Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gun control and campaign contributions

Howard Nemerov writes on the relationship between gun control, politicians, and political donors here.

Part two of the series, dealing with the campaign contributions of lawyers and law firms, is here. An excerpt:
There is anecdotal evidence that pro-gun control voting correlates with lawyer contributions. For example, Congressional voting on the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006––prohibiting federal officers and employees from confiscating legally-owned firearms during emergencies or disasters––showed that “Yea” voters (supporting prohibition) averaged $35,534 from lawyers during the 2006 election cycle, while the “Nay” voters (supporting future confiscations) averaged $51,665, 45% more.*

As with any demographic group, it would be prejudicial to imply that all lawyers are pro-gun control and that their campaign contributions support only candidates who vote that way. However, the industry contains such organizations.

The American Association for Justice was the largest contributing lawyer organization in 2008, spending $2,991,290 on candidates. Open Secrets notes:
Formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), this group of plaintiffs' attorneys and others in the legal profession now goes by the name of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and boasts 56,000 members worldwide. A lobbying heavyweight, the association has been battling any attempt at tort reform… [emphasis added in original]

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (Senate Bill 397), passed by the Senate on July 29, 2005, represents such tort reform, banning civil liability suits due to injuries and damages resulting from strictly criminal abuse of a firearm. The 65 “Yea” Senators received an average of $366,847 in lawyer campaign contributions, while the 31 “Nay” Senators averaged $645,972, 73.4% more. ...

Part three, discussing NRA grades, is here.

Part four examines the data here.

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