Take That President Obama!

Between thirteen bloggers who participated, we managed to mint 57 new or upgraded NRA members.  I personally have now upgraded to an Endowment member, and I signed on 3 other people as life members.  Signing up new NRA members is critical at this point.  Membership is the primary source of NRA’s political capital.  At the last Grassroots Seminar, Chris Cox told the room “They don’t fear me, they fear you,” in reference to when NRA goes into a politicians office to lobby on behalf of gun owners.  The more of us there are, the greater the fear, and the more the influence.  For those who want to see the NRA fight more, and fight harder, membership is the primary tool they will need to do it.

14 thoughts on “Take That President Obama!”

  1. I still don’t understand the concept of “membership discounts” since isn’t the purpose of membership to raise revenue?

    I understand that with an organization such as the NRA, just being able to ‘talk’ to people, via email or snail mail, is important, but it would seem that if you wanted to support an organization you’d want to actually, you know…. support it ;)

  2. Well if someone has the ability to buy a life membership for $1,000, they could still buy one for $300 and then donate the rest to ILA, PVF, or to the Foundation to go to a general operations program (and get a deductible donation there!). There’s nothing wrong with giving the full amount, but for some who can’t normally afford it, it gives an option.

  3. NRA’s membership requirements are among the more strict of any interest group in DC. Most would count anyone who signed up for their e-mail list as a “member”. Some will count anyone who has ever donated money as a member. This tends to deflate NRA’s numbers relative to how many they would have if they behaved as other groups do.

    But the primary reason for discounts is to inflate membership. This will also bring in more short term money into NRA at the expense of long term money. This is probably a smart move, because we have to get through the next four/eight years, first and foremost. With more of NRA’s programs being funded by the NRA Foundation, rather than from membership fees, NRA is likely to be in decent financial shape over the long run anyway. The next four years is critical. I really do think if gun rights can survive Obama, the gun control movement will be as the temperance movement is today — still there, but voiceless politically. We will have effectively won.

  4. After a one year hiatus, I re-upped at the October Indy 1500. Got my first American Rifleman in the mail yesterday.

    (I’d been getting First Freedom since ’01, but it really has been obsoleted by teh internets.)

  5. I switched to First Freedom, since Bitter gets American Rifleman. It’s mostly the stuff we all blogged about last month :)

  6. No, I switched to AR since we both received FF. :) Believe me, I would not get AR if it wasn’t redundant having two FFs come to the house. I hate it. It’s not just that I’m not that into the technical side of things, it’s that I really hate their format. it’s far too condensed and hard to read. You can tell the ads in the magazine simply because they are actually easy to read.

    And, yes, Sebastian is right about the membership requirements. NRA actually only counts people who sign up and pay as members. I have heard of groups in DC (from former employees) that will count not just their email list, but anyone who ever signed up in the last decade – regardless of whether they have opened a single email. They will count anyone who has ever given money, even if it was someone who donated one small amount to a direct mail campaign on a rented list seven years ago.

    Can you imagine if NRA got so liberal with how they ran the numbers? Every person who has taken a Basic Pistol class from an NRA instructor. Every person who signs up for their grassroots alerts. Every volunteer that an EVC works with more than once. It would be nuts! But, there would be huge expectations with that kind of reach, so there’s a reason why NRA doesn’t pad the numbers up that high.

    Around 30 million people believe they are members because they were members once upon a time, took a class once, or belong to a gun club that has NRA materials up. Can you imagine what we could do if NRA’s grades, endorsements, and general political updates really reached 30 million people every month or election?

  7. I convinced my girlfriend to sign up, and she’s LIB-RUL.

    “NRA is a civil rights organization, honey.”

    And it is. Now I have to sign up mom and dad…

  8. The NRA should (but won’t) get credit for sticking with the definition that most folks would recognize as valid: Actual Dues Payers.

    This membership number is the lower bound on how many people they reach and influence.

  9. That number is actually very large. I’ve heard that 13 million consider themselves NRA members. If NRA actually had all those people as members, there would hardly be a politician in this country who would dare cross us. Obama’s vote margin was a whopping 9.5 million vote margin; the largest for any non incumbent. But that’s still 3.5 million people short of 13 million. You can see how that ends up working.

  10. I took advantage of the recent upgrade offer and turned my Lifetime Membership into an Endowment Membership.

  11. I recently took advantage of a discounted offer and upgraded to Life member. Was thinking about bumping up to Endowment, but haven’t taken that plunge yet.

  12. I just wish that they hadn’t gotten rid of Women’s Outlook :( I get American Rifleman because I’ll read it on occasion. Freedom First has in the past been too forceful for me to read. I sort of doubt that it has changed.

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