Because of this member base, the NRA has been able to secure huge wins across the country, from the sunsetting of the Assault Weapons Ban in 2004 to the expansion of concealed-carry licensing to the entire nation. And the NRA isn’t alone. Groups like Gun Owners of America go even further in pushing for Second Amendment freedoms the NRA won’t argue for. GOA has made great gains recently in the wake of the NRA’s position change on bump stocks.

The NRA and other gun rights organizations draw their power from their members, and their members know it. So when people call the NRA a terrorist organization, the implication is that its 5 million-plus members are terrorists, too. When people tweet over and over that we are terrorists, putting us in the same bucket as ISIS and al-Qaeda, it’s hardly an invitation to come together and talk about how to solve gun-related issues.

The millions of us who pay for memberships and attend NRA training events are just normal Americans who disagree on policy issues. But by turning normal-American NRA members into some kind of demonic monster to be defeated, histrionic gun-controllers calcify opposition against any kind of even moderate reform.