Longreads

Crime levels are down in the United States, gun manufacturers are laying off workers and going bankrupt in the face of plunging sales and profits, yet that won’t stop the National Rifle Association from using fear to manipulate people into buying a gun.

At The New Republic, “military veteran, big game hunter, and gun owner” Elliott Woods goes undercover at the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas to learn about how the NRA marketing machine has gone into high gear to combat what they’re calling the “Trump Slump.”

Since the 1990s, the NRA has been enormously successful at stoking white Americans’ fears about their darker-skinned fellow citizens while simultaneously cultivating paranoia about left-wing politicians seeking to take away their guns. Barack Obama’s presidency was a watershed event in this dynamic. During his eight years in office, the NRA’s membership grew from three million to five million…

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