The American Rifle and Pistol Association, nicknamed the R+P, has recently earned a few other unsavory titles from critics. Gun rights activists have called the group "false flag group," "astroturf phonies" and "frauds."
The R+P has labeled itself as a moderate alternative to the extremely right-wing National Rifle Association. The organization invites liberals, moderates, and conservatives to rally under the same name for the purpose of championing gun rights.
Critics aren’t buying it. An article from the pro-gun blog Gunalizer argued that the purpose of R+P was to divide the gun rights crowd as the 2014 presidential election looms.
The writer at Gunalizer and other pro-gun activists feel that R+P is actually a bunch of gun control activists masquerading as gun rights advocates.
Robert Gelinas, the president of R+P, brushed aside these claims. "I guess there's a few Democrats among us," he said. "But the whole idea behind this organization was to actually have a debate... The whole notion of firearms debate isn't a debate, though. The minute anyone tries to voice any ideas about public safety, it immediately gets shut down and they say: 'You guys are communist' and 'Go to Hell' and the whole nine yards."
Gelinas has said on his blog that he is both a Republican and a Christian, so that does a lot to dispel the notion that R+P is run by gun-hating Democrats.
Gelinas added that the group’s membership continues to grow, despite all of the online criticism. "If it works, then the proof is in the pudding," he said. "We don't have a dog in this fight."
In a way, the critics are almost fueling the success of the R+P. Gelinas markets R+P as a less caustic alternative to the emotionally-charged National Rifle Association. Many of the new members might be attracted to the calm, level-head approach to gun rights.
If you're a gun rights activist, which interests you more: the NRA or the R+P?
Source: USA News