NRA, Gun Groups See Membership Soar After Florida Massacre

As left-wing advocacy groups and its mainstream media allies continue their daily bombardment of the National Rifle Association (NRA), desperately seeking to make gun enthusiast groups a scapegoat for the Parkland high school massacre, it now appears their efforts have embarrassingly backfired, having only succeeded in dramatically boosting memberships in the NRA and pro-gun groups, according to Time (magazine).

Over the past two weeks, leftist organizations mounted an all-out assault on the NRA, terrorizing their corporate partners on social media who offer discounts for NRA members. We have seen this before; the tactic is part of a Democrat-led agenda, and for the most part, it worked, as major corporations across the entire United States were forced through public and internal pressures to sever their NRA relationship.

According to CNN, here are some of the companies that have distanced themselves from the NRA over the past few weeks: 

  • Delta Air Lines: Delta said it’s ending discounted flights for NRA members. The airline said the decision reflected “the airline’s neutral status in the current debate over gun control.” Since then, Delta has faced a backlash from Georgia Republicans, who have responded by saying blocking a state tax break that would benefit the carrier.

  • Avis Budget Group: Avis and Budget Rent a Car, which are owned by Avis Budget Group (CAR), said that both brands will stop offering discounts on car rentals to NRA members beginning March 26.

  • First National Bank of Omaha: The bank said it will stop issuing an NRA-branded Visa card. A bank spokesperson said “customer feedback” prompted a review of its partnership with the NRA, and it chose not to renew its current contract.

  • MetLife: The insurance giant said it’s ending discounts on home and auto insurance for NRA members.

  • TrueCar: The car buying service said its partnership with the NRA would end February 28.

  • United Airlines: United will no longer offer discounts on flights to the NRA’s annual meeting.

Left-wing organizations claimed immediate success and indeed won the battle over the past few weeks. Time (magazine) indicates the war is far from over, as the NRA and gun rights groups across the country have seen a surge in new members.

Well, that was not supposed to happen...

This is not surprising said Time (magazine), who indicate such increases happen whenever people feel their Second Amendment rights are under threat, and many groups reported similar surges after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.”

Here is an example: 

“Wake up people and see what’s happening!!!!,” Charles Cotton, a member of the NRA Board of Directors, wrote on a message board, TexasCHLforum.com, a site described as “the focal point for Texas firearms information and discussions, earlier this week. “[Former New York Mayor Michael] Bloomberg and Hollywood are pouring money into this effort and the media is helping to the fullest extent. We’ve never had this level of opposition before, not ever. It’s a campaign of lies and distortion, but it’s very well funded and they are playing on the sympathy factor of kids getting killed. If you really want to make a difference, then start recruiting NRA members every single day.”

“The NRA better be 15 million strong soon, or this is only going to get worse,” Cotton, who did not respond to a request for comment from Time (magazine), added on the message board.

Over a dozen plus leaders from gun rights organizations and shooting associations in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia told Time (magazine) their membership base has seen a dramatic increase since the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 killed and 16 wounded or injured.

According to Time (magazine), two sources familiar with the internals of the NRA, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said since the horrific shooting in Florida, memberships and donations have increased “more than usual.”

And two people familiar with the workings of the NRA, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss membership numbers, said that since the shooting the NRA has also seen more people than usual join, renew memberships or donate money as President Donald Trump and other Republican Party leaders have signaled an openness to gun control policies that are anathema to the powerful group. A spokesperson for the NRA, which says on its website that it has more than five million members, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“As soon as anti-gun attacks started coming in on Twitter, Facebook, and in the media, we began to hear from people who didn’t even own guns who wanted to join up or contribute out of solidarity in defense of the Second Amendment to the Constitution,” said Patrick Parsons, who heads the Georgia Gun Owners, an independent gun rights organization in Georgia. Parsons added the group’s membership, which he estimated at 13,000, had increased by 1,000 after the Florida shooting, and that he had been “working around the clock taking calls, answering emails from interested people, sending out new member packets.”

Time (magazine) also documented Dudley Brown, the president of the National Association for Gun Rights, which he estimates his entire organization could have “grown by 30%” since the February mass shooting in Florida.

Dudley Brown, the president of the National Association for Gun Rights, estimated his organization — which claims more than 4.5 million “members and supporters” on its website — estimated online membership applications at his organization could have grown by 30% over the last week, a number he expected to rise after Trump this week called for comprehensive gun reform legislation, including raising the age limit for buying certain weapons to 21. The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, which has a membership of almost 29,000 people, said it typically gets 15 or 20 applications a week, but received almost 200 in the last week.

Gun Owners of America, which says it has 1.5 million members, amassed “hundreds” of new members in the last week, according to an official at the organization familiar with membership numbers who spoke on condition of anonymity. The organization said it has seen it’s membership grow by thousands since the Las Vegas shooting last October. Don Turner, the President of the Nevada Firearms Coalition and NRA member, estimated membership renewals and requests had increased by 20 percent at his organization since Parkland, although this is an increase he said he did not witness after the shooting in Las Vegas.

Perhaps, the statement below is crucial in understanding why the NRA and gun rights groups are experiencing an influx of new members and support:

“Gun owners themselves weren’t being demonized [after Las Vegas]” Turner explained. “But after the Florida shooting, there was a definite push to demonize honest gun owners and to demonize the NRA. And I think that’s what’s provoked their response.”

Time (magazine) provides historical data and specifies that after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the NRA added nearly 100,000 new members in 18 days.

After the deadly 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when the gun control debate also reached a fever pitch, the NRA said it had gained 100,000 members in 18 days; NRA executive Wayne LaPierre announced that May that the organization’s membership had reached 5 million, although that claim is impossible to independently verify since membership rolls and figures are not publicly released. NRA tax filings from 2013, published by ProPublica, show that in 2013, overall revenue increased by more than 35% from the previous year, with a nearly $10 million increase in contributions. Revenue from membership growth from 2012 to 2013 increased by nearly $70 million, and the percentage of membership dues contributing to total revenue growth increased from 42 percent to 50 percent, the tax filings show.

So far, experts who closely monitor gun rights groups said the NRA has remained quiet about its internal membership numbers after the Florida shooting, nevertheless, the unconfirmed surge in members demonstrates the grassroots mobilizing power that is still key to the NRA’s influence.

“It’s not just a gun lobby, it’s much bigger than that,” said Scott Melzer, a sociology professor at Albion Colege who has spent almost a decade researching the NRA and is the author of Gun Crusaders: The NRA’s Culture War.

“It relies on the support of a very large and activist membership base, and that base and that movement is connected to the broader conservative movement,” he added.

A gun rights activist, Cleta Mitchell, an NRA member and former Oklahoma state lawmaker who sat on the NRA’s board from 2002 to 2013, stated in an email to Time (magazine):

“You can rest assured that the NRA will not lose a single member as a result of this. “If anything, it should spur people to join the NRA as a means of demonstrating that we who believe in the Second Amendment will not be bullied by these left wing multi-billion dollar corporations.”

What left-wing advocacy groups and their mainstream media counterparts neglect to understand is that by thrusting the NRA to the center stage of the gun control debate, the leftist have given the second amendment supporters a way to fight back by providing further support to the gun rights group. Once again, the mainstream media has vastly underestimated the silent majority of Americans by humiliating millions of law-abiding gun owners.

Google Trends reveals the true state of how American’s feel about pro-gun groups:

Americans search term for “how to join the NRA” has exploded since the Parkland shooting and breached above its Sandy Hook highs in 2012:

Americans are frantically searching for ways on how to “donate to NRA.”

 

The search term “NRA membership” has reached new highs as well…

Contrary to the mainstream media’s narrative, the search term “support the NRA” has seen a parabolic since the Parkland shooting.