Perhaps politicians have reason to stop cowering in fear at the mere mention of the NRA. According to the NRA's tax forms, the organization lost money in 2014. Revenue was down $37 million from the previous year.
Few still doubt that today's NRA is nothing less than a trade association for the firearms industry. But for those who do, a recent report distributed at its "Annual Meeting of Members" last week offers the latest confirmation of this growing organizational and financial relationship.
Last Friday, in accepting the endorsement of the National Rifle Association ("NRA") at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum in Louisville, Kentucky, Trump touted his sons' gun rights credentials. He said "My sons have been members of the NRA for many, many years and they are incredible. They have so many rifles and so many guns sometimes even I get a little bit concerned. I say 'That's a lot.'"
Now that you've won the endorsement of the National Rifle Assocation, will you dare to do or say anything that the NRA would not thoroughly approve?
Because much of this daily tragedy is occurring in Black neighborhoods with Black victims, as the Times' study so accurately highlights, there is no national outrage. Instead, we have a candidate running for the highest office in the land who is ok with having more guns everywhere, and who is ok with using coded language about entire groups of people.
For years the National Rifle Association has maintained its stranglehold on national politics by convincing politicians that it is politically invincible. But now there is fresh evidence -- actual numbers -- that show the NRA is increasingly feeling the heat of Americans' shifting attitudes about gun violence prevention.
The scale of risk is quite different from home to planet, but the frame of mind is identical. A safer home is an armed home. A safer world is an armed world. Neither assertion is true. In both cases, tragic collateral damage is inevitable - a question of when, not if.
How interested is NRA in saving lives? The answer is, I guess they're not. How interested is the NRA in selling guns no matter what the cost in human lives?
The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right for a fair trial. Therefore, using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights.
The fact is that the use of guns in self-defense in America bears little resemblance to the false claims made by the NRA and its gun industry partners. Perhaps most striking is that in a nation of more than 300 million guns, how rarely firearms are used in self-defense.
I am not sure if I can adequately convey the degree to which this final footage is simply beyond anything that exists when it comes to capturing the extreme violence associated with guns.
Consider, for a moment, this statement. There is a national epidemic that kills over 30,000 Americans every year that the United States Congress will not let the CDC research.
With all the NRA's talk about the government's plan to take everyone's guns, it is easy to forget the NRA's other traditional role -- promoting "sportsmen."
Amidst the comprehensive moral and intellectual collapse of the GOP, nothing captures its utter bankruptcy more than the issue of gun violence. Lest this seem too stark, we must consider its stunning record of rhetorical and legislative obedience to the NRA.
Mass shootings and gun violence shouldn't be something that Americans are accustomed to seeing on television weekly, if not daily. Mass shootings will not be the next trending topic.
We know Trump can bring home the bacon -- we've heard it a thousand times. He's made millions and millions of dollars, etc., but is he the true conservative? Or does that mantle belong to Texas' Ted Cruz, who not only brings home the bacon, but also cooks it for his family on the weekends after church -- using a machine gun.