National Rifle Association

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I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.
—Karl Frederick, NRA President, 1934[1][2]
The NRA is a marketing organization, and its flagship product is fear.
Michael Bloomberg[3]

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a corporate shill political action group that has sold more guns than Sam Colt and Bill Ruger.[4] Originally (until the 1977 Revolt on Cincinnati[5]) a relatively moderate organisation,[6] sometimes said to focus on rifle marksmanship and not even mentioning the Second Amendment or gun laws (although the latter has been disputed,[7] and the History News Network has stated that beforehand, at least since the 1930s, they basically concern trolled about "bad" and "unreasonable" gun laws while presenting itself as a supporter of "reasonable" firearms controls and fear mongering about the “attempted dictation of anti-gun cranks and pacifists who are ‘out to outlaw firearms’”, thus watering down much proposed gun legislation[8][9]), it no longer represents hunters and collectors, having been taken over by investment groups that own large percentages of most firearms/ammo companies.[10][11] Not surprisingly, it promotes ownership of guns in the United States at all costs, has a knee-jerk reaction against the most mild gun control legislation, or even the enforcement of 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 clichés such as "guns don't kill people, people kill people", "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy/woman/toddler(?)[12][13] with a gun", and other empty platitudes. Their ultimate goal is to create a world where it's socially acceptable to be armed at all times,[14][15] and if a "citizen" circling your neighborhood with a boom stick makes you uncomfortable, you're a cuck who hates freedom.[16] (Of course, if it was a good black guy doing the exact same thing with the exact same motive, the situation would be handled much differently.)[17]

Responses to shootings[edit]

After the Sandy Hook massacre, which claimed 20 children as victims, the NRA finally shut up ... for a few days. Many naïvely hoped 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.[18] Their response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting of 2018 is similar, although they're facing companies that have announced to sever ties with them as well as a more unified protest by survivors of the shooting and gun control advocates.[19]

The NRA also has a 500+ entry-long list of people and organizations who have ever lent support to anti-gun initiatives.[20] 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 this list. Nixon at least tried to keep his enemies list secret.

Single-issue voters[edit]

As seen from the two terms of the Obama administration, "No new laws" somehow means "future gun control laws" for those guys. This despite the fact that the related constitutional amendment purportedly allowing gun ownership does not explicitly define what "arms" are. (Suitcase nukes anyone?)

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 ones.

Board member eyebrow-raisers[edit]

Wayne LaPierre in 2017

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).[21]

Oliver North, hero of the far right and whose "very name is synonymous with corruption and disgrace," ascended to the presidency of the NRA in 2018.[22] Charlton Heston was a former president of the NRA, famous for his "cold dead hands" speech. The group's main talking head is Wayne LaPierre, a perennial member/vice president prone to conspiracy theory, groupthink, and pulling bullshit out of his ass. Despite his media reputation as the "craziest man on earth", he's actually a donnish businessman, just like any other fearmonger you can think of.[23]

Exaggerated political power[edit]

NRA membership figures or random number generator?

The NRA has long been viewed as a mighty Goliath in US politics;[24][25] politicians feared their piles of lobbying money and the wrath of their four 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.

While the NRA claims to be able to elect politicians they support between 71% and 86% of the time,[26] third parties have pegged their success rate at a hilariously abysmal 0.83%.[27] The NRA's membership figures are also suspect; they usually claim about 4 million members, but reports from insiders, as well as 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 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.[28]

On top of this problem, the NRA is suffering internal strife, with a large disconnect between what its official leadership, who are far too cozy with the gun industry, wants, and its own membership base.[29][30] 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.[31]

In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the NRA has suffered from significant pushback. The amount of money it had donated to Florida lawmakers was brought to media attention and fell under heavy scrutiny. Governor Rick Scott, who had been revealed to be in their pockets for some time, did not help matters, as when asked for a statement following the shooting, he said the time for a conversation about gun control was in the future, and when asked on perpetrator Nikolas Cruz's ease in obtaining a weapon, he dodged the question and said an investigation was underway.[32] Surprising no one and unmatched in tastelessness, the NRA retaliated against the student activists who survived the shooting after they held a town hall against Republican lawmakers, claiming the students wanted more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners,[33] As a result of these skeletons in their closets and their feeble attempts to brush it all under the rug, numerous corporate sponsors announced they were severing ties with the NRA, who, true to form, spat out the same drivel about how their law-abiding members were not at fault, criticizing everything from the police and even the school's preparedness in handling a school shooting but refusing to acknowledge the role of guns in the massacre.[34]

Activities that aren't (too) political[edit]

The NRA supports firearms education for both children and adults, and occasionally make contributions to the Boy Scouts of America and other organizations.[35] 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, is doing fuckall to reduce the proportion of gun crime.[36][37][38][39]

Godless leftists[edit]

In response to the "left" pointing out that prayer and belief in a deity wasn't going to solve mass shootings, the NRA tried to expose the "godless left", stating, "These saboteurs share the same fanatical fervor to tear apart the foundations of America as the terrorists who threaten our very survival. And together, they march hand-in-hand toward the possible, purposeful destruction of us all." They even went as far as to call certain "leftist" media "false prophets" and "infidels of freedom" as well as several similar claims about the left and their attacks on American values.[40]

Национальная Стрелковая Ассоциация: From Russia with love[edit]

Torshin in 2013

The FBI is investigating whether Russia illegally funneled money through the NRA to help Trump get elected.[41] Specifically, Alexander TorshinWikipedia's W.svg and Maria Butina are being investigated, who are the only two people from the Russian Federation who are lifetime members of the NRA.[41][42][43] Torshin is a former Russian senator and longtime ally of Vladimir Putin, and has been accused of having ties to Russian organized crime.[42][44] Torshin is currently the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia.[42] Torshin attempted to meet with Trump Sr. and did meet with Trump Jr. at an NRA event.[42]

Things that kill people according to the NRA and its supporters[edit]

In Summary[edit]

Frank:Ooh, shit, I'm not going to go [to the rally]. It's going to be a bunch of nuts with guns. Too dangerous.

Charlie:Wait, hold on a second. What's going on? I thought you were into guns. You know, why have you been on TV talking about all that shit?

Frank: I bought a stake in Gunther's Guns. I got everybody angry and scared. They bought the guns, I made a fortune.

Dennis: Oh my god, this is crazy. So you don't give a shit about the gun issue at all? You're like the NRA!

Frank: Yeah, little tiny bit.
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, "Gun Fever Too: Still Hot."

See also[edit]

Icon fun.svg For those of you in the mood, RationalWiki has a fun article about NRA.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. The NRA's president supported "sharply restricting” guns in 1934. Then its members revolted. by Andrew Prokop on August 27, 2015, 4:13 p.m. ET Vox.
  2. The Evolution of the NRA's Defense of Guns: A Brief History of the NRA's Involvement in Legislative Discussions By Cory Bennett (December 21, 2012) National Journal.
  3. "How to Break NRA’s Grip on Politics", Bloomberg
  4. Well, people frantically screaming that Obummer is "coming for your guns, any minute now!" for the past 8 years did more towards that end than anything the NRA did. They ought to be thanking him.
  5. "NRA took hard right after leadership coup", San Francisco Chronicle.
  6. “How NRA's true believers converted a marksmanship group into a mighty gun lobby.”, The Washington Post.
  7. "How A-Political Was the National Rifle Association Before The Cincinnati Revolt of 1977?", Gun Culture 2.0.
  8. In this, they followed the footsteps of an early gun rights group called the United States Revolver Association (USRA), who opposed the pioneering New York State Sullivan ActWikipedia's W.svg using much the same tactics as today's NRA; later in 1932, both the NRA and the USRA united to repeal and replace that act (this was vetoed by then-Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt) and, after this, the NRA would commandeer the gun rights movement as its own.
  9. "How Long Has the NRA Been Fighting Gun Control?, History News Network.
  10. "The Money Powering the NRA", CNN.
  11. "How The Gun Industry Funnels Tens Of Millions Of Dollars To The NRA", Business Insider.
  12. West, Lindy, "Wayne LaPierre Needs to Stop Pretending He Gives a Shit About Rape Victims", Jezebel.
  13. Bill Hutchinson and Daniel Beekman, "http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/kidding-nra-pushes-guns-kids-young-newtown-victims-sick-youth-day-article-1.1335901 "NRA pushes guns on kids as young as Newtown victims in sick 'Youth Day'", NY Daily news 5.5.13.
  14. McCarthy, Clara, "Concealed Carry Is Now Legal in All 50 States, and the NRA Doesn’t Want Us to Know What That Really Means", Salon 7.11.13.
  15. Montopoli, Brian, "NRA's Wayne LaPierre: "Government Policies Are Getting us Killed"", CBS 2.10.11.
  16. Friedman, Dan, "NRA’s Wayne LaPierre tells supporters guns and contributions can protect them from murderers and Michael Bloomberg", NY Daily News 4.25.14.
  17. Winkler, Adam, "Gun Control Is "Racist"? The NRA would know, New Republic 2.4.13.
  18. NRA Slams Violent Pop Culture, Even as it Puts on ‘Hollywood Guns’ Exhibit, ThinkProgress
  19. Caplan, D.; Rand, B. (February 24, 2018). More companies sever ties with NRA, now include United, Delta, Hertz and MetLife. ABC News. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  20. NRA's enemies list: Most of America, CNN
  21. Meet the NRA's Board of Directors, Mother Jones
  22. Eli Watkins, Oliver North to be NRA's new president. CNN, 7 May 2018.
  23. Blanc, Nancy, "Wayne LaPierre Wasn't Always A Crazy Gun Nut — But When He's Reasonable, No One Listens", Bloomberg 2.9.15.
  24. "The N.R.A. has been increasingly flexing political muscle, with both Democrats and Republicans courting its favor and avoiding its wrath."The New York Times, December 21, 2012.
  25. The Gun Lobby: Why The NRA Is The Baddest Force In Politics, Huffington Post
  26. "Election Day Brings Wins For Gun Owners"
  27. Outside spenders' return on investment, Sunlight Foundation
  28. Does the NRA Really Have 4 Million Members?, Mother Jones
  29. This is not your father’s NRA, Politico
  30. Why the NRA Is Becoming the 'Great Oz', Huffington Post
  31. Americans, even NRA members, want gun reforms, CNN
  32. Here's How Much the NRA Has Given to Florida Lawmakers Time Magazine, Alana Abramson, February 19 2018, 3:08 PM
  33. Analysis: Douglas students face high NRA hurdle in gun control debate Palm Beach Post, Wayne Washington, February 23 2018, 12:02 PM
  34. NRA punches back at 'shameful' boycott by corporate sponsors Gabby Morrongiello, February 24 2018, 5:58 PM
  35. "NRA & BSA—100 Years of Partnership"
  36. If you trust the evil UN!
  37. Or those crazy Canucks!
  38. Or the National Institute of Justice!
  39. Or a shockingly-well cited Wikipedia!Wikipedia's W.svg
  40. https://www.nranews.com/series/commentators/video/commentators-the-godless-left/episode/commentators-season-5-episode-17-the-godless-left
  41. 41.0 41.1 FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump by Peter Stone & Greg Gordon (January 18, 2018 05:00 AM) McClatchey DC Bureau.
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 The Very Strange Case of Two Russian Gun Lovers, the NRA, and Donald Trump: Here's what we uncovered about an odd pair from Moscow who courted the Trump campaign. by Denise Clifton & Mark Follman (Mar. 8, 2018 6:00 AM) Mother Jones.
  43. Сегодня в NRA (США) мне известны всего 2,человека из РФ со статусом "life member": Мария Бутина и я. C чем я её и поздравляю!) by А.П. Торшин (11:30 PM - 9 Nov 2016) Twitter.
  44. The evidence that implicates Trump’s Russian ally with organized crime: Calls from the ex-politician linked to the US president reveal links with a mafia clan in Russia by José María Irujo (3 Abr 2017 - 02:42 EDT) El País.
  45. "Guns Don't Kill People, People Do?" What exactly is wrong with the "guns don’t kill people, people do" argument? by David Kyle Johnson (Feb 12, 2013) Psychology Today.
  46. 46.0 46.1 NRA: “Guns Don’t Kill People; Mentally Unstable Loners With Unfettered Access to Guns Kill People” (Feb 22, 2018) Blue Rock Public Radio.
  47. Oliver North blames school shootings on 'culture of violence.' He was a pitchman for a violent video game. by Kyle Swenson (May 21, 2018) The Washington Post.
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 48.4 48.5 Santa Fe shooting: Things being blamed for the gun violence: Ritalin. Abortion. The media. And doors. by Eli Rosenberg (May 21, 2018 at 10:28 PM) The Washington Post.
  49. Mass shootings again blamed on evolution, Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution Is True