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The Great Difficulty with Clubs

I just had to tell Fitzpatrick’s campaign, who is very likely to carry the NRA endorsement he won in the primary into the general election, he was not welcome at my 100% NRA club, despite the efforts of a volunteer who was also a member. What kind of message do you think that sends if Fitz wins and faces a tough vote on our issue. Do you think he’s going to go to bat for people that told him to get lost? Gun owners far too often think they are in a position to dictate. This is not true. Gun voters are a minority. We only have power through participation and engagement.

It’s important for gun owners who care about Second Amendment issues to be involved in their local clubs. The great problem activists face is that club culture should be a lot more about shooting than politics, so a balance needs to be kept in that regard. ┬áSecond Amendment activists need to keep that in mind when approaching clubs and club members. Priority number one is to shoot, stay safe, and have a good time. Political engagement should be somewhere down the priority list, but it needs to be there in some way. The trick is to make politicians think they have something to gain (and therefore something to lose) through the engagement process. This doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, pre-occupy a club, but it has a great benefit for supporting the other activities clubs would like to do.

9 Responses to “The Great Difficulty with Clubs”

  1. Sebastian,

    I’m not sure why an NRA-endorsed candidate would not be welcome at a 100% NRA club, unless the club has a policy of not allowing candidates to campaign at the club.

    If that’s the case, it would seem that there should be no hard feelings, and someone needs to remind the member/volunteer about the policy.

  2. Sebastian says:

    The club has such an unwritten policy. I think it’s short sighted and don’t agree with it.

  3. J Richardson says:

    If it is unwritten then it is unofficial. Just because it is “the way we’ve always done things” doesn’t make it right.

    Make that point and get the guy before the potential voters. He’s NRA supported and they are NRA members. If you need to drag someone from the NRA staff to the meeting, do it.

  4. Bitter says:

    I don’t think they would welcome NRA staff, either. I find the behavior appalling because the request for the candidate to speak came from a member. Clearly, there’s interest from the membership, so they should strive to meet the request. I mean, it’s what, 15 minutes out of their lives at a future meeting?

    This kind of behavior is why I am still up in the air about joining even if they ever decide to start calling people up from the waiting list. Beyond my views about candidates coming to clubs, any club officer who wants to dismiss requests by members that do not go against the rules of the club just because he’s grumpy and personally doesn’t like it is creating a very unhealthy environment. It doesn’t matter if the issue is about politics or the shooting sports.

  5. beatbox says:

    What are you talking about here? Is it someone joining a shooting club that requires NRA membership?

    I’ve always avoided those clubs and agree it is short-sighted. At my old club in Mass., I sponsored several new-to-guns folks who were in the process of having all their previous ideas about guns challenged. Requiring them to join the NRA would have been too much at that point and they would have balked.

  6. beatbox says:

    Okay. now I think I have it figured out. I sympathize with the club. What they need to do is just create an activist sister org. that can do stuff like this.

  7. Sebastian says:

    Clubs aren’t going to do create sister orgs. Most of them create legislative committees. Ours has one, but it’s more of an informational rather than activist committee. I wouldn’t really suggest changing that, but you can’t really participate in the process if you’re not willing to talk to politicians who get to make the rules we have to follow.

  8. Andrew says:

    The candidate was barred from even speaking? My only experience with 100% NRA clubs was because that membership enabled the purchase of insurance at reasonable rates. Had nothing to do with politics or anything at all other than insurance. And it only applied to shooters, not to non-shooting visitors.

    What was their rationale?

  9. Andy says:

    You could just invite Fitz to be your guest for a shooting outing.

    No scheduled speech. No meeting. Just come and enjoy.

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