The myth of the NRA’s dark money

Whenever there is a horrific mass shooting in the US, the question of why Americans don’t push for gun control is raised. It is pointed out that polling suggests most voters, across both parties, would be comfortable with more ‘enhanced background checks’. Yet many Americans still vote for candidates that oppose such measures, and politicians remain unresponsive to the public’s concerns.

The reason for this? The Republican Party has been bought off by the National Rifle Association (NRA), we are told. After the Las Vegas shooting, Jimmy Kimmel claimed that the NRA had the Republican Party’s ‘balls in a money clip’. Following last week’s school shooting in Florida, a New York Times editorial argued that the NRA and its ‘congressional servants have been an unyielding obstacle to sensible reform’. The NYT talks of the lobby having a ‘stranglehold on our elected officials’.