National Rifle Association
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
“”The NRA is a marketing organization, and its flagship product is fear.
The National Rifle Association (or NRA) is a batshit political action group that promotes ownership of guns in the United States at all costs. Not surprisingly, it has knee-jerk reaction against even the most mild gun control legislation or even the enforcement of the existing gun laws. They are not well known for teaching their members how to properly debate (shout at) increased gun control proponents, and as a result, most members resort to clichès such as "guns don't kill people, people kill people," "a bad guy with a gun can only be stopped by a good guy with a gun," and other ineffective/heartless sound bites.
After the Sandy Hook massacre, which claimed 20 children as victims, the NRA finally shut up... for a few days. Many naively hoped that they had finally come to their senses, but instead, the group used their next meeting to call for more guns to stop gun violence and blamed the massacre on everything but guns, including mental illness, violent video games, and movies. While clamouring for a national mental health database, they naturally recoil at the thought of a gun registry and as of this writing, their National Firearms Museum, which glorifies violent movies, is still open for business.
The NRA also has a 500+ entry-long list of people and organizations who have ever lent support to anti-gun initiatives. With luminary freedom haters such as the American Medical Association, PBS, and Hallmark, and notorious anti-gun celebrities like Sylvester Stallone, it's probably easier to say who is not on the list. Richard Nixon at least tried to keep his enemy list secret.
 Board member eyebrow-raisers
The NRA has an insanely large board of directors (76 members!), and has included many questionable people on it, such as noted traitor Oliver North, a spokesman for gun manufacturer Glock (supporting accusations of the NRA having too-close ties to gun manufacturers), the perpetually batshit Ted Nugent, Larry Craig (of "I am not gay..." fame), and Grover Norquist (because no mainstream right-wing group is complete without a guy who really, really hates taxes).
Charlton Heston was a former president of the NRA, famous for his "cold dead hands" speech. The current president is Wayne LaPierre, a perennial member/former vice president prone to conspiracy theory, conservative groupthink, and pulling bullshit out of his ass.
 Exaggerated political power
The NRA has long been viewed as a mighty Goliath in US politics — politicians feared their piles of lobbying money and the wrath of their 4 million-strong membership base. However, in the aftermath of the Aurora and Sandy Hook massacres, their self-proclaimed political influence and membership figures have fallen under scrutiny.
The NRA's membership figures are also suspect. They usually claim about 4 million members, but reports from insiders, and from outsiders reading between the lines, suggests these numbers are greatly inflated. The NRA has a very loose definition of "membership" that includes gun purchasers automatically enrolled in the NRA as a promotional gimmick, long-dead members, and subscribers to their magazines. The best guess as to their true size is at most 3.1 million.
On top of this, the NRA is suffering internal problems, with a large disconnect between what its official leadership, who are far too cozy with the gun industry, wants, and its own membership base. As a result, not only is it spending its lobbying money ineffectually, but it can no longer even count on its own members to vote in support of its policies.
 Activities that aren't (too) political
The NRA supports firearms education for both children and adults. They occasionally make contributions to the Boy Scouts of America and other organizations. Despite their highly politicized nature, their education programs are usually sound in both concept and execution and do a generally good job teaching the fundamentals and importance of firearms safety. This, of course, isn't doing much to reduce the proportion of gun crime.
- ↑ "How to Break NRA’s Grip on Politics, 2012 July 26.
- ↑ In case money isn't solving the problem, it is likely that they'll simply point their guns at everyone, if not actually shooting the opposition to death.
- ↑ Despite the fact that the related constitutional amendment purportedly allowing gun ownership does not explicitly define what "arms" are. Suitcase nukes anyone?
- ↑ As seen from the first term of the Obama administration - "No new laws" somehow means "Future gun control laws" for those guys. This contrasts with the NRA's stance during the Clinton years, when they advocated more vigorous enforcement of existing gun laws as an alternative to passing new gun laws.
- ↑ http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/01/02/video-nra-blames-violent-films-for-mass-shootin/191980
- ↑ http://nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=15
- ↑ Dave Gilson. "Meet the NRA's Board of Directors." Mother Jones. 2013 January 16.
- ↑ Paul Blumenthal and Sam Stein. "The Gun Lobby: Why The NRA Is The Baddest Force In Politics." Huffington Post. 2012 December 18.
- ↑ "The N.R.A. has been increasingly flexing political muscle, with both Democrats and Republicans courting its favor and avoiding its wrath." —"National Rifle Association." New York Times. 2012 December 21.
- ↑ Chris Cox. "Election Day Brings Wins For Gun Owners." NRA Media. 2011 January 11.
- ↑ Lindsay Young. "Outside spenders' return on investment." Sunlight Foundation. 2012 December 18.
- ↑ Josh Harkinson. "Does the NRA Really Have 4 Million Members?." Mother Jones. 2013 January 14.
- ↑ Robert Creamer. "Why the NRA Is Becoming the 'Great Oz'." Huffington Post. 2013 January 14.
- ↑ Chris Murphy. "This is not your father’s NRA." Politico. 2013 January 29.
- ↑ Mark Glaze. "Americans, even NRA members, want gun reforms." CNN Opinion. 2013 February 1.
- ↑ American Rifleman: NRA & BSA—100 Years of Partnership November 19, 2010
- ↑ If you trust the evil UN!
- ↑ Or a shockingly-well cited Wikipedia!
- ↑ Or StatsCan!
- ↑ Or the National Institute of Justice!