PLEDGE NOW
The Power Of The NRA

The political power of the NRA after Newtown. Will a massacre of children break the grip of the NRA?

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. (AP)

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. (AP)

After days of silence on last week’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the National Rifle Association spoke just a little yesterday.  Sort of.  It put out a statement to say it will speak Friday to the media in Washington.  The NRA is prepared, it said, to – quote – “offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

Of course, for years, the NRA has fought, mighty tooth and nail, against practically any gun control.  Fought for guns all over.  Cowed a generation of politicians.  Could there be a change now?  A sea change?  A crack in the power?

This hour, On Point:  the NRA, after Newtown.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Robert Spitzer, professor of political science at the State University of New York, College at Cortland. He’s the author of the Politics of Gun Control.

Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Gerry Connolly, Democratic congressman from Virginia’s 11th district. The NRA has its headquarters in his district.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “But when she and other Tennessee Republicans decided earlier this year not to move forward with an N.R.A. bill that would have allowed people to keep firearms locked in their cars in parking lots, Ms. Maggart became an object lesson in how the organization deploys its political power.”

Slate “You might think that “spokesman for the National Rifle Association” is the toughest job in PR. You might be wrong. At least once a year, and several times in bad years, reporters reach out to the NRA’s Andrew Arulanandam and ask him whether the gun lobby has anything to say about the latest massacre. Arulanandam says basically the same thing, every time.”

Sunlight Foundation “In the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, one of the emerging debates is whether there will even be a debate. Past mass shootings have come and gone without any action. Many argue that the reason for this inaction is simple:  politicians have been afraid to take on the National Rifle Association, the large and influential pro-gun lobby that spent at least $24.28 million this past election cycle - $16.83 million through its Political Action Committee, plus $7.45 million through its affiliated Institute for Legislative Action.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 4, 2015
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a migrant child after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (DHA/AP)

Migrant crisis in Europe. The Iran deal, cleared. A Kentucky clerk and gay marriage. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 4, 2015
Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Kiki Bertens, of the Netherlands, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Serena Williams. The undisputed queen of tennis, and what she’s meant in sports and beyond.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 4, 2015
Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Kiki Bertens, of the Netherlands, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Serena Williams. The undisputed queen of tennis, and what she’s meant in sports and beyond.

 
Sep 4, 2015
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a migrant child after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. (DHA/AP)

Migrant crisis in Europe. The Iran deal, cleared. A Kentucky clerk and gay marriage. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Martin O’Malley On ‘Rigged’ Democratic Debates
Wednesday, Sep 2, 2015

Former Baltimore mayor and Democratic Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has single digits in the polls in Iowa but is out there swinging. He joined host Tom Ashbrook on Wednesday.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments