While gun control advocates highlight Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., as another reason to impose tougher restrictions on firearms, at least one person in the fight is claiming the National Rifle Association is losing its power.
“I … think we are seeing clear evidence that the political power of the National Rifle Association is dramatically overstated,” said Ladd Everitt on Monday’s Diane Rehm show, a nationally syndicated program broadcast across National Public Radio.
During Monday’s show, Everitt, who leads the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, continued, “[The NRA] got shellacked in election 2012. They wasted millions of dollars trying to defeat President Obama and went ‘all in.’ They lost seven out of eight high-profile Senate races they put more than $100,000 into. And of the 30 House incumbents who lost, they endorsed 17. The NRA is a paper tiger.”
Although the NRA has long been considered among the most powerful lobbying organizations in the country with its immense war chest, has its time come? Does the adage, “power is lost in steps, not leaps and bounds,” apply today?
The group has refused invitations to speak with President Barack Obama, claiming the administration is anti-Second Amendment.
Following Friday’s tragic shooting, the NRA has also been mum with the media. It has not talked to reporters (there are no published comments at press time) and the organization’s Facebook page has been taken down and its Twitter account silent, despite a call from gun control advocates who are clamoring for compromise from NRA officials.
What are your thoughts? Should the NRA step up its efforts or come to the table? With the November 2012 political defeats and debate within the Republican Party, will the NRA’s shadow loom as large over gun control policy in the United States in the years to come? Will it become politically risky for candidates to align with the NRA if the organization continues on its current track? Is it time for the NRA to reinvent itself?