David Fellerath owns guns, hunts and is one of 50 million Americans who has firearms.
Like most gun-owning Americans, Fellerath is not a member of the National Rifle Association.
Some time after I bought my first gun, I got a robocall from the National Rifle Association, asking me to join. After the customary “Please stay on the line…” from a pleasant but earnest voice, I recoiled from the barkings of an angry-sounding man.
Did I know that Barack Hussein Obama and European leaders are meeting on American soil right now, at this very moment, to plot the confiscation of my guns?
The caller continued with his insinuations of an imminent United Nations plot against America, but before I could be handed off to a live operator, I hung up the phone.
I was amused, and then insulted, that someone would think I was dumb enough to fall for such a pitch. But the sad truth is that there are enough people willing to open their checkbooks to make such a noxious fundraising appeal worthwhile. The NRA claims to have five million dues-paying members (though there’s some reason to believe this figure is inflated). That sounds formidable, until one considers that there are approximately 50 million adults who own firearms.
During my time working inside politics in a little more than a decade in Washington, I dealt with the NRA and Fellerath is right: The claim that NRA has five million gun owners as dues paying members is a gross exaggeration.
The bulk of NRA members who pay dues and contribute to the association’s causes are gun manufacturers who feel NRA is their organization. Gun owners are secondary because the sole purpose of the NRA is to sell more and more guns to as many people as possible.
The gun industry has given more than $52 million to the NRA through the “Ring of Freedom” sponsor program. In addition, another $20.9 million from gun companies come into the NRA through ads purchased in organization publications.
NRA lobbyists fight to ease restrictions on gun ownership. They want background checks reduced. They want people who should never go near a firearm to own as many lethal weapons as possible.
Such actions benefit those who make and sell guns. They also make it easier for those who kill people to own guns in America.
The NRA loudly proclaims that “guns don’t kill people.”
In reality, they do.
And so does the National Rifle Association.
Yes, I own guns.
No, I do not belong to the National Rifle Association. At one time I did but I returned my membership card with a strong letter about their failure to represent gun owners.