SYNTHESIS: WHY I BROKE AWAY FROM THE NRA

The above is bullshit

 

I have been a Firearm Education and Training Consultant and Educator for a little over 6 years now and one of the questions that I often get asked is: "Why did you break away from the NRA?" And I wish I could give them a short and simple 3 second answer, but the truth is I can’t. The reason I’m unable to give a simple answer is because my list of reasoning is quite comprehensive. But for the sake of time I will touch on at least three primary reasons as to why I decided to break away from the NRA so long ago. 

 

  • Weak Training

  • Monolithic Thinking

  • Fear Mongering

 

WEAK TRAINING

What I mean when I say this is that the training is irrelevant to the majority of firearm owners. Why? Because the majority of firearm owners purchase firearms for personal protection. Sure, there are Firearm Collectors and Historians  such as my Brother and President of The Urban Sharp Shooters James McKoy.

 

Then there are your Sport-Shooters: those that shoot for pleasure as well as those that enjoy Trap and Skeet, 3 Gun-Competition and Cowboy Action Shooting. But the vast majority of firearm owners could really care less about the fore mentioned as a firearm is seen as a tool for their survival.

 

To support my position, I would turn your attention to the Pew Research Institute in an article entitled "Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason Perspectives of Gun Owners, Non-Owners". They stated the following:

 

"A national survey finds that nearly half of gun owners (48%) volunteer that the main reason they own a gun is for protection; just 32% say they have a gun primarily for hunting and even fewer cite other reasons, such as target shooting."

Moreover, it is my position that the NRA either mediocrity "trains" or simply fails to reach this demographic the most. This is not say that they [NRA] doesn't have a program in place that is worthy of mention. But the fact of the matter now is that the NRA, does not truly address the needs of this demographic - which is providing training that is relevant to their needs.

 

Although NRA shooting programs such as Personal Protection Inside the Home, Personal Protection Outside the Home, and Basic Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun are "OK" starting points, but they are by far no where near able to prepare people for what they purchased the firearm for in the first place.

Monolithic Thought

A lot of people may not know what monolithic thought is, so for those that don’t know monolithic thought can understood as:

 

“One singular form of thought for a mass of people in which all thought is linear (one directional) and shared among that mass of people. Monolithic thought also strongly disregards all other forms of independent thought, especial independent thought that is contrasting to the shared linear thought among the mass of people who believe.” (VODA)

 

Some examples of monolithic thinking that I have seen on a daily basis are as follows:

 

“All males from Atlanta are homosexual.”

“If it's not the NRA, then it's no good.”

“If you're not certified by the NRA, then you're no good.”

 

Linear thought patterns such as the above examples are extremely dangerous, and that kind of thinking is significantly even more dangerous when firearms are involved. This is just another reason as to why I left the NRA. I simply could not deal with the presumed faulty sense of arrogance of many of their instructors when most of their instructors and people who use go through their “training” either:

 

  • Have never had to discharge their firearm in self-defense

  • And the police and the military whom of which utilize their training have an 18 percent hit rate with a 5 percent kill rate. Yet, they are average 80 percent on paper

 

Moreover, it has also been my past and my current experience as well as my future prediction that the firearm instructors of the NRA will only be able to see shooting instruction and education through the lens of the NRA. And what that does to the Gun Game is stifle growth, development, and evolution in terms of firearm instruction and education.

 

Monolithic thought is very dangerous in the aspect that it allows for group thinking and cognitive biases to run rampant that only through the members and fail on instructors of the NRA but on the way down to how firearm training is delivered to the Consumer. And what it does is, since the Consumer doesn't know any better they tend to take on that same monolithic thought.

 

In doing so they are unaware of the cancerous nature of monolithic thought. This has the propensity to make the Consumer like The NRA instructor close minded, and totalitarian through conditioning, and more susceptible to cognitive biases such as bigotry and prejudice; not to mention the "Go along to get along" attitude that increases apathitic behavior. Don't believe me, watch what they did to Smith & Wesson.

Fear Mongering

This is the one thing I absolutely cannot stand with the NRA, is the fact that when you have fear mongering working in conjunction with monolithic thought you have a recipe for cognitive disaster of epic proportions. When you look at the topic of the fear mongering I think Wikipedia explained it the best. According to Wikipedia “Fear Mongering” can be explained as:

 

"the spreading of frightening and exaggerated rumors of an impending danger or the habit or tactic of purposely and needlessly arousing public fear about an issue. This can take the form of psychological manipulation that uses fear-based tactics (scare tactics) including exaggeration and usually repetition to influence the public in order to achieve a desired outcome. It is a tactic used to scare or put fear into those viewing a campaign/advertisement and influence the outcome based on fear."

 

Ever since Obama's presidency I have watched the NRA very closely in an effort to fully understand if what they had spoken about Obama has had any merit. It is my conclusion as a professional that it didn't. In fact, more firearms where sold during his Presidency than they were taken away despite the NRA rhetoric that:

 

“Obama is coming for your guns!”

“The U.N. is coming for your guns!”

“Hillary is coming for your guns!”

 

Stop it! this is nothing more than fear mongering and scapegoating at its finest! As an Intellectual, Scholar and Educator how could I or anyone with sound Logic trust an organization like the NRA that engages in this kind of preposterous rhetoric. In fact, when it comes down to it, I can even go as far to say that the NRA played on the public's socially constructed and psychologically manipulated fear of “gun confiscation” and "gun regulation".

 

Consequently, I’m willing to go out on the ledge that the NRA could actually careless about ordinary folks as they as a “non-profit” organization lines their pockets to the tune of over 200 million dollars and the President Wayne LaPierre pockets close to 1 million per year. Furthermore it was reported by Robert Greenwald for the Huffington Post that the NRA was:

 

  • "Spending more to keep politicians in line: The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action — a.k.a. lobbying arm — spent $47 million in 2014. That’s considerably more than the $27 million they spent in 2013 lobbying to defeat a bill that would have expanded criminal background checks for private gun sales, which gained traction in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. This spending surge suggests the NRA’s concern about lawmakers willingness to march in lockstep going forward."

  • "Spending more to polish their image: The NRA’s public relations agency Oklahoma raked it in, with $16.9 million in billing in 2014 — compared to $14.5 million in 2013 — the year after Sandy Hook. That’s hardly a show of strength."

 

VODA

 

REFERENCES

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fearmongering

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-greenwald/nra-convention-dwindling_b_10107208.html

  • http://www.people-press.org/2013/03/12/why-own-a-gun-protection-is-now-top-reason/

 

 

 

 

 

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