Reader Ryan Sondalle writes:
Prior to joining the NRA, I had heard an unbelievable amount of slander towards the organization, both online and in public. There were cries of racism, propaganda, corruption, avarice and ignorance. As such, I was hesitant about joining. But following the latest bombardment from anti-gunners last fall I caved and joined. To my delight, I found out most of what had been spewed as far as the NRA is concerned was lies. As such, I was inspired to call out some of the most common myths regarding this venerable pro-gun organization in the hope of helping educate your average Joe . . .
1. The NRA is Full of Racists
This is one of the most bigoted slurs perpetrated by the liberal propaganda machine. There is undoubtedly some small percentage of racists in the NRA just as there would be in any other group of 5 million Americans. I’m a member and I’m certainly am not a racist. And I’ve never read a bigoted or racist comment — or anything racially-related period — coming from the NRA. Ever. The organization’s goal is to boost its membership to help protect firearms freedom for as many Americans as possible. Discriminating against a significant percentage of the population would be an awfully dumb way to go about doing that.
2. The NRA Is a Bunch of Right Wing Lunatics
In any organization – particularly one the size of the NRA — you’ll always get those on the extremes. I don’t have access to the NRA’s membership data (which they, wisely, protect). But I think it’s safe to say your average NRA member isn’t there for policy or politics. They join, primarily, to support and defend their gun rights from those who would roll back or eliminate them entirely if they could. Gun owners come in all shapes, sizes, colors and configurations. And they’re more a bunch of “leave-me-aloners” than “better dead than red” zealots.
3. There Are Better Non-NRA Options
While there are certainly other gun rights supporting alternatives, none can beat the NRA’s sheer size. Five million dues-paying members make a big impression. There’s a reason why, despite a media-savvy figurehead and almost bottomless funding, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has racked up so few actual wins. They don’t have the membership and hence the political clout to back up their anti-civil rights, civilian disarmament agenda. The NRA’s huge membership — and their tendency to turn out and vote — matters.
4. The NRA Just Wants Your Money
This is a half truth. Technically yes, they want your money, but they actually use that cash to advocate for and protect your Second Amedment rights. This isn’t some fly by night, “feed a starving kid” org where every 99 cents of every dollar goes into the pockets of the company and its managers. For all its size, the NRA manages its significant funding efficiently, putting a large percentage of the dues it collects to work performing its core functions of promoting and defending gun rights.
I held off on joining the NRA for a very long time for a few main reasons. Some tied into this, and some tied into the fear of mass quantities of junk mail (which, surprisingly, isn’t that bad). What I do know is that since joining I’ve gotten a few very nice perks and some peace of mind from knowing that I’m at least supporting my gun rights actively rather than doing nothing.