There are organizations that really are grassroots based and then there are those that could most charitably be called astroturf organizations. Nowhere is this more evident than in gun rights.
Let’s compare the various gun prohibitionist organizations with the 800-pound “gorilla” aka the National Rifle Association. To do this, I suggest using as a proxy for grassroots support the number of “likes” an organization has on Facebook. With 845 million members worldwide, Facebook provides an easy way to signal your support of an organization through its “like” mechanism.
Starting with the Violence Policy Center, we find that they have 290 likes. With just a fraction more at 296, comes the Legal Community Against Violence. Then there is that new group who tried to organize a boycott of Starbucks Coffee called the National Gun Victims Action Council. I guess with only 304 likes, it is no wonder their boycott fizzled.
What about everyone’s favorite grassroots group – the Coalition Against Gun Violence.? Surely they have a lot more and they do. That is, if you count 4,244 as a lot. To put this into perspective, the Complementary Spouse’s nephew who is a pro gamer has over 4,900 friends on Facebook. Maybe CSGV’s numbers aren’t all that hot after all.
How about the Brady Campaign? I mean they must have a lot as they are the leading gun prohibitionist organization out there as well as having merged the Million Moms March into their organization. They must have hundreds of thousands of likes. Unfortunately for them, their numbers come in at only 15,766 likes. You have to wonder what happened to all those million moms.
So that’s it for the gun prohibitionists.
And that 800-pound gorilla of gun rights – the National Rifle Association? How does 1,402,274 sound? It sounds like real grassroots to me.
Numbers don’t lie. The NRA really is a grassroots organization and the gun prohibitionists are merely astroturf.
(These numbers are as of 10pm EDT, Monday March 12th)
UPDATE: As SayUncle noted, Kevin is encouraging people to “like” the Second Amendment Foundation as well. SAF is behind the Bradys by about 5,000 likes. It would be nice to see them overtake the Bradys in short order. After all, they continually beat them in court.