No longer able to fearmonger about Obama taking away guns, sales are way down and the NRA is freaking out.
The NRA has gone full-on Alex Jones in recent weeks, producing a string of confrontational and fantasy-like videos that depicts rogue “leftists” violently tearing down America, while the untrustworthy news media protect “Democratic overlords.”
So over-the-top as to be at times comical, the clips have generated headlines for their incendiary rhetoric, and for their strange new targets of attack. Suddenly the NRA’s promotional efforts don’t mentions gun, gun safety, gun restrictions, or the Second Amendment. Instead, they desperately try to gin up hatred toward liberals, journalists, and Democratic members of Congress.
In other words, the NRA has sprinted into the cultural warrior arena where the group screeches to the choir about looming “anarchy,” and warns about libs who “smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports — bully and terrorize the law-abiding.”
“I’m disgusted that we as Americans are accepting to live with these conditions,” Dom Raso, an NRA pro-Trump commentator, declared in the video titled “Organized Anarchy,”
What’s driving the NRA’s weird cultural war game crusade? The gun industry’s suddenly sagging bottom line. The NRA can’t continue to profit off gun owners if there are fewer and fewer gun owners to pay dues.
Firearms sales are way down since Donald Trump was elected, and sales are way down because the NRA can no longer lie about how a sitting Democratic president wants to take away everybody’s guns. For eight years, the NRA pitched that boldface fabrication about Barack Obama, and for eight years NRA members bought it, stocking up on guns and ammo to the tune of nearly $50 billion.
But Trump’s surprise victory, and the Republicans’ control of Congress, has produced a deep recession for gun manufacturers as retailers struggle to unload unsold inventory. Gun owners, no longer fueled by NRA paranoia about Democrats, have drastically reduced their purchases.
Since the election, shares of American Outdoor Brands, the owner of Smith & Wesson, have plummeted 30 percent.
Shares of Sturm Ruger recently fell eight percent “after the firearms manufacturer delivered a steep decline in earnings and sale that came in even worse than expected,” according to an industry news report. Revenues at the company are down 21 percent, compared to a year ago; earnings are off 56 percent.
The company’s CEO, Chris Killoy, specifically pointed to Trump’s victory as the catalyst for the industry downturn, noting demand “fell off sharply by mid-November.”
Killoy also conceded the gun industry won’t be able to use partisan fear to promote their products under Trump.
"We just have to encourage our customer base to get back up in the range," he said, "burn up and enjoy the sport and get back into the store and remember how much fun it is to start buying a few more guns for fun, not just because you think they might be banned in the future."
The next time the NRA unveils an unhinged video rant about how the counter culture is supposedly plotting an American revolution in the streets, remember the NRA’s actually freaking out about the gun industry’s shrinking bottom line.