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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:09 PM   #1
rdowns
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Does the NRA Really Have 4+ Million Members

I've long thought the NRA over inflated their membership numbers.

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The National Rifle Association may be taking a beating in the public opinion polls since they began their post-Newtown offensive, but to hear the organization tell it, the tragedy has swelled their ranks, from 4.25 million to 4.5 million since the tragic mass shooting. While mainstream news organizations dutifully report the NRA‘s unverified figures, Mother Jones‘ Josh Harkinson lays out a compelling case that the organization is, shockingly, overcompensating to the tune of about a million members by, among other things, continuing to count dead members.

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Writing in 2000, when the NRA claimed to have 3.6 million members, journalist Osha Gray Davidson speculated on some of the group’s strategies for fluffing itself up:

Two years ago, David Gross, then an NRA board member, confided to me that a substantial number of the group’s 1 million Life Members are, well, dead. “There just isn’t that much incentive to go find out when someone passes away,” Gross explained. “Not when the cost of maintaining (a dead member) is minimal and when they add to your membership list.”

Who else is included in that figure of 3.6 million? I may be—although I haven’t been a member for years. Not long ago, I received an NRA form letter stating that in recognition of my previous commitment to the Second Amendment, the gun group had granted me an honorary membership. The mailing even included an NRA membership card embossed with my name.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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Well, as we've seen already- honesty and truth seeking are not their strong suit.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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Given the power and the news coverage that the NRA gets I was surprised that has only got 4,000,000 members. I was honestly thinking more in 20,000,000 numbers
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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Not too shocking. Most organizations that rely on membership numbers to boost their appeal or power do this. Be it the NRA or the Mormon Church (http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54...rowth.html.csp ).
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Happybunny View Post
Given the power and the news coverage that the NRA gets I was surprised that has only got 4,000,000 members. I was honestly thinking more in 20,000,000 numbers

Frankly, their power comes mostly from several hundred, bought and paid for, politicians primarily on the right but with a few dozen Democrats sprinkled in.

Thankfully, we are witnessing that change, and at a rather rapid pace.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:34 PM   #6
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Frankly, their power comes mostly from several hundred, bought and paid for, politicians primarily on the right but with a few dozen Democrats sprinkled in.

Thankfully, we are witnessing that change, and at a rather rapid pace.
Good. As a supporter of the second amendment, they certainly do NOT represent me. They've just gone nuts.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:38 PM   #7
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I recently got an email from an organization claiming to be the NRA , referring to me as a "valued member" and thanking me for my "continued support". I have not now nor ever have been a member of the NRA nor have I contributed money or resources to them, or any remotely political organization of any kind for that matter. If they claim all the people who recieved emails like this as "members" I could see where they get their numbers from.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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What does it matter? What organization doesn't fudge their numbers a little? If they don't have 4.5 million today they will this year sometime. As long as this administration is going to push gun control and keep it in the forefront people will sign up. One of my friends signed up for the first time last week and another renewed his membership.

MacRumors claims to have 784,532 members. Does that number include dead accounts or members?

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Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
Frankly, their power comes mostly from several hundred, bought and paid for, politicians primarily on the right but with a few dozen Democrats sprinkled in.

Thankfully, we are witnessing that change, and at a rather rapid pace.
Yeah and one of the big Dems is none other then Harry Reid http://www.harryreid.com/ee/index.ph...cond_amendment
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by edk99 View Post
What does it matter? What organization doesn't fudge their numbers a little? If they don't have 4.5 million today they will this year sometime. As long as this administration is going to push gun control and keep it in the forefront people will sign up. One of my friends signed up for the first time last week and another renewed his membership.

MacRumors claims to have 784,532 members. Does that number include dead accounts or members?
I think you overestimate their appeal. Many people who own guns or support gun ownership want nothing to do with them. I'm one of them. They've gone off the reservation to such a degree, they'll alienate just as many people as they bring in-not a recipe for success.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Orange Crane View Post
I recently got an email from an organization claiming to be the NRA , referring to me as a "valued member" and thanking me for my "continued support". I have not now nor ever have been a member of the NRA nor have I contributed money or resources to them, or any remotely political organization of any kind for that matter. If they claim all the people who recieved emails like this as "members" I could see where they get their numbers from.
Do you belong to a Union?
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by edk99 View Post
What does it matter? What organization doesn't fudge their numbers a little? If they don't have 4.5 million today they will this year sometime. As long as this administration is going to push gun control and keep it in the forefront people will sign up. One of my friends signed up for the first time last week and another renewed his membership.

MacRumors claims to have 784,532 members. Does that number include dead accounts or members?

It matters because a group representing a fringe of society should not have the kind of power the NRA does. And you do your side no favors with a ridiculous comparison of the NRA to MacRumors.

While I'm sure the NRA is attracting new members, I'd bet they are losing many too.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 12:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
It matters because a group representing a fringe of society should not have the kind of power the NRA does. And you do your side no favors with a ridiculous comparison of the NRA to MacRumors.

While I'm sure the NRA is attracting new members, I'd bet they are losing many too.
All because they don't have 10's of millions of members doesn't mean they represent a "fringe" of society. Representing all gun owners is not a fringe of society.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 01:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
It matters because a group representing a fringe of society should not have the kind of power the NRA does. And you do your side no favors with a ridiculous comparison of the NRA to MacRumors.

While I'm sure the NRA is attracting new members, I'd bet they are losing many too.
Since when are gunowners a "fringe" of society..
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 01:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edk99 View Post
What does it matter? What organization doesn't fudge their numbers a little? If they don't have 4.5 million today they will this year sometime. As long as this administration is going to push gun control and keep it in the forefront people will sign up. One of my friends signed up for the first time last week and another renewed his membership.

MacRumors claims to have 784,532 members. Does that number include dead accounts or members?
Well, it probably includes dead members and lapsed accounts, but MacRumors doesn't use its membership number to push against members of Congress either.

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All because they don't have 10's of millions of members doesn't mean they represent a "fringe" of society. Representing all gun owners is not a fringe of society.
Well, they say they represent "all gun owners" but increasingly, even in this very forum, it's become apparent that this is less and less true.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 01:06 PM   #15
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All because they don't have 10's of millions of members doesn't mean they represent a "fringe" of society. Representing all gun owners is not a fringe of society.
They don't represent all gun owners.

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Since when are gunowners a "fringe" of society..
Gun owners aren't. The NRA though, is definitely a fringe group.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 01:06 PM   #16
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All because they don't have 10's of millions of members doesn't mean they represent a "fringe" of society. Representing all gun owners is not a fringe of society.
They primarily represent gun manufacturers.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 01:07 PM   #17
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All because they don't have 10's of millions of members doesn't mean they represent a "fringe" of society. Representing all gun owners is not a fringe of society.
Do you truly believe they are representing all gun owners? If you think they are, you need to do a little more research on what their actual priorities are.

I think that's what they mean by "fringe". There are many gun owners, even a few here on MR, who don't want the NRA speaking for them.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 01:34 PM   #18
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Do you belong to a Union?
Nope. I vote, am employed and have a state issued ID. No gun license of any kind. Otherwise pretty off the books with no loans, credit cards, car payment or mortgage, pay rent to landlord out of the country and no lease. As such I don't get spam email or even junkmail to my house. It was unusual to get one from the NRA. Or someone claiming to be.

If your inquiry was an attempt to initiate nitpicking at my claim to have never contributed to a political org, you probably would be better served barking up some other tree.

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Old Jan 18, 2013, 02:07 PM   #19
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They don't represent all gun owners.
maybe 5% of gun owners are members

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Originally Posted by leekohler View Post
They don't represent all gun owners.


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Since when are gunowners a "fringe" of society..
Gun owners aren't. The NRA though, is definitely a fringe group.
remember when George H. W. Bush gave up his NRA life membership in disgust over the organization's extremist rhetoric......from his letter to the NRA;

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I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as "jack-booted thugs." To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as "wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms" wanting to "attack law abiding citizens" is a vicious slander on good people.
The NRA has thrown in its lot with the political fringes for some time now
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 02:26 AM   #20
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I've long thought the NRA over inflated their membership numbers.
And, even if their numbers were not inflated, the NRA would represent a small fraction of gun owners.

However, they have been quite successful, so far, in representing the gun industry.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 10:15 AM   #21
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This reminds me of when PETA came to my university. My friend signed some form about not requiring frog dissection in schools (kind of a tame issue) and he ended up getting sent tons of information and becoming an "official" PETA member even though he really only signed the thing to shut the guy up.

I too have a hard time believing that there are 4.5 million real members in the NRA.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 05:35 PM   #22
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This reminds me of when PETA came to my university. My friend signed some form about not requiring frog dissection in schools (kind of a tame issue) and he ended up getting sent tons of information and becoming an "official" PETA member even though he really only signed the thing to shut the guy up.

I too have a hard time believing that there are 4.5 million real members in the NRA.
If you take out the members with double first names, and the current cast of Moonshiners, the number comes in at about half that. But Tickle, he do have a problem...

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Old Jan 26, 2013, 05:42 PM   #23
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And, even if their numbers were not inflated, the NRA would represent a small fraction of gun owners.

However, they have been quite successful, so far, in representing the gun industry.
Proof that they over inflate membership numbers please...
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 06:06 PM   #24
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Proof that they over inflate membership numbers please...
Come on now, you should know the American way. Guilty until proven innocent.

Now prove to us that they don't over inflate membership.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:43 PM   #25
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Proof that they over inflate membership numbers please...
I said that (even) if the numbers are not inflated (by including past members whose are no longer paying dues), they still represent a small fraction of households. According to the US Census Bureau, there are 114,761,359 households (estimated) in the U.S. According to one of the references someone posted earlier, roughly 1/3 of U.S. households have at least one firearm. That would be 38+ Million households. According to the quoted excerpt from NRA ILA, "~4.3 Million". Making 11.2% of gun-owning households "more or less". That is what I call a small fraction of gun-owning households. How about you?
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