NEW YORK — Much of the National Rifle Association’s political power comes from everyday Americans, who have contributed nearly $85 million to the organization’s political action committee in the last decade.
CNNMoney spoke with the largest individual donor to its PAC, the NRA Political Victory Fund, and asked him why he gave so much of his earnings to the organization.
A computer programmer from Texas, he asked to remain anonymous in order to protect his privacy.
Here’s what he had to say:
My annual donations have been approximately 5% to 10% of my income.
It is a good percentage of my income, but I want to do everything I can easily do to preserve my freedoms.
In the Clinton presidency I became alarmed with the steady attack on gun rights and more so when Al Gore campaigned on gun licensing. I believe the eventual goal is to prevent the average private citizen from owning guns.
It is much easier to fight these bans now with money than to fight laws later with lawyers or evasion.
I think having the average citizen armed is a powerful deterrent to would be abusers (criminals, police, politicians, maybe even foreign troops in some distant future).
I hope the money [I donate] will be used to help conservative or libertarian minded candidates win elections. I donated to the Bush presidential campaign and to the RNC for ’00 and ’04.
But I want to support the pro-gun Democrats also, so I switched my support almost exclusively to the PAC and trust them to aid the right people. I also think the PAC is large enough for politicians to notice what issue is driving the contributions.