The National Rifle Association is the largest gun rights organization in the world. It represents millions of members and the interests of many gun owners who aren’t currently part of their membership roster. So, when the NRA talks about the interests of gun owners, they have a fairly sizable sample from which to draw that understanding.
However, there will always be a few people who own a gun or two that will scream about how the NRA doesn’t represent them to anyone who will listen. To a progressive, that’s like sweet music to their ears.
Gun control activist Igor Volsky on Wednesday told Hill.TV’s “Rising” that the National Rifle Association (NRA) doesn’t represent all gun-loving Americans, arguing that there is some common ground on issues.
“Often in D.C. we hear a lot from the NRA and we think that it represents all gun owners but that’s just not the case,” Volsky, who is the executive director of Guns Down America, told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton.
“They may be the loudest voice in the room but certainly as I’ve been traveling and meeting with gun owners, there’s a lot of common ground we can find, even on things like licensing,” he continued.
Volsky is right. The NRA doesn’t actually represent all gun owners.
The NAACP doesn’t represent all African-Americans, either.
CAIR doesn’t represent all Muslims.
NOW doesn’t represent all women.
I’m sure you can see a pattern develop here, right?
No organization represents all of a particular group of people. There are a lot of gun owners who aren’t members of the NRA for various reasons, and no, the NRA doesn’t represent those folks’ views.
Volsky is a gun control activist. He’s going to hear one side of the story. Gun hypocrites are going to reach out to him and use their ownership of a firearm as something to give them a bit of gravitas among the gun-grabbing crowd. Sure, he’s going to hear from those folks.
Who he doesn’t hear from are the other groups that the NRA doesn’t represent, those who have issues with the organization for not being steadfast enough, for not being less willing to compromise or discuss gun control. Yes, that’s right, some non-NRA gun owners claim the organization is too willing to give ground for these people.
I’m going to clue Volsky in on something, though. That latter group that I just described? They’re the larger of the two camps the NRA doesn’t try to represent.
What Volsky is talking about is a group of gun owners we’ve all known about for years, the Fudds. They’re usually those who don’t think you need anything other than a hunting rifle, and so long as they get to have that, they’ll support any method of gun control out there. They’ll also use that to give themselves some measure of credibility in gun control discussions, usually starting with, “I’m a gun owner, but…”
We’ve always known they were there. And while they may be loud, they’re a small fraction of the total number of gun owners in this country. Yes, they support licensing or whatever else is out there.
But, Volsky needs to understand that if he’s legitimately interested in what gun owners think, he needs to stop looking for confirmation of his own opinions and start really looking for gun rights supporters to see what we actually think.
I promise you, though, he won’t like what he finds.