The major media have historically had only slightly more enthusiasm for the NRA (National Rifle Association) than they have had for the KGB or KKK.
That seems to have changed in the last 24 hours after the NRA surprised many Kansans by endorsing Gov. Jeff Colyer over his chief rival, Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Although the good will from the media for the NRA will end if Colyer should win the nomination, for now the media are quietly pulling for him to beat Kobach in the August primary.
“This endorsement is a reflection of your strong support for the Second Amendment and the hunting heritage of Kansas,” NRA managing director Lacey Biles wrote in a letter to Colyer. For his part, Kobach wrote off the endorsement, likely with some precision, as “incumbent protection.”
On Monday, Kobach received an endorsement by Gun Owners of America (GOA), the nation’s second most influential gun rights group. The Kobach campaign described Gun Owners of America as “the only no-compromise gun lobby organization in the nation.”
The Wichita Eagle construed this comment as a “dig” at the NRA. Hard as this may be for the media to believe, but in gun circles the GOA does have a reputation as being less political and more consistent in its defense of gun rights than the NRA.
Said Kobach, “Gun Owners of America is committed to endorsing leaders who fight back in Second Amendment battles. They know that the right of law-abiding citizens to protect their families is non-negotiable. I will never back down in defense of those rights.”
Like Colyer and Insurance Commissioner Ken Seltzer, Kobach has received an A rating from the NRA. The three major Democratic candidates, each of whom has promised to roll back some of the gun laws Kansas has passed in recent years, all received an F from the NRA as did “moderate” Republican candidate Jim Barnett.