What does America know about the membership base of the National Rifle Association? As Americans are reminded that the NRA’s membership is growing and are told that this is proof that voters don’t want gun restrictions, do we know if NRA members are of voting age, citizens, reside in the United States, or are even human?
A visit to the membership application on the NRA’s website shows that membership is open to children and foreign applicants. Their membership application also doesn’t request a social security number of other proof of citizenship. In fact, membership appears to be open to anyone who has an American Express, Visa, Mastercard, or Discover Card and as little as $15 of available credit. As proof of this I registered my cat, O’Ryan for membership in the NRA today. He received the following e-mail from the NRA in response:
Thank you for joining the NRA. We appreciate your interest in protecting and preserving our Second Amendment rights and promoting safe, responsible gun ownership.
Your credit card will be billed for $15.00* for a 1 Year Junior Membership in the National Rifle Association with “Insights Magazine” as your magazine choice.
If you have any questions regarding your order, please email us at email@example.com. Or you may call our Toll Free Membership Account Information Hotline at 1-877-NRA-2000.
Thanks again for your interest in the National Rifle Association!
NRA Membership Services
Any attempts by the press to verify the demographics of members of the NRA has been met repeatedly with citations by the NRA that their membership list is sacred and falls within the realm of “trust but don’t expect us to verify.”
Indeed, the NRA expects the American people to trust that they have a membership base of 4.25 million people and that this base has grown by 250,000 in the month since the Sandy Hook shootings. They also expect the American people to trust that these members represent US Citizens of voting age. I suppose if you believe that my cat has a strong view on gun rights then you might also believe that the NRA’s membership base is entirely legitimate. However, I assure you that O’Ryan’s only interest is in when he will be served his next bowl of cat food.
How many other members of the NRA are children, pets, or even foreign nationals? When will the American people demand to know more about the group that is driving American policy?