Is AARP Anti-Gun?

I hate junk mail. Junk mail comes in many flavors – there’s those newsprint things with ads from the discount stores and supermarkets (they make excellent kindling for my grill, so at least they have one redeeming feature). There’s the come-ons from credit card companies, car dealers, et cetera. And then there are the direct mail solicitations that come, courtesy of data-mining some database or other that I’m on. These typically drive me nuts, because I’m not buying what they’re selling. Case in point – missives from the American Association of Retired Persons, a.k.a.: the AARP. They are the nation’s biggest advocacy group for “seasoned citizens” and apparently, they hate guns as much as Bloomberg and Brady combined.

Full disclosure: I’m not (yet) old enough to be a member of the AARP. And I freely admit to having a major burr in my saddle from getting direct mail solicitations from them, asking me to join. I’m bloody well not a senior citizen now, and you’re gonna have to drag me, kicking and screaming, into “old age.” Bastards.

Be that as it may, membership in AARP has its privileges (as they say), for they are one of the most powerful lobby groups in the nation. (The NRA would be the other.) To hear the AARP tell it, they speak with one voice for those over 55, and they make a compelling argument. After all, older people tend to vote, make political contributions, be actively involved in the political process, and have specific needs/goals (Medicare, drug benefits, health care, etc.) specific to their demographic.

When all the brouhaha came up about ObamaCare, I was surprised to see AARP come down on the side of the Administration. Surprised, because it looked as though ObamaCare would sell out seniors and their health care in exchange for insuring those who don’t have (or don’t want) medical coverage.

Ah, but the AARP used their clout to get legislative “cut-outs” – essentially exempting that organization from major portions of the law, and working out a deal where the organization actually benefits from the changes. Note that I said “the organization actually benefits.” Not the members, for they are taking it in the oversized Bermuda shorts on the deal.

So it’s not unheard of for the AARP to come out with a position contrary to what’s good for the membership. Which makes their support of restrictive gun laws both unsurprising and disappointing.

AARP treats “guns in the home” as a disease. Seriously. Don’t believe me? Check this article out, that lauds (of all places) Cali, Columbia as a shining star and innovator in gun control legislation. (Columbia? Really?)

But if you want to know how AARP really feels about gun ownership, just ask ‘em. Here’s a excerpt from an AARP reply to just such an inquiry. I’ve added in my own interpretation of their remarks. (Think of it as “Closed-Captioning for the Thinking-Impaired”):

…thank you for contacting AARP headquarters on the issue of state and federal gun policies. We appreciate hearing from you. Not really. We’d prefer you just shut the Hell up and send us your money, you bloody troublemaker.

This is a difficult subject for people to discuss without misunderstanding. We do our best to obfuscate, but apparently, you understand our position all too well. Even though you may not agree with AARP’s objectives on this one issue, I hope you find our work toward prescription drug coverage in Medicare, for example, and many other important issues worthy of your continued support. Lookit, dipweed – we’re trying to buy you off with discounts. Can’t you just be satisfied with that?

The AARP policymaking process is a long one, beginning in September and continuing through February annually. And it’s far too complicated for the likes of you. AARP’s all-volunteer National Legislative Council thoughtfully develops each policy after reviewing the pros and cons and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors, also a distinguished cross-section of volunteers. Don’t pick on us! We’re volunteers! Public policies are reconsidered and approved anew each year. We could change our mind at any time. So don’t push us. Input from members like you, along with other members’ suggestions, are carefully reviewed and contribute to establishing AARP priorities. And after we review your input, we file it in our special round filing cabinet that gets emptied every night.

At this time, the Board of Directors has recently restated AARP policy to reduce misunderstanding and better fit the current legal environment on this issue. We’re tap-dancing as fast as we can. We do continue to support careful measures to restrict the availability of handguns to certain populations. Make no mistake…we’re down with Bloomberg and we’re Brady’s bee-yatch. Yet, our policy does not preclude responsible citizens who are educated in gun safety from gun ownership. Yet.

However, respected research continues to indicate that the use of firearms in assaults and robbery-particularly handguns-is directly linked to the high death rate from interpersonal violence in the USA compared with other industrialized countries. In other words, we cherry-pick which research we like, and use big words and run-on sentences to try and confuse you. Did it work? At a time when having enough resources to provide adequate healthcare for older Americans is a special concern for AARP, the medical costs of treating gunshot victims exceeds $1 billion a year. Which is, ironically, how much we stand to make per year, with the sweetheart deal we cut with Obama. Of course, you’ll never see a penny of that. But our CEO’s gonna be livin’ large!

The prevalence of random violence featuring handguns in some
neighborhoods has resulted in numbers of older people becoming virtual prisoners in their homes. Of course, we’re overlooking the fact that if they owned a handgun, shotgun or carbine, they wouldn’t feel that way. Just ask any senior that’s put a cap in the ass of some scumbag breaking into their home. Talk about empowering! But we could care less if YOU feel safe. We, on the other hand, can afford all sorts of security measures. Sucks to be you, doesn’t it? Increasingly, families are suffering the loss of children and grandchildren who are the victims of violent crimes and senseless shootings. We could start an education program, teaching seniors how to safely store their guns and still have them available for self defense, but why go to that trouble, when it’s easier for us to get in bed with the like-minded Progressives? While registration requirements do not eliminate criminal or psychotic misuse of handguns, such requirements reduce the availability of guns, just as laws do not eliminate but do reduce the availability of illegal narcotics. Reduced availability to inappropriate users means lives saved. And it’s our position that if you’re over 55, you’re too damn senile to own a gun. I mean, you’re buying our B.S. while we take advantage of you – proof enough you’re not in control of your own affairs to know what’s going on. Cough up the guns, gramps.

I want to emphasize that AARP policy does not preclude gun ownership for responsible citizens, just as no federal or state law precludes ownership for responsible citizens. We wish it did. And rest assured, we’re working on it. Our policy now states:

“Congress should eliminate gaps in and strengthen enforcement of the Brady Act and other federal gun laws. States should enact legislation to eliminate gaps in and strengthen enforcement of federal and state gun laws, particularly with regard to possession by juveniles, convicted domestic abusers and those under domestic violence restraining orders.” We start with “reasonable restrictions,” move on to defining who a “responsible citizen” is and then…oops. I’m giving away our game plan. Forget I said anything.

I hope this information has been helpful. Bite me. While you may disagree with the Board on this particular policy, we hope that many other issues, objectives, and services of AARP so beneficial to older Americans encourage you to remain or become a valued member of the association. Here are some lovely mailing labels with your name on it. See the shiny colors? Now go take your meds like a good boy. We appreciate your participation. No, we don’t.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is any way your headquarters staff may be of assistance in the future. We have to say that. Please don’t take us at our word. Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch. It is an important part of my job to consider carefully the concerns of every member. I hate my job. I have to listen to crap like yours every day. You should be glad I don’t believe in guns. I might have to put a cap in your ass myself if you don’t shut the Hell up.

[Name withheld]
Member Service
AARP

 

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About Brad Kozak

Brad Kozak is an iconoclastic, curmudgeonly graphic designer/marketer/writer/musician/advertiser/conservative creative guy. In 2007, he completed a gradual transition from a conservative semi-pacifist to a proactive, armed citizen, willing to exercise his Second Amendment rights to protect his family and property. His idea of “gun control” is hitting where he aims.

20 Responses to Is AARP Anti-Gun?

  1. avatar2yellowdogs says:

    AARP is and has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat party for decades. It doesn’t matter what the effect of the Dems’ current proposals may be on seniors, AARP can be relied upon to fall in line, advocate enthusiastically and spend membership fees (not unlike the unions) to further the cause.

    “Common sense” gun control is just one more issue for which the AARPies have received their marching orders.

  2. avatarmiforest says:

    AARP = NEA=democratic party. money, people and policies flow seamlessly between and through them. A bet you can always win is to bet someone that they cannot find a single policy position that these groups are in disagreement on.

  3. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    Most amusing, Brad. Completely brilliant and spot on. For this and a few other reasons, they’ll never see a single centime of my hard earned cash. The AARP is little more than another wholly owned subsidiary of the irrationalists.

  4. avatarUSAFFRANK says:

    …the medical costs of treating gunshot victims exceeds $1 billion a year.

    …which doesn’t hold a candle to the medical costs of treating victims of alcohol abuse, drunk driving or tobacco use. but you don’t actually expect us lobby for a ban on those, do you?

  5. avatarhomobangbangamus says:

    Not only are they anti-gun, anti-self defense, they never met a Marxist principle, theory or cause they didn’t like and support.

  6. avatarCUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    I am proud to say that although my mom is an active member, she is a good shot, knows how to fight with knives,hands and chemical agents. She brags that I am the best instructor ever there was.

  7. avatarGerald J. says:

    “Congress should eliminate gaps in and strengthen enforcement of the Brady Act and other federal gun laws.”

    Why, are they suddenly so hot and bothered about this issue right now? Has there been a number of shooting incidents I have not heard about?

    Are they basically pushing to have feral control over EVERY gun sale transaction?

    Why is this suddenly a problem?

    Make no mistake, the gun grabbers want CONTROL, and part and parcel of that would be to have our glorious rulers to have a veto over whether you can but a gun.

    They can only do that if they CONTROL every private transaction (BTW, how does that fit in with the commerce clause?)

    With that in hand, if you wish to defend your-self, you will need their permission to do so, throw in depriving people of the right via secret watch lists and it’s GOODBYE SECOND AMENDMENT.

  8. avatarTTACer says:

    My parents were members for the discounts, but after a while they realized it was an organization dedicated to the transfer of wealth from struggling young families to wealthy retirees.

  9. They are heavily involved in marketing United Health Care, a for profit business, who gave their retiring CEO a $1.5 Billion golden parachute. This is one senior they don’t speak for.

  10. avatarED(PISTOLPACKER) says:

    My wife and I were members of this group until we researched them and found out just how political, far left, anti-gun, marxist principled, obamacare supporters, yadayadayada and I could keep on going about them! THEY DO NOT LOOK AFTER AND DO NOT ACT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF ANY SENIORS! AARP OFFICIALS ONLY DO WHAT’S BEST FOR THEM! After we found out about them and what there true agenda was, we dropped them like a hot potato! Ask yourself this seniors: As a member, just how has AARP helped me? Bet I know what your answer is.

    • avatarBob H says:

      You might want to give the commenters a clue. They seem to think it is a (too young) man’s hand…

  11. avatarLarry says:

    Yes, AARP is anti-gun. It’s right in their charter which is (was?) available on their website. It seems that they only want police, military and other government agents to be armed. They’re NOT a friend of gun owners!

    The National PTA also has a no-gun policy. Remember that when your kids bring home an application for you to join them.

  12. avatarHunter S. says:

    It is a travesty of American society… Ill informed seniors looking to save money join up with an organization whose supposed purpose is to look out for said seniors. The thing they don’t realize is that the very policies that this organization stands for are what drives up the cost of living in America (Statist policies). Ironically, the discounts and other benefits are offset or totally eclipsed by policies that grow the state, inflate the money supply and reduce EVERYONE’s purchasing power. The people most affected by this are the ‘marginal’ consumers i.e. people on fixed incomes like seniors and welfare recipients. It is a vicious and brutal cycle.

  13. avatarRobert says:

    One alternative to AARP, AMAC (http://www.amac.us/), is just the opposite: very pro-2A:
    “We believe that the Second Amendment, which states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”, is an integral part of our freedom.”

    From their “Our Stance on the Issues” page.

  14. avatarSivles says:

    AARP is supported by the gracious dim and repubs in Congress with YOUR tax money.

  15. avatarHenry Priebe says:

    I just received ANOTHER AARP membership solicitation in the mail. Over six months ago I got one, despite not being even 50 years old, and I called them to request that I be removed from their databases and never contacted by them again in any way. I was assured that I would not be contacted by AARP again and the representative was very polite about it. This time I reached a polite little scripted robot type who told me the codes on the solicitation letter didn’t come up in their database. What BS. They sent the damned thing, they put the codes on it. She told me I had to write a letter to AARP headquarters in D.C. requesting to be removed! I have to jump through hoops and fork over the price of a stamp to get those damn liberal vultures to stop harassing me? I asked to talk to a manager and got the same BS. I’d love to stick it to the AARP somehow.

    IIRC, when you get solicited by mail they are supposed to provide a phone number to be removed from future solicitations and if they continue to solicit you they are breaking the law. Maybe that only applies to the credit card jerks, but it ought to apply to everyone.

    I DESPISE AARP.

    For the record, I’m a lifelong firearms owner and I will NEVER give them up for any reason.

    • avatarSparky says:

      They send you a pre-paid reply envelope? I LOVE to get junk mail now – I stuff everything I possibly can in them and send them back, on their dime.

      • avatardean says:

        tape the return envelope to a brick and drop it in the mail – they will pay heftily for the brick

  16. avatarVan says:

    Don’t join the AARP, and let them know why!

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