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Old December 29, 2012, 07:16 PM   #51
Mike Irwin
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Yes, NRA can be irritating. You'll remember that I worked for the org. for a number of years.

But, NRA at least has the propriety to attack the enemy, NOT the other organizations on the same side.

That is all those GOAL mailings were. Attacks on NRA. unseemly at best.
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Old December 29, 2012, 07:49 PM   #52
Shane Tuttle
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How 'bout thinking this in a little bit different light?

Let's think of what our country, our government, would have been like if the NRA didn't exist. What anti-gun laws would have been passed? What level of education would our culture have on firearms and the 2A? How many lives would have been adversely affected by NOT having the NRA? What Supreme Court, Appellate Court, or even local court decisions would have been made without the NRA's presence? What path would your kids have taken if they didn't have exposure to NRA junior shooting matches and programs?

The list of positive things the NRA and ILA have done for our country is so long that it's unfathomable. It has to be in tens of thousands at least since its inception. There is NO perfect organization. The NRA has its issues. But when you think objectively on the pros and cons of the NRA, IMO one is definitely biting the hand that feeds them if he/she bashes them. To me, it's selfish at best.

GOA? Their method of absolute NO compromise is honorable to say the least in theory. It's a nasty grey area to compromise and not be a sell-out to the 2A. That's where personal beliefs tie into what an organization is willing to do or not do politically. With that in mind, here's my question to ponder. What has GOA gained for America when they refused to compromise? If any gain at all, what was the short term and long term result? What happened when they didn't budge? Did the bill get passed anyway? As I asked regarding the NRA; what would America be like without GOA?

Yep, as stated, GOA is like Ron Paul. No compromises. 9 times out of 10 I believe we shouldn't compromise. But there are occasions when by not working together the 2A is hurt in the end, IMO and more harm is done than good.

If I had to only go with one or the other, the NRA would have my money. If I have the option, which I almost always have, more than one organization receives my hard earned money. In other words, my vote is BOTH. We need to have multiple pro gun organizations to fight the anti-gunners.
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Old December 29, 2012, 08:15 PM   #53
MLeake
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Guys, I am pro-NRA, but that doesn't make me anti-GOA. The thing is, it has taken this long for somebody to point out their rating system. That is good to know. Please provide more points on GOA achievements, please, as opposed to ideology.

Those kinds of points influence people like me.
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Old December 29, 2012, 08:43 PM   #54
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Most all of the pro-gun groups do some good, but what counts with politicians is voter numbers.
An organization with lots of voter members will get the attention while a smaller group gets dismissed more or less politely.

When these NRA or anti-NRA posts come up here's a little experiment I tell people to do:
Go out and stop the first person you see. Ask them about "the gun lobby".
99% of the time they'll say "You mean the NRA?".

The NRA is the 800 pound gorilla of the gun rights movement and THEY are who the politicians pay attention to.
None other then Bill Clinton admitted that it was the NRA that cost the Dems the mid term election when he was in office.

You'll notice the anti-gunners in the press and politics are not complaining about and accusing the smaller groups of being responsible for things.
Truth is, most of the press, the politicians, the anti-gun people, and the average American has never heard of the smaller groups and couldn't care less about them.
It's the NRA they hate, and for good reason.

Back in the early 1960's the NRA was what many today would call a "Fudd group" that was interested in hunting, target shooting, and collecting.
When the Dems started passing anti-gun laws, the NRA had to transform to a gun rights organization to protect ourselves and our rights, and the NRA decided that the best way to do that was to play the Politics Game.

The NRA is the gun-rights master at the Politics Game.
The other groups talk a good game and most do contribute to the effort, but none of them are players at the table.
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Old December 29, 2012, 09:09 PM   #55
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"The thing is, it has taken this long for somebody to point out their rating system."

Go to post #10 where I provided links to both rating systems and discussed the merits of one over the other and again revisited in post # 32

800 pound gorillas can put out big piles of ....

I also, to address your previous requests, pointed out that the GOA does much of what the NRA does in terms of lobbying, amicus briefs, and public relations (which they are really good at). Ted Cruz listed GOA on his web site. Ron Paul calls it like he sees it. GOA drafted legislation for Rand Paul. Many other good guys in congress are pro-GOA. They do a lot with what they have, being less than 1/10 the size of the NRA.
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Old December 30, 2012, 12:40 AM   #56
MLeake
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Putting out briefs and all is great, but that is method, not effect.

The rating system could be useful.

I like Ron Paul. I agree with most of what he says. However, Ron Paul never had a chance.

I voted for the Libertarian in my state's senate race, as I did not care for either the D nor R. Vote was great in principle, but the end result was Claire McCaskill was reelected.

Most cases in life are about minimizing evils, not attaining pure good.

Ironically, I suspect most pro-2A idealists think anti-gunners who believe people should be nice to each other, so guns are unnecessary and bad, are unrealistic and doomed to disappointment.

So, don't tell me Ted Cruz and Ron Paul like them. Don't tell me they do "a lot with what they have." I don't care.

Tell me specific accomplishments they have made with regard to legislation or litigation. Do not give me hyperbole, ideology, nor vague platitudes. Please provide specific, measurable, directly attributable accomplishments.
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Old December 30, 2012, 12:43 AM   #57
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Do your own research. People who I think are the best of the best like them, respect them. If you don't, I don't care.
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Old December 30, 2012, 12:53 AM   #58
MLeake
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jmortimer, you are advocating, cheerleading, and recruiting.

If you want to do that, you need to provide exactly the kind of answers I have asked for. If you can't do that, you should not try to recruit. The onus is on the person who wants others to try his way, not on those he is trying to persuade.

I don't know why you can't grasp that.

I don't know enough about them to respect them. I have heard from others about their receiving the NRA bash letters; I have heard that GOA does not compromise. But I have not heard of anything they have accomplished - and that is still true. You could change that, but instead you keep going back to ideological purity...
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:53 AM   #59
Sarge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MLeake
jmortimer, you are advocating, cheerleading, and recruiting.

If you want to do that, you need to provide exactly the kind of answers I have asked for. If you can't do that, you should not try to recruit. The onus is on the person who wants others to try his way, not on those he is trying to persuade.

I don't know why you can't grasp that.
Let's say were are talking about pickups. I like Chevys & think everybody ought to own one. You like Fords. You are free to tell me I'm nuts, why Ford is better or to just to ignore me altogether. If either of us want to check out the other guy's favorite, both Chevrolet and Ford have websites and dealerships all over the country.

The onus here is on nobody.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:03 AM   #60
MLeake
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Sarge, any blowhard at a bar can do that.

If he is the serious proponent he claims to be, he could provide more substance.

For instance, anybody can say they like Ford or Chevy. (I like and have owned both.)

Somebody trying to seriously sway a buyer would provide more practical details - such as tow rating, drive train options, cab configuration options, safety equipment, equipment package options, purchase cost, rebates and incentives, long-term ownership cost averages...

Whereas the guy who just thinks one is cool because it's Dale Jr's brand is only going to sway a certain subset.

I suspect jmortimer could actually provide such detail, but he has not. If he really wants to attract new members, he needs to do that.

Last edited by MLeake; December 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM. Reason: spelling...
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:10 AM   #61
Sarge
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Sarge, any blowhard at a bar can do that.
You're on an internet discussion forum, albeit a pretty good one. Now push that bowl of peanuts over here and I'll holler at the barmaid.

You're a good guy MLeake.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:36 AM   #62
MLeake
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I know what you mean, Sarge.

One problem the internet suffers is the total lack of non-verbal communication (with the exception of skype and other video chat).

Arguments can be taken as much more in-your-face here, than they would if made in person, in a reasonable tone, with relaxed posture.

People react to perceived attacks that are not necessarily attacks, and things start going downhill. I often have to remind myself of this. This is probably one of those cases. I am not trying to slam jmortimer, I am trying to get him to provide info that can help his readers make a more informed decision.

You seem like a good guy, too, Sarge.
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Old December 30, 2012, 11:11 AM   #63
Luger_carbine
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When the Sandy Hook shooting happened all the NRA bashing stopped, and while the NRA took its time to create a measured and well thought out response to the shrill screaming of the anit-gun faction, all I read on various forums were paniked posts saying "What is the NRA doing about this?" We need the NRA to step up and fight this!"

Wayne LaPierre appeared on national TV and took one beating after another from the liberal anti-gun personalities in the media, for proposing a plan that was basically what Bill Clinton and many others had already called for previously.

I think this episode says it all. Despite how many talk shows the heads of other gun groups go to, despite their tough no-compromise rhetoric, in the final analysis the NRA is the "go to" guy when the clock is running down.
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Old December 30, 2012, 02:01 PM   #64
Al Norris
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In the past (the days of the old Legal & Political forum) many of the "alerts" by Larry Pratt (i.e. the GOA) were alerting folks of what the NRA didn't do in a particular situation, or did do that Larry didn't like and thought was a "sell-out" of our 2A rights.

The message that came across was, "Don't become a member of a "sell-out" organization. Join US, we don't compromise!"

The implications were quite clear.

Dave "TheBluesMan" Miller and I had a serious PM discussion about this and decided that enough was enough. We began closing, and in many cases, deleting threads and posts that served only to bash the NRA.

Over the years, most especially after the Heller decision, Larry's rants remained the same or actually grew more shrill... Up until about early 2010 or so.

For whatever reasons, the GOA became less of an attack vehicle on the NRA, while at the same time, the NRA began using many of the same provocative tactics that Larry Pratt had been using.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back for me, was the NRA's stance of the McDonald case in their Aug. 2010 magazines, wherein Chris Cox (NRA-ILA - NRA's Institute for Legislative Action - more on that in a moment) took full credit for the NRA in the outcome of that case. Hell, it was even hinted that the Heller case could not of had the outcome it did, without the backing of the NRA.

Sorry folks. But the results of those two seminal cases were the work of first the CATO Institute and then the SAF, via that young upstart attorney, Alan Gura.

The fact of the matter is, that the NRA has become every bit as shrill as was the GOA in the past (and to a lesser extent, even now). This was due in whole by one man.

To my mind, based strictly on what has been achieved since the Heller decision, neither the NRA-ILA nor the GOA deserve my support. I reserve that for another organization that is NOT the topic of this discussion.

Notice the distinction I have made above?

I support the NRA. They are the premier organization for the shooting sports, for training new and existing firearms enthusiasts, etc. What the NRA does, and where your membership counts and what it pays for, are things that I wholeheartedly endorse. Every gun-owner should be a member of the NRA. The NRA, as the parent organization, has the political clout (because of that membership), that is greater, by far, than its membership would suggest and greater than any other gun-rights group there is. None of the money you spend on NRA membership goes to support the other organizations under the umbrella of the NRA.

A lot of people complain about the incessant appeals for money that they keep getting in their mail. If you look closely, you will find that most of these money pleas are for donations to the NRA-ILA.

I do not support the NRA-ILA. Chris W. Cox (the deputy director of the ILA and heir apparent after Wayne LaPierre) has taken charge of the litigation goals of the NRA and, in my own opinion, doesn't know what the hell he is doing. As a lobbyist, he is good. Very, very good. As a litigator, quite simply, he sucks. He has no concept of civil rights litigation and what that entails. The attorneys at his disposal are very good litigators, if somewhat inexperienced in civil rights litigation. However, Mr. Cox will not let them do their job. His ego will not allow for anything less than full involvement with the cases (with the exception of some CA cases).

To my mind, this thread is misnamed. It should be about the NRA-ILA vs. the GOA. As that's what the undercurrent of this discussion is really about. IF you keep the discussion about only the NRA vs. the GOA, there is no contest. The NRA wins, hands down. The GOA is not even in the running as a competitor to what the NRA itself does, for the shooting sports.

If you are talking about lobbying, they (the GOA) still don't compare. The GOA's lobbying efforts are minimal and even dismal, at best. You cannot play at politics with a "no compromise" attitude. You simply won't be listened to. That is a political fact of life. If you are discussing litigation, the GOA has done nothing but file a few amicus briefs. They (the GOA) have funded no litigation.

In closing, I must admit to astonishment as to exactly why this thread has gone on for as long as it has, in the General Discussion forum. It is only tangentially related to guns and more related to the 2A as a civil right and the organizations (NRA and GOA) as protectors of those rights.

Moving to L&CR.
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Old December 30, 2012, 02:47 PM   #65
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Chris W. Cox (the deputy director of the ILA and heir apparent after Wayne LaPierre) has taken charge of the litigation goals of the NRA and, in my own opinion, doesn't know what the hell he is doing. As a lobbyist, he is good. Very, very good. As a litigator, quite simply, he sucks. He has no concept of civil rights litigation and what that entails. The attorneys at his disposal are very good litigators, if somewhat inexperienced in civil rights litigation. However, Mr. Cox will not let them do their job. His ego will not allow for anything less than full involvement with the cases (with the exception of some CA cases).
I agree with most of this. The NRA-ILA is an excellent lobbying organization, but they're mediocre at best when it comes to litigation. To be fair, however, it was the NRA rather than the SAF that argued for incorporation under the Due Process clause rather than the Privleages and Immunities clause in McDonald. As we know, SCOTUS went with the former rather than the latter though they may have done that anyway even had the NRA not been involved.

That being said, I support the ILA for their lobbying expertise rather than their litigation expertise. The way I see it, the NRA-ILA is our first line of defense against new gun control as they're best when fighting legislatively. The SAF, to which I also belong and support, is the second line of defense should the ILA fail because they're quite adept at fighting with litigation. I would be tickled pink if the NRA would form a separate branch, independant of Cox, for litigation.
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Old December 30, 2012, 03:09 PM   #66
Al Norris
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Originally Posted by Webleymkv
To be fair, however, it was the NRA rather than the SAF that argued for incorporation under the Due Process clause rather than the Privleages and Immunities clause in McDonald.
An ongoing argument in which both sides have merit. I would only point out that until Justice Thomas weighed in, the tally was 4 against and 4 for incorporation. Thomas agreed with the outcome (which made it a 5-4 decision), but not the process. This alone leaves open the question of the P&I clause.

Regardless, I too would be happy with a separate NRA Litigation branch, with no involvement by Cox.
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Old December 31, 2012, 09:43 AM   #67
Bartholomew Roberts
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In order to have a healthy Second Amendment culture, you need a place where that culture can safely grow and welcome newcomers - places to shoot and established ways to deal with safety. This is the foundation on which everything else rests.

The NRA has done THAT job so well that everyone forgets that they are basically the only RKBA organization doing that job. For that reason alone, the NRA would be at the top of my list for national organizations when it comes to supporting RKBA.

My personal priorities list goes like this:

1. State organization - all politics is local. If gun grabbers don't get elected to city council they don't move up the ladder to Senator. Get involved at the local level first.

2. NRA - you are shoring up the foundation mentioned above and building the basis for your political action

3. SAF - SAF is a great group who knows how to do a lot with a little and is willing to work with other RKBA organizations and even let them take a lion's share of the credit in order to get results. If you want to support pro-2A litigation, this is THE go-to group

4. NRA-ILA, NRA-PVF, GOA - these are the groups that lobby Congress and help get friendly Congressmen re-elected. Each has their own strong points; but the thing to remember is that the larger group you try to organize, the more you must compromise to accommodate everyone. A "no-compromise" group is going to be small and in a fight where votes matter, that can sometimes be a liability. Likewise a large group of all kinds of shooters may not be as focused or responsive as a smaller organization.

5. NRA Civil Defense Fund - not really great at strategic constitutional litigation like SAF; but when someone is trying to shut down your local range on a noise complaint or prosecute a legitimate self-defense shooting, these are the guys who answer the call.
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