The NRA blog offers readers an NRA myth vs. truth post tackling the slings and arrows of outrageous mischaracterization. For a start they fisk the idea that “the NRA is nothing but old white men smoking cigars.” While we can forgive the NRA for not using the proper acronym (OFWG), their reply leaves a little something to be desired . . .
Truth: The NRA’s 5 million members are made up of Americans of all races, genders and ages. Our education, safety, training and marksmanship programs feature offerings for everyone, from the gun safety lessons of our Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program taught to school children, to the legendary training programs that empower gun owners young and old. The NRA represents the best of America, a collection of patriotic, freedom-loving citizens who understand the importance of their Second Amendment rights and are willing to stand up and defend the Constitution.
See what they did there? They took on the idea that NRA is nothing but OFWGs. It’s certainly true that the NRA has plenty of women and minority and minority women and “even” some LGBT members — not to mention millions of members who aren’t partial to a Partagás — that doesn’t counter the general validity of the OFWG “myth.”
While the NRA’s making great strides in increasing its diversity, a visit to its annual convention does nothing to dispel the idea that the vast majority of its active members are OFWGs. As an OFWG, I’ve see nothing wrong with that. And the few black faces at the Convention were welcomed as brothers in arms. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the NRA has a long way to go in terms of inclusiveness. Maybe they should have left that one alone. Just sayin’ . . .
The NRA blog then addresses the “myth” that “the NRA is an evil gun lobby that works to protect gunmakers.”
Truth: The NRA doesn’t represent gun manufacturers and gear makers – we represent gun owners, champion gun rights, and advocate for citizens to be able to keep the freedoms promised to them by the Second Amendment. Simply put, we represent Americans. The NRA is the nation’s longest-standing civil rights group. Everything we do is to protect the Constitutional rights of Americans and to promote and improve the shooting sports in our country.
The NRA’s mission: defending and extending American’s natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. No question. And there’s nothing evil about that. Quite the opposite. We all owe the NRA a great debt of gratitude for its tireless work protecting our gun rights. Which protect all our civil rights. Our very way of life.
But it’s also true that the NRA receives an enormous amount of financial support from the firearms industry. Defending and extending gun rights protects gunmakers from gun control laws that would curtail or destroy their business. And increases the market for their products. There’s nothing evil about that, either. But pretending that the NRA doesn’t work hand-in-glove with gunmakers flies in the face of reality.
The last myth in the NRA’s sights: “The NRA is just a right-wing political machine that’s nothing like it once was.”
Truth: The NRA is every bit as invested today in the core mission and principles it was founded to achieve in 1871 – a commitment to training, education and marksmanship. From hunter safety and training, youth gun safety, and basic marksmanship and self-defense courses to advanced NRA Outdoors training, elite competition shooting and gunsmithing schools, the NRA invests in Americans who want to become better, safer and smarter gun owners.
As new challenges and threats to the Second Amendment, hunting rights and gun rights have arisen, the NRA has responded through the tireless efforts of its Institute for Legislative Action, working to promote legislation to protect freedom and create a future for American pastimes. But the heart of the NRA is as it always was, and what it always will be: to train Americans to be responsible, safe and well-educated firearm owners and users.
“That’s the real NRA,” the blog concludes. Whoa. That moniker sounds WAY too close to “The Real IRA” to me. Still, mad props to the “new NRA” for their more timely and pointed posts. Not to coin a phrase, you’ve come a long way, baby. And that’s the truth.