In their ongoing efforts to attract younger, hipper Gun Culture 2.0ers, the National Rifle Association is adding another voice to their growing stable of non-traditional commentators. Their latest add is garage guy Austin Weiss. Austin’s noticed that there’s a population out there who like them some guns, but don’t want to be seen as liking them publicly. By joining other NRA commentators like Colion Noir, Natalie Foster and Billie Johnson, Weiss apparently wants to do something about that. Anything that normalizes firearms in the eyes of the public and brings more people out of the pro-gun closet is a good thing, right?

45 Responses to NRA Continues Youth Movement

  1. I like that I’m younger and enjoy firearms.

    I had no hunting background, no guns in the house growing up, no one even really talked about them. I played Video Games and one day stopped at Wal-mart to look at their rifles and said ‘this is neat’ and here I am. Loving every moment of it.

    • Similar here.. Although I grew up with a hunter dad and had guns around the house – but just hunting rifles and .22s. No pistols, no shotguns, nothing else. Dad was never really “into guns”, just used them as tools.

      The golden moment was when I got my first good-paying job, was still a rabid Counter Strike player, and walked into a gun store one day and realized that I could actually buy an AK-47. I really did not even know that they were legal to own.

      Ten years later, I own a lotta AKs.

    • Same here I didn’t get into guns until I joined the army and inherited my grand dad’s collection which was lost due to a dumb relative and a divorce…

  2. The NRA can hire as many hip, young, black, gay, (insert adjective here) spokespeople they want…

    Publishing their appearances in NRA junk mail, newsletters, or any other place that non-gun owners will never see them ain’t gonna do a darn bit of good.

    EVERYONE outside of the NRA that I’ve spoken to/argued with only knows about Wayne.

    • …and that’s not a good thing. All these efforts are for naught if Wayne continues blaming rap music, violent movies and video games for all the violence in the US.

    • NRA has to get rid of Wayne Lapierre. He is the worst spokesperson possible for this era. He does immense damage to the perception of gun owners, the NRA, and gun rights.

      Wayne looks, acts, and sounds every bit like the “old fucking white guy” character that everyone thinks the NRA is all about. He looks, acts, and sounds like a bought and paid for lobbyist.

      Besides that, he’s just not very good at his job. That’s reason enough.

      Replace him yesterday with somebody young, approachable, and able to maintain a solid pro-RKBA argument on the spot.

      • Yeah I cant stand Wayne L. people like him are what turned me away from the gun culture. Him and the guys that worked at the gun shops. They were always middle-age white guys that acted like you were an idiot and that they were doing you a favor by selling you a gun. I refused to do business with those sort of people so it took awhile for me to become a firearms enthusiast. I finally met someone who had an FFL and was very open, friendly and enthusiastic about guns before I finally bought one for myself.

  3. If my observations locally are a national trend, there is a large segment of the under 30 demographic that are gun owners. The last two years attending gun shows and going to the range clearly show a major shift in the makeup of gun owners. Most of the people (60%) I see at the shows and gun ranges are under 30.I also see a much larger demographic of younger women owning firearms. The NRA needs to get up to speed when it comes to connecting with that demographic group. I also think the NRA also needs to do a better job with outreach to minorities. This is a golden opportunity for the NRA and other gun rights organizations to recruit younger members, but they will have to do a better job with using social media.

    • I believe you’re right.

      You don’t see Lincoln, Cadillac, or Buick advertising with geriatric actors in their commercials. They already know those folks are going to eat up their products; it has been long established.

      The NRA needs to do the same thing. Start focusing primarily (85%) on their non-established areas. You’re always going to have your Old Fat White Guys demographic in your back pocket. More and more women these days are controlling the checkbooks. Hell, even when “I Love Lucy” was on television, she was in charge of balancing the checkbook, and we often forget this.

      My wife once asked me “Next month, can I get a Madone ($2-3000 carbon fiber bike) or can we both get new revolvers? She had stashed enough cash after a year or so that we could get something nice, without me really paying attention. I suggested for her to get the bike, simply because we both have LCR’s, without the Crimson Trace grips, but alas, she was the one who brought it up.

  4. Considering the NRA is only a small portion of gun owners, it would make more sense to try and take it outside the podcasts. But nobody can possibly promote to the current generation like game developers.
    And while pro gun people coming out is a good thing, considering the idiocy of the current gen, it could probably cause quite a bit of harm in some way im sure. Id really rather not see fifteen year olds with their “knowledge” of firearms holding one sideways and making gang signs all over the internet.

    • You’d think with the way the mob gets the pitchforks after both camps at each mass shooting we’d have some common ground with the gaming crowd. Sadly the typical gamer is more than happy to do their shooting in BF4. Developers are the first ones screaming. “Don’t regulate my industry, this is free speech! Look at the REAL gun he had! That’s the danger.”

      I wouldn’t hold my breath for common ground/help from the gaming world on anything relating to the 2nd Amendment.

  5. “Anything that normalizes firearms in the eyes of the public and brings more people out of the pro-gun closet is a good thing, right?”

    Yes, absolutely! The more exposure by real or imagined “like me” spokes people the better to deflate grabber rhetoric.

    The real task is to get the message widely broadcast in an environment where much of the Democrat pandering media won’t hear of it, let alone publish or report it.

  6. This is great, and I fully support this new NRA effort. But seriously – the NRA doesn’t just need people like these in spots and YT videos. They need these people AT THE TOP. At HIGH EXECUTIVE levels.

    We need folks like Colion Noir, Billy Johnson, Kirsten Weiss as the head of the NRA, and on the board of directors.

  7. According to a recent Pew Research poll — which we can take for what it’s worth — 59% of gun owners are 50 or older, while only 16% are under thirty.

    It’s fine that the NRA is focusing on the younger demographic, but it won’t do much to move the needle. The NRA doesn’t sell guns, so it’s not going to increase gun ownership among younger people. When young people are interested enough in guns to buy guns, that moves the needle. The NRA’s shooting and hunting programs do that.

    As for the manufacturers, they can target the younger demo, but with what? Except for youth rifles, guns aren’t all that age-specific. I’ve never seen a non-youth gun and said, “nah, that’s a young guy’s gun. I’ll buy an old guy’s gun, like an AR or an M&P pistol.”

    • “I’ve never seen a non-youth gun and said, “nah, that’s a young guy’s gun. I’ll buy an old guy’s gun,…”

      So … You missed the whole zombie thing, huh?

      • Zombie guns weren’t for old people or young people. They were for dumb people. Fortunately, there weren’t enough of them to keep the craze going.

        • I disagree. I told my captain (since retired) that I would need an AR if a horde of ravenous zombies came up my stairwell. No way I could fend them all off with a measly Glock 27. The look on his face was priceless. Although the zombie apocalypse hasn’t happened – and I’m starting to fear that it never will – my ARs are still excellent for hunting, target shooting, and self defense. Zombie prep, SHTF prep, and economic collapse prep are all similar in strategy even if they differ in maturity.

    • I’m 29 and I’ve never been asked shit by Pew, or any other polling group for that matter.

      I doubt people under 30 are even accessible by these organizations. How many of us even have a landline any more? My cell phone is on the DND list. I don’t live in a city where pollsters operate. Nobody has ever stopped me to ask me polling questions in or out of any retail establishments I attend.

      Basically we do not exist on the pollsters’ radar.

    • @ Ralph

      Funny, but every time I go to the three most popular ranges here in San Diego County, easily the majority, I’d say 75 percent of the shooters, are 30 ish and younger. When observing the buyers at the most popular Local gun shops, the age range is wider, but still a fair representation of the younger crowd.

      The NRA is right to target the younger demographics that participate in the shooting sports to raise their awareness so they support the sport not just as a patron in the activity, but also actively support it politically.

  8. NRA seriously needs to get in on videogame tie in deals. Get Colion Noir and their new group of commentators on actual tv in ads with real exposure. They need to push responsible gun ownership and taking the “game” out on to the range with 3 gun, IDPA, and SASS competitions for the brogamer groups out there. Young people, educated, disposable income, with a healthy competitive streak are just what the NRA needs.

  9. At 25, my roommate bought his first gun a few weeks ago to join us at IDPA. He has no desire for a carry permit and refuses to leave it loaded in the house. Also currently helping two young ladies purchase their first guns and take ccw classes. Lord help me if they find out about each other.

      • Was the temperament comment meant for the room mate or the two young women?

        Its okay to gradually become comfortable with a firearm and know and understand the responsibility of what it means to leave it unlocked, and loaded.

        Edit: or were you referring to the two young women who seem to be going “whole hog” down the CCW route?

    • If you’ve never had the “we’re exclusive” chat, then they’re shouldn’t be any reason for them to believe so, right? Keep on with your sneaky shooting dates, and watch your 6. Hell hath no fury like a scorned armed woman.

      • Unless it is 2 scorned armed women.

        Of course since they seem to be diving head first into gun culture make sure one has a 9mm and the other a .45. That way should they ever meet with you in the middle you can distract them and as they argue the points you can make your escape.

      • @ Accur81

        I can speak to that personally, and the target isn’t always the spouse or significant other.

        Stay out’ta the way of the pointy end.

  10. It is a sad day when being a gun nut is treated like some odd fetish only discussed in close circles behind closed doors.

    Perhaps my experience is tainted growing up in a rural community where I remember fondly comparing notes on the newest cabelas catalog in elementary school with my buddies.

    Looking at what I just wrote, it strikes me that I sound like some OFWG reminiscing back to an earlier era. However, I’m only 26. Things have changed, and have done so rather quickly.

  11. Most of the people I know have a gun, or several, but that’s probably selection bias on my part.
    I will say that the gun shows here–which I’ve quit going to–are pretty much 99% OFWG though. usually charging absurd amounts of money for used guns too.

  12. I think the NRA needs to push competition harder, mainly 3 gun and USPSA. If it weren’t for that I might only own a M1917 and a 1950-60’s mossberg 22, both of which I never shot. Owning them isn’t enough, having something fun to do with them is key.

    Once I found out that I could shoot something other bullseye on static paper, my “arsenal” exploded in size, and continues to grow based solely how I can use that gun in the games I can play. I know USPSA has been around a long time but there are a lot of people, even gun people, who don’t know about it, or who have never shot it. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but if you spent anytime in front of a gaming console or computer playing 1st person shooters, 3 gun and USPSA (IPSC/IDPA) is the physical embodiment of that,

    • Amen. if the NRA started working with and pushing stuff like cowboy action shooting and USPSA that might help a lot.
      I can’t find a cowboy action shooting association here which is bumming me out 🙁

  13. I think the NRA needs to combat inherent “gun guilt”. I see this with old gun owners and newbies. Its the inherent guilt they have to justify their hobby as if its evil. If we normalize it with any other hobby or sport then there is not justification needed. Having “guys like me” tell me its ok to love the cold steel is better. Wayne may not be the best spokesperson for some but he is still a clean cut well spoke individual who so far is unassailable. He represents a good many who think there is other reasons people snap and do bad things with guns and its not because of the gun. He just has a different way of saying it. Plus if the “rap guys” would stop with the lack of muzzle disciplin, sidways shooting, and reckless attitude towards the general welfare of those around them then they would get a little more slack. I had to work very hard to kill all those bad habits of the inlaws, I gained recently, to induct them into the safe operation of firearms.

  14. Perhaps EVERYONE inside the NRA needs to speak to people outside of the NRA. After all, it’s our organization and our movement. Every member every day should be the face and voice of the NRA within your own sphere of influence. Who could the NRA possibly hire who is more credible and more relatable to your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. than you? No one.

    That said, there is benefit to unity of message, in addition to matching messenger to audience. Lord knows the gungrabbers all sing from the same stale sheet in every appearance. Maybe a multiple representative approach is in order. Young, hip cats can hit the MTV and BET beats. Warm, friendly soccer mom types can appear on daytime gab fests like “The View.” Intelligent, telegenic ones can trot out for cable news show debates. Save the more matter-of-fact, middle-aged Wayne for the Sunday morning talk shows and the behind the scenes corporate relations.

    Provide each of them, and us, with timely and intuitive talking points that we can tailor to our particular audience, and the message then gets delivered in a format that the non-alligned are receptive to.

    • “Perhaps EVERYONE inside the NRA needs to speak to people outside of the NRA. After all, it’s our organization and our movement. Every member every day should be the face and voice of the NRA within your own sphere of influence. Who could the NRA possibly hire who is more credible and more relatable to your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. than you? No one.”

      The Christian church has been demanding evangelizing from their members for over 1000 years. Even today, my church group pushes “Outside the walls of the church” evangelizing more than just about anything else. Is it working? Some…. Not as much as I would hope.

      I feel like firearm evangelizing isn’t something many would freely do. Except for a few really good friends, I tell no one that I own firearms for defense or fun, simply because my STREET has had more break-ins in 2013 than the past five years combined (Upshur County, WV). I don’t want people to know I have a stash of desired goods if something in society would go awry.

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