As my friend James Rosen of Fox News has reported at Greta Van Susteren‘s blog, in the aftermath of the Newtown mass murder, NRA membership actually increased. “A source at the NRA tells Fox News, based on his access to an internal memo prepared by the organization’s membership division, that since the Newtown massacre, the organization registered an average of 8,000 new members a day” in the week after the bloodbath. Rosen tells us that this shouldn’t be surprising, since “this broadly mirrors trends seen after similar incidents in the past, (although) the surge in membership this time is said to dwarf trends discerned in previous years.” But what is surprising is the number of people who belong to the NRA. As The Atlantic recently reported, “One NRA website says it’s `approximately 4.3 million.’ On another, it’s `nearly four million.’ A `sponsorship prospectus’ for the group’s 2012 annual meeting offers ad placements in e-mails that will be sent to the `house file of 2 million NRA members.’
So here’s my question: why don’t 4.5 or so million of us join the NRA, and then take over the organization? We could vote Wayne Lapierre and the gun nuts out, and vote a slate of moderate, compromise-minded gun owners in?
It’s not hard to join the NRA. All it costs $25, and in exchange for that you get stuff: a membership card; a decal; free admission to NRA’s Annual Guns, Gear and Outfitter Show; invitations to NRA special events; your choice of one of the NRA’s four award-winning magazines; $7,500 worth of insurance; and a free gift (currently your choice among a Rosewood Handled Knife, a Black & Gold Duffel Bag, and a Digital Camo Duffel Bag.
The first thing we could do is change the organization’s slogan. Maybe to something like “I’m NRA, and I’m not unreasonable.”