The Pew Research Center recently published a study that looks at NRA members versus run-of-the-mill gun owners. The results show that NRA members prove to be fascinating political animals, to say the least. Naturally, this research has been widely ignored by the establishment Media.
Gun Owners in America Belong to a Diverse Group – and Three Out of Ten Belong to the NRA
The report shows that three out of every ten people who own a gun are members of the National Rifle Association. That amounts to about 30% of the gun-owning population. Pew also found gun ownership in America to be broad and deep, with 22% of women, 24% blacks, and 15% Hispanics saying they own at least one firearm. More than half of all gun owners reside in rural areas and another 28% in the suburbs. This substantiates claims that firearm ownership in the U.S. is diverse and vastly different from TV depictions of gun owners being looney alt-right hayseeds.
Unsurprisingly, more than 75% who say they are members of the gun lobby also identify as Republicans. Another 20% claim to be Democrats or those who lean Democratic. And more than half of those who own guns and belong to the NRA possess a lot of firepower – more than five firearms each on average. They also hunt and shoot more often than the average gun owner.
Members and Non-Members Have Varying Opinions on the Issues
Where things begin to get interesting in the Pew Report is the political divide among NRA gun owners and non-member gun owners. Seventy-five percent of non-NRA gun owners say they support background checks for private firearms purchases and at gun shows compared to 52% of members. In another divide, only 29% of NRA members support a federal database to track gun sales whereas 47% of the non-members support the checks. The two groups coincide when it comes to permitting K-12 teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds. Both groups crested at 80 – 85% approval of on-site school carry.
With an estimated five million members, the NRA is without a doubt the gun advocacy group with the most political firepower in the country. NRA President Pete Brownell crows, “The continued growth of the NRA is the primary reason anti-gun legislators lie awake at night.” He may indeed be right. But it’s the Gun Owners of America that keep the left awake clutching their comforters in fear. “These guys are insane. Birthers, militia insurrectionists, and their ilk have a home here [GOA],” according to the Daily Koz.
Even though the political climate is currently more Second Amendment friendly than under the Obama Administration, there are still myriad gun restriction laws on the books across America. Organizations like the NRA have flexed their political muscle playing both offense and defense in this war against the right to bear arms. There’s no doubt that without these powerful, pro-gun ownership groups the Second Amendment would be in bigger trouble than it is today.
The author is card-carrying member of the NRA. -Ed.