If you are a member of the National Rifle Association, have you seen this ad?
Are you still a member? Why?
There is no gray area on this: If you remain a member of the NRA after viewing this ad, you are supporting a call to violence by conservative white Americans against all other Americans.
This is a line a society must draw if it’s going to survive intact.
Are we going to try to figure out how to live together even if we don’t like each other, or are we beyond that and it’s time to start killing? This recruitment ad by the NRA is unambiguous about where it stands.
A year ago, according to this HuffPost piece, the NRA was bleeding members. Perhaps this is a desperate, unhinged attempt to reverse that trend. Or perhaps enough has changed in the last year that the angry, nationalistic, white conservatives to whom this ad speaks are emboldened enough to draw a line in the sand – an outright refusal to coexist with anyone who looks and thinks differently.
The NRA generally claims 5 million members; it’s a number that can’t be independently verified, and those who have tried are generally skeptical. How many new members does the NRA think this ad can bring in? How many members did they calculate they’ll lose?
If every American today was forced to choose sides – a new Civil War based not on state boundaries but on hate and fear of “them”, as the ad puts it – how many would choose the NRA’s side? If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that nobody really knows.
Maybe I’m overreacting. I hope this recruitment ad proves to be a step too far – that the United States of America decides to take away the voices of this group of wealthy, powerful, dark people. Not through legislation but through simple collective will.
If you’re still a member of the NRA, that starts with you.