Dear NRA Members,
You know how you get really frustrated and angry when people dismiss you as gun crazy, logic lacking, hatemongers who place far greater value on your ability to kill other humans than on the lives of those humans?
Oh, yes, that’s happening. Ladies and gentlemen I give you, Gun Appreciation Day.
A new coalition of gun rights and conservative groups has proclaimed January 19, 2013, “Gun Appreciation Day” and begun urging Americans nationwide to show their support for gun ownership by turning out en masse at gun stores, ranges, and shows from coast to coast.
OK, let’s look at this. I’ll type fast because I’m about to end up in a rage coma.
Larry Ward, the guy who is running this farce, spent a lot of time talking to cameras during the protest at the D.C. NRA offices after the Sandy Hook shooting. That was easy for him because his company, Political Media Inc. sits directly next door to those offices. Convenient, no?
This company exists, pretty much to hate the president and promote as many debunked conspiracy theories as they can. I’ve also found indications that Political Media Inc. is on the payroll of the NRA or one of its subsidiaries, but at the moment I don’t have a hard connection at the moment.
Point, the first: This guy’s company lists itself as “a Republican New Media consulting firm,” which would be fine if there were anything in the modern Republican Party in which one could take pride but we’re talking about reality here so, no. He is, at best an unpaid shill for the far right, which includes the NRA.
Point, the second: The NRA is partially funded by the gun industry. Dues still make up the majority of their funding but individual dues paying members don’t have the same kind of influence that the industry members do. If they did, the NRA would be lobbying for criminal background checks on all gun purchasers and gun store employees as well as laws which require people who have lost their gun or had it stolen to report that loss and laws which deny those on the terrorist watch list the ability to own a gun. But they aren’t doing that because the NRA long ago left its original purpose as the voice of its members behind. Now it works for gun companies.
Point, the third: The bulk of Gun Appreciation Day’s activities seem to be geared toward buying the things that gun manufacturers sell or depleting the things they sell so you have to buy more.
Conclusion: Look everybody! It’s an infomercial! For real, this is not any kind of appreciation day, well except appreciation of money. It’s a scam. It’s an attempt to trade on the fear being ginned up by the NRA in order to bring profit to the controllers of the NRA, the gun manufacturers.
And maybe that’s fine with you. Maybe lining the pockets of the gun manufacturers so they can enjoy even stronger influence over the organization that is supposed to speak for you, is fine with you. Maybe the fact that it’s happening on MLK weekend doesn’t make your stomach turn. Maybe the fact that buying a lot of guns directly before the inauguration appears to be an implicit threat does not register. All of that may be true. However, what is also true is that if you fall for this ploy, you’re shooting yourselves in the foot as far as actual influence goes. You’ll prove to the NRA that they can not only refuse to advocate for rational gun controls which the majority of their membership wants, they can convince you to give your money to the groups they really care about at the same time. That hasn’t worked out for you that well so far.