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NRA Nightmares

I have to imagine the folks at NRA HQ are pulling for anybody but Romney. They could sell Newt, Rick or Ron to their membership as pro-gun. Trying to sell Mitt isn’t going to pass the smell test, even if Mitt’s actual record on guns isn’t as bad as many people assume. But being that court picks are our biggest issue this election, Obama has to go, even if it’s Mitt. So what do you do? Mitt follows his political interests, and sitting out the election could mean Mitt could care less what NRA thinks when it comes to court nominees, but I don’t see Mitt as someone they could credibly endorse. If it were my choice, and it’s Mitt, I’d probably decline the endorsement, but make it clear to the campaign we’ll be beating up on Obama on guns in key markets. Withholding an endorsement has consequences though, and part of me thinks this election is too important to just sit back. There is no good choice here, only bad ones. If Mitt gets the nomination, I’m going to be really glad I’m not Chris Cox.

54 Responses to “NRA Nightmares”

  1. Harry Schell says:

    I don’t trust Mitt as I think he has a hubris problem like Obama’s, that he and a group of smarties can solve every problem somehow from DC.

    That said, he makes more sense consistently than the others, particularly Ron Paul. His comment about “firing people”, if you heard the whole thing and thought about it, was the most sensible thing I have heard from any pol in a long time, and the way his competition (to include Obama) reacted and twisted what was said was disgusting.

    The time spent on birth control in the debates has been completely wasted and is irrelevant, given other problems that need addressing. So his performance in debate, about minutia, may not the best basis to make a decision.

    Obama has to go. Too many chances to put things aright flow from that to get hung up on a single issue.

    • Alpheus says:

      Two sad things to point out about your post: First, Mitt isn’t the only one with that hubris problem. All the other candidates, with the *possible* exception of Ron Paul, has that problem. I wish we had someone who could make more sense.

      Second, the birth control issue could have been more relevant, but the Republicans blew it. The issue wasn’t about birth control, but how Government can, and tries to, control what we can and cannot buy.

      The rallying cry shouldn’t be “Stay out of my bedroom!” but rather “You get away from my insurance!” As it is, I’m currently having trouble finding health insurance at a reasonable price, because several insurance companies have refused to cover my wife, due to kidney stone problems and asthma. We don’t have the freedom to negotiate the non-coverage of those problems (about the best we can do is an extra-high deductable for those thing) because some idiots in Utah’s State Capitol thought they knew best what kinds of insurance my wife needs.

      Obama wants to force insurance companies to cover contraceptives, at “no” cost? That’s the extent of your complaints? What about mental illness, or the myraids of other things Obama wants to force insurance companies to cover? Each and every one of these things, when added to insurance, is going to push the premiums up–and Obama is trying to prevent me from deciding for myself whether or not I want those things covered.

      That’s what the Republicans should be focusing on!

  2. Bubblehead Les says:

    Well, let’s add another piece of the Puzzle. IF the Republicans get the White House, what kind of Congress will they have? I doubt that they’ll be a sweep in the Senate, even if the get a Majority, and there’ll be too many RINOS in there anyway. Plus, the Democrats seem to Purging their Party of all the Non-Marxists, so the Replacements on their side will be AntiGunners.

    And then, IF Barry loses, I guarantee Reid will co-ordinate with Obama, declare the Senate in Recess, and Barry will do “Lame Duck Recess” Appointments to all the empty slots on the Federal Bench that he can. So we’ll be screwed there already.

    So the NRA has to face the same Dilemma we all do. Whether we like it or not, they’ll have to Back the Republican Nominee. Obama’s too big a threat to the 2A for another term, and a 3rd. Party person can’t get enough votes.

    • Jake says:

      Do you really think Romney’s SCOTUS nominations will be any better than Obama’s? If so, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

      What’s worse, a Republican in the White House, regardless of who it is, may be enough to persuade one of the older Heller Five to go ahead and retire, when they might otherwise stick it out through O’s second term in order to maintain the current conservative/liberal balance. In fact, I’d guess that that’s a more likely scenario than one of them dying or being forced into retirement due to health issues.

      “a 3rd. Party person can’t get enough votes.”

      I often wonder how many votes the NRA could steer to a third party candidate if they were actually willing to endorse the candidate who actually has the best position on gun rights over the one who is just okay on gun rights but is more likely to win – especially in Presidential elections.

      It’s not like their endorsement really matters in a presidential election, anyway. When is the last time the NRA endorsed a Democrat for president? So why should the Republican care at all? They’re not going to support his opponent, after all, and even if they don’t endorse him either, how many NRA members are actually going to vote for the Democrat?

      More specifically, in this election, how many people who would be influenced by the NRA would actually vote for Obama under any circumstances?

      If Gingrich or Santorum get the nomination, I could understand NRA endorsing them (I could never vote for Santorum for other reasons, but I could be persuaded – with some effort – to vote for Gingrich). But if Romney wins the NRA should look at endorsing Gary Johnson as the Libertarian candidate.

      That would accomplish two purposes: 1) it would point a lot of people who would otherwise default to Romney to at least looking at voting for Johnson, and 2) it would send a very strong message to the Republican leadership that they need to pull their heads out and try and give us candidate that are worth a damn (of course, whether they actually get that message is a whole other issue).

      Without that willingness to endorse a Republican’s opponent, even if it’s a third party opponent who doesn’t really have a chance at winning, the NRA’s endorsement will remain meaningless in presidential elections. It will only mean something when they show that they’ll do something more meaningful than not giving it to anyone.

      • Sebastian says:

        NRA political power generally comes down to a couple of percent in most races. Dave Kopel did a study on this a while back. NRA would render itself utterly irrelevant if it got into the business of endorsing Libertarian candidates.

      • alcade says:

        “Republican leadership that they need to pull their heads out and try and give us candidate”

        The Republican leadership isn’t giving us anything. WE are giving ourselves a Republican candidate. Stop blaming the “establishment” and start blaming your friends and neighbors who continue to choose RINOs as candidates. Yes, the establishment can help them, but unless someone has evidence of vote tampering WE continue to choose more and more Romneys.

    • Arnie says:

      I am not totally certain about this but I think recess appointments terminate with a new President (because he can appoint a new nominee once he takes office).

      Again, I may be wrong on that. Sebastian?

      • Sebastian says:

        I’m pretty sure you’re right about that Arnie.

        • Harold says:

          Wikipedia:

          To remain in effect a recess appointment must be approved by the Senate by the end of the next session of Congress, or the position becomes vacant again; in current practice this means that a recess appointment must be approved by roughly the end of the next calendar year.

  3. one of the women says:

    As Harry Schell says above, “Obama has got to go.”
    And, as Bubblehead says, “Obama’s too big of a threat to the 2A for another term.”

    The problem with people who babble about “RINOs” is that they themselves are more harm than any other group of people. Such babblers would encourage either not bothering to vote if the candidate is “not conservative enough,” or voting for a 3rd party alternative, which is probably more harmful in this situation than not voting at all.

    There are some of the far-right-wing loons that I’d like to duct tape and smack silly. And Obama and his crew would feed them apple pie and tell them to go forth and babble some more.

    The *smart* thing for the NRA to do will be to wholeheartedly endorse the GOP nominee as soon as it is completely clear who that nominee is going to be. There was a mistake made with McCain: Even after it became clear to the greatest dullards around that McCain would be the nominee, the NRA drug its feet and endorsed as late as possible.

    Here’s the thing: It’s like football. You want that ball to go over one line or the other; those are your only choices — one line or the other. As soon as it’s certain who’s moving the ball toward the line you want it carried over, you do everything in your power to bust down anyone who would stop that ball from going over the line you want it to go over, and you assist in every way possible in getting that ball carrier over the line. You don’t knock him down and say, “I want to be the one to carry that ball!” Or, “I’ll be out back shooting ducks because I don’t like you. Carry your own d*mned ball.”

    The theme of this election should be, “Obama’s got to go, because we want to still be able to count to five.”

    Now, that’s my advice to the NRA, and to the far-right who would spit on Romney.

    And, my advice to Romney would be to shut up on the social issues and hammer away on the economy. To quote a winner, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

    • Sebastian says:

      I agree with you. Endorsing Romney would be the smart thing to do. But in the last election, endorsing Harry Reid would also have been the smart thing to do (we might have the reciprocity bill in the Senate, otherwise), but the membership revolted over it, so it didn’t happen.

      • Jacob says:

        If they endorse Romney the membership will shit bricks. There is simply no legitimate reason to do that.

        If they give Romney a slightly higher grade than Obama along with a statement that they believe gun owners will have more sway under a Romney administration people might accept that. An endorsement will be taken as an acceptance of previous Romney positions and statements and will damage NRA’s creditability among members and legitimately pro-gun politicians.

        • Harold says:

          I really don’t see what the fuss is about; I’d have to think about this, but McCain’s anti-gun actions as well as words almost certainly outweigh Romney’s anti-gun words (there’s not much in the way of actions, are there, since the bill he signed was approved by GOAL, right?)

          So my point is, if the NRA could hold their nose and endorse McCain, a man who tried to destroy much of their ability to engage in national politics (McCain-Fiengold), Romney’s not much if any of a stretch.

          Obama has made this a whole lot easier by taking off his neutral to pro-gun mask with his latest budget. Fast and Furious can and has been portrayed as a rogue operation, a budget is a very different beast. Which does make one wonder why Obama did it.

      • Harold says:

        I think a strong case can be made that the membership revolted because the NRA rubbed their noses in the pork they’d gotten from Reid. That’s certainly what ended my father’s contributions to them beyond dues.

  4. Harry Schell says:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/02/23/obama-the-unready/

    The most interesting part of this are the cites to Morrisey’s and other analyses of Mitt’s tax proposal. Morrisey is a blogger by trade, but an intelligent man. Petrokis (sp) is a skilled economist.

    Tax policy is what should have been on the table last night, but CNN made a joke of themselves. I agree with “one of the women”, the economy is the fundamental issue. Obama is in fact a danger to it. He needs a new job. Maybe Buffett can get him installed as a dogcatcher in Omaha.

    • Arnie says:

      You are right about the economy, but the media (as they did in ’92) are lying about it in order to get their guy elected.
      It’s more than just improving stock market and employment numbers; it’s the long term picture – the obscene national debt and the future inflation and other taxes (yes, inflation is a tax, the worst of all taxes) that your children and grandchildren will have to pay. Our future prosperity is in grave danger!
      Indebtedness is a form of slavery, and we have bestowed this enslavement upon our progeny. This is a direct violation of the Constitutional mandate that we “secure the blessings of LIBERTY upon ourselves and OUR POSTERITY (emphases added).” Instead, we are bequeathing them a debt that will enslave them to China, Saudi Arabia, et al.
      I’ll vote for anyone who will turn that around (and Ron Paul looks like the best candidate for that job) AND who will leave my guns alone (just in case of civil war).

      Respectfully, Arnie

  5. Richard says:

    I wouldn’t want to be Chris Cox either. A Romney endorsement is really going to hack off people like me to the point where I will declare a holiday on my contributions to NRA. They may have some kind of secret decoder ring that allows them to see that Romney will appoint good judges but I am going to wait and see since I don’t believe he will based on his record. This is just about his record on guns. I don’t hold Romneycare, bailouts, or the like against the NRA. If I were them, I would sit it out and concentrate on Congressional and state/local contests where they are likely to have more impact anyway.

    • one of the women says:

      Okay. And how are you going to feel the day after election day November 2012 if you wake up to the news of four more years of Obama? If your response is, “Better than a RINO,” than YOU are part of the problem, and YOU are no friend of the 2nd Amendment at one of its most crucial times.

      Presidential election 2012 is one where the question is, “Are you a friend of the 2nd Amendment?” If you are, you will use your vote and your public voice for the benefit of whoever most likely will put Obama out of power.

      Only you know if the 2nd Amendment is important enough to you that you will do what is best for the 2nd Amendment.

      • Harold says:

        How about “When it comes to trillion and half dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, no difference than a RINO” and the current Republican Congressional leadership?

        I also (as discussed in the previous topic) deny any serious weight to this being “one of [the 2nd Amendment’s most crucial times”. I have severe doubts even the current court will do much for us and this is entirely irrelevant to our current political successes, which have us at our best since the BATF started using the GCA of ’68 to employ its out of a job revenuers (sugar price supports turned moonshine from a business to something more like hobby). And while I don’t want it, a sharp reversal of Heller by a new court would help us politically….

        One thing to think about, though: the most scary thing I found about Carter was his ability to take a bad situation and make it worse. Obama’s better than that, but I doubt any of us have much faith he’ll respond well if, e.g., the world’s appetite for US debt at low, low interest rates becomes satiated. Or when Europe’s finances go kaboom and that cascades over here. Or if/when Iran goes nuclear and [fill in the blank]. Etc.

      • Richard says:

        At least I will have my enemies in front of me rather than behind me. And you should try to be more civil. I am not your enemy, I simply disagree on tactics.

      • SDN says:

        How will I feel? Pretty much like H.L. Mencken: obviously this country hasn’t gotten socialism “good and hard” enough.

        If the Founders had your attitude, we’d still be ruled by the Crown. Fortunately, they were made of sterner stuff. “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”

  6. Sebastian,

    NRA has an option which they should do. And it’d probably be their best couse.

    Endorse the current “four” candidates against President Obama. Essentially, giving a statement of “even the worst of these is better than the current president”.

    • Sebastian says:

      That doesn’t really make strategic sense. Think about what an endorsement means practically. An endorsement it’s just a matter of “I endorse you”

  7. Bryan S. says:

    I look at which is the one the opposition is trying to get rid of more, and usually, which is the one they wont argue policy on.

    Right now thats Santorum and Paul.

  8. Guest says:

    Have you all forgotten the 1992 election? NRA will never endorse Romney–he made his bed and he’ll have to lie in it.

  9. DevsAdvocate says:

    Why bother endorsing any candidate? It’s not like guns have been a major issue in the race thus far. I have yet to hear Newt, Mittens, or Rick’s plans to repeal GCA ’68, NFA ’38, Hughes Amendment FOPA ’86, while also promising to sign an executive order to disarm the BATF and force their agents to wear pink tutus. At least Paul would be consistent and try to accomplish those things, or put Justices in SCOTUS who would do that…

    My point is: why endorse anyone if they haven’t really earned that endorsement? For the NRA, it’s win-win if Romney gets the nod, they can continue endorsing (real pro-gun) folks running for Congress and they won’t piss off their membership base in the interim.

    • Sebastian says:

      Because if NRA sits out of the election, Romney doesn’t really have any incentive to do anything for NRA, like pick someone satisfactory to us on the Supreme Court. Politics is very much a mutual back scratching business. Think monkeys grooming. If you don’t groom your fellow monkey, you can’t really expect that he’s going to groom you.

      So that’s the reason in a nutshell. A lot of people make the mistake of believing that politics has anything to do with principles. It doesn’t, honestly. It’s a game. If more people understood it as a game, rather than a reflection of principles, it would be easier to win. The prize for winning is getting to see some of your principles put into policy. But you have to play.

      • A lot of people make the mistake of believing that politics has anything to do with principles. It doesn’t, honestly. It’s a game.

        And one in which only one of two players will ever win, which is why so many just don’t play anymore.

        The reality is that there will never be a really pro-gun president elected, because there will never be anyone truly pro-gun candidate to ever run.

        Is there any Republican out there who has the nuts to even suggest that we actually repeal any gun law? The Hughes Amendment? GCA ’68? NFA ’34?

        No … all we have to hang our collective hats on is a candidate that’s either mostly as bad as a Democrat or not nearly as bad. About the only thing that makes any difference are SCOTUS appointments.

        It’s no wonder gun owners are apathetic …

        • Sebastian says:

          Newt shepherded through a repeal of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban in 1996, only to have it held up in the Senate by our good buddy Bob Dole.

          • And that’s part of The Game … “Hey, Rep Schmuckatelli, it’s ok to vote for this wildly popular bill because my friends in the Senate will kill it, but you can go back to your district and show how strong a supporter of the 2nd amendment you are and get that handy NRA endorsement.” I’m not impressed … and still, The Game goes on …

            • Sebastian says:

              It is, but nonetheless, we’ve been making progress. Hell, we’re getting close to pushing concealed carry on New York and New Jersey. I never thought I’d see that in my lifetime. You’re not going to get everything fixed all at once, and we may never fix the machine gun issue. But we can fix most everything else, I think, unless we give up and decide no one is good enough for us unless they are perfect.

              • Hell, we’re getting close to pushing concealed carry on New York and New Jersey. I never thought I’d see that in my lifetime.

                And that’s happened through legal vs legislative action, which even you admit is an iffy proposition at best.

                and we may never fix the machine gun issue

                Allow me to be selfish for a moment. I live in rural GA; I have property to shoot on; I have a carry permit (which allows open carry if I choose); I can buy all the evil black rifles I want. I have everything except machineguns, so Romney, Santorum and Gingrich bring nothing to my table except the status quo. If I widen my lens, I see the same thing for the rest of the country (at least on a federal level) – status quo. Only Paul or Johnson might be inclined to upset the cart on 2A issues.

                This is just my opinion, but I see that the 2A is about as far along as it’s going to go, politically, until the courts catch up to reality. Maybe in 50 years or so, if America lasts that long.

                • Jacob says:

                  Baloney. The warm fuzzy feelings some NY politicians have for guns has nothing to do with the courts and absolutely nothing to do with NRA.

      • Jake says:

        Because if NRA sits out of the election, Romney doesn’t really have any incentive to do anything for NRA, like pick someone satisfactory to us on the Supreme Court.

        And what incentive does he have if they do endorse him? Like I said before, what are the people who are influenced by the endorsement going to do in the next election if he doesn’t get the endorsement then? Vote for the Democrat? And if, like you said earlier, “NRA political power generally comes down to a couple of percent in most races”, that means it’s not a really strong incentive for an incumbent president anyway.

        • Sebastian says:

          Generally, in politics, if you don’t cater to the people who help keep you in office, you don’t last as a politician.

          • Jake says:

            Re-read the points I made. How would NRA be “the people who help keep [$REPUBLICAN] in office”?

            The people who are influenced by an NRA endorsement aren’t going to vote for Obama, and are extremely unlikely to vote for whoever the Democrats put out as a challenger in 2016 if the O loses. On top of that, they’re only “a couple of percent”, in most races. How much less is it in presidential races?

            No, whoever it ends up being will focus on catering to the middle, or groups focused on other issues that have more impact, and won’t worry about “a couple of percent” that can be safely counted on to either vote Republican or – at worst – stay home. The NRA will get nothing more from them than token lip service.

            • Harold says:

              The people who are influenced by an NRA endorsement aren’t going to vote for Obama

              Only because Team Obama has apparently given up on the white working class.

              and are extremely unlikely to vote for whoever the Democrats put out as a challenger in 2016 if the O loses

              Unsupportable. If O loses, whomever is elected might make or at least appear to make a greater hash of the economy et. al. than O did, if for no other reasons than O has left a lot of time bombs and the Congressional Republicans look entirely willing to continue to run trillion dollar deficits until the punch bowl is empty.

              It was No Accident that Obama made a big deal about how he wasn’t going to (try to) take our guns away and has actually acted mostly pro-gun in office until now (e.g. signing the bill including CCW in National Parks). Although in part I think this is because he’s not a Boomer cultural warrior like Clinton was (the LGBLT community hasn’t exactly been happy with him….).

              As for “token lip service”, I expect the Republicans to get into a great deal of political trouble in the near future and to be scrabbling for votes after that, which will put us in a better position. The Dems are in this position now but with pretty much all their Blue Dogs gone or about to spend more time with their families they’re so far left of center … well, who knows.

              And don’t discount that 1-2%. If Gore hadn’t had such a stridently anti-gun posture in 2000 he would have won the election.

            • Sebastian says:

              In politics, perception matters a lot more than reality. Regardless of how much an endorsement or non-endorsement helps or hurts a candidate, it’s perception that matters more.

  10. dustydog says:

    NRA needs to go ball to the wall for whichever Republican comes out of the nominating convention.

    NRA needs to promise full support. In return, Mitt or whoever needs to promise millions of dollars in Acorn/Corporation for Public Broadcasting/National Endowment for the Arts type of slush-fund repayment. Divert Department of Education funds, divert Department of the Interior or EPA funds, divert ACORN’s money, whatever.

    NRA needs to be clear, open, honest, and succinct. If not, they will forever prove the conspiracy theorists right, that they care about fund-raising over rights and like liberals to be in charge because it scares the cranks into donating.

    NRA already plays footsie with a “shut up and donate” mentality. NRA has attracted a lot of new members in the past 4 years, but they haven’t earned the loyalty of those members. Young gun owners are watching and judging.

  11. guest says:

    “Because if NRA sits out of the election, Romney doesn’t really have any incentive to do anything for NRA, like pick someone satisfactory to us on the Supreme Court.”

    I think you should go back and read NRA statements explaining and (convincingly) justifying their lack of a Bush I endorsement which, BTW, may have cost him the election.
    You are arguing against an effective and proven policy of rewarding supporters and punishing gun rights opponents.
    Now maybe you have other issues that are at least as important to you as gun rights, I know I do, but the fact that the NRA is an exceedingly rational organization (and not just a bunch of adjunct Republicans) is a real comfort.

    • Sebastian says:

      I thought NRA endorsed Bush I the first time around, when he was running for Reagan’s third term… then declined on his re-election bid.

      Of course, I’d also point out that Bush I was replaced with Bill Clinton, who nominated 1/2 of the dissenting justices in Heller and McDonald, and who’s justices are going to cause all manner of problems for the Second Amendment on lower courts for years to come.

      • Patrick says:

        Don’t forget the fall-out for the NRA calling the ATF “Jack Booted Thugs” while Bush I was in Term I. It got a lot of press and pissed off a lot of cops – federal, state and local. Bush dropped his NRA membership in response, and it was big news all around.

        Not the smartest moment for the NRA, but we all bang ourselves up now and then.

        • Harold says:

          Ah, the power of the media and “the narrative”.

          Wasn’t it former NRA board member and Congressional powerhouse (at the time) John Dingle who first used that phrase? (He resigned from the board after voting for the AW ban and was stripped of his committee chairmanship in … 2008 I think by the more liberal Democratic caucus that was elected with Obama.)

          Waco was a defining event in the nation’s history, it really sorted out who was on which side. I don’t particularly miss those who fell on the other side, be they Tom Clancy or my youngest brother.

          We should also not forget that Republicans had been President for the 12 years prior to or during most of and the worst of these atrocities, which if you’re referring to the fund raising letter most certainly went beyond the ATF (the Marshall’s office started the Ruby Ridge atrocity and murdered Weaver’s son, the FBI’s Hostage “Rescue” unit tried to finish the job and most certainly did so at Waco).

          This sort of rhetoric and so on had a salutatory effect, Federal law enforcement units significantly cleaned up their acts afterwords.

    • Sebastian says:

      I should note I’m not second guessing NRA’s failure to endorse Bush I…. hindsight is always 20/20. But there are consequences for sitting out… and that consequence was 8 years of Clinton, who is the most anti-gun President this country has had.

      • Harold says:

        After Bush I went all in on banning ARs after Stockton there was absolutely no way the NRA could have endorsed him and remained credible with a large fraction of the nation’s RKBA activists and many less active in the cause.

        And while Clinton was indeed the most anti-gun president the nation’s had, it’s not at all difficult to envision Bush pushing for and signing pretty much everything Clinton did, particularly the Brady Bill and AW ban. He was always anti-gun (e.g. that bit with the tiny .22LR revolver in New Hampshire).

        • Patrick says:

          Times change.

          Basically any national politician circa 1990-2000 was going to be pushing gun control. That’s what the nation wanted.

          Today is not 1994. The nation’s mood has shifted significantly.

          There were examples of politicians back then who bucked the gun-control trend, just like there are those buck gun-rights now.

          Romney was a politician then, and he is a politician now. He is the ultimate trend watcher. If you can count on any consistency from him, it is that he will follow the masses. And the masses want things like reciprocity and protections from gun-control laws. Or more accurately, a larger group of people prefer gun-rights than gun-control. Either way, he’ll follow that lead.

          • Harold says:

            Basically any national politician circa 1990-2000 was going to be pushing gun control. That’s what the nation wanted.

            Which of course explains the 1994 Republican sweep of the Congress (including the Speaker of the House, which hadn’t happened since around the Civil War period) and no less an astute politician than Bill Clinton explicitly ascribing this to his gun control actions. Or Bob Dole’s failure to beat Clinton (he who both let the Brady Bill pass and as previously noted blocked an AW ban repeal law in the year he ran for President). Or as I’ve noted elsewhere, Gore’s 2000 loss.

            I suspect you’re confusing how many times the Democratic mule had to be figuratively hit in the head with a 2×4 before we got its attention with “what the nation wanted”.

            You might be right about Romney … but you might be wrong about what he watches for clues, in which case it could go badly for us.

  12. guest says:

    I would say that the consequence of retaining NRA credibility was the Republican takeover in the House, the squeaker election victory of Bush II, the non-renewal of the AWB and the appointment of the Justices that gave us Heller and McDonald.

  13. Patrick says:

    Seriously? Why are we debating this?

    Two options:

    – Option A: Hates guns, the people who own them and the document that protects our use of them. Has at the least put people into positions of authority that conjured up lethal conspiracies aimed – at least in some small part – to be a PR maneuver to gin up support for more gun control. Again, that is literally the most generous thing we can say. The more likely option is worse.

    – Option B: Said some anti-gun stuff because he was a politician in a place and time where anti-gun stuff was required to get elected. Probably could care less one way or the other about guns or the people who like them, other than the fact he needs their votes. Won’t do anything to actively harm gun owners or gun rights, but won’t push for gun-rights, either.

    Summation:

    Obama is actively looking to hurt us. Romney – at worst – harbors unpleasant concerns over guns but being the consummate politician will avoid the issue until he must face it, and then when it comes up he will side with those who voted him into his position.

    Romney will not come up with Fast and Furious II. He won’t veto good gun bills from Congress. That’s enough for me, and it should be enough for the NRA and the rest of gun owners out there.

    I think people sometimes forget that the President doesn’t pass laws out of Congress. It takes an outwardly hostile anti-2A president to hurt us (Obama is such a man); but on the other side of the coin it only takes a mildly uninterested President to get our agenda passed into law.

    Seriously, I cannot fathom why people don’t get the simplicity of this math.

    “My” candidate is not going to win the primary. I know that. It has been obvious for a long time. It doesn’t matter who that candidate was, he is not going to be the nominee. I am not going to get all butt-hurt over it and take my vote home with me. I am going to help carry the ball over the line, and retire the most worrisome President we have had in a long time.

    • Harold says:

      Option B: Said some anti-gun stuff because he was a politician in a place and time where anti-gun stuff was required to get elected.

      Except he went out of his way to viciously attack us in the signing of a genuine compromise bill that we supported; I can’t see how that helped him. At the very least, he didn’t even try to get reelected

      Obama is actively looking to hurt us.

      Disagree. Sure, he doesn’t like us or think anyone should own a gun, but these culture wars issues just don’t float his boat, except for I gather the Sacrament of Abortion. He’s a cultural generation beyond that, and his priority has been the old time religion of social democracy/socialism/genuine fascism (not the National Socialists who were labeled fascists by leftists trying to distance themselves), with some modern gloss like environmentalism to help drive the process.

      Romney – at worst – harbors unpleasant concerns over guns but being the consummate politician will avoid the issue until he must face it, and then when it comes up he will side with those who voted him into his position.

      Remains to be seen. For one thing, the objective evidence is that he’s an awful politician when it comes to the “technical” aspects of that profession (by this I mean he might want to do that but he’s so incompetent he might not be able to). It should also be noted that prior to this year’s budget Obama was taking much the same posture towards the RKBA, an issue he appeared to just not want to deal with. With this year’s budget the mask is off.

      Romney will not come up with Fast and Furious II. He won’t veto good gun bills from Congress. That’s enough for me, and it should be enough for the NRA and the rest of gun owners out there.

      Depends on how deep a game you’re playing. If elected, I expect Bob Krumm’s prediction to come true, that he will be the last Republican President ever elected. Of course, it’s not clear any other contender will do better (Newt’s I think the best there, but a high risk, high gain gamble). When our fiscal chickens come home to roost, things are going to get ugly. Maybe it won’t happen in the next five years, but I expect the normal game, the normal rules, maybe even our current form of government to change significantly (historically, systems of government are replaced after hyperinflation, which is in fact what happened when the Continental Congress was replaced by our current, albeit much degraded and debauched, system).

      I think people sometimes forget that the President doesn’t pass laws out of Congress. It takes an outwardly hostile anti-2A president to hurt us….

      Bush I and his post-Stockon executive actions are a counterexample to this, there’s lots of rule interpretation that can hurt us, most especially the GCA of ’68 “sporting purposes” language, except for the “outwardly hostile” bit, if you were paying attention. His biggest advantage was initially running against a man who was on record not believing any citizens should own guns and who didn’t run away from that, unlike Obama who at least had the former (in conversation with John Lott when they were both at the University of Chicago)).

      [I am going to help to] retire the most worrisome President we have had in a long time.

      That’s worth serious consideration. When things go into full blown emergency level (e.g. fiscally) do we want Obama as POTUS? What about after one or more Israeli or US cities gets nuked by a Muslim bomb? Etc. But again, this requires taking an initial step back from an exclusive RKBA focus and thinking about how the bigger picture might affect it.

      • Patrick says:

        You make some good points. I will offer a few more, one of which os going to upset a bunch of people:

        – Reagan was not exactly a friend to RKBA. I know Republicans are supposed to deify him or something, and I give him credit for a lot of good things that happened at that time. But…he didn’t like our guns. Let’s not split hairs. The biggest changes that have been made in modern times to the exercise of our right – that still exist – come from Reagan’s tenure. The AWB is gone but much of Reagan;s legacy remains.

        My point is not to bash Reagan, but to identify where I am coming from in my views on Romney. The alternative to Reagan was indeed worse. Politics is the selection of “less worse”. The fact that Reagan did so well in non-RKBA areas is also a plus. I am not suggesting Romney will be a Reagan redux (good, bad or whatever). But Reagan was a product of his time, and that time was gun control, and he also had a personal view. I cannot see into Romney’s heart or whatever people want to do, but I just don’t see the anti-gun fervor that some presuppose from his time in MA. I think he goes with the wind. It’s up to us to make it keep blowing the way we want.

        The 90’s were the pinnacle of gun control. Not the start, but the height. It has been decidely downhill prom there. Republicans latched onto the AWB as a way to split the electorate, and that is about all. How many pro-gun Republicans voted for the AWB when it came up?

        Bush I/II were out of touch, or at least did not see the upcoming trend. Bush II’s people caught it there mid-way and toned back rhetoric about supporting a new AWB and essentially walked from the issue. That’s a good sign. If they noticed it then, Romney will notice it now. We’re louder and more organized today. And we have some interesting fodder from SCOTUS.

        I am not a Romney “fan”. I don’t think he’d do for RKBA what other potential nominees would. I just recognize that he is the most likely to win. And when it comes time to vote in November, the issue is an easy one for me – even with Mitt’s name on the ballot. I won’t stay home and pout.

        Politicians like Mitt follow demographics and trends. If we don’t vote for him, they got nothing to do for us. If the NRA walks back a nod, they are idiots.

        Of course, I don’t think that will happen at all. The latest rhetoric from the NRA has been all about “anybody but Obama” with the scary language about “Obama’s Second Term.”

        The NRA has done the math and are ready to commit to Mitt. They will tell the diehards that the alternative is worse, and they will be correct. I know, they know it and so does Mitt.

        • Harold says:

          The biggest changes that have been made in modern times to the exercise of our right – that still exist – come from Reagan’s tenure.

          Totally disagree. The biggest change by far was the Gun Control Act (GCA) of ’68, which banned a zillion things including mail order, established the “sporting purposes” BS and established the FFL system; this was a total change in the way things were done. Not long after that, but way before Reagan was a national political power, the BATF went all Inspector Javert on FFLs and gun owners, needing to find honest work for its revenuers after sugar price supports killed moonshine as an industry. Things were so bad in that period—an FFL was convicted after selling guns to ATF agents who pretended to be mobsters and threatened his family (I’m sure it didn’t help that he was black)—there was significant concern the US gun culture would wither and become moribund and politically terminal.

          Things were brought to semi-sanity by the Firearms Owners Protect Act (FOPA) of ’86, which of course Reagan signed. As for anti-gun stuff from him, all I can remember while he was President was not reigning in the ATF (he did have bigger fish to fry, like saving the economy (which few believed possible) and winning the Cold War (ditto, except a lot of people were on the other side)). After he was replaced by Bush I and perhaps after his Alzheimers had set in (formal diagnosis in ’94) he did denounce ARs, after Stockton as I recall (which was in his California…). But he was shot by a crazy (and before ’86) and didn’t call for any gun control measures after that.

          If your memory is different I’m all ears for particulars; till then I can’t respond to most of the rest of your post.

          In my judgment the ’70s were the pinnacle of US gun control, in terms of the worst legislation being passed (or thuggish enforced in the case of the GCA of ’68) that affected the most people. E.g. Bartley-Fox in Massachusetts. But this is a debatable point, especially since I’d have to refresh my memory, that’s when I got started in the fight, probably when I was a tween. And until I moved to Massachusetts for college in ’79 I was mostly focusing on the national scene, since Missouri didn’t have insane laws besides the usual KKK one (e.g. the permit from the Sheriff to buy a handgun from an dealer, something I didn’t even know about since my father just bought them from individuals; we only got rid of that law a few years ago).

          How many pro-gun Republicans voted for the AWB when it came up?

          I’d say that’s a double trick question, since by definition none, plus it was part of an omnibus crime bill with a few good things in it along with the gun bans and midnight basketball. John Dingel certainly realized what it was about since he resigned from the NRA board immediately after voting for it.

          Bush I/II were out of touch […] If they noticed [the changing trend] then, Romney will notice it now.

          Effectively disagree on all points. I think Bush I and II were less out of touch than Romney is, but I don’t want to argue that point in this reply (or, really, before he’s the nominee or clearly going be it). I sure don’t remember Bush II toning down the AW rhetoric, just him always saying “nudge nudge, wink wink, if the [Republican Congress, who wouldn’t be the majority if not for this bill] passes a renewal, I’ll sign it.” Maybe he said more in 2000, when Gore was going all in on gun control, I don’t remember (that year my company’s CEO went crazy enough to kill the company I was the technical lead of and I was rather focused on that).

          Touching again on how bad a politician I think Romney is and how I think he’s more out of touch, I don’t find your thesis reassuring, although I recognize we’ll likely never have a pro-gun President as long as things continue as they are (which as I’ve noted I don’t expect to be the case for too much longer).

          As for your closing comments, the game has very recently changed with Obama ripping off his pro-gun mask.

          • Patrick says:

            I am younger than you so my history is shorter. I see FOPA a bit differently than you do.

            That said, we both seem to agree on a few things: we’re kinda sorta stuck with what we get, even if it is not exactly what we want. We better milk it for what we can.

            Perhaps it is a bit cynical, but I expect little more from my politicians than for them to suck up to the people who elected them. That’s why I want our team to be part of the winning equation.

            Of course I am far from a one-issue voter, but I focus on this one issue here largely because that is what this blog is about. I am not a Romney guy or a Santorum guy, just someone who knows Obama is bad news for this issue.

            Thanks for the dialogue.

            • Harold says:

              (One correction to my previous posting, Missouri has and had multiple “KKK” anti-gun laws, the major one left is a ban on carry in buses. Due to the Missouri Plan we also have some nasty judicial nullifications of the plain language of self-defense laws like our Castle Doctrine law, ambiguity on duty to retreat, etc. In part the price of living in a knife edge balanced Purple state due to our two big cities.)

              I am younger than you so my history is shorter. I see FOPA a bit differently than you do.

              Anything besides the Hughes (sp?) amendment, banning the sale of newly manufactured machine guns?

              That poison pill was a very bad precident, was recognized as such at the time, and was of course soon repeated by the AW ban.

              The thesis of those who were pushing the bill through was that it was an acceptable cost to prevent the end of America’s gun culture, to allow safer travel through totally gun hostile localities, etc. I’m glad I didn’t have to make the decision on pulling the bill after it was added, but I can confirm the threat was serious. One of the objectives of Unintended Consequences is to give people a feeling for what things were like before and after various Federal actions including the GCA of ’68 and its abusive enforcement by the BATF.

              Although one could quibble about two previous gun bans, the virtual but effective one until inflation essentially nullified it of the $200 NFA “tax” and the GCA of ’68’s sporting purposes import ban which Bush I used after Stockton, something we still live with. Whole “assault rifles” cannot be imported, N out of a list of M parts must be domestically manufactured (plus I guess assembly must happen here), e.g. why besides bad management SIG 55x buyers have to play roulette and repair games with SIG-Sauer USA to get a good rifle instead of just importing the real thing from the German arm of the company (on the other hand, the lighter weifht USA aluminum lower receiver is very much appreciated by my worn out by too much typing arms). Or why innocently adding a foreign part to an otherwise legal gun you bought can make you a felon. Right now we’re fighting Team Obama over “assault shotgun” imports.

              BTW, an analysis of Federal judicial rulings by David Kopel was says that Federal judges are terminally allergic to “assault rifles” and that we aren’t likely to see any relief from them for the foreseeable future.

              […] I expect little more from my politicians than for them to suck up to the people who elected them.

              Problem here is words vs. deeds. Generally there’s a vast disconnect between what they say during elections and what they do afterwards, but of course that’s a systemic problem that’s hardly unique to the RKBA area. Still, if you pay close attention, at least to Presidents, you’ll seldom be surprised. Bush I showed his true colors at a New Hampshire campaign event where he waived around a tiny .22LR revolver and said the usual garbage and of course Obama’s new actions with the new budget surprise no one. One wonders about Fast and Furious since it’s so out there, though. Then again, unlike e.g. Iran-Contra and like Waco Team Obama no doubt thought they’d get a free pass from the media; CBS’s coverage of it got them very upset (and has there been any lately from them?).

              Thanks for the dialogue.

              You’ve very welcome.

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