Why we lost
by Jim Irvine
President Barack Obama has been re-elected President of the United States. He won both the Electoral College and the popular vote taking over 60 million votes, while Mitt Romney fell short of 58 million votes.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) was "all in" to "defend freedom and defeat Obama." The Second Amendment Foundation strongly warned of the dangers a second Obama administration would bring. Many state groups documented the potential dangers lurking in a second Obama term: Appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court and other Federal justices, U.N. gun ban treaties, Fast and Furious cover-up, executive orders to BATFE on extra red tape in border states, a renewal of the so-called "assault weapons" ban and the use of executive privilege. Don't forget the increased rates for your health insurance under Obamacare for the "risky" behavior of owning a gun. There are plenty of concerns for the informed voter.
The NRA's favorability rating has steadily climbed over the years and set a new record again this year with 68% of the population viewing the NRA favorably. A majority of Republicans and Democrats view the NRA favorably. Many non-gun-owners join and support the NRA because they recognize that losing any of our rights means we can lose all of our rights. They understand that it's not really about the "gun" but rather the freedom and the enjoyment that is associated with the gun.
Estimates are that there are over 100 million gun owners. But there are only 4 million NRA members. That means that at least 96% of gun owners didn't spend $25 to join this year. That is fairly amazing considering that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) found that sportsmen pump $90 billion into our economy on an annual basis.
There were fewer than 119 million votes cast for Obama and Romney combined. So 100 million gun owners could have been 84% of the vote (Assuming all gun owners vote. And really – if you don't take time to vote, you don't matter anyway.) and swayed the election even if every other voter on every other issue combined to vote against them. That is the power of the gun lobby, and why the NRA advised members to "Vote Freedom First."
So gun owners could have controlled the election, but chose not to. Whatever the reason, we are all going to find out how much that decision is going to cost. My guess is it will far exceed the cost of an NRA membership or a hunting license.
At the beginning of every year, we outline the "Top Threats" to gun owners. In 2012, the "Apathetic, misinformed or anti-gun gun owner" was listed as #1. It certainly seems like that pre-election prediction was on the money.
If you want to change things, click here and join the NRA now.
Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman, and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award."