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Why the NRA is NO LONGER Dangerous to the Second Amendment

Discussion in 'Legal' started by geekWithA.45, Jun 13, 2006.

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  1. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    I spent 1/2 an hour composing this in response to this closed thread: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=205461, and I'm posting it, because it directly salient to a certain pervasive theory.
    -----------

    I think the anti NRA portions of that rant might have had more credence 5 years ago, but as it stands, it's behind the times.

    The the tipping point occured in March, of 2004.

    It's a long story, I will try to make short for people who are new to the scene, or who weren't intimate with the details.

    This is when the rough and tumble fight in the Senate took place over the AWB.

    I took 4 days off work, watched every minute on C-Span, liveblogged the whole sordid thing, and tracked every detail of every communique from every group that had a dog in the race.

    My contacts in the NRA deny my take on it till they're blue in the face, but what I _observed_ was that the NRA that went into that debate was very, very different from the NRA that came out the other side.

    They began with silence. There was a lot of weaseliness going on in there. It was well known that they wanted lawsuit pre-emption, (which we eventually got anyway) to pass as their legislative priority, and their position was that any anti gun poison pill amendments would be stripped out in the committee that reconciled the house and senate versions.

    This wasn't good enough for me, and it wasn't good enough for a lot of other people. There's plenty of evidence to suggest that the NRA had played with exactly this sort of fire in the past, and had gotten burned in the process, taking us with them.

    People forget quickly, but whether the AWB lived or died was truly a watershed moment. If it lived, RKBA's path towards being legislated out of existence was assured, and if it died, it would represent the federal high water mark of gun control for our generation.

    What was at stake, what was in question, was whether future generations had any right to even dehorned military pattern arms AT ALL.

    EVERYONE with a dog in the race knew it, except, apparently, the NRA that for all appearances was proceeding pretty much biz as usual.

    We, the People, largely aided by the Internet, in what may well be the first effective use of it in the defense of American liberty, hammered BOTH our Senators, AND the NRA.

    At first the NRA ignored us, but we kept generating the faxes, calls, and emails.

    Then they gave us the weakest of assurances that _of_course_ they were against the AWB, but notably, suspiciously, DID NOT COMMIT TO ITS DEMISE AT ALL COSTS.

    We kept hammering them, making it clear that their credibility with their membership and the world was at stake.

    Gradually, grudgingly, communications from them became more and more firm, until finally, they DID COMMIT THEIR FULL INTENTION TO THE DEMISE OF THE AWB, NO MATTER WHAT.

    Not only did they finally say that, THEY MADE IT HAPPEN.

    The vote on the AWB amendment PASSED. DiFi did a disgusting jig on the floor of the senate, and then she, Kerry, Kennedy and Schumer all went out to lunch to celebrate. That was the moment of the famous "four horsemen" picture:

    [​IMG]

    This was their moment of VICTORY.

    They HAD WON.

    Listen to her gloat:
    http://www.senate.gov/~feinstein/sound-bytes/040302-AWB_post-vote_remarks.mp3

    But during lunch, something happened.

    Decisions were made in Fairfax, pagers went off, and when they returned from lunch to vote on the whole bill package, Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, member of the board off directors of the NRA, stood up like a titan of old and torpedoed his own bill with these words:

    This bill, the last, best chance to make the AWB the PERMANENT, SET IN STONE law of the land, died then and there, 90-8.

    The tide turned then, for America, and the NRA.
     
  2. R-Tex12

    R-Tex12 Member

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    Good post, geek. That's a terrific synopsis. Thanks for taking the time and putting forth the effort to write it.
     
  3. BowStreetRunner

    BowStreetRunner Member

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    well said
    BSR
     
  4. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Are those blog entries from 2004 still around in an archive somewhere? (edit: think I found them)

    That 4 horsemen picture helped kerry lose later on that year. I swear I saw that thing staring me in the face every single gun store I walked into.

    I think you slightly overstate the importance of March 2004. If I recollect correctly, there is no way the AWB would have gotten through the House. Ted Kennedy could have replaced the entire senate with pods and it wouldnt have mattered.
     
  5. antsi

    antsi Member

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    This was the chain of events where the anti-NRA people were saying the NRA was going to sell us out. According to the conspiracy theory, the NRA was going sell out gun owners in favor or corporate interests. The NRA was going to agree to AWB renewal, so long as they got the legal liability protection for the dealers and manufacturers that were supposedly "pulling the strings" at NRA.

    The NRA's actions totally belied that conspiracy theory. The NRA showed it was beholden to the members, not the dealers and manufacturers. The NRA also showed smart strategy, too, because the liability bill did get passed later without all the evil DiFi shennigans attached to it.

    Of course, that didn't stop the conspiracy theorists from lamenting the NRA's "inaction" following Katrina. Several lawsuits (won) and several pro-gun-owner laws (passed) later, that conspiracy theory isn't looking so hot either.

    Don't give up hope, though. The anti-NRA conspiracy theorists are a creative bunch. I'm sure they'll whip another doozy for us before long.
     
  6. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Very interesting. Let's hope that was indeed an historic point of inflection.
     
  7. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    From everything I had read earlier that year, the NRA was lobbying heavily against the AWB. They have made that one of only two issues they were pushing for. The liability reform was the other. The way the articles read, they were pretty much telling congressman if they went against them on this, the NRA would pull all support and make sure they weren't reelected.

    I know a lot of people don't like Tom DeLay, but I saw a quote from him earlier in 2004 that he said the AWB would die. It was in an article about him and the NRA. Even if all that you said had happened in the Senate, it is unlikely the AWB would have passed the House. However, it was very nice to see the Senate lean to our side for a change.
     
  8. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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  9. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    MechAg94:

    Delay and Frist were key players in the NEXT fight, which took place later that year, in July.

    Having broken the AWB's momentum, and therefore its back the previous session, the forces of organized gun bigotry tried again before the sunset, basically attempting to tie the poison pill of the AWB to the lawsuit pre-emption bill.

    They finally showed some spine, and for the first time, used parliamentary procedures such as "filling the tree", which had been used against us so many times, to prevent the AWB amendment from being attached.

    That's how we got pre-emption. :)

    http://geekwitha45.blogspot.com/2004_07_01_geekwitha45_archive.html
     
  10. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    There was one other comment on that other thread I didn't like. One poster mentioned that is was a good thing we have fees and barriers to concealed carry since this keeps guns out of the hands of the poor who make up a large portion of the criminal population.

    It may have been poor choice of words, but I think that is a very dangerous and arrogant thing to say. Poor law abiding citizens have just as much the right to keep and bear arms as people with more money. We should assume anyone is a criminal just because they are in a lower economic class.
     
  11. Joey2

    Joey2 member

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    How about in 1968 the NRA said they "could go along with it"? I am sure all of you know what this was. This is when I quit the NRA and never looked back.
     
  12. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Well, they also argued for the 1934 NFA, but both of these events are history - their current record, of the past two years now, impresses me, though I still dislike their pleas for money.
     
  13. Zedicus

    Zedicus Member

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    Us Idahoans are still Chewin Nails Mad at Craig for Voting in Favor of the Senate Illegal Allien Amnisty btw...:fire:

    & Not a bad post btw.
     
  14. Creeping Incrementalism

    Creeping Incrementalism Member

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    I thought the 1977 Cincinnati revolt was when the NRA changed course and became a different kind of organization--you didn't look back at that?
     
  15. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    That was me and it is purely a statistics thing. Statistics are what the arguments for and against are made of and gaming the system to produce good statistics is part of the incrementalist system we are working in.

    I think we are mainly disagreeing because of similar things that have been said by antis. It is a similar concept, but the difference in degree is very substantial. While Chuck Schumer or Ted Kennedy might want to restrict the bottom 99 percent of the population, I am talking about de facto (not de jure) restricting the bottom 5 percent, the ones that police spend about 90 percent of their time chasing around. And my reason for doing it is entirely different from the antis. They are trying to discourage the right, I am trying to minimize the effect on CCW statistics of violent crime.

    Remember, we arent selecting who carries a gun so much as we are selecting who gets included in CCW behavior stats. Anyone can tuck a gun in their pocket and never get hassled by the police. No one has ever spotted my carry gun and no one has ever asked if I had a license, so I dont see how a non-licensee would be any different. The difference is that when I commit a crime, it shows up as "CCWer commits crime, license revoked because of crime" which thrills the Bradies. When John Q Scraggletooth conceals a firearm without the hassle of a permit and robs a liquor store, the antis are denied a headline or a statistic because he was a criminal anyway.

    Does it seem less offensive now? I think eventually we will get permitless carry in this country, but it will probably take another 20 years for the next generation to grow up with CCW and take it for granted.
     
  16. Gildas

    Gildas Member

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    This brings back memories - it was reading your blog posts about the AWB votes that year that turned me from being passively pro-gun to actually getting it, and paying attention to the politics of the thing.

    The vote in July was over a more general class action tort reform bill, wasn't it? It was only last year that the Gun Lawsuit pre-emption bill went through. When that happened Frist again used parliamentary procedures, but Feinstein had pretty much given up for this Congress given that she basically admitted she didn't have the votes. (In November 2004, Democrats who had voted for the ban were replaced by Republicans in SD, FL, NC and SC, which would have tipped the AWB vote the other way).
     
  17. antsi

    antsi Member

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    ---------quote-----------
    How about in 1968 the NRA said they "could go along with it"? I am sure all of you know what this was. This is when I quit the NRA and never looked back.
    --------------------------

    Similarly, I will never vote Democrat because in 1863 they were in favor of reaching an agreement with the Rebels :rolleyes:

    Seriously: it was a very different climate in 1968. The NRA did not start out as a political organization, and the threats to RKBA were not as clear or as organized. There was tremendous political momentum from the assassinations of the Kennedys et al, that would have been nearly impossible to stop in any case. It was subsequent threats that opened gun owners' eyes and politicized the NRA.

    Unless you seriously think that the NRA's recent behavior (say over the last 20 years!) is just a ruse, and you think that secretly they are planning to return to their policies of 1968 or 1934, it might be more reasonable to focus on current and recent policy than what happened 38 years ago.

    ---------quote----------
    I still dislike their pleas for money
    ------------------------

    Name an effective political organization that does not raise money. It is a reality: political action is expensive. Everyone on this board is always calling for the NRA to sue the government for this, lobby the government for that, spread the word on the other thing. None of those activities are free.

    If you don't want to contribute, don't contribute. If the extra mail is an intolerable burden in your life, you can call the NRA and ask to be put on the "no junk mail" list.
     
  18. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Anyone that blames the NRA for 68 is clueless. The entire nation was up in arms over the assassinations and over the nationwide race riots that had been occurring for several years and intensified after MLK got killed. On top of this, the NRA wasnt even a political organization at that time, so they werent really involved in fighting it. Even if they were political, I'm not sure they could have effectively opposed 68 GCA.
     
  19. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Not only did they finally say that, THEY MADE IT HAPPEN."

    Maybe that was their plan all along. Suck the opposition in at first and then reverse field on them. Sort of like a draw play. I don't know what they had planned and I've never been to one of their strategy meetings. Have you?

    John
     
  20. cropcirclewalker

    cropcirclewalker member

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    I dropped NRA back in 2001 for some sellout or spineless thing they did which I don't even remember, but I still get, "This is your last chance!" junk mail from them asking for me to re up.

    The sellout they attempted with renewing the AWB remains clear in my memory and, yes, I was happy at the time to see the senate recognizing that the voters still had some influence.

    Think about it.....

    If the supremes declared the 2a null and void there would be no use for the NRA.
    On the other hand if the supremes declared 2a to be operative and struck down all the gun control travesties then there would be no use for the NRA.

    It's like the March of Dimes. If you don't have a cause, you can't send out them letters.
     
  21. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    Even the Supreme Court can't declare the U.S. Constitution unconstitutional. Only Congress can change the Constitution.
     
  22. duckandcover

    duckandcover Member

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    Not to nitpick but Congress can propose a Constitutional amendment by 2/3 vote but it is The People via 3/4 of the states that would ratify it.
     
  23. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Only Congress can change the Constitution."

    That is incorrect.

    "The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

    Regardless of which of the two proposal routes is taken, the amendment must be approved by three-fourths of states."

    From: www.usconstitution.net

    The problem with a Constitutional Convention is that it could be called to address one issue, but go on to vote on any number of issues. Of course, then it would up to the states to rein them in by voting.

    John
     
  24. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I agree that is my suspicion on 99% of pro gun groups, that have paid staffers. They don't want a 2A challenge in SCOTUS, as that would end it all. I personally, would love to see SCOTUS declare 2A s an individual right outright, as opposed to the second hand referances over the last hundred+ years. If out of work, Wayne LaPierre would make an excellent pitchman for Gieco!
     
  25. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    This bears repeating. The NRA was originally started by Col. Church and Gen. Wingate to "provide firearms training and encouraging interest in the shooting sports".

    Complaining that the NRA wasn't political enough in 1934 or 1968 woudl be like refusing to join the SCCA because they didn't fight seatbelt laws hard enough.


    The NRA today (more to the point the NRAILA) have really awakened since the 80s and I have to give a big chunk of the credit to Wayne LaPierre for pushing the organization toward political lobbying.


    No they aren't perfect, but frankly if we left the fight for RKBA in the hands of only the GOA and JPFO then gun rights would be the cause of "fringe kook groups" (no, I'm not saying the GOA or JPFO are kooks). The NRA puts a mainstream face on the RKBA movement and their presence PLUS the more hard line RKBA groups is a trememdous 1-2 punch.



    We are winning.
     
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