When the National Rifle Assn. backed improved background checks on gun buyers in the 1990s, the organization truly was nonpartisan. Time and money have changed that.
Witness the lineup of speakers at the NRA's annual convention over the weekend. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others represent only the most conservative factions of the Republican Party. Whatever semblance of balance that existed at the NRA has been replaced by hyperpartisanship.
If the NRA ever wishes to reverse course, it should start by inviting GOP Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, John McCain of Arizona, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Susan Collins of Maine to speak next year. They were the only Republican senators to vote in April in favor of expanded background checks.