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More on the Caving Gun Club

PAIndependent has done some research into the Keith Olbermann-loving Elstonville Sportsman’s Association and finds that their latest excuses for canceling the LiveFreePA event don’t really match their history.

The club’s board of directors met Monday night “to discuss the recent events that have unfolded in the media pertaining to the event scheduled for May 8,” according to Steve Lowe, an Elstonville board member. “Elstonville is a sportsmen’s association and will not be affiliated in any way with political actions and/or statements to the media or the general public. We…will not be associated with events such as this.”

Get that, they never do anything political. Which is why they hosted LiveFreePA in 2009 with Ted Nugent. Sure. Oh, and there’s that pesky fact that they let a Republican lawmaker hold a fundraising shoot there in 2008. And who could forget that they are hosting another directly partisan fundraiser again the following week?

The people who criticized the event would be the first to shut down the gun club if given the opportunity. As mentioned yesterday, there’s Keith Olbermann. But locally, it was Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Hoeffel who complained. First, he’s no one. He was once a Congressman who no one liked, so they booted him out of office. He’s now a County Commissioner just outside of Philadelphia who is running somewhere between last and next to last place in a crowded primary. He has endorsed a whole range of gun control.

I suspect that Elstonville Sportsman’s Association is suffering from a problem that I’ve seen at other area gun clubs. Namely, that they are scared of politics and “new” things. They want to sit down comfortably and stick their heads in the sand while the world changes around them. It doesn’t matter that they people they cave to are actively leading the fight to take their guns, close gun clubs, and kill the shooting sports culture.

At the very least, their board is on the record lying to pro-gun groups about banning all political events while turning around and hosting partisan fundraisers. I’m not sure if that makes their actions any better, or actually worse.

I’ve worked with gun clubs in several states. I am most concerned about the health of the clubs I’ve seen here in Pennsylvania. Some of them actively try to keep shooters out, others pretend that politics doesn’t exist even when it surrounds and threatens their sport, and then you have Elstonville which thinks that giving into the Joe Hoeffel agenda is more important than supporting an organization that has promoted liberty and firearm freedom in Harrisburg. Now they are putting up the flag of no politics ever, which means they will forever close any access they had to local pro-gun politicians.

I’ve heard it best described as the need for a hundred mini-Cincinnati revolts (i.e. the Annual Meeting fight that lead to the creation of NRA-ILA & finally got gun owners involved in politics). Gun clubs should be about the shooting sports first and foremost. But because politics will mean the difference between prosperity in the culture and taking the very guns we use to compete and defend our lives, it means that clubs cannot sit out of the game. In a healthy club, members even find out that a) political work isn’t very hard, and b) it can even be a little fun, especially if it’s social and there is food involved. By sitting out of the game, club leaders are throwing their own members under the bus. Members shouldn’t sit idly by and let that happen.

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