Trayvon Martin's death may have opened a nationwide dialogue about the wisdom of lax gun laws. But that hasn't slowed down the National Rifle Association. The absolutist Second Amendment group remains firmly on offense, representing a movement that has crushed its political adversaries so thoroughly that even tragic tales can't slow its juggernaut.
Read More →
At its annual convention in St. Louis, Mo. this weekend, NRA's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, decried the "sensational reporting from Florida," referring to stories about Martin, an unarmed teenager recently who was shot to death in late February. NRA Executive Director Chris Cox defended the state's "stand your ground" law that may ultimately let shooter George Zimmerman off the hook, declaring, "Castle doctrine can literally save your life."
These are the words of an aggressive, well-funded lobby that is turning gun lovers' wildest dreams into reality. Indeed, recent high-profile shootings made possible by lax guns laws -- including one that almost killed former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- have failed to arrest the two-decade-long trend, boosted by a pliant Republican Party, a solid Supreme Court majority and a Democratic Party that has mostly abandoned the gun-control cause.
Despite four years of the NRA crowing about the dangers Barack Obama presents to the Second Amendment, his presidency has been remarkably friendly to the pro-gun cause, and persisting fears to the contrary have inspired a golden era of gun rights in the states.
Here are highlights of pro-gun victories since 2009: