The National Rifle Association is a gorilla in American politics. It is large, fearsome and relentless. Any legislator who threatens its mission – making guns easier to buy, sell and carry throughout the country – can expect to pay a price at the polls.
Creating a counterweight to the NRA has long been a dream of gun-control advocates. If only, the thinking went, they had the resources and reach to punish or reward politicians the way their opponents did.