“2014 was a banner year for the Second Amendment,” thefederalist.com proclaims, “at least if we are to judge it by the collapse of the gun-control movement as a serious voice in political society.” Roger that. But not if you judge the year by mainstream media coverage. Firearms freedom continued to take a drubbing at the hands of left-leaning news journos, who continue to bash the NRA as if America’s oldest civil rights group advocated barbecuing puppies. Thanks to the NRA’s no-to-low PR profile, the gun owners’ champion is getting pummeled without lifting a glove in its own defense. Even on the Internet, the NRA’s footprint is relatively minuscule; americanrifleman.com has 3X fewer unique readers than TTAG. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. It’s time for the NRA to get into the game, to score some major points in the court of public opinion.

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139 Responses to The NRA Is Losing The PR War

  1. I’ve long said the pro-2A movement has to really get on the ball with engaging people via new media/social media. The traditional demographic of gun owners (OFWGs) is, yes, getting old and dying. The children nowadays and the Millenials as well, are dangerously anti-gun and statist. We gotta bring our message to them, but on their channels. The NRA took a step in the right direction with NRA Freestyle (Noir, etc…) but more needs to be done, and also the manufacturers/suppliers/industry-as-a-whole needs to get in on the game hardcore.

    • Bullshit the current generation is “dangerously anti-gun and statist”. Speaking as a politically active 19 year old who loves a good debate with those of differing political views, you’re dead wrong. My age groups leans pretty heavily libertarian; so many of is are as disillusioned as anybody with the government. The stereotype of young people as super liberal doesn’t seem to apply to us.

      • Agreed.

        I consider myself closer to the libertarian spectrum than any other. I am /strongly/ pro 2nd amendment. My family thinks I am liberal, though because I am pro choice and pro gay marriage.

        The number of people in the US who are for gun control is at an all time low. Guess what, OFWGs? This is because younger people are into shooting. Quite a few of them got into it by playing the same video games that LaPierre demonized.

        In another 20 years, opposition to gay marriage won’t even be a party talking point anymore. What some older people label as “liberal” and “conservative” is about 30 years out of date.

        The fact is that just like politics, the NRA needs to divest itself of all the walking corpses leading it (seriously, LaPierre looks like death warmed over) and get a few leaders who actually know how the internet works.

        All these “fresh” and “hip” moves/shows I’ve been seeing the NRA produce lately are just further proof of how out of touch the organization is.

        • Fantastic comment. I suggest everyone flood the NRA website with links to this page.
          Then they may get a clue.

        • 22 pro-life, pro-traditional marriage. Other than that pretty basically libertarian so thes issues will probably remain.

        • In another 20 years, opposition to gay marriage won’t even be a party talking point anymore.

          It may not be a party talking point but it still will be a societal flash point just like abortion. There will be all the repercussions of gay marriage that the oh-so-super-smart millennials ignored that will be tearing at our national fabric (e.g. lawsuits against bakers and photographers, forced gay marriages at churches, polygamous and incestuous marriages, etc).

        • @Doesky2

          I never said it won’t bother some people still. Interracial marriage bothers some people still. But either political party being against it will be a death knell just like the interracial marriage issue ended up being in the past.

          As for the rest of what you said… LMAO!

          The divorce rate is 50%. Marriage is already a joke and has been for some time. Just admit you think the idea of two dudes doing it is gross. I’ll own it. I do. It makes me shudder to even imagine it.

          But you know what, I am a constitutionalist and I believe in freedom. To me, this means unless marriage is totally separated from the contract that makes people family in the eyes of the state (which I wish would happen), gay people should have the exact same rights and legal options that straight people do.

          Right now, this relatively simple process is called “marriage”.

        • You do realize that gays have always had a legal right to enter into marriage, right? This issue has never been about rights. It has always been about what is and its not marriage.

          A man can not marry another man because such a union is by defenition something other than marriage. It had never been about permission.

          The gay marriage movement has been the logical equivalent of trying to legislate that pi=3.

          Oh, and half of marriages do not end in divorce, it’s a far smaller percentage.

        • You sound like me. I call that “pro freedom”, which could equally be known as “anti control”, but who wants to be “anti” anything, Pro sounds better. That’s why we have people calling themselves “pro life”, for example. Everybody is pro life, what makes them different is they are anti-choice, pro control over other people’s business. My guns don’t hurt you, and are a guaranteed right under the constitution, why the need to control my ownership of them? Why would two people getting married be any business of yours, whatsoever. Hell, why would THREE people getting married be your concern?

        • @LarryinTx, no…..if you are pro-choice, you are not pro-life. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

        • Actually, pro-life people are pro-choice. Every time you decide to commit an act which has one primary purpose, procreation, you are making that choice. We are also pro-responsibility, one should understand the responsibility that comes with committing such acts. Murder is such an ugly term, so let’s redefine the unborn as non-human so we can avoid that term, right?

        • Marcus, the claim that you can manufacture a marriage by contract is not just wrong, it is a carefully contrived myth. In a 15 minute civil ceremony which involves no deities at all and disturbs no fantasyland churches, any man and woman can accomplish a single document which entitles them to all manner of benefits from government and private businesses, many of which can be duplicated at great expense, and some of which not at all. Because of the superstitious whiners, I agree completely that the correct answer should be to separate the “marriage” from the benefits, and leave marriage a totally useless vestige of the past, and call the binding agreement which brings all the benefits something else completely. Although very quickly after that happened, I would move toward eliminating all the free goodies completely, why should single people be treated as second class citizens. Part of my version of libertarian is the idea that any, and I mean ANY benefit granted by government should be available equally to ALL citizens.

          And, El Mac, I get to decide what I am, not you. I am pro-choice and pro-life. You are clearly anti-choice. Now back into your hole.

        • The point being made is that it is the definition of marriage that is the sticking point. Any man, of any sexual orientation, can marry a woman. Any woman can marry a man. Granted, certain stipulations exist (age, familial relationships, prior marriages, etc), but they apply equally. Now do you understand why it is the “definition of marriage act”?

        • I think you are referring to the “defense of marriage” act, no? But of course you feel free to pretend it is something different if it suits your purposes. Well, try this; that was passed by Congress (and recently), and can be repealed by Congress, pretending there is some “definition” which is written in stone somewhere is simply juvenile. Marriage today is defined as getting to file a joint return, (saving money), and claiming insurance benefits for your live-in partner (of whatever gender), (saving money), promising/claiming shared income, participating in medical decisions, and about a thousand more, absolutely none of which have anything to do with which is of what gender. WHY do you insist on controlling someone else’s life? WTF is it to YOU? Do you want to marry one of those gays, so it is costing you a potential mate? The whole fuss is simply a desire to control other people, why not get over it, and vote for differences that actually matter?

        • Touche’ on “defense of marriage”. However, marriage is defined as between opposite sexes. Trying to change that is exerting control, just as opposing that change is an exertion of control.
          It seems the control freaks would be the 1 or 2 percent who are pressuring the severe majority to yield to their wishes.
          Why do you lock your doors….trying to control others from entering your home?

        • @Larry

          You just can’t get through the cognitive dissonance some people use as a crutch. It is literally like arguing with an anti gunner.

          To everyone else, perhaps I can explain it better like this: the definition is irrelevant.

          Marriage both the word and the act stopped becoming a religious thing as soon as the state got involved. Right now, the state is treating people as second class citizens due to sexual preference and that is wrong. Even some gays would prefer that their “marriage” would be called something different, but that is the name of the legally binding process right now in all 50 states.

          This isn’t about people trying to shove morality down your throats. It’s about the same benefits being available for all Americans across the board.

          And yes, I do believe polygamous marriages should be legal too. I think like Larry said above, marriage laws in the US are largely stupid and make single people second class citizens, especially if you happen to be a soldier.

          So not only should marriage stop being barred from multiple adult relationships, but polygamous marriage could be a really clever way to get around silly government regulation, kind of like trusts are for NFA laws. 🙂

        • Apparently you are the one suffering from dissonance in your cognition. A need to resort to semantics to hide from the truth is indicative of such.
          1 U.S. Code § 7 – Definition of “marriage” and “spouse”
          In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

          Notice, anyone is free to make oneself party to such a situation. No restriction based on sexual preference.

        • @TheBear, yeah man. And don’t forget beastiality and paedophilia too. No reason why marriage should be limited to those of “legal” age. Afterall, that’s just a societal judgement call. A dude wants to marry his dog and get tax breaks and medical benefits….what’s wrong with that? Dude wants to marry his 9 year old adopted daughter and break her in right, what’s wrong wiith that? They both would stand to benefit from a State point of view. Yeah?

        • @El Mac

          Children nor animals can consent. You are sounding more and more like an anti gunner for any issue that doesn’t pertain to basic gun rights.

          Straw man arguments and hysteria are typically the go-to ground of the left, so I don’t understand why with this issue so many people who profess to hate “liberals” try to sound just like them.

          Actually, I do know. Religion.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/08/so-you-say-you-dont-hate-gay-people-part-iv.html

        • That link is pretty off-base. As are you. Exactly what you are claiming isn’t a natural next step is exactly what is being pushed for as we speak. Wasn’t the NAMBLA member in the Obama administration an education secretary? Professors for Pedophilia? Nah, they would never go there…oops, maybe they will. Google it!

        • And just like an antigunner you’re afraid to debate.

          You do know that writing one sentence about how awesome you are and how wrong I am doesn’t make it true, right? Throwing in some name calling (exactly like liberals and antigunners do) doesn’t help either.

          Let me give it a shot just to make sure:

          “TheBear is a billionaire…poopyhead!” I am going to check my account balance now… damn.

          I was right after all.

      • “Speaking as a politically active 19 year old who loves a good debate with those of differing political views, you’re dead wrong.” Sure sounds like you are a super liberal to me. To say you are up for a good debate and then tell someone they are dead wrong with no facts to back it up. Many of the colleges and universities across the country these days are not just about academics. The liberal and progressive ideologies are being implemented into every aspect of the education.. I think the college educated liberal millenials outnumber the college educated libertarian leaning millenials. Of course that doesnt take into account the many “disillusioned” ones that you account for.

    • Have to go with Ralph. The mainstream media is bleeding away credibility at a rate which will soon leave it, metaphorically, completely desanguinated. The “Moms’ ” phony “victories” with Panera and Starbucks and Target ran into a brick wall with “Kroger” written on it, what passes for ‘thoughtful” voices in the gun-grabber punditry are calling for re-thinking the whole campaign, and the rest are doing what they always do–screaming about the streets being awash with blood and the NRA boogieman they insist is under the bed is behind it all–and overall, it is having as little effect as it always had. The NRA needs to keep doing what it is doing, altho there may some question as to whether they should be doing more of it.

  2. (Full disclosure: longtime NRA member and currently Patron level). Wayne LaPierre has been out front and center in the past on this stuff and the most visible and probably hard-hitting episode was right after the CT slaughter by the maniacal teen butcher. This may or may not have chilled the NRA’s PR plans immediately thereafter based on the MSM reactions, all too predictable anyway. I completely agree with Robert’s assessment and maybe those of us NRA members ought to be communicating this to Mr. LaPierre and the current board of directors accordingly; I’m ginning up a note right now, in fact. They may also need to take a good look at bringing on board and/or educating some contemporary media-savvy PR people for their sites while also keeping at the tee-vee audiences that haven’t yet moved over totally to the net.

    • +1

      “They may also need to take a good look at bringing on board and/or educating some contemporary media-savvy PR people for their sites”

      +10

      • Shannon Watts Might bee available soon. Her resume use pretty good, she used to work for Monsanto, and under Michael Bloomberg.

  3. The American Rifleman website has a low readership in relation to TTAG because of it’s low content. I check it out about once a week and rarely spend more than a few minutes there.

  4. Agree completely. The NRA (and I am a card-carrying member so I have the right to criticize) is letting us down PR-wise and that will eventually lose us the war. I think the NRA has become another bloated lobbying group that exists to pay its leaders big salaries. The 2A Foundation is doing the good legal fight and it is the state organizations like the VCDL here in VA who are doing the street-level activism. The VCDL is a painful and immediate thorn in the side of any VA government official who steps out of line with regards to gun freedoms. Ironically, the NRA tends to ignore the VCDL and does not extend them the barest cooperation.

    I think we need to make the NRA what it needs to be or start a new national organization, before it’s too late. This organization would:
    > Be a painful and immediate thorn in the side of any Federal government official who steps out of line with regards to gun freedoms – I think the NRA used to be this, but not as much anymore
    > Help organize and support the state organizations.
    > Be the client behind a top-notch, national PR campaign

    • If folks refuse to renew membership , just once , and TELL the NRA why they are not happy
      it may get their attention. How much more positive press could be put out on air if the board of directors took a 40% pay cut ? Or sold some assets ? I think a good alternative is
      Gun Owners of America , very proactive , consider them this year. Counter the Spin.

      • GOA spent all their money fundraising with bug scary titles on their envelopes saying “THE UN IS COMING FOR YOUR GUNS!” – which everyone knows is untrue.

        If you have to lie to fundraise, you don’t deserve a penny.

        • Our own Secretary of State , John Kerry signed the treaty as a symbolic gesture.
          I would require 2/3 ratification to become Law. After the GOP back-stab bait and switch
          post election , they may just try it. For now the effect will be to curtail imports from other countries. To ignore this wont help.

        • Edit to U.N. Treaty comment. See also State Department Publication # 7277. Plan for
          general and complete civilian disarmament. It is several years old, but still there .

  5. As Ben Shapiro says: When you’re on Defense, you’re losing. The NRA has a stronger position by not defending itself. However it could do a better job going on Offense.

    • Maybe the game here is to not give the grabbers anything to twist. Knowing the majority of the public does not get anything in the way of information from gun friendly info sources, knowing the MSN will warp any pro-gun pronouncement, perhaps the NRA is working a strategy vs. a tactic. The strategy is perhaps to depend almost exclusively on schmoozing the right lawmakers (or maybe the wrong ones if they can be horse-traded with), where the actual protection of gun-rights takes place. No one ever lost money underestimating the public, so here we may have a scenario where NRA realizes the public is largely low-information (read ‘easy information’, and cannot be reached thru public outlets. Let the pundits, idiots, simpletons, cluless (ah, but i am repeating myuself) rage, legislation is the safekeeper.

      • I don’t think the NRA, or anyone else, has a done a good job with legislation lately. The real winner have been the 2A Foundation in the courts.

        But back to the PR point, I think that is an understandable reaction to the bad PR job the NRA has been doing. They come out with these reactionary, insensitive statements, that even though they may have merit are the wrong thing to say at the wrong time. And that is what they get blasted for. And rhetoric is not the answer anyway. Action is.

        A more subtle approach is needed. I can remember back in the day the group of gun owners that were most vilified were hunters. Gun ownership for defense was not even on the national radar. Hunters were the bloodthirsty bastards. Protestations of the “right to hunt” (not a Constitutional right, but a basic right) and outdoor sportsmanship fell of deaf ears. What the hunters did, and it took a long time, was to get out front on conservation. Now hunters are like the “good gun owners” to the antis.

        So what is our issue? I’d let a professional PR firm figure that out, but just guessing I think it would be positive alternatives to controlling gun violence that don’t involve gun control. We already talk about that, but we don’t do it effectively. I can see gun owners getting out in the community and doing a whole range of visible things. Training teachers to use guns, for free, as a public service, starting at the few schools who would allow it. That would get publicized and it would grow. Expanding programs like Eddie the Eagle to teach kids about guns. Right now the only kids who get Eddie are kids already in gun families. Eddie needs a Saturday morning cartoon show, one that is good enough to keep kids’ attention. That’s just two ideas.

        But the way to fight bad PR is never with no PR. It is with good PR.

      • This is it exactly. Knowing that the truth doesn’t always prevail, that the ones controlling the flow of news also control how it is spun for perception, is paramount. One need only look to our own pages here to see how many “conservative gun owners who support the 2A” have fallen for the same lies repeated often enough.

        Sometimes, anything you say can and will be used against you. Let the moment subside and counter when cooler heads can prevail.

    • …….Benjamin , the line is faltering !!! WAIT….. NO RETREAT NO RETREAT !!!

      To say the NRA should stay quiet because words will be twisted by media is to give up without even a fight to a petty – bully -wanna – be. When anti’s lie , as they will , use it against them in an all out PR Blitz. Positive Repetition , and exposing lies will win the day
      I for one do not hold my breath waiting on the NRA , the past 30 years are littered with their screw – ups and missed opportunities. I-594 is just the latest. If they will not fight , they will cease to be.

  6. its very hard to overcome the parading of children by a bunch of leftist a-holes who call us “baby killers”

    Couple that with the wave of idiots that now make up the “American People”… And I’m at a loss for an idea.

    • You are full of shit. The statistics of how many people in the US support gun control is at an all time low.

      People are not as stupid as you think (just lazy), and you are not a martyr.

      • So the number of people supporting gun control is at an all-time low, and the NRA is losing the PR war because they are a bunch of old conservative fuddy-duddies. I think I’ve got it, thanks for clearing that up…

        • What’s the NRA membership like, buddy?

          I’m pretty much rabidly pro gun and I just can’t find it within myself to give to an organization whose go-to move after Sandy Hook was blaming video games.

          There are an /awful/ lot of people like me.

          Let’s try to remember that correlation does not imply causality.

        • If I’m not mistaken, the NRA membership is like, the biggest of any pro-gun organization in the country, buddy. They aren’t the uber-invicible boogie man of the gun-grabber’s fever dreams, but they still swing a lot of clout, and do a lot to promote the cause of gun ownership in America. Answering back to every wild accusation by the grabbers just isn’t one of those things. And BTW, their other go-to response to Sandy Hook was to suggest different ways of getting armed “good guys” onto the school grounds–which is what I see happening in my neck of the woods.

        • Yeah but in LaPierre’s first appearance after the shooting he also said some retarded old guy stuff about video games.

          I was an NRA member to that point. I have not renewed since.

        • My money, my rules.

          I won’t give a cent until the NRA stops being run by dinosaurs who probably think tumblr is a new model of Toyota.

        • @ElMac Your one sentence snarky replies have truly shown me the error of my ways.

          See, I can do it too.

  7. The gen Xers who support gun rights today got a heavy dose of “gun control is BS” in the 90’s. That is translating into heavy support among independents. See, you don’t have to convince youngsters right away; you can simply parrot a few slogans (guns don’t kill people, etc.) and even if they laugh at you now, just give them 10-20 years to grow up and there’s a good chance their lying eyes will eventually convince them it was all true. I know that’s how I came around, and I’m convinced that’s how we came to enjoy %50+ support for modern gun rights.

    • Guns don’t kill people mostly just unicorn dreaming liberals and their progeny kill small children but it’s to raise awawareness of the dangers of guns that they do it….

    • That “heavy dose of ‘gun control is BS'” was given to us courtesy of Bill Clinton, who promised how wonderful the world would become if only we outlawed a made-up definition of certain guns. Those who grew up with that observed that it did absolutely nothing, positive or otherwise, and have approached other promises with a bit more skepticism. Onumba answered Sandy Hook with a call for UBC, when a moron could see it would have made no difference at all unless he was whispering in their ear that it would enable him to confiscate every gun in the world.

  8. Looking at the polling on the general public’s lack of acceptance of gun control, lack of voter priority of gun control in political campaigns, increased NRA membership… I see things as moving slowly, but steadily in the NRA’s favor.

    The PR perception is for those who live and die by popular media. The NRA doesn’t. They know they’re hated by the media. Their formula is winning in the long term, and has been since the defeats on AW and Brady in the early 90’s.

    • Thanks, Dys. One observation from military service, and working with smal to large corps in another life, including product promotion:

      There’s insights about the strategic plan that you dont know, wont understand as the O2 doing the tactics, or the sales guy selling the C-suite a product, until you are at flag level yourself, or in this case, the Board.

      Conversely, any Flag level or CEO not intensely and pointed seeking ground truth and pattern recognition, will be beaten, by the competition.

      The upside/downside change in fortunes is highest, in time of great change.
      I hope the NRA Board is not restng on their laurels, having been a little slow to respond, well, post Newton.
      The opposition is surely not, and they are on the march.
      Check Six, gents.

    • I agree, and part of the apparent plan is to avoid being the shrill idiots the antis are. Making a calm answer to Shannon and her screaming ilk carries a lot of weight with the sensible.

  9. One way I guess would be to be just as radical as the antis.

    One of the NRA’s biggest weaknesses is trying to come off as “reasonable” which angers a lot of members (like me) when they come out in support of just awful legislation and say stuff such as “we need to focus on mental healt” etc. etc. etc.

    I know many here will disagree with me but if you want freedom, we as a society will have to take risks that bad people will abuse it. You want firearms freedom? We And the NRA should go for broke, advocate “radical” ideas as repealing the NFA and advocating for constitutional carry.

    The NRA should make this about freedom. Make the antis expose themselves for the police state, jerks that they are.

    You have to accept that bad people will have guns, that there will be “machine guns” on the street. And if Americans can’t handle that, then they should move back to Europe.

    There are already laws against murder, assault, robbery, rape, etc. All more laws do is strangle the citizenry.

    But we already know this.

    And apologies for the rant, but I’m half asleep right now.

    • That’s not a bad rant. Shortening, the NRA should continue pounding the concept that “freedom isn’t free”, some risks are part of the equation, and have a list of countries where that would not be a problem ready if its requested.

  10. I was born in the late 80’s and from what I can gather from the people in my generation is they aren’t anti-gun but they have fallen for the myths that surround firearms. They tend to believe in more strict regulation because it “makes sense”. I think this is where we can win. My generation is not stupid. We tend to believe factual things when they are presented to us.

    If we can somehow smash the stupid myths behind firearms they will come to our side. I think the horrible economy has exposed them to living in dangerous neighborhoods, they know what is at stake and they certainly don’t oppose using a firearm to defend themselves. Let’s target young adults and convince them with truth and fact, not with outrageous lies and exaggeration as the grabbers need to do.

    If we do this correctly we won’t need the NRA. Hell I’ve been thinking about joining the GOA myself, they’re a much better yet underfunded organization in my opinion.

    • Yes, and trust in the government is lower than usual right now, and a lot of young folks I know are leaning libertarianish.

    • One of those myths that need smashing is that we don’t have ENOUGH gun control laws. If the average American voter knew just the info that RF put out here after the cop shooting in NYC, how many different laws the man broke in how many different states, over how long a time, any incentive toward additional gun control would disappear for a long time. But the media continues to hawk the moronic idea that we are the wild west, there is no gun control at all, just like that idiotic TV show during the push for the “assault weapon” fiasco in the ’90s which continuously depicted “assault weapons” with a video of several people firing select fire guns full auto. They were told, threatened with a lawsuit, apologized on-air, and then did it again and again. It was not ignorance, it was a lie.

  11. The NRA needs to do more on the state level.I think the ball drop on Washington’s I594 was an error. The anti’s seem to have no problem using out of state funds to overwhelm local grassroots resistance.

    On a personal level, we need to be the ambassadors of gun culture. Take a 20 something to the range. I have a two kids that work at the local coffee shop going with me in about a month. They had never been shooting.

  12. I’m sorry Robert, but you’re off base here. What you don’t seem to understand is the absolute irrelevance of the MSM these days. People do not trust, let alone listen to or watch, the MSM. The Pew poll everyone’s talking about is a testament to this. That poll was important because it showed that we (the pro gun folk) didn’t just convince fence sitters to come to our side… Since Newtown we have gained support in EVERY SINGLE MAJOR DEMOGRAPHIC. Every race, sex, gender identity and political affiliation is more pro gun than it was a year ago. This type of crap may have had an effect in the early 90’s, when people trusted the MSM, the internet was in it’s infancy and there was massive amounts of crime. But in today’s world, with limitless information at the hands of every man woman and child, a distrust in every major institution (including the MSM) and crime rates that have fallen dramatically, the anti’s megaphone has been drowned out by everyone else’s megaphones. And those megaphones have consistently told them to go pound sand.

      • The main gun store/firing range I have used for the past 20 years, usually no more than half full, for the last year or two you cannot even find a parking place, there is usually a waiting list for range time, and the building is a sea of young faces, sometimes children. Trading out rental guns to determine which gun of a particular caliber is to be purchased. Amazing.

  13. If the NRA wants to be a punching bag, move your support to more active interest groups.

    I agree with their policy to not capitalize on national tragedies but they need to start calling out the biased news coming from morally corrupt media sources.

    • They have–at least on occasion. The much-maligned Wayne LaP smacked then-respected CNN down on one of their own Sunday shows, forcing them to essentially (altho they never came out and admitted it) retract a “report” they had done a couple of days earlier. That was years ago, have no personal knowledge if they have done such a thing again but I wouldn’t be surprised. The trick was, they invited W LaP themselves, he just crossed them up by going off-script.

  14. The NRA is massively outgunned, pardon the pun. But as is, with TPTB looking to disarm the serfs, the NRA has no chance against the same people who create money from nothing.

  15. Would not judge NRA by what Frontline portrays, it is PBS after all. Mostly watched by aging boomer left leaning democrats but supported by tax payers. At gun ranges see a lot of young people and more women. Going to Open Carry Texas Empty Holster Rally at State Capital Sunday 1/25/2015 starting at 10:00 am – will report back on demographics afterwards. If anyone from TTAG attends come over and say Hi, will be grey haired woman wearing mahogany holster with large black bear claw craved into it & wearing a pink A Girl & A Gun T-shirt

      • Unfortunately just learned that event was cancelled, They have an event on Monday 26th. but that’s lobbying legislators, I’m taking a pass on that. Not very chatty with politicians

        • Keep us informed. I live in Austin and I’m retired, can usually make such a demo on short notice. And have a holster, though not as nice as yours sounds.

    • Exactly true.

      If you watch the US news media, you’d think that 20% (1-in-5) women on American college campuses have been or will be raped during their four years on campus.

      If you watch the US news media, you’ll think that global warming is the single largest immediate problem for the political class to “solve.”

      If you watch the US news media, you’d think that Obamacare has been a success and suddenly everyone in the US has medical insurance.

      And on and on and on.

      • And, if I might add, there are two strategies, short-term:

        Stay out of the agitprop war, knowing that the enemy is committing suicide by lying to the LIVs, losing the real voters, and consumers of your product… so a fade, while maintaing contact is best…

        And, go around them, while they are distracted, using alternative channels.

        In both cases, when playing chess, you dont discuss your moves with the peanut gallery…

      • One in five women raped during their time in college? Ridiculous. One in five who would have said “no” if they had not been drunk? More realistic. It’s a fine line, I know!

  16. What we have here is a failure of marketing.

    Think about it-unlike virtually every other consumer good sold, a handgun can be actively used to save its owner from immediate death. That’s pretty awesome, and something no iPhone owner can claim. The best a phone can do is call 911 for post incident documentation.
    Why is that message NOT in the mainstream? Because the word on the airwaves and in Hollywood is still ‘guns are bad’.

    What we need is to get pro-gun movie and TV productions in play. Rambo doesn’t count, because that’s just passive use of firearms as a prop piece. What we need is media depicting the truth; ordinary people taking down thugs with store bought munitions. The NRA should be making calls to Netflix, to any studio they can, getting consultants and people together for pro gun media. If all we do is sit on defense, the noise will win by default.

  17. i stopped supporting wttw when pbs began airing advertisements. now with this butt- yang they can go kick rocks.

  18. I could do without the NRA calling me up for more donations and sending me tons of junk mail. I get it, donations help, but my membership was all I could afford this year after a career change. The junk mail? What is the cost to benefit ratio, Wayne?

    • You can call them and request a stop to all fundraising requests. They’ll happily do it for you, at least until your next donation, which puts you back on the donor list.

      I tear up the mail, and the rare robocalls are annoying, but its not nearly enough to make me stop fighting for my rights.

    • nah. You are not winning until you take the battle into enemy territory and win – now, cities and urban areas.

      • Wow. That put into my head an image of the battle of Stalingrad, but instead of fighting with rifles and SMGs, it was people screaming alternating points in favour of gun control and then gun rights as they try to take ground through apartment kitchens and hallways.

  19. The NRA has allowed drug dealers and criminals to define firearms rights for minorities. They have let progressives shame minorities into hiding their ownership rather than defending their rights. Unfortunate that the NRA (and the GOP) is stuck in the 1980s.

  20. First they came for the Tommy Gun , I said nothing.
    Then they came for ” cheap ” guns. I said nothing.
    Then it was Black Rifles — then all Shotguns and Revolvers.
    But at least I still have my 22 , for now !

  21. The time is now to strike back against the anti-gunners. We should be going for constitutional carry (without permits), clarification and fixing the interstate travel laws including serious penalties for law enforcement that violates those laws, a form of constitutional (or standardized) castle doctrine, some kind of liability for the negative effects of gun control laws(if you voted for gun free zones in schools and a school is attacked with nobody allowed to protect, you go to prison, period), and other things such as repealing NFA, GCA, etc… As a patron life member (my wife is a life member), I feel like I have no voice at all in the NRA and that is why I’m looking into GOA and SAF. We’ll still give money to the NRA but it is falling further and further behind the times. The silence is a giant tactical mistake. The NRA needs to go for some of these things in a very public way. It’s time to fight back.

  22. I’m a lifetime NRA member but…

    The NRA has no interest in winning, only playing the game for as long as it possibly can. It needs both wins and loses to attract and maintain membership and thus keep the wheels of the machine greased.

    They also won’t counter the bad PR because its free publicity and helps them generate more money. It helps maintain the perfect balance of “Look they hate us we must fight so send us money” and “Hey look we won here so lets keep the pressure on by sending us money”. It’s a perfect business model that generates income in both a pro or anti gun market.

    In the end the NRA won’t win the war because it’s in their best interest as an organization to allow it to drag on ad infinitum.

  23. Let the proof be in the results!
    Whether we talk about guns or the NRA, If they do not do what we expect, then lets walk away with our, money, legs, or ballots!

  24. Great article, Rf, as you raise some valid questions.

    I’m even more impressed with the comments, as there are valid points of view and insight by the NRA to be gleaned here by both their own end-users (some satisfied, some not) and new prospects.

    I notice that the NRA does put out a ton of good content. I’m surprised at that probably because I myself have shifted so much from paper to digital, in a 40 year span as avid newreader. So I am surprised at what good stuff NRA does put out, on paper, and its slow hut steady evolution into digital, only because I dont find links to it as often as al the other stuff I see being pushed at conservative sites, and the hollyweirder ones on the left.

    Those blogs and news sites could be distrbuting leads to that great inhouse NRA content by more ads in the blogosphere. I’m guessing NRA has considered it, but imho could be doing more push marketing, and deliberate propagation, via social media,in the “horizontal integration of grassroots” lesson learned of the CCW movemet, as described in The Rise of the Antimedia. Why does it take someone like RF with a lot more experience to bring this up, here? NRA you should be paying seroius hard dollar consulting fees, to Farago, and beta testing campaigns here, at least, as one outside, if not many, outside entities, to get more eyeballs coming in to NRA inhouse.

    All that good content NRA has made, is a gold mine, but I am constantly amazed at relatively low views on youtube, for example, and the outstanding reporting by Ginny, the Cam radio show, the hard work of the NRA-ILA is not as well appreciated as it might be in the sites I read, but I notice when longtime members who know better point it iut, the complainers dont have a good comeback….

    So I put that down to ignorance, which is the big opportunity of the NRA to do more, to reach those younger and receptive eyeballs, beyond the traditional mail and direct call that they have honed, but is losing effectiveness due to Do Not Call and new generation shift to online. How much would it cost to buy a small permanent ad on everyone of the top 100 gunblogs? And a twitter or email update to new content, at NRA website? Content is king, and freshness counts, so thats a no-brainer, to me.

    There is a big demographic on Fox, and those are voters that get it. I see dozens of cialis ads, and AARP, but cant recall last time I saw NRA there, even for brand recognition. Why not? All those great spokespeople of diverse background are great in the videos, and in NRA already member channels, but all are star worthy all by themselves, too. Why isnt Cheng, Noir, and the SportShooting women promoted heavily, right now, simply as role models, when the left has put so much free energy into the SJW, racist cop, transgender this or that issue de jour, when simply by example they are such naturals to speak to independents lookong for another voice? They dont even have to chalenge the progtards cridis of the moment, jusg be out there, where someone will click on them.

    NRA I think you need some hipster PR ideas, to try out…

    Last but not least, fix your websites…god they are clunky, slow, and not well integrated. You may know the difference between NRA-ILA and NRA but I could care less, and having to figure which is which, and find lost or broken linked stuff of immense value, lke lessons learned in all the great legal and political work is a needle in haystack…

    • The NRA could do better with their media, however they are at a disadvantage with PBS, NPR and their umbrella corporation, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). CPB received 445 million dollars in fiscal year 2014, which is only 15.5% of their operating budget of roughly 2.8 Billion dollars.

      Compare that to the NRA with operating expenses of 254 million as of 2012.

      I would suggest that the NRA is not the Goliath in this situation it is the David.

      • Well, don’t get your hopes up, the NRA can never win that comparison. Remember, the NRA asks for money, the .gov takes it at the point of a gun.

    • I have been saying this for the past two years, and you are exactly right, the NRA sucks at marketing itself. They desperately need to change that, by getting a marketing expert on board, because I don’t really know anything about marketing, but even I can see some major ways they could improve their effectiveness in their reach. Look at their YouTube channel Most of the videos have around 2-6 thousand views. Now compare that to let’s say Hickok45, pretty much all his videos have 100,000 views within a week. You have a huge organization being out performed by what is essentially a senior citizen just shooting in his back yard with his son recording it with a very basic camera.

      If it was up to me some changes I would make would be consolidate their presence on the web a bit. For example On YouTube they have both an NRA channel and an NRA News Channel, and there are a lot of videos that are uploaded to both channels. Because how YouTube works (the more views/likes a video gets, the more visible that video becomes increasing the likely hood more people will see it and watch.) the same video uploaded on separate channels end up cannibalizing each other’s views and therefore don’t become more visible. Second you have their multiple websites that they run, again consolidate. Have a one place stop for everything on an easy to view and navigate website. Third, personally I would probably use YouTube for all their video hosting, because while I understand the appeal of having complete control over the videos, but you are missing out on the ability to really reach out to those that normally would not be on your main sites. Fourth, more shows like Noir, at least three with a weekly release schedule and make sure to have something fill that show’s weekly spot in between seasons and breaks. Fifth, more advertising, both on TV and all over the internet. Not just the standard Join the NRA advertisements either (which I have recently started seeing on YouTube, so that is a good sign they may be moving in the right direction), but other content that they put up. My sixth and last major thing I would change (which Colin Noir touched on already in his show) is make shooting competitions more fun to watch. Colin Noir’s freestyle course did an excellent job of that with a professional camera crew and the commentary. Similar things should be done with filming things like three gun. Hell with the right Camera set up and commentary, you could probably make simple target shooting competitions an on the edge of you seat exciting experience. (picture watching a competition at home and a competitor is about to take his final shot which could either win or lose it for them, High speed cameras were used to record the match so as your watching as they squeeze the trigger everything goes to slow motion, as the firearm fires. it then switches to a shot of the target and you watch the bullet in slow motion as it hits the target for the win or lose.)

  25. Do you know who watches PBS Frontline? Progressives watch PBS Frontline. They are preaching to the converted. It is no different than Robert making a video on The Truth About Guns for the Outdoor Channel.

    • I watch it.

      Despite the likely views of the people who produce the show, and the likely views of its typical viewing audience, it still tends to be one of the more grounded and thoughtful news shows from whatever remains of the dinosaur broadcast media.

      That said, I do find the timing of this particular episode to be interesting…..seems to be a lot of stories being pushed on this topic right now, no?

      • Yep. PBS got the memo.

        There is no current big gun new or 2A rihhts story that explains the wave of StateRunMedia opeds and “serious thinking” navel gazing of PBS, combined with hysterical New Yorker agitprop, thats been trotted out fof the left progtard echo chamber, in an obvious, coordinated collusion with WH and DOJ. Watch, there will be some high minded Executive Action announced, like the immigration distraction from the disastrius current events overseas, and the Ebola debacle.

        My guess around the time the ObamaCare bills start rolling in, as a distraction, and prior to Palmer and Peruta CA appeals, as a form of faux signaling, to activist judges there.

      • You are the exception, not the rule for PBS. It as network run by he left for people of left. And Frontline has run many leftwing propaganda pieces over the years. Do not confuse slick with honest.

  26. You know, I’ve always disliked the NRA for scapegoating video games and the compromises they made. After I bought my first gun, I joined the GOA. I reconsidered that after the NRA slammed down Philadelphia’s assault rifle ban in two weeks, and signed up for a year.

    Now that I live in WA, I’ve seen the piss poor effort they put forth to defeat I-594. Won’t be renewing my membership until they step up and fight bad laws when it’s needed.

    • NRA abandoned States like NJ and Md. 20 years ago. Your State is next , watch out !!

      • @NJ State Pd. Etc, actually, the people of tbise states gave up a long time ago. Unfortunately, the NRA can’t rescue anyone that doesn’t want to be rescued.

  27. There are X number of NRA members in the country. Then there are about ten times that number who own firearms. If more people walked the walk like they talk the talk, maybe the NRA would have, oh, I dunno, maybe ten times more clout and send NPR, the NYT and other assorted media rumpswabs and yellow, ball-less political hacks to the showers. But it’s easier to squawk about their failures to do this or that and then leave out everything else they’ve done for the past half-century. They have their faults but I don’t see anyone else out there even close to going to bat for us like they have and do.

    So by all means, send email and flood their sites with links to this one and the relevant comments; they do, in fact, need to step up their game quite a bit. I don’t buy that it’s a clever biz strategy that is intended to milk us all forever.

  28. Every time someone becomes a gun owner for the first time the 2A gets a little stronger. When over half the country owns a gun the debate will be all but over.

    • Well, we are going to have to figure that out for ourselves, the MSM estimates of gunowners and guns is static, or decreasing, and will remain so. There will be no joyous announcement of the day gunowners are 50% of voters.

  29. NRA member here, and while i won’t be joining the Wayne LaPierre fan club anytime soon, I think a lot of good things have happened – especially with the NRA commentators / news being recruited like Colion Noir, Billy Johnson (Amidst the Noise), Dom Raso, Natalie Foster, Gabby Franco, Austin Weiss, Chris Cheng, etc. I hope more money goes to fund marketing like this, because even many of my non-gun owning friends have told me they’ve found the Amidst the Noise / Colion Noir videos worth viewing.

  30. If you don’t pay attention to your PR or who’s carrying your message, they’ll say all kinds of nonsense and pretend it’s the truth. Many people don’t invest the effort to research things they heard on the television. Over time a lie gains the same weight as a fact.

    Our enemies are good at propaganda. Letting them tell our story is a very dangerous thing.

    I think the NRA needs to get guys like Colion further out onto the public stage. They’ve got to do whatever it takes to dispel the myths anti-guns have built their temple on.

  31. “to score some major points in the court of public opinion.” This will never happen. “media” and the Democrat Party will never allow it. Wishing for it is the same as wishing for fairness and truth in “media” or for Democrats to be pro-America. Ain’t never gonna happen.

  32. As a 30 year member so far of the NRA (Life Member) I agree the observations concerning Wayne’s performance are spot-on. The spokespeople need to be more balanced for all ages and lifestyles. Would like to see more younger voices heard, like Miranda Lambert of country music fame and many others that have the “celeb” status with the younger people. Watching Wayne on TV is so painful….

      • As Rimfire suggested, maybe a couple of the contemporary Country-Western performers would be more appropriate than Gaga or the K-people. They could also approach the tiny handful of “conservative” Hollywood stars for this; there are several who don’t much care anymore about sucking up to the powers out there.

        I agree with the poster who outlined a good YouTube strategy for them, especially the points he made about consolidating the channels and their web sites.

        Somebody needs to get off the dime and start making some smart decisions, which was the original point of Robert’s initial post. Sitting on their hands isn’t helping us, and I would have liked to see a solid response to the FrontLine agitprop caper rather than just ignoring it.

  33. Perception IS Reality. That is PR 101. Example , when Wayne LaPiere sits across from David Gregory , clearly breaking a DC law ,( that any regular person would be charged with) and does not mention it then or afterwards , the perception is that the NRA does not care or worse does not see the unequal application of the law. Judicial Watch has just won a FOIA case for release of documents relating to DC Atty. General Irvin Nathan and Gregory’s Non – Prosecution. Meanwhile regular citizens like Mark Witaschek are railroaded for one inoperable shotshell. Perception Matters !

  34. I am going to have to watch it before I can make a final conclusion, but from the trailer this seems like it is going to be really biased against the NRA which is pretty disappointing.I have watched Frontline for years and don’t think I have ever seen something from them that seems this biased in the past.

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