Does the NRA exaggerate for political reasons?
If we listened just to the NRA publicity machine (echoed uncritically by the general media), you would think the NRA is growing by leaps and bounds and will soon take over the country.
However, there is evidence that the NRA is distorting the picture. Shocking, I know!
Take a look at a few of these facts--based on legitimate polls--VALID NONPOLITICAL POLLS ON SOCIAL POLICY--though the NRA types claim any poll that doesn't support the NRA "just say NO" policy to ALL gun control (NRA is now backing off from their tepid approval of gun-checks at all sales at gun shows because the gun control people are seriously proposing such gun-checks!) is by definition a skewed poll. You know, the NRA is always TRUTH--so anything that questions their TRUTH is obviously FALSE. Yeah, sure.
Gun ownership has fallen sharply from 54 percent of U.S. households in 1977 to 32 percent in 2011, according to the University of Chicago's General Social Survey.
Just focus on that fact for a minute. Gun ownership has fallen from slightly over 50% to less than ONE-THIRD in 2011 (latest date for available figures).
The article goes on to say:
"It's in the NRA's interest to show that although gun ownership is decreasing, their membership is rising. They can't in any way be interpreted as a fading movement in a political context," Sugarmann [executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a gun-control group] said.
The NRA did not respond to several requests for comment.
Hmmm--no comment. Wonder why?
Here are a few other interesting tidbits that might shed a different light on the whole issue.
Only the NRA knows how many private clubs require NRA membership, but gun owners who object to the organization's ties to conservative politics say it can be difficult to find a place to shoot that doesn't require membership in the gun group.
"It's this sort of self-fulfilling thing where the NRA continually gets money from people who would rather not give it to them, because it's the only game in town," said Mark Roberts, president of the Liberal Gun Club, a left-leaning gun owners group.
Turns out there are all sorts of financial advantages and incentives if a club goes 100% NRA, so these clubs recruit like crazy for the NRA--because they need those financial rewards to keep on functioning. Thus if a local person likes to shoot skeet occasionally and there is only one club in the area and that club REQUIRES NRA membership, that person becomes counted as a new statistic of someone who supports NRA "just say NO" policy--even if that person disapproves of NRA policy. (See the linked article for details.)
I don't doubt that there has been some increase in NRA membership since the Newtown massacre of the innocents--(there always is a paranoid increase after a tragedy--due to fear that guns will be banned, so stock up while you can!)--but if gun ownership is dramatically falling in the larger tragectory (1977 to the present), that speaks for itself! All the more reason for the NRA to work hard on creating a false impression that the NRA and guns are taking over America, when in fact, they are not. Their motto is carry a big "stick" (gun) and make a lot of noise so that they sound larger than they really are.
And add to that all the BIG MONEY from the GUN INDUSTRY backing the NRA--to increase the their PROFITS!
Ok--here come the slings and arrows of wrath directed at me for daring to state the TRUTH. Everybody duck--todays "slings and arrows" are much more lethal!
Here is a link that might be useful: NRA Membership: For U.S. Gun Clubs, Joining Has Its Privileges