Anti-Gunner Claims NRA Membership Woes Are Due to Gun Control

AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

The National Rifle Association isn't what it used to be. Apparently, someone misspending millions for the benefit of top officials while also infuriating numerous members isn't a recipe for success.

Who knew?

The truth is that a lot of people wanted nothing at all to do with Wayne LaPierre's NRA. They believed in the mission, but they didn't want their membership money abused like they'd been seeing, so they left for other gun rights organizations.

As a result, the NRA's membership dropped significantly.

But an op-ed written by someone who probably only knows two gun owners claims the issue really is that the anti-gun rhetoric is working.

The NRA is no longer the political powerhouse it once was, but the damage done is irreparable. The notion of a course correction is so far from possible. No reasonable person with any ambition would want to take LaPierre's job and inherit the mess he leaves behind—the personal reputation and professional risk are too high.

We would send our thoughts and prayers to LaPierre—but, this isn’t just about him. The gun violence prevention movement and the survivors of armed violence cannot move on, and neither can he. Every empty seat at the dinner table. Every birthday-turned-anniversary. Every stolen milestone. He will always hold responsibility. The scars of his legacy are irreparable and his damage to the organization makes it unsalvageable.

We wish we could give LaPierre all the credit for the downfall of the NRA—but, proudly, the gun violence prevention movement played a role as well. Guns Down America has fought back against the NRA and LaPierre’s agenda since our inception, from leading the “murder insurance” effort that fined the NRA $7 million to influencing Wells Fargo to break ties with the NRA contributing to the steady decline in relevance and influence.

For the first time, the NRA can’t buy their way out of this problem. So as one last parting gift to the organization in decline, we’ll offer them a free piece of advice: Sell your gun range at HQ in Virginia—maybe you’ll be able to afford your legal fees.

Of course, the "murder insurance" was nothing of the sort and, frankly, is available from a number of other places without any issue and pressuring a bank to break ties with the NRA has led to numerous states firing back at banks doing such things, but sure.

Now, don't get me wrong, these things probably haven't helped the NRA out to any appreciable degree, but those weren't exactly the downfall of the organization.

That was all on Wayne.

You see, the setbacks are setbacks, sure, but this op-ed makes it clear that the NRA was targeted for its pro-gun stance, not because it actually did anything wrong.

That's more likely to fire up the gun rights base, especially with LaPierre gone.

See, unlike this twit, I actually talk to gun people. I know why a lot of them left the NRA and it had nothing to do with supposed "murder insurance" or Wells Fargo or anything else like that. It had to do with two things, one of which was Wayne LaPierre as an entity.

The other? They felt the NRA was too soft, too willing to compromise.

So, you see, there probably are a lot of people who are interested in stepping in and righting the ship, mess left or not. They'll want to step in and make it work like it was supposed to work, only this time the anti-gunners won't get an 800 pound gorilla that's actually cuddly.

They'll get King freaking Kong.

Imagine all the resources of the NRA but with an absolute unwillingness to give even a lick of ground? That's what they're looking at now, so if I were this writer, I wouldn't be patting myself on the back too hard.

As Admiral Yamamoto supposedly said, though it's probably apocryphal, "I fear all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant."