Ever since Mike Spies did some great reporting on the various flim flams at the NRA, the liberal media and Gun-control Nation have been touting the collapse of America’s ‘first civil rights’ organization.

              The group was going down the tubes because the Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, was outfitting himself in the boutiques on Rodeo Drive. Then Ollie North was going to take over the organization until he was kicked out. Then NRA-TV shut down and the advertising agency which thought up that brilliant idea – Ackerman-McQueen – was sued, then a bankruptcy and move from New York to Texas didn‘t go through, blah, blah, blah and blah.

              Worst of all, was the news that the NRA’s membership was going to hell in a handbasket, with even some Board members walking away. And since the NRA’s operating budget depends on dues, if the membership numbers decline, so does the inflow of cash.

              We now have the latest missive about how the NRA is going to fold up and disappear, in this case the leak of an internal memo which shows that things haven’t gotten any better, they’ve only gotten worse. The memo shows that dies receipts are down from what was expected to come in, ditto donations to the political action fund, ditto membership renewals, ditto, ditto and ditto.

              This report got a headline on The Trace, whose staff writer, Will Van Sant, noted that when a Democrat is in the White House and talk about gun control, this is usually exactly what revs up fundraising and member support for the NRA.

              But that’s not happening this time around, because as one pissed-off Board member says, “They [meaning LaPierre and management cronies] have destroyed the NRA brand, they have lost credibility. In our society, firearms ownership is expanding, and these new gun owners are not joining the NRA, and it’s because of the brand.”

              I am a member of the NRA, in fact, I’m a Lifetime Endowment member, which means I give the organization enough money each year so that they won’t throw me out no matter what I write or say. I just received the March issue of the American Rifleman magazine and if the NRA is on the verge of collapse, you wouldn’t know it from what the magazine is all about.

              There’s the usual editorial about how the 2nd Amendment is under attack, another editorial complaint about this or about that misguided anti-gun talk, and a somewhat disjointed article about the anti-gun ministrations of the CDC. Nobody who gets the magazine each month bothers to read that crap.

              What we do read are the excellent articles on the history of different guns which puts the Smithsonian to shame, as well as some technical data on reloading different calibers and some tests of the Chapuis line of French shotguns which having been acquired by Beretta, are finally going to be appearing over here.

              Next time you go into Barnes & Noble, take a look at one of the magazines on the store rack which is devoted to model trains. Now the difference, of course, is that nobody’s trying to ban model trains, and there has yet to be any research which shows that access to a model train represents threat to public health.

              But leaving aside the several pages devoted to gun-control hysteria, American Rifleman reads just like any other magazine which covers a particular hobby which is what guns are really all about. Yea, yea, I know all about how guns protect us from the bad guys out there, but I have personally bought and sold at least a thousand guns since I joined the NRA in 1955, and I will continue to buy and sell guns and read American Rifleman for the simple reason that I like guns.

              The NRA’s real problem is that the same people keep buying all those guns, even when more guns are bought than were bought the year before. Next time you’re in a big shopping mall, take a look at the number of customers inside the Apple store. Get it?

              The NRA will be around as long as there are people like me who had model trains, toy soldiers and toy guns when they were kids. The model trains and toy soldiers were given away but the toy guns became real guns and thus remain.

              So, the average gun owner will get older, and the NRA will get smaller over the next twenty to thirty years. Dollars to doughnuts, the organization will still be around even when The Trace stops focusing on guns and becomes a fashion magazine.