Like a helter skelter, going down and down, round and round Genesis Tonight
You all know me well enough by now to know that if there’s one thing I love more than any other, it’s the thought of the NRA wallowing around like somebody trying to find a dropped cell phone in the lower level of a Port-a-Potty. And right now, they’re making me feel like a guy who just found out that the gas station on the corner is giving away free beer and hot dogs to guys over 60 all day tomorrow.
If there is one word that best describes the National Rifle Association, that word is fear. The fear that the NRA could strike into the hearts of GOP politicians everywhere, not only of their activist, single issue voters, but at the loss of their campaign kaboodle if they didn’t toe the line. The fear that they could impose on their membership, that their precious weapons of war would be taken away from them if they didn’t pony up to the NRA to protect them from the men in the black helicopters. And the fear that they could impose on merchants, through the threat of a boycott of the NRA’s seven million members if the merchants didn’t play ball the way the NRA told them to.
But in these current days, their fear factor in all three of those categories is being sorely tested, and may well be failing. And not only that, but for the first time in recent memory, it is the NRA itself that has something to fear. And what the NRA has to fear is the NRA itself. Here’s what I mean.
The NRA’s fear factor over GOP candidates, as well as a scattering of Democratic ones has always been two pronged, withholding campaign contributions, and withholding NRA member votes. In a past article I assayed it out, and found that 7 million members divided by 435 congressional districts assayed out to about 18,000 members per district, enough to sway outcomes.
But after the tragedy at Parkland, in 2018, for the first time, exit polling showed that among voters who listed guns as their single greatest issue, gun control voters outnumbered unfettered gun rights voters at the polls. As a result, eighteen GOP incumbent House members with A or A+ ratings lost their seats. And as senseless slaughters continue to pile up over the next fourteen months, the number of gun control voters showing up at the polls can only be expected to rise.
The threat of a loss of NRA campaign contributions was also a powerful weapon. Congressional district races don’t normally run on the massive amounts of money that state wide and presidential campaigns do. A few thousand dollars to an incumbent can easily tip the scale, when an opponent would be hard pressed to match the sudden infusion of cash in the waning days of an election. But suddenly, that contribution doesn’t look quite as appetizing for GOP incumbents when their opponents can label them as “blood money,” or “30 pieces of silver.”
The NRA has always been able to use fear to hold their 7 million vaunted members in line as well. Not only the fear that the guys in the black Chevy Suburbans would show up to abscond their AR-15’s and Kalishnikov’s, but everything else too! Because, once the government had your weapons of war, they’d slide right on down that slippery slope, and be back for your deer rifles and .357’s before you know it! It would sound absurd, if only so many people didn’t believe it.
But it’s starting to look like the NRA is not only on the wrong side of history, they’re, for the first time in recent memory, on the wrong side of public opinion as well. Recent polling that showed a 93% approval rating for universal gun background checks. That’s not just a majority of Americans, it’s a majority of NRA members as well. Hell, it’s even a majority of bloody Trump supporters! It’s kind of hard to con people into thinking that having a background check leads to taking your guns away, especially if the Democrats remind people that every time a cop takes your license back to his cruiser, he’s running a fucking background check!
The third leg of this coffee table was the NRA’s ability to inject the fear of a 7 million member boycott against merchants that didn’t bow to the NRA idol. This tactic was on full display a few years ago, when Dick’s Sporting Goods took the brave, and highly ethical step of removing assault style weapons from their shelves. The wrath of the NRA was immediate, ordering their members to go elsewhere, not only for their military hardware, but for all of their other domestic militia gear as well.
And where were all of these docile, bovine NRA members supposed to go for their camo outfits and orange vests? Well, I’m guessing Walmart, of course! And freakin’ Walmart just announced that not only are they pulling semi-automatic weapons from the shelves, they’re pulling the ammo that those guns use as well! That’s the “kill shot” right there.You don’t need an involuntary gun buy back if these idjits can’t get their hands on the fucking ammunition they need to start perforating their fellow citizens.
Ok, Mr. NRA Riddler, riddle me this. How in the hell do you organize a boycott against Walmart?!? There’s one on every other block fer Crissakes! The only retailer I i know of with more outlets is bloody Starbucks! The simple fact that massive retailers like Walmart and Amazon have literally killed the brick-and-mortar retail world makes them basically immune to boycotts, simply because they now control the market.
At the top I mentioned that for the first time the NRA itself has something to fear, and here it is. The current power structure of the NRA is like the France of Louis the XIV. It’s become fat, arrogant, and decadent. The kings at the top of the NRA food chain have spent years, if not decades, raiding the NRA treasury for self gain and silly excesses, And now the peasants have caught wind, and are revolting.With armaments manufacturers pulling a Trump and heading into Chapter 11, corporate sponsorships are down, NRA membership has declined, and panic stricken NRA e-mail blasts are no longer having the effect that they once did.
In a recent court filing, former here-for-a-cup-of-coffee NRA president Ollie “Alfred E Neuman” contends that Wayne “Pepe” LaPierre and the rest of the NRA is spending $100,000 a day on legal fees to defend themselves against various lawsuits. Simple math tells us that if you exclude weekends, that works out to right around $30 Million a year. And how much did the NRA spend backing Trump alone in 2016? How about a cool $30 Million, tripling their previous highest single campaign expenditure. And that doesn’t even include what they spent on other congressional candidates. How do they figure to make up that scratch up? Don’t ask me, I’m too busy laughing.
If ever there was a time when the NRA was ripe for picking, it’s right now. And their continued troubles, with the sad certainty of more upcoming mass shootings, only makes Moscow Mitch’s intransigence on moving common sense gun reforms to the floor of the Senate for a vote that much striking. And in doing so, Moscow Mitch is blaming His Lowness himself, for his refusal to approve of such measures. Keep it up y’all, you’re killing them out there. Literally.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.