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One of the more contentious topics here on TTAG concerns the NRA, its mouthpiece, Wayne Lapierre and some of the positions it takes (or doesn’t) on various issues. I’m not here to try to defend all that the NRA does (or doesn’t do). I don’t always agree with how they conduct business and certainly concede that the scare tactics they sometimes use to drum up donations don’t sit well with me. I’m also aware that other organizations such as the Second Amendment Foundation often do a lot more for gun rights in certain cases and that the uncompromising views that they hold on Second Amendment rights more often resonate with hard line gun owners than some of the compromised positions that the NRA has taken over the years. All that said . . .

It’s important to remember that the NRA is by far the largest of the gun rights groups, boasting something on the order of 5 million members. The Second Amendment Foundation claims 1/7 of that as of last July (I’m sure they’re bigger now, but still small compared to the NRA). The SAF has been in existence for nearly 40 years, but few people outside of the gun movement have ever heard of it. A few years ago, before I purchased my first gun, I had heard of the NRA, but none of the other gun rights groups. The NRA is frequently cited by anti-gun zealots, but the SAF or other groups rarely get a mention.

What got me thinking along these lines was the speech that Wayne gave last Friday at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo. He mentioned the NRA’s membership of 5 million members and frankly, that seemed small to me. According to the National Institute of Justice, as of 2009, there were over 310 million firearms owned by Americans. Certainly that number has grown over the past three years, but let’s use that as a starting point.

Assuming the average household owns 10 guns (a big assumption I know, but I’m trying to make a point here), that works out to at least 31 million households with guns.  Assume further an average of two people who are into firearms in each household and we wind up with about 62 million people who care about guns in one way or another. With the population of the U.S. hovering a little north of 300 million, it’s easy to see why the gun control lobby is starting to realize that they may have awakened a sleeping giant.

Politicians and the gun control lobby fear the NRA with good reason. And this is with only 5 million members. What would happen if the NRA grew to 30 million or even 60 million members? I suspect that we’d see a lot fewer politicians on the national, state, and local levels who want to mess with Americans’ gun rights.

So this, then, is my argument for joining the NRA — even if you don’t always agree with them. The mere existence of millions of acknowledged gun owners who care enough about their rights to join an organization that most of the time is pushing for expansions of those rights sends a powerful message. Why wouldn’t you? Go ahead and join the SAF, too, but join the NRA first.

At $35 a year, it’s a small price to pay for the amplification of the pro gun message that the NRA could project with significantly swelled ranks.  Think of it this way as well – the more members who join, the more powerful the organization becomes.  The more powerful it is, the less it has to compromise any Second Amendment principles to get the job done.

I’m not saying you need to give the NRA one dime more than the annual membership fee if you don’t like something they’re doing. All that I’m asking is that we create an organization of sufficient size that its mere existence serves as a deterrent to politicians who think that they “know better.”

Go ahead and hate Wayne. Complain about the compromises the NRA makes. Say and do whatever you feel like doing, but remember the strength that comes with numbers. As citizens in the U.S., we have great disagreements with each other about all kinds of things, but none of our enemies attack us because they know that we’ll quickly come together to form a united front against our opponents. As gun owners, I concede that we have our internal squabbles, but now is the time to come together against the outside forces who wish to take our rights away.

Join the NRA. Then — by all means — please go back to bitching about them.

93 Responses to It’s Time to Join (or Rejoin) the NRA

  1. Honestly, if you can swing a life membership, it’s a fairly good way to get the pain over and done with. I skipped out on an extra pistol, but right about now the cause needs that cash far more than I needed a tenth pistol.

    • I took out a life membership at a video store back in the ’80s. If they ever get back in business, I’m set.

      I re-up annually, always considering the possibility I may one day choose to tell them to FOAD. Everybody should send whatever they can to the SAF.

      • SAF life membership is only $150. I became a first time and life member last month. I also became a first time NRA member, been talking about doing it for a while, but just got it for one year. The standard annual membership is $35, but there’s plenty of promotions all over for $25 that are hard to miss.

    • The subscription to American Rifleman Magazine is worth the annual fee to be an NRA member. It’s a good mag. It’s not like your $25 or $35 to join up just disappears. Plus, you actually get good discounts at all sorts of places like car rental companies, hotels, online gun parts retailers, etc…

    • NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre, Chris Cox of the NRA-ILA, and a few of the other NRA top brass are some of the highest paid “not for profit” executives around. LaPierre himself took home $960,000 in base compensation from the NRA in 2010. Cox made over a million.

      I’m sure your money was appreciated.

  2. I would add that all life members and annual members whom have been annual members for at least 5 years get to vote on the NRA’s board of directors. If we get enough of the AI on board we can steer the direction of the largest pro-gun organization on the planet!

    • is that still going on? I thought it was over today

      nevermind…

      “Special Life Membership offer – $300 until 4/16/13. (Normally $1,000)”

    • Interesting thing I noticed about that link: If you follow it, it takes you to another link that is sponsored by none other than the online retailer TTAG readers love to hate – our old buddies CTD.

      Could it be that CTD is covering the difference in cost between the $300 deal and the $1000 regular price as a way of getting back into the good graces of the NRA or gun owners? Certainly CTD should be flush with cash…. 😉
      BTW, I’m still inclined to go for it. I’ve been an annual member for ~30 years, probably about time to upgrade.

      • That’s interesting, but no, CTD is likely not “covering” anything. The “Life Member for $300” is a deal that the NRA regularly offers to existing Life Members to allow them to sponsor new Life Members. The existing member isn’t “covering” the difference any more that CTD is. It’s just a marketing link, to see how many people click the link from CTD vs. get there from other places.

  3. I joined the NRA a few months ago when the “Friends of Tom” deal was going on. Sadly, the deal expired yesterday. I did get my first ballot in the mail the other day. (Now I need to figure out who everyone is on the ballot)

    I don’t agree with everything they are doing, but I look at it this way.

    The NRA works for laws to be created. The SAF works at overturning unconstitutional laws.

    You can say they are trying to work both ends of the law system.

  4. The liberal machine makes every effort to destroy those they consider threats. Think Sarah Palin. Notice that as Marco Rubio moved to center stage in the Republican party they have begun to destroy him as well. Now think of which gun rights group the left vilifies. Not GOA or SAF. I don’t think they see these great groups to be much of a threat. But they are going full court press on the NRA. The left sees the NRA as the group to be fought against. I don’t like how the NRA does everything either. But I will support the organization the the left sees as the biggest threat.

    • oh yeah, palin needed *lots* of help.

      once the NRA gets rid of lapierre and keene I’ll sign up, until then the other, smaller groups will get my dosh.

    • Yeah, the daily (sometimes multiples in a day) emails trying to scare me into donating more money are getting a bit irritating. I joined recently, because I wanted a membership at a local range that only takes NRA members. But, I agree that this is the one largest organization that we gun owners should have a voice in. But I’m not gonna stop bitchin’ about their scare tactics either!

  5. ACORN used numbers to get their way, it’s about membership whether you are trying to get politicians to spend money or protect rights. The other side has large groups they take for granted with 90% compliance rates, it’s about time we start working together even if that means the NRA is our group

    • If it’s really about the numbers* then maybe the NRA should consider dropping the membership fee. Just make the contributions voluntary. Heck, maybe the NRA would even come out ahead just by selling the expanded mailing list and (further) data mining the members.

      * I don’t know if it is or isn’t.

  6. Absolutely right, especially the point about large numbers. Yeah, they bug me too with the scare tactics sometimes but lately they don’t seem so far fetched! By all means join, upgrade and donate. Power in numbers is the only thing the grabbers understand.

  7. B.S. This is the same logic that keeps people, year after year, voting for republicans – because they feel doing otherwise would be worse.

    I’d rather put my support behind the SAF, and GOA (actual civil rights organizations) and help grow them into the size and influence of the NRA.

    • And that kind of thinking regularly gets the Libertarian party less than 2% of the vote and no voice whatsoever. You will still have your principles as others tell you what to do, take that as a consolation.

      • You just backed up my point. People keep trying to carry water with the same holey bucket! Drop it and get a new bucket! The more that do, the sooner that 2% become 60%.

    • I’d say its a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. The NRA isn’t trampling on anyone’s basic freedoms like the two major political parties are. Also steering the NRA through our votes is much easier than either of the major parties.

      • After Mr LaPierre and the NRA directly aimed at video gamers a couple of months ago there are a great many very active and very internet savvy people who would strenuously disagree with you.

        Dear lord what a hideous own-goal that was – it isolated gun owners at a stroke from people who would otherwise have been fellow travelers in calming things down. Many of those should-have-been-allies now see gun owners as dangerous ignoramuses who need to be politically de-fanged before they harm the 1st amendment rights and social-acceptance of video game aficionados.

        Inexcusably stupid.

        • I concur. Trying divert pressure from erroneous accusations by hanging out another industry to dry, rather than just refuting the accusations with straight facts and reason, is cowardly and lame.

          Not only am I a gun-owner of the video-game generation, I am a gun-owner that works for the video-game industry. In one fell swoop the NRA not only ostracized me, they threatened my livelihood, all to duck from the responsibilities of their stated purpose.
          Keep your NRA! Its as outdated and backwards as the GOP is snuggles to.

    • Unlike a singe vote in the ballot box, we can split our money any way we want. Majority of my my donations will likely continue to go to SAF, but I’ve been considering the minimum entry bid for NRA.

      Giving $35 isn’t much to boost the largest gun rights group in the world, and have a voice within the orginization.

    • Mr. Wardlaw,

      That is exactly the kind of thinking which fractures gun owners and makes them more easily controlled. The SAF, FPC, GOA, etc. are all good groups. None are perfect. However, the NRA is the biggest. At 5 million members, they are vilified and hated by the antis. They have a lot of clout. Think what they could do at a 30-50 million membership level. LaPierre is flippin’ old, and he won’t be at the helm forever.

      All of this fracturing is assine. Love Magpul, hate Magpul, love LEOs, hate LEOs, etc. I welcome disagreement, but our greatest measure of strength lies in unity. If every TTAG reader joined the NRA, it would make an appreciable difference. Much more so than writing senators and individual votes. I’m an an NRA/FPC/GOA/SAF member, vote pro-2A, and call and email my representatives regularly. And people on TTAG still think I’m a gun grabber. I’ve been called worse on the side of the road, but I won’t allow it to change who I am.

      Just join the damn NRA – they are a big thorn in the side of the Antis. Join them because Feinstein hates them. Join because the media has nothing nice to say. Join them even though the FPC and SAF are probably better organizations. Join because they are a prime indication of “being a gun nut. “Put some money where you mouth is, and make the antis sh!t themselves. It’s $35 dollars that are (reasonably) well spent. That’s roughly the price of a box of 5.56 rounds, because so many people voted for Obama and Feinstein.

        • Yea!!! Yehaa!!! Now don’t you feel so much better!! LOL!!
          Thanks man!! We need all the help we can get!!
          “Golf claps all around”!

      • If T thought, for even an instant, that the NRA could reform itself along the lines of attracting the kind of people they would need to attract, in order to get to that membership level, or if they could convince me they really were about my civil rights, first and foremost, then I’d be one of the ones joining.

        They routinely do as much dividing of their potential membership as the antis do.

        • Billy, no offense but reading your posts on this subject just convinced me to join the NRA. I have never voted Republican and hate some of the bullsh*t the NRA tries but reading your post made me think…”damn, do I sound like that?”

          So thanks for the initiative.

    • I am an NRA member (minimum), but give more to SAF and GOA. I’ll chip at least a few bucks to anyone that will push back against Bloomberg et al.

    • Join them both, or all. They have different goals and aims, and different actions. NRA and NRA-ILA fight through lobbying, stopping the unfavorable bills before they’re passed, and working to get laws passed that are favorable to us. GOA is similar, but has a much smaller footprint. SAF primarily fights through the court system, which generally means bad laws have to get passed before they get involved. Two different teams working on the same side, but from different directions. They both deserve your support.

      • Guess that lobbying isn’t working too well in California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland or Connecticut. And from what I’ve read, NRA has taken stances in litigation that undermine SAF, bad blood that has spilled over into confrontations in public between lawyers. NRA’s litigation efforts have been paltry and minimally successful, prefering a cautious approach to SAF’s master plan for an ultimate showdown in the SCOTUS, the only forum in which relief for gun owners from invasiove legislation will be found. From my reading of briefs and oral arguments in front of various appellate panel, Gura is the premier 2A lawyer in the country right now, and he works for SAF.

        • So the NRA doesn’t bat 1000. So what? Do you have better lobbying organization in mind?

          The NRA has never been primarily about litigating. For the most part, the NRA lobbies, the SAF litigates.

  8. I pretty much agree with the entire article. I never felt compelled to join, until recent developments & just about that time came the Life membership for $300 special.

    I figure that they must be doing something right if they are the primary target for vilification. I’ve found myself adopting the enemy of my enemy is my friend position.

    I used the direct hotline number for the life special 1-888-678-7894

    • If nothing else they can draw and return fire while the SAF and GOA work around the flank to put in the real attack.

      • So are you suggesting LaPierre is our Biden? Standing up in front pissing off the opposition and occationally/regularly looking like a bafoon while the real players get to work. I like that, gives me a new appreciation for the executive VP.

  9. The existence of “Women on Target” in and of itself makes the NRA worth supporting. Arguably one of the most important things that can be done to ensure the future of 2a is to make sure it’s more than just OFWG.

    But, if the ILA want to see another dime from me, they can wait until I see them joining the fight against NY SAFE.

  10. Join them all. Lifetime NRA. I payed for a lifetime membership at the SAF after the 7th circuit decision in Illinois. I’ll admit I was slow to the show, I didn’t know anything about the SAF before then. They busted ass to get my rights restored in Illinois, and I figured them I owed them no less than a lifetime membership. I need to look into GOA, I here some good things about those folks. Hell, start your own local outfit and make some noise. We have a county group that puts on a shindig at least once a year that attracts local press and gets our story out there. The battle has been joined, stop giving your money to Hollywood and other idiots, and start giving it the warriors who are fighting for our rights.

  11. In a perfect world, these 3 groups could consolidate their resources to become a better , bigger fighter for our freedoms. But that is not likely, of course. The NRA does stand strong, I became a life member early in adulthood and believe they do scare the bejeezus out of some political types!
    So I gave a membership as a Christmas gift to a 13-year-old family member and will continue to promote membership year ’round to others.

    Yes, they aren’t perfect but they are the biggest influence against tyranny we have. Fight the good fight NRA, SAF and others! Readers, please join to make that 5 million number look small in 2013!

    • One of the reasons that they will not likely combine is that they also appeal to different groups. The NRA is the National RIFLE Association. The name alone appeals to hunters and sportsmen, yet they spend a fair amount of time today fighting for handgun and concealed carry rights as well. The NRA can be seen as the “big tent” where various people with various agendas all come together. The NRA will have members who would never consider the SAF or GOA because they view those organizations as too radical. Some members of the NRA certainly don’t support things like concealed carry – they are only concerned with protecting their rights as hunters, etc.

      None of this really matters though – when the NRA shows up to speak on an issue, the other side doesn’t parse out what percentage of the NRA membership really backs that issue – instead they see the NRA with it’s X million members and run for cover.

  12. Here’s what i think in the wake of the MD Senate passing the uber strict gun control laws that include an as-yet nonexistent 4 hour gun safety course including live fire (my read is the administration has to approve such a course, but the current 4-hour home safety does not count as there is no live fire). Plan A would be for the NRA to boycott and ostracize anyone who offers such a course. This would create such a hue and outcry in time for the primaries that the backlash would be enormous (techniclly, if your taken an safety course in the last 3 years this counts, but since we dont actually know what the admin will approve as a safety qualification its not clear how this works). Plan B would be to make it astronomically expensive, but give really large discounts to NRA members. The more egg we can put on O’Malleys face and the more backlash that can be created for the primaries, the better.

  13. The NRA and The SAF are both great Grouos an whether you realize it all of the time they both do great things for us!
    I, like Mr. Barrett, don’t always agree with how they do things but they have been at it for many many years.
    I am a member of both and also a member of GOA and the Oathkeepers. There are a lot of great groups out there on our side if we will just get behind them and support them. A dollar a month is better than nothing a month, and with the millions o firearms owners in the US we should have hundreds and thousands of voices out there on our behalf.
    Although my monthly income is just under $1600 a month(net) I budget $10-20 a month for various pro gun rights groups every month.
    I gave my dad and a friend 1 year NRA memberships last year for Christmas.
    We all can do our part. This is Our Country, Our blood and the blood of our ancestors made it the great country it has been. We cannot let it go any further down the drain without a fight!!
    “I would rather die on my feet as a free man than live on my knees as a slave”!!
    MOLON LABE!!

  14. Ultimately I agree with sentiment, which is the only reason i keep my NRA current. But i hope that the sentiment regarding the NRA forces the nra to evolve their message and purpose, or that other orgs like SAF gain significance.

  15. Join them both. Join them all. Call your legislators.

    Any amount of money spent on the NRA or GOA or SAF is going to do more for the cause than spending it on the latest toys. If everyone who paid too damned much for a rifle or ammo or a magazine had instead put some of that money and effort towards politics, we wouldn’t be here.

    • Woody. Also check out Facebook and Twitter for Gun Right Across America, Guns Across America and We The People For The Constitution.
      Not a fan of Facebook and never twittered before but have joined them and we are slowly but surely getting the message out there everyday!!
      Please join us and help us get the word out! GRAA started in Texas from the idea and love of our country of an airline pilot!!

  16. I did it a week after Sandy Hook. My last membership expired in 2002 but I saw the logic of one unified voice as being more valuable than the minor disagreements I had with NRA policy.

  17. Yes. Yes. And Yes.

    Bitch all you want about LaPierre’s salary (in fact, the man is underpaid) and the incessant fundraising pitches, etc and so forth, BUT JOIN. My wife and I are both lifetime members, along with annual contributors to SAF. It is incumbent upon us to support the institutions that defend our rights in the courts and the legislatures.

    Especially if you are a newbie. Stop stressing over what caliber is best for self-defense or whether you should get a compact or sub-compact for CC. You will learn all that in time. Join as many pro-gun orgs as you can, but at least two, especially now as our rights are under an intense assault.

  18. I wrote NRA a check for 25$ like two months ago, they sure cashed the check but they never sent me anything back like they promised, not even a thank you note. Maybe NRA was cool back 2 decades ago, now they are just another political campaign corporation, never going to deal with this people again.

    • If that $25 was for a membership, please be patient. They are seeing a unprecidented surge in new members so it takes time to get everything in order. I just spoke with some others that joined around 1/1/13 and they are just now getting their items due to the rush! Better our money be spent to fight the fight, not add administrative staff right now.

  19. I rejoined, but I’m still not too happy with them. NRA is a mixed blessing for gun owners. The Heller decision was already used against gun owners when a NJ district court ruled that according to Heller, 2A rights apply at home, but not outside one’s home. That case was cited repeatedly in judge Walls’ decision to deny law-abiding citizens the right to carry a gun outside one’s home, well at least in NJ.

    • You can’t blame the NRA for how some panty-waist judge in NJ chooses to interpret Heller. The simple fact is that Heller was a case to determine whether or not D.C. had the right to prevent a person from carrying a firearm in their own home. It did not address the question of carry outside the home.

      When a case comes before SCOTUS, the correct approach is to rule on the issues of the case itself and not try to expand it to cover other things. This is the strict constructionist approach to legal interpretation and one that is favored by the Conservatives on the court.

  20. No excuse not to support the NRA. They have taken a no compromise stance.

    Everyone keeps bitching about what they did back in 1986… ok they made a mistake and learned from it, let mover on. We can not stop O-bozo, Franken-Stein and Bloom-turd on our own. We need some serious fire-power, the NRA has it.

  21. I’ve been praying TTAG would nudge its readership in this direction. Its long overdue in my opinion. I hope this gets brought up again.

    I’ve done my share of NRA bashing, but if you’re not a member, STFU. Don’t tell them how to spend my money.

    If you care about gun rights, and you’re not a member, you’re a god damn fool.

  22. Does the NRA sling mud, does the NRA use scare tactics, Does the NRA show the facts and give credible sources for their arguments??? Yes to all of these questions. Point of fact; many people didn’t and haven’t believed in unions but they joined and their life got better, the life of their families got better, schools where made available for everyone. Has the government taken away our rights to gather and require a negotiation on our labor and benefits? Yes, why? We as a people didn’t stick together, we didn’t show the states and federal governments that they should keep their noses out of business, and for that working conditions for most people is much worst then it was just 10 yrs ago.
    This one example should have waken up the american public as to what the current course of our government was heading. 2 classes exist and they are not to far apart yet, though the rift is growing very quickly. The rulers and the peasants, the mini dictators and the peasants…. In medieval Europe the sign of a free man was that of his right to bear arms for his own protection, his family, his property, and his country. Loss your right too bear arms and we become peasants, something we fought so hard against when we left the crow to become our own state, our own people, free people. Not a peasant or slave of those who think they are our betters because they have money… Indirectly this is one of the things the NRA and SAF are fighting. To keep us free and keep our rights, which have been eroded slowly by those who think they are the royalty and we exist for their pleasure and serve…

    To stay free the people need to be able to keep there government (by the people, not the politicians) in check need to fight for and keep their rights, rights of free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to gather (which a permit is now needed to do it legally), and our right of due process and judgement by our peers…
    We as a people should join the NRA, the SAF and any other of the numerous organisations that work/fight tirelessly for us…

    Solders and sailors don’t fight and do their jobs for the government but for each other, for their family, and friends… The NRA, SAF, and others are fighting in a different battlefield and they are fighting for each other, For their families, and for US. I am a life member and don’t speak for any of these organizations, this is all my personal opinion…

    Just my 2 bits on the subject….

  23. Mr. Colion Noir is going to be on NRA news! Check out the preview video the NRA homepage, looks friggin sweet!

  24. No organization is perfect, but the NRA speaks for us — and damn loudly at that. The NRA warned you that Barry was coming for the guns, and many of you laughed. Well, nobody’s laughing now except for POTUS, his stooge Crazy Joe, and the Brady douchebags. They made suckers out of you.

    If the NRA wasn’t effective, the gungrabbers and wingnuts wouldn’t hate them. Join the NRA and SAF and your local pro-gun group. Now.

  25. So, the real important question: Which one of NRA’s magazines (paper publication) is the best?
    I’m torn between American Rifleman and America’s 1st Freedom.

  26. I joined the NRA for many of the reasons listed above. Soon afterwards the junk mail I receive doubled.

    My guess is the NRA places more of an emphasis on how much money they can raise (even if it’s by selling your contact info) and not necessarily on actual membership numbers.

    • I gave them an email address I use for spam companies and I have no problems with simply tossing every one of their mailings into my recycle bin on my way into the house. Not really that big a deal. Remember that the real power of the NRA is in the size of their membership more than in the money they can spend to influence elections or legislation

  27. I’m a member of The CalGuns Foundation, 2A Foundation, CCRKBA, and JPFO. I’m considering adding the NRA to that list, but I too have been torn between some of their views and tactics.

  28. I went NRA-Life, SAF-Life and GOA-Life the week obama announced his quest for gun bans..
    The $300 NRA deal is still going on as far as I know. I would think that they value membership numbers over donations at this point.
    It carries more political value at this point.
    The costly part will come after anything passes and they have to fund the lawyers fighting to overturn the passed laws.
    I spent the cost of a pre-scare bushmaster to protect all my firearms. Seems like a no-brainer of a deal.
    Even if I don’t agree with the NRA on all points, the fact that politicians are scared of the NRA, especially with elections coming up, it was money well spent. I would spend it again.

  29. No I like Wayne and David like seeing all new blood coming in too. No this is the time to join and fight against Fascist Obama and his minions in congress in there gun grabs. He is twice the threat Bill Clinton was to gun rights and we must unit and fight to preserve our freedoms past 2016.

  30. A $35 membership fee is hardly “financially supporting” an organization the size and scope of the NRA. I get where you are coming from, but then, I assume that you never vote in any major election. I have yet to back a candidate that did not have some flaws in my mind, but in the end, I cast a vote for him over his opponent for the simple reason that the guy I’m voting for has fewer flaws than the other guy, or is closer to my line of thinking.

    All politics is compromise of one sort or another. You never get everything you want, but you want to make damn sure the other side doesn’t either. If you want to NRA to be in a position where they have to compromise less, then we need to make them bigger and more powerful.

    • Your assumption is incorrect. Granted I tend to vote for fewer and fewer candidates for political office, simply because I will not cast a negative vote – in other words, voting for the lesser of two evils. I do vote on propositions and bond measures that I feel strongly about, one way or the other.

  31. I joined the NRA last year, primarily for the discount a nearby range offers to NRA members and as a prerequisite to becoming a member of a gun club and range near my vacation home. Ever since I have been bombarded with emails and phone calls soliciting money, money and more money. Then I discovered SAF and Gun Owners of California, both of which do far more for the plight of California gun enthusiasts than the NRA. I see the points made in this article, but feel the greatest danger to our Second Amendment rights lie at the State and local levels. Although I’ll likely continue to pay for an annual membership in the NRA because of the aforementioned reasons, as a resident of the Golden State I’ll buy local and support SAF and GOC.

  32. In the lobbying biz the two undisputed big dogs are NRA and AARP. There are other groups with more money to throw around, but the power factor is based on number of members because the organization has the ear of their members and will convince at least some of them to vote against you if you don’t listen to them. I disagree with a whole bunch of stuff regarding the NRA, but when it comes to protecting our gun rights it’s the only game in town and needs all our full support. The dues are nominal, and the mailings are no more of an aggravation than the crap we get every day from the bulk mailers. But if there ever was a time when it’s important to join an organization, this is it.

  33. You can also give gift memberships , I got wife one , you can give to family members, friends, co-workers , your doc. and your kids they are the future America… do one each pay day ….America is in BIG TROUBLE …. old saying : Now is the TIME for all good MEN(WOMAN) to come to the aid of their country….

  34. He is correct, my congressman (house) has a very high score voting record , pro- bill of rights , Ron Paul also had 100 % voting pro liberty, but i see America does not put their money or vote where the mouth is… FREEDOM is not FREE !!!!!!!

  35. I say join all the pro-gun rights groups, Ran Paul has a group also…. And Ron Paul who had 100 % pro liberty votes , and 100% pro gun rights , but no support from gun people WHY …. they liked the Gobalist John Mac Cain and One Worlder Rommey WHY do Americans vote against liberty and freedom ??????????????

  36. I think of my NRA membership as an expensive magazine subscription. American Rifleman is good bathroom reading. Also, while I don’t agree with everything the NRA has done, does, or will do, I think it is good to belong because the more “numbers” they have, the more formidable of opponent they are to the antis.

  37. I received my new membership card yesterday along with some automatic life insurance and a little bit of insurance on my guns. Initial membership is $25.00 a year and renewals are $25.00 a year. Too bad I didn’t know aboutt he $300.00 life time special posted above.

    There’s a lot of sh*t going down so you should help the NRA’s momentum right now.

      • Hmmm, maybe I should give them a call. I signed up for a five year membership, and that puts me a good ways towards the $300 for the special deal on the lifetime.

        As for the gun-rights orgs generally, the more the merrier. I’m a life member of the SAF, I’ve got my NRA membership, and have made a donation to the Calguns Foundation. The next time I have a little money available GOA and JPFO are on the list.

  38. Best case I’ve heard yet, but I’m a Voluntaryist, so I like to focus on the root of the problem which is the only solution, and the NRA has nothing to do with it.

  39. My wife, daughter and I are all members. I just got my daughter a Life Membership figuring that she’ll be able to get the most mileage out of it. That was $300 well spent as it’s conceivable that she could then be a member for a hundred years. I’ve also given a number of people gift memberships over the years. As Ben Franklin once said; “We must all hang together today for surely we will all be hung separately tomorrow otherwise.”.

  40. How amenable is the NRA to democracy? I think leftists who have argued that the dems can be taken over from within have been delusional given the machine control of the party by party bosses, for example. If more people joined as life members, could we simply vote in the officers we want to push for the policies we want? Is a mass recruitment drive to the NRA an answer?

    OTOH, even if the NRA is an ossified bureacracy, I can see the value in joining in large numbers and arguing our positions as Life Members or even annual members.

  41. You got me again. I still have two years left on my membership. You sent me a letter telling me to my membership was running out. Now I have read joined again two years still on my last membership. My membership number is 212204263, why do you keep charging me I cannot afford this. I live on my Social Security I’m trying to be a good member to double triple quadruple charging me is killing me

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