NRA’s Latest Ploy: Grab More Minorities

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*The National Rifle Association (NRA) is if anything boundlessly creative when it comes to thinking of new ways to keep its political friends and allies in tow and to win new ones to beat back gun controls.

The latest ploy is to grab at more minorities. It announced with much fanfare on its website that it is a diverse organization and welcomes all who support unfettered gun ownership. The site promises comments from “diverse” commentators on gun owner’s rights on and kicked off with a YouTube appeal from a black gun lover touting the benefits of gun ownership and the NRA.

At first glance the NRA’s minority outreach campaign seems like a good ploy since surprisingly the majority of gun owners in America are non-whites, African-Americans alone make up nearly thirty percent of the nation’s gun owners, though only 12 percent of the population. But you wouldn’t know that. The talking head faces of the NRA are white guys, as well as its top officials, bankrollers, and key legislative lobbyists, and vocal congressional backers, as well as those in state legislatures across the nation. The NRA has been wildly successful in spewing its anti-gun control message for the past decade through a well-oiled, well-versed, labyrinth of PACs, lobbyists, legal counsels, divisions, funds, and a foundation. There are few, if any minorities involved in any of these lobbying efforts.

To the general public, the NRA is a reflexive ultraconservative, advocacy group. The NAACP AND LULAC, The League of United Latin American Citizens, have been vocal opponents of the NRA’s hard line position on guns. Both have expressed deep skepticism about the NRA’s minority outreach campaign.

The NRA calculates correctly that with the gun lobby under relentless assault by President Obama, top Democrats, and as polls consistently show a majority of Americans than what better time than now to try to corral more blacks and Latinos and, even better, to put a few of them out front as visible , public taking heads for the organization. This would be cynical, and calculating, and aimed to use them as window dressing to help make its case that is not a narrow, racially one dimensional organization hostile to minorities.

This is not to say that black and Latino gun owners that believe in the NRA’s mission don’t have the right or shouldn’t be in the organization.  The NRA’s problem in getting more minorities is not the perception and reality that it is a good ole’ white guys run politically conservative organization. Nor is it solely the deserved bad ink it gets with every new gun atrocity and the increasing public attention to the gun carnage ongoing in Chicago and other urban inner city neighborhoods. The problem is the NRA’s refusal to concede virtually any ground on what the majority of Americans and a hefty number of legal gun owners and advocates clamor for, and that’s sensible, effective, and tough gun control measures that will cut down the carnage among the very minorities that the NRA claims …read more
Source: Electronic Urban Report