The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun manufacturers’ trade association, contributed $34,000 to federal candidates’ campaigns in 2012. Open Secrets also reports that the NSSF spent $1,130,000 on lobbying in 2011-2012 and a total of $51,990 in PAC money during the 2012 election cycle. According to their “2012 Economic Impact Report,” the firearms and ammunition industries employ 99,820 people. This averages out to $12.18 per person in total political spending for the 2012 election cycle.
The NSSF estimates that the entire firearms and ammunition industry generated about $6 billion in revenue for 2012. If these companies were combined into one, it would rank around 410 on the Fortune 500 list.
The NRA currently has almost 5 million members, according to NRA sources. During the 2012 election cycle, the NRA spent a total of $22.7M on federal politics: $1.1M in direct campaign contributions, $5.5M on lobbying, and $16.2M in PAC money, which included another $1.5M in campaign contributions. Assuming “almost 5 million” is closer to 4.9M members, the NRA spent about $4.64 per member on federal politics during the last election cycle. Feinstein apparently believes that some Americans have more First Amendment rights than others, with net worth being a major criterion:
* Advertising to promote proposed federal gun control
According to Feinstein’s “money equals influence” criterion, Michael Bloomberg, one of the wealthiest people in the world, spent nearly as much as five million Americans to convince Congress to limit our civil right of self-defense.
If millions of Americans band together into one organization that represents their interests, and it spends $4.64 per person to advance those interests, that’s a “threat” to the legislative process. But if one wealthy person spends over $24 million to advance Feinstein’s interests? That’s democracy in action.
This is all very curious, because the Oxford English Dictionary defines democracy as:
A form of government in which the power resides in the people and is exercised by them either directly or by means of elected representatives; a form of society which favors equal rights, the ignoring of hereditary class distinctions, and tolerance of minority views.
Considering that there are 100 million gun owners in America, the civil right of self-defense isn’t even a minority view. Democratic Senator Feinstein’s — and rich “liberal” Michael Bloomberg’s — real message: “How dare you oppose my will?”
Now that’s undemocratic.