CNN is frantic; since the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Florida high school that launched a new national effort to declare war on the Second Amendment, there has been a “significant spike in donations” to the National Rifle Association.
There are also signs that NRA membership interest is up, and the Federal Election Commission reports a tripling of donations to the organization’s Political Victory Fund from January through February.
The story didn’t mention that this phenomenon apparently is not confined to the NRA. Several days ago, the smaller Second Amendment Foundation – which concentrates on education and litigation while staying out of the political arena – also reported a spike in interest from young Americans in the 18-20-year age category. This was apparently fueled by efforts to strip those citizens of their right to keep and bear arms by raising the minimum age for purchasing rifles and shotgun to 21. It’s their proverbial ox that’s getting gored. The minimum age for buying long guns has been 18 since passage of the 1968 Gun Control Act.
According to CNN, the NRA “collected almost $248,000 in individual contributions in January,” but in February more than $779,000 flowed into NRA coffers.
It may amount to one of those “Well, DUH!” stories, because what else would one expect from American gun owners who suddenly see the Second Amendment under around-the-clock attacks from partisans ranging from 17-year-old high school senior David Hogg to 97-year-old former Supreme Court associate justice John Paul Stevens? Did someone at CNN expect gun rights activists to simply roll over and play dead while the gun prohibition lobby tossed political kerosene on the flames of hysteria?
Meanwhile, anti-gun lobbying organizations including Everytown for Gun Safety, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Americans for Responsible Solutions/Giffords and other groups are constantly out there raising money, too. They were all in the background for last weekend’s “student” marches for gun control, something CNN evidently overlooked.
The Center for Responsive Politics tracks political spending via the opensecrets.org website and all one needs to do is go there and search for the political money being spent by various lobbying groups.
One interesting revelation that should surprise nobody is that in 2016, Donald Trump received $969,138 in “pro-gun rights money” while Hillary Rodham Clinton took in $1,100,698 in “pro-gun control money.”
A little snooping will show that Everytown, the group bankrolled by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, spends a lot more money to help elect Democrats and defeat Republicans than the other way around. Nearly one year ago in Politico, the Bloomberg group pledged to spend more than $25 million on mid-term elections this year.
It should come as no surprise that American gun owners are bracing for battle by digging into their wallets. They are facing an onslaught that threatens to reduce the Second Amendment to a government-regulated privilege. They’ve seen ex-Justice Stevens this week advocate for repeal of the amendment.
What is also no surprise, but rather a major disappointment, is to see so many citizens who are so willing to throw away a fundamental right that so many of their ancestors fought, and maybe died, to preserve.