Thursday, August 22, 2013
It is eye-opening how deep and broad an advocacy organization can get when it concentrates on a single issue. The revelation in this article about the National Rifle Association is that the NRA has names and addresses of millions of gun owners in its databases. The irony, of course, is that the NRA opposes any central database under government control. How does the NRA gather its data? The same way any direct mailer does -- buying lists of many kinds, sorting and classifying them. The government could do the same if it could get by the stumbling block of political opposition from the NRA. From a PR perspective, what the NRA is doing is smart. It has deepened the base of supporters for gun rights by millions and it can call on these citizens at will to support gun ownership and oppose registration. That it has done so and continues to call for help is evident in a lack of legislation from Congress. The NRA understands PR and political lobbying at its most basic. Its opponents need to do the same.