A few years ago I turned 55—a scary time for a guy who had to buy his own health insurance on the open market. Talk about sticker shock! So I thought, why not join AARP, the mega-senior’s organization? Surely they have some sort of group medical insurance a member can piggyback on. It was only after I had purchased a multi-year membership that I decided to research this powerful special interest group and see what their official position was on issues important to me. First and foremost was the issue of gun ownership. What I discovered surprised the heck out of me.
I did not know at the time know that AARP wanted to severely restrict its membership’s right to own firearms.
That was back in 2007. Here’s what their website said at the time: “AARP believes in the Constitutional right to bear arms. But to make the nation safer, we must do what we can to keep guns out of hands of children and criminals. AARP supported the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which went into law in 1994 with bi-partisan support. AARP supports measures to eliminate firearm possession by juveniles, convicted domestic abusers and those under domestic violence restraining orders.”
I called their headquarters and, after playing phone tag to try and get a statement to no avail, finally received an e-mail response from them after asking for their official position on private gun ownership. Here, in part, was the response from someone in “Member Services.”
“Thank you for contacting AARP headquarters on the issue of state and federal gun policies. This is a difficult subject for people to discuss without misunderstanding. Even though you may not agree with AARP’s objectives on this one issue, I hope you find our work toward prescription drug coverage in Medicare, for example, and many other important issues worthy of your continued support.
“At this time, the Board of Directors has recently restated AARP policy to continue to support careful measures to restrict the availability of guns to certain populations. Yet, our policy does not preclude responsible citizens who …