I Feel Cheated by NRA


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rswartsell
July 10, 2013, 09:35 PM
...and I really don't like it.

I don't like it anymore than I would a close and old friend inexplicably doing me dirt.

I'll start this by saying that over my many years of annual NRA memberships I have seen some changes. Well, one could posit the environment and the challenges to RKBA have changed, congress has changed. Some change is to be expected.

The complaints;

1. The last two annual memberships that I have purchased, any incentives offered (caps, gegaws, etc.) never arrived. Any number of mailings snail mail and e-mail have arrived for fundraising, so I know they can find me. But... screw the freebies, the Rifleman or any other NRA mag has not ever arrived either!

Now I could get all consumer advocate about this and spend God knows how much time chasing down who to complain to and try to get it fixed. I decided not to thinking all the while that a lifestyle choice (think a grownups version of Boy's Life from the scouts) finally completely morphed into a PAC and I would just go along under the flag of furthering the cause.

2. Along with a flood of other fundraising efforts, I get a lot of advert for the "NRA Store". Straight up commercial enterprise replete with inflated prices for merchandise and shipping knowing we will pay it and chalk it up as "doing our part".

Well I have now had my second experience with making an internet purchase from the NRA Store. The first was a book from Palladin Press about defensive handgun technique. To say I am underwhelmed with the Palladin Press is an understatement. I at least eventually got the rather poor excuse for a book.

I today finally received delivery of the second venture and I think I'm done. I was curious as a CCW guy about the holster T shirts marketed in the NRA store produced by 5.11 Tactical Series. I ordered 2, a white and a black and a "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden ball cap. I got the box today.

The 5.11 Tactitcal holster T seems nice enough, spandex T shirt with overlay pockets and Velcro closure over each shoulder, for $ 79.95 a pop it SHOULD be nice enough. The ball cap seems to be the cheapest construction possible and bought at $ 15.95, thin gauge cardboard front reinforcement (I'm embarrassed for them). Generally pathetic addition to a collection of through the years NRA caps. There was only 1 shirt, (black) in the box. Seems you find out on delivery when they are out of stock and your item is backordered. The NRA store is not trying to keep up with the state of e-commerce nowadays, like providing expected delivery times or tracking numbers (OK it's fundraising again), the purchase was June 28, delivery July 10, $205.81 for (so far) 1 holster tee and a cheap ball cap.

I'm starting to think (along with what I thought was an embarrassing first response to the Sandy Hook shooting) that the NRA hasn't much respect for me, regardless of how I continue to feel about them. They did have a customer service number on the invoice, couldn't find one on the website. It could be a mistake that I was charged for the backordered shirt. The CS number is "business hours only" but come tomorrow, this time I am calling. I intend to share the theory that fundraising or no, there is more money in good business practice than there is in bad. If they want donations I know they are not shy in saying so, business on the other hand should be "business-like".

In a nutshell, I miss the "old NRA". And yes I miss a bunch of "old" stuff.

Rant concluded.

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Doc7
July 10, 2013, 09:37 PM
you're supposed to remove the cardboard in the hat I think...it's only for looks/packaging.

WinThePennant
July 10, 2013, 09:51 PM
I did get an NRA hat a few years back. It was a total POS. It wasn't even good enough to use as a yard hat.

rhinoh
July 10, 2013, 10:00 PM
I got my NRA "renewal" hat recently. Quite a surprise as I usually never receive whatever they offer as an "incentive " to renew.
Ironically the hat, which has a US flag on one side, is made in China.
Kinda reminds me of the cheap ass POS Made in China knife Sig sent me a few years ago after dropping a lot of money on a pistol.

cfullgraf
July 10, 2013, 10:02 PM
I ask the NRA to not send the incentive junk. Save them some money as I do not want it any way. Unfortunately, it still comes and goes directly into "File 13".

But, since the NRA is the only game in town at the moment, I will continue to support them even with their lapses in judgement and marketing skills.

jcwit
July 10, 2013, 10:06 PM
Bring up the NRA and all the folks can do is bash the largest org. fighting for our rights not being suspended. Unreal!

What happened to the old saying that if you have nothing good to say, say nothing.

carbine85
July 10, 2013, 10:12 PM
I don't expect gifts from them so I'm not going to bash them if they do send me something cheap. These items are simply a thank you for renewing or joining. They are still the best game in town for fighting for the 2nd.

rswartsell
July 10, 2013, 10:13 PM
Doc7,

OK I accept that, the hat is still a POS.

rswartsell
July 10, 2013, 10:16 PM
Accountability is a concept that I am always in favor of.

To me it is like a law of physics that when it goes away, the results are not in your best interest.

If simple 1 issue agreement (sorta) is enough for a golden pass or "untouchable" status, then you don't like democracy, which is what they set out to defend "in the beginning".

3GunEric
July 10, 2013, 10:20 PM
The hats I have purchased were top quality. I have been happy with the items I have ordered over the years.

They are slow on keeping up right not but they have been flooded - just like ammo/firearms makers.

If something is wrong give them a call.

Look on the positive side they are getting tons of new recruits and that is all good.

alsaqr
July 10, 2013, 10:21 PM
Over 50 years ago i joined the NRA because i valued my Second Amendment rights. Still belong to the NRA and could care less about the hats and baubles.

IMO: It's a sad commentary on gun owners when the NRA must give out stuff to get new members.

SharpsDressedMan
July 10, 2013, 10:23 PM
As far as the American Rifleman, NRA has probably moved to offering it ONLINE rather than print, and this has been a move they are trying to make to meet the times and reduce costs of printing, mailing, etc, when the member AGREES to it. They started this my sending out a letter, which most never paid attention to, that required letting them know you still wanted the printed version. For what we pay, it probably is foolish to keep offering cheap hats, etc, just to entice us. I'd give them a call if you want the mailed magazine, and air your other complaints, but be advised, wasting money on "freebies" isn't doing any of us any good.

Hawk@
July 10, 2013, 10:24 PM
Just got the 'Chocolate Lab' hat and it's great. Durable material, not really a summer hat but will be great in wet or cold weather. Probably going to buy a second as a spare.
http://www.nrastore.com/nrastore/ProductDetail.aspx?c=14&p=HT%2022524

And I got the 'NRA Elite Pocket Holster' for my Kahr PM9 and it too works great. Very clingy outer material which also works well as an IWB holster. Snug fit for the PM9 yet easily drawable.
http://www.nrastore.com/nrastore/ProductDetail.aspx?c=2817&p=SA%20558

Happy customer....

StrutStopper
July 10, 2013, 10:30 PM
I don't like being hit up for $$ constantly, but they do what they gotta do. I took advantage of the $300 lifetime membership and if money wasn't tight I'd probably take it to the next level. I didn't always agree with how they handled things, but since the libs all-out attack on our rights "for the children" the NRA is doing a great job keeping our rights intact. Here at the state level, the NRA has helped us defeat most of the gun control bills introduced this year. Three bills did pass, but the NRA and pro-sportsmen's groups had their input and it would be hard to argue with two of the three that increased penalties for gun crime. The third is just a waste of taxpayer money to establish a committee to make recommendations on future laws and how to feed info into the NICS system, but the NRA helped to ensure that several pro-gun people were on the committee so we wouldn't get blindsided by their recommendations. They can keep their magazines and free pens.

rswartsell
July 10, 2013, 10:36 PM
alsaqr,

Did you read the post? Did you read it again?

It is also a truly sad state of affairs that anyone would reject the role of the body politic in forming the fibre of the entity that they depend upon in any way to represent them in the democratic process and the suppression of dissent has more place in the former Soviet Republic than it does among those who claim patriotism to a freedom loving democratic republic. I am at least a little offended at your implications and I think it is a wholly unhealthy example of what you think you are standing for.

Democracy is the philosophy of the involved, not the blindly aquiescent.

I think that is the chord I'm trying to strike.

Sharpdressedman,

Thanks, that's probably the missing link in my experience.

vamo
July 10, 2013, 10:46 PM
When a more effective gun rights organization pops up I'll happily support them instead, but as of right now the NRA is the best we have. Yes I realize other organizations exist, but they do not have nearly the influence and are seen as even less "mainstream". Until (and I won't hold my breath on this) the supreme court interprets "shall not be infringed" to actually mean "shall not be infringed" we need the NRA as imperfect as it can be sometimes.

SuperNaut
July 10, 2013, 10:48 PM
Put your money in the NRA-ILA instead, where it will actually do some good.

RiverPerson
July 10, 2013, 10:51 PM
I'm not a member of the NRA, but donate to their ILA. I don't really care about the free stuff, and it seems like the best way to get money to where the fight is.

Trung Si
July 10, 2013, 10:54 PM
Quit Whining, I am sick of it!
If You can Breathe, Thank God!
If You can Read, Thank a Teacher!
If you can Read this in English, Thank a Veteran!
If you can still own a Firearm, Thank the NRA, they had a heck of a lot to do with that!;)

bannockburn
July 10, 2013, 10:54 PM
I have several NRA shirts, some Polo style others button down Oxfords, and a heavyweight down filled vest. All are still holding up quite nicely and wre definitely made of quality materials and built to last. Never thought much of their low budget basball caps though.

rswartsell
July 10, 2013, 10:55 PM
vamo,

I think I agree with you, but actually I would prefer that the NRA and the power it is wielding be more influenced by the unrestricted feedback of its membership, old and new.

The current state of blue vs. red partisan politics, I don't care as long as I don't have to exert effort will not get us the best results. I would like to see more grassroots feedback received by the NRA and responded to by the NRA.

rswartsell
July 10, 2013, 10:57 PM
Trung Si,

Since I am a veteran I'll accept your thanks.

BTW, the door is right over there.

M2 Carbine
July 10, 2013, 10:59 PM
Over 50 years ago i joined the NRA because i valued my Second Amendment rights. Still belong to the NRA and could care less about the hats and baubles.

IMO: It's a sad commentary on gun owners when the NRA must give out stuff to get new members.

Maybe 50 plus years ago we should have let the NRA fold, instead of fighting for over a half century so todays NRA members can complain about a free hat.:rolleyes:


Then today they could be complaining because they can't find any 22 ammo for their single shot 22 rifle.
Probably the only gun they could own if it wasn't for the NRA and us past members.


Hell, I'm a Life Member and I haven't seen a free NRA hat in over 30 years.:D

SuperNaut
July 10, 2013, 11:05 PM
http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100420182428/southpark/images/4/4c/FreeHat05.jpg

http://0.media.collegehumor.cvcdn.com/33/98/e8c7ab5b58b062f34208ba2a66165d8a.jpg

http://static.wetpaint.me/network/ROOT/photos/jaynecobbhatfirefly-354667524096774541.jpg

Fremmer
July 10, 2013, 11:14 PM
Democracy is the philosophy of a free hat under the laws of physics and you're betrayed?

SleazyRider
July 10, 2013, 11:14 PM
NRA cheapo hats don't fit me, no way no how. Unfortunately for me, I've been endowed with a large cranium, and most hats simply don't fit no matter the size. A spackle pail will fit but looks ridiculous, according to my wife. The good news is that there's a website catering to "cranially endowed" folk like myself: Bigheadcaps.com, and I'd recommend them with confidence to my NRA and THR bretheren.

I give my "free" NRA hats to my grandchildren, who aren't allowed to wear them to school because they'll be expelled or suspended. Ditto for my Ruger LCP hat. Such is life in 2013. So my daughter politely accepts the NRA hats from me ... and throws them in the trash.

But I didn't join the NRA for a "free" hat, I joined because, well, they're the only act in town.

And by the way, folks with large heads aren't neccessarily more intelligent than their "coconut head" counterparts, as evident by this post.

danez71
July 10, 2013, 11:15 PM
Ironically the hat, which has a US flag on one side, is made in China.

Even more ironic is the last I looked at said "Hecho in China"

(I don't remember which store it was)

It has now become the running joke in my house.

Since then, ve noticed "Hecho in China" on a number of products.

rswartsell
July 10, 2013, 11:24 PM
OK, I expected at least this.

Now that we've all been clever and implied that I'm venal or an "anti", could we move on to the thought that the health of the organization you venerate might just depend on your active input for continuing relevancy and "mandate"?

That perhaps a lazy, to question is treason mentality is not how this works? Or that in the end "you get the government you deserve" is not a call to "tell me how best to think, then think like me or you are the enemy", now I've done my duty.

I cannot escape that the continuing effectiveness of the NRA means allowing dissent, hearing independent thought and the resistance to monolithic political juggernaut.

Maybe I think too much, maybe you don't agree but damn sure isn't at it's root about free hats.

Trung Si
July 10, 2013, 11:25 PM
Since I am a veteran I'll accept your thanks.

BTW, the door is right over there.
I am a Veteran also and no thanks I'll stay put!;)

Been hearing Complaints about the NRA for over 40 years and thought I heard them all, but the Hat TRIVIA just about takes the Cake!:rolleyes:

ApacheCoTodd
July 10, 2013, 11:26 PM
I've had two - 2 - TWO "lifetime" memberships paid in full - checks cashed - and both seem to have misted away.

I haven't died lately but my enthusiasm for further memberships has.

SuperNaut
July 10, 2013, 11:26 PM
OK, I expected at least this.

Now that we've all been clever and implied that I'm venal or an "anti", could we move on to the thought that the health of the organization you venerate might just depend on your active input for continuing relevancy and "mandate"?

That perhaps a lazy, to question is treason mentality is not how this works? Or that in the end "you get the government you deserve" is not a call to "tell me how best to think, then think like me or you are the enemy", now I've done my duty.

I cannot escape that the continuing effectiveness of the NRA means allowing dissent, hearing independent thought and the resistance to monolithic political juggernaut.

Maybe I think too much, maybe you don't agree but damn sure isn't at it's root about free hats.
Lighten-up Francis, I already gave you the best option:

NRA-ILA > NRA

NRA > Free Hat

gamestalker
July 10, 2013, 11:27 PM
Well I sure didn't start my membership with NRA over 4 decades ago for the hats and magazines. As far as I'm concerned, I would rather that promo money be put into the 2A fight.

I personally think anyone who is concerned about hats and other promo material from our NRA needs to take a step back and reevaluate what's most important. I would also ask if they do the round up when making purchases from gun shops that do it.

GS

rswartsell
July 10, 2013, 11:41 PM
<insult removed>

OK have it your way, you insist on making it about free hats, so be it.

You IMHO will indeed get the government you deserve, and if all you really have is the NRA and IF they sink into crass unethical commercialism in the name of the "hallowed cause" and you will tolerate no questioning, some future NRA executive will be living in Rio on your dime and your simplistic uninvolved "cleverness" might still seem clever. You will still (along with me I'm afraid) be screwed.

BullfrogKen
July 10, 2013, 11:44 PM
I don't belong to the NRA for the magazine, or the swag, or any of that stuff.

I belong for two reasons.

The lessor - I actually shoot in NRA sanctioned matches. I didn't always, but the fundamental reason the NRA was formed was to increase the riflery skills of the average American citizen. There is absolutely no disputing the fact that the NRA's efforts increased the rifle skills of the American Citizen. The Marine Corps rifle training is a direct result of the work the NRA did to help increase the riflery skills in the military. Any Former Marine who has shot an NRA rifle match will see the influence the NRA has had on the Marine Corps rifle program.

The more important reason - the mainstream press paints the NRA as THE political action group for gun rights. Simply belonging pisses them off. And any chance I get to do that, I will. It's a worthwhile investment if only for that reason.

I care less about the swag, or the quality of it.

If I want a decent piece of clothing, I'll go buy it. I don't expect quality apparel from a political organization. If I want quality apparel, I'll actually go buy it from some clothing manufacturer.

rswartsell
July 10, 2013, 11:52 PM
Ken,

Can you get past that and see that it is wielding great power, that power corrupts, that it is getting further away from it's grassroots, that the prevailing mindset resists anything like grassroots input? I'm really disappointed that you made this about "free hats". What do you know about it's efforts to "poll the populace" vs. single minded focus on big money?

How does the membership "form the platform"?

BTW "Supernaught"- (Comical in itself) anyone that thinks by referring to your perceived opponent (I'm not convinced that I am) by "Francis" gives you some advantage (by implying feminine gender?) is living in a world I don't understand and is far more likely to be seen as someone who disregards common respect to his peers and is likely to get none in return.

PapaG
July 11, 2013, 12:13 AM
Heck, I am in the highest level of life members....life, endowment, donor, benefactor....I forget the order, and I am still waiting for stuff from the second level. I still donate two or three times a year because they are fighting FOR me and my rights. It is more than stuff.

rswartsell
July 11, 2013, 12:18 AM
OK, enough for me.

I'm out. Good luck with that.

jerkface11
July 11, 2013, 12:22 AM
The hat isn't worth wearing and the magazine isn't worth reading. Can't say I would feel cheated if I didn't get them.

BullfrogKen
July 11, 2013, 12:25 AM
Did I say free hats anywhere in my contribution?

Which year did you attend a national NRA-run match at Camp Perry?

OK, forget the Nationals. What was the last match you participated in any NRA match of any kind where you live? Or taken an NRA basic firearm class?

You have to understand there is a much bigger NRA organization than the one you thought it was when you bought your promo NRA swag from.

I'm sorry you're disappointed in your NRA swag.

I've been terribly disappointed in my local NRA Rep here in Pennsylvania and his political underhandedness and bumblings more than you'll ever know. I wish my local NRA Rep was fired and replaced.


Yet, I'm still an NRA member.

Over the many years I have simply adjusted my expectations.

The absolute last thing I would measure my membership on would be the junk swag they promote.

But there is no denying the fact that this spring the NRA was vital to defeating the gun control efforts waged against us. I remember 1994 and how they compromised and sold us out. I give credit where credit is due. They held the line this time.

Where else are you going to give your money? The Second Amendment Foundation - which touted itself as a no compromise organization - who sold us out by bringing life to a bill that was dead through my state's Senator Pat Toomey?


Tell me, what's your solution?

caribou
July 11, 2013, 12:28 AM
LIBERTY.

Some pay in $$ some in blood, some with their lives.


Expect nothing for your contributions, stay vigilant stay free.

Fremmer
July 11, 2013, 12:29 AM
Hope you get your hat, though.

SuperNaut
July 11, 2013, 12:33 AM
BTW "Supernaught"- (Comical in itself) anyone that thinks by referring to your perceived opponent (I'm not convinced that I am) by "Francis" gives you some advantage (by implying feminine gender?) is living in a world I don't understand and is far more likely to be seen as someone who disregards common respect to his peers and is likely to get none in return.
Opponent? Hardly.

"Lighten up Francis" is a funny quote from the movie Stripes that has been used, without malice, in internet discourse for years. SuperNaut is a Black Sabbath song, and your observation about "living in a world I don't understand" is now demonstrably accurate.

rswartsell
July 11, 2013, 12:43 AM
Ken,

Before you get all chest thumping on me. I have been to Camp Perry (as an observer, I at the time lived in Ohio) have participated in numerous local matches, bought CMP rifles, taught Scouts with the aid of NRA classes and view that as the "old NRA" that I miss.

Before any NRA loyalties I put my love and commitment to the political experiment that is the USA. Institutions that exhibit the tragic current trend away from democratic principles in favor of power by money do not get a pass, and the second amendment as dear as it is, is NOT greater than the entire bill of rights that can (and IMHO is) be endangered by the lure of big money.

The institution is changing, I have my bona-fides and you are not correct in suppressing dissent as a knee-jerk, nor are you automatically correct is assuming you have superior standing.

The thought that my motivations lay within a disappointment in material things might indicate that you are not reading the subtleties. I ask for a more penetrating understanding.

BullfrogKen
July 11, 2013, 12:48 AM
Hey Dood,

You started this thread complaining about the quality of your NRA swag, books, hats, whatever.

Swag.


So, is your discontent with the quality of the swag the reason why you're complaining about the NRA? Or are you now complaining about how it handles the political fight? Because if the latter is the case, you used a pretty trivial reason to complain about a really important one.

rswartsell
July 11, 2013, 01:00 AM
If there is a solution it lies in finding a way for the NRA's "conscience" and governance to depend more on numbers and the rule of the majority than sheer dollars. Otherwise it is a losing game for proponents of democracy, big dollars will eventually trump the numbers no matter what. Since the beginning of measured time a select few have wielded great wealth for power over the masses. I do not wish to see the NRA fall to this but I think at least in National politics they are ripe for just that.

If we could just think deeply enough to stop shouting down questions and perhaps new ideas, then the new members might be doing more that engaging in a cynical war of money, and the NRA might take its place as a contributor (not decider) of effective public policy that actually preserves the experiment of 1776.

My opinion is that we must adapt or take eventually our place among the dinosaurs. If the NRA is captured as a tool of the money elite, then the fine principals are lost. Many are the occasions that the "don't really like it but the best game in town" feelings are heard nowadays. The other major segment is the mindless "love it or leave it" mentality that is usually followed by "mine is bigger than yours", or who cares what someone else thinks as long as I keep mine. These are in the end game losing strategies.

rswartsell
July 11, 2013, 01:01 AM
Ken,

My name is Randy, not Dood. I offer respect and expect it in return. Especially from moderators.

BullfrogKen
July 11, 2013, 01:17 AM
OK Randy.

My full real name is in my sig line. If I'd have seen yours somewhere I'd have addressed you by it.


You began this discussion expressing discontent with the NRA swag.


Now you want to shift the discussion to discontent over how the NRA is run?

rswartsell
July 11, 2013, 01:27 AM
Well, no not really.

My observation is that you will be far more content with keeping it there (addressing a discontent with merchandise). Read my original post again. I am expressing a perception that it (the NRA) is changing and not for the good.

Your alternative when not knowing my first name is using my screen-name as is common practice. Not "Francis" and not "Dood". I think that is really beneath you.

BullfrogKen
July 11, 2013, 02:02 AM
I never called you Francis, and you lost any respect when you changed your argument from a trivial one - complaining about the quality of NRA swag - and redirected the pushback onto discontent over how the NRA wages its political fights.

If you wanted to complain about how the NRA doesn't represent you and your views, then come out and say that up front.


You chose open a thread to complain about the quality of the NRA merchandise you bought, then later changed the argument to something else - the way the NRA is run.


So . . . really . . . what's your real beef with the NRA Randy? The quality of the swag you bought and how the NRA merchandise department is run? Or how the NRA and the entirety of it's programs and political action effort is run?

Because when I read your opening post, I know what impression I got. And it wasn't one of discontent over how the total NRA.org is run.

BullfrogKen
July 11, 2013, 02:34 AM
You know what, on second thought I'm closing this thread.

I checked your post history and you've played this dance with THR once before. I'm just not inclined to hear you complain about how we're not keeping step because we can't hear the music as it changes beat in your head.

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