Until yesterday, I took all the prognostications about the demise of the NRA with several grains of salt. Believe me, as a Patriot Life Benefactor member, I know better than anyone who reads this column about the organization’s current woes – revenue shortfalls, staff layoffs, investigations into the Russian connection, loss of commercial partnerships – that made 2018 a pretty tough year. But I also thought that many of those problems were being overblown by the liberal media which would like nothing better than to see America’s ‘first civil rights organization’ go right down the tubes.
An email I received from the boys in Fairfax, however, may actually prove that the prophets of NRA doom will turn out to be correct. Because the email linked to a new video on the NRA-TV channel which, if nothing else, indicates that the organization’s attempts to renew its strength are, to all intents and purposes, either dying or dead.
The video is a 30-second fundraising effort by the chief NRA-TV clown, Grant Stinchfield, warning the faithful that Hillary Clinton may run for President again. And the proof that ‘crooked Hillary’ is considering yet another attempt at the brass ring was a comment from a CNN noisemaker, Jeff Zeleny, that Hillary ‘told’ a couple of her friends that the indictment of Roger Stone would prove that Trump’s victory was a sham, and since she won the popular vote, why not try again?
Now the fact that Hillary and Bill couldn’t get their national tour off a dime; the fact that there are now at least three formidable women (Harris, Warren, Gillibrand) out there raising money for their 2020 campaigns; the fact that Hillary has about a good chance of being elected dog-catcher after the way she screwed up the 2016 campaign; oh well, oh well, oh well. But here’s the bottom line: the dopes who run the NRA marketing effort can’t come up with anything better to bolster their image than yet another riff on the ‘crooked Hillary’ line. Which is exactly what the NRA-TV email subject line read: “Crooked Hillary Hints at a Third Run for the White House.”
Have the boys in Fairfax heard of H. R. 8? It happens to be a piece of legislation introduced two days after the 116th Congress was convened which has already gained enough co-sponsors – 229 – to move towards committee hearings and then to a certain majority vote. If you want to see the NRA’s official position on H.R. 8, just go to the NRA-ILA website where you’ll find this description of the bill: “Would make it a crime, subject to certain exceptions, to simply hand a firearm to another person. Anytime gun owners carry out this simple act, they would potentially be exposing themselves to criminal penalties.”
Now of course this statement is a typical piece of pro-gun hyperbole, taking some language from the legislation and twisting it beyond repair, but at least the editorial staff which creates content for the NRA-ILA website is keeping their collective eyes on the ball. This is certainly not what’s going on when we look at NRA-TV. How can you compare the potential threat to gun-owning ‘rights’ of the resurrection of ‘crooked Hillary’ to a major piece of gun-control legislation that will float through the House and may even have a chance of Senate approval if Trump’s 2020 political fortunes continue to fade?
The fact that the NRA continues to invoke the Clinton bugaboo when everyone else has forgotten that she exists, tells me that things at the home office in Fairfax are becoming unglued. Does Wayne-o really believe that I’m going to increase my annual endowment gift because I’m worried that Hillary might run?
A long time ago there was a company called GE. They employed a guy named Ronald Reagan to hawk household appliances on television, and now that company doesn’t exist. That’s exactly what’s going to happen to the NRA if they don’t come up with some better messaging about why gun-nuts like me love our guns.