In an op-ed that ran this week on the left-wing Huffington Post web site, the Brady Campaign's Dan Gross tried to make the case that the NRA is a weak political force.
He based his claims on a study done by the Sunlight Foundation that measured money spent in the election against races won and lost. Because the NRA spent money on important, highly contested races in which we could make a difference, rather than simply backing sure winners, the score NRA received was low. However, in his effort to claim that this means the NRA is without real power or influence, Gross left out a few important facts.
First, even after this disappointing election, both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House will continue to have pro-gun majorities in the 113th Congress. This is true because NRA and gun owners have been a significant force in elections for many years. The political activities of the NRA over the past 20 years means that even after a disappointing election, gun owners still have the upper hand.
Gross also failed to mention how his own organization scored in the 2012 elections. The reason for that is simple: the Brady Campaign was not included in the study because it just isn't a player. It raised and spent so little money that it wasn't worth measuring. However, if you apply the same standards to Brady as the Sunlight Foundation used, the Brady score would be 0.00. It did not spend money backing one winning candidate in the 2012 election.
So, who is really irrelevant? NRA and America's 100 million gun owners who fight in every election to elect pro-Second Amendment candidates, or the Brady Campaign, which sits on the sidelines because it has no ability to significantly influence any election?