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Reader Wendy writes:

I have been reading (and occasionally commenting on) TTAG for some time now. I read with interest one of your entries from Friday 4/25, “How can the NRA become less white?” Or perhaps more generally (and more accurately), how can the NRA become more non-OFWG? I decided to address this in an email rather than a comment, mostly because this response is going to be fairly long, but also because the comments seem to be running along the lines of, “Diversity? We don’t need no steenkin’ diversity!” . . .

Grant Cunningham addressed precisely this question a few weeks ago. It wasn’t people of color he was discussing, it was tattooed and pierced, socially liberal hipsters. But I think the same analysis applies.

Cunningham writes,

“One thing is certain: these new shooters don’t like the NRA and they aren’t members. They don’t know the organization because the organization hasn’t taken the time to know them. What they believe they know about the NRA and its members comes from the mainstream media, because too many members have decided that these new shooters aren’t worth getting to know as human beings.

“(Frankly, the organization’s social stances haven’t helped, either. Seriously, look at the major social activities planned for the NRA convention later this month: a country music concert and a prayer breakfast. Do you really think these people are going to be excited about either?) 

“Don’t expect them to see eye-to-eye with you on political matters, because they may not. Don’t expect them to join the NRA, because they probably won’t (at least, not until the NRA becomes more representative of them.) If that bothers you so much that you won’t treat them like you would other shooters, all you’re doing is insuring that future generations grow up without the Second Amendment advocacy that we enjoy today.”

Cunningham makes some points worth noting.

First: Culture. Want non-OFWG’s to get involved? Let’s start with last night’s concert, “Country Jam IV.”  Nothing against Joe Nichols and Jerrod Niemann, but that’s not likely to appeal to people whose musical tastes run more toward Jay-Z or Pitbull, or toward Imagine Dragons or OneRepublic. A little hip-hop, a little alt rock, would go a ways toward showing that the NRA’s culture isn’t just for aging rednecks.

And Alabama? They’ve been around nearly as long as I’ve been alive. I know a lot of people still like them, but see above re fans of Imagine Dragons and Pitbull…  As for the prayer breakfast? Nothing wrong with that, just that millennials are less likely to be enthused about that, and people of color would be more likely to show up if, say, T.D. Jakes appeared alongside Franklin Graham.

Second: Politics. I looked at the lineup for the NRA-ILA leadership forum. No women, a slew of very conservative Republicans. Three persons of color (Gov. Jindal, Sen. Rubio, Sheriff Clarke) so at least there was that. But still. We all know that Republicans tend to be pro-2A and Democrats for the most part tend to be anti-2A. The Democrats’ general stance is a problem that all us People of the Gun – right, left, and center – need to address.

But see Cunningham’s article above…attracting moderates and liberals to the NRA is going to be difficult as long as the NRA aligns itself with politicians who oppose women’s right to bodily and reproductive autonomy, LGBTQs’ right to live authentically and right to marry the person they love, Latin@s who have grown up here since infancy or toddlerhood being able to obtain the right of citizenship (and who are undocumented through no fault of their own). Or to put it a little more colorfully, you’re not going to get PBR-swilling hipsters and latte liberals to come if all you’re throwing is a TEA Party.

The NRA could start by supporting pro-gun Democrats (they do exist) such as Mark Begich of Alaska. The NRA could also refuse to reflexively endorse anti-gun people who happen to have an “R” after their name, such as Mitt Romney, who signed Massachusetts’ AWB when he was Governor. (Note: refusing to endorse Romney wouldn’t have necessarily meant endorsing Obama. The NRA could have said, “we can’t endorse either major party candidate this year.”)

The NRA-ILA could also have a little chat with politicians who say, um, unfortunate things about, say, sexual assault: “Hey, we’re glad you support 2A. But we’d like to increase female support for 2A rights by pointing out that firearms ownership can help women protect their right to bodily autonomy, and when you say stupid things about rape, that just pisses women off and drives them into the antis’ camp.”

Third: Wayne LaPierre. It’s time for him to go, or at least not be the public face of the NRA. He just isn’t an effective spokesman. He’s our Michael Bloomberg.

Fourth: Ditto Ted Nugent.

Fifth: More spokespeople of color, younger spokespeople, female spokespeople. (On the latter: Not Sarah Palin. She falls under the LaPierre/Nugent category of “open mouth, remove left foot, replace with right foot, close mouth.” Some women love her, but a lot of us hate her. And not because of her looks.)

Sixth part un: Introducing people to shooting and improving access to shooting. For urban people, lobbying to change laws making it difficult or impossible to locate ranges in urban areas. Recruiting and training more instructors of color, more female instructors, more younger instructors.

Sixth part deux:  Identifying and winning over influential community leaders – pastors, local politicians, business leaders in communities of color.  If you look at cities like Chicago or Atlanta, the black clergy are often in the forefront of anti-2A initiatives because of the heavy toll of violence they see among black youths.  Recruit them, work with them on the types of social change that could reduce violence, help them see that the NRA is on their side.

My $.02, worth every penny you paid.  😉

Thanks for listening.

454 Responses to One Reader’s Six (Well Seven) Part NRA Improvement Guide

  1. May be hard to read, but lots of truth in what Wendy has to say.

    While I highly doubt the NRA will ever attract “PBR-swilling hipsters” and convinced liberals, who will tend to embrace the anti-gun agenda, it sure can take to heart most of what she says.

    If it results in a few more million members….how could that possibly be bad?

    • A large portion of this demo is anti-establishment no matter what.
      They tend to be the type that refused to go greek in college no matter how diverse and tolerant and socially responsible/active the chapters on campus were.
      As someone who was involved in greek leadership, I have to point out that no matter how genuine we tried to be, these people wanted nothing to do with us. The irony…. It was hard not to pigeon-hole them as anti-establishment misanthropes who would rather tear down our signs, vandalize our property or smear us in the school paper for whatever it was – be it running programs to help the student body understand people with disabilities, raise money to build handicap-accessible playgrounds or for cleaning up a mile-long stretch or highway come heat or rain.

      Ultimately, since these people wouldn’t be caught dead within a mile of an NRAMC meeting, they will have to be reached through alternate (….alternaive?…) venues, programs and organizations,

    • I am a “PBR Swilling Hipster” (whatever that means). I am young, and own many firearms, and I am staunchly pro-2A. Yet, I haven’t joined the NRA. I think they take too much credit for work for the work we do at the grassroots level. They are way too easy of a target for the left, as they are a huge lumbering agency. The left can has a hard time writing off individual members or grassroots gun owners, but it can collectively write us off as an “other.” When they get to lump us together under that umbrella. In the day of individual branding from facebook, twitter, instragram, and blogging, Colion Noir has exponentially more impact on millennial opinions than the NRA can ever hope to have. I think aligning their two brands damaged Noir more than it helped the NRA. These days people write others off by association without a fair hearing.

      • Please enlighten us on how you torpedoed the gun-grabbers moves last spring and that you were more effective than the NRA?

        If you don’t contribute to the NRA, than which of the myriad of other pro-2A group did you donate to?

        • Glad you asked…

          I called, wrote and emailed the prominent vulnerable Democrats as well as my local Democrats to tell them that although I would be willing to support them on the vast majority of their positions, the Bill of Rights was non-negotiable.

          I said that if they sold the Bill of Rights downriver that I would happily contribute to their opponents and volunteer to make calls on their opponents’ behalf explaining why as a Democrat, I felt that it was necessary to put protecting our Constitutional rights before party loyalty and as a physician, I believe that citizen disarmament would have little to no effect on ‘gun violence’.

          I believe that the NRA has become way too identified with Right wing causes to function as an umbrella organization. Don’t get me wrong, it does yeoman work and I am a member, but it causes a lot of cognitive dissonance.

          What we really need is to build a Left-Right consensus to support the entire Bill of Rights, not just the parts we like, not just the parts that serve us when we are in or out of power. Something that united the NRA and ACLU. Since neither organization’s leadership would agree to that, then a broader, non-politicized organization to support the BOR would be nice. Failing that then we need to form a Democratic gun rights organization.

          Perhaps TTAG could profile these guys (I have no idea if they’re legit)
          http://democratsforgunownership.org/

        • I guess I hold to the mistaken belief that my multiple emails and phone calls to senators and congressman actually mean something. I introduced 5 people to shooting in the last year. I didn’t need the NRA to organize me. If you like the fact that money greases the gears in DC, then I guess you can go that route.

          I am not saying people shouldn’t join the NRA, I am just saying that growing up as a suburban male, I had zero interaction with the NRA. None. If they want my demographic, they have to explain why it is practical and valuable for us to do so. So far, it seems like the SAF does more than the NRA legally, and the NRA’s negative brand (deserving or not) seems to be corrupting the conversation. I don’t like it that MSNBC can just write all of us off — the people actually doing the leg work of their own volition– because we have a monolithic lobbying organization claiming they organized us.

      • I’m not sure what state you are in, but have you looked into your state level organizations? I know here in Ohio the BFA does their best to be non-partisan and regularly endorse democrats over republicans when they have better records.

      • As a volunteer RSO I make a serious effort to give positive attention to any new shooters. Often this includes young men and women, and people who the older fellas might call “alternative”.

        The way I see it, anyone that wants to learn to shoot safe and well should be able to. Once they do, they’ll have something to lose.

    • So the NRA should change it’s fundamental values to match the Democratic Party, but with gun rights, and all will be well? Sorry, I don’t think so. Why should the NRA alienate it’s current membership in favor of *possibly* attracting a minority? When the chips are down, the minorities will do what they always do and fall in line with the rest of the Democratic party. The Democratic party cannot and never will embrace the second amendment.

      As for not attracting younger voters..

      Our gun rights are going to be a thing of the past once Generation Y takes control. Why? Because they elected Obama twice, they had an “occupy” movement to protest.. they weren’t even sure what. They look to Jon Stewart and the MSM for their news, believe in the Government taking care of them, and that security is better than liberty. The majority of their parents were idiots who never learned, and they will be no different. If we want to help save the Second Amendment, someone needs to write a piece about how to successfully de-program brainwashed Millenials and teach the new silent generation to love the Bill of Rights in it’s entirety. As they currently are, they will be content to be denizens of a gilded cage.

      • You do know that the NRA is a gun-rights organization not a conservative or democratic organization? It says so right in the name.

        IMO they should make two organization DRA (Democratic Rifle Association) and the RRA (Republican Rifle Association) which would fight for gun rights on both sides. Thus avoiding the whole “Those are OFWGs” issue.

        • You do understand that gun rights are a perfect example of self reliance, a conservative principle not found anywhere in the Democratic party? The second amendment is an indicator of conservative or libertarian values, generally speaking. Those Democrats I have known who are gun owners are also the first to say that “reasonable restrictions” are common sense.

          So yes. The NRA leans right. Not because they have taken a social stance and come out and said they support conservative causes, but because the people who COMPOSE the NRA tend to be conservative.

          Libertarian, Moderate and Democrat gun owners whine about it not representing them and refuse to join.

          So your suggestion has merit. I’d be fine with splitting the NRA.. but I think the RRA will be significantly larger, and more willing to fight to the death over “shall not be infringed”.

        • “Libertarian, Moderate and Democrat gun owners whine about it not representing them and refuse to join.”

          It’d be great if it were possible to keep it strictly focused on 2A absolutism, but stunts like that Palin torture thing really give me a bad taste in the mouth. Maybe have a litmus test for keynote speakers or something. But I have no dogs in that fight, so never mind.

      • Over 400 comments and growing.
        Way to swat the hornet’s nest TTAG!
        The NRA has no clue what my ideology is or if I have tattoos or if I am pro-choice, but they took my dues and I got the cap and the decals anyway.
        This email about “Inclusion” is ridiculous.

        • Is it? Have you noticed the number of people here whose response was not just “Well, join it anyway!” (which I can respect) but who have actually told the not-like-thems who are still pro-gun to go the hell away?

          How much of that latter attitude exists at the higher levels of the NRA?

          Totally ignoring these “different but still pro gun” people and continuing to behave as if the entire membership is down-the-line-social-conservative-of-course by inviting speakers who go off on tangential conservative rants while standing behind an NRA lectern leaves those pro-gunners uncertain of that.

        • You don’t understand what we are saying. Why should the NRA change to be inclusive? It’s their party so it’s their house rules. If you were in charge of the military, would you eliminate all physical fitness tests because somebody didn’t like them and were offended because they had to do push-ups on the flea-infested sand pit? Why emasculate the NRA?

        • Yeah…because it is so hard to get in to the NRA. There is a waiting list to join. They should loosen the strict requirements to be an NRA member.
          This whole argument is asinine.
          I hear the same arguments about the Republican Party…from my wife. She says if the Party wasn’t represented by a bunch of old white guys, then they would attract more voters.
          I even had a black man (who is Conservative but votes Democrat because all his black friends do) tell me that the Republicans need to take a page out of the Democrats playbook and start making false promisses like they do in order to win more elections.
          Face-palm.

        • The way I see it, the criticism is of the NRA because most people see the membership as being of one race, one party, one ideology based on appearances of the members that attend NRA events. That is racism in my book. Wendy imagines that the NRA and its members must all think the same way because they are white. The same thing is said about the Tea Party. Most of them are white so they must have another agenda beyond limited Government. The NRA must have another agenda beyond protecting the 2nd amendment. I don’t see the irritated members initiating the exclusionary position you are referring to as much as I see the ones that probably wouldn’t join the NRA if it was a punk rock fan club stating that they want to change the makeup of the “typical” NRA member. It is just a stupid approach. It is a solution looking for a problem.

        • It has nothing to do with race. There are Bible-thumpers and bloodthirsty warmongers of all colors. I simply will not join an organization that thinks Bible-thumpers and bloodthirsty warmongers make dandy keynote speakers.

        • It has nothing to do with race? Then why does the writer mention OFWG? The W meaning white. Rich, sometimes I think you argue just for the sake of it.
          I also mentioned ideology as well as party affiliation. You won’t join the NRA because its membership and leaders are people you don’t agree with but you won’t do anything to change that leadership…except rant about more dope, less war, and less childbirths.
          You are worse than a YouTube Troll.

        • “You don’t understand what we are saying. Why should the NRA change to be inclusive? It’s their party so it’s their house rules”

          But then you complain when they say “well your house rules aren’t to our liking, so we will stay away?”

          Look, it’s either lighten up on “house rules” that have nothing to do with the stated purpose of the organization, and gain the membership you claim you want, or don’t, and accept that some people won’t care to join. You don’t get to make a bunch of people uncomfortable over irrelevancies, then demand they join your organization anyway.

    • Ditto. If that’s what it’ll take to get the NRA up to speed, then we’ll need to swallow our pride on a few issues and get the outreach going.

      Also painfully aware of the need to shift LaPierre away from the leadership. His anti-video game (and vicariously anti-1st amendment) sentiments are what’s currently keeping me away from the NRA. If he ceased to be a factor I’d eagerly go join.

      • No you wouldn’t.
        Let me paraphrase your comment:
        “Rather than join the NRA and get membership status allowing me to vote on the board of directors so I can be part of the improvement process, I will wait indefinately for the leadership to change before I contribute to an organisation that I generally support.”
        Tick Toc Tick Toc
        Time is wasting.

    • She lost me when she advocated for inclusion of people that murder babies.
      What good is defense of life if you are not even willing to protect the most vulnerable?

        • The abortion issue has absolutely nothing at all to do with guns.

          It’s also not murdering babies, that’s just an old emotional argument that isn’t backed by any science. I’ve never understood how someone could remove the rights of the person in favor of the rights of a tiny mass of cells…

          If the NRA would only focus on responsible gun ownership, it would make a good change in how they are viewed by most people. Instead of the far right leaning, unthinking behemoth it seems to be. As they are now, I’ll never be an NRA member.

          Yes, I’m one of those liberal gun owners.

        • I’ll believe that when I see you camped out on the White House steps demanding an end to all of Bush/Obama’s wars, including the insane war on drugs, and when I see people outside clinics with “we will adopt” signs instead of grisly pictures of botched operations designed to terrorize vulnerable little girls.

        • It is sheer lunacy/stupidity to bring up Abortion when fighting for gun rights. Why take an issue on which conservatives are completely hypocritical in order to argue gun rights? #dumb

          “We want people to make their own decisions except when its a woman making a decision about something happening inside her own body, in that case we want the full force of Government enforcement and denial of services on our side.”

          #hypocritical & a great way to make the Progressive’s case for them. Someday Conservatives will see how they skewer themselves with that one.

        • “a tiny mass of cells”

          A tiny mass of cells that is treated as a foreign parasite by the host mother from conception – that is, physiologically, the mother’s body sees that tiny mass of cells as a separate organism because it is, in fact a separate organism. It has its own DNA, it’s own cell proteins and is processing food into energy via its own metabolism.

          You can make all the insulting nonsensical rhetoric you want, but there are some mighty intelligent people on both sides of these kinds of debates. The debate exists because it is incredibly complicated to draw “ethical” conclusions from our limited scope of understanding.

          Your scientifically ignorant insults only reveal a closed mind.

      • Stevils
        The separate life growing inside the womb is not based on science?
        I guess biology isn’t science. I guess anatomy isn’t science. I guess nothing in nature is science to you…oh except for global warming.

        How many cells can you morally kill? You based your definition of murder on “a tiny mass of cells”. I know why you baby killers do that. You have to dehumanise the baby in order to sleep at night. In the whole scheme of things, we are all just a tiny mass of cells. How many are too many to kill. How do you define human life?
        It would simply be hypocritical of an organization that protects the right to self defense to not work to protect ALL innocent life. You leftists would be the first to point this out if the NRA did have a Pro Abortion stance.

        • The Supreme Court has ruled that a woman’s body is hers to make decisions about, not yours. If you want that manner of control, and your numbers are anywhere near what your people claim, then PASS AN AMENDMENT or STFU.

        • Did you just tell me that because the SCOTUS f**ked up another split decision that I should shut the f**k up? You know what else the SCOTUS ruled on? FREEDOM OF MOTHERF**KING SPEECH! THis is what you liberals don’t understand about the Constitution. It is not a living breathing document that changes with the times. It is a solid foundation that preserves the right of Americans to exercise freedom. the first amendment gives us the right to petition the government and right of assembly and the right to protest. We don’t need a Constitutional amendment to change the law on murder.
          You leftists claim to be progressive but as soon as the government rules in your favor you want to shut down all debate on the matter. Well with your logic, the debate was over 230 years ago.

        • Have you read the constitution? The only legitimate interpretation of its meaning is entrusted to the Supreme Court. In accordance with the constitution. You seem to think YOUR interpretation is more important, show me that in the constitution. Know where it is? In your ability to amend the constitution to counter the Supreme Court’s interpretation. NOT screaming and yelling obscenities and demanding everybody listen to you. As I mentioned, pass an amendment or STFU.

          You sound like you support the constitution not at all, while screaming about how it supports your intemperate opinions.

          But congratulations, that’s the first time I’ve been called a leftist in all my 67 years!

          How ’bout expounding on your quest to make murder legal, since you state a wish to change that law, and it is currently illegal. Do you normally get away with being so obtuse?

        • Larry, at 67 I am glad you learned how to use the internet. But here is something you need to know before you embarrass yourself again. The letter F in STFU is an obsenity. So before you complain about someone replying to you with obscenities, you need to clean up your act first.
          I called you a leftist because you support baby murder and you project like a leftist does in your arguments.
          As far as the law on murder, I want to change the definition of abortion to what it is and that does not require an amendment so don’t lecture me on the Constitution.

  2. I am more likely to support universal background checks than i am imagine dragons being booked to play…anywhere.

    • Then you are part of the problem. Unless you embrace the younger generation, you will lose them as allies. And an ally lost is an enemy gained. So, stuff your musical preferences, and focus on the real issue here: Our right to bear arms. That should be the ONLY thing the NRA or any of us on this site should worry about (as a primary cause – I know TTAG likes to dip into ‘related’ politics as well). Especially so the NRA – they have no business demonizing media, talking about reproduction, or discussing the finer points of LGBTWTFBBQ rights, OR associating themselves with people that make those things a major issue over and beyond the RKBA.
      The NRA needs to focus on firearms and firearms rights. Not other “traditionally conservative” values. They need to step up and truly act to represent all of those that seek to keep and even improve their situation vis a vis their 2A rights.
      And you – or any of you – complaining about PBR-swilling hipsters polluting your range, your conventions or your gun shows instead of engaging them in meaningful conversation, offering to genuinely help them, or otherwise doing something positive towards them, would do well to look at what we in CA have to deal with, where those same hipsters were alienated ages ago, and now act against us, unwilling to listen.

      Open your minds, or we will lose our noble struggle for want of a unified voice, and lack of allies.

      • Imagine dragons a hipster band? And i’m the fool?

        If thinking one of the most generic band on the face of the planet f-king sucks makes me part of the problem, then I suppose i am.
        Maybe they could get the whole iheartradio lineup. OR, they could get some real acts instead of something which has been ground into a dull paste by marketing executives.

      • Its not necessarily that the AI rejects newer music, its just Imagine Dragons has an almost painful tune to their songs. ☺

        • It’s popular, though. And I think in the context of this article, that is all that matters.

          Personally, I love The Birthday Massacre and VNV nation but I am a realist. I know that lesser-known bands will never be showcased in huge venues.

        • No reason not to have multiple concerts at the same time and different locations. As for the prayer breakfast, most of the millennials would rather sleep in. from what I see of em.
          As for embracing LGBTABCDEFGs, The NRA need not take a stance that iss offensive to them, but most politicians who are strongly pro 2A are not in favor of granting rights to people who choose to be perverts.

        • Jeremy, politicians can’t “grant rights”. You can grant a privilege, and you can restrict the exercise of a right, but if it’s truly a human right, you have it regardless of what any politician or king says.

  3. What she said is very similar to what a lot of us minorities wrote in the initial thread.

    NRA needs new leadership and to actually show a want to bring in new people from the top, and a current members to welcome in the new members.

    I’m off the opinion that the later will be hurt by the more vocal ignorant members, so maybe a off-shoot or sister organization to appeal to non-white and non-gop non-sporting use potential members should be pursued.

    • My problem with an off-shoot/sister organization is that they would be separate – or to be more blunt, segregated – from the mothership. The NRA must become more inclusive of all gun owners, not segregate us in an off-shoot.

      • I understand, but look at the twisted comments in this thread. There is a loud segment in the NRA, don’t know their make up of the members, but they are loud, ignorant, crass, and bigoted in their views and it will be hard to bring new people into the fold and feeling welcome without getting rid of the loud bigots.

        Don’t really how else the NRA as a group could attract more people without losing what they already have.

        • I have not yet read every “twisted comment” in this thread; however, I have yet to see anything bigoted. Could you point one out for me please?

        • “I have yet to see anything bigoted. Could you point one out for me please?”
          How’s this?

          sargo says:April 27, 2014 at 23:09
          If defending the 2A means “tolerating” perverts, sodomites, heathens, and pot-stoned wild-eyed Pagans

        • Why does Sargo’s Christian values make him bigotted? He is not telling his neighbor how to live. He is just saying that he wishes to not be included in that community. I understand that homosexuality is not always a choice but why does every TV show have to flaunt it? And who would defend perverts? Bigots hate anyone who isn’t like them. I believe Sargo simply hates being forced to tolerate queer folks. If the left is truly tolerant, then they should tolerate people that want to preserve traditional values. And if Freedom and Liberty are part of those values then give us the freedom to not approve of chosen alternative lifestyles.

        • @Michael In GA

          You can hate “queers” all you like, and you can even somehow call it Christian or traditional. However, there is a big difference between being intolerant and actively trying to make (or keep) the acts between a single person alone or consentual adults illegal.

          Continue to be a bigot (maybe not you, but that Sargo guy you are defending). But, don’t try and send people do jail fir not sharing your Christian values.

        • I don’t hate queers. That is not a slur. It is what the Q stands for in LGBTQ. I just have different values and forgive me for not wanting to hang out with them. There are plenty of people I would rather not be around. That is my freedom to choose. Why are you so against my choice while at the same time expecting me to accept your choice. I am not saying either of our choices are good or bad. They are just different and we should be free to make those choices. Be whoever you want to be but don’t expect me to accept you. I respect your right to be different now respect my right to recognize you are queer.

  4. One point, Wendy.

    The NRA does support pro-gun Democrats (Harry Reid being a prominent example) and routinely targets weak-on-2A Republicans.

    I’m all for criticizing the NRA, but you should do some basic research before suggesting something they have always done.

    • I thought Reid was only pro-gun when the BLM is carrying them?

      Seriously though, because gun-control is a major part of the Dem agenda, supporting the rare pro-gun Dem Senator is still a very bad idea, because they still cast that one critical vote – the vote for speaker. And if Obama told Reid to pass a gun control bill (and the GOP didn’t have the House), you know he’d do it in a heartbeat.

      • Um, Senators don’t vote for the Speaker (who is in the House). The Senate is headed by the VP, and seniority and party affiliation are what matters.

        But yes, the NRA has a heavy Republican bias, a Democrat is going to be scored worse than a Republican by them, and that needs to stop.

        And they need to stop mindlessly sucking up to the police.

      • And if Obama told Reid to pass a gun control bill (and the GOP didn’t have the House), you know he’d do it in a heartbeat.

        I’m pretty certain Obama did tell Reid to pass a gun control bill, even if it wouldn’t pass the House, because Obama wanted to use it as a campaign issue in 2014.

        The bill died under mysterious circumstances, in the Senate. The reasons are unclear, but it’s worth pointing out that the NRA will still be around long after Obama’s term runs out.

        • Reid may support and advance a gun-control bill about the time he announces his retirement. He is from NV, would be fired at the next election.

    • It’s not enough. Not by a long shot. As someone else commented, not enough national politicians are pointed out by the NRA.

    • Formally speaking, you are correct.

      Practically speaking, NRA events feature stuff like this:
      http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/04/27/Sarah-Palin-If-I-were-in-charge-waterboarding-is-how-wed-baptize-terrorists/3081398629897/

      Which does make any liberal-leaning members very uncomfortable. Why is this woman spouting this kind of bullshit at an event that is run by an ostensibly single-issue organization? Heck, you don’t have to be a liberal to be disgusted at this kind of attitude towards torture…

      • You equate waterboarding to burning alive in the World Trade Center attack on 09/11/2001.
        I don’t give a shit how many Liberals that tongue in cheek comment by Palin made uncomfortable.
        How about comparing waterboarding to cutting off a twelve year old girls clitoris?
        How about compared to stoning her do death because she was gang raped by her fathers fellow Jihdists?
        Don’t cry to me about waterboarding until you speak out against “legal” Islamic rituals.

        • Whether the sorts of shit that happens in Islamic countries is worse than waterboarding is utterly irrelevant to the point here. Stop trying to distract people from the point being argued, and really astound me and everyone else reading this thread by, you know, actually fucking addressing it.

          If you can.

          Here it is again, in case you can’t remember: A single issue organization should NOT give people a platform to harp on other issues, lest it alienate people that agree with it on the main issue, but disagree with the speaker on the second, utterly irrelevant issue.

          You’ve yet to give a reason why it makes sense for the NRA to do this shit, preferring instead to argue about those secondary issues themselves. Yeah, lets argue about abortion and waterboarding instead of actually addressing the substance of the point. This isn’t an argument about abortion or waterboarding, it’s an argument about whether the NRA ought to give people a platform to rant about those issues.

          Man up and talk about the real point here–or admit you have no answer for it–and quit trying to distract people with tangents.

        • My first comment was addressing the email from Wendy. She or Mr. Cunningham in the original statement brought up that the NRA should embrace pro abortioninsts. I called attention to it and am just as against side issues as you are. As for the waterboarding issue, that was another response to someone who has an issue with Sarrah Palin. Again, I never took a position that the NRA should be pro or against anything not related to the Constitution.
          You are as off topic telling me to stay on topic.

        • If anybody’s interested, I can ‘splain my bile towards Sarah. Like everybody, I took her as the ditz that everybody saw in the McCain whaddayacallit; I roared at the Tina Fey bits, and dismissed her. Then she shows up on the scene spouting Libertarian platitudes, and I went all gaga – I even was going to ask her to be my running mate in my "write me in" gag. Then she comes out with that crack, and I felt insulted and jilted and hurt and all manner of schtuff and am having an internal tantrum. (“But she was doing so good! That Bitch!”)

        • “So we are left with the Obama disaster. Thank you Ron Paul Whackos!”

          Wait a minute. What circuits in your head need to short out to blame us Ron Paul Whackos for the Obama disaster? That doesn’t make sense in any universe I know of.

        • Maybe I don’t understand yours, so please explain to me the mechanism whereby we Paulbots are to blame for the Obama disaster.

          If you can.

        • 29% of Ron Paul voters in 2008 primary defected to Obama. No other primary candidates supporters had a number that high cross party lines in the general election. The highest number was only in the single digits among other candidates supporters. So who are the real RINOs?

          In 2012, if the Ron Paul delegates went to Romney, he would have won. The “Ron Paul Revolution” had an ax to grind with the GOP.

          This information came from mostly Ron Paul supporter websites.

          “Perfection is the enemy of the good.”

  5. For what it’s worth, the NRA has endorsed pro-2A Democrats, to the point that the GOP was complaining about it in the 2010 election cycle. While the NRA may still continue to do so at the local/state level, I suspect that the NRA may be a little hesitant to endorse Democrats at the national level after what transpired post-Sandy Hook where some of the “pro-2A” Democrats got a little squishy when pressed by their party.

    • Those “pro-gun Dems” still cast a very important vote to organize their respective Chamber – the vote for Speaker.

      Typical Dem playbook – if they have 56 Senators and need 51 to pass a wedge-issue bill, then the 5 most vulnerable Red-Staters will be allowed to vote “No”, and maintain their NRA rating, and yet the Bill gets passed . . .

      • This!! –that’s why I keep asking for “real” pro-gun Dems, who will vote pro-gun when it counts, not when they have permission to do so to stay in good with the home-town rubes.

        • And how can we get real pro-gun Dems? They get no primary support, or word-of-mouth (at least in solidly blue states). How does an individual find them and vote them in? If they had some kind of backing maybe they could get a primary victory.

  6. agree 100%. It’s been time for LaP to go since Al Gore invented the internet.

    And bronies. The next NRA convention should have more bronies with a cutie marked painted on their AR.

      • My Bronie friend is coming over on Tuesday to play some table top RPGs. He will be tickled when I tell him about the Bronies on this site. ..

  7. Paul and Wendy,
    I totally agree with you, for real. But there is just ONE thing that you and Ms Wendy need to figure out, fast. That is you can not bring a new ilk into a group by just plain pissing on those who have been there, spent the time, and spent their dollars for years and years. I have a hard time seeing this happening whilst I am looking through a large layer of caca-poo that was just thrown at me. Adjust your presentation and I WILL listen and help youALL out.
    Robert Seddon
    Life Endowment Member
    NRA

    • You and I may not like what she has to say, but get past the hurt feelings and consider what the lady is saying. I don’t agree with some of her points of view, but overall she nailed it.

      I’ve been a member of the National Rifle Association since I joined as a boy in their junior shooting programs, over forty years as best I can remember.

      I am now a Life Member, Benefactor level.

      So, I’m committed to the NRA and am willing to consider all possibilities for expanding the organization. I’d like it to be something many people would be willing to be part of.

      I think Wendy has raised many valid points.

      The NRA is resting on its laurel. Just look at the leadership group: older white men.

      Their “public spokesman” is inept and awkward.

      If the NRA is content with preaching to the choir, then fine, they are apparently doing just fine at that.

      But if the NRA wants to expand its membership and influence they need to engage much younger people, who are social media aware and knowledgeable and get somebody in front of the cameras and behind the microphone who is skilled at public speaking, communications, persuasion, etc. etc.

      • If she doesn’t like what the NRA is or does, join or create a new group. Don’t try to be a leach and infiltrate an already working system just so you can say “see, we have turned the OFWG’s into a rainbow coalition of political correctness.”

        Us old fat white guys have dumped hours and dollars beyond and before this girl was born. That means something to us, even if it doesn’t to her.

        • The NRA’s formula has been successful at either fending off attempts to take away gun rights or even managing to expand rights… so far. In more than a few instances, it’s been a very close call. Somebody needs to be looking ahead to what’s next and anticipating what will be needed to continue being successful in the future. We see occasional glimpses of that (“NRA News” and associated personalities on YouTube), but a lot of us haven’t seen that much vision, forethought, planning ahead, whathaveyou, at the top… so far. :p

        • This is true, but continued success means suppressing complacency and the temptation to declare mission accomplished. This is not 1994 and Bill Clinton is not President. This is 2014, Obama is President like it or not, and Billary is the defacto next President unless the GOP can get its act together. Times change, demographics change, and that means that everyone needs to adapt.

        • So, you OFWG (a group of which I am a member) built an amazing house, laid a foundation that will, should and MUST last for many more years, and are upset because someone wants to come in and paint some walls? The NRA needs to invite them in, introduce them to some people, give them a seat on the couch, and let them form an opinion from within the perceived lion’s den.

          I don’t see what the problem really is with inviting different shades of skin into our party. I don’t care if they’re brown, dark brown, yellowish brown, freckled or even if they look like a unicorn sharted on their arm. The fact of the matter is still that the NRA looks like a party of OFWG’s, and that’s what’s going to get the NRA hoisted on their own petard.

        • dwb,
          You feel the NRA is becoming complacent? And wouldn’t suppressing complacency put them in a coma? The NRA is America’s oldest civil rights organization, I think they will continue the fight with or without a different face. People are going to hate on the NRA If they point out accomplishments and claim they are “fear mongering” if they articulate new missions.
          Times are the only things that do change…people stay the same. There is nothing to adapt too. Just keep fighting the enemy like we have been for 240 years. I don’t care what you look like…I just care about your character and your commitment to the Constitution.

      • Try to figure out that most of those old men were young men when they joined. I was 16 when I signed up. Do you now want age discrimination? The NRA appeals to young people, but wisdom comes with age… as does senility.

        • You and me both Bro .. I remember my dad looking at me funny and saying that my music was weird, but then he was just senile like I guess I am now. I don’t give a ripping flip what your bag is, just keep giving to the cause, or we will become recipients of a Holocaust we could never imagine ….

    • If they are going to make major changes, they better be sure to attract at least as many new people as they will alienate and drive out.

    • I agree with everything Wendy said here, but also with you about delivery. Generally, I think the NRA has been doing a fantastic job doing what it is supposed to do, but organizations change with the times or die. The NRA is obviously not on the ebb yet (or anytime soon) but it does need to look forward to recruiting the next generation of gun owners, who are not likely to be in lock step on a number of social issues with the current generation of conservatives that dominate the NRA.

      Point number six (part 1) was the best point on her list. I live in a Southern urban city. To get to the nearest 100 yard rifle range that is open to the public, I have to drive an hour outside of town. Needless to say, I rarely shoot my rifles. Fortunately, most counties already have great ranges close by: Police Ranges. Unfortunately, these are either closed to the public, or only open 1 or 2 days a month on weekdays, when no one can go. These ranges are paid for by taxpayer money, we should be able to use the damn things. Make ranges more accessible to urban, younger gun owners, and start doing outreach there, and the NRA can start to change its demographics.

      • +1000 on outdoor ranges. For a public, non-club range, I have to drive for hours outside of Chicago. Accordingly, I wind up shooting my rifles at a 75-yard indoor range or when a club member invites me to his outdoor range, which I am loathe to pay $300+ per year to join because it is 1 1/2 hours away.

  8. I worry more about gun ownership than NRA memberships. I’m a middle aged fat white guy and frequent a range with a very diverse clientele. I try to chat up the people there and I’m always up for offering my guns and ammo up to introduce people to things they aren’t familiar with. I’m also one the only gun guys at work. I have an open invitation to take anyone shooting that wants to. It also extends to any female relatives they have, who might be looking for a carry gun. I’ll also meet up with someone and their kids, and provide all the .22, to introduce children to shooting.

    Let the NRA worry about their membership roles, the people of the gun need to concentrate on winning hearts and minds. If the next generation doesn’t learn to appreciate their 2a rights, nothing else we do now will matter.

  9. I had to look up Imagine Dragons. I had no clue who it was until I fired up the Radioactive song that I hear every time I go to a store. My ears felt like they were at Chernobyl.

    I think with music the problem you get is a lot of bands are not pro-2A, but country music bands have a higher chance to be pro-2A.

    • for the right price, even liberal hip-hop musicians (i.e., Beyonce) will sing to middle eastern dictators. . . . . just saying

    • There’s always Kid Rock. Of course, like me, he’s middled aged now.

      How about having more than one concert venue? We don’t all have to agree on the music.

      And I do not support blowing all the NRA’s money to bribe liberal entertainers. We aren’t oil sheiks. Although you’d think we could get some real Gangsta Rappers who are down with guns.

    • I feel the same way about country music.

      I’m not even “younger” (in my book). I’m in my early 30s.

      But I’d rather say home than go anywhere country music will be playing. Country music makes me hate my own race – I feel that strongly about it.

  10. I agree that an outreach to the younger generation is in order.
    But the nasty truth is that the NRA has clout only because it can deliver political muscle when it gets into an election. That power has to be well and constantly exercised otherwise the NRA becomes irrelevant.

    • I’ve seen this happen in a few churches over the past 10-15 years. The outreach to the younger crowd became the main focus at the expense of the older people in the church. They marginalized the older members and pushed them out of leadership positions and put young kids into them. The younger generation failed because they were not mentored to take the position. Then the church suffers in the long run because the younger generation was not ready for leadership. The younger generation becomes frustrated, the older generation becomes frustrated and things fall apart. You don’t want the same thing to happen to an organization like the NRA.

  11. Wendy, as long as you “align yourself” with the murder of unborn babies, you can stay the hell away from me and the NRA.

    • And this is precisely the problem.

      The NRA should not be about anything other than the Second Amendment, and should stick to that issue and let others duke it out over other issues.

      If people like Wendy want to support abortion, let them align with the groups that do that. If folks don’t want abortion, the NRA is not the organization that should be about that issue.

      • That’s fine by me – however she was the one that brought it up. So if she goes on record saying that there needs to be a more pro-abortion kind of stance in the NRA, I’m going to tell her to get the f*ck off my obstacle course.

        • She doesn’t want the NRA to be pro abortion; she wants it to stop having any stance on the issue at all.

        • The NRA doesn’t have a stance on abortion.

          What she’s complaining about is the NRA backing pro-2nd-A politicians who have a stance on abortion, gay marriage, and immigration that she disagrees with.

          Sorry, Wendy, the NRA is not involved in the abortion issue, gay marriage, or immigration, and I don’t want it to be. The position the NRA should take into account when evaluating a candidate is the position on the 2nd A, not anything else. There are other organizations that focus on those issues, you are welcome to support those other groups (or not) as you see fit.

        • That’s why I vote Libertarian. I’m pro-freedom. Both wings of the Statist bird just want more government, with more power over you; their only dispute is who gets to be on the throne.

          Libertarians – slowly chipping away at the establishment with our secret plot to leave you alone.

        • rosignol:

          That’s all the angst in this discussion. Someone even said that they support the 2A, but they will never vote for a candidate that is anti-abortion and a few other things.

          In other words, for all the talk about being pro RKBA, a lot of folks see it as a secondary issue. The other stuff matters MORE. I’m seeing a LOT of “support pro 2A candidate so long as that candidate also supports the other things I believe in.”

          The NRA cannot win in this. If they grade candidates solely on 2A and never ever say one word about any other issue, they still lose. Because the members (or prospective members as we are discussing) place those other issues at higher priority, those voters will always and forever associate the NRA as being “anti-x,” not because the NRA is in fact anti-x, but because a candidate that gets a high 2A grade is anti-x.

          The NRA is guilty by association.

      • Indeed, Paul.

        Anmut is part of the very problem being discussed here. The issue of abortion has nothing–absolutely NOTHING–to do with the second amendment. If Anmut and his (?) ilk are going to insist that they can only work on 2A issues with people who share their point of view on unrelated issues, THOSE people will have to form their own organization to fight for 2A (or maybe they will just decide it’s not worth it dealing with people who put other issues before 2A). We end up with a fractured movement not able to do jack shit, because we are arguing with each other over abortion while the anti-gunners roll forward with their agenda.

        Anmut, if abortion is so important to you that you can’t work with a pro-choicer on a gun issue, you should pick up your marbles and join an anti abortion group, where you won’t have put up with people you don’t like. Please, pick up your marbles and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

        Don’t get me wrong. I will work with pro life and pro choice people, both, on 2A issues. I do not ask one or the other to leave; but I WILL ask those who DO do so, to themselves GTFO.

        • Again, if you don’t like the current position of the NRA, don’t join it. Start your own group. Don’t be a leach.

        • Maybe you should ask the pro infanticide folks to be a little less anti 2A? Why should WE be the ones to eat a bitter pill?
          You can form a group that is pro 2A and want to use them to murder babies all you want. The NRA doesn’t need to be the only voice. Surely there are politicians in the Communist Party U.S.A. aka the democrats who would become pro 2A for real given enough dollars.

        • “Why should WE be the ones to eat a bitter pill?”

          That’s the progressive debate strategy.

          It goes by various names, such as “compromise” and “tolerance,” but at the end of the day it translates to “give me everything I want.”

      • Does the NRA do pro-life / anti-abortion stuff? I haven’t seen it, but maybe someone can point it out.

        Maybe she means supporting politicians who are both pro-life and anti-abortion? That’s how the political cookie crumbles. I know that they also support more libertarian folks who are overall pro-freedom. It’s also just a fact that the most ardent pro-choices in the Congress are also often the most anti-gun. See for instance both Golden State Senators.

        • Yes indeed…. where exactly is all these NRA statements promoting pro-choice positions? Links please…..and many of them that show a pattern.

          Me thinks that Wendy wants to put in place a litmus test that the only politicians that the NRA supports for pro-2A reasons also must support abortion on demand in the late 3rd trimester and also does flag waving for LGBT issues. Under that scenario the NRA would only be able to support 3-4 candidates…that’s not very productive….obviously.

        • “Me thinks that Wendy wants to put in place a litmus test that the only politicians that the NRA supports for pro-2A reasons also must support abortion on demand in the late 3rd trimester and also does flag waving for LGBT issues.”

          If in fact that is what she wants then I can’t agree with her. But I got a different read from her words (perhaps wrongly). I thought she was claiming that the NRA came across as (implicitly) anti-abortion, anti-gay, etc.

          All it takes is an off-topic side remark by someone speaking from behind an NRA podium; even a guest speaker… I find it hard to believe that Sara Palin, Michelle Bachman, et. al. have managed to speak at an an NRA event and *not* had their mouths open and a bunch of irrelevant (to the 2nd Amendment) cultural or fiscal conservatism come out… right from behind an NRA logo.

          I went to a gun rights rally in Denver a couple of months ago, and Rivera, who was elected to replace Angela Giron when she got recalled, spent over half of his speech talking about the ten commandments, after opening by saying he DIDN’T want to talk about religion. (LIAR!) How does that help bring non-Christians into the 2A movement, to give fifteen minutes of mic time at a gun rights rally to a religious sermon? How?

          The NRA should avoid the appearance of taking *any* position on any issue other than 2A, period.

          The closest it could come, maybe, to tying other issues and partisanship into it would be to downgrade an otherwise pro-2A Democrat on the grounds that said 2A Dem will vote for Democratic leadership that will arrange to kill pro-gun legislation. (Another Colorado example–an actual majority of the state senate sponsored the bill to repeal the “high cap” [standard cap in fact] mag ban, yet the Democrat leadership [helped into office by the one pro-gun democrat sponsor of the bill] made sure it would never reach the floor for a vote.)

          We sure as hell do NOT need idiots threatening to read pro-abortion people out of the 2A movement on account of their pro-abortion stance; I say those that do so should themselves get the boot.

        • @SteveInCO,

          In other words you have ZERO links to show me where the NRA was pushing a pro-life position. That’s what I thought.

      • WRONG!

        When we become single issue voters…WE LOSE!

        WE, The NRA, have gone from less than 3 million members to well over 5 million in less than 30 years..

        Stay the course!

        BTW, if you are pro-abortion….OK…just DO NOT SPEND PUBLIC MONEY TO PERFORM OR PROMOTE IT!

        Did I yell loud enough?

        Government has over reached any thought of being reasonable or Constitutional in it’s actions.
        IMHO, join us as is or go to hell.

        • She will go “to hell”, and take her vote with her.

          And you will regret it when the next rabidly anti-gun Democratic president will sign into law a bill banning all semi-autos.

        • Public money should not be spent on any of health care, other than as employee benefits. If we’re going to spend public money on any health care procedures, then abortion, sterilization, other reproductive services should be just as eligible as any other procedure.

      • Kinda hard not to be anti child murder when most of the politicians who support 2A believe in protecting the rights of the unborn to live. The upside of abortion is that the dems are killing their own future voters, which is why they will stop at nothing to kill laws that would curb voter fraud.

      • Terminology is always important. Everybody is anti-abortion, pro-life. Some people (including the Supreme Court) believe an individual decision should be the responsibility of the individual person involved, ie it is her choice. We call these people “pro-choice”, generally they wish to limit abortion through sex education and easy access to birth control. Other people, notably those who cannot become pregnant, think simply passing a law will make it all better, and that a woman is property, to be told what she may or may not do by her betters, who should have no say whatsoever in decisions about her body. We call this position, logically, “anti-choice”. Try to get that straight. Given such faith in the law vs a practice dating back thousands of years, these same people usually oppose any kind of sex education, and often wish to heavily restrict birth control (which was actually illegal when I grew up).

        • I’d like to point out that by limiting access to abortions, you increase the odds that the woman in question (and now her child as well) will be reliant on public support (welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, etc.). After all, if she can’t afford an abortion, she likely cannot afford to raise a child on her own. Since Dems typically support those programs, the woman–and later, her child–will be more likely to vote Blue.

    • What a silly comment. Thankfully you don’t speak for all gun owners. What do womens’ private medical decisions have to do with gun rights, anyway? This is exactly the kind of crap that turns off young people to the GOP. So your social conservatism nonsense actually HELPS advance the policies you hate by handing Dems electoral victories.

      • Anon – as stated by another commenter in this thread, I also have two very hot issues, 2nd-A and the right of innocent (unborn) children to be protected from assault. If the NRA has no position on the second topic, I can accept that. But if you expect the NRA to support abortion as the price of bringing new members into the fold, you’ve lost me and thousands of others forever.

        • I don’t think anyone said the NRA should be pro abortion. The argument is the NRA should not have /any/ stance on abortion what-so-ever.

        • I’ll ask you too: When has the NRA taken an anti-abortion position–other than supporting pro-2A politicos whoare also anti-abortion at the expense of equally or more pro 2A politicos who are pro-abortion (if such exist–and I am not saying they don’t, just can’t think of any).

        • The NRA shouldn’t have a stance on abortion. The GOP, however, should keep theirs only so long as they want to keep losing national elections. You ready for another President Clinton?

          As an aside, I really don’t get all the conservatives out there trying to prevent urban liberals from killing their unborn future liberal voters. Heck, we should encourage such things! Every 10th stamp and they get a free pizza or something.

          Another aside, I’m guessing the opposition to abortion comes primarily from books about some magical skyfather or another. That magical skyfather killed far more babies (born or otherwise) than all abortion clinics combined. I’ll let America’s Best Christian explain:

          Fun Fact: Did you know that the magical skyfather places a value of zero on infant humans less than one month old?

        • Ha! The magical skyfather’s “Magic Abortion Potion” can be found at Numbers 5:15-22. Even the Christian/Hebrew/Muslim/Mormon god character is pro-abortion! I’m guessing they don’t spend a lot of time on that at mass.

        • Rather obviously, the magical space alien skyfather doesn’t give a damn about any life whatsoever.

        • “Rather obviously, the magical space alien godfather doesn’t give a damn about any life whatsoever.”

          Bingo! Dude, you’ve just graduated from Metaphysics 101. ;-D

          See, Mother Earth was doing a bang-up job creating beatuiful, sensitive, sensuous, sentient, loving, caring beings who had smarts enough to really thoroughly enjoy playing and frolicking all of the time, like the dolphins do. But then along comes this infinite disembodied consciousness, much like the æther, that sees all this beauty and appoints himself God, the Ruler of All Things, and The Owner Of The Cosmos.

          From timeless, immortal Spirit’s point of view, that process of Mother Nature going to all the trouble of coming up with supernovae so that She could make us out of Star Stuff, from “God’s” point of view, it really looked to him like he was just waving his hands and, like the Q, having stuff happen right before his very eyes. So he says, “OK, since I’m the one that’s thinking in words, and I’m on top and have the grandiose overview, I must be in charge. Hey, Reality – Do It This Way!”

          But it turns out that God was wrong about that. NOBODY’s supposed to be “in charge.” Everybody’s supposed to be Free.

          “The Mother’s dream is that all beings in Creation experience their true grandeur and greatness. And in their greatness, do whatever they desire. The Mother’s deepest desire is that you and everyone else in Our Creation be completely free and empowered to do whatever you want, go wherever you wish and be with whomever you choose.

          “At first your mind will have difficulty understanding how this could be possible, but We can assure you it is not only possible, but necessary. Free Will, completely free and joyous in the presence of unwavering loving Light is the truly natural way in our Creation. And this Creation is the basis of your own Creation and the full manifestation of your greatness.”

          http://www.godchannel.com/folksinterview.html

      • Well some people might think that the first right is the right to life and the 2A serves that right. And they think that an unborn baby has a right not to be killed in the womb. Or partially in the womb. See the potential overlap?

        • Actually, no. I see that they should be paying attention to the freedoms of the woman responsible for that fetus, and not trying to take control of her life and her body. If it is not your business, butt out. If it is your business, show me how without referring to stupid magic tricks or ancient and poorly translated books of fiction. How is it your business?

        • I can’t accept that the right of a woman to be free of the burden of childbearing is of greater value than the right of that child to live. And I don’t need ‘morality’, or ‘religion’, or any other rationale to value a human life temporary inconvenience. Per the laws of many (most?) states, that woman can drop off the baby at a hospital, fire station or other locations without risk of legal repercussion or even dirty looks from the locals.
          And yes – I do believe both she and the baby’s father share responsibility to protect that valuable life. It pains and saddens me to see a innocent life held in such disregard; and I think spewing vitriol in attack of those who value life is the saddest comment on our current societal condition.
          Now – can we get back to a discussion of GUNS??? Please!?

        • The mistake in the logic of the previous post is in thinking of it as a child, when it hasn’t even been born yet.

        • There is the problem right there. Baby killers don’t recognize life until birth. Everybody else understands that life begins at conception.

        • If a fetus were a person, why would there be birth certificates? At least I know I’ve never seen or heard of anything like a conception certificate.

        • A piece of paper doesn’t create life any more than it gives you a right to own arms. It’s not a life certificate. You are advocating for full term abortions. You really shouldn’t own guns with that type of perverted thinking. Next, you’ll be issuing death certificates and euthanizing all the old people because you have a piece of paper that tells you so.

        • What’s this Rich? You placing faith in a Government document? Turn in your Libertarian card immediately.
          If a fetus was not human, why will it live for 60…70…100 years or more if allowed to be born?
          How many mothers when asked years after being faced with the choice, chose to give birth, regretted that choice?
          Ask the same question of those that chose termination.

        • “What’s this Rich? You placing faith in a Government document? ”

          If that’s not good enough, how about the Bible?
          Genesis 2:7: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

          In other words, it was Breath. (originally Spirit and Breath were the same word) If it’s breathing, it’s a being. If it’s not, it’s tissue.

        • It says Man…not “a man”. Man as a species was given breath and life continues, inside the womb and out. The mother breathes and the blood carries oxygen to the baby.
          Abortion is not a reset button where the next baby inherits the unused characteristics and being of the “dead tissue”. That person will never exist again, just as if you killed them at 20 years old or 20 weeks. They are gone. Sad.

        • Rich, didn’t you know you were supposed to report all sexual intercourse in triplicate, just in case she conceived as a result?

        • Ex post facto definitions, indeed. You cannot justify killing something by calling it not alive when your definition of “alive” is situationally dependent.

          Rich, one problem with your argument on ‘life begins at birth’ is that we don’t always know when ‘birth’ will be during fetal development.

          Medical technology has greatly expanded infant survivability for pre-term deliveries. For example, a 30-weeker surviving, “living,” is not uncommon at all. That’s second trimester.

          So, by your definition, the beginning of ‘life’ for a human being is fluid; 25-30 weeks for some, 37-42 week full terms for others.

          The legal system (and also incidentally, the medical system) does not do well with fluid definitions. Laws and the principles upon which they are based become diluted and misused when the gray areas are too broad.

          The most basic definition is the one that is most consistent and not gray at all. It’s not open to “interpretation” nor does it vary from person to person. And that definition is “life begins at conception.”

          This is further substantiated by the physiological reality that initially, the mother’s body gears up to ‘fight’ the zygote as an invading body. The mother’s own body interprets the growing mass of cells as “foreign.” It is most like a parasitic relationship at that point, but the most rigorous, scientific definition of the process of fetal growth is that it is a separate organism growing within a host.

      • A. People have no right to push their religious beliefs on other people. Being “pro life” (in this context) is a religious belief.
        B. Unborn humans are not people and have no rights. Women have rights.
        C. Abortion is a medical procedure that is legal and was upheld by the SCOTUS. Don’t like it? Great, work to get it repealed meanwhile stop harping on people availing themselves of current medical technology.
        D. Conservatives are extremely hypocritical on this issue: They want smaller Government & less intervention in people’s lives except make that part of Government that restricts women’s rights to medical procedures made bigger and more intrusive.
        E. Conservatives and right leaning people are not the people getting abortions – i.e. most right leaning people are responsible and have a concept of planning for the future. The world needs fewer lefties. I think you see where this point takes you.

        • “Conservatives are extremely hypocritical on this issue: They want smaller Government & less intervention in people’s lives except make that part of Government that restricts women’s rights to medical procedures made bigger and more intrusive.”

          I am arguably conservative, but I am not inconsistent my views on this at all.

          I am deeply angered by the fact that the abortion issue became a government issue at all. It’s not a government thing – pro or con.

          I believe similarly about same-sex marriage; I once had to explain to a conservative friend why I was not supporting / rallying for a state amendment on the topic. It’s not within the Constitutional purview of government to be a part of that.

          My problem stems from the tacit acceptance that government (via laws) is the ultimate arbiter of “right and wrong” in this country. I deny that premise COMPLETELY. Government is an institution within the society, to serve the social system’s values.

          Maybe it’s fair to say, “Then you are not Conservative; that’s more libertarian.” That may be true or it may not. I’m not “condoning” abortion; I think there are aspects of abortion that are pure, unadulterated evil. But that’s NOT the same thing as saying I think it should be “legal” or “illegal” because it’s not the government’s job to determine what is to be accepted as “right” or not.

          So, in my personal belief, my ‘stance’ on abortion is very conservative – philosophically at least. But that’s not same thing as saying it is my wish to leverage the strong arm of government to make society mold to my personal views.

          If we had true free markets and true non-government intrusion and no nannyism, this would have / should have never come up “legally.” If there is a market for doctors to perform abortions and doctors will to do that – I guess it happens.

          The ‘cancer’ in the system was present LONG before Roe v Wade. The cancer I’m speaking up started whenever the first person looked to government to solve a problem for them, to decide something they were too cowardly to decide.

    • As an atheist I agree. The abortion issue pisses me off because it is NOT just about reproductive rights. There is another human, simple as that, you are killing it with abortion, simple as that.

      The NRA, however as others have said, should just stick to firearms. Though the author of the post does have some good ideas but… forget Imagine Dragons, Mumford and Sons or The Black Keys are much better options.

      • Don’t you think that the NRA books certain bands because those bands support the NRA? You really believe that “hipster bands” want to be associated with the old white guy club?
        It is a cart before the horse situation.

  12. The only group in this country that is hated more than the NRA is the ACLU. Both get more hate thrown at them than the deserve. I know what I’ve just said won’t be a popular opinion around here.

  13. Sorry Wendy but the whole “oppose women’s right to bodily and reproductive autonomy”, indicates you might not understand the issues of the day. You want the government out of your bedroom and uterus? Then don’t ask it to leave it’s wallet on the nightstand before getting out.

    • Nobody’s asking anyone to pay for anyone else’s medical bills. Obamacare is the worst thing that’s happened to the country since the income tax. But i do support the right to life, liberty, and property of people who can actually be seen with the naked eye.

        • No, I mean with the naked eye, i.e., without doing a TSA-grade vaginal probe or a vivisection.

          The skin is the final property line, and that’s all there is to it.

        • Correct, I have had three natural childbirths and I can surely say when their heads the size of melons came out a part of me the size of a pea they earned their right to be full human beings with full rights. Until then, notsomuch.

        • Well, yeah, if Castle doctrine applies to a Man’s Home, shouldn’t apply to a Woman’s body?

          I think the anti-choicers are afraid of two things: 1. that they’ll be forced to pay for it, and worse, they don’t understand that “legal” doesn’t mean “mandatory.” They’re afraid that we freedom-lovers will go around preventing women from having babies that they want, or something. The vast majority of pregnant women WANT to have the baby, so it should be moot. And really, all a gal has to do is go to the doctor and ask for an aspiration. “My period is late. Could you aspirate me and help get me back on schedule?”

          But that makes WAY too much sense.

  14. How will being “pro abortion” help the NRA? The NRA is a gun advocacy group, not a political group. If the NRA starts talking about reproductive autonomy, it’s going to drive away the base that has supported it for decades. Inclusive yes, progressive no. The NRA would do well to distance itself from anything other than 2nd amendment guaranteed rights. Colion Noir is a great start.

  15. Lots of truth there. I’ll say though as far as country music it is the largest music format out there, and many,many of country stars openly support 2A and hunting,unlike any other format I know of.

    The bulk of the friends of my two college age kids don’t hunt or know anything about guns, yet they do know that Jason Aldean and many other country stars own guns and hunt,because they speak openly about them. Unlike any other genre.

    When you can get Jayz to do NRA concert or even promote gun ownership in the media, I’ll buy the writer two first class plane tickets and front row seats.

      • This.

        And as I said above, I /loathe/ country music and there are lots and lots and lots of others like me.

        Where I grew up my generation hated country so much there wasn’t even a country station on the FM band.

    • “Unlike any other genre.”

      If only someone could figure out a way to work guns into hip-hop music… But rappers are notoriously shy about talking about firearms!

  16. no kidding, I’d like to see TTAG’s favorite Kirsten Joy Weiss up there with a talk about trick shooting. SSG Tyrel Cooper, talking about competition shooting, sandra and eric uptagrafft talking about maintaining a relationship and competition. george sakato, a living WWII MOH winner talking about anything. Donny Adair talking about getting black folk involved in shooting and hunting sports.

  17. This article got me thinking, which is no doubt why it was posted. I became a gun owner when I became an adult in 1975. Bought six or seven various firearms and eventually sold all but one to help me finish college. Married, moved to the northeast, and never really did much with guns for the next 15 years. Small kids, moving around for work, never any money. But when I visited back in TX, shooting with old friends was always on the agenda. Just a little background to put context to my comments.

    I would NEVER have joined the NRA in 1975. Why would I? I didn’t hunt and that was all I knew about the NRA – I’d taken a hunting safety course while in the Boy Scouts. When I back into guns about 10 years ago (which can be an expensive hobby, much to my wife’s chagrin), I was more aware of the NRA, but didn’t join. The only reason I joined the NRA about six years ago was because it was a requirement for the private gun club at which I wanted to shoot. Still is a requirement. I did begin to contribute yearly to the NRA-ILA, and various other orgs, that actively fought the legal battle for gun ownership. I have every year become more vocal and more engaged in the gun rights battle and absolutely realize the role the NRA plays in that, and I support them with my membership and contributions.

    Even so, today when I get the American Rifleman I cannot bear to read the president’s message and the various other editorials. I skim the magazine for the historical articles and then toss it into the recycle bin (with my address torn off because, hey, you never know). I don’t have an NRA sticker on my truck. Don’t wear NRA gear. I am increasingly proud to be an NRA member and expand my contributions every year.

    I see a lot of the good work they do, but I simply cannot bear the rhetoric. I get it. I really do. And I agree with the point, but it has become shrill and one-sided. Defensive and sometimes just silly. I keep wanting to read articles on topics like these (fake titles):

    NRA Conducts Free Gun Safety and Home Defense Classes for Inner City Residents in Detroit
    NRA Organizes Private Funding to Provide Micro-Loans to Help Open Minority-Owned Gun Shops/Ranges (in Detroit, Chicagoland, or hell even Alabama or Texas)
    NRA Announces Plan to Train and Certify Gun Safety Trainers in Every Zip Code in America – Promises to Subsidize Class Fees to Keep Classes Affordable
    NRA Takes the Lead in Protecting Firearms Rights of Veterans (some stuff about this lately)
    NRA Takes Eddie Eagle Program into Inner Cities to Educate Urban Kids (about what to do if they encounter a firearm)
    NRA Partners with Local Entrepreneurs to Expand Gun Range Access (cheaper insurance, alternate funding, grants… whatever)

    Activism requires legal fights. I get that. Activism requires ardently defending your principles. I get that. But effective activism also requires proactively offering someone a different choice. I’d really like to see the NRA get out in front of gun rights by getting imaginative in enabling and support more people becoming informed, safe firearms owners. Sure, protect the rights of all of us, even those who choose not to own guns, but how about working to help change the culture around gun ownership.

    • NRA Conducts Free Gun Safety and Home Defense Classes for Inner City Residents in Detroit

      Translate => The NRA teaches more, at risk minorities how to be more efficient killers.

      NRA Organizes Private Funding to Provide Micro-Loans to Help Open Minority-Owned Gun Shops/Ranges

      Translate => The NRA subsidizes the flow of killer evil guns into at-risk communities, those heartless murderers.

      NRA Takes Eddie Eagle Program into Inner Cities to Educate Urban Kids (about what to do if they encounter a firearm)

      Translate => NRA makes racist assumption that all minority youth are incipient gang-bangers.

      NRA Partners with Local Entrepreneurs to Expand Gun Range Access (cheaper insurance, alternate funding, grants… whatever)

      Translate => NRA addicts poor minorities to shooting, leading to more violence.

      I’ve got Mad NYT Writing SkillZ!

      • LMAO… Brother, you could write for the NYT, WaPo, and even HuffPo!!! My god, but with those skills you could maybe give that idiot Jen Psaki a run for it at the State Dept.

        Aye, there is (sadly) always the twisted spin from the opposite side. Good comment, Anon. Still laughing.

        • And those really are all good ideas (your original comment). I wonder though if it is time to take a page out of the Antis book and organize more task-specific front groups.

      • For the record, some of us NRA instructors (who have paid the NRA for the privilege of teaching their curriculum) DO teach free handgun safety, basic pistol and rifle, and personal protection in the home classes to anybody who will sign up at any location (which often isn’t a real range) that will let us. I’ve been an instructor for about a year, and I’ve taught one class or another pretty much every other weekend, buying the books and materials out of my own pocket, but I’ve never charged a dime from anyone.

        I’ve never gotten any media recognition for it (and I don’t particularly WANT any, I just want to do my class and go home), but I *HAVE* been b*tched at by OTHER NRA instructors for undercutting and stealing their students.

        On the politics, I’m totally behind the 2A stance. But I’ll NEVER vote anti-choice, anti-woman or anti-gay. NEVER. If the NRA (or its members) think I should GTFO because of those traditionally-liberal views, well, fine. I guess that’s more important to them than actually promoting the second amendment and helping new shooters learn to defend themselves.

        But I’ll wait until I get that memo on NRA letterhead. Until then, it’s just the OFWG’s bitching on the internet.

    • Thanks Wendy, as one of “those” independents who refuses to take up membership in either party due to the partisan stupidity displayed by both sides I’d say you nailed most of the problems the NRA faces with it’s image among the left. They are viewed as an activist wing of the Republican Party and are treated accordingly.

      I am however a member of the NRA and a few other orgs because they are pretty much the only *effective* organizations at preserving and occasionally restoring gun rights in this nation.

  18. This post reminds me of an old song: “What a Day for a Daydream.”

    First of all, the NRA couldn’t get PBR-swilling hipsters and latte liberals to come to the Convention if the door prize was free fellatio in the parking lot.

    Second, I despise country music, which always sounds to me like someone stabbing a cat to death with a broken beer bottle. However, I don’t think that the NRA will get fifty cents out of the 50 Cent crowd. Ain’t happening. Ever.

    So enough handwringing, whining and general New Age crappola. The real question is: When will hipsters, urban African-Americans, soccer moms and Millennials wake the fvck up and stop asking other people (like the NRA) to do their work for them?

    • See, I think if the NRA stopped being so in-your-face white and conservative, it would be possible to get more left-leaning celebrities to actually give talks.

      For instance, how many posters here know Whoopi Goldberg is pro 2nd amendment, is a gun owner, and a member of the NRA?

      • And why is Whoopi in the NRA if it is anti-black? And what keeps Whoopi from telling folks she’s in the NRA, it’s not like she doesn’t have an audience. Would like to hear your thoughts on that.

        • I’ve only seen her say she was a member in one interview and she didn’t want to broach the subject.

          Why? Because the NRA is a country music playing, white washed, conservative hang out club right now. Look – it is.

          How the hell can the AI say that politicians who say “I’m pro 2nd amendment, but…” come off as fake and phoney but NRA members (and posters in this thread) say, “I am not racist, but…” and they get a pass?

          If anything, Whoopi Goldberg being an NRA member shows how strong her belief in the 2nd amendment is by rejecting the overwhelmingly liberal and statist mores of Hollywood to give money to the boogeyman.

          At the point in time, if a celebrity like Whoopi Goldberg were to give a talk at the NRA, first of all I don’t think she’d be well received – there are just too many people who can’t divorce the rest of their politics from the 2nd amendment issues, plus, and more importantly:

          IT WOULD RUIN HER CAREER.

          For instance – imagine you are an arms instructor with a popular youtube channel. You’re a bad ass. You’ve been in movies as a bad ass. Everyone knows you’re staunchly conservative. You’re an x Navy Seal.

          A lesser known fact about you: You’re fascinated by sports mascots and think the suits are really cool. You even have one of your own.

          Still, business is good…

          But then you give a talk at a Furry convention. Your credibility is suddenly destroyed and you’d probably lose your business and all your endorsements.

          Why? Because there is too much baggage that goes along with the furrydom itself at a furry convention and by giving a talk there, you’d be included by association.

          If an actor or actress were to publicly take part in an NRA convention, they’d probably be out of work in less than a year due to the NRA’s reputation – especially among more liberal groups.

          And you know whose responsibility it is to change that negative PR and negative perception? The NRA.

          They’ve taken baby steps with Colion Noir etc, but people younger than 40 really need to be heading the outreach programs.

          And no more #$#@$ prayer functions! Even most young people who consider themselves spiritual are not religious these days, and that stuff has no place in a political advocacy group.

        • And you think that the NRA playing rap music at their conventions would make Whoopi’s career safe? (Yes, that’s hyperbolic, but you see my point, a more-liberal NRA is not going to bring Hollywood’s anti-gun culture crashing down. BTW, it’s sad the way Clint Eastwood’s and Tom Selleck’s careers were ruined, isn’t it?)

  19. Jay-Z? You mean the guy that’s so stupid he actually believes he’s in the Illuminati? 😀 😀 😀

    • actually, I think that is Nas who believes that. and for Ralph, 50 cent is an avowed republican, as was NWA’s own Eazy E. I don’t think it would be hard to get them to perform.

      • Neither Easy E or 50 ‘Mr. Cent’ are the current darlings of the music scene. Good luck gettin B.o.B. or Bruno Mars to croon for the NRA- you know, the organization less evolved folks in California refer to as a “Evil Gun Lobby”

  20. Two topics.

    One: Mitt Romney did NOT sign a new Massachusetts AWB. That law was initiated in 1998, long before Mr. 47% got into politics. Hence the problem which happened in 2004,as at that point the FEDERAL AWB died -and the MA law was based on the Federal definitions, resulting in an opportunity for the antis of the day to classify every gun they wished as a prohibited “assault weapon”. That opening was halted by the legislation Romney signed, which officially defined what a prohibited firearm was in Mass. law.

    I’m no apologist for bad policy, but the myth that Obama and Romney are equally anti has to be put down as the lie it is.

    Next, the NRA structurally cannot reach out to alternative gun owners. It’s not about intentions, activities , or music playlists. It’s about culture. I can stand at the gate to Fort Benning all day, but that doesn’t make me a Delta operator.

    The NRA can change musical playlists, get “hip” artists to go to their conven-wait a minute. That’s not gonna happen either. The entertainment industry is run by business interests hostile to gun rights. Guess Jay-Z won’t be playing at the NRA convention next year.

    The NRA could try as much as it wants to , and it would be rebuffed and ridiculed at every turn. Look what happened to Colion Noir when he went public as a black man with an NRA membership. The NAACP, far as I know, hasn’t invited him to their convention. The NRA would be as welcome to La Raza and other minority interest groups like a Kansas guy open carrying an AK on Sunset Blvd.

    The only way we are going to practically get non-traditional gun owners into an interest group is to start one from scratch, and perhaps merge it with the NRA down the road in ten odd years. Right now asking liberal gun owners and women to join an interest group which is publicly counter to their core issues is a bridge too far. We may as well ask every small business owner to vote for the Socialist Party of America. Many middle fingers will be raised , and that will be the end of the story.

    And with it our rights, unless we start with a clean sheet of paper.

  21. If they could drop any political goals except 2A, that would be good. I don’t join because they affiliate themselves religiously and I’m an atheist.

      • That’s kind of his point. He and the other people who are secularists don’t join. The article is about whether it’s in the NRA’s interest to make them interested and if so, how.

  22. I am not an OFWG but if the NRA ever starts taking a pro abortion stand, I am out. I don’t care if it will draw in thousands of new members, the only political i may care more about than the 2A is the murder of the unborn.

    The only thing the NRA should be for is the gun rights of all US citizens.

  23. My wife and I both enjoy shooting. She learned to like it recently and I’ve been shooting all my life. We are socially conservative, Christian, and we never listen to rock or country western. We like classical and opera. We don’t want our money going to politicians that are either anti-gun OR pro-liberal causes (abortion, welfare state, etc). Maybe the best way for us to go forward in a manner we can all agree on is to campaign against anti-gun politicians and stay away from other issues.

    • Ironically (and thankfully) enough, most politicians have never forced me to chose between being pro-gun and any of the other issues that I find important.

      • Yeah, politicos who are anti-2A tend to get me raging when they discuss any issue whatsoever. I do have the opposite problem, tho, that some who support 2A wonderfully still outrage me on other issues. Mostly, I just want a gubt that is 10% the size we have now, and will butt out of our lives. I’d like a stated goal of repealing twice as many laws as are passed each year, until we have less than half the laws we have now. Federal law, for example, should not even MENTION either firearms or abortion. At all. Wasn’t that easy?

  24. Wayne Pierre is a horrible representative of the right to self defense. He’s only in it for his near million dollar salary. He knows the NRA can’t be too good at its job or donations will dry up. I hate to say it but Sandy Hook was good for the NRA. That’s a perverse built-in incentive structure.

    The answer is in getting rid of the root cause of the problem: the belief in government.

  25. Again instead of listening and learning to grow so that you have more 2nd amendment allies politically, a lot of you seem to want to put your finger in your ears and cry and complain about things being different.

    If you want to ensure the preservation of the protections of the 2nd amendment you need to make more political allies and the NRA and other bodies are going to have to stop getting involved in issues outside of the 2nd amendment.

    That some of you are crying about abortion in a thread about the NRA should really be a lightbulb moment for you, but sadly it doesn’t seem to be registering.

    • And then there are people like you who, want us to change with every gust of the wind.

      Maybe a light will go off in your brains, don’t like the NRA, don’t join it. Start your own group. Don’t be a leach.

      • NRA is the one that needs more allies.
        If you are content to have a steadily declining group so be it, but to opt to move against being inclusionary and building a base of 2nd amendment supports is down right foolish and will see the values you hold dear lost.

        Time for you to wake up and realize that 2nd amendment groups should focus solely on the second amendment.

        • Last I checked, the NRA is doing exactly the opposite of “steadily declining.”

          Someone said it above, but it’s worth repeating. The NRA is fighting for the Second Amendment, but it’s also fighting for much more. Its membership is typically socially and fiscally conservative. And because the NRA is a “grass roots” organization, meaning it generally caters to what its supporters believe in, it’s also fighting for that conservative culture.

          Which is a good thing. Liberal yuppies and hipster yahoos can love guns just as much as the most hardcore conservative out there, but it’s going to take more than a bunch of gunnies to salvage this country. The NRA is fighting for what America used to be, and should be, because that is what the vast majority of its members want.

          John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

          He was right. And the NRA is fighting for that spirit.

        • Estimated 70 – 80 million gun owners (I believe one of the highest rates in US history)
          http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

          Estimated drop in NRA rolls from 2010 to 2012 of around 500,000 members
          Internal NRA emails claim only 2 million active members
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/does-the-nra-really-have-more-than-45-million-members/2013/02/07/06047c10-7164-11e2-ac36-3d8d9dcaa2e2_blog.html

          I’d think you are falling to Wayne LaPierre exaggerations about NRA numbers and membership.


          NRA has a problem, it isn’t appealing to a broad base and the base it does appeal to is becoming a weaker and weaker voting block nation wide. If people want to maintain the NRA’s political clout then more effort needs to be take to expand their base of support to welcome in more than just older rural white males, but young adults of all races and all sexes.

          You can put your head in the sand all you want, but on issues like this it is best to address them before you feel their effect.

          As for your feel of the NRA fighting for what america used to be, that isn’t its purpose. It seems like you want the NRA to be a moral club to back pat on the good old days or to minister about jesus. That isn’t the organization’s purpose it is a 2nd amendment organization. Instead of tyring to force in non-sense that doesnt apply to the protection of the 2nd amendment you should be welcoming in anyone who supports you on the 2nd amendment and leaving everything else out of the conversation.

          NRA should be solely focused on coalition building to support the 2nd Amendment, not your fantasies of the good ole days or how your personal preference on how you think people should live.

  26. +1 Anmut. I get tired of everyone ragging on OFWG. We’re not a monolithic group. I don’t care for country music, don’t hunt or fish and I’m not a registered Republican. I do agree LaPierre could be more effective. I don’t think the NRA needs to dilute their message to be more hip. From an evil old white man married to a beautiful black woman.

    • People painting with a broad brush is a problem that both sides have. I’d rather listen to OneRepublic than country…but somehow I suspect I’d get along better with the crowd at a country music concert. And I’m totally okay with that! Funny how that works.

  27. Hi, hope you’re reading Wendy. I think part of the resistance to affirmatively seeking “diversity” in the NRA may come from many peoples’ experiences in other areas of life with the idiocy that is carried on in the name of “diversity” in both the public and private spheres. I have a particular example in mind, but it would take too long and is not the main point. And it’s hard to fault the NRA, I would think, for “dancing with who brung ’em”. And truthfully, it wasn’t the libertarian body-pierced social rebels who brought the NRA to what it has grown into. Reaching out to different folks doesn’t have to mean disparaging the ones who are already there, but many times that’s what it looks like. Especially when you say things like , You know that lady that so many of you really like? I hate her, you need to get rid of her; there’s gotta be a more diplomatic way to achieve that end. (and don’t anybody read any more into that comment than what is written right there–you’ll probably be wrong). On a similar note, I kind of like–or at least respect-WLP myself, he has become the face of the NRA because he has been its executive director for–well, a long time–and as such is the one who gets called on for interviews, etc. But if a younger, “different” face could do just as well and attract new members, that would be fine by me. But not by saying, WLP is a has-been, you need to shuffle him off. See what I mean? A more intense mindset than the one I am revealing here may lie behind a lot of the resistance to efforts to “diversify”. If you’ve noticed any of my posts, you may have noticed that I am skeptical, to say the least, of “pro-gun Democrats”. As you acknowledge yourself, the national party’s position on that subject is clear, it is not pro-gun, and otherwise pro-gun Democrats are under constant, and generally successful, pressure to vote the party line, (cf Harry Reid), just as in the case of, yes, so-called “pro-life” Democrats (see Bart Stupak). The NRA does, in fact, support pro-gun Dems, certainly in cases where they are incumbents against an opponent of unknown 2A fealty. If you want to see more of that, I suggest you will first need to take your own advice and “deal” with the Democrat’s default anti-gun position. Would like to hear your thoughts.

    • Good morning Another Robert,

      Sorry I didn’t respond last night. I usually don’t spend much time on the innertubes over the weekend.

      I’m sorry that my tone came across as being hostile to conservative white guys. That was not my intent. As you can tell, I feel passionately about 2A rights and ensuring that all people (well, at least those who aren’t prohibited purchasers, anyway) have access to their rights. It just baffles me that many people here seem to view diversity as a zero-sum game with losers as well as winners – that if a black person, or a woman, or a lesbian genderqueer socialist Buddhist Latina gets access to something that traditionally has been the province of white males, the white man inevitably must lose. I can understand that fear in a context such as employment in particular fields or admission to elite schools, where there is only a finite number of slots available. But regarding membership in an organization that promotes an activity (shooting) and advocates for a Constitutional right associated with that activity?

      I can also understand, to some extent, the “we built this, how dare you tell us to change?” mentality. I’m an Episcopalian. We joke about the members who refuse to accept change because “my sainted grandma funded that pew!!” There’s a joke about how many Episcopalians does it take to change a lightbulb. Part of the punchline involves “three to stand around and complain that the old lightbulb was better.” So I get (to some extent) that mentality. The truth is, change is inevitable. It’s uncomfortable as hell, but it is inevitable.

      As for Gov. Palin: I brought her up as an example of someone who would be a poor spokesperson for two reasons: 1) she’s polarizing. People either love her, or hate her. If an organization is serious about expanding the membership base, you don’t want to put a polarizing person front and center; and 2) she really isn’t that effective of speaker. Sometimes she can hit it out of the park, but sometimes she’s nattering on about passing the ball for victory because dead fish don’t go with the flow, or something, and three days later William Shatner is turning her garbled words into Beat poetry. And really, that’s my problem with WLP too – he just isn’t an effective speaker. A huge organization like the NRA needs public faces that, while passionate about the organization’s mission, are sufficiently anodyne otherwise as to not antagonize the people you’re trying to reach, and public faces who are consistently eloquent and on-point at the mic and in front of the camera.

      Regarding politics: Perception is everything. People in this thread have latched onto abortion in particular. I don’t think the NRA has a specific position on abortion, and I don’t want it to take any specific position. But again, looking at the speakers at the NRA-ILA leadership forum: A bunch of pro-life guys, not a single pro-choice person (to my knowledge) on the panel. Ditto LGBTQ issues, immigration reform, the ACA (which personally I think is a fustercluck, but that’s a topic for another time), etc. When one’s leadership panel is made up almost entirely of hardline partisans from the same wing of the political spectrum, it creates the impression that one’s organization supports a hardline approach favoring solely that wing and that the organization is not tolerant of people who differ from that hardline approach on issues that aren’t central to the organization’s mission. It would be the same if the leadership forum were comprised solely of 2A advocates who are ardently pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, pro-DREAM Act, etc. – it would create the impression that only hardline liberals who happen to support 2A are accepted and that conservatives can go jump in the lake. Perceptions are important. It would be helpful if the NRA would make it more obvious that it can be a pro-2A big tent.

      I hope this helps. I would be interested in further conversation with you. It is best to engage in a dialogue rather than people shouting past each other. Thanks for listening.

      • “sometimes she’s nattering on about passing the ball for victory because dead fish don’t go with the flow, or something, and three days later William Shatner is turning her garbled words into Beat poetry.”

        Thanks! I LOVE to start the week with a good belly-laugh! 😉

        And, for the record, I don’t like Sarah any more.

  28. Right on Wendy. My wife and I both have CCW permits and there are over a dozen guns in this house. But we’ll never give a penny to the NRA because of its politics and frontman. Give us a reason to join and the NRA could easily top 10 million members almost overnight.

    • If you dislike everything about the NRA, then find a pro-2A group you do like. Gun owners tend to be fiercely individualistic, and no one group will ever meet all their needs.

      Maybe there needs to be a true umbrella group – a sort of coordinating committee with representation from the NRA, GOA, JFPOA and Wendy’s Armed Liberal Hipsters to coordinate purely legal, lobbying and political activities. But will Wendy still support them when they support a strong Pro-2A politicial who is also fiercely anti-abortion?

      The NRA is a lot more than just legal and lobbying, and they would be a lot poorer if that’s all they did. It’s not going to be one-size fits everyone.

    • You’ve got a reason–the NRA helps you to keep those dozen guns in your house. If you are correct that there are so many more just like you, you should all join the NRA and change its “culture” if you don’t like it. The “culture” will reflect the majority of its members, I expect you can’t get around that.

      • Oh I get it. But based on all the obummer/libterd/prognazi comments on TTAG, giving the NRA money would be a wasted effort. The right-wingers are the vocal minority and they don’t care…which is why the Dems will own the White House for the next couple of decades.

        • “The right-wingers are the vocal minority and they don’t care”

          I’m sorry, but HUH?

          Are you talking about in terms of votes cast for Federal elections? Can we use party affiliation as a proxy to test that?

          The Republicans (if you want to call them right wingers, and I’m assuming you would) have the majority in the House of Representatives, the Senate favors the Dems by only a few seats and Obama did not win a popular vote majority.

          If your point is that ‘right wingers’ are some aberration in the United States population, I think you need to check some facts.

        • No, you don’t get it. If you are right and you fill the NRA with your like-minded majority, the “right-winger” comments will get drowned out. Get that? I don’t think you’re right myself, but I won’t die if you prove me wrong.

    • “…Give us a reason to join….”

      Ummm, how ’bout the fact that you and your wife still have the right to CCW in your state? Don’t care where you live, some time, some where some politician/ group in your state tried to take away or reduce your right to carry and the NRA was there to fight them on your behalf. Some day when you loose that right maybe you and others of your same opinion on the NRA will be the first to condem the NRA for not doing enough, even though you choose not to support them.

  29. maybe jayzee can show me how to shoot my gloock type gluck horizontally. and the nra can leave my womb the hell alone. or mangina. or something.
    i teach anyone with least inclination to ride or shoot how to pick up my old rusty guzzi (repeatedly) and how to accurately aim whatever appeals to them. i encourage them all to join the ama and the nra regardless of political alignment. if you enjoy either of those activities then please ignore all the stupid, stop thinking so hard about idealism and send them some money. neither organization is perfect but both are far more responsible for your ability to enjoy those freedoms than any other.
    maybe you can see the GBOA concert after the hour of slack radio ministry.

    • Sorry but what makes you think all rappers or people in the hip hop culture don’t know how to shoot properly?

      It seems some of you all want to go out of your way to put down things and people that you either don’t understand and/or are afraid of.

      Why are you afraid to make new friends and allies?

      • I’m sure there are plenty of rappers and hip hop artists who know how to use firearms properly. If we’re going to be honest though, the culture itself is a thug culture. It’s not something that should be embraced by a 2nd amendment advocacy group. It’s not something that should be embraced by adults.

        • If we are going to be honest it isn’t any more a thug culture than rock music or country.

          So first of all let your fear of something you clearly know nothing about go and maybe start listening so you can learn something or ask someone who knows more a question.

          And again, your bigotry is doing nothing to help the advancement of the 2nd amendment, it drives people away and would most lead to pushing people into the anti camp because they can easily point out bigots such as yourself as proof of group wide racism.

        • @ Dave The Man (?)

          It IS a thug culture, and race has nothing to do with it. Here are two samples of rap lyrics, located quickly through a Google Search.

          “Got p*ssed off and ripped Pamela Lee’s t*ts off
          And smacked her so hard, I knocked her clothes backwards like Kris Kross
          I smoke a fat pound of grass and fall on my *ss
          Faster than a fat b*tch who sat down too fast
          C’mere sl*t! (Shady, wait a minute, that’s my girl, dawg!)
          I don’t give a f*ck, God sent me to p*ss the world off!”

          “Dan my n*gga from Down South
          Used to like me to spank him and c*m in his mouth
          And Tony he was Italian (Uh-huh)
          And he didn’t give a f*ck (Uh-huh)
          That’s what I liked about him
          He ate my p*ssy from dark till the mornin”

          The first is from a white male rapper, the second from a black female rapper. I don’t need to look up the lyrics from a black male rapper to prove the point.

          It is a disgusting thug culture.

        • David, I’m surrounded by “the culture”. I deal with it every day of the year. It has nothing to do with “racism” because the thugs I’m surrounded by happen to be hispanic and anglo. So, put your grievance card back in your wallet and take a close look at the “culture”. It’s toxic.

        • Yep there are hip hop songs like “my name is” from eminem a joke shock type of song, and you have your raunchy females like Lil Kim.

          You also have heartfelt songs about life, like Til we rich by Ice Cube, songs about loving someone and etc.

          So I really don’t know what kind of point you think you are making by pointing out lyrics to 2 songs that you happen to find objectionable as if that suddenly gives you credence in talking about what hip hop is when it covers a large spectrum from party music, trap music, conscious rap, gansta rap, and etc.

        • You might be surrounded by people culturally bankrupt, but that is simply you being surrounded by those people, doesn’t suddenly mean hip hop culture is violent or a thug culture, in the slightest.

          Being so sure in your ignorance is no way to live life.
          As for racism, I never said or typed it. I said you are a bigot and you haven’t shown me any reason to change that opinion, the funny part is you really seem to believe you know what you are talking about.

        • @David – I would just give up. I wonder if some of the bigots and/or less worldly folks on here are aware of the irony in how they are proving the OP’s point.

        • If it is not a thug culture, why do its people work so hard to make it appear to be a thug culture? Isn’t there a thing about your cake going on here?

      • Not only that Jay Z is a FUCKING BILLIONAIRE.

        If he wanted to he could probably get more tactical training than most everyone posting here could afford in a life time.

        Some of the guys posting here are just ignorant as hell.

  30. Wendy actually identifies the real problem but hers isn’t the solution. We dont need the NRA to speak for everybody. In fact I’d say that’s a bad thing. Let’s give the antis more that one front to fight on. What if the NRA diversified by starting up autonomous organizations that can better serve the needs of all the other interest groups?

  31. I am an OFWG, an NRA member and NRA certified instructor.

    And I agree with all of Wendy’s main points. The NRA should be all about gun rights and that’s it. It should be openly supporting and promoting everyone who also supports gun rights and a strict adherence to the 2A and that’s it.

    5,000,000 members is nowhere near where we need to be. I think Wayne LaPierre’s time has long ago passed and Ted Nugent is a buffoon.

  32. Worrying about the NRA is pointless. Worry should be spent on how to get people to use and enjoy firearms.

    You don’t win an ideological movement by worrying about the health of a money grubbing, ideologically questionable supporting lobbying group. The NRA are followers, not leaders. They didn’t pursue the Heller case. They are still reacting. They would rob your freedom to play video games if it increases the pull of their lobbying power, damn the guns.

    • Boy, is that a good point. You know, if 75% of Americans were gun owners, half with concealed carry, the subject just would not come up, would be a loser everywhere. OTOH, a lot of the outreach to attempt to increase gun ownership is likely to come from the NRA. And I am not certain how much they do to encourage gun ownership and sporting participation. I’ve been to the National Matches and for non-participants it is very like watching grass grow, only noisy.

  33. Wendy, I’m right there with ya. Fat, middle-aged white guy that sides left for most issues, but am a hugely pro-2a.
    Thank you for eloquently stating what you did.
    Peace-out sister.

  34. So, how does keeping your guns save your country when you destroy it with abortion and the homosexual agenda? Equating guns (which are amoral) to these other issues shows that gun rights should be secondary to establishing a correct moral compass. Save the soul of the nation if you want to save your guns.

    • If you go to a group called the National Rifle Association, which stated goal is to champion the 2nd amendment, to use as a pulpit to push your views on morality, religion, or abortion, it seems you are in the wrong group, not everyone saying stick to the single issue of the 2nd amendment.

    • A. There are other groups for the topics you care about. The NRA should /only/ be about gun rights.

      B. The second amendment keeps this a free country. Every other issue you have is about morality. Personally, I care a lot more about freedom than imposing my morality on others.

      • First, Wendy broached the subject–not I.
        Second, the 2A does not keep up free. Where did you ever get that idea? It’s like saying the 1st amendment makes you literate. Nonsense.
        Third, every law that has ever been passed is a statement on morality. By your argument, we should have no laws insuring chaos and anarchy.
        Morality and immorality exist apart from law. America was unique in that for many years, the laws were based upon a moral foundation. That foundation no longer exists and now immoral laws are passed creating a new morality. Think I’m absurd? There is now a lesbian “throuple” and that’s just a tip of the iceberg. What I am writing is now considered hate speech when i have no hatred whatsoever in my heart. We have no chance as gun owners if the moral framework of our country is abolished–the NRA notwithstanding.

        • Did you /really/ just say the 2nd amendment doesn’t keep us free?

          Ok you just lost absolutely all credibility.

          ::walks away::

        • When a where was this magical, mythical, utopia of morality, in which immoral laws did not exist, supposed to have taken place?

        • How is anyone else’s “morality” any business of yours, mine, or anyone else’s? Just because you say it’s a crisis and bay at the moon with ridiculous statements does not make it our business. I don’t give a rip if there is a lesbian centruple, it is not my business and it is not yours. The NRA, and this thread and this site are about FIREARMS, not your fruitcake asides. Prove to me that lesbians are conspiring to undermine the 2A and we can discuss it, otherwise, who cares?

        • Immoral people commit immoral actions. One of the most damning verses in the OT that could act as a sad commentary on our culture is at the end of Judges 21–“Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Your “libertarian” idea of leaving everyone to their own devices ultimately leads to a depraved social order, corrupt government, and a debased moral code. As society degrades, you lose your freedom. Even now the chains are tightening as evil is called good and good is called evil.
          The view that the 2A is the panacea for the world’s social ills is folly. Be truthful. Do you really want to arm immoral people? Then arm every felon upon their release and have them join the NRA as part of their probation. To welcome abortionists and the LGBT community into the NRA ranks will not solve anything.

        • “Your “libertarian” idea of leaving everyone to their own devices ultimately leads to a depraved social order, corrupt government, and a debased moral code.”

          Are you saying that you would become depraved? Can you name one person that you know who would? If not, how is it any of your business what other people are doing in the privacy of their own homes? Do you think that somehow you have the moral authority to send men with guns to make your neighbors obey your personal “moral code?”

          And just to uncross your wires, “corrupt government” is one of the things that Libertarians are fighting against.

        • At last we come to the truth. You are basing your complete disregard for reality on a 5000 year old work of fiction designed to make people subservient and thus prepared for enslavement. Is the space alien in charge going to explain its intricacies to us mere mortals, or is that your job? I thought so. Silliness breeds silliness, your credibility is zero until you get your deity of choice to contact me directly and explain the error of my ways. Idiot.

          And yes, I really want ALL people armed, regardless of your insane judgements of who is moral and who is not.

        • Funny how you don’t address my arguments or ideas. Instead, you simply resort to bullying tactics. I’ll try to help you by making this really simple. (No offense intended) By your logic, laws against murdering and stealing are also stupid because they are part of the 10 Commandments. Will you deny truth solely because you don’t like the source? You might hate Jesus, but how can you take issue with his words “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” ? In fact, name one teaching of Jesus that you find offensive and totally at odds with truth.

      • Still asking (at least someone gave me a name for a supposedly pro-gun Dem—thanks for that Wendy!) Can you give me an example of the NRA actually taking an anti-abortion position, other than supporting a pro-2A politico who is also coincidentally anti-abortion?

        • It’s kind of like asking Shannon Watts to quote statistics on violent crime, isn’t it?

    • Homosexual agenda. I would LOL if that comment weren’t pitiful and ignorant. So it’s okay to use big government to force your religious views on 300+ million individuals? Riiiight. Have fun with that.

      • A lot of you are missing the whole big point of the original post. If bee boppers or hip hoppers or big band aficionados want to join the NRA because they are gun owners, then come on in! If they are dumb enough to NOT join the NRA or NAGR or some other pro 2ond amendment group, they will NOT have their guns for long, as has been proven by past events in the US. People (err,I think I mean POLITICIANS) do listen to large groups for fear of loosing their votes. If you all do NOT want to hang out with a bunch of Fat Old White Guys (NOW, talk about being RACIST here) then go and start your OWN 2ond amendment group and get large enough to make sure that your voice is heard! LGBT sorts should REALLY listen, as a gun might protect you from the Gang Bangers or hip hoppers or whoever does not like you next. Start your own group, but realize that the bigger the group, the better it gets heard and paid attention to.
        Robert Seddon
        Life Endowment Member NRA

  35. Dear Wendy,

    Your recent suggestions were the best laugh I had all week. Reminds me of the “Catholics” that say “what is with that Pope stuff, the whole Jesus thing, and all that pro-life nonsense “.

    You obviously don’t know crap about the organization. They need to educate fools like you alright but not become the rest stop for every circus freak wandering around with a gun. If you can show such contempt for every white male with traditional values then I can only hold pure distilled 100% distain for you and your suggested cohort.

    Have a good day.

  36. @david_the man: here’s some clues, linguo, 123 fake street.
    not there yet? how about this: “hey chief, can i hold my gun sideways? it looks so cool…”
    “whatever you want, birthday boy.”
    hope that helps.
    and to paraphrase: “if you got knee- jerk reactions, i feel bad for you son.”
    go to hey, jackass.com. see all the pretty color neighborhoods? i work in all of them daily. ain’t skeered.

      • Finally you seem to understand what you’re being told. Superstitious nonsense belongs on a different site, this one’s about guns.

    • Even Pitbull hates Pitbull. That’s why he sings in two languages in one song – to hide the self loathing.

    • my wife is a Zumba dance instructor, and like half of the official Zumba songs are by Pitbull. that dude has that market cornered.

  37. Maybe people are looking at this backwards? There are dozens of gun rights organizations. Why is the NRA the most visible and successful? Maybe other gun right groups should be emulating the NRA’s model? Food for thought…

  38. I agree with this article. I wince when ever Wayne LaPierre opens his mouth. The NRA needs to focus on firearms related matters, and its spokespeople need to STFU about everything else, and for that matter, not try to throw anyone else under the bus when something happens. It’s not video games, it’s not the mentally ill (much like gun owners, less violent than average), it’s not music about being tired of being pulled over for driving while brown. It’s about people and their intrinsic right to keep and bear arms. This means rating politicians by what they say they will do, what they really do (most important), legal action, training, and anything else that moves the agenda forward. Not scapegoating, kissing up to people in nice uniforms, or anything else but that one thing. Abortion, prayer in schools, trans fats (well, wild game has a great lipid profile!), which country we should invade this week, etc, none of it is relevant to what I think the mission of the NRA should be.

    • Okay what happens when a politician is strong on 2A rights but also supports government funded late term abortions and the NRA gives them an A+? Do you think that will sit well with the pro-life segment of the NRA’s membership…to have the NRA saying “vote for this candidate”?

      Or, conversely, when a politician is anti-all-abortion-period but gets A+ on gun rights? Will the “pro-choice” crowd support the NRA endorsed candidate?

      It’s nice to say ignore all the other issues, but 2A Rights issues are not occurring in a vacuum. The NRA can close it’s mouth about all other non-2A issues, but it does not change the fact that these conflicts will arise and upset segments of the membership.

      In these cases, they will be under CONSTANT criticism…”I don’t pay my dues for the NRA to support….{fill in the blank}.”

      • If you have a problem with the NRA being a 2nd Amendment group maybe it is you who should leave.

        NRA ratings should be strictly on gun stance and nothing else.

        You and others are intelligent actors, if other issues factor in acted in accord to your belief but let the NFA be the NRA and do as much as it can to bring as many 2nd amendment supporters as it can into its fold.

        • I was trying to point out that you are being foolishly short sighted if you really think these issues ARE as separable as you want them to be.

          The Second Amendment does not exist in a political or social vacuum. It is intricately tied to every other core value of the United States society.

          “NRA ratings should be strictly on gun stance and nothing else.”

          They currently grade solely on 2A Rights and they catch HELL when that clashes with the current memberships OTHER voting preferences. That hell will quadruple (at least) when the membership becomes more diversified.

          In other words, it’s like saying “you can’t please all the people all the time.” The comments in this thread about abortion, only one alternative issue, demonstrates the point.

          Folks can claim to be “single issue” all day long, but when push comes to shove, very, very few people truly single issue precisely because so many of the issues are connected.

        • There is absolutely nothing foolish about thinking the 2nd amendment applies to the second amendment.

          You seem to have mistakenly put a religoius twist or connection on the 2nd amendment when there is none.

          2nd Amendment
          “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.”

          That is all there is to it, everything else you try to add to it is your personal baggage and nothing else. You may feel that others things are connected to it, but logically they aren’t, not in the slightest.

          As for catching flack on ratings, they get flack on ratings because it are terrible at ratings and a seem to make their rankings with no regard to what a politician does, over what they say. Such as giving romney an b rating, when he signed and supported the erosion of the 2nd amendment with government regulation and giving someone like Ron Paul lower ratings than Tom Delay and Rick Perry.

          NRA needs to refine itself and concentrate its mission on the 2nd amendment and rolling back government regulation instead of always being invlved in “reasonable” restrictions.

        • You really have no clue what I’m talking about, do you?

          You are so completely missing the point. I’ve tried several times, but I’m done. Live with whatever (false) perceptions you want to have about what I’m saying.

        • ABSOLUTELY.

          I want to join the NRA – I really do – but I need to convince (myself, my wife, …) that they’re ONLY about protecting my 2A rights. The minute they start looking like a conservative mouthpiece, I’m out. I can’t support them if they deviate from the single issue of 2A rights.

          It’s the same reason I’d love to support the ACLU – but can’t given their national policy on 2A. I agree with them on everything else, but it’s a sticking point.

        • Kurt, why do you have a problem with ACLU 2A stance? They make a statement of personal belief (that it’s a collective right), yes, but they do not in any way try to spread their perception of it – they don’t lobby politicians to change laws to suit it, they don’t participate in court cases arguing for it etc. It is there solely to explain why they don’t get involved in 2A cases. I disagree with them on that, but because they don’t promote their viewpoint, I don’t see a problem with giving them money to defend all the other rights & freedoms.

      • I didn’t say you should vote for them, if they fail on other criteria that are important to you, perhaps you should vote for someone else. Perhaps you can pick from several A candidates, or perhaps you decide a B on this is good enough, if they are A on other things.

        It’s a big, diverse bunch of people, the more things the NRA judges on, the fewer people they represent. I’d prefer to back the NRA, because they are the biggest, but they keep taking crazy positions (to me) that are at best, not relevant to the second amendment, and that are often very hostile to other essential liberties. So I’m kind of on the fence.

        • “I didn’t say you should vote for them, if they fail on other criteria that are important to you, perhaps you should vote for someone else. Perhaps you can pick from several A candidates, or perhaps you decide a B on this is good enough, if they are A on other things.”

          Every opportunity, I vote against both crooks by reflexively choosing the Libertarian.

          Libertarians: Slowly taking over the country with our secret plot to leave you alone.

      • Gosh, the NRA must protect anti-abortionists by enduring they downgrade politicians based on their views on non-2A related issues? If you vote for someone without checking out all of their stances, then you are the problem, not them.

        National *RIFLE* Association, not the National Right to Life and Rifles Association.

        We spend pretty much every day decrying stupid gun laws and the emotion over logic response to every instance of gun violence, yet the anti-abortion crowd does exactly the same thing. It’s like the evil twin of the gun grabbers.

      • The NRA ranks all candidates, last I checked. You can judge for yourself the balance between other issues and 2A, sometimes both candidates for a position are ranked the same by the NRA, other topics are actually needed to discern which you want to support. I am certain there are plenty of groups ranking candidates on the basis of their claimed moral positions (all politicians are without morals themselves, just discussing their amoral positions on morality)

  39. This video kinda falls apart toward the end. At least one big problem with getting rappers is that many of them (TI included) are, in fact, prohibited persons. “The NRA wants felons to have guns!”

    hip hop and gun culture have some similarities. The first i think of are that they both tend to be rather ruggedly individualistic and…Fuck tha police.

  40. Nne point I will disagree with: there should be absolutely no need for more instructors that are of color or women or whatever.

    The only criterion an instructor should meet is proficiency in the field they are teaching. It is ridiculous to think that only a woman can effectively teach women to shoot, or only a black person can teach other black people, etc.

    If the various under-represented groups increase in membership, there will be more instructors from those groups as a natural consequence. But, that should not be a goal else the NRA becomes just another social experiment.

    The only goal should be to preserve 2A Rights.

  41. The key to young and new shooters is cheap, clean, safe places to shoot staffed by friendly and helpful individuals. If we could ever manage to stop spending all our money on defense and spend some money building and teaching we would have new shooters in droves. The biggest obstacles to new shooters are lack of access and helping hands.

    • “The biggest obstacles to new shooters are lack of access and helping hands.”

      The OWG’s that know about guns, presently run the shops and ranges and actually have the knowledge to pass down could be rather helpful in that regard.

      I find it a bit interesting that expanding shooting into under-represented segments largely depends exactly on the group that is often vilified for not being tolerant and open enough.

  42. I am not typical of my demographic. A middle aged white guy who loves electronic dance music and bands like Flyleaf, Fireflight, We As Human, and Sinai Beach. The NRA has to start major outreach to the younger generations now. There are many well known younger shooters that can help out. It would be a good thing if well known pro gun Democrats and liberals would be invited to speak at the convention. After all the NRA`s mission is preserving the Second Amendment and that should be its sole goal and not get involved in non related issues.
    Wayne LaPierre has done a great job, but I think its time for a younger individual to take over leadership if the NRA wants to expand their base. Most of the gun ranges and gun shows I go to, its no longer dominated by old white guys. Most of the shooters and show attendees are diverse and under 30.

  43. I agree with just about everything Wendy said. But don’t leave it up to the NRA. The “culture” propagates these stereotypes just as much if not more than the NRA does. Attaching firearms to religion, politics, women’s issues, Gary issues, immigration, and the Illuminati not only dilutes the message but adds additional, and irrelevant, baggage that makes the whole pro/anti argument that much harder to fight.

  44. After listening to Rick Santorum’s speech from the 2014 NRA-ILA conference, I was thinking that the NRA might want to consider expanding their mission to also cover the rest of the Bill of Rights and Constitution; especially where the other amendments or clauses are substantially involved with a 2A issue. In other words, the do the job the ACLU should be doing (by supporting the entire constitution).

    This may increase membership generally and increase support for the 2A.

  45. Long time reader, first time poster here.

    It’s sad to see so many here that have no interest in the civil rights of others, yet demand civil rights for themselves. While being LGBT isn’t protected by name in the Bill of Rights, it’s a right nonetheless. I can’t understand why small government conservatives demand big government step in and take their side in this issue. I happen to be a young, gay, otherwise highly conservative male member of the 2A community. If I hadn’t told you, you’d never know by meeting me. It’s pretty disgusting the hate and vitriol I encounter (rarely, but still too often) in what I consider my own group.

    Also, I will strongly disagree with the correlation between these rights and abortion and the desire to attract pro murder advocates (it’s murder, not choice just another example of the left controlling words). Well over 1,000,000 lives are taken in this country alone every year from abortion. This has nothing to do with religion. Science says it’s murder, and so do I. I would never associate with a known murderer (notice I didn’t use the word killer; there’s a difference).

    • You know, you make a good point. I went to a pro-2nd rally in Seattle a few months ago, and it was a total waste of my time(other than meeting my girlfriend, but that’s a different story). Frankly, I was embarrassed that I was there. Rather than being a rally to coordinate pro-2nd activists, it turned into a bunch of 20 minute rants from guest speakers in camo about the evils of homosexuality. I was raised in an evangelical christian household, and I have been hearing about that crap all my life. I know more about the bible than most people that have been going to church for decades (thank you home schooling and church school), and no where in the bible does it say that people are supposed to stand up and call out the “sins” of other people. That’s between the “sinner”, and God, and has nothing to do with me.

      But this is the point. Everyone there was in attendance to talk about the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I live near Seattle, we have a huge gay/gay supporting population. How many gay people in attendance, or people that have gay friends and family, will ever go to a second rally held by that group? I certainly won’t. How many people that heard that message will irretrievably link the message that pro-gun equals homophobia? It’s asinine to alienate or exclude potential allies because you don’t like who they have sex with. The gay community is a natural ally to the 2nd amendment community, and we are running off fellow patriots with this ignorance.

      You don’t like guns, then don’t buy one. But don’t legislate away my right to choose for myself how I pursue my life.

      You don’t like kissing a dude, then don’t kiss a dude. But don’t legislate away my right to choose for myself how I pursue my life.

      We don’t have to abandon our principles to include people that believe differently than we do. If you are a patriotic American, and you will stand shoulder to shoulder with me and fight for this, then I don’t care who you are attracted to, what color your skin is, or what god you pray to. Just stand with me.

      /endrant

      • I take it you were at the Olympia rally this year, the one with Elvis? WTF was that.

        The 2013 rally was great, but there was still some major WTF moments where speakers veered WAY off-topic from pro-2A and started doing biblical speeches, mentioning abortion, and a prayer circle. During a gun rights rally. A gun rights rally with major media attention on the state capitol lawn.

        THAT is what turns off young shooters from the NRA, but these folks don’t get it.

        • I’d say more than half the comments here are from people who do, with a fairly small number who… don’t, to say the least (or they are actively part of the problem).

    • Murder is a term signifying a judgment, science says absolutely no such thing, which means you are a liar. You can define your own terms as much as you like, which will tend to make you look stupid as well as a liar. The US Supreme Court says it is the choice of everyone actually concerned, which is a single pregnant woman. I think that decision was an unjustifiable stretch, but my opinion, and yours, doesn’t count. What is left is to ass a constitutional amendment, and the place for that is not here. Here is also not the place for lying about your childish vision of murder. Try this; murder is illegal. Abortion is not. End of story. Come back when you are pregnant.

  46. Thank you Wendy. Great observations. I am an older white (I’d say chubby) guy, but I’m also socially liberal. I find it very hard to contribute to the NRA because of it’s support for very very objectionable candidates. I do “round up” sometimes when I’m buying online, because I recognize the fact that they have made a difference on the 2a. I just wish they did it in a way that was a little more culturally smart. I think we are doing as well as we are because many of us take friends and relatives to the range and introduce them to guns in a safe and fun environment. I love my local range because it leaves the politics at the door. We have many young shooters, women shooters and some minorities who shoot there.

    Political lobbying is only part of the way we’ll win. We have to represent the sport – don’t be a dick, don’t be a racist a-hole, don’t be a sexist etc. Take someone who’s never shot a gun and show them how to bang steel and put holes in targets!

    • “I find it very hard to contribute to the NRA because of it’s support for very very objectionable candidates.”

      And this makes the point I typed above…the NRA grades candidates solely on their stance on Second Amendment rights.

      “they have made a difference on the 2a. I just wish they did it in a way that was a little more culturally smart.”

      No offense, but what does this even mean? They either support the 2A and fight for gun rights or they don’t.

      This is the kind of “side baggage” I was talking about.

      “I love my local range because it leaves the politics at the door. “

      You can’t leave politics at the door if a significant portion of the political machinery is working very hard to outlaw your right to keep and bear arms. That’s a political and legal fight. To ignore it is to give up.

      And there is simply no getting around the fact that this issue is intimately connected to a whole host of other politically charged issues as well.

      • “And this makes the point I typed above…the NRA grades candidates solely on their stance on Second Amendment rights.”

        When the NRA supports some racist or sexist or other wise objectionable candidate that can’t get elected that does not help the 2a or the NRA’s reputation.

        And when you walk into a range or gun shop and there are jerks talking about how “those people” are lazy or unnatural or are welfare queens or some other sexist or racist or obnoxious comment it doesn’t help and it has nothing to do with supporting the 2a.

        • “When the NRA supports some racist or sexist or other wise objectionable candidate that can’t get elected that does not help the 2a or the NRA’s reputation. “

          Hey, Dan_the_man…see this?

          This is making my point for me… I’ll bet NO ONE posting in this thread is actually voting SINGLE ISSUE.

          In other words, for all those people CLAIMING that the NRA should JUST do “gun rights” and shut up all else….

          IT WON’T MATTER. The “all else” still exists. And they will blast the NRA for A+ candidates if they disagree on any of a number of “all else” issues.

          From calling it ‘sport’ or ‘hobby’ or putting gun rights against abortion, sexism or what-have-you, the bottom line that few admit is that gun rights are actually a relatively low priority.

          “And when you walk into a range or gun shop and there are jerks talking”

          This has nothing to do with the NRA grading candidates in elections.

  47. make sure to look up dan savage’s new world definition of ‘santorum’.
    i think i just saw onderlee perteet.

  48. Here’s my three step process to change the NRA:

    1. Realize if protecting gun rights is your personal goal then the NRA is the most effective organization extant in that arena.

    2. Quit bitching about what the NRA isn’t.

    3. Take personal responsibility and change the NRA by joining and changing it yourself.

    Has worked well for me.

    • “Take personal responsibility “

      You just lost half your audience….the half that is saying “make it what I want it to be…for ME!”

  49. I am 50/50 with Wendy on this

    1) Yes, a country music festival is a lousy idea and the prayer breakfast alienates the fastest growing demographic in America today, secularists. What *is* the NRA doing to attract the young demographic? The urban demographic? Hell, the way teenage rebellion works, Shannon Watts’ kids are prime recruitment material and the NRA has no game in place for reaching them.

    2) Good Lord, it CANNOT be that hard to find non-OFWG speakers. NRA just isnt looking hard if it can’t. And there is indeed a strong need to stay away from ‘lightning rod’ politicians like Bachmann, Palin and the Pauls as NRA speakers/guests. (And I say that as a man who has kept a ‘Ron Paul’ campaign sign as a prized possession for 6 years).

    3) La Pierre isn’t even the NRA president…why is he getting so much face time? Let someone else speak. Someone who has actually played a video game maybe.

    Also, it would help if the actual NRA president didn’t sound like a GOP operative: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/26/nra-president-jim-porter-were-going-flex-our-muscl/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

    4) Wendy is completely wrong asking the NRA to take a stance on gay marriage or abortion or women’s rights. (I assume that’s what she meant by not throwing a TEA party.) The NRA is kind of stuck here because generally speaking, the pro-choice/LGBTQ-friendly crowd already has a hard line against guns

    But the NRA has been relatively successful BECAUSE it is a single issue campaign.

    The NRA has to my knowledge always overtly aligned itself with pro-gun politicians regardless of party or social stances and that’s what it should continue to do. Joe Manchin got NRA approval before he turned traitor,didn’t he?

    I think Wendy got some wrong info on who the NRA actually endorses or fails to endorse. (Although, them endorsing the gun banner Romney seems like they compromised their principles too much.)

  50. What was said about getting more bands that would appeal to younger people is probably true, but would it bring positive attention to the NRA? I don’t see bringing Lil Wayne (a convicted felon on weapons charges) to a NRA convention as bringing good publicity. I realize there are tons of other artists out there, but would any of them bring positive feedback? There has to be another way other than just bringing in celebrities to convince young people that the NRA is cool. I am young and I was interested just because of what the NRA stood for.

  51. I would love it if the NRA was only about gun rights, and nothing but. I’ve said to myself I don’t care if half it’s paying members are anti-gay or pro-life or even racist. Obviously for them to call out that the right to bear arms belongs to all doesn’t mean they won’t deny someone who has an opinion opposite of theirs to be harmed for their beliefs. To be able to say what you want without violent reprisals is something both, IMO, the 1st and 2nd Amendments allow. I’d rather debate my opponent to death rather than shoot him, and both of us should be on equal footing to avoid the latter.

    The NRA needs to make that clear that they are more then OFWGs by being neutral on all other issues. Politically that seems impossible, but at the very least stop with the bible studies at mealtime stuff and reprimand any racism or bigotry in your ranks. Also no rhetoric about abortion, please.

  52. Speaking from over a half century of Life Membership, what I see in the NRA today is the ossification of the executive level. They can’t help but bring 1980s attitudes and techniques to a 2014 fight. It’s all they know. They don’t understand Gen X and the millenials (“turn that damn music down”), and overcompensate/overthink their statements and actions.

    Wendy has a couple of good points about the leadership and public image that have been repeated here many times.

    WLP needs to move into the background. Get younger faces and voices that are adept and competent at addressing the traditional and Internet media about 2A and RKBA issues. Don’t pander to people of color – accept them and they will come. Hone the message and discard tangental issues and views. And above all become much, much more active at the state and local levels. And not just the via the ILA; we need to grow the next generation of members.

    That’s it – I’m done.

  53. “…. these new shooters don’t like the NRA and they aren’t members. They don’t know the organization because the organization hasn’t taken the time to know them.”

    This sounds more like the childish rants of personally irresponsible adult children who still blame their parents for their lot in life. Until these “people” actually grow up, does the NRA even want them in their ranks? Inviting them in before they are mature enough would be like giving the family car keys to a seven year old.

  54. I could care less if the newest wave of NRA members are atheists, LGBT, have tattoos and piercings, listen to pop music, pro-choice, or have a certain skin color. Some of those factors and which side the NRA takes on them may draw the lines on membership numbers, but they do not have a direct ideological conflict with the 2nd amendment. Marrying your same-sex partner doesn’t bar me from buying an AR with standard capacity mags and 1,000 rounds of ammo at my lgs. However…

    I know the real reason why millions of older gun owners and a comparative handful of fiscally conservative college-aged guys like myself are so worried about the coming generation(s). The tenets of economic socialism and that toxic “worship the all-powerful state as your protector and provider or else” mentality have been force-fed to them no-thanks to our so-called education system. This mentality is what truly comes in conflict with everything the 2nd amendment stands for.

    The crux of the issue is that we need to divorce the coming generation of gun owners (and young people in general) from the association of the two camps of thought. Please be as openly LGBT, atheist, and/or pro-choice as you want, but the rhetoric of Josef Stalin and Che-Guevara has got to go, especially if you call yourself a 2nd amendment supporter, ’cause then you’re just a walking contradiction.

    • My one communist friend (and I do mean communist) is a 2nd amendment supporter because according to her the government wants to take away the guns to prevent the revolution.

      I’m an anarcho -capitalist, but I appreciate that lots of people hold internally contradictory views. As long as they go for gun rights, it shouldnt matter that they’re socialist either, as far as the gun fight goes.

      • Hey, she’s right! The government does want to take away the guns to prevent the revolution. The question of “what revolution” or “which revolution” can be argued forever, but the government’s goal of staying in control of the subjects cannot.

    • If you see your old grandfather drinking and driving the tractor crazily across the field, getting him to stop isn’t intolerance, it’s keeping him alive out of love.

      Wendy admires the NRA, but foresees trouble and wants to prevent it. I think she’s seeing a lot further than the people who think the NRA is healthy as it is.

    • Ah yep, the old “why won’t they tolerate our intolerance!” chestnut.

      So in other words, “It’s MY NRA, and YOU CAN’T COME IN!!”

      What’s more important to you. The NRA “looking and feeling” like you want it to, or the NRA gaining a few million more members?

      Nevermind. You already answered that.

      • This is very simple math here that Wendy proposes:

        NRA improvement = (+liberals, progressives, etc) + (-ten times more current members, Conservatives & liberatarians who hate progressives and everything they stand for)

        Sorry that equation is incorrect, does not compute and is invalid.

        • Your “math” really supposes that millions of people will leave the NRA because people who align differently with COMPLETELY non-gun causes will just leave?

          I guess 2A isn’t very important to those members, seems they’d have other priorities.

          You’re actually proposing that the NRA, which serves one specific cause, cater to only “full on, corner-to-corner, complete party line conservatives.” – or “everyone will leave.”

          That’s just a little bit unbelievable.

        • Firstly I am not a Conservative and you don’t get to label me with zero information.

          Secondly the NRA is a pro-Constitution organization and progressives/leftists are enemies of the Constitution. Therefore they are enemies of the NRA and most of its members.

          The math lays out like this: If the NRA starts catering to the enemies of the Constitution then Constitution-loving members will leave.

          Very Simple.

      • 1. No need for personal attacks.
        2. I’m not an NRA member (at least not yet).
        3. Stop putting words in my mouth.
        4. I really don’t give a damn about HOW the NRA does things, so long THEY GET THE JOB DONE (which they do). However, in order to continue doing what they do, they need money. And when the bulk of that money comes from OFWG’s, appealing to “PBR-swilling hipsters and latte liberals” is just plain silly, from a business standpoint.
        5. Changing who plays the music at the NRA convention (FYI, country music IS mainstream just about everywhere in America), and endorsing/supporting kinda-sorta-maybe pro-2A democrats won’t bring in “a few million more members.”
        6. The mainstream media will ALWAYS vilify ANY spokesman for the NRA, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliation. We will always be the enemy to them, regardless of how politically correct we are in every other non-2A area.

  55. I’d like to know why it’s always the NRA’s/GOP’s/Tea Party’s fault that most people of color avoid their organizations.

    Shouldn’t we be asking those people of color why they prefer a hate group like the Democratic Party, instead of a liberal, human rights organization, like the NRA; or a progressive group, like the Tea Party? Shouldn’t we ask them why they are more likely to vote for the party that thrives on race-baiting, and is so committed to the destruction of racial minority groups in the U.S?

    • Quite the false dichotomy, there. Just because someone isn’t enamored with the exclusivity of the NRA doesn’t mean that they run into the arms of the Black Panthers.

      • I said the Democratic Party, and you thought I meant the Black Panthers? Huh?

        Is it not true that black and Hispanic Americans support the Democratic Party to a much greater degree than they support liberal, progressive groups like the NRA? Is that not true?

        If so, why do we not ask them to defend their political backwardness? Why, instead, do we criticize ourselves for being too white (as if that were our fault), instead of challenging people of color to stand up for human rights?

  56. Such bleeding-heart bullshiat. So, the Little Missy wants to bring the very demographic that is eroding our liberty and morality into the heart of the NRA, to eat it out from inside, too?

    If defending the 2A means “tolerating” perverts, sodomites, heathens, and pot-stoned wild-eyed Pagans, then there’s not much of a country left to defend with that 2A. Gun owners want to defend the American way of life, not the Whiny Perverted Communo-Libtard way of life. If we embrace it we’ve already LOST.

    Don’t tell me what I have to “Tolerate”. This almost sounds as a Psy-Op to get us to allow them within our Ranks, and this OFWG won’t stand for them coming in “through the back doors” in the name of “Tolerance”. An America full of perverts and Atheists is not what my Military family fought for!

    If you say you are a Gun OWner and support the 2A, then there is no “But…” And supporting any Liberal way of thinking is one huge BUT. Not only do we not Need ‘Em we can’t afford to give them a foot-hold!!!!

    • I’m ex-military too. Does this mean I have to believe like you do? The idea of kissing a man isn’t attractive to me, but to a gay man, the idea of kissing a woman isn’t attractive either. What gives you the right to choose another Americans sexuality, any more than Shannon Watts gets to choose what type of guns you own? Read your constitution. Find where it says that you have certain inalienable rights, unless you’re gay. Go ahead. I’ll wait. In the meantime, this representative republic that you and your family proudly defended will be replaced by a democratic socialist state because you thought gay men were icky. Bravo.

      • Oh but they ARE icky so long as they won’t stand up for their (and my) right to defend themselves.

        Of course non gays like that are icky too.

        Nothing to do with the gay at all, come to think of it.

    • Sargo, let me give you two scenarios.

      1) You lose your gun rights, and you don’t have to look at people who are strange to you.

      2) You keep your gun rights, and might see people who are strange to you at the LGS.

      That may sound like an ultimatum, but it’s not. The strange people are already here. So let’s concentrate on the gun rights part, no?

    • ““tolerating” perverts, sodomites, heathens, and pot-stoned wild-eyed Pagans,”

      Exactly how is it any of your business what your neighbors are doing in the privacy of their own home?

      It isn’t the popular forms of speech that need protection.

    • I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids. – Jack D. Ripper

        • Well, I’m not an atheist, but I’m no other known religion either; I’ve coined the term Neodruid – I believe Mother Nature created us by Sentient Design and Spirit’s job is to learn to animate and rejuvenate us by unconditional loving acceptance of our Whole Being. I’ve found that actually living in the present is very powerful in that respect.

          Oh, and in my dictionary, there’s no such word as “pervert.” 😉

  57. Any discussion of changing the performers–musical or political–at the NRA’s annual meeting is putting the cart before the horse. Canceling the prayer breakfast isn’t going to get more young people to join the NRA.

    Fighting for gun rights is a rare issue that spans all corners of our society, and I agree the NRA membership should ideally represent that cross-section to maximize its effectiveness.

    The challenges I see are that people outside the NRA don’t understand what the NRA really is because the NRA has been defined for them by the anti-gun people and there are so few pro-gun Democrats relative to Republicans that people wrongly assume the NRA is a right-wing Republican organization.

    I think the NRA needs a PR campaign to broadly communicate what it really is and let otherwise liberal gun owners know it is safe for them to join the cause. This would also help with general education and awareness amongst non-gun owners.

    We also need more true gun rights supporters in the Democratic Party, and maybe the NRA can help foster that somehow. A tall order, I know.

    As the membership expands over time, the people running the annual meeting maybe forget to invite Ted one year and start booking a more eclectic group of bands and politicians to entertain the crowd.

    • See, I don’t know what to think about this. I support the NRA-ILA, (and SAF) because I know “sweet f-a else” are really fighting for 2A rights. I’m an NRA member because, for sure: “Couldn’t hurt.”

      But being a purple-streak-haired socially liberal non-white atheist female, if I showed up at an NRA prayer breakfast, I just *gotta* wonder how well I’d be received. I’d be willing to try, though, but I won’t have my hopes up. That said I know supporting the cause is the greater good even if 95% of the membership thinks that I smoke reefer* while giving a handjob to Satan on my weekends.

      (And, look, I know I’ve walked the walk as far as support and fights for the anti-gun ‘creep’ of laws goes here in CO.)

      *(no. hate the stuff. Wildfires here give me enough involuntary smoke inhalation.)

      • As I mentioned in a comment way up the page, we had a gun rights rally in Denver. Senator Rivera (the replacement for Angela Giron) gave a speech at that rally, and about half of it was about the ten commandments. This after saying he did NOT want to talk about religion.

        Yeah, that waste of mic time really spoke to this atheist. How the heck will this help bring non Christians into the movement? How? Why didn’t he just put a cork in it? Why didn’t the organizer of the event cut the mic when he hared off into the weeds like this?

        • This. A lot. This is why I was lukewarm on Rivera being chosen as the replacement – – mainly because it felt that he had some other agendas which were not aligned with what, as another poster in this thread said, “brung ’em”.

          He has his seat due to the strong pro-gun backlash here in CO. That should be his focus, as a *representative* who was put in place due to a rare, and difficult recall.

          Address what the people sent you to the Capitol to address.

      • michi, I think this is likely the very best post in this entire discussion, in part because of this line:

        “I know supporting the cause is the greater good even if 95% of the membership thinks …{I’m different}”

        You’ve got real guts and you ARE walking the walk. The pro-gun-rights side needs more people like you…willing to stand for GUN RIGHTS.

        “But being a purple-streak-haired socially liberal non-white atheist female, if I showed up at an NRA prayer breakfast, I just *gotta* wonder how well I’d be received. I’d be willing to try, though, but I won’t have my hopes up. “

        You might be surprised. Sure, there might be some that are less welcoming, but I’d be willing to bet that once you made your strong pro-gun-rights views known, you’d be more than welcome. It sounds like you have the courage to try.

        Really, your whole post was full of win.

        • Wow. Thanks, JR. That means… a whole lot. More people who don’t fit the mold need to speak up.

          I worked with a lot of people who didn’t agree with me on ‘other’ issues during the CO recalls. It didn’t matter any more than whether they preferred Pepsi or Coke. Nor should it.

          I don’t plan to take a break until CO HB-1224 and HB-1229 are history. And then, maybe just a breather to get my bearings. The snide and down-the-nose-looking way they were passed smacked more of a royal court than any kind of representative democracy. The part of me that has always been disgusted with oppression triggered hardcore in response to that. We’re gradually losing the second amendment, we’re gradually losing the first amendment, and people who I used to identify with on my side of the fence are snidely hastening it because it *currently* hastens their particular causes.

          Winds change.

          Anyone who is different, who is a minority or an edge group, if they do not GET that Constitutional protections go both ways, and that someday it may be they who wish they weren’t defenseless, are short sighted and oblivious to the fact that we do not operate on a Star-wars-esque “light side and dark side”; there will come a day when they, too, either are glad they are not disarmed, or are wishing they were not disarmed.

          Gun rights cannot fall like dominoes just because for some odd reason they’re ganged to other social issues by the major political streams. Nor can they because for some reason they’re seen as “only” the domain of OFWGs.

          These rights are either beneficial or they are not. (They are.) – You know, to *people*. To citizens. Right or left should have fug-all to do about it, and the fact that those who claim to speak for more ‘socially progressive’ types have taken it upon themselves to broadcast to the people that guns are a symbol of ‘evil’ – have a bridge to sell you.

          Anyhow – thank you. Even if you don’t agree with me on other social issues. This one is too important to forfeit.

        • … forgot to add to that. The second amendment is for Everyone. Or it is for No one.

      • How about an ad campaign, like, “The NRA – It’s not just for Rednecks any more” or “This is not your father’s NRA” or something. I.e., lose the social conservative/theocrat crap, and keep it strictly to the 2A. Every pothead I know is also a Freedom-lover, and the RKBA is there to safeguard our Freedom, right?

        • I think they’re trying the “Not your Father’s NRA” thing right now… Which I’m fine with.

          But according to some responses here, everyone who’s a current NRA member “thinks man kissing is icky” and therefore the NRA will lose all of its current members if a dude in a designer shirt shows up at a function.

          I have my doubts.

        • “thinks man kissing is icky”

          We have a triple standard in this country.

          Suppose you’re walking from your car to the office, and in a doorway recess, there’s a young couple making out, all tongues and hands and whatnot. Most people would ignore them, a few would be amused, some would say, “Get a room!” but it’s not World War Three.

          Now suppose you’re walking from your car to the office, and in a doorway recess, there’s a young gay couple making out, all tongues and hands and whatnot. Most would probably ignore them, some would cross the street to avoid them, some would want to kill them dead on the spot.

          Thirdly, suppose you’re walking from your car to the office, and in a doorway recess, there’s a young lesbian couple making out, all tongues and hands and whatnot. They’ll draw a crowd of spectators.

        • I think man kissing is icky. I also think what you do is your own business, and I will not even restrict that to behind closed doors. When the bride and I were kids, in the early ’60s, us kissing in public was icky as well, and I did not give a poot then or now. You are free to look away, as am I. You will find me far more critical of someone trying to give away my freedom in public, because that matters to me.

    • “The challenges I see are that people outside the NRA don’t understand what the NRA really is because the NRA has been defined for them by the anti-gun people and there are so few pro-gun Democrats relative to Republicans that people wrongly assume the NRA is a right-wing Republican organization. ”

      If this thread could be considered the definition of the NRA by those on the inside, you have a much bigger PR problem than you think.

  58. Wow, this got a boat load of comments! I agree with everthing EXCEPT what you said about JayZ. I don’t think the NRA should ever do business with any musician who advocates slapping a trick with a glock fotay while doin a driveby crack deal in da hood. No gangsta rap that advocates illegal activity and murder.

  59. The Bloomberg campaign is doomed to fail because their entire premise is the average American is too uneducated, too dangerous, or just plain mentally unfit to own and bear firearms responsibly. That’s called talking down to your audience. And if there is one thing Americans hate, it’s being told what they can’t do or have — or being called dumb — without a very good reason behind it.

    Especially, when there are already millions that carry responsibly today. You’re poking the bear.

    Good luck with that strategy, Bloomy.

    All the NRA needs to do is diversify their audience by appealing to good ol’ American values. Freedom. Responsibility. Pride. Family. Self-defense. Protection. Intelligence. Everyone can relate to those values and qualities. Treat people with respect and they will listen and respond in kind.

    Talk down to people and they’ll just tune you out and ignore what you have to say. And all this “you can’t handle firearms responsibly” coming from an out-touch billionaire who has hired bodyguards is hilarious at best. Talk about hypocrisy and talking from a platform that the average American just does not relate to at all.

    That’s why more and more States are allowing concealed carry, because it simply makes sense based on the undisputed (but often misconstrued) DGU and FBI statistics. The natural right of self-defense is as American as hamburgers and muscle cars. It’s part of our history and people intrinsically understand the value of self-reliance and will choose to not be a victim — if they are given the choice and opportunity to protect themselves.

    After all, if Bloomberg and Watts get their way, what do they have to offer in the place of a self-defense tool for self-defense? Nothing.

    A big fat zero.

    What, police protection? It’s already proven to be ineffective because you are your own first responder. Sorry but that’s a proven fact. Will Bloomberg supply everyone with bodyguards (a la Watts)? Doubt it.

    Bloomberg and Watts are offering nothing in return. I see no plan of theirs that lowers crime or even improves police protection in the immediate future. So, what happens when no civilians can carry firearms? All of those DGUs turn into rapes, murders, thefts, burglaries, etc. Is that the alternative? No thank you.

    In the meantime, the majority of Americans can purchase solid, tangible, and effective peace of mind and protection for their families (that happens to be in the form of a firearm) for less than a car payment today if they want. And for good reason (which they don’t need to justify to anyone). You can’t really argue or win against that feeling, Bloomberg / Watts.

    • That’s because Bloomberg and Watts think they are superior to the average person. They’re in for a surprise; that few of us are “knuckledraggers” – see “A.I.”.

      The “heaven” comment sealed it for me in re Bloomberg. Not that it wasn’t sealed to begin with; that started with the “big gulp ban” and the whole “NYPD is my personal army” / taking armed guards to the Caribbean thing.

      What Watts and Bloomberg don’t get is that it ain’t only gun nuts who are seeing these elitist out of touch snoots for what they are.

      • Exactly. And unless my US History is foggy, Independence Day occurred because the Thirteen Colonies didn’t want to be told how they should live their lives and be subservient to the elitists formerly known as the Kingdom of Great Britain.

        Which is probably why Piers Morgan was finally taken off the air because someone realized all he did was act like a boorish spokesman for the Kingdom of Great Britain in the 1770s. We’re a little past those times. That and Piers’ blatant fabrication of statistics and fuzzy math was even losing appeal with the most casual of viewers that knew better.

        With that said, this rise of political elitism and “ruling class” rhetoric should be called what it really is: Anti-American. In the rawest sense of the word.

  60. Reminds me of that saying about marriage being the quest to find the perfect guy and then changing him… For those who feel the NRA is out of touch and doesn’t represent them, form or join an organization that does? There you go, solved it for you.

    • I guess the way that the NRA *feels* to you is more important than not losing gun rights, then?

      Or I guess you feel like we’re not on the verge of that, or on the way towards it.

      If you feel that our gun rights are safe, then yeah, by all means, tell all the people who look/act/think differently than you to go get out of your sight in some marginalized splinter organization.

      Gun ownership has changed, and is changing. It will continue to change, hopefully. (In other words: there will be MORE gun owners, and many who do not fit the typical paradigm.)

      The charge of the NRA is to defend gun owners’ rights, not to make a certain culture ‘comfy’. That’s almost what many staunch conservatives would call a liberal position.

      I could give a rat’s ass about the culture of the organization, and whether or not extant members felt comfortable with change or not. All I care about is what WORKS, and to put cultural principles in front of strength in numbers is nothing but a feel-good blankie for NRA members who get “oogy” about the possibility of seeing a pierced lesbian support the Second Amendment at an NRA event.

      Get over it. We have more important things to worry about. And if you think we don’t, you’ve got your head firmly and deeply in the sand.

  61. Yeah, gonna have to go with Wendy on this. It took me a lot to get over Wayne and some of that which had fallen out of his mouth. Being of mixed ethnic and racial background (though I ‘pass’) the NRA had always impressed me as being strenuously beige, if you will. I am an NRA member because, to paraphrase LBJ, I’d rather be inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.
    I realize it will be very difficult to make the NRA all things to all people, but I believe it is very important to interest as many folks of as many ethnicities as we can. We hang together or we hang separately, so to speak.

    • “We can hang together or we hang separately” – I seriously am kind of taken aback at how many people seem to not get this, or not care about the reality of it.

      Maybe it’s just a spate of internet tough guy noise. I’d like to think so, because if all of the “Molon Labe!” and “From my cold dead hands!” shouting has a little * next to it and fine print that says (unless you make me stand next to a ), then we’re in bigger trouble than I thought.

      • Yea, reading these comments I cannot believe how many people judge their satisfaction with the nra based on membership culture or what bands they book.

        So many people are saying the nra is doing everything right and only around 5% of the people who own guns believe its worth ~$30 a year to protect those rights that are constantly under attack.

    • Eh, I have no real beef against Wayne, personally speaking. I don’t even know the guy. He means well and he’s doing what he can so I can respect that. But the cold hard fact is he’s just not a powerful speaker — he stammers and comes across as an older, nerdy white guy that can’t really relate (at least on camera) to the melting pot of potential NRA members that could exist today if given the right voice to listen to.

      The NRA needs a more modern 2014 version of Charles Heston — someone with charisma and powerful voice.

  62. Please be careful about endorsing “pro-gun” Democrats like Mark Begich. I have always known the NRA and other similar organizations to support Democrats who have proven to be strongly pro-gun. Begich is pro-himself and only supports guns as much as necessary to protect his position. The NRA knows his past history, and pretty much anyone who will run against him will be much stronger on guns than he is. He was pretty anti-gun prior to running for senator, and only won that race due to a bogus trial that his opponent was railroaded into.

  63. I dont mean to be rude, but since the democratic party has openly admitted their appetite for the 2A, it blows my mind to think that people still want to term themselves as “Pro Gun Democrat”.

    IF you are pro gun, you have ceased to be a democrat and are now a free thinking American who should be able to function properly without a political label to identify yourself.

    Ive noticed how all of the “alternative” NRA news commentators havent really done very hot lately.

      • I believe the bill you are referring under Ronald was signed to remove unconstitutional parts of the 1968 act but had an 11th hour amendment slipped in by Hughes. Ron did not propose that amendment but he did sign the whole law which you can say he did failed in that manner.

        Or was the law you are referring to, the one signed to combat the Black Panthers but then morphed into being applied to all citizenry?

  64. I agree with much of post, however, it is not the NRA’s job to chastise the two Repubs who said awkward things about rape.

    Moreover, at their 2012 convention, the Democrats honored two actual sexual predators, Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. As a woman, I am horrified that two such men have such high status in the party.

    A nobody like Todd Akin may have said a dumb thing about how a woman’s repro system functions after rape, but the Democratic party leader Clinton has actually committed it. The revered Ted Kennedy killed a woman while cheating on his pregnant wife. He drove his wife to alcoholism and like all the other Kennedy men (Democrat royalty) became a serial molester of young women. Google “waitress sandwich”.

    If the NRA is required to police the dufous Todd Akins types of the GOP, then Shannon Watts should be required to go after the assortment of pervs, rapists and wife beaters (Jim Moran) in the Dem party.

    • As a follow up, politically I don’t give two shits about the “social” issues. I’m pretty much a libertarian on same sex marriage, drug legalization, etc. I don’t much like abortion, but if gun controller types want to reduce their own numbers through abortion, I won’t stand in their way.

      I really do hate sexual assault though, which is why if Democrats were really serious about this War onWomen BS they would promote gun rights and eject the Weiners, Kennedys, Bill Clinton, and their rotten enabling wives from the party. But they aren’t, so they won’t.

      • “want to reduce their own numbers ”

        Well, notwithstanding the groupthink, it has nothing to do with reducing any numbers. It’s about not summarily condemning a girl to twenty years’ hard labor in vengeful punishment for her sin of fornication.

      • She’s never heard of hypergamy I’d guess.

        Exactly, Rich. That’s not rape – furthermore men responding to women seducing and tempting them is pretty much completely normal male behavior.

  65. I’m all for making the tent bigger, but with respect to politics, it really has become that polarized. The 2A has essentially become a battle line for liberty and freedom. On one side of the aisle, you have a party bent on Authoritarian Control, and the other a party that speaks about liberty and freedom but just wants to be the one in power wielding the authoritarian control the other party establishes during it’s reign. I think the NRA should take more of a small “L” libertarian bend. There is a LOT your modern progressive and conservative can agree on when it comes to what the government shouldn’t be doing (NSA spying, wrath of the IRS, etc). Unfortunately, the more libertarian pols typical sport an R after their name as the party line of the D’s is completely authoritarian “let us write some new laws since we’re so much smarter than you, for your own good”.

    The rest of it sounds good. I still don’t understand why anyone would drink PBR in this modern renaissance of craft beers. Even if you’re drinking on the cheap there are much better options similarly priced.

  66. She’s right. I feel palienated every time that trot out that joke Sarah.

    If the NRA had half a wit for growing with the pro-gun demographic they’d feature the youtube gun channel folks instead of crusty old failed celebrities.

  67. most of the write ins are all blather! How many people have actually read the NRA charter, the basis of that formalization as it’s purpose, then speak from knowledge, not Bo-diddly touchy feely crap!
    Those in the Minorities who want to Join, Join!
    There are some things in life that that are not go along, get along, Civil rights, Violation of the Constitution’s many amendments 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Etc should be be a bigger Concern than one Organization, Apply those same lip standard’s too our Politicians!

  68. There are a great number of 2A guns that think history began when they discovered their pecker last week. I’m not going to recite a history of the maturation of the NRA in that last 40yr and its work on gun rights. I was not around and I’ve found trying to educate idiots bores me. Go read history of NRA on wiki etc.

    Grow up, turn your hat around and get in shape. The looming battle is NOT just over 2nd and you need (will be) to be in it. It is about our unique Americanism, cultural decay and the CONSTITUTION. Your “diverse” degenerates are the problem not solution. You, and they, may grow up and become part of the solution or perhaps not. In any case, the wind is blowing.

    I was in Indy. A huge % of the crowd was women (and on average much better quality than the libtard/MOM coven). Disappointed by the Sat night rally, as my 14yr old said – too much music (he loved Becks history talk at St Louis in 2012.) 1/2 the crowd looked to have no interest Alabama or Sara whatshername. Certainly including the old farts in the high dollar VIP section next to me. But you know what? They were there “supporting the cause” not engaging in some Gen X whinefest about how they know is better/don’t know dick.

    There also appreared to be a bunch of locals attending for the music and they were having a good time and getting a dose of the message.

    Sounds to me like Sarah Palin is running in 2016. She has the pair that Obama and every RINO need.

    • I personally think the fact that pro #2A moms are prettier, thinner and smarter than gun grabbing moms, on average, says a ton about the men who stand with them on the opposing sides of the fence.

      Zero coincidence.

  69. I personally think the world would be a better place overall if all progressives would simply take a long walk off a short pier and spare us all the humiliation of constantly being told how to live, what to like and who to do by Mr. Highness and Ms. Highness.

    Start there, then create a pill whereby everyone rejects collectivism and starts thinking for ~themselves~

    What a concept.

  70. Individual liberties like the second amendment live and die in this country based on popular support. When popular support reaches a certain level individual liberties get respected. Examples of big gains are women’s right to vote, the repeal of prohibition, civil rights for black people, and the spread of concealed carry. Examples of liberties dying due to a lack of popular support include the passage of prohibition and the near disappearance of the fourth amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

    We can talk all we want about natural rights and constitutional protections, but when the numbers go far enough one way or the other, the Supreme Court and politicians (if there’s a difference between the two) follow the numbers. The “OFWGs got us here so screw everyone else” mentality will eventually lose the cause.

  71. Wendy, you sound like a lot of typical blue pill, solipsistic women.

    Your points may be valid but they are totally unrealistic as they ignore that Progressives are the enemy and always will be. There can be no compromise with the enemy there is only destroy.

      • One can have the truth which is sometimes painful or have pleasant but false sunshine blown up their butts.

        I choose to serve truth but folks are more than welcome to pay greater attention to the warmth in their derriere being provided by others if they prefer.

        My membership in the stone cold bitch club is a fairly well known fact. I wear it with pride; bless your little heart for mentioning it.

    • Because there are only two, clearly defined, opposing, completely compartmentalized kinds of people in the world, eh Mina?

      You really believe that?

      • No idea where you get that I put people into two compartments.

        However, What I am willing to offer is that people in the compartment that generally fit “the leftist” ideal are sub-human and unworthy of consideration as people.

        Hope that helps.

  72. “My $.02, worth every penny you paid.” I demand a refund! Self-indulgent treacle so cloying and clichéd as not to deserve even this much response.

    These are the same sort of defeatist, apologist ramblings that advise Republicans to be more like Democrats. Fact is, you can’t out-Democrat the Democrats. Don’t believe me? Then go ask Presidents Dole, McCain and Romney. Oh…wait. Likewise, adopting the anti-gunners’ tactics is foolhardy. LGBTQ sensitivity? Abortion acceptance? Touchy feely kumbaya? Good grief. Eschewing those deeply personal, highly divisive, grievance group tangents is a big part of why the NRA has managed not just to remain relevant, but to dominate, the 2A issue.

    The NRA is a very mission-oriented organization. It isn’t about branching out and making itself all things to all comers on all issues. Look at any appropriate measure of success (and variegation of membership is not one), and you’ll find the NRA’s track record is among the strongest of any of the leading civil rights organizations today. It’s about defending and expanding individual firearms freedoms, and the proper training to wield them responsibly. It’s not about identifying, labeling and itemizing the myriad permutations of individuals themselves according to some fashionable, politically correct taxonomy. Future success depends on unity of purpose, howsoever those members may worship, cohabit, or outwardly appear, and not on superficiality of diversity in some mass marketing ambit.

    Nevertheless, the NRA, or any organization or movement, can only do so much in the face of forfeit and surrender typical of America today. If a hero is someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom, then we’re living in a nation of cowards. And you expect the NRA to fix that how? With an annual convention cameo by…….Beyonce or whomever? Good grief. The salient question isn’t why doesn’t the NRA look more like America, but rather, why don’t more Americans act like Americans?

      • What does an “American” look like to me, you ask? Why, an “American” looks like a squared circle, of course!

        Your question is based on a false premise: that there is or could be such a thing as a single, or at least representative “American.” I don’t subscribe to that view so I cannot accept that premise, though others, including the article’s author, may. True Americans come in innumerable shapes, sizes, forms, fits and functions. So there’s no possible answer to your question, sorry.

        Exactly the opposite is my point, one person’s appearances or another person’s prejudices don’t matter at all. That’s just so much mindless, irrelevant chit chat. That’s why I don’t measure success in terms of how many demographic boxes a group’s membership rolls manages to check off. I’m more interested in and committed to what people do. It’s their actions that matter, and they either conform or don’t to my view of what constitutes an American, not their looks or census survey stats.

  73. My problem with this inclusion stuff and bringing in raging liberals, is you are bringing in the guy who got bit by the zombie and figures it will clear up before he babysits your kids.

    This means you should have an idea of where rights rank first before I call you a friend. There are plenty of gun toting tyrants/despots/liberals out there who are more than happy to restrict gun access to all except themselves. Ergo Bloomberg. Just because you picked up a gun and shot it once, doesn’t mean you should be an NRA member. NRA members should be interested in protecting the rights of the rest of us, not just growing the ranks. Maybe OFWG are the only ones concerned about the general condition of the nation’s rights. The color of your skin should not be a prerequisit to your knowledge on a topic.

    • Um, also, you really feel that anyone who isn’t an “old fat white guy” is a “raging liberal”? Really? Disagreement on a social point, and that person is a “raging liberal”?

      You also do realize, I hope, that “growing the ranks” and defending our rights are not actually inseparable when it comes down to it, right?

  74. The NRA should be a single issue organization. It is about the right to keep and bear arms. That is my reason for joining and should be everyone’s. If the reason you aren’t joining the NRA is because they had Alabama play at the annual meeting, then you don’t get it.

  75. If anyone wonders why the NRA has problems getting more members, just link to thus comment stream. Up to and including one person wishing people dead, to a lot of OFWG chest-thumping “we do not want you” remarks, it is pretty pathetic.

    • Yep. To me, the chest-thumpers have other priorities, and 2A is back-seat. The keyboard commandos need to decide what’s more important to them; securing the future of gun rights, or hanging out in a club without people who seem strange.

  76. Uh, there are plenty of OFWGs (myself included) that are just as put off by the NRA, for the same reasons that Non-OFWGs are.

    • But, that’s *impossible!* – OFWGs are the only ones who “care about 2A rights” and if anyone else joined in on the cause, you’d leave, BDub!!! Don’t you know there are only two kinds of people on the planet? Decide which one you are!

      (Sarcasm. Sorry. I agree with you, BDub. Not an OFWG, but have plenty of “gun buddies” who are Young Thin Black Guys, OFWGs, Exceedingly Tall Hispanic Hairy Dudes, and a Czech woman with a lazy eye.)

      I really feel with all these comments about “No, we shouldn’t welcome anyone new in, or anyone who has different views!” – makes me think that 2A is maybe 3rd or 4th on their priority list.

      That’s good, and all, but if that’s the case, they likely shouldn’t be dictating the direction of a gun rights org.

  77. I am a card-carrying member of the OFWG club and have been a member of the NRA for over forty years and now am a NRA Life Member, Benefactor, so the NRA members who want to go tell people to FOAD when concerns are raised about the NRA can blow it out their wazoos.

  78. Wendy,

    You bring up excellent points and have spurred discussion that really needs to be had. I agree with much you say. The NRA can have a makeover and still be true to its roots. A little more diversity and depth goes along way in the battle.

  79. I’m a 30 something white gun owner. Not an NRA member and don’t really care to be. I have various guns that I shoot regularly with my family: brothers, mom, uncle etc. None of them are NRA members either. Why should all 2A supporters even be a member. I don’t understand.

    • I am 28. While I have already have an excellent collection and love shooting with family and friends I would consider the “firearm rights” more valuable than all the guns I’ll ever own. Like I would hate the idea of book burning regardless of what books are being burnt.

      For me the decision to join the NRA came down to the realization that with a group of millions of individuals it will never be perfect and will likely always be very far from it. While I would like to work towards some changes within the NRA my membership is not about me being able to enjoy the RKBA, it’s about the future generations of US citizens who have not even been born yet being able to do so.

      The NRA is the absolute WORST organization there is protecting our RKBA…except for all the others.

    • “Why should all 2A supporters even be a member. I don’t understand.”

      It’s a political clout thing. There are still a lot of people who think that to be free, you need a lot of company, when all you really have to do is Be Free. 😉

  80. I’m definitely the type that this article is describing. 23, los angeles, LGBTQ, 21 tattoos. I am currently working towards a NRA lifetime membership and doing the monthly payments.

    Young people don’t have relatives that were imprisoned by the US government for being Japanese. We don’t have many living grandparents that survived the holocaust. We are too young to remember LA riots. What we DO have is friends who are gay. Everyone we know smokes weed. A woman’s body is her own and we can sympathize with feminist values. We have a loved one who should be getting treatment for their addiction, NOT jail time.

    If you want to win our hearts and minds stop making this about conservative vs. liberal. We are a generation raised without religion for the most part and spirituality is filled with material goods and substances. Most young people are open minded enough to hear us out about the gun debate, but as soon as you mention conservative values their minds become closed. The NRA needs to make this about government vs. the people-authoritarian vs libertarian. As a generation that despises drug laws, we can empathize with the libertarian approach.

    As soon as you tell someone that their loving/caring friend is a bad person for certain life style choices, they will revert to liberal vs conservative ideals because they’ve been told so many times that it’s us vs them.

    • Seems like I’m in the same boat as you, Bunny – but too many people it seems figure it’s an “us vs them” as you said, and are willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater so long as they don’t have to accept anyone “diffurnt” (labeled as ‘raging liberals’) into the 2A camp.

      Oh well. I’ll keep fighting until some fat sweaty mall ninja tells me to stop because I haven’t grown a “tactical belly”.

      It *is* “us vs. them”, if you consider pro vs anti. But the pro/anti line does not align perfectly with all political beliefs. Believe it or not, not all “conservatives” and “liberals” even agree on everything, so the idea of “This is what a gun owner is, NOTHING ELSE” is absolutely ludicrous.

    • You and I maybe don’t agree on everything but we definitely agree on this:

      “Most young people are open minded enough to hear us out about the gun debate, but as soon as you mention conservative values their minds become closed. The NRA needs to make this about government vs. the people-authoritarian vs libertarian.”

      • We are all being taken in by the language problem. I consider myself a conservative because I do not believe in socialism, it will not work and never has. I want government smaller, cheaper, and far less powerful. Do I give a rat’s ass whether someone is gay, lesbian, Christian, atheist or jew, pro-tat or anti, oh hell no. Let’s watch the “running away from conservatives” shit unless you tell us why. Are you a fanatical supporter of the welfare state? We may need some distance. Is your hair purple and you got a few piercings on your private business? Come on down, show me what caliber we’re dealing with and whether its suppressed.

        I figure I am a fiscal conservative (in the extreme) and a social liberal. What is the problem? How does that threaten?

    • Excellent piece! As a 65 Y.O scrawny whitebeige guy, I have to admit that I’m kind of impressed that “kids these days” actually get it. 😉

      Thanks!

  81. “One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.” – Thomas Sowell.

    Pertains to virtually all of the people Wendy would like NRA to invite in as members.

    Talk about encouraging cancer to metastasize.

    (just happened on the quote, seemed pertinent to this article)

      • Hey Michi, my new little stalker. My favorite group is My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult.

        I despise both Country and Western and I am a die-hard NRA supporter.

        So you can take your attempts to categorize me and stuff them.

        • Mina,

          I often like what you write, but you’ve felt perfectly free to categorize Michi and others, so you can stuff that.

        • Copy/Paste one comment wherein I have categorized anyone.

          Didn’t happen. You’re a liar.

          (other than Paul 4 chins McCain: he’s a sackless wonder who has been stalking and taunting me for months. he gets what he asks for. sometimes I even give it to him.)

  82. Mina has wished those whom she does not agree with would all die and now calls them a cancer.

    Mina: Poster Girl for “the crazy” types we do not need as part of any rationale conversation.

    • If you feel so strongly about my opinions and their worth, indicated by your constant stalking every time I post, let’s “take it outside” and see who of the two of us has the backbone and the balls to back up their convictions.

      I’d suggest anyone watching put their money on me.

        • It means he can either grow a pair and debate me fair and square out in the open or stop with the limp-wristed sliding sideways surreptitious commentary.

          I am pretty tired of him grabbing my ankles and having to drag him around TTAG. Slimy.

        • If you think having someone making commentary about you to everyone else whilst simultaneously outright refusing to speak to you/engage you directly is “drama” well what can I say, you have clearly never been a 100# woman.

          Considering the source it feels a lot like having a big fat guy eating potato chips on a ladder looking in my bedroom window with his dick in his hand while he watches me undress.

        • Calm down Mina.

          The “drama” was not directed at you in particular.

          I hear you, though.

  83. If anyone I know was as over-paid, and under-performing as the board members of the NRA, they would have been fired years ago, and rightly so. The way I see it, the NRA has become both weak in purpose and message. I mean, who does their PR? To my mind, they still have no effective answer for the always derogatory “gun lobby” moniker that the anti gun, a-la-cart Constitutional Left drags through the media meat processing plants. How about the Constitution lobby? Or hey,…how about standing up for your civil rights lobby? How many years did it take them to enlist a spokesperson like Coloin Noir? Day late, dollar short.

    Wayne La Pierre? Is there a picture of him without his mouth agape and who looks like your crazy uncle who still insists that FDR knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor 2 weeks before it happened? Is there?
    I know he can’t help how he looks, but the NRA sure as Hell could find a better leader who doesn’t have a face for radio to be the face of the NRA. How about somebody who doesn’t look like he represents your grandfathers NRA? We had Ben Hur for a while, but we’re back to ugly Wayne. Anyone who thinks image is secondary to the message isn’t paying attention to our vacuous, selfie-driven culture. If Brad Pitt, or other similar young stud became the face for the NRA, maybe the NRA wouldn’t look so stiff…as in dead, or possibly checking into the nearest hospice care facility. We need to get people who aren’t non-voting age Ernie Eaglets or old, anemic, aged eagles to refresh the image of the NRA.

  84. Since RF loves to go off on OFWG’s, (the irony of which is that, without OFWG’s there wouldn’t be a United States, much less one that created such a thing as the Bill of Rights with the Second Amendment), and he’s a johnny-come-lately to the RKBA discussion, allow me to inject some brutal reality into the situation.

    Catering to young people is a double-edged sword in politics. Why? Because they’re a) young and b) therefore, stupid. Wisdom comes with age, and it comes about because with age comes experience. Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. Youth, by definition, has little wisdom due to little experience.

    Youth also love to flap their yaps about voting and political activism, but any pollster or political consultant knows that young people are very casual voters. They’re one of the poorest-turnout groups in general elections, and in off-elections or primaries, they’re almost nonexistent.

    Youngsters are, by all accounts of the 2008 and 2012 elections, one of the electoral cohorts that put Obama into office, at dire cost to their own economic benefit. Many young people don’t have jobs, won’t have jobs, have huge loads of student debt and now with Obamacare, they’ve voted for yet another wealth transfer scheme from young people to old people.

    I can understand youth voting for Obama in 2008. In 2012, if you were a young person who voted for Obama again in 2012, you’re a dumb as a sack of rocks, not based on any of the ‘wedge issue’ points in the campaign, but purely on your own economic self-interest. You voted to screw yourselves out of more money than you’re likely to ever be able to quantify, due to your abysmal lack of mathematical skills, which I see constantly when trying to explain financial issues (much less social issue stats) to young people.

    This is the sort of political ignorance that makes me say “Yea, let’s attract a bunch of young people for their not terribly well thought-out political positions… that’ll make a difference, but probably not the difference that we want.”

    There’s a reason why political pro’s work very hard to attract older voters. Older voters take their voting rights and the issues therein much more seriously, they put more money, time and effort into political campaigns and they do things like go to congressional town hall meetings, candidate meet-n-greets, etc. Young voters make for great eye candy, but let’s cut to the chase: they’re gullible and lazy when the rubber meets the road. All political pro’s will tell you this behind closed doors. All of them, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican, will tell you the brutal truth about the “youth vote.” Talk to a few of these political professionals and you’ll see how cynical they are about “the youth vote.” Think I was uncharitable about the “youth vote” above? Pfah. You ain’t see cynicism until you’ve talked with a political consultant on the subject of “the youth vote.” It isn’t pretty, but they’ve got the hard numbers to back it up.

    1,000 OFWG’s who pay attention to the issues and politicians, who write letters, make campaign donations, sit in Congressional town hall meetings, go to primary election events, etc are worth 10,000 (or more) kids with their silly Twitter account activism.

  85. I think the conversation needs to stop being framed in a “Left” vs “Right” dichtomy, because it doesn’t really make any sense. It’s really about statism vs liberty. That’s the only way the gun control debate makes any sense when included in the broader context. If we want gun rights to expand in the 21st Century, we’ve got to marry them to all other rights. Keeping the government out of our gun safes has to be synonymous with keeping them out of our emails, bedrooms and every outher facet of our private lives. And we can’t be afraid to attack anti-gunners who happen to have an (R) next to their name. There’s a reason statist Republicans tend to also be wishy washy on gun rights; when you take the position that the government involvement is typically good, and has a good outcome, it makes sense to have government maintain a monopoly on violence. Gun control simply meshes well the the trust that statists put in government control.

    THAT is why Democrats are (typically) more anti-gun than Republicans; they’re usually stronger statists. This topic really has little to do with image or milority of female outeach programs, IMO. You have to break the reliance on statism and I’m sad to say, but until this younger generation, minorities and females get really, really burned by the government I doubt that’s going to happen. Right now the government is painted as their protector in ending (government mandated, ironically) segregation, Jim Crow and enacting affirmative action programs. The best thing IMO that has happened against the statist mindset in the last 20 years has been the NSA scandals. If the pro gun community can marry the issue of gun control with that, and the oppressive nature or government regulation of private lives in general, I think there’s some real golden opportunities ahead.

    • That’s right. Here in IL we have a lot of Democrats but a lot of them are more classic Liberals than Progressives and are not statists.

      These are the folks we surely should be recruiting for the fight; example here in IL our recent CCW legislation was championed and passed by a core group of Democratic congress-people.

      Democrats they may be but Statist/Progressives they are not.

  86. Any one who thinks supporting “pro-gun Democrats (they do exist) such as Mark Begich of Alaska” better look at his record closer. Senator Begich will say and do anything to get reelected. Look at his record of supporting Harry Reid and President Obama you will find him supporting them 97% of the votes. What limited actions he has taken in support of firearms owners is quickly negated and no justifiable reason to support him EVER!

  87. “Third: Wayne LaPierre. It’s time for him to go, or at least not be the public face of the NRA. He just isn’t an effective spokesman. He’s our Michael Bloomberg.
    Fourth: Ditto Ted Nugent.”

    These right here.

    Plenty of right wing conservatives here make a great argument for why they want the NRA to stay a socially and economically conservative right wing organization. Fine, go for it.

    But, given the age of this demographic, I really hope the senile OWFGs don’t drag down gun rights with them. And everybody complaining about the youth vote had better realize quick that the 20 year old today that you look down on at 40 will be the 50 year old running the country when you’re 70 and in a nursing home or a Walmart greeter.

    I don’t think Democrats should be supported, or Republicans, because they’re both authoritarian crony capitalist parties.

    I do think we’d all be wise, as gun owners, to do everything we can at the personal and the policy levels to separate gun ownership from politics. It should be considered a right and necessary for self defense, not a political privilege or football used to manipulate us into voting.

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