What does the NRA have, that other conservative groups do not January 29, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, scandals, Society, the struggle for the Church, true leadership.
I say that especially with regard to socially conservative groups. With the exception of the pro-life movement, which has some level of small success, conservatives have been singularly ineffective in defending the moral order and seeing their agenda enacted. All, that is, except for the NRA and the gun rights groups. I saw this article on the surrender of democrat Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on his number one campaign promise – moves against gun rights – last night and what struck me was the fear of God the NRA can strike even in the hearts of liberal stalwarts. We have nothing similar in the social conservative movement:
Virginia’s Governor Tery McAuliffe has retreated on his Administration’s decision to sever concealed carry reciprocity with 25 states after a firestorm of criticism…….
……It’s interesting to see the Washington Post attempt to call the permanent protective order a “major concession” in order to save face for McAuliffe. It was very much a minor concession in line with what most Republicans support. no one wants an violent abuser to have access to firearms.
You can tell just how much the reversal stung gun control supporters by the screams of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Outside extremely liberal enclaves like New York, Chicago, Washington DC, etc., the pro-gun agenda tends to hold sway. Even the most anti-gun president in history has been able to do very little to limit access to firearms by law-abiding citizens in his terms of office. Not for lack of trying. But even many democrat congressman are terrified of crossing the NRA.
Why is that? Why is the NRA/gun rights movement so successful, when almost every other social conservative enterprise has failed so spectacularly over the past 40 years or so?
Well, one thing…….the NRA has money, and lots of it. They have significantly more resources than other social conservative groups. But how do they get that money? They get it through fundraising and constantly beating the bushes for more (they do also have some wealthy benefactors).
But it’s not just money that makes the NRA effective. It’s also voting. Gun “fanatics” vote. They are often single-issue voters. A politician who crosses the gun rights movement is, to all intents and purposes, dead to them, forever. We are not nearly so consistent on the pro-life or pro-traditional morality side. We do not have the strong track record of turning out of office politician after politician who votes/supports measures against our interest. Yes, there were exceptions, particularly in 2010 after the Obamacare debacle, but, for the most part, there either aren’t enough of us, or we don’t vote consistently enough, to be a major electoral factor for a lot of socially liberal politicians.
Now, political power flows from numbers. But a majority of Americans do not own guns. While the number of firearms in circulation has dramatically increased in the last decade, the actual number of firearms owners has slightly decreased. How, then, has the political power of the gun rights lobby seemingly increased?
And do gun rights advocates outnumber social conservatives, generally? Don’t the two groups largely overlap? Perhaps not. I don’t have data, but I know a lot of pro-gun people who are fairly liberal on a host of social issues. They are more libertarian than conservative.
I doubt there are more strident firearms advocates than there are pro-lifers, at least, not enough to make a huge difference, politically. So, my question remains.
I really don’t have an answer. I talked with my wife about this last night and we didn’t really come up with any brilliant solution. About the only thing I could conclude is that gun rights types vote more consistently and organize much, much better. I do think that is one thing – the gun rights groups are tightly mobilized and tend to be quite disciplined. The social conservatives are divided among themselves, and only a relative few are conservative across the whole spectrum on social issues (abortion, contraception, redefinition of marriage, sodomy, body mutilation/transgenderism, etc., etc).
I’m kind of out of time, but thought that might make an interesting topic for discussion.