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Old January 13, 2009, 04:49 PM   #1
johnwilliamson062
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NRA- More damage than good?

In another thread someone said the NRA should be renamed the NHA. The NRA has certainly protected our rights to keep and bear hunting rifles, but in order to do so they have destroyed the second amendment by limiting it to a hobby. Many Americans honestly believe the second amendment is meant to protect hunting and that if all hunting can be accomplished with a single shot rifle then there is no reason for American civilians to have any other sort of firearm. The idea of the Second amendment protecting the right of American citizens to hold in their possession the tools of rebellion and national defense, both equally important, is lost upon the majority of Americans. Whether the NRA did this or not I do not know, but they certainly seem to have played the "that rifle is used for hunting card" a few times.

Would you join and support an organization that worked to drastically reduce firearms legislation as it's one and only goal. No attacking one party or the other in blanket statements, magazine with rifle reviews, or firearms classes, just a group to restore the second amendment to what it was in 1791? Maybe I am off my rocker, would not be the first time.
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Old January 13, 2009, 04:56 PM   #2
azredhawk44
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Quote:
Would you join and support an organization that worked to drastically reduce firearms legislation as it's one and only goal.
I'm a member of several.

GOA
JPFO
SAF
RWVA
Cato Institute
AZCDL

Oh, yeah. And the NRA. The value of which I relegate to below that of the Tonto Rim Sportsman's Club, but above the Harkins Theatres 2009 soda refill cup.

ETA: No disrespect intended towards either TRSC or Harkins theaters.

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Old January 13, 2009, 05:05 PM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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My first thought would be that anybody who thought the NRA was only about hunting rifles is tremendously ignorant of all the NRA has accomplished. To give just a few examples off the top of my head of what the NRA has done for the black rifle crowd:

The NRA was the first group to challenge 922(o) (1986 machinegun ban) in Farmer v. Higgins (11th Cir. 1990). They lost.

The NRA fought the original assault weapon ban in Congress from the time it was first introduced in 1989 until they were finally overwhelmed in 1994; however the NRA did succeed in inserting the 10 year sunset provision and introduced a repeal of the AWB that passed the House in 1996; but died in the Senate.

The NRA pulled support for their number one priority legislation in 2004 (Lawsuit protection for firearms manufacturers) rather than risk renewing the AWB after the Senate successfully amended the legislation with a ban renewal.

NRA Service Rifle Competition anyone?

Perhaps most importantly, without the NRA efforts in firearms safety and range construction, we wouldn't have both the tremendous base of knowledge on safe firearms use and a place where they can be safely used and enjoyed, regardless of whether that firearm is a single-shot hunting rifle or a semi-automatic detachable magazine rifle. Even worse, we wouldn't have a place to "grow" new shooters and without new shooters (i.e. votes) we would soon be marginalized. So you see, one of the greatest things the NRA does, doesn't even directly deal with firearms legislation.

Quote:
Would you join and support an organization that worked to drastically reduce firearms legislation as it's one and only goal.
I'll support any organization that can show me results. The NRA, TSRA, and SAF are just a few of those organizations that offer a good return on investment in my opinion.

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Old January 13, 2009, 05:42 PM   #4
johnwilliamson062
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Maye my statement that they have limited it to hunting was a bit off, as others pointed out and as I was aware they certainly protect things like EBR's, but they seem more willing to compromise on guns for hunting than I am comfortable with. Maybe this is just a compromise is necessary and thank goodness cooler minds prevail issue.
AZREDHAWK44 thanks for that list. I will be checking the ones I had not previously heard of out. I am about to lob some money into the 2A coffers and want to m sure it gos for something good.
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Old January 13, 2009, 05:50 PM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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but they seem more willing to compromise on guns for hunting than I am comfortable with.
Maybe you could give us an example of what you are talking about? Some specific issue where you felt the NRA was compromising to protect guns for hunting?

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Old January 13, 2009, 06:11 PM   #6
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AZREDHAWK44 thanks for that list. I will be checking the ones I had not previously heard of out. I am about to lob some money into the 2A coffers and want to m sure it gos for something good.
No problem.

AZCDL is my local 2A legislation advocacy group for Arizona. You'll have your own up in Ohio. I want to say there's something up there called Buckeye Firearms Association?

Seems the state level orgs always do a better job fighting for your rights than the national level ones. If I could only join one group on that list, AZCDL would be the only one. They are effective.

I think it has to do with the small amount of money it takes to affect real change for a smaller locality. Less travel expenses, less wheel-greasing, things like that. Politicians may just be more honest (or at least less corrupted) at the state level than the national schmucks.
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Old January 13, 2009, 10:06 PM   #7
Bartholomew Roberts
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That is definitely a good point. State RKBA groups are great places to invest your time and money. After all, all politics are local. This is where the Obamas and Palins get their start at the national level. Strong local RKBA groups mean that no antis ever reach the national level.
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Old January 13, 2009, 11:30 PM   #8
johnwilliamson062
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Yeah BFA is the top of my list.

I will come up with a few more examples later, but here is one to start it:
Charlton Heston saying "from my cold dead hand," while holding a rifle. What is the rifle? For myself and most Americans the image that pops to mind is him holding a ?Sharps rifle?. You can say what you want, but probably the most famous video moment for the NRA, likely the only moment most Americans have in their memory, features a flintlock most now associate with deer hunting or historical collectors. Neither activity is related to my Second Amendment rights.


Edit:I guess that is probably used in cowboy action shooting also.
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Old January 14, 2009, 10:34 AM   #9
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"but in order to do so they have destroyed the second amendment by limiting it to a hobby."

I'm sorry, but you are just so wrong.

Please do some research. If you simply can't find the facts of the matter, please ask for guidance.

Thank you.

John
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Old January 14, 2009, 10:45 AM   #10
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We really do a good job of stabbing ourselves in the back by constantly attacking the NRA.

I'm sure the anti's love it when we bad mouth the lobby which they fear the most in DC.

Is the NRA perfect? No, neither is my Wife. However, I'm not so short sighted to destroy something great because I don't always agree with it/her.
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Old January 14, 2009, 12:24 PM   #11
johnwilliamson062
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Dingell, NRA Board member, votes for '94 AWB.
He also received the NRA's Harlon B. Carter award after doing so.
Larry Craig pushes to extend NICS, then he gets the award.

As many others have said, look at what the ACLU has accomplished by never compromising on the First amendment? If 2nd Amendment supporters were throwing their money into a group like the ACLU, we would be much better off, even iff everyone was annoyed by them at times. I will come up with more as the day progresses.

NRA gets about 200,000,000 dollars a year. I just do not think we are getting much bang for our buck.
Apparently senate seats only cost a couple hundred thousand.
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Old January 14, 2009, 01:17 PM   #12
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
Dingell, NRA Board member, votes for '94 AWB.
He also received the NRA's Harlon B. Carter award after doing so.
To be fair, few people on this board can claim to have done as much for the Second Amendment or repealing firearms laws as John Dingell has. He was right alongisde Harold Volkmer for the 1986 FOPA - a piece of legislation that repealed more federal firearms laws in one single bill then have been repealed in the 22 year period after that by litigation and legislation combined.

His 1994 vote for the Assault Weapon Ban was a result of the Democratic Party leadership enforcing party discipline on that vote (vote our way or lose your committee leaderships, good appointments, etc.). Dingell voted along party lines when push came to shove and went back to supporting the NRA, including fiercely challenging Janet Reno during the post-Columbine push for more gun laws. You remember some of the proposals being made in 1999 right? You can search the archives here to get a feel for them. For this effort, Dingell was awarded the Harlon B. Carter award in 2000.

Now we can all debate whether someone who places his party above the Second Amendment deserves that award; but I think it would be much harder to argue that John Dingell has not done a tremendous amount for the Second Amendment despite that vote.

Personally, if it buys us a win on a critical vote, I don't care if the NRA hands out the award to Chuck Schumer; but the main point I would like to make is that the situation is rarely so cut and dried as your statement would make it appear.

Quote:
Larry Craig pushes to extend NICS, then he gets the award.
I'm not sure what you meant by this... the only time I am aware of that Senator Craig ever proposed extending NICS was during the 1999 post-Columbine showdown when we came real close to getting more gun laws. The NRA proposed an alternative background check for gun shows that was introduced by Sen. Craig. This siphoned off enough voters from the other bill that no gunshow background check bill passed at all.

Also, I don't know if you remember the 2004 Senate debates on renewal of the AWB; but Sen. Craig was leading the charge on defeating that and offered some of the best public speeches on the subject I've ever listened to. In the end, he was instrumental in not only defeating renewal but in passing the lawsuit protection bill and the NRA gave him the award in 2006 as recognition for this.

If you kill one of your allies every time they show the least bit of hesitance at following your orders, you not only end up with a paranoid, dysfunctional organization - you soon find you are pretty short on allies.

Quote:
As many others have said, look at what the ACLU has accomplished by never compromising on the First amendment?
I think that people who believe the ACLU doesn't compromise on both legislation and litigation on a frequent basis are probably not well-informed on ACLU activities (much as people who think the NRA compromises too often are often unfamiliar with the backstory on why a certain compromise was made). The ACLU compromises all the time on its goals and legislatively, and for 2008 wasn't very successful at all in achieving the legislative goals they set.

Quote:
NRA gets about 200,000,000 dollars a year. I just do not think we are getting much bang for our buck.
How do you arrive at that sum?

If we assume that the NRA gets $30 for each of its members and that membership is still at the all-time peak of 4.2 million, then that makes about $120 million annually, all of which is required by charter and federal law to be spent on education, instruction and other non-lobbying activities.

According to this list, the NRA is #34 on the All-Time List of Political Donors from 1989-2008, having donated $16.9 million in both PACs and soft money during that period. That means that either the NRA leadership is sitting on a secret fund of $3 billion or your estimates of what the NRA-ILA and NRA-PVC take in for lobbying efforts are off a bit.

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Old January 14, 2009, 01:41 PM   #13
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To answer the question,
I would definitely get behind a large national group, the size of the NRA, whose sole goal was to reverse, block, or lessen any and all forms for anti-gun legislation. I understand that there are many smaller ones out there, but I speak of one with the lobbying power and political clout of the NRA.
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Old January 14, 2009, 02:21 PM   #14
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We really do a good job of stabbing ourselves in the back by constantly attacking the NRA.

I'm sure the anti's love it when we bad mouth the lobby which they fear the most in DC.

Is the NRA perfect? No, neither is my Wife. However, I'm not so short sighted to destroy something great because I don't always agree with it/her.
AMEN!!!

I am getting sick of the constant complaining by folks who do not understand anything about how Washington works and thinks the NRA would be more effective by never compromising on anything. Those folks need to understand our entire nation, from the first time the Continental Congress convened, has been built on compromise. Those who do not do so are disregarded and loose all power in the legislative process.

Are there things I would like the NRA to do differently, certainly. There are things I would like EVERYONE to do differently but you have to choose the path that gains you the most and that is clearly the NRA.

I am a Libertarian at heart but not by registration or voting record. The reason is that they face a similar dilemma, they are run by the non-compromising fanatics and as a result get nothing done ever. In choosing the NRA I am choosing the body that does the most to forward my views on the 2A while also being effective. Without effectiveness they would be nothing but a bunch of guys standing around shouting about their rights yet unable to affect any legislation.
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Old January 14, 2009, 02:21 PM   #15
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Ideological purity leading to losing strategies is preferred by many to strategies that are not ideological pure in all aspects but makes incremental steps to a goal.

The Futile Noble but Counterproductive Gesture and the following ranting is preferred.

For example, the move to shall issue CCW is one of the greatest triumphs in the current RKBA struggle. How many 'purists' opposed that move and in fact sunk CCW legislation in some places. In Oregon, when I lived there, a small 'anti' measure of little real consequence was the vehicle for achieving shall issue status.

I would also like to thank B. Roberts for his analysis!
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Old January 14, 2009, 02:31 PM   #16
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How do you arrive at that sum?
I looked up their accounting records. It was 199 million and something in revenue for 2007. Many give more than minimum dues and many donate a dollar or more when they check out at stores. Clubs have memberships, advertising in their magazines, etc. From what I could tell, this did not include ILA specific donations.

The clout comes from money. If everyone who joined the NRA joined GOA they would have the money to do it. I would say if you have to choose one choose GOA, I just did. Of course, joining both is probably better.

I guess i can take my Libertarian party and my GOA membership and move to the corner of the room.
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Old January 14, 2009, 02:57 PM   #17
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If everyone who joined the NRA joined GOA they would have the money to do it. I would say if you have to choose one choose GOA, I just did.
Oh, a GOA-inspired thread. I should have known.

The GOA, yeah, they get a lot accomplished. Sure they do. Yep, if only the NRA was not so successful, or didn't somehow cause "damage" (although the OP still has not identified how the NRA is culpable for shaping the general public's opinion about guns), the GOA would be....somehow different.

You know, if you add a 'T' to the end of GOA, you get GOAT. Baaaaaa!!!!
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Old January 14, 2009, 03:01 PM   #18
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If everyone who joined the NRA joined GOA they would have the money to do it. I would say if you have to choose one choose GOA, I just did. Of course, joining both is probably better.
Then how about you and the other GOA members stop bashing the NRA? These "the NRA is destroying our rights" membership drives are the reason I'm not a GOA member, and why I don't recommend them to anyone.

When I hear anything negative about the NRA, it's from the Bradys and their cohorts or GOA members. When I hear anything at all about the GOA, it's from GOA members. That's telling to me.
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Old January 14, 2009, 03:03 PM   #19
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80 Million gun owners, and 4 Million N.R.A. Members, seems to me alot of gun owners are riding along with we 4 Million Supporters !

And to post #9, Charlton Heston was'nt holding a hunting rifle,He was holding an original ASSAULT RIFLE !!!!!

There is strength in numbers, regardless of how you feel about the N.R.A. you need to be a supporter of our rights. (Financially )If not we WILL lose them. These are dangerous times for us. I suggest you join one or more of the R.K.B.A. Orgs. and financially support those rights. before it's too late !

It might already be.
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Old January 14, 2009, 03:10 PM   #20
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Well I really just wanted to stir up some conversation on this while I was making these decisions. The NRA has been losing ground the last 50 years, and I am not sure a 4 year span without an AWB, or Heller really represents a reversal of that trend. They are sucking up most of the money and I really don't see much as a result. Maybe slowing the tide of emotional legislation with compromises is enough for some.

What about a million rifleman march?
How effective would that be? Would one million people show up to Washington? More? How about a march from Concord to Boston?

NRA not culpable in forming the general public's view on firearms? I would definitely say without reservation that if they have not had a significant effect on the public's view of firearms they have failed miserably.
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Old January 14, 2009, 03:12 PM   #21
johnwilliamson062
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And to post #9, Charlton Heston was'nt holding a hunting rifle,He was holding an original ASSAULT RIFLE !!!!!
I know it was originally a military rifle, does the average American? If that fact is lost on the average American is it relevant?
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Old January 14, 2009, 03:15 PM   #22
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I wish you guys would figure out the difference between the NRA and thr NRA-ILA

AFS
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Old January 14, 2009, 03:19 PM   #23
johnwilliamson062
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I have, in the past, given money directly to the NRA-ILA. I wish they were not under the NRA umbrella though.
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Old January 14, 2009, 03:24 PM   #24
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Well I really just wanted to stir up some conversation on this while I was making these decisions.
Oh, you wanted to stir something up, all right.

Quote:
They are sucking up most of the money and I really don't see much as a result.
Really? Not much of a result, huh?!? That's interesting.

Now the GOA, those guys, they get results. Seriously. I like 'em.
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Old January 14, 2009, 03:30 PM   #25
johnwilliamson062
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I would not expect GOA to do as much as the NRA as they don't have near the financial resources.

A good way to compromise:
http://citizensbriefingbook.change.g...Pos=1&srKp=087
I could live with the laws we already have...
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