Today I received my NRA Golden Eagles pin and badge with a letter from Wayne-o cordially inviting me to the annual show next month in Indianapolis. I also happened to read a post republished on MS-NBC by a Professor of Accounting at Ohio State which says the same thing that a gazillion posts have been saying over the last few years, which is that America’s ‘oldest civil rights organization’ isn’t yet on life support but could be ending up on a financial oxygen tank sometime in the next couple of years.

              Most of the internet sources which carry the NRA’s obituary tend to be read by liberals who aren’t particularly enamored about guns. So, if you run a story about how the NRA is teetering on its last legs, you’ll get enough clicks to help sell whatever medicine or body lotion or shoes and clothing are advertised that day.

              The fact that the way the NRA is discussed and described by its natural-born enemies is just as, or even more distorted than the way the NRA talks about the gun-control side, is neither here nor there. After all, it’s the gun-control advocacy groups who pride themselves on only relying on ‘evidence-based’ information to shape their views of the world around them, right?

              Here’s the basic theme explored in this article on the NRA’s possible demise: “I can say the NRA financial picture is, as of early 2023, a mixed bag. The gun group has shored up its financial position over the last few years. However, the way in which that financial recovery came about risks hemorrhaging the NRA’s core supporters.”

              Of course, the author didn’t bother to interview a single, core supporter of the NRA, but he knows that the organization’s cutback of its basic programs is sure to have a negative impact on the degree to which the membership will continue to fight for 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ The article’s entire thesis is based on the fact that payments for various shooting programs have gone down while payments for lawyers have gone up.

The author concludes by saying: “Though the NRA apparently shored up its bottom line, its financial neglect of programs like firearms trainingcompetitions and field services could ultimately disappoint its members and donors.”

This entire article was written by someone who has absolutely no idea about why more than 4 million Americans continue to pay dues and make donations to the NRA. I can’t imagine that he has ever gone to a single NRA shooting event or walked past the NRA booth at a gun show – there are at least 8 gun shows coming up in Ohio over the next 30 days.

Know what happens at those gun shows? People walk around, often with their kids, greet the same vendors and visitors they have seen at this show many previous times. Maybe they buy a hot dog and a drink, maybe they try to sell one of their guns to someone else because their truck needs new tires, maybe they stop by the NRA booth and complain about how much money Wayne LaPierre spent on his clothes, maybe they pick up and play around with a bunch of guns until the old lady says, “C’mon Henry, you promised this weekend to mow the lawn.”

What observers like Brian Mittendorf (the author of the cited article) don’t understand, is that for all the talk about how the NRA is this terrible organization which blocks every attempt to reduce gun violence through so-called ‘common sense’ laws, the NRA is actually just a group of hobbyists who get together from time to time to share their enjoyment in the ownership of guns.

Now that the Pandemic is over, there’s a local gun show which is held every three months in the West Springfield fairgrounds, which is across the river from the city of Springfield, MA where I happen to work and live. Springfield’s South End is the crummy end of town with a gun-violence rate which matches Honduras or some other third-world place.

If I were to walk up to someone yakking at the NRA booth and tell him that what he was doing contributed to the endless shootings which occur about one mile away from where he is standing, he would stare at me in total disbelief. It wouldn’t be that he disagreed with me – he simply would have no idea what I was talking about at all.

This is why the NRA isn’t going out of business and this is why Brian Mittendorf and others who get a publishing credit get it all wrong when they predict the NRA’s possible demise.  I have been an NRA member since 1955 and the reason I stick with the organization is very simple- I like guns.

Don’t ask me why I like guns. I just do.