MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained Thursday night that the National Rifle Association's positions were partially driven by fears that its status as the top gun lobby would be usurped by more extreme groups.

Though the NRA is typically considered the foremost protector of gun rights in the country, other groups like the Gun Owners of America are even more fanatical about gun ownership. While the NRA endorsed John McCain for president in 2008, the Gun Owners of America derided him as a "liberal gun grabber."

The liberal MSNBC host said the NRA's actions since the Newtown shooting "shows they are so preoccupied with fending off a challenge from inside the pro-gun movement, they're so worried about their own right flank, that they are not capable of any sort of political acuity in participating in the wider discussion."

"They are not well-organized enough to do it," Maddow continued. "They are confused as to who they should be fighting with, and they do not appear to be able to fight a two front war. Meanwhile, on the other side, that side has literally never been so organized and so ambitious as they are right now."

Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below:

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