The 26 lives that were lost in a sleepy town in my state, and the NRA’s bizarre conduct in the wake of this tragedy, have caused people to begin to see the NRA’s true colors. It is an organization fueled by fear and funded by those who profit from America’s increasing fascination with military weaponry. And it is an organization with rapidly atrophying political muscle. When it comes to policy or politics, this simply isn’t your father’s NRA any longer…

This disconnect from responsible gun owners may explain why the NRA’s long-heralded political power is significantly waning. In the 2012 election, the group put nearly all its resources into defeating President Barack Obama and focused on states with high gun ownership rates, like Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It lost, badly, in nearly every state and race in which the group invested. In fact, the NRA won only 20 percent of the Senate races in which it spent money in 2012. That’s a pretty miserable success rate for an organization that was once feared by Democrats and Republicans alike.

The NRA’s downright disturbing behavior since the Newtown, Conn., massacre can possibly be explained as a desperate defense mechanism of an organization that has lost step with average gun owners and lost sway with the swing electorate. The NRA must know, deep in the recesses of its Virginia headquarters, that Newtown was a breaking point in America’s relationship with guns. Ours will always be a nation that values the private right of citizens to bear arms, but after the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we will no longer tolerate the ease with which dangerous people can possess and dispatch weapons of mass violence.