This week's action item is multi-purpose. It can help out our project by providing cover for some of our supporters in Congress and can also help you out on your Christmas gift list.
It's an NRA membership. Tom Gresham of Gun Talk (you do listen to Gun Talk, right?) has worked a deal with the NRA so that anyone can get a one year membership for $25. I've taken advantage of it to buy a special stocking stuffer for both of my kids. (O-o-oh, I can hear Diane Feinstein squealing like a pig right now.) I'm also buying one for Old Friend's Christmas gift.
(Now, some of you are going to start with the same tired list of objections about the NRA. They did this, they didn't do that, they send me craploads of mail wanting more money. You're right, you're right again and if you ask them to, they'll stop. Consider your objections noted.)
Surprise, surprise, but I'm an NRA member who doesn't agree with every stand they take. I think they were particularly wrong with their early opposition to the Heller case, for example. However, I'm still a member.
It's simple political mathematics. When a lobbyist walks into a Congresscritter's office, the Congresscritter is only going to pay attention to the message if the organization that lobbyist represents has enough members who vote (luckily NRA members tend to actually vote) to cause them problems when it's time for them to be reelected. An NRA with 4 million members (the current number) is one thing, but an NRA with 12 million is a completely different issue. Congresscritters will pay attention without fail when the numbers start getting that large. The AARP has 32 million members--they are seldom ignored in the halls of Congress.
It's an interesting point that out of an estimated 80 million gun owners in the US, only 5% are NRA members. That means we have a 95% "free rider" problem. Every member is pulling the weight of 19 other gun owners.
It's time for that to stop. Feel free to join any of the other pro-2A groups you want, but you really need to join the NRA as a first act. Strength in numbers isn't just an old phrase--it's Truth.