The NRA is like any other organization with an agenda...No different from the Global Warming fanatics when it comes to marketing. Contributions increase proportionate to the amount of fear we can generate. For instance, if you're not worried about global warming, why would you bother to donate? Same with gun control or any other passionate issue. They want to scare you. Fear opens wallets.
That having been said, the NRA is still an organization with immense political leverage and legal resources. For that reason alone, I put up with the less attractive side of their image, the Big Shots at their black-tie fundraisers and the general hysteria of their mail campaign.