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Reactions from the NRA Press Release

A lot of news organizations have been picking it up, if only to make snarky comments about it. But regardless if the snark, it’s serving NRA’s purposes. The short-term risk in what OCT is doing is that we’re going to have more business ban guns on their premises, but there’s also a longer term risk that this behavior could push gun rights back out of the mainstream, and back to the fringes. Almost all the gains we’ve made have happened because we brought this issue out from the fringes and made it mainstream. Sure, urban and suburban elites still hate it, but we’re not a constituency that can be simply written off by legislators as a small bunch of kooks.

Dave Weigel at Salon reacts to the article by noting that NRA is not, in fact, mellowing out. A lot of media seem to be latching on to the smart gun statement as if it represents another topic NRA is weakening on. No. I think it was just an opportunity to get the smart gun message out to an audience that normally doesn’t pay close attention to NRA, and might also wonder why in the world NRA would oppose smart gun technology. It’s not a signal of weakness, but just a way to get part of it’s message in with people not part of the gun rights circle. Mashable does their best for our opponents and tries to suggest NRA thinks semi-automatic rifles are scary, but apparently they don’t know the definition of machine guns, and even after correcting can’t help but display what morons they are when it comes to guns. Bloomberg View is also lending a helping hand. All these articles are infuriating, but they are getting the message out there.

OCT, in the meantime, are busy cutting up their NRA cards. Personally, I consider that a win. I am glad they are making a public and visible separation from the mainstream of this issue. DrewM over at Ace of Spades seems to be glad that NRA is taking a stand against this behavior as well.

The authorities are reacting as well, with Open Carry Tarrant County being investigated for running an illegal raffle. Now, I’m no fan of gambling laws, and I’m also no fan of singling out a group for prosecution because the powers that be don’t like what they have to say. But apparently what caught the attention of police was the fact that they called to ask about the law beforehand, then made the executive decision not to comply with it and have the raffle anyway. This is yet another sign that the leadership and members of this group have a tendency to act without thinking.

17 Responses to “Reactions from the NRA Press Release”

  1. Nick Pacific says:

    Know what I saw out from all this? The jerks are not going to stop.
    I wish I could live in the reality bubble they created. I don’t think anyone can pop it.

  2. Andy B. says:

    I’ve always accepted that the extremes define the center, but I’m now reflecting on whether too-open conflict can drive the center toward one of those extremes.

    In Germany in the early 1930s, where was the center between the Nazis and the communists?

    • Sebastian says:

      I think you have to constantly push the center in the direction you want, but I think there’s limits as to how far you can push it and from what extreme. I don’t think, for instance, anyone loses standing for Constitutional Carry, as an example. The center is now licensed carry. At one point that was unthinkable. So now it has to be continued to be pushed. It’s a tough sell, but we now have, 5 states?

      But I think you run a real risk when you push beyond what the culture has any familiarity with at all. The problem these guys face is that OC of rifles has never been common anywhere except on the frontier. They are pushing something where there’s never been any context at any point in American history except in the kind of highly hazardous situations that haven’t existed in this country since the frontier was pacified. I think in order to push the center you have to at least do it from a context people can wrap their heads around.

      • Echo says:

        Was the revolutionary war dressup march your idea? That sounded like an excellent way to bring it into the realm of mainstream cultural consciousness.

        • Sebastian says:

          I don’t recall. But I would say carrying long guns dressed up like Revolutionary War soldiers wouldn’t be a bad idea. People can put that into context if your signs tie into the theme.

          I don’t think long gun OC protest is always counter-productive. You just have to give people the means to put it into proper context. That’s exactly what OCT isn’t doing. Without context, you get fear, and fear is bad for us. With context, you get understanding, which is good for us.

          • Jack says:

            Though it’d probably be best to have the long gun be a roughly contemporary match for the uniform.

            (IE no FAL, but caplock would be fine. Heck most wouldn’t notice if it were a wood on wood lever gun).

  3. Dave says:

    this is unsurprising, the NRA and NRA-ILA have a long standing tradition of opposition to open carry in all forms, unless it’s at an NRA sanctioned match on a cold range.

    Perhaps they’ve softened their stance in recent years, but as recently as 2010 you could not even speak to anyone in ILA if the words ‘open carry’ were mentioned. They pushed hard to restrict and limit the method of carry in national parks and wildlife refuges to both concealed only and only if such carry was permitted in analogous state lands. After this, they tried the same thing with Sen. Coburn’s amendment to the credit card act.

    http://www.redstate.com/diary/erick/2010/07/13/shocking-emails-show-national-rifle-association-worked-to-prohibit-rifles-from-national-parks/

    Now NRA-ILA has been out front opposing restrictions on semi-automatic (ONLY) rifles that accept box magazines, but don’t count on any support for bayonet lugs, folding or telescoping stocks in some cases. So long as you’re either collecting them, keeping them in your home or using them to hunt, 3-gun or other sanctioned match, or poke holes in paper. They seem to have a really good record of getting politicians elected who say they will support us and our agenda. That said, I’ve seen a pretty low return on investment for those elected politicians. What federal restrictions have been repealed lately? Even bills on the floor of either house of Congress or amendments to bills? It’s not that NRA-ILA is not capable of moving the agenda forward if they so choose. They most certainly can; and they probably should have focused on that, instead of blogging about other groups getting more attention.

    I haven’t dealt with the OCT group or its offsprings but I have dealt with ILA more than once.
    NRA-ILA criticizing the open carriers in a public forum like this is a huge win for Bloomberg, far greater in magnitude than any harm the Texas open carry groups have caused.

    OCT has already modified their tactics, so hopefully future efforts will be newsworthy only for nothing happening.

    • Is there any more authoritative link for the NRA email re National Park Carry? A FOIA request with scanned document, for example? The NYT article that Red State claims as related doesn’t discuss this at all.

      I don’t know what Red State’s bone in this fight is but I find their evidence unconvincing.

      I also don’t get where you say that NRA-ILA won’t fight restrictions on bayonet lugs and the like. Feinstein’s AWB would have banned ALL of those features. NY SAFE Act did so. NRA vigorously fought the federal ban and is contributing to lawsuits in court right now arguing that muzzle devices, pistol grips, etc have legitimate purposes.

      OCT put mainstream gun rights organizations like NRA in a bind. Much like OCT forced Chipotle, Chilis, Sonic, etc to take a stand on record they are forcing NRA to choose. And if the choice is between continuing to make slow but steady progress towards nation-wide “shall issue” (at a minimum), nationwide CCW reciprocity, and even Constitutional Carry vs. making a meaningless stand that accomplishes nothing productively legislatively or socially, I suspect I know how the PR pros at NRA HQ will go.

      I am an OC supporter and have OC’d in the past (sidearms). That said OCT’s tactics are counterproductive. There were few other options than to disassociate ourselves from them at this point.

      • Dave says:

        I’m not clear about sources of the NRA-ILA email, AFAIK, you can’t FOIA constituent correspondence and the like. That said, before Coburn’s amendment NRA-ILA endorsed a regulation change that endorsed the concealed handgun only requirement as well as the analogous state lands requirement. ILA sent an alert urging people to support the regulation change; grassroots groups who were championed by VCDL urged not supporting it and amending it to remove the concealed requirement as well as the Analogous state lands requirement. The “look at me” groups won that change when the comments were counted (and re-counted).

        My point was the Redstate article simply reinforces what ILA did while the “look at me” gun rights groups were actually doing something.

        I don’t dispute that the Tarrant county contingent and probably some OCT activists have created a situation, but the way it has been dealt with is just further driving a wedge on our side.

        In any movement on our side, there are those within our camp loudly shouting “it’s not the right time”, “that’s not how we do it”, “you’re not helping”, etc. I would not advocate the same way that OCT and their other affiliates & colleagues are; but then I’m not in Texas and I am not going to get arrested or cited for open carry. I think that it may be a bit over the top for those of us in states where open carry is perfectly legal to criticize those advocating for it and admittedly making mistakes.

        A genuine question – what has the TSRA done to get open carry in Texas? They’re the NRA affiliate.

    • SPQR says:

      “NRA-ILA criticizing the open carriers in a public forum like this is a huge win for Bloomberg, far greater in magnitude than any harm the Texas open carry groups have caused. ”

      False. Bloomberg wanted to make the OCT folks the face of all gun owners and the NRA. Distancing from them reduces the harm that OCT causes.

  4. Badbartimus says:

    Perception is everything. Carrying AR-15’s into a Starbucks full of soccer moms is not the way to win public opinion. We live in a culture – propagated by the progressive media – where people assume the worst when they see people carrying “assault” weapons in the open.
    We need to educate with patience, not with a sledgehammer.
    Yet now, thanks to these short-sighted “extremists,” many of my favorite eateries are banning guns on their premises. That means, even law-abiding concealed carriers are prohibited from frequenting these establishments while carrying.
    It would seem to me that “our side” is losing at the moment.
    In my mind, there are bigger fish to fry in the battle to restore/protect our rights than fighting for wide-spread acceptance of openly carrying weapons – that most see as “scary” – into public places.

    • Jack says:

      Even if it were a priority there’s something to be said when istead of advancing towards Goal A, Tactic B results in getting further and further from Goal A.

    • Dave says:

      it’s already done and the question now is what to do about it? do we sit around pointing fingers in a circular firing squad, or focus our attention on those enacting the restrictions? Or those advocating for the restrictions…

      • benEzra says:

        Dave, unfortunately it’s not already done. They have made it pretty clear that they are going to continue parading into every national chain/franchise they can think of, and push them as hard as they can in an anti-gun direction.

        If these clowns didn’t exist, Bloomberg et al would have had to invent them. They are the most effective tools he has, whether they are supporting his efforts unwittingly or otherwise.

  5. CarlosT says:

    I don’t know. Doesn’t feel like a win. Maybe a 0-0 draw at best. In the long term, if it would get OCT to move to more productive tactics, then it could potentially be good, but at the moment it doesn’t help in any great way.

    • Geodkyt says:

      OCT will, in my opinion, never reform.

      Given their supporters’ comments (flat out lies, even when faced with photographic evidence they themselves are posting) and actions, I have become convinced over the last day or two that it is not and never has been about legalizing open carry of handguns in Texas for them.

      It’s solely about, “Look at me!!! Look at me!!! I’m important, I’m relevant, I’m a hero!!!

      • SPQR says:

        That and their thrill at being able to claim that their critics are insufficiently pure.

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