“Why Joe Biden needs the NRA”

THE WASHINGTON POST – THE FIX

The news that Vice President Joe Biden would huddle with executives from the National Rifle Association on Thursday came as unwelcome news to many gun control advocates who view the NRA as an organization to be ignored, not invited in.

But, the meeting is smart politics by Biden — and the White House more broadly. It’s a recognition that, to pass something on guns through Congress, they need the NRA either on board or not totally in opposition to the proposal.

Why? Like them or hate them — and there are lots of people who feel both ways — the NRA has proven to be among the best-funded and most effective groups when it comes to swaying the sentiments of members of Congress.

And while groups like Mayors Against illegal Guns and the newly-formed Americans for Responsible Solutions are being built to match (or at least approximate) the political power of the NRA, neither group is close to there yet — and likely won’t be for some time, if ever.

Biden, as he has shown both in cutting the debt ceiling deal of 2011 and the fiscal cliff compromise of 2012, understands how legislation makes and breaks in Congress, and he gets that, at least for now, the NRA is an unchallenged force on Capitol Hill when it comes to gun issues.

And remember that while the broad sentiment about what gun violence says about our society has shifted since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., last month, public opinion on specific proposals has changed far less.  FULL ARTICLE

Official portrait of Vice President of the Uni...

Official portrait of Vice President of the United States . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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