Joining the NRA

 ZXGUNPhotography by D. Plasman

Today, I joined the NRA. I went to, used my VISA card, and selected the one-year membership of $25. With my membership to the National Rifle Association, I’ll receive the digital magazine, America’s First Freedom (the cover story on the promo copy—“The Catastrophic Consequence of Gun Registration”—piqued my interest). I declined the offer to receive a free, camouflaged duffel bag with “NRA” emblazoned on the side. Quick confirmation of my subscription included the promise that my membership card will arrive in the mail.

I don’t own a gun. I don’t hunt. I don’t collect antique firearms. However, I’m not about to deny responsible people the right to do what I choose not to do.

I joined the NRA because I can’t get the names and faces out of my head: Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lance, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor and Susie Jackson—all killed on June 17 by a 21-year-old gunman during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.

The impact of this latest gun massacre already is fading from the news. In the United States, horrible stories like this one don’t remain front page stories for long. Here’s another reality: If the 2012 gun slaughter of twenty white children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School did nothing to tighten federal guns laws in our country, the death of nine black adults in Charleston will do even less. Nothing will change. Despite Columbine, Virginia Tech, The Navy Yard—nothing will change.

Nothing will change, in large part because of the power and influence of the NRA. The NRA owns too many politicians, is a darling of Fox News, and is warmly embraced by conservative talk show pundits. In my opinion, the leadership of the NRA spews forth far too much Second Amendment bullshit.

So, on this Father’s Day, I joined the NRA. As a dues-paying, card-carrying member, my goals are (1) to fight for universal background checks, (2) to seek a ban on assault weapons, and (3) to establish a federal database to track guns.

I entertain no hopes of succeeding (I imagine Donald Trump secretly feels the same about his run for the presidency), but what else can I do? Maybe something will change.

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  1. Dennis Keefe June 21, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    Nothing else has worked. Your efforts are worth a try.
    Happy fathers’ day


  2. Nika June 21, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    Baby steps, right? Do nothing changes nothing!

  3. Heidi Mann June 21, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

    Well, more power to ya. There is something to be said about trying to make changes from *within* an organization. I just know I couldn’t stomach it, myself. But as others have said, it’s worth a try. Nothing else seems to be working.

    Happy Father’s Day, my friend!

  4. Rosanne June 22, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    Explanation: A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. This journey will take many more steps, in my opinion, but might well be worth the effort.

  5. Mary Kansfield June 26, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

    So good, so good, Daniel! Keep it coming.