This Wayne LaPierre Thing is Strange

Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA has the strangest I don’t even know what to call it, I guess a call to arms, in the Daily Caller. It’s so strange that I can’t help but wonder when the NRA will notice that LaPierre isn’t helping their cause. I mean, I’m sympathetic to guns rights arguments and I read that and I found it frightening, like the man is calling for an armed insurrection if he can’t have his way, but what, exactly, his way would be is also not very clear.

It’s as if the Wayne LaPierre who wrote this–

Every year, shooting is becoming more and more popular, with more people engaging in the shooting sports for fun. More people are buying guns and trying new disciplines, such as 3-gun competitions, sporting clays, practical shooting and so on.

As we Stand And Fight, let’s continue to make the shooting sports one of the fastest-growing recreational activities in America. By doing so, and by telling others about it, we’ll popularize and make gun owning and shooting more mainstream than ever before. That will be even more effective if we remember to invite new people to participate and provide them with the responsible mentorship and guidance that the NRA has exemplified for over 140 years.

We can’t win the political war if we lose the cultural war. One of the great protectors of the Second Amendment is the popular, active, responsible use of firearms for shooting and hunting.

–needs to sit down with the Wayne LaPierre who wrote this–

Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival. It’s responsible behavior, and it’s time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that.

–and tell him to get a grip. I mean, it’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s complete paranoia for a wealthy sixty-five-year-old white guy to think he needs a gun to protect him from hurricanes, tornadoes, riots, terrorists, gangs, and lone criminals. Dude, no, you are not sure to face those perils and you sound completely unhinged when you talk about America like a place where the only thing standing between people and those things are guns. I mean, Jesus Christ, what is a gun supposed to do in the face of a tornado?
But then, also in “Completely undermining the NRA” things happening in this bizarro rant, he reveals that the NRA only has four million members. What the fuck? Is it expensive to join or something? I mean, Tennessee has over three million people, two thirds of which I’m sure own guns. And the NRA only has four million members? Granted, I’m not leading the NRA, but I sure as fuck wouldn’t be bragging about being so useless to the ordinary gun owner that you can’t even convince Southerners who own guns to belong en masse to your organization. Just for the sake of comparison, Justin Bieber has 34 million followers on Twitter.
I’m about to get way off topic from my main point–which was, to sum up before we leave it behind, Wayne LaPierre–hilarious and scary in public. But holy shit, one only has to look at the NRA website to understand why they can only drum up 4 million members. Right now, when I clicked on the home page, whatever nifty thing I was supposed to see was broken. Okay, fine, but if I want to be a member, the things that I would get for being a member suck, especially for women or kids. I can get my choice of a shitty knife or a couple of duffel bags that frankly make me look like I’m trying to play pretend military/SWAT team. I can get a subscription to either “American Rifleman,” which I’m betting isn’t going to be geared towards my interests, “American Hunter,” which again, not that interesting to me, or “America’s First Freedom,” which sounds like it’s just going to be chalk full of ravings about how I need my gun in case of tornado. No thanks. Apparently I’m not alone, because they give you the option of opting out of the magazines. And I get $7,500 worth of insurance. But it doesn’t say if its health or life or what. I’m guessing life insurance, but $7,500 doesn’t get you in the ground in most places. So, again, big whoop.
And now I finally got it to let me into the main site. Which appears, at first glance, to just be about aggrandizing Wayne LaPierre. And then, the whole site has a snide, angry tone, which is fine if you’re talking to like-minded people. But they only have four million members–not just a small percentage of Americans, a small percentage of gun owners. And LaPierre is out trying to drum up new members. Nothing about this site looks like a friendly place for people to learn more about why gun owners should join together in common interest. It just repeatedly gives you the impression that Wayne LaPierre needs to take a long vacation and relax for a while. Come back to the NRA when he’s not feeling so stressed out.
I know it’s easy to get caught up in the bunker mentality, especially when you feel like people are deliberately misunderstanding you. But the website is horrible. And horrible in a way that makes me certain that the NRA isn’t interested in the involvement of women or minorities or young people. And, in that case, it’s no wonder they have so few members.
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7 thoughts on “This Wayne LaPierre Thing is Strange

  1. Hello, B. I don’t think it’s all that strange. If the primary purpose of the NRA is to drive weapon and ammo sales, then LaPierre’s fevered and seemingly inconsistent rantings make perfect sense. Given the market to which he and the NRA are playing, he’s not expecting to encourage rational reflection and behavior. Besides, repeatedly and blatantly contradicting oneself is a required activity for reactionary political figures.

  2. A cousin of mine, who used to be a member of the NRA, told me that the leadership started losing touch with reality at least as long ago as the 1990s, when Tanya Metaksa was their head lobbyist. They dropped the veneer of representing the sporting or target-shooting public, and started more overtly representing the interests of gun manufacturers, pushing the sales of as many of any kind of weapon as they could. They lost a lot of members that way.

  3. I think what he’s saying is that after a tornado or hurricane, black people will come and steal your stuff and rape your women. Because, y’know, that’s always what happens, right? Even Joe Scarborough picked up the racial fearmongering from this rant — and condemned it.

  4. Oh and also, the NRA is widely known to inflate its membership numbers. Several people report getting free memberships, and then the WaPo fact-checked these claims as well and come up at least 1 million members short:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/does-the-nra-really-have-more-than-45-million-members/2013/02/07/06047c10-7164-11e2-ac36-3d8d9dcaa2e2_blog.html

    And:

    http://www.commongunsense.com/2011/03/is-nra-bluffing-about-their-millions-of.html

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