The NRA has been, much like the Republican Party, appealing to the fringes of its group with ever increasing efforts. However, as the pro-gun group drives itself further and further away from the middle, and deeper into the depths of the far-right, it is drawing the ire of not just everyday Americans but also the the contempt of some powerful billionaires, not the least of which being Bill Gates.
The Daily Beast reported that Bill and melinda Gates have made a contribution of $1 million to a campaign in Washington state that supports Initiative 594. Washington state’s Initiative 594 will require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the state, if it is passed by voters on November 4.
It already has the support of other tech giants, according to the Associated Press. Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder donated $500,000 to the campaign and Nick Hanauer has donated a total of $1.4 million to the campaign to support the initiative. In total, the campaign has raised $6 million in support.
Bill Gates brings another element into the mix, supporting the initiative. Unlike his other tech cohorts, Bill Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation enjoy media coverage that is unparalleled by others that have supported the initiative so far.
As Cliff Schecter points out, Gates has an ability to affect real change in a cause and “…the NRA has Chuck Norris…”.
Will the initiative pass? If the NRA’s track record is any indicator of future outcomes, it will inevitably try to turn the discussion of the initiative itself into a mudslinging match against its supporters. Hopefully, with the authority and influence of an individual like Bill Gates, and 70 percent of the population supporting it, the state will be able to pass the initiative without sinking to the NRA’s usual depths.