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Old 01-12-2013, 8:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by mag360 View Post
Nobody is saying the NRA hasn't been successful. Just that in this instance they did a piss poor job of advancing our cause. We don't reach pop culture by saying "its the video games making people go crazy", we reach them by saying coming across with real valid constitutional principles.
I, for one, will say the NRA hasn't been successful. The very fact we are are having this discussion means they have failed. Had they been successful, no politician who valued their career would think of touching gun rights. The NRA has failed miserably at growing the base support for gun rights. As far as I can tell their focus has been on fundraising from the people whose support they'd have in any case. Instead of going on the offensive, they've simply retrenched their positions. Bunkering has become reflexive for their leadership and led to a myopic world view and hamfisted responses to gun rights challenges.

There are at least 40 million gun owning households in the US. NRA membership stands at a little over 4 million. Those two numbers are an indicator that what we have been doing is not working. If we can't pick up the active support of people who should be a slam dunk, we need to re-examine our strategy. I know a fair number gun owners who are not members of the NRA. The overwhelming feedback I get is that the NRA is not an organization for people like them. The perception is that the NRA is only for old white Republican men. This simple fact hurts us a lot.

The myopic world view and siloed thinking of the NRA leadership was evident in La Pierre's speech. The out of date cultural references were painful and painted an image of an out of touch, irrelevant organization. Instead of structuring a response that allowed future flexibility and appeared well reasoned, the NRA lashed itself to the school shield program, which anyone with a brain should have known was a non-starter. In talking to non-gun friends and many gun owning friends, I believe the NRA's response may well have done more damage to our cause than Sandyhook itself.

I had let my NRA membership lapse for several years. Like many gun owners I know, I concluded the NRA didn't want and was actively hostile to people like me. I realize now, that was a mistake. My response should have been to get more involved and advocate for change.
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