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Old January 14, 2009, 01:17 PM   #12
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 6,850
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 He was right alongisde Harold Volkmer for the 1986 FOPA - a piece of legislation that repealed more federal firearms laws in one single bill then have been repealed in the 22 year period after that by litigation and legislation combined.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.

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.

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.

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.

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; January 14, 2009 at 01:28 PM.
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