Firearm manufacturers are flooding our communities with militarized high-capacity handguns, assault rifles, pistols, and rifles, increasing the lethality of armed encounters and empowering mass killers.
“Is Your Bank Loaded?” is a new report by Guns Down America, a nonprofit group, that brings together key stakeholders to push America’s largest banks to stop doing business with the gun industry and its lobby until we adopt strict laws that make firearms significantly harder to get and impose safety standards on firearms. Guns Down America and its partners reviewed public financial and legal filings to determine how much business the nation’s 15 largest banks have conducted with gun manufacturers, the NRA, and the top recipients of NRA contributions in Congress. Based on this information, we have graded the banks on a 100-point scale.
Why is the National Rifle Association so powerful? asks The Guardian in an in-depth analysis of the political role of the NRA in resisting efforts to reduce gun violence. Here’s a clue: it’s not (just) about the money. The vast majority of Americans support gun control, and yet Congress has failed to toughen laws even in the wake of a series of mass shootings. With the NRA pouring money into political races at record levels it is an easy argument to make that the gun lobby has bought Washington – but that fails to paint a full picture… “The NRA has money that it uses to help its favored candidates get elected. But the real source of its power, I believe, comes from voters,” said Adam Winkler, professor of constitutional law at the UCLA School of Law and author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. By choosing its battles wisely, the NRA has shown an ability to swing primary elections in favor of pro-gun candidates, Winkler said. “That’s the real source of their strength,” he said. That and its use of a relatively small number of highly motivated people to push an agenda that appears out of step with the general population, which, according to recent polling, is in favor of stricter gun laws.
The Illinois Senate passed a gun dealer licensing bill, known as Senate Bill 1657, in a 30-21 vote, according to Democratic Senator Don Harmon’s press office, reports WABC 7 Eyewitness News in Chicago. “This was a difficult and a controversial bill, I know,” Harmon said in a press release. “I appreciate the support of every senator who was able to put children and families ahead of the NRA.” According to the release, the bill would allow Illinois to license gun dealers and encourage better business practices while holding corrupt dealers accountable.
Above, a Glock 17, one of the two guns used in the Orlando shooting. Credit
Lee Fang writes in The Intercept that in recent corporate presentations, leading gun makers celebrated the fact that consumers bought more firearms because of the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino. And, prior to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Saturday night, executives were telling investors to expect another big bump — because of the upcoming elections.
Continue reading Gun Industry Describes Mass Shootings like Orlando as a “Big Opportunity”
For four decades, the National Rifle Association has pumped millions of dollars into federal elections, supporting both Republican and Democratic candidates who voted in accordance with the gun group’s strict view of the Second Amendment. That era is over, reports the New York Daily News and The Trace. “What you’re seeing is that the NRA is now operating at the core of the Republican national party coalition,” says Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, a leading think tank on money in politics. “They’ve essentially zeroed out Democrats. They used to give to them as a way to maintain leverage in both parties.”