Many insidious organizations past and present understood how important it is to use propaganda on the young. If you can indoctrinate impressionable young people to think the way you want them to think – and make them believe everyone thinks the same – your propaganda has been successful. Whether they admit it or not, propaganda is at work when the NRA uses 4-H clubs to reinforce their message that guns = desirable, good, necessary, normal.
4-H clubs take donations from the NRA. One source from 2018 estimated 4-H groups received $12.2 million since 2010 from the NRA.
The 4-H has a long history of being admired: so it is an ideal place to plant the notion shooting and guns are desirable. Since 4-H is encouraging, praising and rewarding young people to use guns, then guns are good: that is the unspoken message. That message is just what the NRA wants planted in young minds.
To start the young people off on the wrong foot, steering them towards their generous NRA sponsors, there are dozens of badges, patches, medals on ribbons the young people get for learning how to use a gun and shoot with accuracy. Air rifles (think how many animals and domestic pets are shot for instance), muzzle-loaders, rifles, small-bore pistols, etc are all badges young people are encouraged to win and be proud of. According to some sources, children as young as 11 can learn to handle a gun and shoot with the 4-H.
In the NRA-4-H partnerships and the shooting courses, three things happen. First, the young people are made to feel grateful for the lashings of money the NRA gives the 4-H. Second, they are encouraged to learn to shoot in order to win ribbons, awards and praise from adults they look up to. Thirdly, the inclusion of shooting alongside activities such as exercise, cooking, hiking, photography puts shooting firmly into a young mind as being something wholly normal and no different from these other skills. The unspoken message is the 4-H believes shooting is a good thing to celebrate and reward – in a nation where 47,000 people were shot last year alone. The psychological impact is clear – as clear as the fact the NRA is a Russian asset.
It is time to stop the NRA using 4-H clubs as a Trojan Horse to spread its propaganda to young, impressionable minds.
Please contact The National 4-H Council through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
“It is time the National 4-H Council cuts all links to the NRA and re-thinks inclusion of guns as part of your program for young people.
Giving out badges, prizes and praise to children as young as 11 for shooting normalizes guns and makes them desirable. You put being able to shoot a gun as being as normal as being able to shoot a photograph: do you see the problem?
Taking money from the NRA means you are reliant on and beholden to a toxic organization. Your organization is no doubt aware of the man reasons the NRA is discredited, but here is a reminder of some of the reasons you must sever ties with it:
- actively helped Russian agent Maria Butina and Putin associate Alexander Torshin meet and influence highly-ranking government and GOP personnel – hardly a wholesome American organization
- a senate sub-committee issued a report explaining in great detail the unscrupulous incidents proving the NRA is a Russian asset and was while Russia was influencing the 2016 elections
- is selling guns via auctions at schools – how can the 4-H accept this outrageous affront to the victims, friends and families of those killed in school shootings?
- its leaders past and present such as Ted Nugent and Dana Loesch have advocated violence against journalists and democrats – hardly in keeping with 4-H principles.
- The NRA TV engaged in behavior so vile before it was closed that even the NRA disowned it.
You already know all the reasons why an organization such as yours should cut ties with the NRA. Do it.
You should also re -examine the psychological impact of how your gun training and awarding medals and badges is indoctrinating young people to think gun ownership and use is normal and desirable. It isn’t. Do school-age young people really need to learn to handle a gun and shoot? Of course not.
Young people learn empathy at different rates and different ages. Is the 4-H 100% certain that its gun / hunting programs teach healthy empathy for living things or could the 4-H be contributing to a lack of empathy for animals and by extension people?
If your organization has any integrity, I expect to see 4-H announce it will not take further NRA money and will cut all ties with it.
If 4-H thinks shooting is absolutely necessary, then find some other group to align to other than the tainted, discredited, racist, Russian-Asset that the NRA is. I await a reply.”
Or send a tweet:
@4H It is past time for 4-H to cut all ties with the @NRA . It is a Russian Asset (per Senate committee), its leaders called for shooting Dems and reporters, NRA TV was so racist even the NRA condemned it, etc. Stop normalizing guns to young people esp with NRA-tainted money
Email: (form) https://4-h.org/contact/
Once you have made contact, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!