The National Rifle Association has remained stone-cold silent in the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary. While gun control advocates have called for the banning of extended magazine clips and stricter safety laws on assault weapons, the NRA has been biding its time, promising only to make a public statement at the end of the week.
But today, leaks emerged in the NRA information dam. In an apparent effort to gain some credibility before tomorrow’s press conference, one ‘source’ revealed to Fox News that the organization has seen a rise in membership following the shooting:
#NEWTOWN: An NRA source tells Fox News its membership has surged by an average of roughly 8,000 new registrations a day since the massacre.
— James Rosen (@JamesRosenTV) December 19, 2012
The NRA may think it can up its credibility by showing off enrollment numbers, but the organization is ignoring a key fact about NRA members: They don’t always agree with the organization’s policy positions. NRA members support sensible laws about reporting stolen guns, prohibiting certain people from acquiring a firearm, requiring background checks, and issuing restrictions on concealed carry permits. Like Americans overall, NRA members support the second amendment, but they also believe in stricter gun safety laws than the NRA proposes.
It’s possible that the NRA will in fact come up with “meaningful contributions” that it’s promised in response to the horrific tragedies that took place this year — from Oak Creek to Sandy Hook, Aurora to the streets of Chicago — but if history is any indication, the NRA’s move might be an empty gesture before it continues on its warpath toward absolute deregulation of guns.