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Unhappy Georgians

Both Conservative Scalawag and this guy are unhappy about NRA’s lack of support for Georgia HB 915, which improves Georgia’s carry laws by removing off limits places, and also includes a number of other pro-gun provisions:

Yep, the NRA, in my opinion has completely alienated the Georgia citizens and gun owners. This begs the question, are they even relevant as a pro-2nd Amendment organization any longer, or just another DC lobbyist group with its own interest at heart.

I wouldn’t go that far, but I agree that we should be asking for answers here, and I’m going to try to get one.  This could be a matter of NRA believing that HB 89 is a more important legislative priority for them, which I think would be a mistake, but I also think it would be a mistake to pick up our toys and go home because we disagree on priority, or in my case, whether HB 89 is desirable at all.

If NRA were ignoring fighting an anti-gun bill in favor of pushing HB 89, then I would agree with a high level of outrage, but that’s not the case here.  The fact is, HB 89, which prevents employers from firing employees for having a firearm in their vehicle, is important to a lot of gun owners, and I doubt the folks who support that bill feel like NRA is ignoring their concerns.   We all have to be a little patient here.

As I have said before, I don’t agree with the NRA on pushing the parking lot stuff, but I’m not going to agree with the NRA on a lot of things over the course of years.   Nonetheless, they’ve staked a lot of political capital on this particular issue, so from their perspective, it’s necessary for them to follow through.  Before we get out the torches and pitchforks, let me see if I can find out what’s going on.

23 Responses to “Unhappy Georgians”

  1. I do think its funny, though, that it seems like NRA members are gonna need their own lobbying groups to lobby the NRA to fight for/against law A or law B. Ok, that’s hyperbole.

    I think is, as long as they are fighting the good fight, members need to criticize them a little less. They get plenty of criticism from everyone else anyway. First of all, if you aren’t a member, then don’t criticize. Second, what I’d like to hear from the members who are criticizing them is whether or not they sent in their votes for what their important issues are. The NRA does listen to its members, even though some prayers may go unanswered in the short term.

    As a side note… I do support the whole “gun in car in parking lot” fight. It recently lost here in FL to the all-powerful hand of Disney. The whole “property rights” issue stops at the door of my car. If a company wants to ban guns on their property, that’s fine… but my car isn’t their property, and I have the right to privacy within my car. Frankly, if they want to outlaw guns in cars on their property, that’s fine too, as long as they aren’t allowed to enforce it via searches. Florida law is interesting in that when it comes to self defense, your conveyance was always considered an extension of your house. Of course with the recent addition of the right to “stand your ground anywhere you have the right to be” makes that particular point moot.

  2. Ed Stone says:

    Georgia has more places off limits to carrying a firearm than any state in the nation that permits the carry of firearms, including California. Please see the 10 comparison maps here: http://www.georgiacarry.org/cms/about/prohibited-places/
    HB 915 will change this.

    Can a bill that says you can lock your gun in your glovebox and leave it behind really compare to a bill that repeals criminal laws that punish peaceable Georgians for carrying a firearm in the wrong place? As but one example, possessing a firearm in Georgia in the parking lots of MARTA or the airport (who hasn’t parked there with a firearm in the glovebox?) or even within a reasonable distance from a bus stop is a felony with a penalty of 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine, even if you have a license. Did you know the NRA bill will not touch this “parking lots” law? If the NRA bill passes, this will still be a felony, just like before.

    So, what is the reason for the NRA so far refusing to support HB 915? As an NRA member, frankly, I am shocked and baffled. No reason has been given publicly. The Senate in Georgia has decided for some silly reason that it will pass only one gun bill, and the NRA is bound and determined that it will be a bill affecting a few private parking lots, not the repeal of criminal laws that affect peaceable Georgians.

    This is a shame, because the language of the bill is blatantly stolen from states where the NRA pushed for the passage of laws, including even the preservation of existing private property rights (taken directly from Colorado law). So, in a way, you could say that the NRA had a hand in drafting the bill.

    I still hold out hope that the NRA will shift its priorities as the last minute, urging its support of HB 915 in Georgia over the parking lots bill. Maybe I am too much of an optimist?

  3. Chad Slater says:

    HB 915 is by far more important to me than HB89.

    Under the present law, if my employer bans firearms in my vehicle, and my vehicle is searched, I lose my job. Under the present law, if I walk “a reasonable distance adjacent to” a bus stop, I’ve committed a felony, and I lose my liberty for 10 years or more. Which bill, pray tell, would you think is more important to me? Hint: I walk past at least four bus stops a day.

    As an aside, the NRA deserves every bit of criticism it is getting for this. Does the NRA represent me, or does the NRA represent itself?

  4. Micheal says:

    I was hoping you would pick up this post and appreciate you looking into it for all of us down here. We are very frustrated with the apparent stubbornness of the NRA with concerning to them not supporting HB 915.

  5. One thing to consider though… the NRA prefers to get behind bill (and candidates for that matter) that win. That means if they think HB89 has a better chance of winning, they will be more likely to get behind it. Realize that this is only this year. They’ll go after the other problems too. But they need momentum. They need wins, and positive responses to the wins. I don’t disagree with you that the current law is a bit of a disaster, but I’m positive that it will be dealt with in time. Remember, however, that if the NRA supports a bill and it passes, they will have an easier time going after the legislators who opposed it. They’ll point at them and say “anti gun” and you’d be surprised how many elections that will affect.

    I’m not saying it is necessarily the best approach, but it is an approach. Right now the NRA is on quite a winning streak, so we need to rally behind them with that in mind. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns to them, but don’t badmouth the NRA just because it doesn’t execute your political strategy.

  6. Sebastian says:

    I don’t disagree with folks there that the priority should be to fix concealed carry, but I’m also a gun owner who carries a firearm. We don’t represent a majority of gun owners. The guy that keeps his rifle in the back of his car to go hunting after work, or to head to his club to shoot some trap, or what have you, those folks are far more numerous, and this bill probably means more to them than fixing concealed carry.

    I’m not saying I like that NRA is backing HB 89 over HB 915, but I understand that their priorities and perspective is going to be different than mine. I’m not going to get too bent out of shape when that happens.

  7. Micheal says:

    Sebastian, allow me to ask you this. Which is more important to you, property rights, or gun rights?

    If you can answer either way, then you just might loose one of them. This is the argument as I have heard it from many people. Both are just as important as the other.

    If I run a company and are not forced to allow something to happen that I disagree with, then I loose a Right. Just like the government coming into your home and saying you have to do XYZ, even if you don’t like it. This is what HB 89 does.

    HB 915 does not, if you don’t want me in your business with my gun, then you can ask me to leave and I will. However, it also opens up many other things, like public transportation, places that serve alcohol, and so-forth. I am sure you’ve read it by now and know all of the details.

    This is why a lot of us GCO members are so up in arms, because is appears like the NRA have just dismissed us, like daddy knows best.

  8. Let me know what you find out. The fact that their only response to my queries has been a form-letter really bothers me.

    The plain fact is that the NRA hasn’t been fighting for us; surrender and compromise in the name of politics and fundraising don’t count as “fighting.” They have either stood by or helped along almost every major infringement of our 2nd Amendment rights Congress can think to draft.

    I’m not “picking up my toys and going home” impulsively. In fact, it breaks my heart. But the fact remains that my money has been going to an organization that does not represent its members as it claims. There are other groups that work harder for us and I’ve come to the conclusion that they are the ones we should be supporting.

  9. Sebastian says:

    I just don’t agree with that conclusion. Most of the other groups claim to do a lot but in fact do little, and can accomplish little. If that wasn’t the case, people wouldn’t be pissed at the NRA for not supporting their pet issue.

  10. Sebastian says:

    Sebastian, allow me to ask you this. Which is more important to you, property rights, or gun rights?

    If you can answer either way, then you just might loose one of them. This is the argument as I have heard it from many people. Both are just as important as the other.

    They both are important to me, but NRA isn’t a property rights organization.

  11. Sebastian says:

    I should have done a careful reading of HB 915 before posting about it. It’s pretty obvious now why NRA is not supporting it.

  12. straightarrow says:

    Gregory, I did belong to the NRA. I will criticize them. Their betrayal of me many times says I have a legitimate right to criticize them.

    I am not a rapist, either, but guess what? I criticize them. Try not to say such foolish crap in the future.
    **********************************************************

    I just don’t agree with that conclusion. Most of the other groups claim to do a lot but in fact do little, and can accomplish little. If that wasn’t the case, people wouldn’t be pissed at the NRA for not supporting their pet issue.

    Comment by Sebastian on January 7th, 2008

    Sebastian, has it occurred to you that the NRA may be being thrown a bone here and there from the table to maintain their status as the “800 lb. gorilla” because the powers that be fear non-compromise groups gaining a huge following among 2A advocates far more than they fear a malleable and compliant NRA?

  13. Sebastian says:

    Take a look at GOA’s IRS form 990s, and divide the number on there by their membership fee. It would appear they have about 30,000 members tops. That’s hardly a huge following. SAF has hundreds of thousands. NRA has several million. Even some of our state groups here in PA are bigger than that.

  14. Straightarrow: I never said you are not allowed to criticize the NRA. If all NRA members sat back and stopped questioning them, we would really have a problem. So by all means, criticize.

    The point I wanted to make is that you have to try and understand their political strategy before stomping your feet and saying “I WANT THIS”. We all want less restricted (or unrestricted) right-to-carry, but this isn’t a political game with black and white results. You have to win some of these battles a little bit at a time. Don’t say the NRA isn’t doing anything to help maintain or restore our rights. That would be dishonest. If you feel you have a better plan for how they should proceed, then tell them!

  15. Robb Allen says:

    Sebastian, just for your info, I’ve done a 179° on my stance on this. No property rights are violated by your employer by requesting you not bring an item onto their parking lot. Your rights are not violated by them asking to search your vehicle. As long as you can deny that request without fear of legal action against you, then the contract between you and your employer are voluntary.

    Like you said, you have the right to not work there. Or to ignore their rules and risk termination. We cross a dangerous line when we start requesting that the Government use its threat of force to coerce others into doing what we want them to do.

    Besides, I believe that unless you have a contract with your employer, either one of you can terminate the relationship for no reason whatsoever anyway. So, by not allowing them to search your car, they can fire you because it’s Tuesday and your shoelaces are the wrong shade of brown.

  16. Robb: The problem comes into play when you decide to break that rule for self defense reasons, get caught, and are charged with armed trespassing. I’m not saying it happens, and the law works different ways from one state to the next. I agree that if you sign a contract with your employer giving them the right to search your car, then all bets are off. But these “parking lot laws” are also there to protect the rights of people who are not employees (visitors, customers, etc.)

    I’d rather see a law removes liability from a company whose employee uses a gun in self defense. It is expensive lawsuits which cause companies to forbid guns in the first place. Modern “stand your ground” laws protect the citizen from liability, but not the owner of the property on which the self-defense situation occurred.

  17. Rob K says:

    Robb, where ever you work, they probably have the safety and employee rights posters up. Go look at those and see how many different ways your employer’s private property rights are being violated by the state and federal government. Do you support OSHA regulations or electrical codes?

    I’m just not worked up about protecting the property rights of Megaconglomco Corp. or even Tiny Inc. Since corporations, being legal fictional persons, don’t bear full personal responsibility, they should have decreased property rights. Whose personal property is Disney World? What single individual actually owns that property? Do think Disney wouldn’t kick a Disney stock holder off the property for carrying a gun? We’re generally not talking about someone’s private residence or personal property.

    I, like Gregory, would far prefer a law that removes liability from a property owner/employer for employee actions in terms of self-defense or gun possession. That would remove 100% of legal liability incentive to ban guns from a work place.

  18. straightarrow says:

    Rob Kon and Gregory, fyi in Oklahoma just such a bill was written. It relieved the property owner of liability criminal and civil for the actions of employees who used their weapons on company property.

    The bill extended the right to privacy and personal property of the employee to the employer’s parking lot, even though in all other aspects of the law it is settled law. This was an attempt to provide relief to the employer against frivolous lawsuits just because they did not violate the civil rights of their employees.

    It was a win/win if one believed the C of C protestations of their reasons for their position. It turns out, that it was not the truth.

    Evidence is the massive lobbying effort by the very employers being protected that eventually defeated the bill.

    This is not about property rights, but if it were, the employer is still on the wrong side of the issue.

    Everything has already been said innumerable times and it has not changed the minds of those of you who do not understand the issue, liberty, or rights. I will not repeat it here, but I will say I am saddened by the lack of critical thinking skills evident on the side of “property rights of some violate property and all other rights of others”.

  19. straightarrow says:

    Take a look at GOA’s IRS form 990s, and divide the number on there by their membership fee. It would appear they have about 30,000 members tops. That’s hardly a huge following. SAF has hundreds of thousands. NRA has several million. Even some of our state groups here in PA are bigger than that.

    Comment by Sebastian on January 8th, 2008

    Nothing you said above is inaccurate, but it is disingenuous or just plain non thinking. I honestly don’t know which.

    What do you think the 4 million members of the NRA would do about staying in the fight if they all left the NRA?

    Did it occur to you they would join another less malleable and less compromising organization? Or even establish a new one? They won’t die if they leave the NRA, I doubt they would be less enthusiastic about the second amendment. So what could they do that the politicos fear worse than the comfortable association they have with the NRA? Reread the first two sentences of the paragraph.

    Apparently the people throwing the occassional bone to the NRA,( if that is, in fact happening) have considered it.

    Do you really think that is not a possibility? That such an occurrence could result in just as much membership strength in a less cooperative gun rights lobby. Making incumbency a much riskier proposition. It seems unfathomable that you would think this has not been considered by those in the halls of Congress.

  20. Sebastian says:

    A lot of NRA’s membership are hunters and could care less about a lot of the issues GOA likes to push. NRA throws bones to the hunting crowd because they are an important part of the coalition. Same with the law enforcement division, the people who are members for shooting sports reasons, club requirements, etc. A very large percentage of NRA membership are members because they don’t actually want to be that involved, so they join NRA to represent their interests.

    Most of them would, in fact, not join GOA if NRA were to disappear. Very few of them would. It wouldn’t matter anyway, because if that happened, our gun rights would be gone faster than you’d hear the knock on the door.

  21. straightarrow says:

    Your only two positions seem to be preemptiv surrender or incremental surrender. May I remind you that the operative word is still surrender?

  22. straightarrow says:

    One more thing, do you not think those disinterested NRA members would become interested when they finally realized the danger to themselves?

    I think they would. Protecting them from realizing the consequences of their disinterest does not work for us or them.

  23. Sebastian says:

    Who’s surrendering? Both bills move the ball forward for gun rights.

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