The NRA Annual Meeting is this weekend, and following the school shooting in Uvalde many of the speakers and politicians have pulled out of the event. They all cite various reasons as to why they’re not attending or speaking, but we all know why — they don’t want to be associated with the NRA after this shooting.
I’m usually in attendance, but am skipping this year for personal reasons. Namely, I can’t afford the gas. But if the idiot in chief didn’t do all he could to get us to the current gasoline prices we currently have, I would have been there for sure.
The NRA is NOT the gun lobby:
A common misconception among many people is that the NRA is the gun lobby. While they definitely play their part in the whole thing, they’re technically something else.
The NRA is a polarizing group who is often (wrongly) blamed for the psychos of the world. Anti gun politicians like to point fingers at the NRA, and like to say that they own pro-gun politicians. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of an NRA member committing a crime with a gun.
It may have happened at some point, but if it did, it’s not something that most people know about.
They are often called the “gun lobby,” and they used to be a big deal in the 2A rights space.
But they’re not the gun lobby, and they haven’t been involved in any significant gun rights activities for a long time. Their name does have some weight and they do sometimes throw their name behind a pro-gun bill, but that’s about it.
They do still have a large network of firearms trainers and are active in the safety space, whether or not anti-gun politicians admit to it or not. Their work in gun safety with children is nearly unparalleled, which is also something the anti-gunners never want to hear.
Their Eddie Eagle program is fantastic.
But, they have lost many of their supporters over the last few years. I, personally, let my NRA membership expire about five years ago.
A good friend of mine says the only reason why he’s still a member is because he signed up 15 or so years ago as a life member, and he’s not actively giving them money, even if they regularly send him letters asking.
The truth of the matter is that many of us see corruption from the top down. And until they pull their heads from their collective rear ends, they will NOT be getting any money from me.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want them to go out of business — I want them to get back to their roots and change.
The ship is currently headed in the wrong direction, but there is still time to turn it around before it hits the reef and sinks completely.
Anyway, getting back to the point — the NRA is not the gun lobby.
Who IS the gun lobby?
Last I heard there were about 5 million NRA members. That’s a great number, and they’re the biggest gun group, but it is laughable in the greater scheme of things. While the NRA has their membership and companies can join up to support them, they don’t actually represent the firearm industry.
They represent their members. There is nothing wrong with that, but the NRA does not represent me because I’m not a member. See where I’m going with this?
It’s an important difference that we’ll touch more on below. But before we get there, let’s get back to the numbers. The NRA has roughly 5 million members, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the actual gun industry.
For example, there are about 15 million hunters across the country. Granted, a good portion of those people are all but guaranteed to be members of the NRA, but that’s not what’s important. Let’s keep focusing in on the numbers.
Because that doesn’t take into account the people who are gun owners, but don’t hunt for one reason or another.
I haven’t hunted since I was a kid, but own a gun or two (or three, or four, or …), and shoot regularly. If we were to look at the active concealed carry permits across the entire country, we’d see there were more than 17 million concealed carry permits in 2021.
Oh, and going above and beyond that are the 25 permitless carry states as of this writing. There are also people who have a gun at home but don’t have a desire to carry it on their person for one reason or another or hunt.
That does not take into account all of the other folks who just bought their first gun during the pandemic. Some estimates have the numbers between 8-12 million new gun owners within the last couple of years.
In other words, our country has millions upon millions (hundreds of millions?) of gun owners.
Those millions of people are a part of the gun lobby that the anti-gunners refuse to address.
But wait, there’s more.
Enter the NSSF
I suppose to some degree there are two entities who can lay claim to the title of gun lobby. I’ve already mentioned one of them, the millions of American gun owners. But, to some degree, the people need a representative.
The other entity is the NSSF, or the National Shooting Sports Foundation (AKA the Firearm Industry Trade Association). When the NSSF speaks, they do so as the firearm industry. An example can be seen right on their homepage on their recent statement regarding the Uvalde shooting:
If you notice the first few words in the first sentence, they speak on our behalf. And in case you needed any more convincing, there is their bit on safety.
This next screen grab also comes from their page, and is likely more permanent than the first example:
Everyone in the industry from the local gun shops and ranges to the biggest gun and/or ammo manufacturer is a member of the NSSF.
I’m a member of the NSSF, and so are my writers. So is Glock, Ruger, S&W, Taurus, and the list goes on and on.
For the time being, the NSSF represents us, and is the gun lobby. They represent ALL gun owners, because all gun owners do business with ALL of the companies the NSSF represents, like the few mentioned above.
The anti-gun left goes after the wrong entity on purpose
The NRA is nothing more than a scapegoat for the anti-gunners, placing blame on an organization of people who have nothing to do with the crimes being committed.
Most of them know that the NRA is not actually the gun lobby. They know also that the NRA is not capable of what they once were, and that if they were to do battle with the NSSF they would be going to war with hundreds of millions of people.
Every gun owner, whether or not they know it, does business with the NSSF. As pointed out above, just about every gun store, gun range, and gun manufacturer is a member of the NSSF.
There are some that are not, but most are.
The last thing the gun grabbers want to do is go after the real gun lobby, because we won’t back down, we bring facts to the table, and arses will be kicked.
So again, the NRA, while a big gun group, is not the gun lobby. That role is filled by We the People and the NSSF, who speaks for us. At least, they do for now until they do something stupid.