Please ignore the "click bait head line" it does not represent what the article is about.
Gun Rights: President Obama recently accused the "gun lobby" of holding the country "hostage." This is quite a slur, given that by "gun lobby," he means millions of law-abiding American gun owners.
'The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage, but they can't hold America hostage. We can't accept this carnage in our community," Obama said in a tweet Monday night.
Whenever the subject of gun control comes up, its advocates — and friends in the press — say pretty much the same thing. Typical are headlines such as:
"Gun lobby's money and power still hold sway over Congress."
"Massive gun profits make firearms nearly impossible to control."
"Since mass shooting in Newtown, the nation's four biggest gun makers have raked in $632 million in profits."
Such reports typically leave out important facts that undermine this convenient portrayal of a well-heeled lobby blocking the will of the public.
First, there's the simple fact that the gun industry isn't all that big. According to IBISWorld, the guns and ammunition manufacturing industry had revenue of $13.5 billion in 2015. Wal-Mart makes that much every 10 days or so. And the industry's $1.5 billion in total profit is lower than 223 individual companies in the U.S.
The industry directly employs more than 130,000, but this too is relatively small potatoes. The furniture manufacturing industry employs almost 400,000 in the U.S.
Nor is the gun and ammo industry a massive donor to political campaigns. According to OpenSecrets.org, gun rights groups gave $4 million in congressional campaign contributions in the 2012 election cycle. Public unions, in contrast, coughed up almost $17 million.
In 2015, gun rights groups spent just over $8 million lobbying Congress. Labor unions spent almost four times as much — $33 million.
And the NRA's revenue — $256 million in 2012 — is less than that at the Nature Conservancy, Planned Parenthood, UNICEF, PBS and over 50 other nonprofits.
Meanwhile, the public's support of gun control has steadily eroded over the past several decades. A Roper survey recently found more support for expanding gun rights than enacting more gun control. Gallup finds that 58% of the public has a favorable view of the NRA.
The explosion in gun sales after mass shootings is a clear sign that Americans are more interested in protecting themselves than in making it harder to buy a gun.
Does any of this look like a country "held hostage"?
The truth is that the NRA isn't powerful because it spends lavishly for political favors. It's powerful because the nation's millions of gun owners — and many who don't own guns — are passionate about protecting their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
It is, in other words, one of the few truly grass-roots lobbying organizations in Washington.
If the country is being held hostage, it's by an imperial president who shows a repeated disdain for the democratic process and a determination to impose his will on the public no matter what.http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/010516-788185-obama-says-gun-lobby-holds-nation-hostage.htm