The non-profit news site Trace, an organization that focuses on gun control and gun safety news, reports that NRA officials have begun implementing an “austerity campaign,” spearheaded by executive director for general operations Josh Powell. The news organization says that free water-cooler access and free coffee have been done away with at the gun association’s Fairfax, Virginia, headquarters.
“Josh is going to greatly reduce education and training and slash the number of the NRA’s publications down to one magazine,” said a source close to the gun group’s leadership. The group currently maintains six publications, including four print magazines.
Powell is an unlikely budget hawk. A Trace investigation into his business history last month found a trail of defaulted debts, including 20 lawsuits for more than $400,000 from jilted vendors.
Trace says that the NRA, when asked, did not deny the report, though it did not confirm it either. As the Washington Post pointed out earlier this year, the NRA—after boasting about rising membership numbers every time a child died by gunfire—had suspiciously boasted the same not-growing numbers for years.
One final point in support of the notion that membership numbers are flat: The NRA has been publicizing the same membership figure for nearly five years now. Several months after the Sandy Hook mass shooting, for instance, LaPierre boasted that membership had surpassed 5 million individuals. “By the time we're finished,” he told members at the group's annual meeting in 2013, “the NRA must and will be 10 million strong.”
There are some benefits to having an NRA membership, if you’re a gun owner, such as small percentages off of prices at businesses that have deals with the organization. But those benefits don’t seem to outweigh the cost analysis Americans are making with their own souls. According to OpenSecrets.org, membership in the blood-thirsty organization has declined the past few years, leading to speculation that the company, after spending lots of money on its Republican lackeys over the past few years, is in the red. Earlier this summer, the NRA raised its membership fees for the second time in two years.
A source close to the NRA said the increase has been planned for some time; members appear to have first been alerted earlier this summer. The NRA has been urging members to renew before the increase kicks in, and it has extended the deadline twice. An operator at the organization’s membership line told The Trace that the increase will take effect after Labor Day.
Having a hard time getting people to press Renew, when all they are beginning to see is blood on their hands, has got to be tough! Maybe this is why the NRA is reportedly being investigated for money-laundering via Russia?
Of course, a conservative organization filled with faux constitutional zealots bankrupting themselves is sort of perfect. I mean, the head of the Republican Party has bankrupted himself numerous times, and our current Republican Congress recently did away with billions of our country’s revenue in order to pay off its wealthy donor class.