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Old June 16, 2010, 03:27 PM   #26
rshanneck2002
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I am a member,but this whole thing SMELLS real bad to me. Any deal with the libs aint worth a bucket of water. Memorys appear to be short in the organization to say the least.I have never seen the DNC do anything for the NRA over the yrs but fight it tooth and nail, inch by inch,and if they(the NRA) are not concerned with the first admendment as much as the 2nd,well, then why did they worry about a pass on it so much? Someone please answer that? IT STINKS to high heaven. They will lose members over this issue and when they need the backing of the RNC down the road,well,maybe they wont be so willing to jump in the fire.
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Old June 16, 2010, 04:09 PM   #27
Bartholomew Roberts
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Here is my risk/reward analysis:

Option One - NRA opposes the bill.
Reward: If they are successful and the bill goes down in flames, then everybody wins.
Risk: Whether they are successful or unsuccessful, the RKBA-friendly Democrats who helped the NRA will be the ones to pay the price at the polls in November. That is going to be something other politicians remember as well. In addition, if NRA is unsuccessful, they will have their ability to speak out limited and face the problems with membership lists.

Option Two: NRA neither supports nor opposes bill and accepts Shuler amendment
Reward: Pro-RKBA Dems owe the NRA for not making them choose between party and NRA. NRA is exempted from the law.
Risk: If the law is found to be constitutional and later gains traction, several years down the road, NRA may face challenges to its exemption if public sentiment regarding the desirability of campaign finance law remains unchanged.

So which one looks like the better choice to you?
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Old June 17, 2010, 05:07 AM   #28
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It still SMELLS to high heaven.,it makes them look like caving in against (the NRA) one side entirely. To me it looks like throw everyone else overboard,as stated i belong but i also back other organizations. This whole thing is risky to say the least. Like a guy stated earlier, what they can give they can take away.This wasnt even an issue 40 yrs ago heck not even 10 yrs ago. I also find it funny there is no mention of it on their website that i could find,yet anyway with any explanation.
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Old June 17, 2010, 08:50 AM   #29
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Quote:
I also find it funny there is no mention of it on their website that i could find,yet anyway with any explanation.
I'm signed up for NRA-ILA email alerts, and I received the following email yesterday, June 16th:
Quote:
Statement From The National Rifle
Association On H.R. 5175, The Disclose Act

The National Rifle Association believes that any restrictions on the political speech of Americans are unconstitutional.

In the past, through the courts and in Congress, the NRA has opposed any effort to restrict the rights of its four million members to speak and have their voices heard on behalf of gun owners nationwide.

The NRA's opposition to restrictions on political speech includes its May 26, 2010 letter to Members of Congress expressing strong concerns about H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act. As it stood at the time of that letter, the measure would have undermined or obliterated virtually all of the NRA's right to free political speech and, therefore, jeopardized the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding American.

The most potent defense of the Second Amendment requires the most adamant exercise of the First Amendment. The NRA stands absolutely obligated to its members to ensure maximum access to the First Amendment, in order to protect and preserve the freedom of the Second Amendment.

The NRA must preserve its ability to speak. It cannot risk a strategy that would deny its rights, for the Second Amendment cannot be defended without them.

Thus, the NRA's first obligation must be to its members and to its most ardent defense of firearms freedom for America's lawful gun owners.

On June 14, 2010, Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives pledged that H.R. 5175 would be amended to exempt groups like the NRA, that meet certain criteria, from its onerous restrictions on political speech. As a result, and as long as that remains the case, the NRA will not be involved in final consideration of the House bill.

The NRA cannot defend the Second Amendment from the attacks we face in the local, state, federal, international and judicial arenas without the ability to speak. We will not allow ourselves to be silenced while the national news media, politicians and others are allowed to attack us freely.

The NRA will continue to fight for its right to speak out in defense of the Second Amendment. Any efforts to silence the political speech of NRA members will, as has been the case in the past, be met with strong opposition.

---nra---
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Old June 17, 2010, 12:10 PM   #30
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If this truly poses a possible restriction on the NRA in the future, then I believe the NRA needs to oppose it and make it's Democratic supporters understand why they oppose it. On the other side of the coin, why wouldn't the Democratic NRA supporters break with the party on this? There are those that don't always vote the party line. Where do the state rifle associations, like the TSRA, stand on this? Would it not affect them also? Would it be possible for the state rifle associations to band together and apply the pressure, allowing the NRA to take a pass on the issue?
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Old June 17, 2010, 01:06 PM   #31
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I expect the NRA to make the most effective fight for 2A rights possible. I expect them to also fight to ensure legislation is not passed which interferes with the 2A goal. That is the end of their job.
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Old June 17, 2010, 07:07 PM   #32
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Bearridge, please review the criteria of drive-by cut-n-paste posts.

Antipitas.

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Old June 17, 2010, 11:19 PM   #33
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A narrow, dangerous path to tread, with slippery slopes

And, upon reflection, this might be the best position for the NRA to take, although at first glance it seems to go against the grain, quite badly.

We all benefit from the political power of the NRA. And that power comes from the millions of members who actually do something, rather than just pay dues.

NRA opposed McCain-Feingold, and it became law anyway. Now after years of fight, we got it killed. The Disclosure act is a way of getting the same (or maybe even greater) results stifling dissenting voices via onerous regulations.

And so we face the same fight again , against the same idea, just cloaked in a nice name, and a backdoor labyrinth of regulations to comply with instead of an up front "law".

If the legislators exempt the NRA (and as a result some of the other sides lobbying groups as well), then the NRA has little choice but to accept it.

Yes, it is "special treatment", and so, rightly we should refuse, demanding equal treatment for all under the law. That is the principle, and a good one.

BUT, if they exempt the NRA, etc. there is a possibility that the NRA will not be able to fight it, even if that is what we demand. Because, (and I'm no lawyer, so someone here correct me if I am wrong), but I think that the NRA would likely not be able to bring (or participate) in a lawsuit to overturn the Disclosure Act, because a court could rule they have no "standing". Because they are exempted, they are not an affected party, and therefore cannot participate.

That would nullify a lot of the resources and political power the NRA can bring to bear.

SO, what it looks like to me, is the NRA leadership has decided that if they write the exemption into the law, they will not fight it. They must, in this instance, pass the torch so to speak to other groups for this fight. That doesn't mean they have to like it, and I understand the decision within the NRA leadership was not unanimous.

They are within their charter and their responsibility to do so, as by being expempted, then it is no longer an issue of them not being able to speak for 2nd Amendment rights, and therefore doing their best for their membership.

I think this can be looked at quite differently than is being reported at present, and also, as far as I know right now, it's also not a done deal. We still have to see what the legislators actually write to vote on.
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Old June 18, 2010, 08:18 AM   #34
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Because, (and I'm no lawyer, so someone here correct me if I am wrong), but I think that the NRA would likely not be able to bring (or participate) in a lawsuit to overturn the Disclosure Act, because a court could rule they have no "standing". Because they are exempted, they are not an affected party, and therefore cannot participate.
Correct, although the NRA can still file an amicus brief in support of organizations challenging the law if they wish.

Quote:
and I understand the decision within the NRA leadership was not unanimous.
Also true, at least one of the current NRA Board of Directors has written an op-ed denouncing the DISCLOSURE Act and while she went easy on the NRA, it is clear she was not happy with the decision.
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Old June 18, 2010, 08:24 AM   #35
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From The Washington Post, there is this:
Quote:
One of President Obama's top legislative priorities is in serious doubt after top House Democrats' attempt to satisfy the National Rifle Association backfired badly.

Top Democrats abandoned plans for a Friday vote in the House on the legislation, known as the Disclose Act, after liberal groups and members of the Congressional Black Caucus rose up against the deal with the NRA. A lobbying blitz by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups also undermined support for the legislation, aides said.
There is much more about this from Politico.com this morning:
Quote:
Hatched over the last few weeks by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) with backing from House Democratic leaders and the White House, it was a legislative maneuver rich with the kind of irony that often goes unremarked in Washington - a classic back-room special interest deal to help pass a bill that would require heightened disclosure of special interest spending on campaign ads.

The idea was to neutralize opposition to tough new campaign spending rules from one particularly powerful special interest group, the National Rifle Association, by exempting it as well as the left-leaning Sierra Club and the ecumenical Humane Society and AARP from certain disclosure requirements in the bill. But while the maneuver was effective in getting the NRA to back down, the deal sparked a backlash that pitted big-money special interest groups, including some traditional allies, against each other, and turned fence-sitters and even some supporters of the bill into opponents.

Short of the votes needed for passage in the House, the bill was pulled Thursday night by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

....

Still, he said his team “tried to talk to them (the NRA) at some length about this,” but was told the group had determined its position based on an assessment of its members’ interest and wasn’t open to changing it.

“I would suggest to you that they have decided that protecting the Second Amendment right is their mission and cutting a deal on the First Amendment to ensure their capacity to protect the Second Amendment was more important to them, the result of which was to toss overboard roughly 100,000 other associations,” asserted Josten.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the criticism his group has received from the right – including being blasted as hypocritical, “arrogant and elitist” by the Wall Street Journal editorial board – hasn’t changed the group’s commitment to its neutrality to the bill – provided the carve out remains intact.

“We did what was in the best interests for the NRA and the Second Amendment and we would do it again,” he said. “We do not take positions on bills that do not affect us.”

Josten asserted the NRA’s neutrality “strengthened the unions” and “undercut” the business community headed into the 2010 midterm elections.
Politics is a very dirty game. A game the NRA-ILA is good at. We may never know if this was the exact outcome that the NRA wanted. Regardless, the bill now appears to be dead.
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Old June 18, 2010, 08:35 AM   #36
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Well good news all the way around! Thanks for sharing that.
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Old June 18, 2010, 08:46 AM   #37
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Good riddance.
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Old June 18, 2010, 09:08 AM   #38
Bartholomew Roberts
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Now the next question for debate is did the NRA intend for this to happen? Reading the Politico article, it looks like there were a bunch of "traditionally Democratic supporting" interest groups that had decided to remain neutral on the DISCLOSE Act legislation; but changed their position once the NRA got a special carve out.

In fact, it looks like they lowered the membership number to 500,000 (only the NRA met the million mark) in order to include the Sierra Club, AARP, the Humane Society and a few others; but the Sierra Club went from their neutral status to "opposed" solely because of the NRA carve-out (and to their credit, they maintained the opposed status even after the membership number was lowered). It also looks like the unions and NAACP started grumbling mightily when they heard about the NRA carve out.

So now it looks like the bill is completely dead; but the NRA is exempt even if it isn't AND the Dems owe them whether the bill passes or not. Not a bad day's work, intentional or not.
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Old June 18, 2010, 09:18 AM   #39
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Does anyone on this forum play chess?

I have not been particularly kind to Chris Cox, since he finagled time from Gura at the McDonald orals. I find I now owe him a "Thank You" for this particular maneuver.
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Old June 18, 2010, 09:31 AM   #40
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"Does anyone on this forum play chess?"

Yep.

Badly.
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Old June 18, 2010, 11:34 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts
Now the next question for debate is did the NRA intend for this to happen? Reading the Politico article, it looks like there were a bunch of "traditionally Democratic supporting" interest groups that had decided to remain neutral on the DISCLOSE Act legislation; but changed their position once the NRA got a special carve out.

In fact, it looks like they lowered the membership number to 500,000 (only the NRA met the million mark) in order to include the Sierra Club, AARP, the Humane Society and a few others; but the Sierra Club went from their neutral status to "opposed" solely because of the NRA carve-out (and to their credit, they maintained the opposed status even after the membership number was lowered). It also looks like the unions and NAACP started grumbling mightily when they heard about the NRA carve out.

So now it looks like the bill is completely dead; but the NRA is exempt even if it isn't AND the Dems owe them whether the bill passes or not. Not a bad day's work, intentional or not.
An interesting example of how the political process works and how the path to a desirable result is seldom obvious or linear.

As Bismark said, "Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them being made."
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Old June 18, 2010, 11:45 AM   #42
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Next week

In that article, I thought it said it was going back to floor for a vote next week?

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38698.html

Moderators note: Innuendo, invectives and off topic comments removed.

Last edited by Al Norris; June 18, 2010 at 01:28 PM. Reason: L&CR Cleanup
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Old June 18, 2010, 11:57 AM   #43
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Does anyone on this forum play chess?
Yep, and I'm thinking stalemate

Frankly, I despise the bill. It's an attempt to stifle free speech and override a Supreme Court decision that a certain political stripe finds politically inexpedient.

I doubt the NRA could have killed it directly, so they did what they could to make sure that they acted in the best interests of their organization and membership. Funny thing that this week's email from the Brady Campaign seems to think they could, though:

Quote:
Can you believe it? U.S. House Democrats have agreed to a special exemption for the NRA from new campaign finance disclosure laws under pending legislation proposed by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

This is an outrage! Why should Congress appease NRA bosses and let them play by a different set of rules than the rest of us? We need your help to stop this bill from moving.
Now, whether they meant to or not, their exception seems to have been a factor in killing it. How many people on our side are going to thank them for it?
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Old June 18, 2010, 01:28 PM   #44
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Is anybody else's head spinning?

I really don't know whether to think the NRA simply acted in what they perceived to be the best interests of their membership and killing the bill was an unintended (but welcome) consequence, or whether they devised a Machiavellian strategy to defeat the bill by creating outrage, while increasing the perception of their political prowess, at the expense of some minor resentment by other pro-gun organizations.

It reminds me of the gamble between Vizzini and Wesley in The Princess Bride. Vizzini (the Democrats) try to pull a fast one, only to find that Wesley (the NRA) has rigged it so that he will triumph regardless of what Vizzini does.
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Old June 18, 2010, 03:19 PM   #45
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NRA

Yesterday I e-mailed the NRA and told them how upset i was about this. Today I got a reply back. Here is what they sent me

"I received your email regarding the NRA`s position on H.R. 5175, the "DISCLOSE Act". Regrettably, our position has been misstated by some and intentionally misrepresented by others. I hope you`ll allow me to provide the proper context.

The U.S. Supreme Court`s Citizens United decision was a significant victory for free speech and the Constitution. The NRA filed a strong brief in that case, which the Court specifically cited several times in its opinion. The DISCLOSE Act is an attempt to reverse that victory and that`s why we told Congress we oppose it.

The NRA has never supported--nor would we ever support -- any version of this bill. Those who suggest otherwise are wrong.

The restrictions in this bill should not apply to anyone or to any organization. My job is to ensure they don`t apply to the NRA and our members. Without the NRA, the Second Amendment will be lost and I will do everything in my power to prevent that.

We believe that any restriction on political speech is repugnant. But some of our critics believe we should put the Second Amendment at risk over a First Amendment principle to protect other organizations. That`s easy to say--unless you have a sworn duty to protect the Second Amendment above all else, as I do.

The NRA is a single-issue organization made up of millions of individual members dedicated to protecting the Second Amendment. We do not represent the interests of other organizations. Nor do all groups fight all issues together. For example, we didn`t support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce when it backed amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens and we did not join the Chamber in its support of President Obama`s stimulus bill. And we`ve been in direct opposition when the Chamber has tried to restrict Second Amendment rights in publicly accessible parking lots.

Rather than focusing on opposing this bill, some have encouraged people to blame the NRA for this Congress`s unconstitutional attack on free speech. That`s a shame. If you oppose this bill, I hope you will contact your Member of Congress and Senators so they can hear from you."


So.... what do you think? I have already e-mailed our Congressmen (GA)...
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Old June 18, 2010, 07:15 PM   #46
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I can't take credit for this but I think it's an excellent explanation of what was going on in DC. My friend Tony posted this and similar items for the Members' Councils here in CA.
----------
To All,
A story at Politico today notes that Nancy Pelosi has "pulled" the DISCLOSE Act on "campaign finance reform" over massive opposition within the Democrat Party from key factions.

"Blue Dog" Democrats appear concerned over the impact to such small business lobbying groups such as NFIB, who have a certain amount of "pull" in key Southern districts.

And Congressional Black Caucus and other progressive groups are upset at the receipt of an exception one can drive a gun truck through by first the NRA, then such Way Left groups as Sierra Club.

In other words, all the Democrat Interest Groups want the same "deal" that NRA got, but without having the gravitas of the NRA. And if they don't get what they want, the Democrat Caucus won't vote this bill through.

If that happens, the bill dies.

And this is before this "Bride of Chuckie" bill arrives "at the altar" in the Senate, where Primary Sponsor Charles Schumer would be faced with the prospect that his bill would exempt the NRA from his intent to muzzle speech. His intended target had the "juice" to shove an arranged marriage down his throat if the final Conference product keeps the NRA exemption in place.

If Chuckles doesn't like that, but has to keep the NRA exemption, the bill dies.

It thus remains to be seen how much a poison pill this arranged marriage turns out to be, and whether it happens in the House, the Senate, the Conference, or even Obama's desk itself. (After all, does one reasonably think that Obama wants a fully operational NRA "Deathstar"-style political campaign in 2012???).

If the exception for the NRA remains, and either side of the Congress vote against it, the bill dies.

If the bill has enough exceptions to cover every Democrat interest group from Berkeley to Truro, then one can legitimately ask "what's the point", or who will it "hurt? In effect, the bill's threat dies.

Or, if the NRA's exemption gets removed by the Congressional Black Caucus or some other whiny group, NRA and the Sierra Club will vote to oppose the bill, and again it dies because they couldn't get it out of committee in the first place without NRA "cooperation".

Notice the potential Meme of the Week here- THE BILL DIES, OR IT DOESN'T REALLY HURT RKBA GROUPS UNTIL IT THEORETICALLY SURVIVES ALL SCOTUS CHALLENGES.

It may not be pretty, but like the Laker's Game 7 win at Staples, it's the way things are done under the current Regime. You do what you have to do, and worry about style and form points later. You do what it takes to beat the "Big Baby" Davis' out there, not whine and flop that once again the Lib-Dems are going to dispense with the Rule Book that is the Constitution.

And face these facts as well: Only the theological ideologues will actually care that it does not conform to some theoretical construct of how politics is supposed to be. What did they really expect from this "Chicago Way"-style of government that the American voter decided to try on like a pair of Air Jordans. No one who has any real and practical experience in American politics can say that they expected Liberal Progressives to abide by some "Marquis of Queensbury" set of political rules. It's MMA out there, not Powderpuff Football.
Only "Can-Do" groups will survive the Obama Regime. "Can't Do" groups will go the way of BP.

It's a hard lesson, but that's the way it is.

Link at:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38698.html
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Old June 18, 2010, 08:28 PM   #47
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Or, if the NRA's exemption gets removed by the Congressional Black Caucus or some other whiny group, NRA and the Sierra Club will vote to oppose the bill, and again it dies because they couldn't get it out of committee in the first place without NRA "cooperation".
Yep. Remember that the DC Voting Rights act was killed by adding the 2nd Amendment Enforcement Act, which the Democrats could not excise from the bill. Forced with having to accept it (twice, in fact), they abandoned the idea of getting the District a House seat.

I've heard that this was exactly what the NRA planned to do here. Best case scenario was getting DISCLOSE killed; worst-case scenario was being sure they were immune from the effects if it passed.

I'm really not seeing the great moral quandary here.
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Old June 19, 2010, 10:51 AM   #48
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I used to play chess....

Quote:
Does anyone on this forum play chess?

Yep, and I'm thinking stalemate
And I'm not seeing a stalemate here. What I am seeing is a a gambit declined, one, which taken would have resulted in and exchange where we come out ahead by at least a pawn, and possibly a knight.

The only questionable thing in my mind right now is whether or not the NRA sought out the exemption, or whether the administration brought it up as a way to remove the political power of the NRA from opposition to the bill.

Initial reports (always never fully accurate) portrayed the NRA as having sought, and gotten an exemption. Based on later reports, this does not seem to have been the case.

Plans within plans. It might be that the NRA felt that by taking the position they did, and seeing that it became public knowledge, would spur enough outrage from others (non exempt) that it would kill the exemption (whereupon the NRA could get back in the fight), or even better, kill the bill entirely, which seems to be what is happening now.

If the NRA sought out the exemption, as a stalking horse, that was a potentially dangerous move, as it would be sure to bring the ire of many. But it appears to have been a move that has worked out. If they didn't seek the exemption, but merely accepted it (again with the knowledge of what "disclosure" of the deal would mean, I say BRAVO, and well played!

They have an excellent loophole to use (taking position only on things that affect their ability to speak for 2nd Amendment issues), and may even have done so as a result of the recent criticism about the NRA becoming associated with the political conservative movement. We can only speculate as to the exact reasoning, but in light of a lack of evidence to the contrary, I am going to count this one as a shrewed move on the part of the NRA's political chessmasters.

I wonder if the right wing spoksmen on talk radio, and elsewhere, will recognize that.
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Old June 19, 2010, 11:13 AM   #49
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I wonder if the right wing spoksmen on talk radio, and elsewhere, will recognize that.
Well, I did get an email from the GOA this morning in which they took credit for killing it.
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Old June 19, 2010, 05:37 PM   #50
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Actually, I think this all worked out perfectly. The NRA is a single-issue special interest group and should remain focused on that single issue. They have no duty to become involved in fights which do not pertain to their issue of interest (2A issues). If this bill adversely affects some other group such as GOA, the Sierra Club, the National Black Caucus, or anyone else, it is the responsibility of that group to fight the bill until it no longer adversely affects them. I see no reason whatsoever for the NRA to go to bat, and possibly fall on the sword, for groups that are so critical of them like GOA.

The reason that I say this worked out perfectly is because the situation I described above is exactly what happened. Once the amendment was added in order to shut up the NRA, everyone else started coming out of the woodwork screaming "I want mine too!" This left the uncomfortable choice between either giving up and killing the bill or neutering it into irrelevancy.
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