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NRA Winning the Influence Battle Over Gun Control


The gun control debate is clearly one of the most contentious and controversial issues in America today. And the battle over gun control is now being waged through intensive media campaigns from both sides of the political spectrum to influence public opinion and to assert pressure on policy makers.

So who’s winning? To find out, we turned to objective data provided exclusively to Forbes Insights by Appinions, the influence marketing platform. Keep in mind Forbes Insights has no agenda other than to shed research light on the process of measuring influence and what we can learn from it. The facts are objective, whatever your perspective on the issue may be. We certainly don’t aim to promote either side and are just stating the facts of influence and who is leading or gaining ground through the lens of influence.

Forbes Insights and Appinions looked at the data for the week prior to the Sandy Hook tragedy and trended the data over the subsequent 5 weeks to determine the ebb and flow over the gun control debate. We found that the NRA and the pro-gun rights voices are winning the influence battle and will continue to be strong and more influential if the pro gun control voice remains fragmented. On the flip side, the pro gun control voice could certainly gain influence if they establish a more united voice. Here are some other interesting observations from the data:

Republican politicians are missing from the debate. The debate is an influence battle between President Barack Obama’s Democrats and Wayne LaPierre’s NRA. Of the top 25 stakeholders in the debate, there is only 1 prominent Republican politician (Chris Christie – who is pro-gun control). Barack Obama leads the pro-gun control voice with a net influence score of 268. LaPierre leads the anti-gun control side with a net influence score of 240.

It’s a Marathon, not a sprint. It seems the NRA has the stamina to out-run the pro-gun control movement. They are persistent, un-yielding and gaining influence. It will be interesting to see how the pro-gun control voice responds and how the influence between the two groups changes as the debate persists.

The pro-gun rights voice is rapidly gaining influence while the pro-gun control voice has tapered in recent weeks. Momentum is shifting and the gun control debate is becoming a platform benefiting gun rights advocates.

The pro–gun control group is fragmented whereas the pro-gun rights voice is united and strong. Of the top influencers on the pro-gun rights side, the majority of the most prominent voices are from the NRA. The pro-gun control voice is split between Obama and several gun control advocacy groups which dilutes the message.

by Anonymousreply 1602/03/2013

Isn't this a tried and true public opinion tactic: declare you're winning prematurely in an attempt to lessen resistance from the opposing viewpoint?

Who is this Appinions group? I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it was somehow paid for by the NRA. The old "follow the money" caveat.

Most people just read headlines, so I guess this is working out very well for them.

by Anonymousreply 102/02/2013

I think it's obvious that the NRA is losing this fight. People will read this article and roll their eyes.

by Anonymousreply 202/02/2013

If you think the NRA is losing this debate, then you are hopelessly naive. The East Coast and the West Coast are influential areas, but they are still just the fringes of a huge country, and mid-Americans are never laying down our weapons and surrendering to the criminals.

by Anonymousreply 302/02/2013

I live in Texas, dear. I know of which I speak - even the suburban Republicans here are growing warmer towards increased background checks. Remember, they have children too, and are constantly afraid of them getting shot.

by Anonymousreply 402/02/2013

Something like 95% of voters in Virginia favor background checks. This is another issue (like gay marriage) where the GOP are on the wrong side of history. This association with the extremist wing of the NRA will even hurt them in the Red States.

The GOP must have a death wish.

by Anonymousreply 502/02/2013

R5, if that is the case then why are the Senate Democrats admitting that they are having trouble getting the votes to pass Sen. Feinstein's bill?

Not only will most of the Republican Senators not support it, but it looks like some of the Democratic Senators may not either.

Examples of D's who may vote against it:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Sen. Max Bacchus (D-MT)

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

by Anonymousreply 602/02/2013

The majority still supports the NRA, unfortunately.

by Anonymousreply 702/03/2013

I live in southern MD (which is really more VA than MD) and many people - otherwise rational people - see this issue as the government infringing on their rights rather than a safety issue. People out in the sticks aren't impacted (or don't really care) about violence in the inner cities and while they feel sad for people in Newtown or Aurora, but they don't feel bad enough to give up what they perceive as their God given rights. I just don't think most people see gun violence as an issue that really impacts them so they don't really care. Until the repugs became afraid of the backlash from the latino tide, they didn't care about immigration either because people in Ohio and Indiana aren't really impacted on a day to day basis by illegals. So unfortunately, I think the NRA wins for now...

by Anonymousreply 802/03/2013

I would have been in favor of some sensible reforms, but the Piers Morgan sideshow, the media hysteria, and President Obama using kids as actual props at his speech were big turnoffs. Sometimes you can overplay your hand.

by Anonymousreply 902/03/2013

That was a bad attempt to appear liberal, R9. You're clearly a Republican.

by Anonymousreply 1002/03/2013

I don't think r9 was trying to sound liberal

by Anonymousreply 1102/03/2013

95% of Americans support background checks. 60% support banning high capacity clips. 55% support banning assault weapons. The percentage of Americans who want stricter gun control has gone up since the shooting in Newtown, CT. This article is utter nonsense.

You don't kill a bunch of white kids and think this is just going away.

by Anonymousreply 1202/03/2013

R12, you are being naive. Polls may show that, but it doesn't translate into any real political power or influence.

As I mentioned above, even some Democratic Senators will vote against Dianne Feinstein's assault weapons ban. It's going to be very difficult to pass anything.

by Anonymousreply 1302/03/2013

[bold]In Gun Control Debate, Several Options Draw Majority Support: Gun Rights Proponents More Politically Active[/bold]

by Anonymousreply 1402/03/2013

R6, Background check will pass this year. Assault weapons later. The NRA is against any restrictions. This will be a good step in the right direction.

by Anonymousreply 1502/03/2013

Public opinion is for gun control and the NRA (= weapon industry) is bribing or bullying the representatives left and right to vote in their favor. Guess which side will win or will have to make less of a commpromise?

by Anonymousreply 1602/03/2013
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