Thursday, April 18, 2013

The NRA and the Long Game

The NRA has handily defeated the most recent gun control legislation.  Despite representing only a small minority of American opinion, their power remains unbroken.  Why?  Organization and dedication.  They have spent decades building a paranoid culture in their hardcore members, and the easily distracted majority can't match that.  The NRA, of course, owes a lot of its muscle to the gun dealers and manufacturers.  For them, a drug war in Mexico, a gang war in Chicago, or a shooting in Massachusetts can be a profit centers, not a tragedy.  Only when the public realizes that the enemy is the NRA will a well regulated militia emerge.

Their power cannot be broken by reasoned argument - both interest and paranoia militate against that.  The only way to beat them is to systematically undermine their legitimacy.  Only if the public concludes that the NRA and its members threaten their safety and their children will momentum build against them.  When an NRA sticker on a car is regarded as odious as a KKK sticker, the game changes.