Lots of gun owners (like our reader Wendy) think the NRA could do a better job appealing to a younger, wider audience than it does. By the look of the gun rights org’s latest recruitment effort, it appears they’ve heard the criticism. (Although RF was a little disappointed when Batman didn’t show up.) So…how did they do?

111 Responses to NRA Takes a New Approach to Recruitment

      • I disagree with the concept that the NRA are the best chance to maintain our rights. The SAF starts more lawsuits that get back our right than the NRA. They do compromise. The first NFA back in the 20’s than again in the 60’s was backed by the NRA. Don’t believe me? That’s fine do the research like I did. However I am not trashing them from without, as I am a life member, and have been for almost 20 years.

        • Jon,

          I can appreciate your reluctance to join, but I hope you are a member of some 2A support group.

          Frank,

          Yup, I know about the NRA’s failures…that’s why I’m a member of both the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation. If one group doesn’t get it right, maybe the other will!

        • Frank: I find myself in general agreement with your points re the NRA vs SAF… but I’m going to let you in on a little secret: joining one does not preclude joining the other.

          I’ve joined both, and have get to get a letter from either org saying they’re kicking me out.

          ps: SAF sends life members better swag than the NRA does. 😉

        • Frank, I understand your sentiment, however, until the SAF is as large a lobbying group as the NRA, you shouldn’t let the NRA- our big dog in the fight- go down in the hopes that we’ll win on the court case front. We need the NRA to do what they do best so that the SAF can do what they do best. They’re both protecting our rights, why shouldn’t we help them?

        • rosignol I am also a life member of the SAF. 🙂
          Dracon1201 Until more people join the SAF like they have the NRA the SAF will not be the 500 LB gorilla in the room.

        • I was a member of both NRA and 2AF. After the first year, I dropped the 2AF membership.

          Why?

          As much as I believe in what 2AF does, I couldn’t handle their relentless phone calls day and night asking for fundraising. They called while I was at work, while I was in meetings, while I was driving, while I was at dinner, while I was getting ready for bed. And they absolutely refused to take “This is a really bad time” for an answer. Anyone heard “this will be real quick” and the other person refusing to let you go? I wish they would’ve just left me an email or voicemail instead of relentlessly calling me day and night.

          Now my cell phone is programmed to block any calls from their area code.

          No, I won’t be rejoining 2AF unless they stop their worst telemarketing habits. At least NRA hasn’t disrespected my personal time.

        • 20’s Do you mean 1934? And what “2nd NFA” do you mean the 1968 GCA?

          Do you know that the prime target of gun control in the 1910’s through 1930’s were handguns and those were originally part of the NFA, but the NRA lobbied against successfully?

          Compare the Sullivan act to AB 263 (1923) in California, which was agreed to by the NRA. Now that same law was passed in New Hampshire and North Dakota, but history diverges. The NRA even then supported it only as, in the words of one proponent, to forestall “fanatics” who would ban firearms concealable upon the person. The DROS system was seen as giving regulation that would leave intact the right to keep arms and take the wind out of gun control’s sails.

          Again, FOPA 1986. The Hughes amendment was a bad tack on, should the NRA have stopped supporting it over that? Pretend you are in their shoes, where you don’t even know what effect the amendment would have (it was ambigious), and you challenged it later on in court. Or how about armor piercing ammo? The original law would have effectively banned many rifle calibers.

          I am not defending the cooperation of the NRA in any of these laws. I am challenging your recollection of history, not just your mistake on decades, but in perspective. I am not sure without the gift of hindsight I would have done any differently.

          What is clear, is they are taking a far less compromising stance in later years. You demand they change, well they have.

    • Really, you should keep an open mind. Just because you voted for Obama, or whomever, does not mean you agree 100% with them all the time. In fact there are a fair number of Dems who now dislike Obama. They would not, however, go back and vote for Mitt Romney. There are lots of Republicans who dislike Christie and Bush.

      I do not think you should have to agree with an organization or candidate 100% to be a supporter.

      Really, there are a lot of organizations like the SAF that also supports the 2A. One should invoke an analogue to the Buckley rule and sign up for the most pro-2A organization that is the least detestable to you. The SAF does not get involved in politics but they do work behind the scenes on legislation and lawsuits, for example.

      But I do hear what you might be saying, sometimes elections are a decision between someone who might probe your vagina vs someone who might probe your gun safe. Which sucks.

      But, diversifying the face of the NRA over the long term will probably soften a lot of the rhetoric.

  1. I enjoy watching the Red Pill/Game world and the gun world merge.

    I expect to see more of that in the future.

  2. I terminated my membership when they refused to support the cert. petition in Heller. And when they did everything they could to undermine Alan Gura’s role, and shamelessly took credit for the win? I knew I’d made the right decision. I’ll stick to GOA.

  3. I like it a lot, and not just for the diversity imagery. I have nothing against the mega wealthy, but I get really steamed when three billionaires–Bloomberg, Broad, and Buffet– use their wealth to try to take away rights from millions of ordinary Americans.

  4. It hit me where I live. I hope it signifies an intent to recruit a more diverse member base upon which we follow through.

  5. Meh… it’s nice that the NRA is trying to change and better fit the needs of the nonOFWG segment of gun-owners… but the advert just felt a little, well flat…

    But this reminds me too much of a bad recruiting film for some law enforcement agency…

  6. Less hooah next time. I’m all for our troops, but that’s not what gun ownership is about. In fact… that’s exactly what the Second Amendment is NOT about.

    (And it raises a barrier for some hipper-than-thou folks who would otherwise not mind joining a civil rights organization that directly benefits them.)

  7. This was a good spot but really does not directly address Wendy’s criticism, IMO. Like Everytown, people are extremely skeptical of clever commercials, with good reason. As a liberal friend put it, I am not supporting an organization supporting teahadists. Deeds, not words are what matters here. In my experience gun owners, more so than most, are immune to groupthink and clever commercials.

    What matters more is deeds.
    Cooke did an excellent piece in the N Review: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/376665/nras-next-challenge-its-success-charles-c-w-cooke

    This was a good recruitment video, but many of the issues can only be addressed over the medium term. So Far, so good, judging by the recent spate of new NRA commentators.

    However, Cooke is 100% right, people need to be mindful of not co-mingling 2A issues with politics generally. There are lots of pro-2A Dems who are moderate on social issues. Pro-business people will generally support very moderate republicans like Bush (moderate on social issues), or Hillary, but not Ted Cruz or Rand Paul: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/wall-street-republicans-hillary-clinton-2016-106070.html?hp=t1

    And for those of you firmly in the “as long as you dont fund abortion/contraception camp” etc., please try to remember: JC tolerated a lot of sinners at the table. Showing how intolerant the SWatts bunch is only works when we ourselves are tolerant.

  8. Didn’t like it and I’m not a member and I am an old fat white guy. I’ve crossed a threshold where I really could care less. The video plays on values, that young people today really don’t have, while they want fairness, few are willing to work to get ahead. And almost none show any initiative. Not sure what the military, police and firefighters was all about. Hope the message wasn’t get a government job.

      • It isn’t just the young people around him.

        Try being an employer some time. Tell young people that they have to show up at time T, wearing attire A.

        Most of them won’t do it. When we owned the farm, I tried to employ kids for seasonal help doing minor jobs. All I’d ask is that they show up with boots and gloves. Flip-flops and sandals are not appropriate attire for working on a farm, period, end of discussion. Some kids just wouldn’t listen, they’d show up in shorts and flip-flops. After two attempts to get them to change, they were off the job. I’d get calls from parents, wailing “Hey, what’s your problem with my kid?!”

        “Your child won’t listen to instructions. I told him to show up in jeans and boots. Flip-flops are not appropriate in this job for safety reasons.”

        What did the parents say? “Well *(&(*&^ you!”

        And there you have the cause of the problem.

        There are two groups of young people I find that are still serious about life: former military (or still serving in the Guard or Reserves) and kids off farms/ranches.

        City kids? There’s a few gems here and there, but for the most part, they’re worse than useless as employees… and often poor to mediocre students as well.

        • When I had employees, I always interviewed the veterans first when hiring. When I was a recruiter, I always told my clients I would look for veterans first. Why? Because they’re used to showing up, learning, taking direction, making decisions, and taking responsibility-things I don’t see so much in 20 and 30-somethings who haven’t had the experience.

        • I suppose I can understand. I do, however, have a hard time believing you have not at some point heard that about your generation from men and women who were your parent’s age.

        • As a manager in a large corporation for several years I had opportunity to deal with todays youth in an employment setting. My take away was that despite knowing nothing about the job, business, life, or anything at all they still felt their opinion was at least as important as mine, the corporate officers, the board and the customers.

          They were however adept at complaining about the dress code (I wore a suit while they needed only a tee-shirt without logos, jeans without holes and shoes that didn’t flop about as they walked and no exposed nudity), the hours, the pay, the benefits, the training and the customers. They were particularly challenged by our relatively lax dress code, since it seems that their comfort and self expression trump all other considerations entirely. Their default position was one of great entitlement with absolutely no justification. They brought personal problems into the work place, demonstrated difficulty following simple rules, showed a general lack of initiative and work ethic and yet still complained heartily that their managers and supervisors had it easier than them despite the fact that 100% of management had been recruited internally and continued to be so, meaning that any of them could have risen into management if they could just get with the program.

          The exceptions to this were rare but generally consisted of either those who showed greater than average intelligence or those with military experience.

          I eventually cultivated a team of 20 something men and women who were all ex military and I can say that the difference was night and day vs managing other people from the same age group. My veterans would do whatever was asked, with little complain and moved with alacrity. My take away from that is that most young people are capable of being good employees and good citizens but they require that discipline be instilled. My generation suck as parents apparently, but the military does a respectable job correcting the problem. Or perhaps those with the self discipline guts and willingness to join up in the first place weren’t from the whining, entitled, do-less and complaining tribe to start with. I don’t know, but my experiences have soured me on the capabilities of the 18-28 segment considerably.

      • Because I sell packaging equipment, I’m in a lot of businesses, once automation equipment is sold, my next task is to change company culture from task – complete..to…observation – correction. And that’s takes a lot of work. Today’s employees lack basic problem solving skills brought on by current technology. Example, cars today, for most part don’t break so we have a whole generation without problem solving skills every 50+ person has. Our cars broke, had little money, so we fixed them. Airflow, electricity, timing, fuel pumps, combustion, mechanical & electrical interface. So while tech has improve reliability, a whole generation is losing conceptual ability to fix things. Combine this with failure to accept instruction, or simple directions, young people will not be employed. Saying all that, the young one that figure this out, take time to understand simple problem solving….they are the ones with opportunity.

        So join the NRA, give them your coin and let other people do your thinking & heavy lifting.

  9. Great article by David Codrea on celebrity gun owners. Yes they are POTG. BUT I constantly see the old Twilight Zone image of Burgess Meredith on the steaming destroyed pile of books. HIS most important thing in the world.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/owning-or-carrying-firearms-does-not-make-celebrities-pro-gun

    Point being with reference to all the cries for a BIG TENT in the NRA. The Second Amendment is about more than the Second Amendment. If at the end, we live in a freakish left wing country, devoid of all traditional values BUT we can have guns, what have we ended up with? What the founders envisioned? What is worth being a citizen of ?

    • Even “in a freakish left wing country,” with the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, you WILL have the right to retain your own “values.” What difference does it make what other people’s values are as long as they leave you alone? Which they will, if you’re armed.

    • We were founded as a ‘freakishly left wing experiment’. In the world of what is really “Liberal” in the Founders’ sense of the word – none of this is an issue.

      There are no background checks or anything (save for your bank balance) to preclude your owning every single piece of hardware the US military owns. And they were generally against anything resembling a standing army. For all the reasons we live with now.

      Jefferson said on several occasions that the government needs to exist in fear of the people. Not precisely overt fear, but functioning in full knowledge that they serve in *our* interest and at our pleasure.

      • I think the founders intended that government would temper it’s role in light of the resistance the citizens might raise against it versus the portion of the citizenry that would rise up to support them. That was the argument against a standing army; you could only pull off a law or action if you could convince a large enough portion of the citizenry to go along with it and assist in enforcing it among those who would not go along.

        Certainly what we have now with the federal police is not that situation; any fiat or dictate from government comes with it’s own built in a sycophantic enforcement support from a domestic army of LEOs.

        There was a time when burglars, thieves, rapists and murders lived in constant fear of being apprehended by a citizen in the commission of their crimes as a swift and sure death at the hands of the citizens would likely follow. Society didn’t tolerate their depredations and would visit serious and instant consequences on them in the event they were caught ‘red handed’. Now we largely look away and trust to surrogates the duty to correct or prevent criminal behavior. I think the surrender of this single solemn duty to protect oneself, ones family and ones property to the government brought about the generally intolerable situation we currently have. I also think this is why the statists and collectivists are so ardently anti 2A. If ever the situation were restored to what it ought to be the need for a standing domestic army would be largely gone, and without it, all hopes of subjugating the people against their will forever lost. They cannot have us protecting ourselves because if we can and we do then we don’t need them anymore.

  10. NRA needs better PR people.
    Making a terrible action movie type video with a terrible “good guys” tag showing nothing but government actors, when they are supposed to be for the 2nd amendment, ie non government firearm ownership is tone deaf to me.

    Would it have been hard to simply hire actors or go out and get real people documenting DGUs and then bring up how anti-gunners don’t want them armed and capable of defending themselves.

    You know real conversation and appeal to reason over emotionalism and jingoism.

  11. Get Billy Johnson on there and have those type of spokespeople start articulating the policies of the NRA, and put Wayne to pasture. Wayne is a lightning rod, need other faces and voices to carry the messages… especially, people of color, women and younger spokespeople that know the policy top to bottom.

  12. I like the commerical period. What many of you who didn’t like don’t understand is that the target audience isn’t us. It’s the Millennials and this is catches their attention. For those of you who dislike the appeal to patriotism and service not every Second Amendment absolutist is a neo-Confederate/Faux Libertarian. It’s a good image and yes Rokurota the Second Amendment is about Military service. The Militia clause is not the main subject of the Second Amendment but it is in the language for a reason. Most of the public still identifies these institutions, particularly fire/EMS/military, as the good guys. And Rick’s video has it right. The NRA with its 5 million members is the only organization with horsepower to crush Bloomberg’s vanity enterprise. So if you don’t want to join that is your right of free association but as far as I am concerned you are just free riders.

    • I would be classified as a millennial.
      In my opinion it will do nothing to draw people in, especially in my age range and younger.
      Its too over produced and tries too hard.

      • I am a millinnial and I liked it. It’s something different than fear mongering, which I dislike about most of their recruiting tactics. It could have had more private citizens in it but you can’t have everything. As for them using soldiers, with us being at war for over 12 years, we (the younger generation) have been conditioned to look up to soldiers as role models. And when it comes down to them advocating for traditional values such as honesty, hard work and integrity; how can you argue with that?

        • I dont know who you refer to when you say “we” have been conditioned to look up to soldiers.
          Most studies show millenials have a extreme distrust of the government and authority in general (which is a good thing) so the state muscle worship is a bad angle if you are looking to sell to the youth.

        • “millenials have a extreme distrust of the government”

          It’s not just the millennials, albeit I’m not representative of all old beige guys. Personally, I believe that government in general is essentially a crime against Nature.

    • I’m pushing 50, but have a fair amount of interaction with Millenials. While some of them really are dumb as a stump (just like some X’ers, Y’ers, and Boomers) I’m not sure this pig will fly.

      In my highly unscientific poll of the dozen or so I’ve run into since this posted, I’ve got a batting average of .000 on liking this thing. I have heard “This is what some old Boomer thinks is current?” to “Are you effing kidding? Who squoze that turd?”

      Full disclosure: Two are already NRA members who hold their nose when they push the pay button. A couple are females who are firearms neutral, but love the range time, and the others own guns but aren’t really as cognizant of the battle going on as they should be. Too many “distractions” if ya know what I mean. Nudge nudge, wink wink…

  13. A step in the right direction.The NRA needs to go farther and really dig into and express the tie-in of the daily lives of the average person who lives in the urban cities with the NRA. Show the hoods on the streets and the victims of violence and skip the military presence.

    • That’s the problem. Violent crime has been falling allowing for statistical variation for forty years. Political violence is a non-issue. Those evil hoodie-wearing thugs and drug gangs and so on aren’t more of a threat than they were five or ten years ago. And Scary Brown Terrorists has had its thirteen years of center stage.

      People can be stupid and easily led, but eventually they realize what the real threats are.

  14. Why not just move to Somalia?

    They have guns and they got blacks. You seem to like those, so go ahead and embrace the bright future of America, but right now.

  15. How did the NRA do on this recruitment video to attract younger, diverse people? I would say a pretty big failure.

    Many in today’s younger generation abhor responsibility … which seems to be the primary emphasis of this video. If the NRA really wants to reach out to young, diverse people, just show them how much FUN it is own and shoot firearms. The NRA has to get young people in the fold before they can do anything else. Promote responsibility to established members through media and training. This isn’t rocket science people.

    • Ah yes, “Damned lazy kids! Get off my lawn!”

      Sorry, but you are part of the problem when it comes to reaching them. This is a generation which can’t afford to get married and have children. It’s a generation with officially over 20% unemployment (actually much higher), lowered prospects and more pressing concerns than technicalities in firearms law. They don’t react in quite the same way as the NRA’s current target audience because their concerns are different. Saving the world from Communism or Socialism or Inner City Youth or That Devil Music just doesn’t have the same zing for them.

      Shooting as a recreation? Sure. That’s a good pitch. But these days shooting is expensive because people like us buy every single round and primer the moment it hits the market. The price of guns has gone full bat-scat crazy since I last bought a new firearm.

  16. I find that folks that are not NRA members or members of any other gun rights group but who are “gun” people are never happy with what the NRA (or others) do, nothing they do will ever be enough or the right thing. I find these people much the same as folks who will not get out and vote but are more that happy to complain about those who get elected.

    • Yeah pretty much what you said plus some are just cheap ass bastards that will always find a problem with every gun group so they don’t have to open up their wallets…how convenient.

    • And some people are unhappy with the direction the organization has taken in the last twenty years but don’t see many candidates who want to change it. I’ve voted, but it hasn’t helped so far.

  17. The best way to change an organization is to join it. Is it is a very effective principle that has been used many times in the past. Good thing there aren’t huge numbers of passionate anti-gunners all joining the NRA with numbers in the millions or we would have real problems on our hands.

  18. Why doesn’t RF start a new organization? (Not being facetious)

    We could all make suggestions in order to move it in right direction, and those of us who are serious can donate.

  19. Hm, not bad. Not great, but not bad. (I have to admit I was wondering when the Avengers and the X-Men would show up…)

    I do have to say I liked Mr. Colion Noir’s commentary. More along that vein, please!

    • Please give us more of you opinions.

      People that have no clue that Jay Z was busted wearing a anti-white afrocentric groups pendant this very month, are people who should be guiding the NRA.

      • The Horror! The Horror!

        Considering how many ‘woods in the NRA also sport the Traitor’s Rag and other excrement from the Confederacy that’s pretty darned rich.

  20. I’m not crying. It’s really dusty in here.
    I like the vid. Kind of heavy on the uniformed stuff, but it’s a good message.

  21. Same shit, different production values.

    “FEAR! FEAR! FEAR! IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE! THE SCARY PEOPLE ARE OUT TO GET YOU!”

    It’s a powerful message designed to bypass the higher faculties and go straight to the amygdala.

    Fortunately, it’s absolute nonsense. Murder is down. Most of the terrorists are Right Wing NRA-supporting “separatists” or “tax protesters” or “lone nuts” or so-called Christians, and there really aren’t enough of them to be worried about. We don’t have a Lost Generation. We have an economically ground down hopeless nation. And somehow you have to sell them a group whose main concern is selling them merchandise and convincing them the biggest thing they have to worry about are the laws that govern the sale of that merchandise.

    Notice the “good guys” pictured are the same evil government employees the NRA rails against the rest of the year – “jack booted thugs” (police and soldiers), unionized firefighters and so on.

    It’s a nice piece of propaganda, but I think it’s doomed to failure. Demographically the tide is against us, and the target market just doesn’t have the money for new toys and isn’t nearly as interested in firearms or the NRA. Economic survival is a much bigger concern, and despite its attempt to emotionally identify itself with those concerns – the “family working two jobs” – this ad doesn’t make the case.

  22. From a raw standpoint, it’s decent at best. The music and direction seems fine if a bit over the top, however it doesn’t really show anything to make me want to join.

    Show a Chicagoan defending themselves on the street using their new concealed carry permit.

    Show a college student leaving their house and competing in a 3-gun event with a modern sporting rifle.

    Show me a rape victim who is now prepared.

    I don’t need to see police or military with their guns, that’s not what I care about. And maybe stop attacking the next generation of shooters (aka First Person Shooter fans).

    I keep falling in/out of membership with the NRA, however for the most part I do believe that membership is better for our rights than non-membership. That being said… every time I want to buy a suppressor or a full-auto plinker (like a calico .22) I can’t help but be very dissapointed with the NRA and our erosion of rights.

  23. It’s not a bad try, B+ for effort. Really, even if people are rolling their eyes, I think this is one case where the thought does count… Yeah, it’s rough around the edges. But give them some time to find their stride with this…

    This at least makes me feel a little bit better about the NRA, when I did “hold my nose and join” (because I know the cause is what matters even if the membership and mechanisms aren’t really my style; I’m more behind the NRA-ILA…) – it now feels a little less like I joined the Church of Scientology, at least.

  24. Just NEVER AGAIN BLAME VIDEO GAMES! If the NRA does they are as (whatever four letter words you want) as Bloomberg and the rest!

  25. And for all those who had the opportunity to vote for the NRA Board and didn’t –

    shame on you!

    You had a chance to change the way NRA works, and you p!ssed it away. Please STFU until next year.

  26. I’ve been reading TTAG for years and am amazed at many of the comments posted about this new video…comments by readers I’ve never seen post a single time on TTAG. Amazing. Hmmmm. Could it be people inftrating the board and trying a little “reverse psychology” to besmirch the NRA? No, the anti’s would never do that. I must be imagining things! One last thought: Flaws with the NRA notwithstanding, what have YOU DONE recently to support our constitutional rights? What have those who quickly criticize this video done to battle the anti-gun crowd beside whine about Wayne LaPierre? Think about it. I thought the video was actually exceptionally well done. It was carefully crafted for a specific target audience and well produced. Bravo NRA! A lot of people laughed at all those Marine Corps commercials a decade ago where the teenager fights the dragon with the sword…..until they saw lines outside recruiting stations. The video is excellent and will add hundreds of thousands of new members to the NRA roster.

  27. This stuff is being portrayed as being new but a few of these “new” faces have been around on the NRA site for a while here;

    http://www.nranews.com/commentators

    Dom Raso, Colion Nior, Natalie Foster and Billy Johnson for well over a year.

    Chris Cheng, Nikki Turpeaux and Gabby Franco have been added recently.

    Then there are other “channels”;

    NRA Women – http://www.nrawomen.tv/

    Life Of Duty – http://www.nralifeofduty.tv/

    American Warrior – http://www.nralifeofduty.tv/

    American Warrior Magazine – http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/9da8872b#/9da8872b/1

    Might be more going on here than most realize and a lot of it’s not new.

  28. What do I think?
    I think it’s nice to see the NRA talking the talk(FINALLY!), now lets all watch to see whether they walk the walk. Or just throw away some more of our rights to their god of “compromise”, “for the greater good”, like they have been doing for decades now.
    Which is why I no longer belong. And why it will take more than words to get me to join back up.
    WALK THE WALK, NRA! Forget the talk. I’m(and hopefully everybody else is too) watching what you DO, not what you SAY…

  29. I am still trying to figure out how to find more big words and my favorite new phrase “red pill” to respond to this.

    I enjoy acting like I am a chick, when I am really a dude.

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