Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Gun Vote Wins

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Gun Vote Wins

This feature appears in the January ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.  

On Nov. 3, The Washington Post reported on the results of a survey of D.C. government relations professionals that ranked NRA as “most effective at affecting public policy.” Less than a week later, NRA demonstrated precisely why we and the gun owners we represent are the most powerful force in American politics, when NRA-endorsed Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton for the presidency. Thanks to the unique passion of NRA members and gun owners, we have an unparalleled power to mobilize voters in support of candidates who defend our rights, and against those who oppose them.

This is something Hillary Clinton should have known. 

In 1994, Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act into law, commonly known as the “Clinton crime bill.” The legislation contained a ban on hundreds of semi-automatic firearms. That year, NRA worked aggressively in the midterm elections to defeat lawmakers who supported the semi-automatic ban. 

As a result of their support for gun control, Democrats lost control of Congress. Bill Clinton would later write in his autobiography that “The NRA had a great night. … The gun lobby claimed to have defeated 19 of the 24 members on their hit list. They did at least that much damage and could rightly claim to have made [Newt] Gingrich the House Speaker.”

Also in his book, Clinton identified the NRA as responsible for former Vice President Al Gore’s failed 2000 presidential campaign. In particular, he pointed to the NRA’s influence in Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia and several other states.

Following Gore’s loss, Democrats sought to distance their party from gun control in order to improve their political fortunes. The most shameless example of this was John Kerry’s goose hunting photo-op in the 2004 presidential campaign, which he tried to use to cover up years of voting for gun control. While running for the presidency in 2008 and re-election in 2012, Barack Obama also tried to convince voters that he supported the Second Amendment. And as recently as 2013, Bill Clinton urged Democratic donors not to dismiss gun rights supporters, warning, “Do not patronize the passionate supporters of your opponents by looking down your nose at them.”

Those who understand politics immediately recognized NRA’s important role in what many called the most stunning political upset in American history. As a Trump win became apparent on election night, Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” remarked, “Trump got a big assist here. … Donald Trump didn’t get a lot of help from major Republican institutions, but he did from the NRA and they came through big. This is a big night for the NRA.”

Even our opponents were forced to recognize NRA’s resounding victory. A collaborative article from the Center for Responsive Politics and Michael Bloomberg-funded The Trace website detailed NRA’s success in federal races up and down the ballot. The title of the piece said it all: “The NRA Placed Big Bets on the 2016 Election, and Won Almost All of Them.”

We also saw huge victories at the state and local level throughout the country, including the election of pro-gun governors in several states. These successes were highlighted by our victory in Maine, where despite being outspent by 4-to-1, NRA defeated a Bloomberg-bankrolled ballot initiative that would have restricted the private transfer of firearms. The Bangor Daily News trumpeted the result as “a major upset for Maine’s gun rights grassroots.”

On Nov. 8, 2016, we witnessed a historic victory for gun owners that all friends of liberty should celebrate. This victory should also stand as a powerful warning for those who seek to diminish our firearm freedoms. As the old saying goes, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Just ask Hillary Clinton.

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, since 2002. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

TRENDING NOW
The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Washington Post Gives Gun Control Group and U.S. Senator Three Pinocchios on Suppressors

Last week, we wrote about Americans for Responsible Solutions’ irresponsible misinformation about The Hearing Protection Act on Twitter.  Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who took notice of ARS’s complete disregard for the facts on ...

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Today, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 724, an anti-gun bill which undermines some of the key advancements made with the passage and enactment of House Bill 1249.  SB 724 is now headed to the ...

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

Friday, March 24, 2017

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

This week, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed multiple pro-gun bills, including House Bill 1721, House Bill 2323, and House Bill 2322. 

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Embraces Heller and Originalism During Senate Hearings

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme court, asserted during his confirmation hearings this week that Scalia’s landmark Second Amendment opinion in District of ...

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Tonight, Governor Gary Herbert signed House Bill 198 into law.

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

Continuing to Fight in California

Friday, March 24, 2017

Continuing to Fight in California

We are excited to inform you of our new California specific webpage – Stand and Fight California.   On this page you will find State Legislation, Legal Updates, and How to Get Involved, among other California ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.