Life is a cabaret my friends. Be that as it may, money makes the world go around. Back in the day, the gulf between the money fueling the gun control movement and the funding protecting firearms freedom was as wide as the margins on the old TTAG template. With the exception of the deep-pocketed Joyce Foundation, the civilian disarmament movement lacked the financial firepower to recruit, solidify and stir their base. With its three million dues-paying, memorabilia-buying members and enough brand extensions to drive a Coca-Cola executive crazy, the National Rifle Association had nothing but money with which to rally the faithful at the merest whisper of gun control and pay its political PAC. The recent gun control push has increased NRA membership and swollen their coffers. Unfortunately, Bloomberg. Giffords. publicintegrity.org tallies their take . . .
“Together, newly formed super PACs launched by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg brought in about $8.6 million during the first half of the year, a Center for Public Integrity review of federal records shows.” . . .
Meanwhile, the NRA’s political action committee amassed nearly $7.1 million in contributions so far this year — an upsurge from $4.8 million this time last year and $2.4 in 2011 — according to the group’s most recent FEC filing.
Yes, but—the NRA is a more “populist” group, right? Lots of smaller contributions rather than big buck billionaires supporting gun control. Yes and no. But mostly yes.
[Americans for Responsible Solutions], which also has a 501(c)(4) nonprofit arm, still has $4.8 million left in the bank through June 30. About half of the money the super PAC has received so far came from individual donations of less than $200.
But Americans for Responsible Solutions was also buoyed by a handful of six-figure contributions. The group’s largest donor this period was CEO Salesforce.com Marc Benioff, a bundler for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, who gave $500,000.
The law firm of Steve Mostyn, a major Democratic donor and American for Responsible Solutions’ treasurer, contributed $250,000 to the group, as did Napster co-founder Sean Parker.
Giffords’ super PAC also received $250,000 from Bloomberg, who has been a leading figure in the gun control debate.
Gun rights advocates are far more motivated—financially and politically—to get off their collective rear end and donate, lobby and rally. But it is the latter two that make the most difference. Money makes the world go around, but jumping into the fray with both feet keeps gun control advocates spinning their wheels. Or something like that.