Your Thoughts on the NRA


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andrewdl007
April 20, 2007, 12:04 AM
Ok, let me begin by saying I am a member of the NRA and right now, it is the only all around gun organization I can think of. What is your oppinion on the NRA? Are you a member of the NRA or some organization? Do you think it has lost its way?

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security6
April 20, 2007, 12:25 AM
We see these threads about once every few weeks on THR. The general consensus seems to be that the NRA isn't perfect, but no other organization is perfect either. However, the NRA is extremely valuable because it is an "800 lb gorilla" in Washington. Politicans fear the NRA, and that gets things done.

I am a member of the NRA and I do not think it has lost its way. I don't agree with them 100% on everything, but they are on the right path.

trueblue1776
April 20, 2007, 12:33 AM
I quit NRA because I felt like my 25 dollar a year membership was spent on sending me 30 dollars of junk mail. How is that "money well spent"?

Derek Zeanah
April 20, 2007, 12:35 AM
I'd say the consensus is "NRA: more good than bad," actually.

RIDE
April 20, 2007, 12:44 AM
What about the theory that the NRA doesn't really want to win ALL of our rights back?

I mean if we had ALL our rights back, what use would the NRA be? Obviously the NRA would still exist, but to what degree? As a gun club? Certainly not a lobbying power.

Kind of like the curing the common cold... How many companies out of business, how many jobs lost?

just a thought.

kaferhaus
April 20, 2007, 12:56 AM
What about the theory that the NRA doesn't really want to win ALL of our rights back?

I mean if we had ALL our rights back, what use would the NRA be? Obviously the NRA would still exist, but to what degree? As a gun club? Certainly not a lobbying power.



That thinking doesn't wash as some pinko liberal will always be trying to take them away again.

Chui
April 20, 2007, 01:23 AM
Gunowners of America.

The NRA is constantly compromising. How in Hell can one compromise principles??

longhorngunman
April 20, 2007, 01:31 AM
In the coming weeks we're going to need all of them, NRA, GOA(just joined them this week!:) ), JFPO, FCSA, state Associations etc. We've got to stand together or we'll fall together. I got three co-workers talked into joining the NRA just this week.

Robert Hairless
April 20, 2007, 01:58 AM
How about if we all resign from the NRA next week?

That would get rid of all the NRA requests for money that irritated trueblue1776 and other people.

Let's all do it and see what happens. I'd bet that Hillary Clinton and her friends wouldn't do a darned thing about taking away our guns. They're really our good buddies. It's the NRA that has been causing all the trouble. Just ask them.

By the way, the standard annual cost of NRA membership is $35 a year. Of that amount, $25 pays for the magazine subscription. So what remains is $10 a year to staff the NRA and pay the bills. If you don't want a magazine, membership costs $10 a year.

I understand and sympathize with the people who don't want to spend a whole $10 each year to keep their guns. That's a lot of money. You could buy a few rounds of factory ammunition for that kind of money. Or you could buy an elegant tin hat with a propellor on top that really spins in the wind.

:what:

Lucky
April 20, 2007, 05:49 AM
I joined NRA last week. After all they did free Brazil, that's something.

1 old 0311
April 20, 2007, 07:05 AM
Been a member for 30 years. Do I agree with everything they do? No. Do we need them? Yes.
It is a relationship not unlike your family. Is it all roses? No it is not, but when you stand back and look at the big picture it is good.

ProficientRifleman
April 20, 2007, 07:58 AM
I have been a life member since 1991.

I stopped sending money to the NRA when they "allowed" Brady to pass in 1993 by NOT holding legislators' feet to the fire. They were still in defense mode and didn't do what I PAID them to do.

After that time, whenever I received a request for a donation, I would return a letter to them in their prepaid envelope. In that letter, I stated the following:

1. When the NRA advocated the repeal of the AWB of 1994, the MG ban of 1986 (FOPA), and the Gun Control Act (1968), I would begin to think about sending more money.

2. When the NRA began actively working to repeal the NFA of 1934, I would send them the largest donation I could afford.

Very shortly, I stopped receiving fund raising letters. I am still a life member. I have contributed hundreds of dollars on top of my Life membership. I still know that the NRA is the largest pro-gun lobbying group which has a chance of defending our constitution. When MY ASSOCIATION goes on the offensive, I will contribute money again.

eliphalet
April 20, 2007, 07:58 AM
I am LIFE NRA member but if what I read of them supporting any new laws is true I am furious at them! NO! on ANY new gun law of ANY kind! NO to NEW laws NO!!! GRRRRR

camacho
April 20, 2007, 08:19 AM
There are others but the NRA is the most effective organization when it comes to get things done.

thirty-thirty
April 20, 2007, 09:02 AM
The 800 pound gorilla has been turning into an 800 pound rosie o'donell over the last couple years. GOA and others are not really better. NRA still sends me the magazine and junk mail so I guess I'm a member but I have little faith in them. I quit sending them money a couple years ago.

We have to fight our own fight. there is no one to rally behind.

Thumper
April 20, 2007, 09:15 AM
While it's important to be critical of the NRA' failings, it's also imperative to be a member.

If you're a Second Amendment activist and don't support the NRA, you're either hopelessly ignorant of the way the political process works, or you're hopelessly irresponsible.

If your primary gripe is the mailings...? Thousands of studies have been conducted to determine effective methods of advertising. Mailings are effective. You're so busy that throwing away a little unwanted mail isn't worth the protection of your rights?

NewShooter
April 20, 2007, 09:32 AM
I am a member because they are the most powerful organization that is fighting for my rights. I dont always agree with how they spend my money but then I dont always like how my taxes are spent either. The NRA should create a NO MAIL list option for its members.

ARTiger
April 20, 2007, 09:32 AM
+1 Thumper

Without the NRA, gun ownership rights here would already resemble the UK or Australia. Opt out of the mailings if you have an issue with it, but please don't opt out of supporting the single most effective organization working to protect our gun ownership rights.

ATW525
April 20, 2007, 09:37 AM
Strangely I let my membership lapse, yet I still give the NRA money everytime I shop at Midway.

Fly320s
April 20, 2007, 10:07 AM
The NRA is good, but I wish that the GOA had the clout of the NRA.

GOA is for repealing most or all gun laws. NRA is only moderately opposed to new gun laws.

Chui
April 20, 2007, 10:23 AM
It's called "Managed Competition", folks... You THINK they best represent your interests, but the facts speak for themselves.

Ben Shepherd
April 20, 2007, 10:41 AM
Ok, I'll rant a bit. I know several folks personally that won't join/aren't members over one little aspect here or there. The NRA won't take an absolutist view on thier pet tangent regarding the 2nd Amendment. Fine.

I guess the NRA has been SO BUSY ignoring getting the 1934 and 1986 problems fixed that the've had NOTHING to do with passing CCW in state after state. And obviously NOTHING to do with the demise of the 1994 ban either. Also NOTHING to do with all the rifle ranges at BSA camps all over the country I guess.

Perfect? Hell no. But unless you have something better or more efficient to give RKBA folks, QYB!!

Look, it's the biggest dog we have in the fight. I suuport A LOT of other groups, but to hammer on the NRA over them not being perfect is VERY counter-productive.

Joe Sacco
April 20, 2007, 10:42 AM
The NRA deals in political reality. It picks its fights. This is the way things get done in Washington. If you "don't compromise principle" and demand all or nothing, you almost always end up with nothing.

This is why neither side is eager to see the Supreme Court decide the 2nd amendment. One side will have to lose and, even with the current composition of the Court, it's not clear which side that will be. A smart player doesn't bet the pot unless he is sure of the outcome.

We need, and should all join the NRA because it has the political clout to bargain in Congress. The more members they have the more influence they have. If gun owners unite as a monolithic unit of one-issue likely voters we can prevail in the current climate. If we're fragmented we lose power. Politicians only care about getting elected. There is recent polling that shows gun supporters are more likely to vote based on this single issue than gun banners are. Herein lies our most significant advantage.

We need to appear united. Just my thoughts. Best, Joe

Ben Shepherd
April 20, 2007, 11:07 AM
Chui- I am not trying to pick a fight here. But I have some questions.

Do GOA, JPFO, CCRKBA, have ANY training arms? No. This is a BIGGIE.

Are they as well respected/feared in Washington? No.

So why the heck do we attack the biggest most effective thing we have, just because it isn't perfect?

Look, I personally am an absolutist, but a realist as well.

I have sat and chatted with a fellow THR member who spent a lot of time on the hill. According to this member, the NRA had lobbyists around somewhere most of the time. GOA? They never seemed to have a lobbyist pulling face time anywhere.

So what did I do? I joined and support both.

Until someone comes along with a better idea what else can you/I do?

The counrty isn't ready for a full return to the Constitution yet, much as most on this board would like. Nor is it bad enough for a second civil war. Just look at the election results. As gun owners, we shot ourselves/got shot in the butt, and good. The "CHANGE, regardless of direction" mandate that this country seems to have voted on was an assinine move. Folks are still thinking/voting with hearts instead of heads. Until this changes, we won't get anywhere nationally.

Derek Zeanah
April 20, 2007, 12:51 PM
It's called "Managed Competition", folks... You THINK they best represent your interests, but the facts speak for themselves.Well said, Chui.

ARTiger
April 20, 2007, 02:19 PM
Apologies if this irks the tin foil hat wearing members, but here's how I see it:

NRA = Sensible, well thought out manipulation of the political process by applying immense resources both overtly and behind the scenes to further our cause. Political pros consider the NRA-ILA the MOST effective lobby in the country above even the petro-chemical and drug industries.

GOA, Ron Paul contingent, et al = Petulant children with a we want it all and won't comprimise an inch. On your 18th. birthday you should be able to buy any firearm available, even full auto, NFA items, etc. without background checks, FFL's etc. Result: An all or nothing approach yields nothing. Rant and rave, call it "sticking to principles" etc. but effectively, it's just noise and politicos take it as a fringe group with an extreme viewpoint and not only ignore, but avoid like the plague.

NRA on the other hand is very effective in the real world. They are expert vote counters in house and senate debates, know what levers to pull and how to get done the maximum which realistically we can get at the time. Then they move on and start chipping away again. More of an eat the elephant one bite at a time approach.

Sentimentally, my heart is with the pure 2A viewpoints that firearms should not be restricted generally except with common sense limitations. HOWEVER, I know realistically that the NRA's approach works and has worked for years. My money and support go there versus running really fast on the "no compromise" hamster wheel which sometimes passes up potential wins for RKBA if every single one of our objectives cannot be gained immediately.

I have 3 young children, 2 are "fit-pitchers" the third is a master manipulator (at age 5). Guess which one gets what they want most of the time?
ART

geronimotwo
April 20, 2007, 02:30 PM
i saw one of their adds that seemed to be more pro-nra than pro-gun. that always makes me wonder.

Supertac45
April 20, 2007, 03:37 PM
I just upgraded my membership from Endowment to Patron level, signed my wife up for Life Membership, and bought 3 annuals for friends yesterday.

gcerbone
April 20, 2007, 03:38 PM
NRA = more good then bad.

They are struggling to be a "mainstream" organization. They are by far the most powerful gun lobby in Washington. It makes sense to support them for that reason if for no other.

Mac45
April 20, 2007, 04:42 PM
Life member.
No, they aren't perfect, and I don't think we should sweep their failings under the rug, but we need to be united, and they're our best bet.

EricTheBarbarian
April 20, 2007, 04:49 PM
this makes them sound pretty bad, but i still think theyre better than the brady bunch on the second amendment.

Chui
April 20, 2007, 09:41 PM
"Chui- I am not trying to pick a fight here. But I have some questions.

Do GOA, JPFO, CCRKBA, have ANY training arms? No. This is a BIGGIE.

Are they as well respected/feared in Washington? No.

So why the heck do we attack the biggest most effective thing we have, just because it isn't perfect?

Look, I personally am an absolutist, but a realist as well.

I have sat and chatted with a fellow THR member who spent a lot of time on the hill. According to this member, the NRA had lobbyists around somewhere most of the time. GOA? They never seemed to have a lobbyist pulling face time anywhere.

So what did I do? I joined and support both.

Until someone comes along with a better idea what else can you/I do?

The counrty isn't ready for a full return to the Constitution yet, much as most on this board would like. Nor is it bad enough for a second civil war. Just look at the election results. As gun owners, we shot ourselves/got shot in the butt, and good. The "CHANGE, regardless of direction" mandate that this country seems to have voted on was an assinine move. Folks are still thinking/voting with hearts instead of heads. Until this changes, we won't get anywhere nationally."

Ben, I understand you on the training issue, but that's not as big a deal as you may assume. The CONSTITUTION is all - not just the 2nd Amendment or the GOP Party Line or fill in the blank.

No, GOA is not as feared because most Gun Owners are far more ignorant than they perceive themselves to be and I do not mean this in a disrespectful manner. If you lose the Constitution - and we are under Martial Law - they will do whatever they damn well please. And what pleases them is what the elitist snobs of the UN decide and write about - you know, the papers that not more than 1 in 10,000 are even remotely interested in? Then, lo and behold, the "liberals" will parrot the contents of the documents and the "moderates" will take only a few (but the linchpins of the concept) and introduce them. The "sheepdipped" NRA will then work in committee with the sponsors to refine the legislation. This is wholly unacceptable.

We KNOW that registration precedes confiscation yet the NRA was a BIG proponent for Insta-Check...

We KNOW that any legislation that infringes upon honest, law-abiding citizens to purchase, trade, sell, keep or carry personal arms is unlawful yet the NRA encourages Congress to enforce the 10,000 "laws" already on the books.

Ben, this is managed competition and not more than 1 out of 20,000 US gunowners seem to be aware of it.

Congress SHOULD NOT FEAR GOA because Congress has assisted in the funding of the NRA. How so? They always mentioned the NRA as if it were the ONLY gun rights group so every soundbite is "NRA, NRA, NRA" so every idiot will spout off as if they know about the NRA; as if the NRA is, oh my, the only game in town supporting the "gun nuts". And this works like a charm because people joined in droves in the early 90s. Members tried to explain Charlton Heston's postions in '68 (while they should have been studying the NRA's position before they paid their membership dues...) as well has his position on citizens and AKMs.

I'm sorry; you're looking at a Trojan Horse. And like Troy before us we, too, shall fall. Read the comments. Speak with your range members. They all sound alike: "It can't happen here"; "the NRA won't allow..."; "the UN will never take my guns"; "Homeland Security wouldn't do that"; "the US gov't wouldn't do that". I'm sick of the superficiality. As long as we skim the surface of everything we will lose as surely as water is wet.

REMEMBER ME. REMEMBER MY STATED POSITIONS. REMEMBER MY PROJECTIONS.

Soybomb
April 20, 2007, 09:49 PM
By the way, the standard annual cost of NRA membership is $35 a year. Of that amount, $25 pays for the magazine subscription. So what remains is $10 a year to staff the NRA and pay the bills. If you don't want a magazine, membership costs $10 a year.
I did not know that. I might sign up now https://membership.nrahq.org/forms/signup.asp

I'm not a huge fan of the NRA and much prefer JPFO as far as ideology, but I also recognize that the mainstream view of them is probably that they're wackadoos and that it will limit their effectiveness.

Linda
April 20, 2007, 10:36 PM
My question to everyone who wants to bitch about the NRA....,when's the last time you sat in the seat next to your state's NRA-ILA liaison in your Statehouse??? Until you've done that, and seen up close and personal what they do, then you have no business complaining about what they do. If you'd get personally involved in the actual political process, you would see that it's a series of "give and take" to get the political process through. We will NEVER get everything we want, all at once. That's just the reality of politics. But not supporting the organizations that are doing the most is just plain ignorant.

:banghead:

I will say one thing, I am the only person in the State of Ohio who can claim to have sat in every single hearing in the Statehouse for our recently passed concealed carry reform bill. I sat and worked hand in hand with John Hohenwarter, our NRA-ILA liaison. If it were not for Buckeye Firearms AND the NRA we would not have gotten our bill passed.

Get involved, and quit complaining about what you don't know about the NRA!

Chui
April 21, 2007, 12:32 AM
LINDA, part of the problem is the "way we do business". One cannot compromise with an entity that wishes you to be disarmed. What in God's name can you compromise on? A slingshot? Oh, how about a musket with a leaded barrel? :scrutiny:

I know that the NRA advocates things I do not approve of and I know damned well that no one in their right mind would support registration (of the PERSON now...) which the NRA correctly once advertised was a big step forward for confiscation.

If you cannot see this you are already blind.

beretta9
April 21, 2007, 02:55 AM
I think if some members put as much effort in fighting for our rights as trying to tear down the NRA, our most powerful gun advocate in the U.S. we would be making the Brady bunch shake in their boots.:mad:

RNB65
April 21, 2007, 02:58 AM
I am a member of the NRA and will continue to be until the day I die.

Silver Bullet
April 21, 2007, 03:26 AM
The NRA is the only organization that makes a difference.

Recent examples include getting the Senate to not renew the AWB as as add-on to the bill to provide protection to the gun industry, and forcing the city of New Orleans to stop confiscating firearms.

Can your beer do that ?

JohnBT
April 21, 2007, 09:07 AM
"It's called "Managed Competition", folks... You THINK they best represent your interests, but the facts speak for themselves."

They do represent many of my interests. I will add that you have a fascinating way of spinning the facts to suit your agenda. And you obviously do have an agenda.

John

Art Eatman
April 21, 2007, 11:12 AM
Chui--and others--consider this: If you don't have the votes, what do you do?

Until recent years, we--and the NRA--hasn't had the votes. Only votes count. You can holler, "Constitution!" all you want, but only the votes in Congress or in a state capitol count. You can be as hard core as you want to be, but if you don't have the votes you're done for.

The NRA has done a magnificent job of delaying and persuading, these last forty years. Only in the last ten years or so have we been able to begin to change things in the states and in Congress.

That's "begin" to change. Our rights weren't taken in one swell foop. We won't get them back in any sort of "Poof! Your rights are restored!" manner, either.

And, really, if you don't put out the sort of effort that folks like Linda have, you're just blowing smoke about the whole "rights" deal, anyway. If you really and truly believed in your rights, you'd be doing your own lobbying, instead of keyboarding against those who work in your behalf.

Art

camacho
April 21, 2007, 11:27 AM
Amen to everything you said Art. Could not have said it better myself!

SoCalShooter
April 21, 2007, 03:31 PM
NRA is a good organisation in my opinion. They are a lobby and they do what I cannot always have time to do and that is lobby, thats what I pay them for is to lobby my opinions about guns. Everyone blames the NRA, that is just the organization, basically they are blaming us gun owners who make up the organization.

Soybomb
April 21, 2007, 03:59 PM
Art, I can only speak for myself but I'm not sure the NRA is interested in nibbling back our rights. I see threads like this http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=271290 and think they're more interested in "reasonable compromise" and would be willing to surrender more instead of holding their ground.

Chui
April 21, 2007, 04:10 PM
"Art, I can only speak for myself but I'm not sure the NRA is interested in nibbling back our rights. I see threads like this http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=271290 and think they're more interested in "reasonable compromise" and would be willing to surrender more instead of holding their ground."

But there are precious few who are mature enough to accept this because it requires even greater personal responsibility.

The NRA is widely acknowledged as "the only group that matters" soley because they are constantly being referred to by the opposition - thus creating a false opponent - and opponent who is fine with regulation but NOT in exercising the 2nd Amendment as intended.

We're wrestling with a python here. He can take his time because he's larger, more powerful and WILL wear you down.

This is not a matter of politics, but one of Statesmanship. Anything else is, in fact, allowing Evil to flourish in places it has no right to be.

There's no compromising with a murderer intent on murdering. Likewise, there is no compromise with an elitist system that wants you TOTALLY DISARMED.

History WILL prove me correct - unless we get our collective heads around this and demand a CONSTITUTIONALLY LIMITED REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOV'T.

HGUNHNTR
April 21, 2007, 04:44 PM
I support the NRA 100%. Yes, every organization has its flaws, however I recognize this and am glad to strengthen the best recognized prize fighter for American's firearms rights in this country.

Fburgtx
April 21, 2007, 08:15 PM
NRA Life Member

Politicians all want one of two things: Money or Votes.
When congessional, senate, presidential candidates look at the numbers of votes that are for or against them (based on their gun stance), they look at state rifle association membership numbers and NRA numbers. By joining these organizations, you are in a sense telling these politicians how many votes they can count on having for or against them based on their position on guns. If more of you lazy/grumpy guys would join, we would have way more political power. How many anti-gun presidential candidates would there be if they knew that 20 million (instead of the NRA's current 4 million) voters were going to vote against them based on this one issue.

"But I don't want to spend $25 on a membership" or "I don't like getting letters asking for money". FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! People fought and died for your rights, and you can't even spare a few bucks or put up with a few solicitations for money??? "From my cold dead fingers" my a**!!! They'll pry them out of your "fingers" while you sit in front of your computer drinking a cold beer, muttering some nonsense on this forum about how you don't agree with every single little thing the NRA does!

Here's a thought. I'm tired of pulling around some you guys' dead weight! Plenty of us contribute to the NRA and our state rifle associations, while some of you go out and blow $1000 on an AR15 or a Kimber 1911 (while at the same time griping about dues that don't cost any more than a box of ammo). Quit complaining and start chipping in!!

Chui
April 22, 2007, 09:43 AM
Then carry on. You will rue your choices shortly. Mark my words.

It will be interesting once the Democrats get in office and the NRA compromises on issues. It will be funny/sad to hear/read "but it would have been worse ifthe NRA wasn't involved." Really? All one had to do was switch your support to the organization that better reflects what the Anti-Federalists intended and write the NRA explaining why you no longer support them.

This is how nations (i.e., peoples) fall.

GoRon
April 22, 2007, 10:04 AM
Life Member here.

I appreciate all the folks for whom "good" isn't good enough and demand "perfect".

Truth be told though for every compromise that the NRA has made they have also been at the forefront of our successes. Looking at the state of CCW across the country I believe our successes have been out pacing our setbacks lately.

In the political arena the process is like the proverbial sausage factory. Not very pretty.

Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

Chad
April 22, 2007, 10:10 AM
I recently became a GOA Life member.
Partly because their ideas and policies suit me better, but mostly because they need my support more than the NRA does.
If we have 2, or more, effective organizations it can only help us in the long run.

Those of you who disparage anyone that doesn't join the NRA, calling them blind and ignorant, do a disservice to all of us who fight for our rights in other ways.

Here we are again, fighting amongst ourselves...

dzimmerm
April 22, 2007, 10:54 AM
I am a NRA member. If you don't want as many mailings you can request that you be put on a restricted mailings list. I did this after receiving a DVD I did not order and subsequent requests for payments for something I did not order.

I think the NRA is a reasonable organization. It is trying its best to represent american gun owners. American gun owners are not a cohesive lot. You have hunters, you have target shooters, you have collectors of all kinds, you have people interested only in self defense, you have others that are mainly interested in pure second ammendment issues. The NRA tries to support all of these groups.

I think they do a fair job, well worth the money spent.

dzimmerm

Dave Workman
April 22, 2007, 11:33 AM
Chad:
You might also join the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and you might also support the Second Amendment Foundation.

SAF, incidentally, is a FULL partner in the New Orleans and San Francisco lawsuits, even if they're not often mention in news reports. SAF is also currently waging 2Z battles in Ohio and Texas, and a 1A (and 2A) battle in north-central Washington state re: internet access to SAF publications via public library computers.

In terms of size, these groups are the "Second largest" gun rights organizations. Being second makes you work harder..

Chad
April 22, 2007, 02:15 PM
Chad:
You might also join the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and you might also support the Second Amendment Foundation.

SAF, incidentally, is a FULL partner in the New Orleans and San Francisco lawsuits, even if they're not often mention in news reports. SAF is also currently waging 2Z battles in Ohio and Texas, and a 1A (and 2A) battle in north-central Washington state re: internet access to SAF publications via public library computers.

In terms of size, these groups are the "Second largest" gun rights organizations. Being second makes you work harder..
I am impressed with what I read of SAF, and have considered supporting them.

I'm currently looking at the few Florida organizations, as I would like to be involved with something that has a more local focus.

I wish I could support all the organizations, but I have to pick and choose.

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