A world without the NRA

If you were in a coma last week, you might have missed the news that the NY State Attorney General filed a politically motivated lawsuit to disband the National Rifle Association. While there’s a lot of discussion to be had about the merits of the suit and the allegations of massive corruption against NRA officials, today we want to look at what would happen to the gun culture in a world without the NRA.

The first thing that would happen in a world without the NRA is a massive power vacuum on the political front. Regardless of how you feel about the NRA, no other organization has the kind of lobbying infrastructure that NRA has. Yes, SAF and FPC are good at winning litigation, but lawsuits aren’t legislation, and the NRA knows how to get the sausage made. The other thing we lose at the political level is the ability to drive legislation at the state level. While some states have effective gun rights organizations, many states have benefited from the NRA’s state level lobbyists. If the NRA goes away, we lose access to that.

Off the political front, our losses would actually be even more damaging to the fabric of the shooting sports. In a world without the NRA we lose all these things:

  • Collegiate rifle and pistol shooting
  • The Camp Perry National Matches
  • Bianchi Cup
  • NRA Instructors
  • NRA Range Officer training
  • Eddie Eagle Gun Safety
  • NRA publications including American Rifleman and Shooting Illustrated

That’s just some of the stuff that we lose in a world without the NRA. To explain why that’s a bad thing, let’s look at the case of NRA Instructors. It’s kind of cool in professional shooting communities to laugh at the NRA Instructor certification, but it’s also one of VERY few nationally recognized instructor certifications. In many states, if you want to teach concealed carry classes you have to be a certified instructor, and the NRA cert accomplishes that. There are “NRA Instructors,” myself included who have never taught an NRA class, but use that cert to teach CCW courses. If NRA goes away, so do all those instructors, and suddenly it becomes harder for people to get their concealed carry permits.

We all know that the lawsuit to kill the NRA is politically motivated. We all at some point have been frustrated with the NRA as well; as a Life Member I especially want to see better, more accountable leadership. This makes it easy and tempting to say “f*** the NRA let them burn” – but the reality is that a world without the NRA isn’t one that the gun culture thrives in. And if you want to keep shooting, we need the NRA.