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What Will NRA Do?

I was just tying up some loose ends with the Blog Bash this morning, and a thought occurred to me. This year’s banquet speaker was supposed to be Rush Limbaugh. Something in his schedule conflicted and he had to back out, but a note was sent to attendees that he promises to come to the 2010 banquet in North Carolina.

Only now, after he negotiated with NRA (presumably for a pricey speaking fee), Rush decided to become a shill for HSUS, an organization that vows to ban hunting and sponsors ballot initiatives to close down hunting seasons.

Now I suppose I have an interesting question for one of our sessions at the Blog Bash – will the staff who plan the NRA Annual Meeting for Charlotte continue to extend an invitation to (and pay) Rush to speak in light of his new support for HSUS? Will we give a stage to someone who is recording PSAs for an organization that seeks to end our hunting heritage if he does not apologize?

While I’m on the subject of pondering next year’s Annual Meeting, want to take bets on how many patriotic words NRA can fit into a banquet title? In 2007, I recall the event was simply called the National Rifle Association Annual Banquet. In 2008, it was the National Rifle Association Celebration of American Values Annual Banquet. In 2009, they have renamed it the National Rifle Association Celebration of American Values Freedom Experience Banquet.

If you can come up with a more patriotic sounding title using as many words as possible, I will submit it to NRA as a suggestion for the 2010 banquet. If there is sufficient interest and entertainment value, I’ll try to sweet talk Sebastian into awarding a prize for the best suggestion.

UPDATE: I forgot to add that another twist in the “WWNRAD” (What will NRA do?) saga is that they opted not to sign onto a letter with 28 other sportsmen’s groups asking Rush to stop supporting HSUS and their anti-hunting agenda. I will be sure to ask why they didn’t sign on to the group letter at the Bash, too. It’s quite curious considering they are usually part of these group efforts.

UPDATE: NSSF has posted the letter where you can see NRA did not join. (Before anyone asks, yes, they are on the list of groups notified when an effort like this is being organized.)

16 Responses to “What Will NRA Do?”

  1. Jay G. says:

    How about the “NRA Patriotism, American Way, one Nation Under G-d, Dont Tread on Me, E Pluribus Unum, Rights Banquet”? They could call it “PANDER” for short…

  2. Bitter says:

    Jay, I nearly spit out my coke reading that. That’s so funny because it could be so true. :)

  3. RuffRidr says:

    I hope that Rush will not speak at next year’s banquet. Whether you agree or disagree with Rush’s stances on many things, it is quite evident that he is a polarizing figure. I think that having him as a speaker just erodes the support of some of the Democrat’s that has been built up over the last couple of years. The NRA is supposed to be a non-partisan organization. Why then have a speaker who is so obviously partisan?

  4. kaveman308 says:

    Just the fact that the NRA asked Rush to come in the first place makes me surprised. Not a smart move.

  5. Bitter says:

    I personally am not a fan of Rush, but I can see why they reached out to him. He’s very popular with the types of people who come to the NRA meeting. He would also be speaking at an event where people choose to pay $70+ to specifically see him. There’s never been a requirement of politics on either side of the aisle to speak at a banquet as far as I know. They simply have to be supportive of the issues NRA fights for. That’s usually a given, but in this case, it’s not longer the case.

    Last year, the speaker was Glenn Beck. Even Bash attendees who said they do not agree with Beck’s politics (too conservative for them) really had a great time at the banquet. Usually the speeches at these events focus on the rah-rah America kind of topics. But, the only reason I single out Rush for next year is because he has endorsed HSUS and refused to apologize for it. The issue of his partisan political views is no longer nearly as relevant.

  6. Jay G. says:

    Heh. Glad you liked it, Bitter…

    There’s still a chance to get Rush – just order up some Oxycontin…

    (ooh! Shouldn’t go there, I know…) ;)

  7. Dan M says:

    So, was there anything that Rush said that he should publicly apologize for, or simply for being associated in any way with HSUS?

  8. Bitter says:

    If he’s going to address NRA members and claim he supports them, he should apologize for supporting HSUS, an organization that actively works to ban hunting. If he’s going to stand by HSUS, then he shouldn’t be invited to address NRA members if he’s going to continue supporting efforts to undermine us.

  9. FatWhiteMan says:

    How about the: “Celebration Of American Values Except We Don’t Mention The Gunshow Loophole While Endorsing a RINO Who Wanted To Close The Gunshow Loophole But Since He Didn’t Win We Are Fighting The Gunshow Loophole Again Banquet.”

  10. Dan M says:

    I just don’t see the big deal about Rush Limbaugh and HSUS. He did a PSA to talk about dog fighting. Then he does jokes about exploding rodents. So it’s obvious that he doesn’t oppose hunting. I don’t think every single person who endorsed Barack Obama or who gave money to the Democratic Party has to prostrate himself before the NRA and give public apologies, likewise not every person who simply records an anti-dog fighting PSA for HSUS doesn’t need to publicly apologize.

    If you are going to make excuses for the NRA for not holding accountable Democrats who swore that Barack Obama respected the 2nd Amendment, then I think it’s pathetic for you to be so indignant that Rush Limbaugh would record a PSA against dog fighting.

  11. Bitter says:

    Actually, Dan, I’ve argued before that NRA should consider knocking the grades of any Blue Dogs who did lie about Obama’s record. So if that’s your example of my supposed hypocrisy, you’ll have to dig deeper.

    It doesn’t matter if Rush personally opposes hunting or not – he’s lending his endorsement to the organization that will use funds raised from that endorsement to ban hunting. He is asking his listeners and others to support HSUS’s work and that includes efforts to ban hunting. He has endorsed their viewpoint, unless he clarifies and denounces their actions on the issue. So far, he’s continued to ignore hunters who have pointed this out completely rather than clarifying his views.

  12. Dan M says:

    By “you” I was collectively referring to you and Sebastian. Since you personally don’t hold that stance, I apologize.

    I have simply maintained that Rush recorded a PSA and not a fund-raising advertisement. I would like for him to clarify on his program that he doesn’t support giving money to organizations that are going to do things with that money that you don’t like, I would like for him to reaffirm his stance supporting the welfare of pets and politely distance himself from the extreme positions of HSUS. However, I think demanding an apology is silly.

  13. Mikee says:

    Rush got a great pet through the humane society. He may be using his heart rather than his head here.

  14. Bitter says:

    Rush may have adopted a pet from an animal shelter, but I find it hard to believe he got a pet from a political organization that has no connections to pet shelters.

    In Rush’s own state of Florida, lawmakers swept into action a few years ago when they learned that not a cent of money generated from specialty license plates sold to raise money for animal shelters was being given to those shelters. Even HSUS admitted during the debates that money raised for them does not support local shelters where people adopt pets. It’s why they chose their name, so people would be confused.

  15. Dan M says:

    Rush Limbaugh also gives money to PETA for the privilege of using “My City Was Gone” and also because he supported efforts to limit the use of animals in chemical testing.

    I agree that he should stop publicly supporting HSUS and should politely distance himself from them. I don’t see any reason to stop listening to his program because of those PSAs, and I don’t think anyone needs a public apology, though.

    • Bitter says:

      You can say that all you want. At this point, you’re not adding anything new. It’s not changing minds. I’m also not changing your mind. (Though, in the interest of adding something new, the media is asking for comment, and he’s refusing to say anything.) So, I would suggest that unless something new breaks in favor of your side of the issue or mine, this back and forth should just end. If I post about it again, feel free to express your opinion again. But really, it’s just getting old.

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