Democracy Now! - December 18, 2012: Since Friday's mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 27 dead -- 20 children and seven adults -- the National Rifle Association has been silent. The powerful lobbying organization has long pressured lawmakers to maintain easy access to firearms in the United States, prompting many to say the NRA is standing in the way of reform. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA has spent more than $2.2 million lobbying Congress this year alone. By comparison, the gun control lobby spent just $180,000. We're joined by Lisa Graves, who has extensively tracked how the NRA's power and wealth has long thwarted gun control proposals. Graves documents how one of the key avenues used to exert its influence is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the secretive group helps corporate America propose and draft legislation for states across the country. Graves formerly served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Clinton administration's Justice Department, where she handled national gun policy.
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