Monthly Archives: October 2010

NRA vs. GOA, part 31459

I posted a version of this in the comments of SaysUncle‘s recent post regarding the GOA’s downgrading of Representative Deborah Halvorson’s (IL-11) grade from an A to a D in one year. The claim was that NRA’s scoring was at least understood, and the implication that GOA’s was not. I’d like to say that “understood != makes sense”.

So if the NRA makes the trains run on time, will that suffice for you NRA-can-do-no-wrong apologists?

I’m not a rabid GOA supporter, nor am I a rabid NRA detractor. I am a life member of both organizations. Some valid concerns have been brought up about GOA, particular in the area of the budget and what portion of it goes to executive salaries. And their effectiveness has also been called into question, though I haven’t really kept track of that. But I’m really not understanding how so many gun bloggers, when we are winning and have the truth on our side feel the need to cover for the NRA no matter what they do, even when it makes no bloody sense.

I’m so sick of seeing gun bloggers say things like “the R in NRA doesn’t stand for Republican.” I’d like to see evidence that those who are objecting to most of the NRA Democrat endorsements object because there’s a D beside each of their names. It’s tantamount to calling those who oppose our current president racists and it’s unbecoming of intelligent discourse.

What I object to in most of the Democrat endorsements and even some of the Republican endorsements is that this supposed single-issue organization* is ignoring some important strategic factors. When the NRA backs away from other issues extremely important to liberty, such as the Orwellian named DISCLOSE Act, it virtually guarantees that we will keep barreling toward socialism and it becomes more and more likely that those ‘Second Amendment remedies’ that Sharon Angle spoke of will be used. I am not advocating it, just stating that the more government bears down on the people, and not just regarding guns, the more likely that we will surpass the point where they will tolerate no more in the long train of abuses.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that it is monumentally stupid for the NRA to be absolutist in standing firm on being ’single issue’* because it completely ignores unintended consequences.

When I can name two Representatives that used to be considered somewhat centrist/blue dog Democrats just off the top of my head (John Spratt SC-5 and Bob Etheridge NC-2) who have become 97%+ Pelosi lock-step voters (and there are certainly more), there’s reason to be concerned about any Democrats being endorsed, especially when it’s so often about incumbency with the NRA. I realize that it’s not practical for the NRA to say this publicly, but the Democrats need to purge the Marxists from their leadership ranks before it makes sense to endorse any of them. At this moment, in this political climate, you help Democrats maintain their majority, you keep their Marxists leaders in power — for a long enough period of time — and then your precious Second Amendment rights are good for nothing except the last resort the founders understood, because you will have no other freedoms left.

If the NRA wants to continue to remain credible, they need to scrap their incumbent friendly policy and think more strategically. They need to do a lot more, to be sure, but this policy is beginning to look more and more ridiculous in these times.

It’s not a mystery, by the way, why GOA downgraded Halvorson. It’s quite easy to find the votes that the GOA considered in downgrading her, and she failed every one. Sure, none of them were pure gun votes, but were there any pure gun votes these past two years? None that I know of. You may not agree with GOA’s policy, but it’s not any more opaque than the NRA’s. It’s quite a mystery to me why they would only bump Reid from A to B based on his two votes for anti-gun Supreme Court nominees. That’s pretty egregious, as it has an effect for potentially a couple generations. The downgrade of Halvorson from A to D by the GOA would probably be mirrored by the NRA if it wasn’t for their incumbent friendly policy. Because the GOA does not have that policy, the four grade bump looks like a shocker, but makes perfect sense if you consider unintended (or intended, but poorly disguised) consequences, which the GOA apparently does.

The GOA absolutely has its flaws, but I really wish gun bloggers would stop attacking them when they do the right thing, which is more than some like to admit. To paraphrase someone I had a bit of a disagreement with a while back, when you do that, you stink up the tent (when referring Reagan’s Big Tent philosophy) much more than you claim open carry demonstrations or Threepers do.

Remember that it was the derisively named Fudds who attacked the EBRs before you deride us for calling them Fudds. Might not be the best behavior to return insult for injury, but do remember that it was them who threw us under the bus. In much the same way it was a Prag who attacked a Threeper before anyone knew there was difference and before either of them even earned their respective monikers. You want big tent? Stop attacking those of us basically on the front lines of what just happens to be a different front in the same war.

(Side note: Oh, the irony. The trend seems to be that the Prags will defend the anti-liberty, incumbent friendly NRA choices (even when said incumbents will vote for a Marxist Speaker and Supreme Court Justices) and virtually guarantee that we will have to use that precious Second Amendment right, because it will be the only right we have left. Yet the Threepers, who are consistently misrepresented, want to prevent a shooting war by explaining to the [faux] powers that be that continuing down this path of less and less liberty will eventually spark an armed conflict — and want you to know that to deter you from continuing down that road. You don’t negotiate with a homicide bomber. We’re dealing with the same mentality, here. As the sign says that I carried at the rallies at Gravelly Point Park, Arlington, VA on April 19, and Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Greensboro, NC on August 14: “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Government officials do not fear the people. If we are to agree with Mr. Jefferson, that needs to change.)

I’m not wishing the NRA would go away. I’m hoping to change it from within. As they like saying, “I am the NRA.” I’ve done more in the past two years politically than I’ve done all my life, previously, including calling Bob Etheridge’s DC office to register my opposition to the health control bill and calling the NRA to specifically tell them that as a life member I disapproved of them backing away from opposing (and thus giving tacit support for) the DISCLOSE act. I’m tired of NRA apologists treating the NRA leadership like elitists who just must know what they’re doing because, you know, they’re NRA leaders. Stop defending the stupid decisions (seemingly on the increase) they keeping making and get on the phone and call them to the carpet on it. Collectivist look for leaders to be their elitists who purportedly know better than the rest of us. Emulating them in that is not a good idea.

It’s tempting to give up on both the NRA and GOA and give my support to SAF. They’re a force to be reckoned with probably more so than both the others combined, given their key role in both Heller and MacDonald and their claimed 600,000 members. They are making the better strategic decisions.

But I don’t plan on resigning my membership from the two former. I’d like to play my part in influencing the NRA to be more principled regarding freedom as a whole, and the GOA to become more effective both financially and politically. I will probably join and give additional support to the SAF. Neither the NRA nor the GOA has received anything from me other than my initial, life membership fee. The SAF is beginning to show how much more worthy it is in that area.

* For a clear example of how the NRA is absolutely *not* a single issue organization, but only claimed that to save face during the whole DISCLOSE debacle, see the cover story of the October, 2010 issue of America’s 1st Freedom by Edmund Burke. If they want to claim they are single issue, they need to stop referring to themselves as “the oldest civil rights organization” in the US.