Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The NRA Doesn't Represent Most Gun Owners

Another NRA-supported loser.
The Washington Post has an op-ed piece up by a fellow who owns a couple of guns and says the NRA does not represent him:

Some time after I bought my first gun, I got a robocall from the National Rifle Association, asking me to join. After the customary “Please stay on the line…” from a pleasant but earnest voice, I recoiled from the barkings of an angry-sounding man.

Did I know that Barack Hussein Obama and European leaders are meeting on American soil right now, at this very moment, to plot the confiscation of my guns?

The caller continued with his insinuations of an imminent United Nations plot against America, but before I could be handed off to a live operator, I hung up the phone.

I was amused, and then insulted, that someone would think I was dumb enough to fall for such a pitch. But the sad truth is that there are enough people willing to open their checkbooks to make such a noxious fundraising appeal worthwhile.

The NRA claims to have five million dues-paying members (though there’s some reason to believe this figure is inflated). That sounds formidable, until one considers that there are approximately 50 million adults who own firearms. Still, the organization has successfully positioned itself as the singular representation of gun owners. For decades they’ve worked to defend and expand access to firearms in spite of polls showing that most Americans, including gun owners, favor laws that would limit access in various reasonable ways (even three-quarters of NRA households favor background checks prior to private gun sales). But when a U.S. congresswoman was shot in the face, the NRA made certain that no law was passed that would have made her safer. There’s no doubt that the NRA does have some grass-roots support, but it’s smaller than we think. The NRA does not represent all gun owners, and it certainly doesn’t represent me.

The piece starts to roll but never takes flight as it remains focused on guns rather than the fact that NRA membership numbers are a lie, and a lie that both the press corps and politicians have bought into for too long.

You do not have to be a gun grabber to reject the NRA, and you do not need to be a crack-shot researcher to expose the biggest lie about the NRA.

Here's a hint: We have a hugely popular Democrat president, and the NRA opposed him with everything they had to offer.

The NRA supported John McCain who was a gun grabber, and they supported Mitt Romney too. How did that work out for those candidates?

The real membership of the NRA is less than half what they claim it to be.

Is the NRA still a big organization? Sure. But they represent a small fraction of gun owners, and gun owners represent a small fraction of the total populace, and even less of those that matter in an election since almost none of them are swing voters.

The NRA's mission no longer has much to do with guns and a lot more to do with separating the rubes from their wallets.

This is a direct mail mill not much different from PETA or HSUS or the ASPCA, albeit directed at low-information reactionary Republicans rather than low-information, reactionary Democrats.

As with a Nigerian scammer, a lot of things in an NRA appeal are left transparent in order to winnow out the thoughtful.

Both the NRA and the Nigerian email scammer know that transparent lies are a good way to "lose" the troublesome types right at the beginning.  These are folks who will join once, but will never renew or donate  again.  Why waste a special appeal and renewal cycle on someone who doesn't believe in black helicopters or that ISIS is about to invade across our southern border?

I have friends who continue to donate to the NRA. When asked they tell me that "no one else" is there to defend gun rights.

I have to laugh.

Defend them from what? Rational thought?

The most extreme gun restrictionist proposal you can find in any legislature today would have been embraced by the NRA back in 1975, when we had color television sets and had already put a man on the moon. Crime today is lower than it was then, and the Democratic party today is more conservative than Richard Nixon.  Protect guns from what?

Well, you know. Those people.

Right. Those people.  

All of this reminds me of nothing so much as military contractors telling us that we need to spend $17 billion on building a single aircraft carrier (the Gerald Ford) that will be stocked with F-35's that each cost $337 million.

And WHO is this floating target going to be fighting? The contractor are vague. And well they should be, as no other power in the world has a navy or even much of an air force.

So we are told we need to arm ourselves against, you know, THEM. Those people.

What? The ones living in mud caves? You think an air craft carrier is the right tool for that job? 

And so it goes.  Good money follows bad. We are told to put our brains on autopilot and that any attempt to engage in free thought is an exercise in weakness and treason.

But it's not. Anyone who tell you that is either an idiot or a scammer.

And the NRA is an organization of scammers.

If an organization lies to you about something as basic as its membership numbers, they will lie to you about everything and anything.

Caveat emptor.  

The NRA is playing its members for fools. same as PETA, HSUS, and the ASPCA.

A direct mail mill is a direct mail mill.  They live on rubes, suckers, and marks.  If you donate to any of them, you have just failed an IQ test.

That's not a political statement or even a statement about guns; that's a simple fact.


jeffrey thurston said...

Scam? Maybe- although I think your underestimation of the NRA is wishful thinking. I support them because of their single minded effectiveness. There are NO laws which we don't already have that would have "... passed that would have made her safer." Crazy people will occasionally get guns- sadly. The BULK of "gun crime" is committed by urban criminals who no one gives a shit about and who do not obey gun laws. I live in Oakland CA- more gun laws would do nothing here except make the law-abiding inconvenienced or unarmed and make a thriving gun black market even more lucrative.

Karen Carroll said...

Although I understand the concern of the 'money machine' of the NRA. I have been a member since my teens and am now a life member.

I remember two cases in the past where the NRA got involved regarding gun rights. One years ago, where law abiding welfare recipients were not allowed to own a gun when living in subsidized public housing. The NRA fought that restriction and won. One is the recent case where the nurse who had a legally owned a CC handgun on her person in New Jersey and was jailed. Yes, these cases are good for NRA publicity. I have contacted the NRA in the past for a reward system for the those to turn in and have a conviction of people who shoot the NRA symbol, the Bald Eagle. But, I've gotten nowhere on that.

I like the singularity of the NRA 2nd amendment agenda. I am not in lock step with them on every issue. I am for promoting the transition away from lead projectiles for hunting. The research is too compelling to ignore the science. And manufactures see the 'writing on the wall' are researching (and offering) non-lead ammo. The Peregrine Fund.org held a conference on lead and wildlife in 2008 and the proceedings are online. I've gone back and forth via email with the www.ihea.com (International Hunter Education Association) on the issue citing the research. As I understand, Arizona hunters have a volunteer non-lead ammo initiative and has a over 95 compliance with this movement.

With those who are afraid of guns and will not learn about them and how they are used properly. And want to take firearms away from the public I say that the NRA, although flawed as it is, is our most powerful representative for gun and hunting rights.

PBurns said...

The NRA is churning through over $260 million a year and doing damn little with it other than paying for more direct mail. See >> http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/12/18/the-nras-big-spending-edge-in-1-chart/

Most of the money the NRA raises goes to fund their direct mail mill which has to get increasingly frenetic in order to get a shrinking number of members and donors to cough up larger sums of money.

Most of what the NRA says is false and at its core a contrived controversy.

The Supreme Court has been pretty clear on the gun issue, and the latest big decision was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the most conservative member of the Court, and a hunter and gun owner:

"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."


There is no controversy, except that which the NRA foments for direct mail purposes.

jeffrey thurston said...

Sadly there is a lobby which is even more powerful than the NRA. tI has made the Republican Party more loyal to it than to the USA. It has made the USA a golem for a shitty little country the size of New Jersey. It is not just a mail order scam unfortunately but rather is quite effective. I'm talking about AIPAC and the Israel Lobby...

jeff hays said...

Used to support the NRA but have drifted away over the years.
As for background checks on private sales, sure, but the bill proposed was nothing but gun owner bashing and red tape. Let them access the Nics computer via a private call to the State Police, and be done with it. NO NEED to force a gun owner to a private business and pay a fee.SCREW THAT.

Donald McCaig said...

Dear Patrick,

As a livestock farmer I need my guntools to kill incurable suffering animals, rabid foxes and those predators my guard dogs miss. My farm isn't posted though I haven't hunted in recent years.

I've visited farms in the UK which regulates gun ownership. In the UK my ability to use guntools wouldn't be significantly impaired although it would be somewhat harder to pretend I'm John Wayne.

Donald McCaig