NRA membership hits record high in USA
The American non-profit body National Rifle Organisation (NRA) has announced that its membership has hit a record high of five million, a figure that they aim to double in the near future to preserve gun ownership in the US.
The group organised its annual convention at the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas on Saturday 4th May, the first forum since last year’s mass shootings at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado and the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.
At the forum, NRA’s executive vice president Wayne LaPierre told its members that the proposed legislation to introduce expanded background checks had “got the defeat it deserved” last month.
Wayne said that the fight over the background checks had been “but one skirmish in what can only be defined as one long war against our Constitutional rights”.
Furthermore, he stressed the point that last month’s Boston bombings “proved” the need for more Americans to be armed.
Wayne stated, “Frightened citizens sheltered in place with no means to defend themselves. How many Bostonians wish they had a gun two weeks ago? How many other Americans now ponder that life or death question?”
The group aims to promote firearm ownership, as well as police training, firearm safety, marksmanship, hunting and self-defences training in the US and is amongst the top three most influential lobbying groups in the country.
More than 70,000 members attended the gathering. Many attendees brought their children along to check out the weapons on display that included sniper rifles, pink assault weapons for women, an airgun shooting range for children, swords, hunting gear, accessories like handbags with handgun compartments.
Children were offered paper head bands that looked like dear antlers and an experience to play at an air-gun shooting range. Many were spot taking aims with guns and rifles on the exhibit floor.
Among the attendees were former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, retired astronaut and husband of former congress woman Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly and actor and former Marine Corps drill instructor Ronald Lee ‘Gunny Ermey’.