search
top

GOA Fundraising

A reader sends me this passage from a fundraising letter from Gun Owners of America:

And, as to why you should give your support to GOA, rather than the NRA or any other group, let me say that when it comes to defending your gun rights, we have no equal.

Sure, the NRA does some great things.  They sponsor shooting events, they train kids how to shoot safely, they have great trinkets they offer to people to join, and they lobby for gun rights.

But what’s more important?  A nice trinket or your right to keep and bear arms?  We hold the line when others compromise.  We oppose a national gun registry; we oppose trigger locks; we oppose ‘bullet tracing.’  We oppose all things that seek to infringe on your right to defend yourself.

Oh man.  Where to even start.  I guess I can start first with the fact that GOA is seeking to actively undermine other groups in an attempt to feather its own nest.  We call this “eating your own.”  Hamsters do that.  I would have thought gun rights organizations like GOA would be better than hamsters, but apparently that’s too much to ask.

Secondly, NRA is also opposed to all those things that GOA mentions, except that NRA has an extensive lobbying operation that actually has a presence on Capitol Hill and in all fifty state Capitols.  From people I know who work the Hill (no, not NRA people), GOA’s presence in the halls of Congress is pretty much nil.

So what are you getting for the money if you donate to GOA?  A quick look at their form 990 should make that abundantly clear.  Conspicuously absent?  Lobbying.  In fact, postage and shipping appears to be their largest cost center.  That’s not to say what GOA does is entirely worthless, but they aren’t “hold[ing] the line.”  They aren’t lobbying in defense of gun rights anywhere close to the level NRA operates at.

Remember the sources of NRA’s political capital post we did a few months ago.  What are the sources of GOA’s political power?  Based on their form 990, they took in $430,000 in member dues in 2007, which would put their membership around 40,000 at the high end, and perhaps as low as 20,000.  NRA is 4 million.  If you look at GOA’s Political Action Committee, they spent $147,054 dollars in 2008, compared to NRA’s PAC who spent 15.5 million.  Which organization do you think politicians are going to pay attention to?

GOA is right about one thing, they do indeed “have no equal,” and gun owners should consider themselves very fortunate that is the case.  If we had to rely on GOA to defend the Second Amendment, it would be dead letter by now.

16 Responses to “GOA Fundraising”

  1. BillH says:

    That reminds me of the arguments for why we need to vote for John McCain…

    Not looking to pick a fight. Just saying. I can afford to join both. Most of us here probably could as well. THAT would “inform” a few Congressweasels I’d bet.

  2. Caleb says:

    Hey, if you can afford to go both ways, knock your socks off. But for some folk, it’s not an option to join GOA, JPFO, NRA, and all the others, so they need to pick which one will actually deliver the most bang for their buck. In this case, that would be NRA 10 times out of 10.

  3. RuffRidr says:

    This is my biggest issue with GOA. Why do they feel the need to tear down the NRA in order to build themselves up. I am in a position to join multiple organizations. But I have yet to join them precisely because of this type of rhetoric.

  4. MicroBalrog says:

    Your argument is about like this:

    “The GOA is small, the NRA is big! You should join te NRA because it is already big and your voice will be heard!”

    But when you join an organization you by default endorse its views by joining. What if I like the GOA’s views more then the NRA? Wouldn’t me joining the GOA advance the organization, making it an inch bigger, and eventually if more people joined, it may become more powerful?

  5. Chris Bennett says:

    Sebastion, no offense, but, this post is also an example of ‘eating your own’

  6. Bitter says:

    I don’t think this is eating your own, Chris. If he just randomly posted that he thought GOA sucked with no evidence, no further relevant commentary, that would be eating your own. However, he’s highlighting how GOA feels the need to knock other organizations in order to make it seem relevant. In response to such petty behavior, he highlights with GOA’s own reports in most instances how they aren’t doing the things they claim. So not only are they throwing others under the bus, they are misleading people while doing it. Calling that out as bad behavior isn’t eating your own.

    If GOA stuck to fundraising efforts that didn’t attack other groups needlessly, then there wouldn’t be a need for this post.

  7. Sebastian says:

    Not looking to pick a fight. Just saying. I can afford to join both. Most of us here probably could as well. THAT would “inform” a few Congressweasels I’d bet.

    I don’t have any issue with that approach. I won’t give money to GOA because they attack other groups doing good work. I have, in the past, given money to SAF too, who I think plays nicely with other gun rights groups. Sure, there are rivalries, that you can’t really help, but you shouldn’t brings those out in public, and certainly you shouldn’t explicitly fund raise at the expense of the only group that really has the muscle to influence things on the federal level.

  8. Sebastian says:

    But when you join an organization you by default endorse its views by joining. What if I like the GOA’s views more then the NRA? Wouldn’t me joining the GOA advance the organization, making it an inch bigger, and eventually if more people joined, it may become more powerful?

    I’m not suggesting that GOA doesn’t have a niche it could fill, or that what they do is worthless. But GOA is not a substitute for NRA, and they shouldn’t try to sell themselves as one.

  9. Sebastian says:

    Sebastion, no offense, but, this post is also an example of ‘eating your own’

    No offense taken. But I don’t think you are correct. I would be happy to leave GOA to do their thing if they could do it without tearing apart other gun groups. What I’m offering is criticism for GOA’s tactics, and offering up some evidence that they are not what they are claiming to be. If NRA sent out a fundraiser saying to give them money instead of SAF, I would have said the same thing. Criticism is not eating your own, eating your own is when you try to boost your group or cause at the expense of someone else’s, and as long as GOA does that, I’m going to call them out for it.

  10. Sebastian says:

    One other thing. It also doesn’t make sense to me that GOA should be allowed to spit in the face of other gun groups, and the community should just accept this in the name of not eating our own.

  11. Me says:

    This makes me angry I ever gave money to GOA. They’ve probably suckered a huge number of gun owners over the years with their sham operation.

  12. DirtCrashr says:

    How much help was the GOA in defeating the Long Beach CA ammo registration ordinance?
    My support has to be local because we’re kinda at ground zero in CA, as far as where all the stupid lemming-stuff starts, and the NRA has been pretty effective here.

  13. countertop says:

    that’s not to say what GOA does is entirely worthless, but they aren’t “hold[ing] the line.” They aren’t lobbying in defense of gun rights anywhere close to the level NRA operates at.

    Actually, it is. Well, not what you said. But I’ll say it. GOA is entirely worthless.

    Totally worthless.

    Might as well take that $20 and just burn it in protest of gun laws on your front porch (and not tell anyone). Same impact.

    Or, alternatively, you could send me the money. I hold the same positions, and I actually get more done in DC to advance gun rights ever single day (and hour and minute) than GOA does.

    Oh, I forgot, Ron Paul knows who they are. Well, thats 1 person out of 535. And he carries no weight. And doesn’t need GOA to tell him what to do.

  14. Oldfart says:

    Allow me to stick an oar into these muddy waters.

    I am a member of the NRA but not because of their record of successful opposition to gun control legislation. I belong strictly because my gun club requires NRA membership for each and every one of its members.

    In the course of the past few years I’ve witnessed the NRA run up the “Compromise” flag in every case — sometimes before the opposition even began their campaign. I was too young to notice it, but I have read the record and seen where the NRA threw American shooters under the bus in 1934. When the hue and cry for gun control came in the late 60s the NRA capitulated before a shot was fired. Every time a gun control bill is discussed the NRA spends as much money on placating the membership as it does on white flags.

    The NRA seemed to take pride in the fact that they were working with two of the most vehement anti-gun legislators in congress when the shepherded the NICS Improvement Act through. They should have been opposing it and trying to dismatle the whole NICS. When anyone suggested that the bill would open veterans up to loss of gun rights the NRA pooh-poohed the idea, saying that private medical records couldn’t be breached. Yet a recent rider to a budget bill will allow the government to set up a database of all private medical records. Guess what? The NRA screwed the pooch again!

    While I’m sure GOA doesn’t spend as much money as the NRA I’m equally certain they don’t spend it on such things as headquarters buildings, airfare for nearly a hundred directors to annual meetings or exorbitant salaries for their own pet poiliticians — which is all LaPierre and Cox are.

    By the way, does everybody understand why they have that multitude of directors? It makes it harder for the members to throw the bums out…

  15. Sebastian says:

    Oldfart:

    NRA only had a lobbying arm since 1975. Their involvement with NFA 34, had to do with getting handguns exempted from it (which were originally subject to a 5 dollar tax), and helping Congress rewrite the definition of machine gun so that it did not apply to semi-autos. The original NFA bill used DC’s current definition of machine gun, which applies to most semi-autos.

    I also detailed in great detail when HR2640 came out that it was none of the things GOA claimed it to be. GOA, to be blunt, was lying about that bill from virtually the get go.

  16. Jacobian says:

    Not just that oldfart, where was NRA when the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Disarming Act, depriving anyone in Scotland of Arms after the Jacobite Rising of 1715? If the NRA wasn’t willing to stand up for the gun rights of the Jacobites, what good are they? NRA would rather prostrate themselves before King George than stand up for what’s right.

    Preach on brother!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Wait, what? « Gun Nuts Media - [...] That’s from Gun Owners of America, who apparently are asking people for donations.  I’m serious, the amount of straight…
top