About those VNRA membership numbers

[Vichy] NRA Memberships Bounce Back In 2018
The report, which was handed out during the group’s latest annual meeting, shows dues went from $128,209,303 in 2017 to $170,391,374 in 2018—an increase of $42,182,071, or 33 percent. It also shows contributions rose from $132,879,299 in 2017 to $165,075,288 in 2018—an increase of $32,195,989 or 24 percent. The rise in dues came ahead of the NRA announcing it had reached 5.5 million members, a record number.

Just as a thought exercise, let’s pretend that all those memberships were $45 annuals.

170,391,374 / 45 = 3,786,474.97

Maybe someone familiar with financial reporting can help me out here. Do multi-year (and life) membership dues paid up front get reported in full for the year in which the money was received, or is it “amortized” over the membership period for reporting purposes?

I’m trying to reconcile that dues number with the claim of 5.5 million members. There could be another 1.8 million members who made their payments in a previous year.

I do find it interesting that my 3.7 million figure matches the 3.7 million magazine subscribers found by Mother Jones.

‘Twould be nice if the VNRA simply issued a report of member totals broken down by type, and how many opted not to take a magazine subscription.

VNRA’s “Intern”

LaPierre seemingly had Ack-Mac paying $4,500 a month in rent for his “intern’s” apartment.

Forty-five hundred bucks. Per month.

First, offhand I can’t recall seeing an internship that provided a free apartment. And did Allen declare that $13,804.84 payment in-kind in her tax filings?

Second, that rent seemed high to me but I don’t know what Fairfax rents are like. So I looked up The Ridgewood II by Windsor. Nice place. The listed rents run from $1,710 (1BR, 1BA) to $3,460 (3BR, 2BA) per month.

For the mathematically challenged, the rent billed to Ack-Mac, and passed on to the NRA to be covered by gullible members, was $1,040 more than the highest rent listed for the place. (There are larger apartments for which you have to “call for rent.)

Not a bad deal for a summer “intern.”

megan-allen
Nice intern if you can afford her. Oh, wait. VNRA MEMBERS paid for her.

Rehabilitating the NRA?

Since I have previously made my opinion on the Vichy NRA pretty clear, I was reluctant to weigh in on the latest controversy. Two columns finally prompted me to speak up.

The starting point for all this — just in case you haven’t kept up — was Mike Spies’ report on the NRA’s financial woes. It appears to confirm many things people have warned of for decades.

Jeff Knox spoke up on the matter.

NRA’s Dirty Laundry Exposed as Pro-Gun Group Cleans House
While the NRA is a powerful communication tool between rights supporters and their elected servants and losing that central conduit would be a significant blow, it would only be a temporary setback.

Mr. Knox focuses on the apparent corruption. He’s overlooking a major point which Mark Walters touches on.

To NRA or Not to NRA
I have disagreed with the NRA many, many times over the years over many issues and no doubt I will in the future. In fact, I nearly tossed my membership a few years back when the NRA here in the state of GA refused to support the GeorgiaCarry.org effort to remove the 140-year-old ban on carrying firearms at a “public gathering.”
[…]
I’ve seen far too many posts on social media, which to me is a joke anyway, from chatroom warriors that are calling for the destruction of the NRA.

Both columns are worth reading in full, but the snippets I quoted are my point of contention.

If the VNRA BOD finally gets off its collective ass and cleans up the financial corruption, it is entirely possible to save the organization. They should not save it.

Yes, I am one of those calling for the end of the VNRA, because financial fraud is the least of the problems. That can be fixed by firing the appropriate people, suing to recover funds, and — I strongly suspect — criminally charging a few.

The real problem is how that “powerful communication tool” and money have been used.

Mr. Walters finally noticed the problem when the NRA wouldn’t help with Georgia SB308. For him, that wasn’t quite enough to make him quit, possibly because it was largely passive inaction by the organization. OK, sometimes one must pick and choose where to dedicate one’s resources. Judgement call; I’d be with Walters on this one. But what Walters didn’t notice until nine years ago is something I’ve been about for decades.

The real issue with the VNRA isn’t corruption or not doing enough to push rights. The problem is what the group actively does to violate rights. NFA ’34, GCA ’68, FOPA ’86. Everyone knows those. It shows how long the rot has existed.

They tried to keep HELLER from going to SCOTUS. They actively killed constitutional carry legislation in New Hampshire. They wrote an “assault weapon” ban in Ohio. They sabotaged an RKBA/free speech case in NH.

I could go on, but let’s skip ahead to 2017, when the VNRA called for the ATF to regulate bump-fire stocks as NFA items because they make semi-autos work like machineguns. (And despite their weasel-worded defense, I haven’t seen a single court challenge from them.)

Then there’s the VNRA’s support for no-due process ex parte protective orders.

Yes, the VNRA is politically powerful. But they aren’t using that power to advance rights. They push gun control. And then they fundraise for cash to “fight” what they imposed on us.

Arguably, the last thing the VNRA did for gun owners was sunsetting the national waiting period… by saddling us with an ineffective NICS which violates the rights of millions of innocent people while still passing thousands of prohibited persons. And making us pay for the “privilege.”

The Vichy National Rifle Association is inherently anti-gun. It sacrificed rights for political power and money a long time ago. That’s what it does. Forcing it to transparently and honestly spend gun owners’ money to violate their rights isn’t “fixing” anything.

For decades, I called on the group to change its ways, and really work for our rights. I made very specific suggestions (and never, ever once received any reply from anyone at any level). Quite a few election cycles later, it hasn’t improved. It got worse.

If reformers haven’t managed to “repair” the VNRA by now, after decades of trying, they aren’t going to succeed now. Many gun owners have an emotional attachment to the idea of the NRA, but it’s time to admit that ideal is gone.

It’s time to pull the plug.

ATF: Volitional vs. Nonvolitional Movement

As we have seen, the ATF, in ruling bump-fire stocks to be machineguns, explained that fingers are triggers, and it’s a machinegun if the finger isn’t moved volitionally. Some folks are confused, because they assumed that the volitional — and coordinated — movement of the off arm to cause the trigger firearm thingamajiggy to engage the finger trigger should count.

No prob. The PhDs in Anatomy and Physiology at the ATF have that covered: It’s only volitional when we say it is.

Thus, as explained in federal court to a science-challenged impaired… oh, hell… fucking idiot judge who bought it:

Volitional Movement

 

Not Volitional Movement

When you get down to it, it ain’t much more of a stretch than the shoestring machinegun.

Thanks, VNRA.

Semi-Auto vs. Full-Auto

Lunatics and liars — i.e.- federal attorneys and judges — matter-of-factly state that fingers are triggers, and the only difference between a machinegun and a semi-auto is whether the finger is moved volitionally.

Some people don’t quite grasp that, so allow me to illustrate.

Under the new definition, this is a semi-automatic trigger group.

finger moving volitionally

And this is a fully automatic trigger group.

finger not moving volitionally

I expect the ATF to kick in my door over that NFA finger any time now.

Thanks, VNRA.

Should you be confused why the volitional movement of the off arm doesn’t count, the ATF has that covered.

VNRA Inventing New Members? Again?

Oh, joy. The Vichy NRA is playing games with membership numbers again.

NRA is back, ‘highest ever’ membership
The National Rifle Association has recovered from a membership drop after President Trump’s 2016 election and is now at the highest levels ever in its history.

New figures put the membership at approximately 5.5 million.

Uh huh. Right. Post-Parkland, the VNRA claimed they had reached nearly 6 million. After commenting closed on the bump-fire ban NPRM, the VNRA claimed they were “up” to 5.5 million. In an informal poll after that 40% said they were “done with the NRA” and would revoke their memberships.

At a point when the VNRA was claiming 5 million, magazine circulation numbers suggested a mere 3.7 million.

And then the VNRA angered more people over it support of ex parte “red flag” laws. We’re to believe that they saw an increase (for some definitions of “increase”) after screwing over gun owners? Gun owners who said they’re tired of the Lairds of Fairfax exercising droit du seigneur over us?

A Very Helpful Neighbor

Once upon a time there were two neighbors. Both tended to mind their own business, but wanted to be good neighbors so they helped each other out when the need arose. Sometimes Nick would loan a lawncare tool to Greg. Greg, being appreciative of that paid for some tool maintenance. Or it would go the other way around. Life goes on.

But then Nick got a bit strange. One morning Greg came out to find Nick letting the air out his tires. Nick insisted Greg’s tires were over-inflated, and he was just helping out. Greg let it go.

The next morning Greg was awakened by the sound of shattering glass. He looked out and saw Nick throwing rocks at his bedroom window. Nick insisted Greg’s window was cracked and he was just clearing the rest out so Greg could replace it. As you’d expect, that explanation didn’t go over well with Greg’s insurance company. But Nick had been a good neighbor for years, so Greg didn’t call the cops.

But it was a bit much when Nick suggested that Greg pay him to replace the window. Only great restraint left Nick’s nose intact.

Things were quiet for a while after that. Until Greg headed out for work and discovered that his classic Mustang was gone.

As Greg stood there dumbfounded, fumbling for his phone to call 911, Nick wandered over with a self-satisfied smirk. “Took care of that for you.”

Greg stared. “You already called the cops? Why didn’t you call me?”

“Nah. I called the wrecking yard and had them take that over-powered beast away for crushing. No one needs that much horsepower. I expect you’ll be getting their bill in the mail.”

You did what, you motherfucker?” Greg screeched. “Where do you get off vandalizing my car, my windows, and stealing my shit?”

“Whoa, whoa, buddy,” Nick said soothingly. “Settle down. Don’t you remember that time last fall when I helped you rake leaves?”

“Fuck the leaves! You stole my Mustang!”

Nick grinned. “Someone else would stolen it anyway; this way only the car got taken, and you still have a pickup.”

“Are you insane?” Greg shouted. “Do you have any idea how much time and money I put into restoring that car?” He recalled the phone in his hand, and started dialing. “I’m calling the cops.”

Nick snatched the phone. “Don’t do that. Damned phone has too many feature; you should get rid of it and use a landline, you know.” His face brightened. “Tell you what. You pay me, and I’ll see if I can get your car back,” he suggested. “If it hasn’t been crushed yet.”

As Greg pounded Nick into oblivion, the oh-so-helpful neighbor’s last thoughts were to wonder why Greg had turned into such a hater.


Which brings us to the Vichy NRA.

Yet another “you stupid haters, the NRA saved us” screed. It was posted 1/17, but I missed it until this morning.

What Has & Does The NRA Do Anyway?
If you are a regular reader of AmmoLand News you’ve seen the flood of anti-NRA preachers are out in full force, one of the activists even said they hoped that Cuomo was successful in destroying the NRA!? So this leads many members to the questions… What does the NRA do? What has the NRA done, that no one else could do to keep your rights safe.

#1 – Without the NRA Hillary Would Be President. The NRA spent an estimated $100 million to get Donald Trump elected…

First, one might wonder why the VNRA chose to back someone with a strong anti-RKBA history. Second, left to voters, HRC wouldn’t even have been on the ballot. Please review “super delegate,” Iowa caucuses, and “electoral college.” “Most hated woman in politics” might be another useful search term.

While the story of Right to Carry is well known, many are not aware of the equally important success that the NRA had in advancing Firearm Preemption laws in state legislatures.

Holy crap, is McDougall that poorly informed?

RTC: I consider Constitutional Carry to be the epitome of RTC. And the VNRA torpedoed that in New Hampshire (and lied about it later). Grassroots activists pushed it in other states as well, with the VNRA trying to discourage it; the usual excuse of It’s too much too soon; your money is better spent on us.

When locals pushed hard enough to get good RTC laws, then the VNRA stepped up…

To claim credit for other people’s hard work.

Kind of like HELLER, which the VNRA wanted to stop. When they couldn’t, they tried to get their own PARKER consolidated with HELLER so they could manipulate the case.

The VNRA has an interesting (non)litigation history. A young New Hampshire man wanted a picture of himself with a opened break-action shotgun for his yearbook photo. The school refused. He wanted to go to court. After an outcry from many NRA members, the VNRA announced that it would financially support the case. The young man’s lawyer went to work; the case was filed in federal court.

And the VNRA refused to cough up any funds. The attorney continued on a pro bono unpaid basis, without the support the VNRA had publicly claimed it was providing.

As for opposing preemption… The VNRA wrote at least one state constitution-violating “assault weapon” ban for a city. That violated state preemption.

The NRA passed the often forgotten Firearms Owners Protection Act of ’86.

Ah, yes. The FOPA, which NYC and New Jersey (among other locales) still violate with total impunity. And it’s not as if they compromised anything to get that meaningless “protection”… Oh. Wait.

Hughes Amendment. Which not only banned ownership of new machineguns, but was recently the basis for a ban on bump-fire stocks by fiat.

And as long as no local laws are broken then FOP made legal all the following:

The VNRA gave us all those problems in the first place when they put their imprimatur on the GCA. They signed away other rights to — sort of — get them back.

NRA provides Safety Training to over 1 million people every year.

Possibly because they lobbied to get VNRA courses required by law; no other group need apply.

So let’s be honest without the National Rifle Association you would have lost your right to own a firearm decades ago

Want to play “what if”? What if the VNRA hadn’t saddled us with NFA, GCA, Brady checks, and “assault weapon” bans to begin with? What if they hadn’t stalled Constitutional Carry for years? What if they hadn’t told the feds to regulate bump-fire stocks under the NFA?

What if we hadn’t lost those rights so the VNRA could fundraise to get them “back”?

What if the VNRA hadn’t broken our windows and stolen our car so we could pay them for the restoral of our property?

the five million-plus members of the NRA, and still growing, support all of this.

Do they? Less than half say they’re sticking with the VNRA.

Four out of ten have flat had enough of their shit. Another 15% are thinking hard about quitting; if they do, that’s a majority of those polled who are done with it.

And how many members does the VNRA really have? Every one should be getting one magazine or another, but circulation numbers suggest considerably fewer than four million.

Post-Parkland, the VNRA claimed a jump in new members. One rep claimed the VNRA had reached nearly 6 million. Yet after the Bump-Stock-Type Devices NPRM commenting period closed, a rep put VNRA membership at almost 5.5 million. As the rule approached finalization, the number became around five million. All that was before the Gun Feed poll.

 

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