Gun owning MSNBC anchor says the National Rifle Association 'is a protection racket' for politicians
MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi

MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi, who is a gun owner himself, explained the political power of the National Rifle Association as Americans across the country marched for school safety.

"One thing a Republican told me in the days after the Parkland shooting is that one way to think of the NRA, and I'm a gun owner by the way, is as a racket, protection racket for politicians," Velshi noted. "We will keep the money you with you as long as you never do anything at all to work against us."

Velshi interviewed Robyn Thomas, the executive director of the Giffords Law Center.

"Robin, help me just characterize the NRA for people who don't know what it is, we sort gave some outline of what they do, but the fact is it's more than just donations," Vehshi explained.

"Absolutely, part of what the NRA has done really well over the last few decades is to put the money into politics, which we know is what buys the votes for them, but they also show up, Thomas noted. "I mean, they do have a very hard-core base that shows up to the local hearings and legislative hearings and they make their voices heard. they're a very squeaky wheel."

"Here's the problem with the NRA. We've been talking about the money. Money talks, people have been bought, if you will," Velshi noted. "Let's just call it for what it is, right?"

Thomas noted that '97 percent of Americans support universal background checks and Congress won't pass it. They clearly don't represent Americans, they represent the NRA, we're going to have to vote some of them out."