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NRA sells us out — again

It was just a rumor earlier this week, but now seems confirmed. The traitorous NRA has once again sold out gun owners and liberty — this time by crafting a special exemption for itself to an upcoming campaign finance law.

Now, with a provision in place to protect organizations that just happen to look exactly like the NRA, it’s ready to accept an anti-free speech bill.

For the sake of the 2nd amendment? Hardly. Even if the Bill of Rights was a Chinese menu from which you could pick your favorites, the NRA has made sure that its oh-so-special provisions ensure that some other, smaller, tougher political gun groups, like Gun Owners of America (which just happen to be growing while NRA members increasingly desert), are muzzled while the big old NRA gets to continue peddling its message of “compromise, compromise, compromise.”

This isn’t a done deal yet. I hope they choke.


  1. Matt
    Matt June 17, 2010 7:35 am

    That’s why I’m not a member. The NRA does do some good work and has some decent programs for gun owners, unfortunately, their legislative work the last few decades has been wanting. I have never liked their stance of compromise, or a little infringement is okay. Mostly, maintaining the NRAs status seems to be more important than truly working to protect our gun rights.

  2. fliteking
    fliteking June 17, 2010 8:32 am

    Needless to say I was disappointed with the NRA’s recent decision.

    Here is a page at GOA (Gun Owners of America) where you can contact your State Reps concerning the “Disclose Act” .

    Larry Pratt, CEO of GOA, is a bulldog when it comes to constitutional issues.

    Mr. Pratt also does a podcast. Here is the link to copy/paste:

  3. Joel
    Joel June 17, 2010 8:44 am

    The NRA is to gun rights what Jesse Jackson is to race relations.

    Yeah, some congressvermin are scared of the NRA, and I guess that’s not nothing. But it really does seem to be all about money and power to them. “Enforce the existing gun laws,” my ass.

  4. G.W.F.
    G.W.F. June 17, 2010 8:48 am

    I can’t say that I approve of the way they compromise and the behind-the-back political dealings they are so famous for, but I have a slightly different take on the NRA. I am gun-nut. The only political interest I still have is to try protect the 2nd Amendment. I am a life member of the NRA and have been most of my life.

    I am also a member of GOA and Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership. If I had to rank the various organizations for how well they represent my own interest it would be JFPFO, GAO and NRA dead last.

    If I had to rank them on the actual legal/political accomplishments the list would be reversed. Yes, the NRA has had a hand in some bad deals, but I fear without them at the table things would be much worse for gun owners.

    I’d love to see the JFPFO the organization with the political connections, huge membership and equally huge bank account. The world is certainly not perfect. The NRA is really the one with the influence, so I stay a member and supporter becuase on balance I feel they do more good than harm.

    Now if we could get more people involved in JFPFO and grow that organization bigger and stronger than the NRA I would be very happy. I like the work that Aaron Zelman is doing (hmmm….didn’t he co-author a novel with someone back in 2005?)

    I think the GAO is a good organization (now). The way they are constantly begging for contributions and want donations just to send an email/fax to your local representatives rubs me the wrong way. The fact that they are a bunch of ex-politicians leads me to think if they grew larger than the NRA they would be much like the NRA is today.

  5. Geoff
    Geoff June 17, 2010 9:04 am

    This may not be as it appears. The NRA has received publicity for their deal with the devil, and it could be a ploy to destroy the bill. After all, the sponsors of the legislation aimed it at organizations like the NRA, and the fact that THEY are willing to compromise with the NRA may not sit well with their power base.

    If the GOA and JPFO are so popular, why are they not over the 1 million member mark that would qualify them for the exemption?

    And yes I am a life member.

  6. fliteking
    fliteking June 17, 2010 9:11 am

    Response to Geoff:
    “If the GOA and JPFO are so popular, why are they not over the 1 million member mark that would qualify them for the exemption?”

    Many would find ‘this is America, why should there be a need to qualify for exemptions?’ to be a relevant question.

    Free speech is free speech my friend.

  7. Claire
    Claire June 17, 2010 9:25 am

    G.W.F. I agree with you on JPFO, for sure. It’s not a political organization, officially. But if it could grow that huge, what a cultural change that would signal!

    Still … Must differ on the NRA. Your view is the one the NRA wants gun owners to have: “Our compromises are saving you from an even worse fate!” But although anti-gunners would surely try to do worse than they’ve done so far, gun owners would rebel and beat them back. Example: The Brady Law. It was dead-dead-dead before the NRA proposed the instant-check system. It would never have passed at all without the NRA’s “compromise.” And that’s just one example out of many.

    I agree they’re good (mostly) on firearms education & training. But politically, I wish they dry up and blow away.

  8. Claire
    Claire June 17, 2010 10:32 am

    Geoff, I agree with what fliteking said. Carving out a free-speech exemption for yourself while agreeing to muzzle anyone (and in this case, muzzle groups you perceive as your competitors) is beyond contemptible. Whatever happened to hanging together to avoid hanging separately?

    Nobody should have to get “big enough” to qualify to speak freely. (But also, perhaps GOA and JPFO aren’t bigger in large part because the NRA, the media, and gun-haters like Schumer & company have gone out of their way to convey to most people, including most gun owners, that the NRA is not only huge and oh-so-scarily radical — but that it’s the only game in town for people who want their gun rights.)

    One side point: JPFO isn’t a 501(c)(4) organization and would never qualify for the NRA’s exemption, no matter how big it grows. But then, I’m also guessing (not having read the proposed legislation) that JPFO is also not muzzled under this law. JPFO is a 501(c)(3) and is officially not engaged in political speech. In effect, it’s already muzzled under other laws. But it agreed to that muzzling when it established itself.

    … And really, I haven’t ever noticed any law that could stop Aaron Zelman from getting his point across. 🙂

  9. Claire
    Claire June 17, 2010 10:38 am

    “The NRA has received publicity for their deal with the devil, and it could be a ploy to destroy the bill. After all, the sponsors of the legislation aimed it at organizations like the NRA, and the fact that THEY are willing to compromise with the NRA may not sit well with their power base.”

    Geoff, I hope this is true. I would love to think that the NRA would do something subversively clever to torpedo an entire offensive piece of legislation.

    But nothing in the NRA’s long, compromising, self-serving legislative history points to any such tactic.

  10. G.W.F.
    G.W.F. June 17, 2010 10:57 am


    How can an organization that would have both Tom Selleck and Ted Nugent on its Board of Directors be all bad?

    I should had added that when I look at these groups (and the good/bad they do) I am not looking just nationally, but locally. When you think in terms of gun rights the local/state law mean a heck of a lot more than national laws. Just look at living in DC vs Montana! I currently live in the state that Stephen Hunter called “the patron state of shooting stuff”, but local laws have made it impossible to carry in a restaurant (even with a handgun permit), carry in parks (varies by county), and it is the only state that actually publishes an on-line list of all the people with handgun permits (names, addresses, DOB was until recently removed, etc). The GOA and JPFO have done nothing in my state…nothing! The NRA has really worked in getting people to write and call reps., they got the DOB removed from the on-line list. They pushed for and got a Governor veto of the restaurant carry overridden. They put pressure on each local government as they voted on opting out of the guns-in-parks (that one was not very successful). They have done a great deal for gun owners in my state.

    Because of the size, money, large membership they are able to have that local impact I do not see from other organizations.

    Brady was/is terrible. I hate it almost as much as the 1934 National Firearm Act. I think NRA should face all kinds of pressure from members and ex-members for their role in that mess.

    Overall, I believe more rights are stripped away from gun owners at the local/state level. That is where I see the NRA doing the most good. Not “great” mind you. I just see a hint of good works hiding under the evil outer shell.

    I try to have the view that my fellow gun owners would stand up and “fight them back” but I have yet to see much of that. Until I see any actual standing up for rights I just do my small part and support any group that is actually doing something.

  11. Victor Milán
    Victor Milán June 17, 2010 11:17 am

    What’s “compromise” but a euphemism for “giving stuff away for nothing”? When you “compromise” with a determined opponent, they then set up on the ground you ceded and demand that, in the name or being reasonable, you give up more. Which, since you’re a reasonable, compromisin’ fool, eventually you give into. Compromise therefore simply means “incremental surrender.”

    Of course what we’re really getting is theater. Every bit of what we see in politics is phony. The NRA’s always been a rich-white-boys’ club, interested in keeping their own hobby safe, and at best not uncomfortable with the idea of disarming the smell, ungrateful masses. So their real goals fit nicely with those of the oligarchy: to render the US population helpless via disarmament. Which of course becomes only harder and harder, given the overwhelming rejection of gun control by the public.

    In all of this it’s important not to fall prey to the deadly illusion that we have any say in government other than to the extent our rulers fear us. Democracy is the ruling class’s greatest and most successful scam.

  12. fliteking
    fliteking June 17, 2010 11:17 am

    Response to G.W.F

    The NRA isn’t all bad, but in this case, speaking only for myself here, they stepped over a very important line by siding with those that would silence my free speech, and potentially my second amendment rights, because I choose to affiliate with smaller groups such as GOA.

    I do agree about Nugent — been a fan for 35 years and counting.

    Got a tree on the ground I need to clean up before the locals start asking for a permit, will check back later.

  13. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth June 17, 2010 12:22 pm

    I’m also of the opinion that NRA should give up on politics and simply promote individual marksmanship.

    I’m also happy, actually, that other orgs like JPFO and GOA remain “small”, small enough to remain apart from the political system, rather than “a part” of it and thus beholden to it. It’s the system that’s broken, not who’s at the helm or what dipswitches are flipped which way.

    The dreamer in me would not mind seeing people simply walk away from NRA, rendering it irrelevant. Hell, it might give folks ideas about doing the same thing on an even larger scale…

    This life member gave up on NRA long ago now. Yeah, there are some fine people associated with it, and many of them remain so in spite of it, and yeah, they’ve certainly done a few useful things over the years, but–like any political organization–they exist specifically to negotiate the terms of my surrender on my behalf, and I want no part of it. The current shenanigan is simply “a glitch in the Matrix” showing things as they really are.

  14. Desertrat
    Desertrat June 17, 2010 1:01 pm

    If you don’t have the votes, what choice is there but to compromise? Does anybody really believe that we as gunowners really have the votes in this present Congress or Administration? The NRA’s efforts at compromise have been to minimize losses while in a minority position. Or, they could go home and do nothing, in which case “no compromise” would mean “total loss”.

    This particular legislative effort is a self-defense effort to avoid a restraint against sending out any pro-gun message. But, hey, if that’s what you want, go for it.

    Lemme know when you have 61 senators and 218 representives who support the Second Amendment as it was intended, okay?

  15. JP
    JP June 17, 2010 1:13 pm

    “How can an organization that would have both Tom Selleck and Ted Nugent on its Board of Directors be all bad?”

    I dunno, maybe because it’s the same organization that changed it’s own rules so they could boot Neal Knox off the board?

  16. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal June 17, 2010 1:16 pm

    I don’t think Ted Nugent is all that big on liberty– other than the aspects of guns and hunting. A perfect fit with the NRA.
    Me, I’m for ALL liberty for EVERYone, EVERYwhere, at ALL times.

    Don’t forget: June 18th is “Random Acts of Anarchy Day“. Helpful. Public. Voluntary. Responsible. And without coercive government being involved in any way.

  17. Claire
    Claire June 17, 2010 3:18 pm

    Desertrat — if there’s no option except to compromise for the sake of gun rights, then why do you suppose the NRA didn’t try to craft an exemption that would cover all the gun rights groups that are supposedly working for the same goal? (Not that I’m in favor of any exemption; just wondering.) Or why didn’t the NRA simply hold its ground and oppose the entire bill?

    I disagree with you that “no compromise” would mean “total loss.” Per the example already given, the Brady Bill was dead until the NRA single-handedly revived it and made it palatable by cooking up the instant-check system. How did that result in any form of “win” for gun owners? We would have won without the NRA. With their “help” we lost and lost and lost.

    As to majorities in legislators … gun owners have never really had that. BUT … since 1994, we definitely have held the power of fear over nearly every legislator in DC. They’ve known since then that, no matter what their private views, it doesn’t pay to piss us off. And that had nothing to do with the NRA.

  18. brent
    brent June 17, 2010 8:36 pm

    F U C K the nra sellouts. oh, sorry _compromisers_

  19. Jeffrey Quick
    Jeffrey Quick June 18, 2010 8:05 am

    I was just thinking..y’all get junk mail from the NRA? I know I do. What would happen if, every time they asked for money, you wrote a check out for the minimum they asked for, made out to GOA or JPFO, and sent a photocopy of the check in the business reply envelope? Maybe with a cheery “Thanks for reminding me” note in the envelope?

  20. G.W.F.
    G.W.F. June 18, 2010 9:49 am

    Okay, I give. The NRA is evil. They are all to blame. Just like that darn Iraq. They were to blame for the WTC bombing, and the Patriot act will ensure freedom for us all and No child left behind will help out the dumb kids…..

    Just do me a favor and read the actual bill:

    I got a little annoyed seeing an article (not Claire’s, but the link that started all this) saying “The NRA Sold Us Out Again..”

    First, who is “us”? You mean the American people? Gee, last time I looked the NRA is a private organization composed of members like myself. Should the NRA give a hummingbird’s fart about non-members? I say no. You ‘aint a member, you have nothing to complain about.

    The NRA was founded to get back to the “old ways” where people could actually use firearms. They pushed effort to teach marksmanship and do programs like teach children about gun safety. They found the basic right to own guns in America under attack so they jumped in and have been a defender of the SECOND amendment.

    This HR5175 is a real POS! I would like to see “choke” and not pass, but mostly I would like to see attention going to defeating the bill. Why not make the sponsor, Chris Van Hollen or the 114 co-sponsors out to be the bad guys? They wrote the stupid bill.

    The NRA is famous for the behind the back deals. They “made a deal with the devil” when they exempted themselves from the bill. If I were offered a similar deal, to not be included in the POS bill and all I have to do is not campaign against it, I’d probably do the same. They are not set out as defenders of the FIRST amendment or even an organization dedicated to freedom. They are all about education and keeping guns in the hands of Americans that want that right.

    If you want an organization dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights and Constitution why not go after the ACLU. Hey, they sure do no harm right?

    As a member/supporter, I do not feel “sold out”. They were offered a deal and took it. If this passes, they would be stupid not to take the out. They do not have the funds/membership/pull to take down every bill that infringes on out liberties. If they tried they would have to fight every bill that is written.

  21. Victor Milán
    Victor Milán June 18, 2010 10:16 am

    People still believe “voting” is anything but another misdirection to keep the Gullibles from paying attention to The Men Behind the Curtain? Wow.

    Here’s the only vote that matters: American gun and ammunition sales are higher than ever before in history. There are almost certainly more guns than people in the US – possibly several times over.

    The one thing the oligarchy cannot afford is to promulgate a law that will be massively and obviously disobeyed. If they try having their finger puppets ban guns anyway (the men who rule us have been manifestly insane for some time, after all) – at least we won’t have to keep wondering when the other shoe will drop.

  22. Chip
    Chip June 22, 2010 8:06 pm

    If any of you think that the Second Amendment would continue to exist at this point in time without the NRA, you are sadly mistaken. I am not much of a “joiner”, I imagine like many of you here. But I have been a member of the NRA for many years. If you want to keep your Second Amendment Rights, join the NRA. If you have problems with the way they operate administratively or politically, contact the organization, ask questions, make suggestions and speak your mind. Join it and work to elect officers in the NRA that support your positions. While I fully support ones right to state how they feel and to disagree with the NRA, I believe using terms like “traitorous” to refer to the NRA , given its overall track record, is irresponsible.

    Thanks for allowing me to comment


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