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More Ineffectiveness from NRA

Those weak and defeated Lairds of Fairfax, who refuse to fight the good fight, and who are afraid of their own shadows, sure seem to have the leadership on Capitol Hill worried.

Democrats may be running the House, but the National Rifle Association (NRA) can still stop a bill in its tracks.

House Democratic leaders on Tuesday pulled legislation from the floor that seemingly had nothing to do with guns because the NRA disliked it.

The bill in question would give the District of Columbia a voting member of Congress. The gun-rights lobby prefers a Senate version, which includes language amending the District’s gun policies, and some suggest the NRA could make life difficult for conservative Democrats if that language is not included in the House version.

Pelosi was all set up to pass a clean bill, and NRA threatened to make accepting the Senate version in the house a “key vote” meaning that politicians will be graded on the vote.  That was enough to get her to pull the bill.

“The D.C. vote bill needs to pass,” said Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), a Blue Dog gun-rights supporter who sits on the House Rules Committee. “I would have concerns about any group who would tell us how to run our House.”

The NRA’s clout was evident last week when the amendment — removing D.C.’s ban on semiautomatic weapons, its registration requirement and trigger-lock rule — was adopted by the Senate, 62-36.

What Mr. Cardoza and his “blue dog” buddies need to understand is that it does no good if you just tell us you’re pro-Second Amendment, and answer your questionnaire well during election season.  At some point will come the time to vote.  Now is the time.  Look at blue dogs like Jason Altmire, who are actively out there fighting the leadership on this issue:

“They want to be like the rest of America. One of the things Americans do is pay attention to Supreme Court rulings,” said Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), a member of the House Second Amendment Task Force.

That’s what earns you those A grades.  The time to start dividing friend from foe is now.  Are you blue dog Dems friends of us?  Or friends of Pelosi and Hoyer?  Time to choose.

19 Responses to “More Ineffectiveness from NRA”

  1. Yosemite Sam says:

    “I would have concerns about any group who would tell us how to run our House.”

    I guess I’m old fashioned. I thought it was the people’s House.

  2. Skullz says:

    I still get a bit queasy when anyone supports an unconstitutional bill – which this one is.

    I get the political side, but I don’t have to like it.

    I also don’t have to like the fact that the NRA “might” have been considering this a key vote, especially when it only affects a non- state.

    I have no facts or figures, but I’d bet the NRA doesn’t have much of a membership base in DC. So, the question becomes, why make THIS issue a key vote and avoid the larger, more important, potentially damaging issues – like Holder?

  3. Tom says:

    NRA threatened to make accepting the Senate version in the house a “key vote” meaning that politicians will be graded on the vote. That was enough to get her to pull the bill.

    Well now, I thought that kind of thing was ummm, you know, expending too much political something or other.

  4. Sebastian says:

    The D.C. Voting Rights Act is going to pass no matter what. The leadership is committed to passing it, and Obama is committed to signing it. It’s a key part of the Democratic agenda. The choice really wasn’t between it passing or not passing, but between it passing with pro-Second Amendment language in it or not.

    I am no fan of giving DC representation, and I agree it’s constitutional, but the only way to get pro-gun legislation passed in this environment is to tack it onto something the Democrats have to pass.

    You’re right about there not being a lot of NRA members in DC, but it’s entirely a strategic move to separate friend from foe, and also to make sure Obama knows we’re still out here. It’s also a strategic move in that we don’t have to worry about an expensive and drawn out court fight with the DC government.

    A lot of people wanted to make this stand over Holder, which for a lot of reasons I thought was a bad idea. It’s not so much that the viewpoint was unreasonable, but this is much better ground to fight on than a confirmation vote.

  5. mac says:

    The perspective I got on this was that the change to the District’s gun policies put into the Senate version was a poison pill. The proponents of the unconstitutional grant of a vote for DC don’t want to loosen the city’s gun restrictions. Pelosi, et al want to avoid any direct run for/against gun restrictions. They know is a political third rail these days. The NRA was used to kill the bill before it got going.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Well now, I thought that kind of thing was ummm, you know, expending too much political something or other.

    It was over Holder. It’s not over this, though this move does have risks. The reason this move is a wise one and Holder wasn’t is because there’s actually a chance they can prevail against Pelosi on this. Even if they don’t, we get a good idea of who our friends are and aren’t, and we get to do this on an offensive bill rather than knowing who your friends aren’t because they just passed new gun control.

    But there is a risk Pelosi will win, and if she does, there could be consequences for that. But it’s not certain. The outcome in Holder was certain pretty much from the get go. When you know Orin Hatch and Sessions are voting yes, that doesn’t bode well for outcomes.

  7. Sebastian says:

    The perspective I got on this was that the change to the District’s gun policies put into the Senate version was a poison pill. The proponents of the unconstitutional grant of a vote for DC don’t want to loosen the city’s gun restrictions. Pelosi, et al want to avoid any direct run for/against gun restrictions. They know is a political third rail these days. The NRA was used to kill the bill before it got going.

    If it ended up being the case, I doubt there would be a lot of Republicans who would complain, but I don’t think that’s the case. But this bill is going to pass with or without the amendment.

  8. Allen says:

    I actually sent the NRA-ILA a very heated email asking them to explain themselves for urging members to support this bill, especially with the questionable (to say the least) constitutionality of S. 160 and the obvious first amendment implications from Dick Durbin’s amendment.

    I don’t expect a response, but I’ll let you know if I do receive a response.

    Personally, I’m not very impressed with the NRA’s sporadic constitutionality.

    Does that mean that Republicans the voted against the bill because they felt it was unconstitutional will get a lower rating?

  9. I am a member of the NRA. Yep, I often wonder about the political side of the NRA. They seldom take a stand and waffle away rights dealing with gun control. All of us are not hunters or even remotely interested in hunting. The deer or rabbits are not attacking us just the gangbangers!

  10. Sebastian says:

    I actually sent the NRA-ILA a very heated email asking them to explain themselves for urging members to support this bill, especially with the questionable (to say the least) constitutionality of S. 160 and the obvious first amendment implications from Dick Durbin’s amendment.

    NRA is a gun rights group. The promote the Second Amendment. That’s pretty much their sole focus. This bill is passing. You have a choice between it passing with a pro-gun amendment on it, or passing without one.

  11. Sebastian says:

    I am a member of the NRA. Yep, I often wonder about the political side of the NRA. They seldom take a stand and waffle away rights dealing with gun control. All of us are not hunters or even remotely interested in hunting.

    I’m not a hunter either. But can you give examples of things that have created your perception in this regard? Because I generally think they do a pretty good job for us.

  12. Carl in Chicago says:

    NRA is a gun rights group. The promote the Second Amendment. That’s pretty much their sole focus. This bill is passing. You have a choice between it passing with a pro-gun amendment on it, or passing without one.

    Completely agreed. I strongly commend second amendment congressmen and women who support the gun rights restoration amendment.

    Right to arms amendment or not, that voting representation bill is going to pass, and right to arms amendment or not, there WILL be a lawsuit challenging the voting reprsentation on constitutional grounds.

    I for one STRONGLY support representation by DC residents. But only if it comes about constitutionally … they either become residents of a bordering state such as Maryland, or the constitution is amendmended. But Congress shall NOT simply end-run around the law of the land by simply voting to “grant” them representation. It’s flatly unconstitutional.

  13. Robert says:

    The bill itself may be unconstitutional and will likely be tossed. There is absolutely no evidence that the amendments attached to the bill will be, however. Which means by supporting this, we can get the 2nd amendment restored to DC and let the supreme court go about pruning all the rest of the unconstitutional bits out of it. It’s damn near a win-win (so long as the supremes rule correctly, anyway).

  14. Sebastian says:

    I agree Robert. Of course, everyone thought the same thing about the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act, and the Supreme Court screwed us on it by ruling in favor of the law. There’s less constitutional wiggle room for this one, but then again, there wasn’t much for BCFRA either.

  15. Allen says:

    NRA is a gun rights group. The promote the Second Amendment. That’s pretty much their sole focus. This bill is passing. You have a choice between it passing with a pro-gun amendment on it, or passing without one.

    Perhaps, I just expect too much from them. I expect them to be for the 2nd Amendment, but for the Constitution first.

  16. Sebastian says:

    I doubt the folks at NRA are too enthused about giving DC another anti-gun vote in the Congress, but as an organization they stay pretty singularly focused. I think National Concealed Carry is unconstitutional too, but NRA supports it. I think the parking lots bills are an affront to freedom of association, but NRA supports them.

    NRA has to look out for their issue. Not everyone who’s a member buys into the whole conservative agenda. It helps the gun issue tremendously if there broad buy in from across the political spectrum. In order to deliver that, NRA has to not concern itself with other issues which tend to divide people. In short, as an organization, they don’t have the luxury of the same breadth of opinion that you or I do, otherwise they’d be jeopardizing their mission.

  17. DCHere says:

    You didn’t note that Utah will also get a vote, so it will be a wash on future gun legislation.

    I live in DC, and if I can representation AND reasonable gun laws in one fell swoop, well, it would be like Christmas.

  18. Arnie says:

    Gentlemen, I fear to disparage your efforts at attaining a tactical win-win through this clearly unconstitutional legislation. I understand that the guy who brings the bat and ball gets to make the rules for the game. But why even play their game? Please consider the ramifications: you are supporting the willful violation of the Constitution. You are compromising your most precious principle. Worst of all, you are forfeiting the greatest legal argument we have against all national gun laws: the requirement for constitutionality (with respect to the 2nd, 9th, and 10th Amendments). Once you say its ok to pass an unconstitutional law because it has some constitutional provisions you like, you lose all credibilty in any future attempt to resist gun control on the grounds it violates the Constitution, because YOU just violated it! The Second Amendment will have lost its authority because YOU emasculated the Constitution’s authority! If you are going to play their game by their rules, then you forfeit your right to appeal to your own. As for me, I choose to play a better game, the Constitution’s game, by the Constitution’s rules: I just bought another militia rifle – that’s how the Founding Fathers defended THEIR unalienable rights! And that is why they gave US the 2nd Amendment. I wish you success – but I am not counting on it; I am counting on God and my guns. “An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!” – Patrick Henry

  19. Sebastian says:

    Arnie,

    Not enough people are so dissatisfied with their government that they are willing to overthrow it, and even if they were they could just elect another one they prefer. Your appeals to principle are admirable, but unfortunately they shouting principles is pissing in the wind when it comes to politics.

    You have to play the political game. Revolution would destroy everything. Our founders were exceptionally lucky things turned out the way they did. There may be a time when what’s left isn’t worth saving, but I do not think we are there yet.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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