Why I’m an NRA Member by Randy Rowley


I began my shooting and hunting hobbies back in 1975 when I was 15 years old. Oma Claunch, a 13-year-old friend in my neighborhood, got me hooked on both dove and deer hunting.

Soon afterwards, I learned of the existence of the NRA and became a member. My membership lasted until I began college four years later. My pursuit of a degree caused me to lose interest in hunting, shooting, and many other hobbies. During college I hunted a couple of times and bagged a spike but it wasn’t until years later (at the first B&P Appletree hunt) that I rekindled my love for the outdoors and began to seriously hunt and shoot again. However, I did not rejoin the NRA.

I was turned off by the NRA’s stand on military style rifles such as Colt’s AR-15. When I worked for a pawn shop in Abilene, I had the misfortune to sell several of these type weapons to men who were intent on using them to hunt deer. I was also turned off by the NRA’s stand on large capacity clips. Even after massacres such as the one in Killeen, the NRA would staunchly defend the need for 15 round magazines for pistols.

The debate and passage of the Brady Bill got me thinking about once again joining the NRA, but it wasn’t until I heard on the news that the anti-gunners were proposing Brady Bill II (which, by the way, was announced on the day that the Brady Bill went into effect, due to the “success of the Brady Bill”) that I decided to re-join. Brady Bill II would ban assorted “assault” weapons, impose severe taxes on handguns and handgun ammo, and register all gun owners among other things.

Also instrumental in my decision was a cartoon picture that I saw at a Gun & Knife show. It depicted a patriot holding a musket at port arms. Another character was berating him. He stated “Hey, private citizens can’t own a military style assault rifle!” This really made me think. At the time of the passage of the 2nd Amendment the firearms that private citizen’s owned and those that were used by the military were one and the same. The authors of the 2nd Amendment obviously intended for private citizen’s to have the right to keep and bear the same type of arms that the military used. They did not put any restrictions on the amount of ball and powder that a rifleman carried nor did they insist that private citizens weapons be inferior to those that the military used.

I also came to realize that every shooter is going to like some classes of weapons and dislike others. If we each allow the guns that we do not like to I be banned pretty soon all guns I will be banned.

I wrote this article in the hopes that other club members who are struggling with joining or re-joining the NRA will be exhorted by my words to do so. I realize that there are other pro-gun organizations out there, but none have the clout and the ability to effect legislation and public opinion that the NRA has. Gentlemen, it’s time to fight or give up the right. I hope that we do not have to explain to our grandchildren why we did nothing to keep guns from being banned.

Those interested in joining the NRA should call 1-877-NRA-2000 or visit the NRA website. A one year membership costs $35.00. With it you receive 12 issues of your choice of the American Rifleman, the American Hunter, or the America’s 1st Freedom magazines, a NRA shooters cap, a NRA member decal, a membership card, $10,000 in Hunter’s Accident (Accidental Death and Dismemberment) insurance, $1,000 in Firearms Theft Insurance, discounts on car rentals and interstate moves and, if you meet credit criteria, an NRA VISA card, and much more! Longer memberships (at significant discounts) are available.

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