Looks like the other Sebastian had lunch with one of the “Lairds of Fairfax” as they are being called in some circles, and discovers he’s concerned about infighting:
He stressed that infighting between various RKBA groups was way more dangerous to the 2A than the Bradys could ever be; the Tripwire effect (pernicious infighting and putting self-aggrandizement in front of political success has the potential to be our achilles heel).
I think he’s right, but I’m not sure that problem can really be fixed. There will be disagreements as to tactics, no matter what you do, and you can’t expect everyone to agree with you all the time. There will be disagreement. That much I can accept. But the nature of the disagreements often goes beyond polite and civil differences of opinion and into a nasty disposition toward others on the same side that is appalling.
I’ve expressed in many posts my disagreement with NRA on their pushing the workplace parking lot carry bills in various states, argued it’s a contraction of freedom, and is diverting resources from other, more important matters. What I won’t do, is repeatedly criticize NRA leadership and staffers because they have a different point of view than I do. Since I’ve started blogging, and getting more involved, I’ve met a lot of people who work in Fairfax, and know a few board members, some of them fairly well. I’ve had a few conversations with Chris Cox, and have talked briefly with Wayne LaPierre. I have never had any cause to question their dedication to preserving the Second Amendment. Most of the staff are getting paid far less than they would in a for-profit operation for doing the same job, and for the board members, they don’t get paid anything for having to give up nearly a month out of the year to tend to NRA functions.
NRA is far from perfect, and there are many problems with the Association which I think hurt their effectiveness. Like any organization, there are going to be some people who have issues, and who don’t always act in the best interests of the Association or the movement. But you have two choices in dealing with that, you can either throw stones through the windows from the outside, or you can engage NRA like the civic organization it actually is, and try to fix the problems you see as an engaged member. The former is easy, but the latter is difficult, and requires an understanding that you are one voice of many, and one point of view of many. It also involves helping NRA carry out its mission, sometimes even on things you might not privately agree with.
No pro-gun organization or its leadership should be absolutely above criticism. I’ve certainly had my share of criticism for GOA and Larry Pratt, especially when I see them publicly attacking other gun rights organizations, or people in the movement doing good work. But I don’t doubt that Larry Pratt cares about the Second Amendment, and charts his course based on that conviction. I agree with John Sigler that we ought not to form a circular firing squad. You will not often see NRA criticizing other pro-gun groups publicly. This is by design, and not by accident. We can argue about tactics, strategy, and the merits and problems with this bill or that bill until we’re blue in the face, but we should have an awful prejudice against questioning other people’s integrity or motivations. It’ll happen sometimes — we’re all human, and passionate about the issue — but that should be an exception, and not a rule.