Quote of the day–Michael D. Barnes

Q: Mr. LaPierre claimed membership of the NRA was about 3.5 million. What is the combined membership of the Brady Center, particularly after joining forces with the Million Mom March?

A: We’re a lot smaller, unfortunately. We’re working to grow, we’re about a half million. We’ve started a new effort through the Internet to expand our outreach and we’re now up to over a quarter million new people, who are not members, but have logged on to sign, for example, our petition in support of renewing the federal ban on assault weapons. The NRA likes to brag about its millions of members and our information is that it has dwindled significantly. They were over four million about four, five years ago, they used the Clinton administration as a real boogeyman to build up their membership, but The New York Times and others have indicated that their finances have suffered significantly recently and their membership is probably more like 2.5 million, but that’s still a lot.

But there are 90 million gun owners in the United States. Only 3.5 million want the insurance and magazines and the various things you get for joining the NRA. When you look on our side and who supports us, for example, in the fight to renew the assault weapons ban, we’ve got over 300 organizations in the United States working with us: teachers, nurses, doctors, the American Academy of Pediatrics, religious organizations, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP. I’ll put our supporters in this cause up against the NRA any day of the week. We represent far, far more Americans, and the polling is very clear on that.

Michael D. Barnes
President, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
June 23, 2004
[It’s interesting to me that he quickly changes the subject when asked how many members they have. Did you notice that when he talks about NRA membership he jumps from four million to 2.5 million to 3.5 million. And if you want to talk finances the numbers I have show the NRA non-profit divisions solidly in the black and the Brady non-profit division running deficits. And the NRA Special Contribution Fund, Whittington Center alone has greater donations than the Brady non-profit (2005 numbers). If you look at the NRA Foundation numbers you will see their income is increasing and is nearly six times the Brady income which is falling. Add in all the donated money from other pro-gun organizations like The Second Amendment Foundation and you will find the Brady Bunch, by far the largest collection of anti-gun bigots, has income numbers on the order of one tenth that of the good guys. Barnes is just blowing smoke.

I bring this talk of membership numbers up because others have been talking about it.–Joe]