As its membership ages, the National Rifle Association is trying to appeal to the younger generation with a “hip” new web show called “Noir.”
The show features Colion Noir (not his real name) and Amy Robbins as hosts, and the first episode is about 16 minutes long. As Mike Spies at Vocativ pointed out, the show is likely part of the NRA’s bid to attract younger members.
Noir defies the stereotypical NRA member, whom he refers to as OFWG: “Old, fat white guys.” The show could be helpful if the NRA hopes to change its image with young people, and it seems Noir is already well liked within the gun community. The Los Angeles Times writes that he has become an “internet sensation” and is growing in popularity.
The NRA doesn’t release demographic information for its members, but we know gun owners tend to be older white men. A Pew Research Center survey from last year showed the 18-29 age group is the smallest proportion of gun owners in America. That survey also showed higher rates of gun ownership among men than women, and higher rates among whites than blacks.
The sleek set of “Noir,” coupled with references to twerking and Lululemon, make the show look like something you’d see on MTV — but with talk of firearms and Second Amendment rights added in.
We’ll be interested to see if this show resonates with millennials since the first episode had some eyebrow-raising moments.
After Robbins mentioned Hillary Clinton airing her opinion about gun control on TV, Noir said (emphasis ours):
“Of all the women on the planet, we get stuck with her as being the potential first female president of the United States. … She’s very uninspiring. And not to mention the fact that it’s pretty blatant that Hillary is no longer sleeping with Bill Clinton. Because if she were, he would inform her that this whole gun issue thing and trying to walk this elusive line of gun control but still for the Second Amendment rights is probably not the smartest thing to do.”
He also took a swipe at New York City’s former anti-gun mayor, Michael Bloomberg, calling him the “lamest billionaire on the planet.”
Other segments on the show had the hosts discussing guns as though they’re accessories — Noir and Robbins complained that the packaging guns come in isn’t nice enough, and Noir described one of his favourite guns, the Smith and Wesson Shield:
“It’s the gun even an anti-gunner can like. … It’s a gun for someone that’s self-assured. It’s a gun for the city urbanite who makes frequent trips to the CVS at the bottom of his loft because he refuses to buy food from a natural grocery store. Or the 24-year-old bombshell whose idea of acceptable grocery story attire is a pair of yoga tights and a T-shirt.”
Another segment called “Gun Pads” (like “Cribs,” but with guns) shows firearms used as decor in houses.
Like guns on a piano:
And a gun on a mantle:
The NRA has its work cut out for it in presenting a positive image to millennials, especially minorities. According to a 2013 Harvard University survey, the 18-29 age group’s view on the NRA is split — 38% have a favourable view of the association, 38% have an unfavorable view, and 23% have never heard of it.
And the breakdown by ethnicity shows that minorities tend to have a negative view of the NRA:
There might be some opportunity for NRA membership growth among millennials since a decent number of them do not favour stricter gun control laws. The 2013 Harvard University poll found that while 49% of millennials think gun control laws should be more strict, 12% say they should be less strict, and 35% think they should be kept as they are.
The NRA is apparently trying to tap into the groups of young, anti-gun control people by launching other online shows under its new media venture, NRA Freestyle. One premiers later this month, and the other will be released in the fall.
The NRA has been rather close-lipped on “Noir,” though. When we emailed questions about the show, managing director of public affairs Andrew Arulanandam sent back one sentence: “The new network and shows are a part of our overall communications efforts with NRA members, gun owners and the American public.”
You can watch the first full episode of “Noir” here:
New episodes air on Sunday nights.
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