Bad answers. But bear with me; this isn’t an NRA defense.
For whom do they speak?
However, for whom do the National Rifle Association (NRA) speak? There are approximately 4.5 to 5 million NRA members, about 1.5% of our total population. About 80% of gun owners do not belong to the NRA.
According to the (2014) Pew Research Center:
And he hit rock bottom at the start. A four year-old poll? It gets better. He grabbed a pickaxe and kept digging.
The NRA speaks for the gun industry. The NRA spent 419 million dollars on the 2016 Presidential campaign, nearly a half a billion dollars. The NRA spent over 70 million to help Trump.
Not even close. I suspect Mr. Scott saw an estimate of NRA campaign spending for the past ten years. Open Secrets puts the NRA’s 2016 campaign spending — all elections — at $50.2 million. $30.3 million of that went towards Trump’s campaign.
7% of Scott’s claimed $419 million.
You want to put that $30.3 million in perspective? That was a national race. Spending across 50 states and assorted territories.
Michael Bloomberg spent $20 million in Nevada alone, on just “Ballot Question 1” (the universal background check initiative that proved unenforceable because his idiot minions miswrote it).
On a per state basis, the NRA spent 3% of what Bloomberg spent in Nevada on one proposition. 33 times as much.
But let’s back up.
There are approximately 4.5 to 5 million NRA members, about 1.5% of our total population. About 80% of gun owners do not belong to the NRA.
Do those number look odd to you? Granted, the NRA’s real membership is a wild ass guess, because the NRA doesn’t release that data. The best you can do is look at claimed magazine circulation numbers (all members theoretically get a subscription to one of them), and they rarely match public, vague claims.
But 80% percent of gun owners are not NRA members? Meaning 20% are?
That requires a measley 25 million gun owners total.
I’ve seen unsubstantiated claims that American gun owners number as few as 45 million. Other estimates range from 55 million (based on telephone and census surveys) to 120 million+.
Surveys? Seriously? I don’t tell anonymous, nosy telephone callers what valuables I might have laying around the house. Forget “government lists.” I’m not telling a burglar masquerading as a snoopy pollster.
My take is towards the high end. Since the mid ’90s, I’ve seen a lot of people who disdain gun store purchases because they want to be “off the books.” They don’t want to be on lists, or 4473s vulnerable to ATF inspection. I know of other people who decline to join any firearms organizations for the same reasons. Nonetheless, someone is buying the millions of new guns manufactured every year, and it isn’t just “super owners;” trainers are reporting record numbers of newbies coming in for training, and gun shops say they’re are seeing new demographics coming in.
But whatever the numbers, it’s true that the NRA doesn’t count many of the total among its members. There’s a reason for that. As noted, some owners want to be off the officialdom radar.
But a lot of us hate the NRA. Because the leadership are money-grubbing appeasers and compromisers, who use every new infringement they allow or even promote as an excuse for fundraising to “fight” that infringement.
I was once a member of the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, founded by Aaron Zelman who hated the NRA for the same reasons as I. Nowadays, I’m a member of The Zelman Partisans (“Jews. Guns. No compromise. No surrender.”) TZP was found by former JPFO members and workers who wanted Aaron’s dream to live on. I’m also a member of Gun Owners of America and a non-NRA state organization.
I repeat: The NRA allows and creates infringements of firearms-related human.civil rights in order to raise money to “fight” it.
- NRA of 1934. NRA endorsed.
- GCA of 1968. Ditto.
- FOPA of 1986 (new machinegun ban). A “compromise”
- Brady Bill background checks. Guess who tossed that in the mix?
- A Columbus, OH “assault weapons” ban. The NRA said they had to write the ban or someone would have come up with something worse.
- An NRA rep made a first appearance in years in New Hampshire to speak against “Constitutional Carry,” after years of work by locals to finally line up the votes to pass. The NRA gave fence-straddlers and excuse to renege.
Recently? Who was the first to push banning bump-fire stocks? NRA; even knowing it opened the door to regulating and banning any semiautomatic firearm?
And I still get NRA mailings asking me to join and donate extra cash to the NRA/ILA.
Fat effing chance.
So, no the NRA doesn’t speak for all gun owners (no matter that the lamestream media like to use “NRA” as verbal shorthand for all of us).
The NRA doesn’t speak for those of us who see them as a semi-covert branch of the Republican Party.
The NRA doesn’t speak for those of us who see them as greedy, compromising cowards.
The NRA doesn’t speak for those of us who who know it isn’t tough enough on human/civil rights.
But to be fair, I remind you that I’m speaking of the oh-so-well paid leadership like LaPierre. There are principled NRA members. Some haven’t quite realized what the NRA is doing in their names. Some hope to change the NRA’s direction (good luck with that). Some are in it for the training that the group was once so good at.
And some join up just to poke a stick in the anti-gun media’s eye.
What the victim-disarming anti-gun (in honest folks’ hands) should take notice of is that there are millions — likely tens of millions — Who are too damned radical for the NRA.
And they tend to vote accordingly. We’ve all seen the bizarre “survey” claims that 80% (or the number du jour of gun owners want universal background checks, that 90% (or 93, or 95, or 98%) of all Americans want that prior restraint on a constitutionally protected human/civil right PPYI: Preemptively Prove You Innocence). And yet, when put to popular vote, those numbers don’t appear.
90% of Washingtonians “wanted” universal PPYI. It passed by 59%. 31 points less than the claim.
90% of Nevadans “wanted” PPYI. It passed by 51%. 39 points less than claimed.
93% of New Hampshirites “wanted” PPYI. They voted the Dems out when they tried it.
Because the wusses of Fairfax don’t speak for us, and we aren’t taking this crap anymore.