shift the debate to profits over people. The NRA fights every policy idea, backed by members of Congress who want their money and fear that it may be used against them.

The NRA has a simple mission and strategy. Any changes to make guns safer no matter how small may slow down gun sales and depress gun profits. Mass killings don’t matter. Gun profits do.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, so far this year the NRA has spent nearly $1.8 million lobbying the US Congress. That’s a drop from the last two years: $3.3 million in 2014 and $3.4 in 2013.

During the 2012 – 2014 election cycle the NRA spent $11,745, 92 on direct political contributions. The gun lobby’s outside spending, independent expenditures or electioneering communications, totaled $47,979,761.

You can check to see how much your Member of Congress received from the NRA at Open Secrets.org. The NRA has pretty much given up on Democrats. But the GOP is doing just fine.

According to a Washington Post report in 2012, “This year the industry is expected to rack up a steady $11.7 billion in sales and $993 million in profit.” According to the National Sports Shooting Foundation, in the same year guns had a $38.1 billion impact on the American economy, including jobs, and new sales taxes. That’s up from $27.8 billion in 2009.

Here are some key facts from the Washington Post story:

Obama has been good for the gun industry due to fears of new restrictions
Handguns make up half of the guns produced in the US
Ammunition is a major factor in gun industry revenues consisting almost 30% of sales
Wall-Mart is the largest gun seller in the US

The NRA even fights the gun companies when they stray; Smith and Wesson wanted to limit the size of magazines, and avoid dealers who sold guns later used in crimes. The NRA led a boycott against the company. Its sales fell 44% and it was nearly killed. The company eventually returned to the NRA’s good graces.

With the NRA in charge, no gun-control has passed Congress since 1999. So the next time you get into an argument with that friend who is a gun nut and he starts to carry on about the 2nd amendment, using it as a shield against doing anything that makes sense, stop him cold and say, Bullshit, it’s about the money.

The NRA and its gun manufacturing patrons will protect their profits at all costs, no matter how many innocent people have to die.

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