The NRA Is Still At War

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 16 2012 @ 12:21pm

His jaw dropping at an NRA conference, Weigel notes that the "the total defeat and withdrawal of Democrats on guns has affected NRA rhetoric not at all." That counts for Republican lobbies and Democratic or liberal moderation on almost any issue. When Republicanism is close to theology, then reality becomes less important. Even inaction by Obama is seen as some kind of cover for a totalitarian take-over in 2013. Kornacki wonders if ignoring gun-control has done Democrats any good:

The case for national Democrats sticking with a hands-off approach to gun control is that it makes it possible to score victories in state-level races in pro-gun states. Think of Jon Tester winning a Montana Senate seat in 2006. But the party’s experience at the presidential level – and the hostility toward Obama that the NRA continues to exhibit – suggests that national Democrats may not be fooling anyone.

For all their efforts, they’ve failed to win over gun owners for the last decade, and there’s no reason to think they’re about to. If Obama and the national party were to embrace gun control anew, would it really affect pro-gun Democrats like Tester? They’d be swimming against the same tide they’re already swimming against.

On the other hand, many young gun owners aren't buying the NRA's spin:

To [younger gun owners], the NRA is just a bunch of gray beards fighting imaginary battles. Young gun owners didn't live through the 1970s—when the gun-control movement really did push for civilian disarmament—and they see government efforts to take away other things people love, like drugs, to be a joke.