I am not now, though I have been. I support the original intent of the NRA - to support firearms ownership and marksmanship, among Americans. This will get a little long.
A bit of background - I live in MA; simple possession
here requires a license
. To get your license in MA, you must
take a class. This class generally runs about $100. (Previously, this money, less the cost of teaching materials, went to the instructor; the NRA was getting about $12 per student for the course materials.)
Shortly after I got my license, I became an NRA instructor. At the time, I became a member. There are two NRA courses that meet the requirements to apply for a license: Home Firearms Safety (HFS), and Basic Pistol Safety (BPS). I am certified in both, and recognized by the Commonwealth as such.
Recently, the NRA "upgraded" BPS to a blended-learning format and called it "Basics of Pistol Safety." It is not an accepted course in MA; instructors are not allowed to teach the old class, or the NRA will strip you of your status and sue you for using their name to sell unsupported material. What was their response to calls of concern from instructors in MA? In short - too bad.
The NRA charges $60 for their mandatory, online portion. Blended learning does not improve student outcomes; it does create a new revenue stream for the NRA. They did all this so they can send more marketing materials and tchotchkes to folks. They wanted to make sure we know that "no election has ever been as important as this one!"
Meanwhile, the NRA has acted to block Constitutional Carry laws in NH , and generally made themselves a menace in more anti-gun states like MA. Meanwhile, every time they come up in conversation, I have to start by pulling their foot out of our collective mouth.
Further, while it is my understanding that the NRA has never taken a position on anything outside their purview, high-ranking members have, and they have been sure to use their titles in doing so. In these situations, t's not enough for the NRA to say nothing - they must speak up, and loudly, telling us that these statements do not represent the NRA, but are the positions of the individuals making them. What you tolerate, you validate.
The NRA must
make it clear that they are once again a single-issue organization, and that efforts to use their name outside that issue will not be tolerated. They need to stop grabbing for every penny they can. In short, they must return to their roots of spreading marksmanship and firearms ownership to all
Until then, I have other places to send my money. I'll continue to direct it towards national groups like SAF
, local ones like GOAL
, and teaching orgs like Appleseed
. I will spend what I have left trying to grow my local PP
chapter; and I will continue to teach HFS, while I still can.