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Friday, August 3, 2018

NRA is 6 Million Strong

NRA is 6 Million Strong

Photo credit: Illustration by Tim Jessell

If you only watch CNN and read national newspapers like The New York Times, you might think the teenage gun-ban advocates and other anti-gunners who have become overly antagonistic and hateful since the Florida school shooting in February have already won sweeping victories and seen more restrictive gun laws passed throughout the country.

And you’d be wrong.

While so-called “mainstream” media like to cover every tweet from David Hogg and fawn over every statement by Demanding Mom Shannon Watts, such “news” outlets won’t mention the unintended consequences of the new gun control push’s sometimes hateful and divisive emphasis. With Hogg saying adults “don’t know how to use a [expletive] democracy,” and others calling NRA members “terrorists” with “blood on their hands,” those who support the Second Amendment are fed up and pushing back strongly.

One of the unintended consequences you likely won’t hear about from anti-gun national media outlets is the rapid membership growth within the National Rifle Association. Since Hogg and Company have begun pushing the limits of civility in their battle against law-abiding gun owners, NRA membership has jumped to nearly 6 million, an increase of more than a million members since just before the Parkland shooting.

Here are a few more:

• NRA-ILA has seen record donations to its critical lobbying operations;

• After turning its back on law-abiding gun owners, Dick’s Sporting Goods saw sales at existing stores fall twice as much as Wall Street had expected;

When pressed, Publix cut all political donations, not just those to groups who favor gun rights. In the past, the supermarket chain had also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-gun politicians;

• In Illinois, there are now more than a dozen counties that have adopted “Second Amendment Sanctuary County” resolutions. Meanwhile, in Oregon they’re starting to push similar referendums in at least two counties.

• Many gun-rights supporters destroyed expensive Yeti coolers when that company abruptly cancelled a program supporting The NRA Foundation and Friends of NRA;

• Countless gun owners swore off ever flying Delta Air Lines again, a move that will almost certainly hurt the airline’s bottom line in the future;

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both visited the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Dallas to assure members that the Trump administration firmly stands on the side of the Second Amendment.

Here’s the moral of the story: Don’t listen to “mainstream” media for your news about guns and the Second Amendment. They’ll only tell you what they want you to hear—and it will seldom be positive toward guns and gun owners.

Bankrolling Gun Bans

John Arnold—who made a fortune at Enron—and his wife Laura have added their names to the list of billionaires attempting to use their largesse to subvert the Constitution.

During the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy in late May, the two announced plans to put $20 million toward “gun violence research” over the next five years, with another $30 million coming from their family foundation. “Ninety-six people are killed by guns in the U.S. every day,” Laura Arnold said, lamenting a lack of action by the government on gun control. According to Arnold, this inaction has resulted from the 1996 Dickey Amendment, which she suggests suppressed supporting evidence by banning all government research on gun violence. (This is a favorite gun control lie: In reality, the amendment simply prohibits the cdc from using tax dollars for anti-gun advocacy.) “It’s a critical time for philanthropy to step in and catalyze the government to act—to cut through the politics with data,” she announced.

Specifically, the Arnolds plan to research how guns are purchased, how guns change hands, and the risks and benefits associated with having a firearm in the home. While we would hope that an unbiased, scientific look at the data leads the Arnolds to conclude that guns have a positive—not to mention necessary—place in society, their assertion that the results “are certainly meant to guide policy” suggests that they’ll only find what they set out looking for—regardless of what they have to do to get there.

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