I too am a life member of the NRA and a annual member of NYSRPA. As was pointed out above, the NRA does a lot for NY, regardless of whether people are actually aware of it. My range has also benefitted from 2 grants for improvements within the past 8 years. Ever participate in an NRA training class? What about an NRA competition? These both take money to develop and keep running. However, to focus on what they do for you within NY is looking at the small picture. Looking at the bigger more important picture, Nationally and Internationally, they are our voice as gun owners. Is the SAF or SCOPE (not that there is anything wrong with either of these organizations) registered at the UN as a NGO? The NRA is and actively participates in trying to protect Americans rights. Why does anybody give 2 craps about what Wayne Lapierre makes? The guy is never home with his family because he is on the road constantly trying to sway politicans and voters in YOUR favor. After reading this thread, it amazes me how many we have on here claiming to be gun owners who care about their rights, yet cannot support the NRA. Whining about your perceived issues with the NRA is a cop out for just being too cheap. Dole out some cash to protect what we all enjoy.
Is your range that got the grant public or private? If private, why are they giving money to private ranges. I'd be irritated if my money went to fund a private range in New Mexico, instead of "fighting the good fight" back home in NY (or nationally). I'm not giving money to organizations to fund range improvements. That's just me though. I'd rather give my money to an organization that uses all of it (minus REASONABLE expenses) to fight for us.
Admittedly, I've never taken an NRA class, or been to a competition. However, don't those classes and competitions have entry fees? Why not charge an extra couple bucks to the people that are competing or taking the class? You know, actually have people pay for things themselves, instead of making everyone else pay for them. I'm not sure how it is with the NRA events, but most other sanctioned events (be it triathlon, marathons, whatever) have higher entry costs because they are associated with a particular organization. Would dropping the NRA sanctioning of events actually reduce costs?
The UN isn't going to do anything to our gun rights. A treaty can NOT take away our second amendment. A lawsuit (by a multitude of organizations) would make it's way to the courts very fast. That is, if it ever got ratified by Congress in the first place. The UN Small Arms Treaty had no chance of actually happening. Frankly, I agree with GOA. I don't think the NRA is hard nosed enough about some issues, which is why I'm looking to join.
Why do I care what LaPierre makes? What if he made $20 million dollars, or roughly 10% of the NRA income? Would you have a problem with what he is making then? Why is your money going to a guys pocket, instead of fighting for your rights?
Either way, what LaPierre makes was just an example. He's the one that took the job, he signed up for the job, so the argument about him not seeing his family is a weak one. Anyways, My issue isn't really with LaPierre and what he makes. I don't blame him for taking the money that is offered. It's with the NRA, and their finances. Nobody has answered my question yet, so I'll ask it again. Why on Earth would I give the NRA $50 where OVER HALF is wasted and something like $20 would actually go to doing good when I could donate the same $50 to SCOPE NY where VIRTUALLY ALL of it will actually go to making a difference in NY?
So all I have to do is join the NRA, and I'm no longer "copping out" or being cheap? That is ridiculous. I have a finite amount I can give. So, no thanks, I'll just spend that money on an organization that doesn't waste half of it.