INSTITUTE INDEX: The NRA's death grip on Southern politics

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year. In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, LaPierre said his organization opposes "banning guns on the criminal act of a madman." (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia.)

Date on which the deadliest mass shooting by a single person in modern U.S. history took place at a country music festival in Las Vegas, with 58 dead so far and almost 500 wounded: 10/1/2017

Number of days after the massacre that Republican leaders in Congress announced that they had no plans to take action on any gun legislation: 2

Number of days after the massacre that they said legislation the House passed this week to restrict abortion was a response to the carnage in Las Vegas: 3

Number of bills to relax gun restrictions congressional leaders had been planning to take up this session: 2

Length of time they said they were delaying plans to move those bills — one sponsored by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-South Carolina) legalizing silencers, another by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-North Carolina) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to nationalize concealed-carry laws: "indefinitely"

Days after the massacre that Cornyn, in response to Democrats' calls for action on gun regulations, said that "politicizing this terrible tragedy is … beyond disgusting": 1

Amount the National Rifle Association, a leading gun rights group and one of the nation's most influential lobbies, has donated directly to Cornyn's campaign over the years: $27,750

The unprecedented amount of outside spending the NRA invested in the 2016 election: $52 million

Of that total, percent that went to support just six Republican Senate candidates and Donald Trump: 96

Amount the NRA spent on re-electing North Carolina's incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr: $6.2 million

Rank of that investment among the largest the NRA has ever made in a down-ballot race: 1

Percentage points by which Burr won: about 6

Of the six 2016 races where the NRA invested most heavily, number it lost: 1*

Amount the NRA invested in supporting U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the group's second-biggest congressional recipient: $3.2 million

Of the 10 U.S. senators who received the most support from the NRA over the course of their careers, number who represent Southern states: 4

Of the 10 U.S. House members who received the most support from the NRA over the course of their careers, number who represent Southern states: 3

Rank of U.S. Rep. French Hill, a Republican who represents Arkansas' 2nd District, among the NRA's top beneficiaries in the House: 1

Amount the NRA spent supporting Trump's election, the group's largest 2016 investment: $30.3 million

Month in which Trump told the NRA's annual convention, "You came through big for me, and I am going to come through for you": 4/2017

Date on which Cornyn and other top congressional Republicans said they'd be open to regulations on "bump stocks," devices used by the Vegas shooter that allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire hundreds of rounds per minute: 10/4/2017

Date on which NRA leaders announced they believe bump stocks "should be subject to additional regulations" and called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives "to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law" — while adding that they oppose "banning guns on the criminal act of a madman": 10/5/2017

Bump stocks aside, percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters who support a ban on all assault-style weapons: 80

Percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters who agree: 54

* The race for the open seat in Nevada previously held by Democrat Harry Reid.

(Click on figure to go to source.)