The May 2 letter “ Bloomberg’s astroturf campaign” positioned billionaire Michael Bloomberg against a “grassroots” gun rights movement. The gun lobby is anything but a grassroots movement.
The National Rifle Association, one of the 140 biggest overall donors to federal elections since the 1990 election cycle, has received an estimated tens of millions of dollars from the firearms industry. Wayne LaPierre has stated that the NRA’s “Corporate Partners Program is an opportunity for corporations to partner with the NRA. This program is geared toward your company’s corporate interests.”
The total contributions to political candidates from NRA PACs is cited as being 27 times larger than contributions from individuals. In the 2012 election cycle, the NRA directed 89 percent of its contributions to Republican candidates and 96 percent (so far) in the 2014 election cycle – the same party that obstructed a bipartisan expanded background check bill supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans.
Former SCOTUS Chief Justice Warren Burger (a Nixon appointee) stated that the gun lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment was “one of the greatest pieces of fraud – I repeat the word ‘fraud’ – on the American public by special-interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”