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Not Buying It

Since Parker, I’ve heard an idea floating around, that I’ve heard before, but Parker is prompting me to blog about it: that the NRA doesn’t really want to see the Supreme Court rule that the Second Amendment is an individual right because it would dry up their funding source.  I don’t buy this line of thinking for a lot of reasons, and I think the NRA’s reluctance to use the courts can be alternately explained.

For one, the NRA’s political lobbying wing is a separately funded branch called ILA.   The NRA membership dues do not go toward political lobbying, they go toward traditional NRA functions which center around supporting the shooting community through education, competition, and publications.  If gun control were put to bed once and for all as a political issue, the NRA would continue to operate these functions, as it has for most of its history.  I would still continue to be a member, and I’m sure a lot of other folks would too.

Another reason I’m not buying it is because an individual rights ruling isn’t going to put the issue to bed by a long shot.  There will be many many fights ahead, because even with a strong, very broadly recognized right to keep and bear arms, there are still a lot of ways to complicate our lives that would probably pass constitutional muster.  How many people do you think, for instance, would continue to own guns if they were required to muster for two weeks in the summer time for militia duty?  I have my doubts that registration would be considered to be unconstitutional.   In fact, you could probably use a militia powers justification for it at the national level.

The reason the NRA is reluctant to engage the courts is because doing so carries a lot of risk.  While I like the Parker case a lot, and am optimistic we’re going to get a favorable ruling out of it, it’s still a huge gamble.  If we’re wrong, the second amendment is effectively read out of the constitution, and things could get very ugly for us after that.   I can’t honestly say I blame the NRA, especially given that they’ve been pretty successful at conventional political lobbying, for viewing the courts as the least predictable and most hazardous path of redress.  I’m not sure I really disagree with them.

5 Responses to “Not Buying It”

  1. GeorgeH says:

    If the Supremes find that the 2nd amendment is for the militia, it would be interesting to see even one state pass a Militia Act requiring every able bodied person to keep a uniform, M-4 and ammo in their home in readiness to be called up.

    That would probably make all Federal Gun Control Laws an undue burden and unconstitutional.

  2. Old Blind Dog says:

    The NRA ABSOLUTELY does not want a ruling because they would lose their reason for existence. This has been a known fact to anyone with two brain cells to rub together for at least the last 30 years! ditto for HCI (or Brady or whatever they call themselves now).

  3. Sebastian says:

    Dude, the political stuff is ancillary to NRA’s primary purpose for existing, which traditionally has to do with promoting marksmanship and shooting, rather than politics. The NRA was relatively uninvolved in politics until the 60e. HCI has a lot more to lose than the NRA does, if the issue is put to bed.

  4. straightarrow says:

    Explain why they worked so hard to derail Parker v. DC.

    NRA would still have legitimate reasons for existence, if the courts ruled expressly that RKBA is individual and unalienable, and unregulable. They wouldn’t have the clout they now do, nor the justification for hysteria induced pleas for “more money”.

    Sorry, they betrayed me. I won’t pay for betrayal. I know people that will do it for nothing. I dropped my membership. I cannot foresee taking it up again. They had no business writing infringements on the 2nd Amendment and/or lobbying for them.

    The greatest profit margin is in the problem, not the solution. See comment above about their efforts regarding Parker.

    LaPierre and Sarah Brady are two peas in a pod. They found they like a seat at the table more than they like truth, honor, or loyalty to ideals and principles. They will willingly sacrifice all who threaten that seat with a solution.

    Check on the reining in of the newly elected president of the NRA, when she made statements supporting unfettered RKBA.

  5. Sebastian says:

    They tried to derail Parker because of the view that the courts were too risky, as I mentioned. But they tried to derail it by using the legislative process to eliminate standing for the Parker plaintiffs by repealing the DC gun ban through an Act of Congress. This wasn’t out of a desire by the NRA to not receive a positive outcome, but because the NRA was very worried they’d get a negative one at the Supreme Court.

    I think the NRA is wrong here, but I very much understand and sympathize with their position. They are being cautious. Parker is probably the best case we can hope for, and I think that the people behind it are correct when they say the Supreme Court will hear a case on this soon, one way or another, and that we might as well make sure the case they hear is a good one. But I do agree with the NRA about caution, I just think they are being overly so in this case.

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