A woman grabs a button during a "lobby day" held by the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn., Monday, March 11, 2013.
Jessica Hill/AP

NRA: ‘The most fearsome lobbying organization in America’

Last Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut where 26 victims – mostly children – were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

After the shooting last December, President Obama forcefully urged the nation and members of Congress to take action on gun safety reform. “We can’t tolerate this anymore,” President Obama said, “these tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.”

But over the year, we’re still waiting for that change at the national level. It’s been eight months since Congress failed to pass a bill expanding background checks. For a majority of Americans, the solution to the nation’s gun violence lies in stronger gun laws. Yet reasonable regulations have proved to be politically impossible in Washington, almost exclusively because of the power of the gun lobby in Washington. And it’s not just the N.R.A.

In this week’s New York Times Magazine, Robert Draper shows how the N.R.A. defeated efforts to expand background checks in Congress. Draper takes us inside the gun lobby power struggle between the establishment N.R.A. and smaller, fringe groups that single-handedly changed the fate of gun safety reform.

On Monday, Robert Draper joined NOW with Alex Wagner to discuss what he describes as “the most fearsome lobbying organization in America.”

Gun Policy, Gun Violence, Newtown and NRA

NRA: 'The most fearsome lobbying organization in America'