Patterico's Pontifications


The NRA Responds (Updated)

Filed under: Second Amendment — DRJ @ 7:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A few days ago, I posted on a special exemption to the DISCLOSE Act for the NRA. Friend and commenter AD – RtR/OS! sent me a link to the NRA’s response. Here is the main point of the response:

“There are those who say the NRA should put the Second Amendment at risk over a First Amendment principle. That’s easy to say—unless you have a sworn duty to protect the Second Amendment above all else, as we do.

The NRA is a non-partisan, single-issue organization made up of millions of individual members dedicated to the protection of the Second Amendment. We do not represent the interests of other organizations. That’s their responsibility. Our responsibility is to protect and defend the interests of our members. And that we do without apology.”

Ironically, the NRA says the fate of the bill is in doubt because of the NRA exemption:

“Today, the fate of the bill remains in doubt. The House floor debate has repeatedly been postponed. Lawmakers and outside groups who once supported the bill, or took no position—including the Brady Campaign—have now come out against it because of the announcement regarding NRA. The outcome in the Senate is even murkier, as anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has announced her strong opposition to the proposed change.”



UPDATE: AD sends a link to a good discussion here.

26 Responses to “The NRA Responds (Updated)”

  1. If the NRA is so bravely standing up for the 2nd amendment, why shouldn’t they be happy to put their name on their advertisements???

    JEA (de5a9f)

  2. I speculated before, and thoroughly believe that the NRA was playing chess, and the Goo-Goos trying to shut down political speech were playing checkers.

    JEA…Which advertisements?

    AD - RtR/OS! (3b92f0)

  3. The problem is that the NRA looks like it is getting in bed with people (Pelosi etc.)that oppose their agenda and saying FU to other non-profits.

    It’s one thing to endorse Democrats they know will make their first vote putting Pelosi in the Speaker’s chair. It’s another to tell less powerful non-profits we’ve got ours so tough noogies.

    If the NRA knew all along the bill would be pulled because of their exemption they should have just killed it in the crib instead of looking like just another rent seeker in D.C.

    MU789 (2db1e4)

  4. if they publicized their strategy, it never would have w*rked, and they, like everyone else, would be standing on the outside looking in as the Pelosi cabal pushed this giant turd through the alimentary canal that is Congress.

    face it: the NRA outplayed all of you, and you bit on the hook of the anti-NRA trolls….

    they have seriously poisoned the well on this, and taken what was likely an easy to pass bill and turned it into a nasty fight between the various left wing factions that now do not trust each other.

    i score that as a 10X.

    redc1c4, Life Member (fb8750)

  5. I don’t buy their argument. They’re of course a very important voice in the fight to protect the 2nd Amendment, but hardly the ONLY one. This bill would limit the ability of just about every other 2nd Amendment-protecting group to effectively petition the government for a redress of grievances. Standing firm to protect the First Amendment is an essential component of protecting the 2nd Amendment. It’s not a matter of picking one over the other. The DISCLOSE Act, even with the NRA exemption, would hinder the efforts to protect the 2nd Amendment. Acquiescing served only the private institutional interests of the NRA itself, not the fight for the 2nd Amendment.

    PatHMV (c34b06)

  6. I’m with red on this. It seems that the very exemption of the NRA was enough to render this bill toxic. Well played NRA, well played.

    Gazzer (d79016)

  7. the NRA didn’t acquiesce, they were approached by the OPFOR who were, rightfully, afraid of their opposition to the bill.

    they negotiated a deal that left them free to continue their mission in the future, which is what one would expect, but the present result is that the very people who wanted the bill originally now don’t want the bill because the NRA now is protected by and supports it.

    that means that the primary sponsors are stuck in a hole: they can either honor their deal, which leaves the NRA free to savage them every election cycle, and has the rest of the opposition in full bray, while they get ripped by the far left of their own coalition, or they can renege on the deal and have everyone pissed at them; the right for reneging and the left for having offered it in the first place.

    the only other thing left to do is table the bill and hope this all dies down, which it won’t. chances are this is dead this session. even if they go there again, its now toxic and polarized.

    redc1c4, Life Member (fb8750)

  8. That is an interesting take, red. NRA lobbied to get themselves inserted into the bill, thus causing themselves to be a poison pill and killing the bill (which would have quickly gone to the courts for it’s anti-first amendment status if it passed). It is quite possible many in the NRA leadership were gambling something of this sort would happen. I gotta do a write-up.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  9. Yeah, the NRA always stands up for gun owners’ rights. Except for the exceptions.

    Except in 1934 (GCA 1934, passed with NRA support), 1968 (GCA 68 and Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, both passed with NRA support), 1986 (MG production ban, passed with NRA support), 1989 (Bush stroke-of-the-pen military import, unresisted by NRA), 1992 (initial anti-gun Clinton executive orders, NRA AWOL), 1993 (Brady Bill, NRA support), 1994 (assault weapon ban, NRA AWOL), 1996 (Lautenberg Amendment, NRA support), 1998 (more executive orders including one trying to put most gun dealers out of business, NRA asleep at the switch), 2000 (S&W deal, NRA support), 2002 (McCain-Feingold, NRA lukewarm support, and they later endorsed McCain who’s indistinguishable from Schumer on 2A issues) and I’m sure I’m missing a few between then and their sudden enthusiasm for a DISCLOSE act with an NRA carve-out in 2010.

    Yeah, what a rock you have in the NRA. I haven’t even mentioned how the NRA fought against Heller and for the DC gun ban, until it was clear Alan Gura had a victory despite them — when they started telling their members it was all their own doing.

    The NRA has an agency problem from hell. People join it to protect their gun rights, but the last thing the NRA wants is a solid, final victory. NRA’s fundraising depends on gun rights being in perpetual jeopardy. To stay in that sweet spot they have to throw their members under the bus. Repeatedly.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (f32514)

  10. How come paragraphs don’t work in my posts? Do I not live right or something?

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (f32514)

  11. I posted my article tied to this here, here, and here.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  12. Kevin, the “posted by you” thing won’t show formatting (temporary bug) but a refresh will.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  13. A good friend of mine was a life member of the NRA (he passed away about 10 years ago) and attended the annual meetings and the SHOT show regularly. His take was that the NRA (as well as HCA and the other gun control groups) never wanted to see a solid 2nd amendment decision because that would kill a lot of fundraising.

    Jerry Pournelle calls this the Iron Law: any organization will let its (original or stated) purpose atrophy in favor of sustaining or enhancing the organization. I suspect the Iron Law had a lot to do with the NRA’s position; poison pill was gravy, assuming it worked.

    I’m not sure of the long term effect of this on the NRA. At the time my friend’s observation, there wasn’t much competition for the NRA.

    Red County Pete (de3441)

  14. I disagree. The NRA’s mission changed to more political in the ’80s from the pressure for gun control. But before that, when you could buy a gun through the mail, and in many places just drop it in your pocket and walk around with it, they were still a very robust organization. Educating young people about guns and shooting, even selling gun-related insurance to shooters.

    nk (db4a41)

  15. You can still get insurance for your gun-collection through the NRA.
    And, education of gun owners and users is an ongoing mission of the organization – and it’s not just about educating young people.

    AD - RtR/OS! (4ae013)

  16. I not agree but
    defend to JEA death
    his right to say it

    ColonelHaiku (2ce3dc)

  17. And even if they do agree in the end, these exemptions will poison the law in the courts. Why the NRA and not some other demonized organization like, say, the ACLU?

    What a lovely wedge.

    Kevin Murphyr (5ae73e)

  18. I updated the post.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  19. If you are any political group with an agenda, why shouldn’t you be required to put your name on an ad upfront, instead of obfuscating behind some vague pseudonym? Isn’t that the American way?

    Say whatever the hell you want but own up to your position by telling people who the hell you are. This isn’t a liberal/conservative issue. It’s a moral one.

    JEA (b8056e)

  20. Kevin O’Brien, like the typical NRA-basher you are full of crap. The NRA never supported DC’s handgun ban, for chrissakes. They were initially cool to the Heller challenge, sure, but that’s because they weren’t sure they had the votes on teh Supreme Court to win, and the effects of a loss on that issue woudl have been devastating. We’ll never know if the NRA was right to fear the challenge because, thank God, Justice O’Connor retired in the nick of time – which neither Gura nor the NRA had any way of knowing would happen at the time the suit was originally filed.

    On what planet did the NRA support the Brady Bill, McCain-Feingold, the Lautenberg Amendment, the “assault” weapons ban, and all that other crap they vociferously opposed in the real world, yet mysteriously ignored or even supported in your make-believe one? Then again, maybe I shouldn’t even bother talking sense to someone who thinks Bill Clinton signed executive orders a year before he was inaugurated.

    Xrlq (1cd5bb)

  21. JEA, it’s not about the NRA, or any other organization, not wanting to put its name on its ads. It’s about government forcing them to disclose their member lists. There is nothing un-American about individuals being allowed to join organizations and contribute to them anonymously if they so choose. There is something very un-American about forbidding them to.

    Xrlq (1cd5bb)

  22. i think that gun control should always be imposed at all times to reduce violence.:,;

    Lily Evans (01b06c)

  23. gun control should always be imposed strictly to avoid another Columbine scenario~’*

    Light Fittings ` (0d4ef8)

  24. Gun control is hitting what you’re aiming at!

    So many targets, so little ammo.

    AD-RtR/OS! (3ac795)

  25. i think that gun control should always be implemented at all times to reduce gun related violence*,”

    Water Container : (9430db)

  26. i think that gun control is a must because more guns means more deaths “*;

    Sarah Clark (081b65)

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