My father, who recently passed away at age 90, was a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association. When he became a member as a young man, he got very involved. He was proud to be a member because, back then, the NRA was all about saving the environment and teaching gun safety.
He was not a gun collector. He was a hunter, a sportsman. He raised five children, three girls and two boys. He taught us all how to shoot and hunt safely. He actually taught gun safety courses for the NRA.
One day, when he was 88 years old, I was visiting when the NRA's magazine came in the mail. He had become blind, so I asked if he wanted me to read it to him. He said "No, that's junk mail." He told me that the NRA was no longer what it once was, that he was ashamed to say he was a lifelong member. He said the organization had flip-flopped on its beliefs and become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the right-wing agenda. He wanted nothing more to do with them.
When I see NRA officials on TV now, they always begin by saying how many members they have. What they don't have is the support of many lifelong members from my dad's generation who are disgusted by what the NRA has become. Today's NRA speaks for gun makers, not hunters, sportsmen and responsible gun owners.