NRA’s message lingers even if the gun lobby’s might declines

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Rifle Association has been embroiled in a legal and financial battle that liberals have cheered as the potential downfall of the powerful gun rights lobby, opening up a wide path for reform. But while the battle over gun rights is shifting from Washington to the states, leaders on both sides say the NRA’s message has become so solidified in the Republican political fabric that it’s self-sustaining, even if the gun rights organization that led the way ceases to exist. And the Fairfax, Virginia-based NRA says the suggestion it is diminishing is nothing more than magical thinking on the left.