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In case you missed it, yesterday the Washington Post reported that the NRA has recently pulled its past ratings for political candidates from the website of its political action committee, the NRA-PVF, tacitly acknowledging the gun lobby’s growing toxicity.
“Until recently, members of the National Rifle Association could view past ratings for political candidates on the website for the organization’s political action committee. Those old grades, which often were used to categorize the NRA-friendliness of sitting lawmakers, are no longer available to logged-in members. A drop-down menu that once displayed past years is now empty.
“Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA, initially denied that any change had been made to the organization’s system.
“Nothing has changed with our archives,” she said when we spoke by phone Monday. Told that past grades were no longer available even to members, she speculated that it might be “an IT glitch” on our end.”
Another NRA representative who refused to give his name offered a possible rationale: “I think our enemies were using that,” he said.
This decision is just the latest proof point that the NRA is becoming increasingly toxic. Polling by NBC/Wall Street Journal found the NRA’s favorability ratings underwater for the first time since before 2000.
At the same time, candidates are actively embracing gun violence prevention as they seek office. In years past, a candidate’s position on gun safety was considered something to run from – pundits deemed gun safety a third rail of politics. But in 2018, candidates across the country, of all parties, are actively running on their gun violence prevention bonafides as they seek elected office – just as we saw happen in 2017 in Virginia when candidates up and down the ballot ran on gun safety and won in the NRA’s backyard.
Did you know?
The U.S. gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other high-income countries.
Grinshteyn, E. and Hemenway, D. “Violent Death Rates in the US Compared to Those of the Other High-income Countries, 2015.” Preventive Medicine. (2019). https://bit.ly/3kyfsSs