Increasing NRA Membership

Bitter and I attended an meeting at the convention today, after running into Scott Bach, a member of the Board of Directors and the head of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. Sandra Froman started off the meeting, and introduced former UN Ambassador John Bolton, followed by Wayne LaPeirre, Chris Cox, CEO of S&W Mike Golden, and a marketing guy from Gander Mountain. I can’t remember his name unfortunately.

Let me say, it was pretty neat to be in a small conference room with so many interesting people. And yes, Sandy really does know Bitter and gave her a hug. John Bolton gave a brief talk about the importance of fighting for gun rights as an international issue. Something you might have recently read about here. Then followed the meat of the meeting.

The main purpose was to help bring the industry together to support NRA membership, a project I wholeheartedly support. Despite the fact that the anti-gun rights groups like to talk about the NRA as being shill for the gun industry, the gun industry has in the past been pretty ambivalent about the NRA. Some of the industry leaders are trying to change that, and recruit more gun owners into the group through their industry connections.

I have to say that I’m very impressed with the new CEO of Smith & Wesson. They have come a long long way since they took a beating from shooters after colluding with the Clinton Administration to screw us. Smith & Wesson appears to be taking a leadership position on the issue of the industry helping to reach out to new potential members.

One thing I should also mention is that Chris Cox reiterated that membership numbers drive everything his organization does (for those of you who don’t know, Chris Cox is head of NRA-ILA, who handles lobbying all the Congress Critters and state legislators). Without membership, they can accomplish nothing. If they even had half of the people who actively hunt and shoot, they could accomplish anything they wanted. I know a lot of people have gotten pissed off at various things the NRA has done or hasn’t done, but that’s no excuse for not joining.

Politicians only listen to lobbying groups that can bring money and votes to the table, and if the NRA can’t deliver on either of those if it has no members, and no one in Washington or the various state houses has anywhere near the clout, or is as effective as the NRA.

So join and support other organizations if you wish, I’m also a member of the SAF, but membership in the NRA is critical, even if they piss you off sometimes. I’m sure if the Brady Campaign folks, that I know sometimes stop by, were to have an honest talk with you, they’d tell you they’d love for gun owners to abandon the NRA and join a lot of other smaller groups.

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