The current economic benefits of the firearms and ammunitions industry:

Total number of jobs: 209,750 - 98,750 of which are direct.
Total wages generated: $9,828,528,189.
Total economic size of the industry: $31,838,799,763.

As you can see, the political power of the gun industry does not at all correspond with its overall economic impact, which is very small—and remember, the estimates above were supplied by a pro-gun institution, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and so are most certainly rosy. The US is a $15 trillion economy, and yet its tiny gun industry is able to exert the kind of political influence that, in appearance, rivals that of the major players of the energy sector. And judging from the recent presidential election, it's much less risky for a politician to challenge the oil industry than the gun industry. (Exxon alone had revenues of $382 billion in 2010.) What is going on here? How is this even possible? Why is gun control not even on the table? The answers are not in the base (the $32 billion gun industry can vanish like a wisp of smoke) but entirely in the superstructure.