In a pro-hunting Outside Magazine column aimed at recruiting new people to the sport, author Wes Siler ruined any credibility the piece might have had by attacking the most pro-hunting organization on the planet—the National Rifle Association.
Siler, a lifestyle columnist, could have simply written a column telling newbies how to get started. Instead, under a section titled “#2. Get a Gun,” he strayed into politics by bashing the NRA and, in so doing, bashing you, me and 5 million other law-abiding members.
“One note on gun stores: Most will automatically enroll you in the NRA with any purchase,” Siler wrote. “If, like me, you find the NRA to be super-creepy, you’ll need to opt out. And yes, this is how that organization is able to claim such a large membership. You don’t need to drink the NRA Kool-Aid to be a gun owner.”
This statement is an outright lie. No gun store anywhere in America “automatically enrolls” anyone in the NRA. There’s not even a mechanism in existence for them to do so. Reached via email, NRA Executive Director of Membership Todd Grable confirmed, “We do not automatically enroll people into NRA membership. We have gun stores that are recruiters. The statement is false.”Outside Magazineshould consider permanently breaking its ties with Siler for shamelessly lying to its readers about such an important issue.No gun store anywhere in America “automatically enrolls” anyone in the NRA.
That’s not the only lie, either. Siler’s statement, “And yes, this is how that organization is able to claim such a large membership,” also has no basis in fact. The organization actually has such high numbers because many Americans—young and old, black and white, from all walks of life—realize that there’s a constant threat to their Second Amendment rights and recognize NRA as the biggest, best organization working to save their right to keep and bear arms.
As for his flippant, “You don’t need to drink the NRA Kool-Aid to be a gun owner,” Siler should be damn glad the NRA has been around to protect his right to own a firearm—a right that might well not even exist now without the work NRA has diligently done over the past many decades.
Incidentally, Siler’s much-hated NRA has been fighting for countless years in Congress and state legislatures throughout the country against those who would like nothing more than to see hunting become only a memory. And NRA recently launched a new initiative designed to put even more effort into saving hunting from those who would see it outlawed.As for his flippant, “You don’t need to drink the NRA Kool-Aid to be a gun owner,” Siler should be damn glad the NRA has been around to protect his right to own a firearm …
In fact, the sole purpose of NRA Hunting is to save the hunting lifestyle from extremists who describe animals with human pronouns and believe humans have no right to hunt for the food they eat, the clothes they wear or the trophies they mount. The program is here to remind a new generation that hunting is an American tradition—one that NRA will not sit idly by and watch go extinct.
I guess it would have been too much work for Siler to have even attempted to find out such information before launching his attack. Maybe he’d like the taste of that “Kool-Aid.”
In the end, I give OutsideMagazine two thumbs up for running a positive story on hunting that might help bring some new people into the fold. But before spouting off again, Siler should do a little homework about the NRA, its members and all the things the Association does to help hunters and all gun owners.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for nearly 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.