Patterico's Pontifications


The NRA Cuts a Deal

Filed under: Second Amendment — DRJ @ 6:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Owen at Boots and Sabers likes the NRA’s training and education programs but isn’t impressed with its politics:

“I am not a member of the NRA. While I am a strong advocate for our 2nd Amendment rights, I have always been a bit skittish with the NRA. As a large, powerful lobbying organization, they are susceptible to corruption and acting to maintain their own power despite their stated principles.

Case in point:

Just as opposition was building in the House to the unconstitutional and burdensome DISCLOSE Act, which is intended to help Democrats in the November election by stifling the political speech of corporations and many non-profit advocacy organizations (but not unions), the NRA has apparently sold out.

Politico and others are reporting that the NRA has reached a deal to withdraw its opposition to the bill in exchange for an exemption for the NRA from its disclosure provisions. “

Maybe it was going to pass anyway and the NRA wanted to shield itself from adverse consequences. Then again, some say the “NRA’s support has been deemed necessary to pass the bill.”


MORE: Thanks to jdm in the comments for a link to this rebuttal, a sentiment echoed by other NRA commenters.

21 Responses to “The NRA Cuts a Deal”

  1. I won’t say I disagree with the comments above or any other of the complaints I’ve seen today, but I do think this is a fair rebuttal.

    And the comments are a good back & forth as well. I also look forward to the next American Rifleman (Life Member) for an explanantion.

    jdm (05b268)

  2. The NRA may be more concerned with 2nd Amendment than the First, but I bet a big majority of their members see them as selling out by taking the bribe. What happens when all the other small organizations are gone because this new disclosure is too onerous and they come after the NRA?

    This is the reverse of what Congress usually does such as exempting a small restaurant from the same rules as McDonalds. Something doesn’t smell right and I would hope the NRA’s offices stink until they come to their senses.

    MU789 (6910eb)

  3. Disclosure: I am a Life Member of the NRA.

    Though I have many issues with the current leadership of the NRA, it is first and foremost, a member organization whose only concern is the protection of the “keep and bear arms” provision of the 2nd-Amendment. It is the largest civil-rights organization in the country at 4+million dues-paying members. It is not a mouth-piece for the firearms industry – that is handled by the National Shooting Sports Federation (NSSF). Its’ sole interest is to represent gun-owners.

    Now, if they made a deal – more power to them. They certainly have shown that they have the clout that matters: At the ballot box.
    And, then again, it could be a ploy to send Van Hollen’s little bill down into the dustbin of history, by making it toxic to all of the Goo-Goo’s and Leftists (Yeah, I’m repeating myself), which would serve almost everyone’s interest.
    Then again, to have a carve-out this large might make the law easier to challenge in the courts as stepping outside the provisions of the Equal Protection Clause.

    AD - RtR/OS! (728434)

  4. I am also a life member and can’t argue with the comments defending the NRA. They have one issue. I have spent years in the commission on legislation of the CMA. The single issue lobbies are very effective because they can say to a corrupt pol, “We want this one thing. Just give us this and we will be satisfied.” The CMA was always defending all these complex issues that had many facets, just as the AMA used to do. We lost a lot of fights with single issue lobbies. Now, of course, the AMA has sold out members to enrich the board of trustees.

    The reason why Charleton Heston was recruited to run for president of the NRA was a similar clique of self interested folks who tried to take over the NRA back in the 70s. They had all sorts of issues that had nothing to do with guns and shooting sports. The Sierra Club was once interested only in hiking and mountain climbing. I was a member then. That was a long time ago.

    Mike K (82f374)

  5. This is one of the stranger things I think that the NRA has done (well, of those that I know of!) I’ve been a member, off and on, over the years (currently off); there seem to be a couple of factions there who pursue strange alliances. I think of them as the save the cherry stocked drilling crowd, the save the evil black rifle crowd, the anger the liberals crowd, the how many commas in the Second crowd, … I don’t know.

    htom (412a17)

  6. Thanks for the comments, and I added jdm’s link to the post.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  7. The single issue lobbies are very effective because they can say to a corrupt pol, “We want this one thing. Just give us this and we will be satisfied.”

    Mike K: Yep. That’s the long and short of it. And the NRA might be the most effective lobbying group on the Hill.

    They have a good sense of when to attach their star to the rest of the conservative wagon and when to go it alone on behalf of their members and gun-rights. In the end, they’re going to choose gun-rights. And that’s their mission.

    Corporations have plenty of money to try to defeat the DISCLOSE act. That is not the NRA’s problem.

    House Democrats are saying organizations like the AARP and Humane Society would also be exempt.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  8. Unions and think tanks and charitable foundations will likely be exempt too. Some disclosures will be more important than others.

    JD (4b684a)

  9. Myroon making sense
    dogs cats living together?
    end times or full moon?

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  10. JD: Unions are not supposed to be exempted. Don’t know about think tanks.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  11. As it stands, it looks like unions are included. But, we will have to see if it plays out that way.

    Congress shall make no law is something that is so routinely ignored that they might as well erase it from the Constitution.

    JD (4b684a)

  12. NRA committed the first political sin, never trust a politician’s promises.

    What can be written into a bill can be erased with another bill. Their sell out will be very expensive to us and to the NRA in the long run.


    JD (9ac83d)

  13. The NRA is an organization.

    The left targets organizations, and does so very well. Moles. The long march through the institutions.

    The NRA is or may soon be a leftist tool.

    Eternal vigilance, and you lot have not been watching.

    Fred Z (c1782b)

  14. I gave up on the NRA years ago. It devolved into an organization that uses membership money to print up fancy four-color mailings that are used to… ask for more money.

    the friendly grizzly (42687b)

  15. The R does not stand for Republican.

    nk (db4a41)

  16. They’re not single-issue organizations — they’re First Anmendment organizations. Peacefully assembling and making their voices heard.

    nk (db4a41)

  17. The National Rifle Association’s statement on this matter can be found here:

    AD - RtR/OS! (eef339)

  18. Before Hitler dissolved German Parliament, he got support for passing controversial legislation from corporations by bribing them with special breaks inserted in legislation that economically injured their competitors that produced similar products. Bribed corporations were so greedy, they didn’t realize Hitler was undermining the collective power of the corporations, turning the corporations against each other so they could not oppose Hitler’s policies. Subsequently the corporations standing separately and no longer together, Hitler was able to strong-arm, control and shutdown corporations he gave breaks to earlier.

    Will the Second Amendment come to an end in similar fashion?

    Ross Wolf (76daef)

  19. A further statement from the NRA on this matter….

    AD - RtR/OS! (76c972)

  20. A commentor over at the WSJ-Online, in remarking on Kim Strassel’s column on this subject, noted that Pelosi has pulled the bill from consideration due to the outrage on the Left over the provision that was to be inserted protecting the NRA.
    Checkers v. Chess?
    Far be it from me to say: ITYS!

    AD - RtR/OS! (3b92f0)

  21. This post appears to get a large ammount of visitors. How do you advertise it? It gives a nice individual spin on things. I guess having something useful or substantial to post about is the most important factor.

    Graham Demeglio (1e5038)

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