Monday, May 8, 2017

Less Diverse Than The NRA Annual Meeting

The Complementary Spouse and I spent the weekend helping her brother and sister-in-law out at the Mother Earth News Fair. They had a booth as she is a consultant for Usborne children's books.

Larry and I primarily helped with the set-up and take-down while the Complementary Spouse and Jan did all the selling of books. The Fair attracts a number of families who bring their children with them as well as a significant number of grandparents looking for educational books for their grandkids.

As I noted a couple of years ago, these events are not as granola as you might expect. For every one person wearing dreadlocks you saw probably 10-20 folks with gray hair. These events attract a lot of homesteaders, preppers, farmers, and everyday folks interested in self-reliance.

Larry and I attended workshops on sausage making, whole animal butchery, "wildcrafted" cocktails, and reusing wood pallets. I also attended a workshop on charcuterie while he went to the one on bastes, rubs, and marinades for BBQ. If we had the room, I might have attended others dealing making your own wood-fired pizza oven or on keeping goats.

I did come home with an autographed copy of The Wildcrafted Cocktail and a nice bushcrafter knife from L.T. Wright Knives.

One of the criticisms of the NRA - and it is fairly valid - is that they don't attract enough minorities and women. That said, the recent NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta featured a much more heterogeneous mix of people than this Mother Earth News Fair. I don't know whether it was the location, the subject matter, or the decidedly rural flavor of the fair but the attendees were almost uniformly white.

So the next time someone says the NRA is only for old white guys, I'll respond, "Have you been to the Mother Earth News Fair?" The sad part is that both events had things of interest to all people, of all colors, and in all walks of life.


  1. Everybody I see is writing that the NRA is growing women and minorities faster than "old white guys", but I don't know why it matters. People will join an organization if they identify with it. The only role the organization itself puts up is if it actively discourages them, which they don't. If you got honest answers out of the new shooters, who everyone reports are more diverse than ever before, of why they don't join I'd bet many would say, "I just didn't think of them".

    What I see the NRA doing is exactly what I think they should be doing: putting up spokespeople like Dana Loesch, Gabby Franco and Colion Noir. The subliminal message is, "people that look like me are welcome there".

    1. My worry is that if we don't continue building the NRA to be more inclusive and more diverse that it will end up dying out over time due to the age of its members.