Is It Really The NRA Who Are Stopping Gun Grabbers?


It’s popular thinking among both pro-gun and anti-gun people that the lobbying and education efforts of the NRA are the reason that the U.S. doesn’t have the nut case gun control that much of the rest of the world has. And there’s no question that the NRA does a lot of good for the pro-gun cause with their lobbying and education efforts, but should we give them credit for the amount of freedom to own firearms that we still have?

Not according to a writer named Mark Overstreet. Overstreet says that it’s not the NRA. No, it’s you and me. Overstreet writes,

Throughout history, the left has achieved power by rallying its mob, and rallied its mob by giving it someone to hate. Vladimir Lenin encouraged “language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us,” Saul Alinsky advised radicals to “pick the target . . . and polarize it,” and leftists continue the practice today.

So, a few days ago, left-wing columnist Michael Tomasky wrote that the gun laws Democrats are now pushing can be imposed if “The NRA Can Be Beaten.” Having worked in the NRA’s political division from 1991 to 2016, I might laugh at Tomasky’s notion, if I had a sense of humor about such things. The left’s everyone-on-message vilification of “the NRA” may inspire high-pitched squeals of approval during the Democrats’ presidential debates and campaign rallies, but anyone who thinks that the NRA is all that stands in the way of disarming the people of the United States has another think coming.

Those 62 Democrats who were defeated in the 1994 elections didn’t lose just because of the several hundred of us who worked at NRA headquarters, nor even because of the NRA’s 1 million or so members at the time. There were 60 million other gun owners in America in 1994 and soon thereafter polls showed that more Americans identified with the NRA than with either major political party.

NRA’s membership roughly doubled to 3 million after Clinton and the Democrats imposed gun control and rose to 5 million after President Barack Obama tried to impose more gun control during his second term. There are now 100 million gun-owning Americans, and gun owners tend to be single-issue voters.

Tens of millions of Americans own handguns, which anti-gun activists tried to get banned in the 1970s and 1980s. Seventeen and a half million Americans have permits to carry handguns for protection away from home. A comparable number own semi-automatic rifles that Democrats in Congress have been trying to ban since 1989.

Since the 1990s, every time Democrats inside the Beltway have acted against the right to keep and bear arms, or threatened to do so, purchases of guns, particularly those that Democrats want most to ban, have soared. For example, in August, the first month of Democrats’ new push against guns, gun purchases increased roughly 16 percent, compared to the number in August 2018.

So, to put it simply, there are many more gun owners than there are NRA members, and since gun owners are often single issue voters (focusing on gun rights), you can’t give credit to a lobbying and education organization with only a tiny fraction of that gun owner population as members.


No, it’s you and me, working everyday, voting, educating other people, and contacting our elected representatives who are the ones who should take credit for the fact that Americans still have gun rights.

But if anti-gunners want to keep focusing on a single organization, let them continue to be fools while we beat them in elections again.



  1. Good point, indeed. The NRA is not the sole reason, but without the NRA, we would have a tougher time of it. My wife and I are Life Members and have never regretted it for more than a few minutes, as when there is conflict among the leadership, but we get over it quickly because the issues are so important.

  2. I am a life member of the NRA. I HATE that the “leaders” in the NRA are acting for their own financial well being. They need to consolidate and work to STOP the INFRINGEMENTS that local organizations and government “sycophants” are pushing via the RADICALIZED GUN-GRABBERS. At this time I am also looking else where for organizations that choose to FIGHT Anti-gun government GRIFTERS.

  3. I do not donate to the NRA any more. IF, and that is some IF, the NRA drains their own swamp and gets rid of the elites that are now controlling things and wasting money like crazy, I will go back to donating to them.

    I currently donate to NAGR(National Association for Gun Rights) and to TXGR(Texas Gun Rights). Those two organizations get a lot more done here in TX than the NRA by a long shot.

    I suggest that everyone maintain the membership in the NRA, but donate to gun rights organizations that are a lot more transparent and responsive to the grass roots.

    • I agree
      But even the NRA has caved to some gun control laws
      I am all for GOA(Gun Owners of America)

  4. The worst thing we can do as members of any gun rights group is to start infighting amongst ourselves. That’s just what the anti’s want—remember the old divide and conquer thing! That’s the easiest way to destroy us! Donate to as many pro-gun groups as you can afford!

  5. As a Life Member halfway through the Endowment upgrade, I’d have to concur that it is you and I, and fellow citizens who are one issue voters. Nothing is more important than protecting those God given 10 the Founders framed, enshrined and have been sanctified with the blood of every American Patriot since 1776.
    The Histories we’ve read and been taught doesn’t reveal just how often or how many times, the crown we were once under tried to disarm our forefathers. That those God given rights were proclaimed as a response to the personal infringement every American was shackled with. Why we have the Freedom of Speech, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Freedom against unlawful searches and seizure. The enforced quartering of British troops among the population, and so on, these were all infringements that our forebearers suffered under due to the whim of a tyrannical monarch. These weren’t just words written on piece of parchment. Everyone in the former colonies had felt the heavy hand of a totalitarian government. Anyone wondering why the crime of Treason is so very narrowly defined by our Constitution, it’s because King George the 3rd and his ministers redefined and added more and more treasonable offences with every proclamation they dispatched. Seaking out against ol George and his actions was considered treason. That’s why our Founders placed limits on the definition of Treason.
    A number of us claim to be one issue voters, and we’re denigrated for it. The reality though, is that we’re 10 issue voters. All of those 10 Amendments are of equal importance to us. We’re not Republicans or Denocrats, we’re Constitutionalists, and we will Follow, Protect and Defend that Constitution against all enemies, especially the domestic enemies.
    I swore an oath in 1985, when I entered government Civil Service. It’s wording is nearly the same as the oaths our armed forces make, and the country’s politicians, judges, and civil officers take. Even though I left employment with the government a few years later, that oath is still in effect and it’ll only cease to be followed when my last breath leaves me. I know that those of us who took that oath feel the same.
    The NRA, GOA, NAGR and other pro 2nd Amendment groups are our voices outside of the voting booth. They lobby and act as a watchdog over that sh*tpit we know as DC. Anytime, some anti 2A legislation gets put forward, all of those groups inform their members to start the chain of contacting our Reps and Senators and informing those folks that we’re not happy with the proposal. They form a vital and needed service to help protect the 2nd, and to keep us abreast of what’s going on.
    Like another commentator said “support as many as you can afford to.” As we recently saw with the Democratic debates, the 2nd Amendment is under fire and at high risk of being infringed yet again. It also served to show us, the Democrat end goal of flushing the 2nd down the toilet. They want an unarmed citizenry because unarmed people are easier to subjugat and tyrannize.

  6. With that being said. Our schools are teaching our kids that the Second Amendment is a Government given right Not A GOD given right and that only the police and military are supposed to be able to bear ARMS??.The socialist thinking of these elitist educators should be called out and our children should be thoroughly educated and informed about there Constitutional rights??
    Are we to be like the unarmed German Jews of the late nineteen thirties where fire arms possession by Jews was strictly prohibited by the fascist regime .How about the White Southerners black codes of the eighteen sixties where newly freed black slaves were denied there second amendment rights. This unconstitutional Legislation was overturned by a Republican Supreme Court and the NRA

  7. bullshit. NRA provides links to our legislatures to send voting instructions.

    Lots of groups advocate for this or that but if they don’t streamline the process of participating in government, then people won’t do it. so thanks to the NRA, JW and FAIR for picking up on that.

  8. Armed we are citizens, disarmed we are subjects. As parents we should be teaching our kids about the history of our country and stop the brainwashing there getting in the schools.

  9. Maybe this person should have started out with ONCE UPON A TIME,THATS WHAT ALL FAIRY TALES START OUT WITH. The main financier of this organization is Mike Bloomberg??You know the short guy who runs around with (4) very heavily armed bodyguards?? He wants to ban all fire arms except the ones his bodyguards carry(Me thinks thats more than a little suspicious?? don’t you) Mikey geo soros(not his real name) and others seek to ban all fire arms WHY? SIMPLY TELL THESE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS OR NOT TOO IF YOU SO CHOOSE. They do not have the right to dictate who should or shouldn’t own them???

  10. Excellent article, and very accurate. Having said that, I will join the NRA when the NRA cleans up it’s administrative mess and demonstrates an understanding of the 2nd Amendment. I remember the gun bans, and I also remember the NRA giving ground to the progressive communist wannabe dictators who passed the laws and calling it compromise. The only thing I have ever seen, both personally, and through studying history, is that compromise ultimately leads to defeat. No bans, no compromise. Roll back existing gun laws. Until private persons can buy the same firepower the US Military can buy, you are not free.

  11. Perceptive & objective article followed by a number of substantitive replies, but the final thought expressed immediately above is simply unrealistic given the technical complexity required to utilize current weapons systems. Passession of ‘the same firepower the US Military can buy,’ while largely possible at the time that our Constitution was designed, just isn’t a plausible or reasonable expectation in the21st Century.

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