Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Guns for Grads

Another "honorable mention" on the site www.demockeracy.com for the following piece:

Hard on the heels of its just-completed national convention and plagued by declining numbers, the National Rifle Association today announced its 2007 membership drive dubbed "Guns for Grads."

"We are a vital force in the protection of democracy," said NRA president Sandra Froman. "But we had to face the fact that our membership base was primarily drawing from an older demographic."

By appealing to America’s youth, the NRA hopes to boost its numbers and revitalize its core constituency.

"Sure, we’re glad to have thousands of aging, Idaho-based conspiracy theorists and white supremacists as members," said Ms. Froman. "But we can’t rely on those guys forever, especially given their dismally low reproductive rate."

The 2007 membership drive is aimed squarely at the millions of upcoming high school graduates. The NRA is hoping that instead of buying grads a watch or a car, proud parents will opt for a rifle or an attractively monogrammed handgun and an NRA junior membership.

"Nothing says ‘We care’ like a gun," said longtime executive vice president Wayne LaPierre. "Given what’s happening on U. S. campuses these days, I think responsible parents will want their college-bound kids to be properly armed."

Facing criticism that the NRA is simply exploiting the recent Virginia Tech massacre, Mr. LaPierre scoffed and pointed to the tobacco industry as a model of good corporate citizenship and aggressive membership recruitment.

"Phillip Morris knows that you don’t expand your customer base by simply relying on your most loyal consumers," said LaPierre. "You’ve got to reach out and engage the next generation."

When informed that Phillip Morris has changed its name to Altria to give its primary product a more modern, user-friendly image, LaPierre said he was well aware of the change.

"We think that was a smart move," said the NRA spokesman. "In fact, we, too, have our own re-branding plans for 2008."

Asked to elaborate, LaPierre replied with an enigmatic smile and the brief statement: "What do you folks think of ‘Fun With Guns’?"

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