What happened to the gun lobby in the US?

Donald Trump naturally responded to the synagogue shooting by calling for more armed guards in houses of worship and other public places.

The number of people in the US who died in massacres from the “popular” AR-15 was 176. That jumped to 225 in 2016 [if including the AR-15 cousin, the SIG Sauer MCX].

Following a series of deadly mass shootings in the late 1980s and early 1990s the AR-15 and similar were banned in the US. Fatalities caused by such rifles dropped, although killings by other semi-automatics went up.

When the ban came up for renewal in 2004, the Republican controlled Congress let it lapse, despite polling that suggested it remained a popular gun control measure with the public. Surprised?

According to a recent Gallup poll, support for stricter gun control is at 61 per cent. Support is very strong among Democrats at 87 per cent. Sixty-one per cent of independents are also in support. Not surprisingly just 31 per cent of Republicans support gun control.

As of last week, gun control groups have outspent the pro-gun supports. In comparison, in 2016, $55 million were donated to the gun supporters and around $5.5 million for gun control.

A Wall St. Journal report counted 102,000 gun-control-themed ads that had been aired in battleground states, versus just 4,500 in the 2014 midterms.

The National Rifle Association, the big gun rights group/lobby in the US, had spent just $1.6 million US on ads and campaign contributions, compared to $16 million by the same point in the 2014 cycle. Part of the reason is that the NRA membership has plummeted [less $35 million in 2017] and they are now in a deficit.

US politicians [almost all are conservatives] that are supported by the NRA will feel the loss of funding compared to previous election years and will have to rely on other donors. Some of them received millions from the NRA.