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The NRA’s most powerful weapon is not a gun

Reuters/Bryan Woolston
Inside the NRA's sophisticated world of advertising.
  • Elizabeth MacBride
By Elizabeth MacBride


Published Last updated on

In late April 2019, I found myself standing on the 15-acre floor of the National Rifle Association’s annual convention and gun show, looking at a gel mold that demonstrated what a hollow-point bullet does inside a human body.

The mold showed how the bullet spreads out, tumbles, and explodes. A thumb-sized round turns a liver, a kidney, or a heart into mush. The exit wound is as big as a cantaloupe.

Everywhere I looked, I was surrounded by foot soldiers of the NRA.

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