Why the "New NRA" Terrifies the Political Left

The anti-gun left and their allies in the news media rarely miss an opportunity to attack gun owners, and they’ve frenetically focused in recent months on the “New NRA.”


The younger, more hip, and more diverse stable of commentators that is the public face of the National Rifle Association in their new media properties seems to terrify the anti-gun left, and they’ve gone after them with a vengeance that they typically reserve for minorities that dare leave the liberal plantation.

Among the NRA commentators are:

  • a gay multi-racial ex-Google employee (Chris Cheng)
  • a Venezuelan Olympian immigrant (Gabby Franco)
  • a white female (Natalie Foster)
  • a bespectacled hipster (Billy Johnson)
  • an  African-American lawyer (Colion Noir)
  • a former navy SEAL (Dom Raso)
  • a former beauty queen turned tactical training company CEO (Nikki Turpeaux)

They come from all walks of life, and different parts of the world, but their common, unifying trait  is what they are not: the “uneducated fat old white guys” that is the stereotype of gun owners perpetuated by the media.

The reality that terrifies the anti-gun left is that this diversity accurately reflects the changing face of American gun culture.

Once predominately rural and passed down along paternal lines from fathers to sons in the context of hunting, the fastest growing demographics of shooters today are young, urban, and female shooters, who are typically brought into shooting as a sport by their friends.

There will always be a place for the American Rifleman crowd, but the “new American shooter” is a different animal, often focused on self-defense, tactical shooting, and social shooting sports, than they are the more individual shooting sports, such as hunting.


One thing in particular that seems to terrify the anti-gun left is the mainstreaming of America’s new gun culture. It’s becoming popular… and they have no idea how to stop it. One of their targets is NRA Sharp, which reflects this new and growing gun culture.

NRA Sharp is a lifestyle brand with a web site, magazine, and a lot of attitude. It’s an aspirational magazine, filled with high-end commercial consumption in the grandest of capitalist tradition… and it’s awash in firearms.

Media Matters For America, the far-left anti-gun (except for their leader) concern trolling operation, is having a hissy fit over NRA Sharp, and their practice of pairing brands:

The National Rifle Association’s lifestyle magazine, NRA Sharp, is using Apple and other popular brands to promote firearms that are manufactured by NRA corporate donors.

NRA Sharp showcases high-end products (guns and otherwise), opulent lifestyles, and pop culture musings, all with a pro-gun bent. As Daily Beast columnist Cliff Schecter noted, “It’s the lifestyle of the armed and delusional. At NRASharp.com, there’s $250 Gucci suspenders, dandelion recipes, and readers’ fantasies of shooting with E.T. ‘and his badass guns.'”

An August 4 post on NRA Sharp matches firearms, including an assault weapon, to their “‘mainstream’ cultural equals,” namely BMW, Nike, luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe, and Apple. As the post explains, “We believe these pairings boost both brands to their full potential.”

NRA Sharp matches Blaser, a manufacturer of high-end hunting rifles, with German car company BMW, describing both products as “German-made monsters of design” that can be used “to experience the elemental thrill of shooting/driving.”


The reality of the matter is that the brand parings made in NRA Sharp actually do make a lot of sense to those of us who understand the paired products.

Blaser is a high-end rifle, that would be in the price range of someone who drives a BMW. Daniel Defense is a mass market AR-15 builder that is pushing hard to dominate the sport shooting market the way that Nike has carved out a large part of the sports and fitness markets. In a world where concealed carry is growing in every state and “everyday carry” (EDC) is becoming increasingly common, it is indeed common to see a Smith & Wesson paired with a iPhone.

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An example of every day carry (EDC) items from Spec-Ops Brand blog.
An example of every day carry (EDC) items from Spec-Ops Brand blog.

What terrifies the left about the “new NRA” is that they are shattering the “fat old white guy” stereotype, while simultaneously celebrating what is nothing less than the Renaissance of American gun culture.

Right now there are more gun owners in the United States than at any point before in our history, with an estimated 80-100 million gun owners. Only primarily a suburban-to-rural phenomena, gun ownership is becoming increasingly common among the urban and suburban, and is exploding in popularity among younger shooters and women. It is this rapidly expanding growth into these areas—where lockstep anti-gun liberalism once head sway—that utterly terrifies the anti-gun left.

Media Matters and their leftist allies view this trend towards gun ownership in demographics that they once “owned” as a “gateway drug” towards classical liberalism, libertarian beliefs, or conservatism. They are fearful that if young liberals start following their peers into social shooting events at the new “guntry clubs” popping up around the nation, then the political shift towards anti-gun Marxism and socialism will not only be arrested, but reversed.


They know that firearm ownership is a gateway towards thinking as an individual and thinking more about individual rights, and this terrifies the anti-gun, collectivist left.

For them, fighting against the “new NRA” is more than fighting against gun ownership. It’s a fight for the very survival of a belief system that is starting to collapse under its own ponderous weight.

Expect these attacks to not only continue, but intensify.

The anti-gun left knows that they are fighting for their lives… and losing.

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