Canonizing the NRA

Years ago, I stumbled on this little “Funny or Die” sketch that truly made me despair for the possibility of mutual understanding across the ideological divide. You can watch it if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

I watched this and kept wondering what the joke was.

If you haven’t watched it, and, again, I don’t recommend that you do, the premise is that the NRA should start advocating gun ownership for young black men. That’s it. That’s the joke that’s supposed to have you rolling in the aisles, or, even more importantly, “make you think.”

What it makes me think is that these guys do not understand those with whom they disagree. At all.

In order to find this funny, witty, or even coherent, you have to begin with the premise that the NRA exists solely to allow white men to hunt down and kill unarmed black teenagers. You then have to believe that they only want to preserve the Second Amendment for non-people of color, and that the idea of a law-abiding black citizen wielding a weapon keeps these racist riflers awake at night.

Except there isn’t an ounce of that that meshes with reality.

There is precisely zero evidence of the NRA using racial rhetoric in any of their recruitment efforts, nor is there any evidence that they would exclude or discourage black membership in any way. If anything, they would welcome a young black person signing up because it would demonstrate that race has absolutely nothing to do with their mission. But this video thinks it’s being bold and shocking for proposing the idea that blacks ought to sign up for the NRA, too, because, well, you know, wink wink, nudge nudge.

This video reinforces the prejudices of viewers who agree with the people who made it, but it’s more confusing than offensive to any on the other side.

I don’t think race should be an impediment to gun ownership and/or NRA membership, to holding elected office, or to any lawful activity under the sun.

Do you disagree? Join a camp below.