NRA-ILA letter... reprehensible!


PDA






azredhawk44
May 23, 2007, 01:19 AM
The NRA-ILA just sent me a newsletter.

It spoke with glowing praise of the recent Parker v. District of Columbia landmark second amendment ruling.


On March 9, 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a landmark ruling known as Parker v. District of Columbia. That ruling overturned the ban on personal ownership of handguns in Washington, D.C. --a decades-old gun ban that also required long guns to be stored locked or disassembled, and thus outlawed the right to self-defense in our nation's capitol city.

This was a great victory for the citizens of Washington, D.C....

...But more importantly, this District Cour ruling was a huge victory for gun owners across the country.

This is the very first time in our nation's 230-year history that a federal court has overturned a gun ban specifically on Second Amendment grounds.


I am SO horribly offended by this. The NRA did everything in its power to scuttle this court case and AVOID a second amendment derived decision.

As referenced here by CATO lawyers, the NRA deliberately attempted to derail a decision based on 2A grounds, and also attempted to hijack the case from CATO by means of filing for consolidation.

All this occurred prior to July 8th, 2003.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3175

In February, joined by two other attorneys, we filed the Parker case, a civil lawsuit in federal court on behalf of six D.C. residents who want to be able to defend themselves with a handgun in their own homes. When we informed the NRA of our intent, we were advised to abandon the effort. Surprisingly, the expressed reason was that the case was too good. It could succeed in the lower courts then move up to the Supreme Court where, according to the NRA, it might receive a hostile reception.

Maybe so. But with a Republican president filling vacancies, one might expect the Court's composition to improve by the time our case was reviewed. More important, if a good case doesn't reach the nine justices, a bad one will. Spurred by Attorney General John Ashcroft's endorsement of an individual right to bear arms, public defenders across the country are invoking the Second Amendment as a defense to prosecution. How long before the high court gets one of those cases, with a crack dealer as the Second Amendment's poster child?

Despite that risk, the NRA seems determined to derail our case. Nearly two months after we filed our lawsuit, the NRA filed a copycat suit on behalf of five D.C. residents and moved to consolidate its case with ours. Both suits challenged the same regulations, asked the same relief, and raised the same Second Amendment arguments. But the NRA included several unrelated constitutional and statutory counts, each of which would prolong and complicate our case and give the court a path around the Second Amendment.

Worse still, the NRA sued not only the District of Columbia but also Ashcroft, presumably because the Justice Department prosecutes felonies in D.C. Yet no NRA plaintiff is at risk of a felony prosecution. Joining Ashcroft simply adds months to the litigation so the court can decide whether he is a proper defendant. Regrettably, we now have two suits, one of which is unnecessary and counterproductive.

Thankfully, on July 8, federal judge Emmet Sullivan, wishing "to avoid any protracted delay in the resolution of the merits in either case," denied the NRA's motion to consolidate. That means the NRA failed in its attempt to control the legal strategy. Just one week later, Sen. Hatch introduced his bill. The timing is suspicious, to say the least. If enacted, Hatch's D.C. Personal Protection Act could result in the dismissal of our lawsuit. After all, plaintiffs cannot challenge a law that no longer exists.


One week later, under direction of Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, Senator Orrin Hatch introduced this bill on July 15, 2003.

http://www.gunweek.com/2003/dcban0810.html

The intent? To deliberately derail Parker before it can reach the Supreme Court.

NOW THE NRA IS ASKING FOR MONEY BASED UPON THE MERITORIOUS DECISION THAT CATO OBTAINED IN THE PARKER CASE!


And I need your financial commitment as well, to make sure that NRA-ILA can take immediate and effective action to defeat gun-ban legislation in Congress during the dangerous weeks and months ahead.

That's why I'm urgently requesting that you and other NRA-ILA leaders pledge a special contribution of $45 or, if it's more convenient, $15 per month for the next three months.

You can use the first envelope, marked "May," to forward your very generous $45 gift. Or, you can use each of the three envelopes I've enclosed to send a $15 contribution in May, June, and July.


How does this relate to activism?

I think all THR members should send a copy of this post, or a similar letter, back in the NRA-ILA envelopes (all three are postage paid) WITH NO MONEY.

The NRA cannot be allowed to lie to us, attempt to derail promising Second Amendment cases, then ask us for money.

It is dispicable.

Shame on you, Chris Cox.

If you enjoyed reading about "NRA-ILA letter... reprehensible!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
D.S. Ambrose
May 23, 2007, 01:39 AM
Ouch, you're in for a rough time for that one on this forum. ;)

.cheese.
May 23, 2007, 02:10 AM
to be honest, I kinda agree.

I got the letter too and thought that it was ironic given the NRA's stance on that.

At the same time though, The NRA-ILA has been annoying the hell out of me... I get a letter a week asking for donations, and they're calling my cellphone every 2 days. I already renewed my NRA membership very very early to take advantage of the free video offer, but no video ever came and it's been months.

I think I will send a note back to them with that mailing saying that if they expect me to donate, they need to:

A) Stand up for our rights and not cower in the corner when it comes to these cases
B) Stop calling me every 2 days
C) Send the darn video already!

mec
May 23, 2007, 05:12 AM
For several years, I was donating a few hundred dollars every few months.They had me on their A-list and sent requests very regularly. Then, one day they sent me a video and said " Now pay for it or send it back." I forgot about the thing and never have been much inclined toward that sort of fund raising considering it heavy handed and dishonest so I did nothing. I started getting dunning letters for this video that I had never requested. I ignored the situation. Apparently, they decided that I was a bad guy and stopped sending me requests for donations.
I still maintain membership but use the extra money to buy guns and ammunition.

hunttheevil
May 23, 2007, 09:27 AM
One thing to remember is once 2A is blessed by SCOTUS, if they ever do, is NRA will be out of a job. Self preservation way I see it.

mec
May 23, 2007, 09:42 AM
There might be fewer opportunities to raise funds but I don't believe the problem would go away with a SCOTUS validation. The left would simply peck away with partial "commonsense' regulation until they could appoint enough dialectically pure justices.

tinygnat219
May 23, 2007, 10:01 AM
Just do what I did, send a donation to the CATO Institute along with a note thanking them for their defense of our Constitutional Rights. :D

S.P.E.C.T.R.E.
May 23, 2007, 11:31 AM
I've not studied the NRA's involvement in all of the this, but is it possible they were trying to kill the case to prevent the possibility of a negative ruling?

princewally
May 23, 2007, 11:54 AM
One thing to remember is once 2A is blessed by SCOTUS, if they ever do, is NRA will be out of a job. Self preservation way I see it.


Not true. They were around for 60 years before 2a rights became a major issue.

ZeSpectre
May 23, 2007, 12:01 PM
Got the same letter. I actually agree completely that the NRA is not playing above board in this matter though I'm not particularly surprised.

The political model is changing (mostly via the internet) and small groups have far more reach and power than they ever did before. Some of the larger political organizations (on both sides of the issue) are having a really tough time figuring out how to work with that.

Rather than slap the NRA on the wrist over it, maybe we should find a way to educate them as to how working together with these grass roots groups makes us all stronger and how glory grabbing hurts everyone.

BigG
May 23, 2007, 12:16 PM
One thing to remember is once 2A is blessed by SCOTUS, if they ever do, is NRA will be out of a job. Self preservation way I see it.

Not true. They were around for 60 years before 2a rights became a major issue.

Well, I hate to be a cynic but NRA was only interested in National Matches prior to gun control. The ILA would definitely be interested in self preservation, which is unfortunate, but characteristic of the life cycle of an organization.

thereisnospoon
May 23, 2007, 01:53 PM
Rather than slap the NRA on the wrist over it, maybe we should find a way to educate them as to how working together with these grass roots groups makes us all stronger and how glory grabbing hurts everyone.

The problem with this idea is that Wayne, et. al. don't like competition.

They also do not understand the mindset of (part of?) their target audience. For the long history of the NRA, I would assume- and yes that's dangerous- that an overwhelming majority of their participants were hunters. As long as they had a gun to hunt with and a place to do it, the NRA was doing a good job.

Unfortunately for the NRA (and hunters who turn up their noses at "the evil black rifle"), those of us who enjoy the "non-sporting" part of gun ownership are a very vocal and action oriented group (i.e. Zumbo), and will no longer sit still while the NRA plays politics with the true intent of the Second Amendment.

The NRA must accept this and deal with it in their hierarchy (with a strategy to UNITE gunowners-of all stripes) or lose a large portion of their support to organizations such as JPFO, GOA and smaller grass roots organizations. I don't hink you'll ever hear a hard core 2A guy say something like "yes, as long as they don't take my AR, they can have all the deer rifles they want"- while the reverse is not always true. However, as recently as 3 months ago, the Zumbo incident revealed the true stripes of a large portion of the hunting community and their feelings about the 2A.

I am an NRA member, but only because I have to be to participate at my local range.

The NRA has been the 800lb Gorilla for long, long time, but even 800lb Gorillas must adapt to the ever changing landscape or die...

buzz_knox
May 23, 2007, 02:11 PM
The problem with this idea is that Wayne, et. al. don't like competition.

Neither do JPFO or GOA, which is why they and their members have membership drives centered around how evil the NRA is, including via threads on the forums discussing how wrong the NRA is, how it's never done anything for gun rights, and how only JPFO/GOA/etc will save the day.

Right now, the gun rights movement is doing its best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as the various organizations slam each other.

Malum Prohibitum
May 23, 2007, 02:40 PM
Well, I am a member of the NRA, and I have been considering writing them a letter telling them to keep their hands off the Parker case. That is, refrain from filing a brief.

They will ignore it, but if they received thousands of similar letters from their members . . .

buzz_knox
May 23, 2007, 02:57 PM
Well, I am a member of the NRA, and I have been considering writing them a letter telling them to keep their hands off the Parker case. That is, refrain from filing a brief.

If DC doesn't appeal, no one will be filing anything.

JohnBT
May 23, 2007, 03:23 PM
"For the long history of the NRA, I would assume- and yes that's dangerous- that an overwhelming majority of their participants were hunters."

And you would be wrong. I encourage you to read the history of the NRA. They taught rifle shooting, promoted rifle competition and built rifle ranges. They were not into setting up hunting preserves and promoting shotgun skills.

I'm not claiming members didn't hunt, but it wasn't a hunting organization. It was founded by Union vets after the Civil War.

"Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis," according to a magazine editorial written by Church."

www.nrahq.org/history.asp

Here is a little more.

"An important facet of the NRA's creation was the development of a practice ground. In 1872, with financial help from New York state, a site on Long Island, the Creed Farm, was purchased for the purpose of building a rifle range. Named Creedmoor, the range opened a year later, and it was there that the first annual matches were held.

Political opposition to the promotion of marksmanship in New York forced the NRA to find a new home for its range. In 1892, Creedmoor was deeded back to the state and NRA's matches moved to Sea Girt, New Jersey.

The NRA's interest in promoting the shooting sports among America's youth began in 1903 when NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones urged the establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies. By 1906, NRA's youth program was in full swing with more than 200 boys competing in matches at Sea Girt that summer. Today, youth programs are still a cornerstone of the NRA, with more than one million youth participating in NRA shooting sports events and affiliated programs with groups such as 4-H, the Boy Scouts of America, the American Legion, U.S. Jaycees and others.

Due to the overwhelming growth of NRA's shooting programs, a new range was needed. Gen. Ammon B. Crichfield, Adjutant General of Ohio, had begun construction of a new shooting facility on the shores of Lake Erie, 45 miles east of Toledo, Ohio. Camp Perry became the home of the annual National Matches, which have been the benchmark for excellence in marksmanship ever since. With nearly 6,000 people competing annually in pistol, smallbore and highpower events, the National Matches are one of the biggest sporting events held in the country today."

It wasn't until 1934 that they got into politics, although there was no formal lobbying at that time.

The small groups have made many gains, especially VCDL, but they're still playing catch-up and have a long way to go to have the kind of influence the NRA has.

We will see if the ILA cares to address the complaints in this thread. I e-mailed it to them, although I don't know if they do internet forums.

John
Member www.vcdl.org
NRA Patron

thereisnospoon
May 23, 2007, 04:19 PM
JohnBT,

Thanks for the information! I don't care to just bash the NRA. I not only outlined what I thought was the problem, but the idea that the NRA has to adress the situation and find a way to unite all shooters...

They seem to focus on the Sporting Purpose and are happy to do so. If they have the power and ability their die-hard supporters believe they do, why can't they get the unreasonable gun legislation removed from the US Code and/or addressing the overgrown out-of-control organizations such as the bATF(E)? Is it possibly because they don't want to?

That's how I, as a member of the NRA (and several other gun organizations), feel and where the hostility towards the NRA comes from. They are great at scaring people with gun-grabbing horror stories to get contributions, yet can't seem to scare up the votes to remove the draconian gun laws in the US Code. The scarey propaganda on one hand and the go-along-to-get-along attitude on the other is disingenuous and frustrates me (I won't pretend to speak for anyone else).

I would (and previously did) donate hundreds of $$$ if they would just stand up and fight for the 2nd under its true meaning...the right to keep and bear arms.

buzz knox:

I don't want to throw the NRA under the bus, but the organization doesn't seem to get it at all. If I ran this organization (and I have run several businesses and currently manage a medical practice for three physicians) I would hear all this ruckus and wonder what I should do about it, rather than ignoring a part of the people I am trying to reach the most.

Maybe that's just me.

I have never accused the NRA of doing nothing, rather, I have said that they are failing to change as the landscape does around them.

I liken it to the current Republican Party...they have lost the initiative and sqaundered any chance they had of making effective change. The NRA had a Republican in the White House and control of both the Senate and House. I remeber the talk of "our boy is in the House"...why didn't the NRA move during that time to make effective change.

And BTW, what is your observation of the initial topic of this thread- i.e. the way the NRA tried to derail the Parker case? (This is not meant as a personal atack, I just don't recall you responding to the initial question/thread topic)

buzz_knox
May 23, 2007, 04:34 PM
And BTW, what is your observation of the initial topic of this thread- i.e. the way the NRA tried to derail the Parker case?

My observation was in the second part of the post: Parker scared them. Parker scared me. From a legal point of view, it should have come out as it did. But from a realist point of view, given the particular ban and the particular court, it probably shouldn't have gone our way.

The NRA has for years waited for the right climate and right plaintiff to pursue a 2nd Amendment claim, because the consequences of screwing up are nightmarish. The NRA is rather risk averse, as many big organizations are. That's why they don't follow the call to push for each and every case to go all the way on 2nd Amendment grounds, even if doing so builds up a history that undermines the individual interpretation.

Times have been changing as has the legal landscape. I don't think the NRA fully grasped that at the time (and things have changed even after Parker started going forward). But I think it's coming around.

thereisnospoon
May 23, 2007, 04:46 PM
Times have been changing as has the legal landscape. I don't think the NRA fully grasped that at the time (and things have changed even after Parker started going forward). But I think it's coming around.

So how do the "disinfranchised" (:barf: I just threw up a little when I typed that) members help the NRA change? The only outlet I've had is to ask the NRA to stop calling me every 2-3 days for contributions and stop sending the scare literature to my home and to get on the net and bitch. The die-hard supporters appear to ignore the fact that there are a lot of us out there that want a good organization to defend us, but don't want to continue to throw money into an organization that

...is rather risk averse, as many big organizations are.

as you stated.

Maybe I am a romantic at heart, but I'd rather support a loser that goes down in flames trying, than a "winner" who appears to support the slow erosion of our rights. The words Vichy, France come to mind.

Maybe that is unwarranted, but everytime I hear the NRA mentioned or this debate crops up- that scene from Casablanca pops into my head...

ETA: Do the powers that be know that many feel this way and are ignoring it, or are they oblivious to it?

Malum Prohibitum
May 23, 2007, 05:08 PM
If DC doesn't appeal, no one will be filing anything.

They'll file a petition.

buzz_knox
May 23, 2007, 05:08 PM
Maybe I am a romantic at heart, but I'd rather support a loser that goes down in flames trying, than a "winner" who appears to support the slow erosion of our rights. The words Vichy, France come to mind.

Following that rather inappropriate and insulting analogy, the Resistance members who were successful were the ones who used their heads and fought smartly, not the ones who made fool hardy charges in to the enemies' guns.

The die-hard supporters appear to ignore the fact that there are a lot of us out there that want a good organization to defend us, but don't want to continue to throw money into an organization that


And many of us are tired of all the attempts to tear the gun rights movement apart or undermine the RKBA altogether.

And the advances in the effort to support the RKBA are being made by changing the environment, not by going for broke. Parker was the result of a lot of effort over years, that luckily came together at the right time and place. It could easily have gone the other way. If the NRA had pushed it and lost, it would have been castigated for being stupid. I doubt anyone would have castigated CATO for setting back the RKBA.

thereisnospoon
May 23, 2007, 05:19 PM
Not to belabor the point but:

Insulting or not, there are obviously enough people who feel the way I do (and as you do)or this type of "debate" wouldn't happen on every internet gun forum.

Let's set aside the rhetoric for a moment and answer the question: How do we fix the problem? How do we reconcile the hard core NRA supporters (for lack of a better term) with the hard core NRA bashers (for lack of a better term)? How do we help the NRa recognize their loss of credability with a large number of their would be supporters?

buzz_knox
May 23, 2007, 05:47 PM
Not to belabor the point but:

what do the rest of us do?


Simple. Hit them where they live. Go to Friends of the NRA meetings and start working the crowd, finding those who think similarly and converting those inclined to your point of view. Turn those meetings into "Friends of the NRA Who Want Change" meetings. If the powers that be won't allow it, then bypass them and have your own internet meetings, even on places like this. Don't be one person badgering the NRA to adopt a particular view, be hundreds.

But at the same time, don't tell them that it's either your way or the highway for your dollars. If you want to do that, fine. But you've eliminated any further influence you or anyone affiliated with you will have. Grow to understand why the NRA acts as it does, and find a solution that works with its tendencies and your needs and accept that you might not get all you want. Strangely, though, you'll get far more than you expected.

The NRA is the way it is because 1) it plays politics and does so quite well, 2) most gunowners are not members, 3) most members are apathetic, and 4) too many nonapathetic members drown themselves out by the stridency of the message. Change 4 and you can change 3 (you get other members intersted and listening to you). Change 3 and you can change 2 (you get members talking to fellow shooters and others, demonstrating that the NRA isn't the ultra-radical anti-cop anti-establishment organization the media makes it out to be, and maybe the NRA gets a few new members who think the way you've helped your fellow members think). Change 2 and 1 becomes irrelevant. Whether it plays politics or not, it's got too many members who think as you do to step too far out of bounds.

Radical idea? Yes. Sounds hard? Absolutely. But it's the same grassroots method that has caused the RKBA to expand (building a de facto power base that politicians can't ignore). It's the same effort that set the stage for Parker. It's also the only way I can see things changing. The "bloodbath" (in terms of influence and membership) and time required before another organization had the influence the NRA does would probably see the RKBA mortally wounded before the influence could be felt.

As an aside, it's funny to think that to many,in the public the NRA is a "ultra-radical anti-cop anti-establishment organization." To many here, it's a weak part of the establishment. Recognizing the two ways of how the NRA is seen, and how carefully it has to walk, makes me realize why it acts the way it does. And it reinforces the belief that the only way it will change is when the public and the membership changes enough to 1) force it to be tougher (from our viewpoint) and 2) give it permission (from the public) to be tougher without causing backlash.

ZeSpectre
May 23, 2007, 05:47 PM
Not to belabor the point but: what do the rest of us do?
Thereisnospoon,
I'm not making fun of you, really I'm not!
But WOW, it still astonishes me that people have to ask that question.

WRITE LETTERS (real, honest-to-God, on paper, via snailmail, letters)
Nobody can cover every cause but pick one, build yourself a solid, logically backed, stance and start hammering away.

For example I've chosen to operate locally with the VCDL and participate in their campaigns (with regards to the NRA and with regards to anti-gun opponents or mis-informed politicians). I've also chosen the "right to carry in the national parks (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=260379)" as my other pet project. Once a month I try to send some sort of letter or at minimum an email to the various points of contact. Long term work is what's needed. It's not exciting or sexy but it's what actually works if you want the voice of the people to be heard.

buzz_knox
May 23, 2007, 05:49 PM
They'll file a petition.

Last I heard, the current thinking is that DC was going to pull back and try to write a de facto ban that comported with the ruling, in order to avoid further losses.

thereisnospoon
May 23, 2007, 06:34 PM
Buzz:

Thanks for your thoughtful response. However, why do that when one can easily join another more forceful organization and bash the NRA? Just kidding...:neener:

So is the NRA powerful or not? You make it sound as though the NRA is castrate and unable to effect change, yet they tell me with just a little more money, they'll show those nasty gun-grabbers the door...which is it. (Wayne is also quick to claim victories in the American Rifleman, I might add.)

You still didn't address the way they tried to muscle in on the Parker case. Although I think you meant that they tried to muscle in for fear that the CATO would screw it up and lose and then where would we be??? I guess right where we were before CATO tackled the beast.

Is it the true 2A/RKBA Lobby or not? Does it support "the right to keep and bear arms" or the "Sporting purposes" rubbish? Why can't they be definative and make that statement? Wouldn't that swell there ranks (and $$$ couffers) with folks like me-and our money? The anits are still going to hate them wether they are nice or not. Take the gloves off....maybe that's too radical. Of course, since the anti's already have them pegged as radiclas (as you stated), why don't they act like it and get something done instead of sqaundering the opportunity they had with a full Republican Gov't?

Why does it seem to need so much money, yet accomplishes (in some opinions) ever so small victories, while the CATO Institute can get Parker done without the power and monster fundraising? If it takes all you said in your post to make the "powers that be" realize they have a problem, then the NRA is truely outdated in its thinking and organization.

You yourself said Times have been changing as has the legal landscape. I don't think the NRA fully grasped that at the time (and things have changed even after Parker started going forward). But I think it's coming around....so you feel the best way to push this change is grass roots, but within the NRA?

ZeSpectre: I know what I am doing about the RKBA, but I wanted to hear Buzz's thoughts...socratic method and all that jazz...;)

Personally, i belong to the NRA and JPFO, and in addition, I host and sponser Appleseed rifle clinics at my local range. This clinic is geared toward the new sghooter as well as the old and I mix in talk about the 2A with the history of being a rifleman. I also help organize and shoot tactical rifle and IDPA shoots, during which we never let the day pass without some mention of the 2A and what's happening locally as well as nationally.

I write and call my local congressman frequently...I am his 2A thorn in the flesh! (In a nice sorta way)

In addition, I get on the internet and bash theNRA...just kidding

Caimlas
May 23, 2007, 07:33 PM
This just goes to show what I've been thinking for quite a while is true: that the NRA has lost its vision, and now exists solely for the purpose of self-perpetuation. They will (and have ,repeatedly) cut deals and ignore issues in order to remain relevant, allowing harmful legislation to go through unquestioned or supported in order to give them something to fight against.

It'd have been the same kind of insanity if we'd decided to say, "Hey, this is far enough. Why don't we truck them some food and ammunition?" during WWII when we were just outside Berlin.

How do we fix the problem?

Get as many people as you can to support GOA, and make note to NRA members what a sham the NRA is at this point in history. The NRA is nothing more than a fear-mongering shell of an organization which tries to cater to both "gun owners" (that is, those with "legit sporting purposes") and the gun grabbers. Anyone who values the 2nd Amendment absolutely is ignored or written off.

Chad
May 23, 2007, 08:19 PM
So the NRA has become a bureaucracy that has as it's foremost goal it's own survival?

I can't imagine that will last very long.
We are a vocal bunch, us gun owners, Second Amendment/RKBA activists, etc.

Make them hear and make them change.

I'm not NRA...I'm a GOA Lifemember.

But it's gonna take all of us to make things right.

ALHunter
May 24, 2007, 11:56 AM
Thanks for the information. A donation to the Cato Institute is on its way.

buzz_knox
May 24, 2007, 12:10 PM
My answer as to why they tried to muscle has been provided: the case made them and many others not inclined to the go for broke strategy. I don't necessarily agree with their tactics (which aren't at all uncommon in these kind of situations) but I understand them.

As for why work with the NRA, it's simple: it's our only chance for survival. The NRA is effectively the hegemony in terms of the RKBA movement. Hegemonic change either takes extremely long periods of gradual change or war. If you want to make JPFO, GOA or any other groups the "big dog," you either work slowly or you go to war with the NRA. Given the NRA bashing disguised as membership drives for those groups, war seems to be the answer. However, the bloodbath that ensues will see the RKBA destroyed by the time the next group has the political power to step in and start fighting. Then again,

We are currently losing the war because after winning a couple of battles (stopping the AWB renewal efforts, CC reform, and Parker), the RKBA movement is tearing itself apart. The gunbanners are organizing and now have the political advanatage, if they choose to use it. They organize, we disorganize.

Join whatever group you want. Get as many people as you can to join. But stop making it a losing proposition by doing so at the cost of destroying everything your'e fighting for.

thereisnospoon
May 24, 2007, 12:49 PM
Given the NRA bashing disguised as membership drives for those groups

You keep mentioning this, but refuse to discuss the scare tactics disguised as recruiting/fundraising tactics of the NRA (or the get-along-to-go-along with the gun grabbers)?

Maybe continuing this is pointless as we are devolving into tit-for-tat.

I really wanted to see if there was an effective way to make the NRA see they are losing members in their own ranks due to their offensive (to some) fundraising and deal making...

I'll continue to be a member and I always encourage others to join the 2A proponent of their choice, even if it's not exactly mine.

D.S. Ambrose
May 24, 2007, 02:48 PM
"NRA bashing disguised as membership drives for those groups"

Does anyone care to show such things coming from the GOA and/or JPFO? I subscribe to their newsletters and alerts, I don't recall ever getting very much that even mentions the NRA from either. The times where they have mentioned the NRA in a negative light, it was desrved and I wouldn't call being truthful "bashing". But maybe I'm missing this stuff. Anyone care to share?


If we're talking about how individuals not connnected to those groups act, that's a little silly, you can't hold the GOA (or JPFO etc.) accountable for that any more than I can hold the NRA accountable for what Barney Fife the NRA Life Member says at my sportsmen's club.

MikeHaas
June 1, 2007, 06:08 PM
This thread should win an award for the most misinformation by self-proclaimed experts on the net.

No other group comes close to comparing to what NRA is, what NRA does and the impact and influence on government at all levels. And I can't say it loud enough - Not even close. 137 years old, NRA is fully engaged in all aspects of furthering shooting and protecting gun rights and you can't say that about anyone else. No one. Nada. Zip.

NRA understands well that when a case goes before the SCOTUS, there is a WIN side and a LOSE side. They also seem to be about the only ones around that understands when you lose at the SCOTUS, there is NO APPEAL. Remember that horrific joke called Silveira? Sometimes, gun-owners are our own worst enemy.

With siome of the recent decisions that have come out of SCOTUS, I would say there is good reason to not have much trust in SCOTUS. And the court still has 5 perceived liberals on it - methinks Parker should wait, but what do I know?

I want someone here to tell me another gun group where the membership elects the board DIRECTLY. I want siomeone here to tell me about another gun group that holds an annual meeting for it's members where every member can submit resolutions and do the associations business right from the floor. I want siomeone here to tell me about another gun group that is bound by corporate law and has a legal, fiduciary responsibility to it's members. I want someone else here to tell me another gun group where it's leaders have sworn they will go to jail before giving up their members' list. I want siomeone here to tell me about another gun group that provides formal training in all aspects of shooting, even teaching children to stay away from guns they find. I want someone here to tell me about another gun group that works to preserve hunting land, supports the troops, law enforcement and p[lays in every election in the country (be it national or state).

Look at membership - over 3 million in NRA, last I checked the NEXT largest national gun-group is actually quite tiny - GOA with under 100,000 (they try to claim over 100,000 but I don't believe anything they say.) How can you believe GOA or any of the others that bash NRA - THEY ARE 100% UNACCOUNTABLE!!! You can't vote them out, ther3e are no meetings, you have no recourse. WHO IS ON THE BOARD OF THESE FLY-BY-NIGHT GROUPS? How did they get there - WHY are they there?

Groups that bash NRA adopt ridiculously unattainable positions on bills then critisize NRA for not being as hard-line as they are. OF COURSE THEY ARE HARD-LINE - nothing they do matters, no one (in power) cares what they say. First they anger gun-owners, then feed off their wallets.

Need an example? NRA has brought you relaxed CCW in over 40 states now. GOA often opposed those efforts in states like Texas, Michigan and others. WHy? Because it wasn't VERMONT-STYLE carry. Let's see if we have this right - GOA THINKS YOU CAN GO INTO A STATE THAT HAS ZERO CARRY, AND SUCCESSFULLY OBTAIN VERMONT CARRY ALL AT ONCE????

Of course not. They are FUND-RAISING. They are preying on the inexperience and frustration of local gun-owners to get upset that NRA isn't going "for the gusto", when in reality, the "gusto" is not possible. the truth is, GOA doesn't give a rats ass whether anyone gets to carry - THEY WANT YOUR MONEY. They NEED you to believe they are your RKBA savior, and NRA is either incompetent or evil.

GOA's (and JPFO's) latest scam is to spread a bunch of lies about HR 297 int he wake of the VT shooting.

NRA may have tried to beat Parker to the punch with a federal law, but I am CERTAIN there is a good reason, most likely that they don't have faith in Parker to carry the day. NRA worked against that turkey Silveira too, but filed an Amicus Brief in support of it when it looked like it was going to get cert (THANK GOD it never did).

I would turn it around and ask CATO why they went forward with the case if they didn't have NRA's blessing. That's not cool.

Mike

mec
June 1, 2007, 06:25 PM
NRA is undeniably a great organization and the foremost defender of the second amendment. It deserves support from all gun owners who want to preserve their rights.

Nevertheless this does not deter faithful members from registering disgust over the fund raising methods. I was with a group of senior members who regularly contribute substantial sums to the NRA ILA a couple of days ago. they were complaining about constant, strident fund raising calls from NRA with many of them interrupting meal times.

precisionshootist
July 12, 2007, 07:55 AM
Iím generally an NRA supporter and up until reading this thread, did not at all buy into the notion that the NRA is not defending or more importantly trying to advance the RKBA. I did not know it was CATO that litigated this case and certainly did not know the NRA tried to derail it. Iíve felt for many years that a true 2nd amendment case needs to go before SCOTUS to settle this issue once and for all. Could it be that what the NRA is really afraid of is not a loss in SCOTUS but a win? I have not yet in any way made up my mind that the NRA is holding us back but Iím starting to have some doubts.

CATO donation will be on the way ASAP.

buzz_knox
July 12, 2007, 09:58 AM
Could it be that what the NRA is really afraid of is not a loss in SCOTUS but a win? I have not yet in any way made up my mind that the NRA is holding us back but Iím starting to have some doubts.

If the Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment means exactly what it says, the NRA would not go away. If anything, the fight would expand to every state because 1) the 2nd Amendment hasn't been incorporated via the 14th Amendment and 2) just because something is constitutional doesn't mean it can't be changed. Without getting into the topic, abortion has been determined to be constitutional, and the fight over it has, if anything, gotten more heated since that ruling.

What the NRA is afraid of, and why it acts the way it does, is that the Supreme Court was more likely to rule the other way. While some justices have indicated support for the 2nd Amendment, the court as a whole has leaned the other way for a while. Only since Parker started up have we seen things change in the Court going the other way.

precisionshootist
July 12, 2007, 05:35 PM
Only since Parker started up have we seen things change in the Court going the other way.

I agree, Parker may be the case we've all been waiting for but what concerns me is that if the NRA had their way this thread would not exist. Why is it that the most informed, connected, and powerful gun lobby in the country wanted to back off and retreat from a case that could clearly advance the RKBA? The NRA has succeeded only in slowing the erosion of our rights with decades of lobbying. Then along comes CATO and suddenly we have a good chance of actually recovering our lost rights. It is true we could lose in SCOTUS but if we do not challenge these unconstitutional laws we lose by default. I'm starting to think the NRA will always be of the opinion that now is not the time. If not now when?

I also do not believe in the notion that the RKBA is over if we lose in SCOTUS. I believe this idea is a false argument and is used as a scare tactic to discourage a challenge.

buzz_knox
July 12, 2007, 05:48 PM
Why is it that the most informed, connected, and powerful gun lobby in the country wanted to back off and retreat from a case that could clearly advance the RKBA?

It could advance the RKBA. Or, it could prove a devastating blow. As I believe I said before, it all depends on how much of a risk you want to take with your rights and the rights of every other person in the US.

I also do not believe in the notion that the RKBA is over if we lose in SCOTUS. I believe this idea is a false argument and is used as a scare tactic to discourage a challenge.

Believe as you will. Politicians are held back in large measure from the knowledge that many of their vocal constituents believe in the RKBA, regardless of what the pols believe or courts say. Yet, I know many of those same constituents who would accept a Supreme Court ruling that the RKBA doesn't confer an individual right. With that argument defeated, keeping the RKBA alive would be incredibly more difficult.

precisionshootist
July 12, 2007, 05:50 PM
2) just because something is constitutional doesn't mean it can't be changed.

That is exactly right and it's the reason we should not fear a negative decision in SCOTUS. In fact a loss could spur enough public outcry that a revisit would be an easy win. Think McCain Feingold.


If the Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment means exactly what it says, the NRA would not go away. If anything, the fight would expand to every state because 1) the 2nd Amendment hasn't been incorporated via the 14th Amendment and

Yes is do believe the NRA as we know it would go away. This I fear could be the NRA's motive for not making a 2nd amendment challenge. If the Supreme Court ruled the 2nd amendment means what it says it's basically over. Just as the states can't regulate freedom of speech they would not be able to regulate RKBA.



.

D.S. Ambrose
July 12, 2007, 06:23 PM
Yes is do believe the NRA as we know it would go away. This I fear could be the NRA's motive for not making a 2nd amendment challenge. If the Supreme Court ruled the 2nd amendment means what it says it's basically over. Just as the states can't regulate freedom of speech they would not be able to regulate RKBA.

In defense of Buzz's argument, The ACLU is still around...

Not that I agree with him personally.

JeffKnox
July 12, 2007, 08:11 PM
For the record: No relation to Buzz_Knox, but I am the son of former NRA 1stVP Neal Knox.

First: Parker was NOT a CATO project! A lawyer who is affiliated with CATO did this on his own; CATO did not fund or support the case in any way.

Second: NRA fundraising tactics have been a bone of contention with many members for a lot of years; this was a major part of the blow-up between my father and Wayne a few years back. The only way to cure it is to refuse to respond.

Third: NRA is not evil compromisers trying to sell-out gun owners any more than GOA, JPFO, SAF, or the Firearms Coalition are greedy nay-sayers simply trying to make a buck off of bashing NRA. There is clearly some greed factor involved in much of what comes out of some of these groups, but beyond the greed, there is a deeply held belief in the RKBA - I personally know almost every major player in the fight and there is not one of them that I think is just in it for the money or power.

Lastly: The only way to assure that the group you support is doing what you want is to be active in the group. Naturally, I endorse the model of involvement with local and state grassroots organizations that believe and behave as you want. When those organizations band together in a coalition (such as The Firearms Coalition for instance) they can bring a unified voice with tremendous power to the debate.

NRA shouldn't raise funds on an issue they opposed. GOA shouldn't make mountains from mole-hills to stir up trouble and raise money. And activists should focus more on local politics and local organizations to get the job done right - and by definition, an activist must be active; writing a check now and then is good, but it can't replace active involvement.

GunVoters Unite!
Jeff
www.FirearmsCoalition.org

Matt King
July 12, 2007, 09:13 PM
I would turn it around and ask CATO why they went forward with the case if they didn't have NRA's blessing. That's not cool.

Why should CATO have to get the NRA's permission to go forward with this?

precisionshootist
July 13, 2007, 03:03 AM
JeffKnox,

Ok, so maybe technically Parker was not a CATO sponsored case but can you explain the NRA's desire to derail it? The only argument I hear from the NRA against pushing a 2nd amendment case to SCOTUS is that we could lose. The fact is if we don't get the Supreme Court to affirm the 2nd as an individual right we have already lost! The so called rights that we are taking a chance with in a SCOTUS challenge are legislatively frozen in time. Just think if we would have settled for no more gun control in the days of muzzle loaders. Do you really think we would have effective means of defense against tyranny with muzzle loaders? We must overturn any and all means for the government to regulate the RKBA as stated in the constitution. Even if we are successful in stopping any additional gun control we have lost. It's only a matter of time.

thereisnospoon
July 13, 2007, 05:17 AM
Jeff Knox,

Great post. While I didn't know your father personally, I miss his writings and his presence in the fight to K&BA.

ED21
July 18, 2007, 03:08 PM
Thank you to MikeHaas and Jeff Knox for saying what so many of us lack the true ability to put so eloquently.

SoCalShooter
July 18, 2007, 03:13 PM
I support GOA, NRA and JFPO and I still write letters and make some phone calls.

Johannes_Paulsen
July 18, 2007, 03:42 PM
The answer is simple: you don't have to stop donating to the NRA, but seriously think about donating to Cato.

Tom Palmer, Vice President at Cato for International Programs (http://www.cato.org/people/palmer.html), is in fact one of the Parker plaintiffs (http://www.newsbusters.org/node/14162).

They are a good organization and are without question the most principled pro-liberty think tank and/or lobbying organization inside the beltway. They are a worthy organization to support for those who support the right to keep and bear arms.

scout26
July 18, 2007, 04:08 PM
I'm sick and tired of the NRA bashing. No, they're not prefect, but they're a lot more effective then what's in second place.

IIRC, the reason the NRA did not initially support Parker was because at that time (around 2002-2003) they didn't think we could win at the Supreme Court level. Remember this is 4-5 years ago. They could see who was on the court and count noses/votes. Remember this was the Rehnquist court, with Sandra Day O'Conner as an associate justice. If everyone is nervous now about Parker with Roberts and Alito on-board, think how you feel if they weren't there. That's why the NRA didn't support it, not because they felt that the "gravy train" would end if they got a favorable ruling, the fact was they didn't (and I also don't) think we got have gotten a favorable ruling out of the Rehnquist court. Plus does anyone here seriously think that if we win Parker, that there will be no more attempts by the gun control crowd to push for more gun control legislation. It'll be they're new rallying cry for their fund-raising. Plus, us winning Parker will require more from us and the NRA to rollback the current gun control laws on the books (like New York's and Chicago's), all of which will mean more work (and more fund raising) for the NRA. Win ro lose on Parker, we'll still have a fight on our hands with the anti's and the NRA is our (only) 800 lb gorilla in the upcoming fight.

I'd like to believe that Wayne et al. would like nothing more then for the NRA to become a purely educational and training organization as originally founded. I'd still be a member and donate to the NRA. Now how could this happen??? Because the USSC will say in Parker: "It's an Individual Right, and all gun control laws, bans, registrations, etc. are null and void now and forever, and don't even try to make new ones, 'cause their null and void too. That's goes for the Federal, State and local levels."

One final note. Whenever someone says "The NRA should do blah, blah, blah." I ask if they're a member. If yes, then I tell them "Remember those 'I'm the NRA' ads from a few years back ??? You're the NRA, not Wayne or Charlton or the Nuge, YOU. And if you think it's a great idea, then you make it happen." If they're not a member I tell them to join and then work to make it happen.

Stepping down from my soapbox.

Ranger 40
July 18, 2007, 05:07 PM
Where was CATO when Clinton pushed thru his A-Ban Rifle Bill? Where was CATO when we were working the states to get the CCW Bills passed? What we have here is a bunch of lazy gun owners who have never went out and fought for rights.
If you had been there, you would know it takes lots a money. the other thing you would know its only the NRA who shows up for the fight.:fire:

Endowment Menber

JohnRov
July 18, 2007, 05:30 PM
Where was CATO when Clinton pushed thru his A-Ban Rifle Bill? Where was CATO when we were working the states to get the CCW Bills passed?

Probably the same place they were for this case, completely uninvolved. This case was funded by Robert Levy, who happens to be a senior fellow at the CATO Inst. He picked this case VERY, VERY carefully for a number of reasons.

What we have here is a bunch of lazy gun owners who have never went out and fought for rights.
If you had been there, you would know it takes lots a money. the other thing you would know its only the NRA who shows up for the fight.

+1

ilbob
July 18, 2007, 06:10 PM
There are a fair number of very vocal people who post here who believe there is only one way to win and that is their way.

Personally, I think we have to band together at the local level and start getting things done there. There is a saying that all politics is local. It is at least partially true. Politicians almost never run for high office first. they usually have to start at the bottom and work their way up.If better people are at the bottom of the food chain, it will eventually filter up to the top.

There are a LOT of spots on school boards, city councils, sewer boards, etc. where you can make a difference. You might not win every fight, might lose them all in fact, but you won't win if you aren't in the game.

Its may be even more important to get involved in local party affairs. Does not matter which party you are in. Your chances of being heard increase exponentially the more you are around.

Just calling or writing to a politician once in a while makes a big difference. They really want to hear from you, even if they don't agree with you. It some kind of ego thing they have going.

precisionshootist
July 21, 2007, 05:45 AM
ilbob

I agree with you that Grassroots activism is an effective tool at stopping the further erosion of our current and now very limited rights. What is needed most however is ďadvancementĒ of 2nd amendment rights. We must roll back all federal gun control laws and once again allow the citizens of the United States to possess current and future military weapons as stated in the constitution. The NRA in my opinion is still trying to produce a political solution to what in reality is a legal problem. The federal government has passed laws that are illegal, period. Iím not bashing the NRA. They have gotten us this far and we should dance with the ones that brought us but itís time to get aggressive. Itís time to lawyer up and take our case to the courts and demand our rights be affirmed. If we lose we stir the pot some more and keep going back until we win. Better to go to the courts and lose now then to wait 10, 15 or more years when fewer and fewer people are involved in shooting or for that matter understand that we need to be armed to keep the government in check.

Dave Workman
August 10, 2007, 01:07 AM
the other thing you would know its only the NRA who shows up for the fight.

Well, that's not quite accurate.

Currently, without general acknowledgement, the Second Amendment Foundation is a plaintiff in the New Orleans and San Francisco lawsuits (SAF won an earlier lawsuit against San Francisco's first gun ban under then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein).

SAF on its own is involved in gun rights lawsuits currently in Ohio and Texas, and is suing a library system in Washington state over blocked computer access to gun-related websites.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was deeply involved in the 1997 fight to defeat Initiative 676 in Washington state, which would have been the most draconian handgun law in the country. At the time, I was on the NRA BoD and as a lifelong Washington resident, I was involved in that campaign up to my ears. Several groups were involved in that one.

If you enjoyed reading about "NRA-ILA letter... reprehensible!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!