In a recent radio debate with me, an NRA official confirmed that the organization is opposed to uniform criminal background checks for fear they will "shut down gun shows." The NRA says that not even people on the suspected terrorist watch list should be barred from purchasing guns because – are you ready for this? – "we do not know how people are put on the list" and "many times people are victims of mistaken identity."
Eighty-nine percent of Americans said they wanted mandatory background checks for anyone buying a gun, according to a 2007 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and The Tarrance Group survey. But the NRA has continually blocked such common-sense legislation as mandatory background checks and five-day waiting periods to buy a handgun. NRA policies handcuff national law enforcement's ability to effectively regulate private gun sales, gun shows, and even the sharing of crime-gun trace data within the law enforcement community.
By putting guns into the hands of terrorists, criminals, and the mentally ill, the policies the NRA helped create a society where defense by guns becomes mandatory. Meanwhile, the bank accounts of the NRA leaders and lobbyists are enriched and congressional coffers are replenished. Gun manufacturers reinforce this cycle by investing in the NRA.
According to Federal Elections Commission Reports the NRA has spent more than $22 million on congressional candidates in order to support its agenda during the past four election cycles. In 2004, the NRA spent nearly $4 million to reelect George W. Bush.