But on Tuesday’s call, Murphy and Mark Glaze, director of the gun safety coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns, argued that the Sandy Hook shooting has changed the political calculus. Glaze noted that well-financed new groups, including a national initiative spearheaded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband, Mark Kelly, have set out to counter the NRA. Giffords was injured in a Tucson shooting in 2011. Her PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, has set out to raise $20 million.
“The perception of power is power, and the NRA is principally a marketing organization” peddling fear, Glaze said. He added that the NRA’s political budget has lost relative impact in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling to deregulate political spending.
“The campaign finance world and the issue campaign world changed after Citizens United,” Glaze said. “The end result is that what the NRA spends in almost all races is now a comparative drop in the bucket.”
President Barack Obama has called on his new grass-roots group, Organizing for Action, to support his proposed package of sweeping gun restrictions with calls to Capitol Hill. But in a twist that may reflect the NRA’s enduring power, Obama’s group has reportedly been unable to register a domain name. The domain name organizingforaction.net, for one, is already taken, the Los Angeles Times reported — by none other than the NRA.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.