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NAT’L – OPINION – Amy Coney Barrett Nomination is Mitch McConnell’s Deadly Gift to an Ailing NRA

The National Rifle Association and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both got serious about politics in 1977. That May, a coup at the NRA led to the installation of a new president who was determined to turn the organization from a sportsmen’s association into a political kingmaker. Five months later, McConnell won his first political contest, becoming the county executive of Louisville, Kentucky. Over the next 43 years, McConnell and the NRA grew into political institutions—and they did it with help from each other. All told, the NRA has poured $1.3 million into McConnell’s Senate campaigns. The organization also helped him amass power in Congress, spending more than $20 million in 2014 to elect a Republican majority to the Senate, and $50 million more in 2016 to hold that majority and elect Donald Trump. For his part, McConnell has been a loyal foot soldier to the gun lobby, reliably shutting down any attempt to push common-sense gun safety laws through the Senate, even as nearly 40,000 Americans are killed by gun violence every year. [full article]

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