National Rifle Association memberships surged in the wake of the anti-NRA protests and “media bias” that followed the February 14 Florida school shooting.
The Daily Mail reports that Google searches for “NRA membership” rose “4,900 percent” since the Florida attack. That rise occurred at a time when many Democrats, media personalities, and Hollywood celebrities were denouncing the NRA as causal in the shooting that took 17 lives in a gun-free zone.
The Hollywood attitude was epitomized by writer-director Judd Apatow, actress Mia Farrow, and comedian Chelsea Handler, all of whom responded to the Florida school attack by calling out the NRA to drive a wedge between voters and pro-gun legislators.
For example, Handler tweeted:
We have to elect candidates that are not funded by the NRA in November. We have an opportunity to elect candidates who won’t allow kids to go to school and get shot. It is disgusting how many times this has happened and Republicans do nothing. You all have blood on your hands.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) February 14, 2018
CNN’s February 21 gun control town hall highlighted the media’s animosity towards the NRA, as it featured survivors from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting confronting Republicans over NRA affiliation. The Guardian reported that one student spoke to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), asking, “Can you tell me right now you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?”
In addition, more than a dozen companies severed ties with the NRA in the wake of the school attack, ending discounted rates and fares for NRA members.
But a large swath of the American populace is equating these various attacks on the NRA with attacks on the Second Amendment, and others see the attacks as proof of “media bias.” The result is an explosion in NRA memberships.
The Daily Mail quoted Cleta Mitchell, a former NRA board member and former Oklahoma lawmaker, who said, “There is no one. NO ONE. Who joins the NRA for a discount on a rental car. You can rest assured that the NRA will not lose a single member as a result of this. If anything, it should spur people to join the NRA as a means of demonstrating that we who believe in the Second Amendment will not be bullied by these left wing multi-billion dollar corporations.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.