Right at the moment when they sign up, new members of the National Rifle Association have to make a choice: which NRA monthly magazine would they like a complimentary subscription to?
The options: American Hunter, American Rifleman, and America’s First Freedom. (Junior NRA members can opt for a publication called Insights.) According to the NRA, American Hunter — which, death of print be damned, boasts nearly one million readers — offers expert opinions on “how and where to hunt all types of North American game.” American Rifleman, meanwhile, features “stories of interest to gun enthusiasts of every kind.” And America’s First Freedom, the NRA’s “first pure news magazine,” gives readers “timely, hard-hitting journalism that tells the truth about the threats to our Second Amendment rights.”Luckily, for those who don’t carry an NRA membership card, America’s First Freedom maintains a free-to-access digital archive. The magazine’s last sixteen covers are compiled below, with links to each issue. What do they show? For one thing, the NRA was warning members that President Barack Obama “will come for your guns” before the election or Newtown, Conn., massacre even happened. More recently, the magazine seemed to briefly lose focus before the latest push for gun control in Washington. The January 2013 cover story — which presumably went to print before Newtown — was about Hurricane Sandy victims, and their complaints about the federal government. The next month’s cover: “SIEGE.”