New Republic

In: Business and Management

Submitted By danrody
Words 5622
Pages 23
T HIS HOW NRA E
A BIGGER, RICHER, MEANER GUN-CONTROL

S IS T HE ENDS
MOVEMENT HAS ARRIVED. BY ALEC MACGILLIS

18
JUNE 10, 2013 THE NEW REPUBLIC

buyers failed in the Senate, and the fatalistic shrugs in Washington were so numerous they were nearly audible. The legislation had been a modest bipartisan compromise, supported by 90 percent of the public and lobbied for hard by the president. A group backed by Michael Bloomberg had spent $12 million on ads pressuring senators to vote “yes.” When the bill fell short—by just ve votes—it seemed to con rm a Beltway article of faith: There’s no point messing with the National Ri e Association (NRA). And that, many assumed, was the last we’d be hearing about gun reform. But then something unexpected happened. Some of the senators who’d voted “no” faced furious voters back home. Even before Erica La erty, the daughter of murdered Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung, confronted New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte at a particularly tense town hall, Ayotte’s disapproval rating in the state had jumped from 35 to 46 percent—half the respondents said her “no” vote made them less likely to support her. In Pennsylvania, which has the second-highest concentration of NRA members in the country, the bill’s Republican co-sponsor, Pat Toomey, saw his approval reach a record high. One of the country’s best-known gun-rights advocates, Robert Levy, said the NRA’s “stonewalling of the background-check proposal was a mistake, both politically and substantively.” In the Senate, the backlash had an e ect. Some Republicans who had opposed the bill, such as Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Je Flake of Arizona, signaled they might be open to changing their minds. Majority Leader Harry Reid, once a dependable NRA ally, spoke about taking the rare step of bringing the bill back for another vote. Senator Joe Manchin, the bill’s…...

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