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Old July 16, 2010, 06:59 AM   #26
thallub
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You'd be surprised how many people who claim they're quitting the NRA over one recent thing or other aren't even members.

I've belonged to the NRA for over 50 years. Were it not for the NRA, the entire country would have draconian anti-gun laws like those of NJ and NY. About 15 years ago someone did a survey of gun owners. About 40 percent of gunowners claimed to be NRA members. At the time the NRA membership was about 3.5 million. 99 percent of the people who get on these sites and whine about the NRA have never, ever been NRA members.

What did the the politicians who are whining about the NRA not being
"conservative" do for US owners when they ran the congress and the white house? The answer is: They did nothing for US gunowners. Now that the opposition has put forth some genuine supporters of the Second Amendment, "conservative" DC politicians are beside themselves. They are demanding that the NRA buy into their complete agenda.

The NRA needs to stay the course and not buy into a total package of feel good stuff that is put forward as "conservatism."

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Old July 16, 2010, 08:28 AM   #27
Mike Irwin
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Even if SAF did have NRA's money, it's very doubtful that they could match NRA's clout simply because money isn't the sole determinant of power when dealing with elected officials...

Being able to look at the elected official and say "The 275,000 NRA members in your district are pretty ticked at your position on XXXX."

It would take years for SAF to equal the power, both real and perceived, that NRA has cultivated over the past 35 or so years.

I also passionately disagree that NRA should go back to non-legislative activities.

Let NRA continue to be the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but let them also welcome SAF as a growing ally. One organization promoting a position can be effective, two tag teaming members of congress can be spectacular.
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Old July 16, 2010, 09:14 AM   #28
Bartholomew Roberts
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These other specialized organizations are coming into their own. SAF gave us a big win and I would guess their money and membership has greatly increased. I am sure more will follow. GOA is growing whether you like their brand or not, especially after NRA's compromise which no matter the intent looked like betrayal to many people heavily involved in the state firearms groups. Wouldn't it be great for the NRA's finances if they were the only ones who got to play in Washington?
First of all, SAF is a ยง501 (c) (3) corporation, so the DISCLOSE Act doesn't affect them. Also, I'm not sure why state firearms groups would care about playing in Washington DC? In any case, SAF has basically succeeded by A) doing pro-RKBA activities that no one else was doing (i.e. litigation that the NRA had basically abandoned after losing a bunch of cases in the 1980s and 1990s) and B) working hand in hand with other RKBA groups without being concerned about who got the credit. I'm not sure what GOA does for RKBA besides send out weekly dispatches criticizing the NRA, so I can't speak to them.

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I would like the NRA to go back to focusing on high power matches, safety, training, etc. Indirect contributions. They never will even if they realize it is best for gun owners to have a dedicated lobby because so much of their marketing and growth is based on defending 2A. Probably 90% of their membership joins for that reason, at least the members I personally interact with, and that money funds their other programs(none of the membership fee goes directly to political/court battles).
This is THE most critical function of the NRA in my opinion. Without places to shoot and people to teach firearms safety and knowledge, we will eventually become a political minority who can be dismissed. As urban areas grow, shooting is going to need new places amenable to that kind of lifestyle if it is going to continue to be a part of popular culture. Michael Bane has made some good points on this.

If the NRA never did another lick of political work, their work in this area alone would easily merit every dime I've sent them and then some.
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Old July 16, 2010, 09:41 AM   #29
kraigwy
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I take a different approach to the goals and mission of the NRA. Yes fighting for the 2nd amendment rights is important and I don't want to see them step back from that fight.

BUT

The NRA was started by some National Guard Officers who were concerned with the lack of marksmanship abilities of our military. They have been working on that mission since their conception. Not just the military but Civilians and LE also.

Look at the training they provide for LE and civilian shooters. In cahoots with two other organizations they have strived to help us with training. The NRA and later the Division of Civilian Marksmanship (now Civilian Marksmanship Program) and Gen Ike's starting the Army Marksmanship Unit have increased the over all marksmanship abilities of the entire country.

Just look around at the civilian gun clubs and see how much money they get in grants from the NRA for the building and up keep of ranges. I know my local club, with our low population base, would be sucking if it wasn't for the grants from the NRA. How may small police departments could afford the training they get from the NRA.

Don't sell the NRA short, even if you don't agree totally with their political actions, they've done and are doing a lot for the shooting community.
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Old July 16, 2010, 09:55 AM   #30
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The National Guard didn't exist in the 1870s when retired Yankee officers established the NRA. They were trying to figure out why the rebs were typically such better marksmen and they decided it was the way southerners were raised, where firearms were a part of the culture. Making firearms part of the Northern culture was the key goal.

If you compare the average city boy to the average country boy the difference in proficiency and knowledge of firearms is quite obvious.
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Old July 16, 2010, 09:56 AM   #31
Glenn E. Meyer
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Another positive aspect for the NRA is that they have produced a legit child safety program with Eddie Eagle. What other organization has the rep or resources to do such?

While antis don't like it - if you want to institute a program - that's where you start.
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Old July 16, 2010, 10:36 AM   #32
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I won't belabor what has been said already - NRA is right to stay focused on the RKBA and support politicians who support the RKBA regardless of party. Also the NRA protects the RKBA in ways that no other national pro-RKBA group can - by supporting the shooting sports, hunting, firearms training and safety programs, they help to introduce the next generation to responsible gun ownership. (The best argument to change an anti-RKBA persons mind is to take them shooting and give them a fun and safe experience - do it more than once and introduce them to other responsible and open minded shooters and you will destroy their prejudices and ignorance and more often than not plant the seeds for a new RKBA's advocate)

I think it is a good thing that we have so many pro-RKBA groups - none of us are going to agree all the time with any of them - but I think they all serve an important role - NRA, SAF, the many state level organizations, JPFO, GOA, the Appleseed project, and so on. There is no reason not to support more than one.

As far as Redstate or like minded conservative commentators or groups - I hope they understand that by attacking the NRA, in the manner they have been, they may suffer blowback. Whereas they hope to alienate voters and members from the NRA - instead what they may end up doing is alienating voters and NRA members from their causes - people who might have been inclined to support them. I for one look not just to the message but also the method as that often is a clue to character - and to me character is important. The over the top and exagerated claims and attacks of Redstate undercut their message for me. Such that I am not inclined to support or give much credence to anything they say - as in my opinion they are acting like cheap political hacks.
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Old July 16, 2010, 03:12 PM   #33
kraigwy
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The National Guard didn't exist in the 1870s when retired Yankee officers established the NRA.
It's disputable whether it was NG or Reg Officers, regardless, the National Guard has been around since conception, or should I say shortly after the Mayflower Compat, about 370 years to be exact.

A bit off topic, but still shooting related since (excluding the AMU) they've (the NG) has the top shooters.
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Old July 16, 2010, 05:13 PM   #34
johnwilliamson062
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Sorry Tom, I can remember most of the threads and often what was said, but rarely who said what.
If you know that the NRA membership does very little for RKBA, then why do you seem to defend it so?

Quote:
This thread isn't about the SAF or other organizations. As valuable as they might be, we're talking about whether or not the NRA should branch out into general "conservative" causes.
And my point is the time has probably come for the NRA to back out entirely. What if IDPA had been the one to step in 30 years ago? I don't think IDPA was even around, but how absurd would it be for IDPA to be the national RKBA group.
If the NRA pushed the NRA-ILA I could probably stomach that.

NRA certainly should not tie themselves any more to the Republicans than they already have. They should open more and more to anyone who is pro-gun, as should all the RKBA groups.
BFA supported Strickland and some people are really upset about it. How in the world could a RKBA organization support Kasich over Strickland though? Foolishness.

I will listen to the argument that supporting one liberal politician with close non-RKBA ties to other liberal politicians can bolster their careers. For instance Lee Fisher is running for Senate after being Stricklands Lt. Gov. Of course, Kasich is running with Mike Dewine as AG candidate and they are old buddies. I say defeat the supporting characters when that race comes along and support pro-2a politicians.
Anyone who thinks otherwise should trade in their rifle and NRA membership for a lollipop and Heritage foundation card.

Quote:
by supporting the shooting sports, hunting, firearms training and safety programs, they help to introduce the next generation to responsible gun ownership.
How many of these programs actually reach outside the shooting community?
I really have not seen NRA programs advertised to the general community. If they did you might really have a point. As it is they introduce OUR next generation, something I think we should be doing on our own. You might call it parenting or something similar.

Quote:
"The 275,000 NRA members in your district are pretty ticked at your position on XXXX."
As if there will be less gun owners in the district....
They are worried about politically active gun owners, not what banner they ride under.

Quote:
produced a legit child safety program with Eddie Eagle.
ANd how many kids from non-shooter parents take this class each year. You can't teach your own kids gun safety?
I would be incredibly impressed if the NRA had been trying to bring this program to classrooms around the country for the last 20 years, but they have not.
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Last edited by johnwilliamson062; July 16, 2010 at 06:21 PM.
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Old July 16, 2010, 06:30 PM   #35
Glenn E. Meyer
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School systems have tried to adopt Eddie Eagle and been blocked. Some have. So I suppose it's better if they don't have a program.
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Old July 16, 2010, 06:44 PM   #36
johnwilliamson062
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So I suppose it's better if they don't have a program.
It is only better if it gets used by a group that actually needs it. Has the NRA ever used their member list to cram a schoolboard meeting full of RKBA proponents when they are looking at the issue?
Have they contacted the local NRA affiliated clubs to see if they can be brought on board?
The NRA is really putting very little energy into contacting people outside the shooting community.
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Old July 16, 2010, 07:19 PM   #37
Glenn E. Meyer
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Oh, dear. I guess you won't be a member then.

I suppose that the GOA appears at every school board meeting.
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Old July 16, 2010, 07:28 PM   #38
Al Norris
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The thread was mostly off topic to begin with, but has drifted further off topic into a bash-fest.

Closed.
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