Jovan Belcher And The Media Myth Of NRA Dominance
Blog ››› December 13, 2012 2:48 PM EST ››› MATT GERTZ
With every tragic shooting comes the same series of media narratives. Some in the right-wing media will proclaim that now is not the time for a discussion about the larger issue of gun violence, and the steps that can be taken to prevent it. Other conservatives will claim that the tragedy could have been averted if the victims were armed. And inevitably, someone in the traditional media will push the myth that no action can be taken because of the supposed power of the National Rifle Association.
National Journal Editor-in-Chief Reid Wilson is the latest to go down the latter path. In a December 13 column, he writes in response to the "missing conversation" that followed NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher's murder of his girlfriend and suicide and the subsequent response from sports journalists:
The president is unlikely to devote political capital to any sort of serious push for new gun-control legislation. Though the National Rifle Association's power has waned from its peak, Republicans remain firmly on the NRA's side while Democrats remain deeply scarred by the gun-rights group's success in ousting pro-gun-control legislators.
...In his study of House races over four election cycles, Waldman determined that Republican incumbents, Democratic incumbents, and Republican candidates in open seat races did not receive a statistically significant advantage if endorsed by the NRA. NRA-backed Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents get a "small boost" of two percentage points than similar candidates without the endorsement. ...