Lobbying and Gun Control
As gun violence shows up in the media more and more, with more coverage of public and school shootings gun control has become a hot topic. Gun control and gun rights activists are constantly at each other's throats and both are looking to influence the government.
The two most influential players on the pro-gun side of the argument are the National Rifle Association and the National Association for gun rights. These groups and several others of the same breed spent about 30 million dollars on lobbying in 2013-2014. In contrast, lobbying from anti gun groups amounted to just about 4.5 million dollars in the same year.
The majority of gun rights lobbying money goes to congressional leaders who can, not only help vote gun control bills down, but also keep legislation from reaching the floor. In 2013-2014 House speaker John Boehner and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell were the biggest beneficiaries. Meanwhile Gun control lobbyists made little impact, giving very little to congress members in the name of their cause.
|Top recipients, 2013-14|
|From gun rights groups|
|Boehner, John (R-OH)||$74,690|
|Gardner, Cory (R-CO)||$66,441|
|Cornyn, John (R-TX)||$65,225|
|McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)||$58,800|
|Cotton, Tom (R-AR)||$52,642|
|From gun control groups|
|Markey, Ed (D-MA)||$2,500|
|Braley, Bruce (D-IA)||$2,000|
|Manchin, Joe (D-WV)||$2,000|
|Barber, Ron (D-AZ)||$2,000|
|Kuster, Ann Mclane (D-NH)||$1,500|
Personally I'm conflicted about gun control. I'm by no means pro-gun. In fact I think the world would be a better place if there were no guns at all. On the other hand, I just don't think stricter gun control laws would be very effective.
As far as lobbying goes I would hope gun rights groups would scale back a bit or gun control groups would up their game to add a little more equality to the system. Even if it won't make much of a difference I think both sides should have a chance to say their piece.