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NRA President Wayne LaPierre at the NRA Leadership Forum. Photo: Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

The NRA has gotten something right: it's extremely effective in pushing its message onto as many platforms, and in front of as many people, as possible.

How they do it: They aren't using traditional tactics, like knocking on doors or making cold calls to get their message across. The NRA's official app, NRA-ILA, is used by tens of thousands of people. Through push notifications and in-app reminders, users (who aren't necessarily NRA members) are encouraged to call their representatives, post on social media, and donate. Thomas Peters, the founder of uCampaign which created the app, told Axios it's a "tremendous success."

On one side: Jordan Birnholtz, co-founder of political engagement start-up the Tuesday Company, told Axios the NRA app is "indicative of where a lot of prospective online activism is going."

  • The Tuesday Company created Team, which is used to organize volunteering for Democratic and progressive campaigns and causes. While not identical, the two share a similar goal of organizing online activism.
"It's really unique to see an advocacy group finding ways to coordinate and track how effective their mobilization of volunteers online is. To one extent, that's the work that Team...does for Democrats and progressive causes."
— Jordan Birnholtz

Peters says the app isn't just for taking action — although there have been millions of "real-life actions" taken since its creation. NRA-ILA is also a community:

"People will jump on the app on July 4th and post messages like 'God Bless America.' They're very patriotic, and they love their guns and they love their religion...and they've found a community of other people like them."
  • The app is also used as a "parallel news structure that people go to when they're trying to figure out what the facts are, because they typically don't trust a lot of the Facebook algorithms and gate keepers," Peters said.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.