Currently Browsing: Gun Rights Organizations
Nov 22, 2013
This is interesting. According to an AP interview with NSSF’s CEO, they considered moving their Newtown headquarters where they have been for 20 years in response to the shooting there.
The article says that even though they didn’t get political until the gun control proposals that would hurt the industry were brought up, their employees who were also impacted by the shooting were still bothered by neighbors who complained about their presence.
Sep 1, 2013
NRA-ILA has announced their 2013 Firearms Law & Second Amendment Symposium registration, and I wanted to suggest it to those who are in the Denver area.
I’ve been to a few of these, and they are always very interesting. Last year’s event in Philadelphia got me ridiculously excited for Prof. Nicholas Johnson’s forthcoming book and tipped me off to a great resource for either research or general amusement in reading historic California papers.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 12, 2013 at the University of Denver from 9-4. Parking, food, beverages, and materials are all free. Yes, this entire event is free. And I promise that you’ll learn something of interest. Registration is required, so clear your calendar now.
And who knows, you might even be protested by people opposed to even allowing a conversation about firearms.
Aug 21, 2013
Buzzfeed has run an article on the fact that NRA is “campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners. But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners.”
If they were like most groups that operate in DC, they’d consider themselves to have something like 33 million members (or however large their non-member contact list is), but are we supposed to be surprised by this? I only wish NRA was adept at using the types of sophisticated data mining techniques I’ve read about at work with the Obama Administration, but I’ve never gotten the impression their information technology capability even rose to close that level of sophistication.
Pretty clearly Buzzfeed is trying to damage NRA with this article. The fact is NRA would be stupid not to try to get lists of permit holders in states that have yet to make those lists private. It’s worth nothing that of the two states mentioned int his article, NRA has pushed for privacy laws in Iowa and passed the privacy laws in Virginia, the two states mentioned in this particular article.
But the biggest failing of the article is to assume that gun owners are opposed to gun registration for registration’s sake. We’re opposed to it because it gives officials a convenient list to come knocking on doors once the end game is reached, like they’ve done in New York City already. I’m really not concerned that Wayne LaPierre is going to come knocking on my door demanding I turn in my guns, and even if he did, NRA doesn’t have a list of every gun I own. I’m very concerned Diane “Mr and Mrs America, turn them all in” Feinstein would be quite willing to send government agents around, likely at gunpoint for dangerous folks like us, to collect them.
I’m far less concerned if someone knows I’m a gun owner, versus whether they know what guns I own. We already have de facto registration in this country via form 4473, but one reason the 4473 was preferred over a centralized registry is that in a desperate situation, 4473s are (well, mostly) local, in private hands, and can be effectively burned. Even absent that kind of civil disobedience, any list the government compiled wouldn’t be comprehensive anyway, because there are still legal avenues to transfer firearms without the 4473. In short, without a registry of guns, any confiscation effort will be futile, and will certainly be very incomplete.
Jul 31, 2013
This is a very interesting article for people who like politics, essentially describing one viewpoint on how Colorado was lost. I don’t know enough about Colorado politics to have any insightful commentary, but the state, like many other western states, strikes me as having a pretty strong libertarian streak, much of which I’d imagine is incompatible with Brown’s very strong social conservatism. There’s a strong current in the GOP base, and especially in the Tea Party, that if we just run candidates that are conservative enough, we’ll never lose. I’ve never believed that to be true, and Colorado is evidence. You can run candidates that alienate other parts of your coalition, and hand the election to your opponents. That if we just run someone conservative enough is a myth peddled by talk radio hosts that making their livings telling people what they want to hear. The reality is getting to enough votes to win an election is not so simple.
Brown may be correct that the Democrats in Colorado have really stepped in it with the gun issue. I hope he’s correct in that. But for gun rights to be secure in Colorado, or anywhere, over the long term, you have to have a workable governing majority, and sometimes that involves making compromises. That would seem to be something Brown has trouble with.
Jun 13, 2013
It looks as if NAGR were robocalling gun owners with the wrong information, and were actually telling people to ask Governor Sandoval to sign the private transfer ban that’s currently sitting on his desk. It would seem they’ve since corrected it, but it’s amateurish mistakes like this which make me not take NAGR or Dudley Brown seriously at all. This article, from someone in Colorado, was a little to “rah-rah my team” for my taste, but it has some interesting bits:
Apparently, Mr. Brown has been (for many years) using third-party “front groups” that claim to represent hot-button social issues (like abortion and gay marriage), but in reality, are little more than direct mail operations designed to “punish” Mr. Brown’s opponents. When voters receive these last-minute attack mailers they get the impression that the candidate in question (whichever candidate Mr. Brown opposes at the time) are also opposed by a “wide spectrum” of other conservative groups. The mailers are often completely false, as with my own legislative race, where Dudley’s Beltway minions sent pieces that claimed that I was pro-gay rights and “soft” on Pro-Life issues. Anyone that knows me, knows these claims are laughable. But by then, the damage has been done.
And just recently, a reader in Virginia who knows my disdain for Brown an NAGR sent me an e-mail from a Virginia State Delegate (no link, sorry) which was sent to supporters:
You see, [NAGR] would rather line their pockets, posing as a legitimate gun organization, and attack pro-gun legislators instead of going after the liberal Democrats who boast of taking our guns. Simply put, it is a “get-rich-quick” scheme at the expense of gun owners and their rights.
I am their latest target. My primary election is this coming Tuesday, and NAGR is engaging inone false attack after another against me.
I am known in Richmond and throughout Virginia as one of our legislature’s staunchest defenders of the Second Amendment. I have an “A+” career rating from the NRA and am endorsed in my current primary election by not only the National Rifle Association and the Virginia Shooting Sports Association, but by legitimate “no compromise” groups like the Virginia Citizens Defense League PAC and Gun Owners of America. These folks have seen my good work protecting your rights, and they know the real deal when they see it.
I’m not actually sure it’s so much a “get rich quick” scheme, as it is an attempt to use the gun vote to promote other, unrelated causes in social conservatism that have nothing to do with the Second Amendment. I continue to encourage gun owners to not have anything to do with Dudley Brown or NAGR. Don’t give them money, don’t give them support.
Jun 10, 2013
GOA is fighting against the immigration bill, arguing that all those foreigners will vote to take away our guns. Maybe that’s so, but maybe it’s not so. Italians were big Democratic voters when they first came here too, but GOP politics around here is now full of people of Italian heritage.
I think GOA is attempting to shoe-horn gun rights into other right issues, and I think that is a mistake. It only serves to make the tent smaller. Approximately 35% of Democrats own firearms, and I don’t believe those votes ought to be written off or marginalized. That would pretty much assure that our fortunes rise and fall with the GOP, and given that all political party fortunes rise and fall, that’s not a recipe for long term protection of the right they claim to preserve.
May 19, 2013
Forbes outlines the five reasons the NRA won the recent gun control debate. I think it’s excellent, and well worth reading:
I’m going to share with you 5 reasons why the NRA won, and they have nothing to do with the often reported reasons like their PAC funds, their ability to turn out pro-gun voters in every legislative district, and the abundance of their skilled in-house and external lobbyists, although those are all true.
They simply execute the basics extremely well. As NRA volunteer Robert in Arizona told his fellow members about the basics, “Thanks for emailing your U.S. Senator, but you have to also write a letter or send a hand written postcard. No one ever tripped on a bag of email.” The good news is the tactics the NRA employed that no one is talking about are things that you can implement in your next persuasion battle. In addition, there were some mistakes made by gun control advocates that unwittingly aided the NRA.
I think she mostly gets it right, and it’s definitely one of the most serious looks at the dynamics of the pro-gun side of the issue I’ve seen from the traditional media in this late struggle.
One thing I think Ms. Showalter might discount a bit in her piece is that quite a bit of the grassroots power in gun rights comes through spontaneous and informal organizing, which makes me wonder whether she’s ever read Brian Anse Patrick’s The Rise of the Anti-Media. Patrick argues our success largely driven by the fact that we’ve constructed our own “horizontal interpretive communities.” I think that ought to be required reading for anyone trying to understand this issue.
One of the biggest mistakes the anti-gun crowd makes is to fail to understand their enemy. NRA is a manifestation of the gun rights movement, the gun rights movement was not created by the NRA. If the anti-gun folks could wish NRA out of existence tomorrow, we would quite quickly create an alternative. I believe the role the NRA plays, and has played in the gun rights movement has been supremely important, even if they haven’t always gotten everything right all the time.
I found this article a bit amusing, because I usually tend to think NRA as a whole, by which I mean to include its members and not merely leadership, is firing on maybe 5 out of 8 cylinders on a good day, though since Obama has started this latest push, I’d say we’ve been maybe 6 out of 8 in terms of our game. There’s still room for improvement. But many of our opponents really can’t grasp the depth of this issue; they think the NRA is the tip of the spear, when it many ways, it’s really the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes I wonder if the reason they think of gun rights as a spear, rather than an iceberg, is that in their more honest moments, they might wonder whether they are passengers on a political Titanic.
May 14, 2013
A few readers have sent me this story from the Philadelphia Inquirer, that I think needs some clearing up.
Based on the task force’s report, Christie made anti-violence recommendations that gun control advocates said didn’t go far enough. Around that time, two donations came in to Christie’s gubernatorial re-election campaign from NRA lobbyist Randy Kozuch, campaign records released yesterday show: $2,000 on March 5, as the task force was completing its work, and $1,000 on April 23, a few days after Christie issued his final gun proposals.
Randy used to head up State and Local Affairs, which is essentially NRA’s state lobbying effort. All the NRA State Liaisons report through State and Local Affairs. When James Baker came back to ILA several years ago, he was put in charge of ILA’s Federal Affairs team. Chuck Cunningham, who at the time headed up Federal Affairs, moved to head up State and Local Affairs. Kozuch went to work for the Office of Advancement, which is outside of NRA’s political arm (ILA). He donated to Christies campaign privately. In short, maybe Randy Kozuch “isn’t mad at Christie,” but it’s completely factually inaccurate to suggest “NRA sent cash,” as the Philadelphia Inquirer has done here.
May 8, 2013
We noticed SAF/CCRBKA’s booth on the NRA floor, but decided not to stop. But Think Progress did, and noticed they were handing out literature taking NRA to task over Manchin-Toomey:
But despite the bill’s (perhaps temporary) defeat in the Senate, CCRKBA doesn’t appear to be backing down — The Gun Mag, a Second Amendment Foundation publication, published an “NRA Meeting Special Issue” whose lead article takes apart the NRA’s line on Manchin-Toomey.
So it would seem that SAF/CCRKBA is doing their level best to help revive this bill, along with the Democratic leadership in the Senate. We’ve already started to see Jeff Flake go soft, and there’s rumors about Ayotte. I think both of them are hoping this issue goes away. But not, apparently, if Alan Gottlieb has his way.
If we end up losing on this, and there’s a good chance we will, you can lay the blame squarely at their feet on this one. I have been reluctant to be truly harsh to Alan Gottlieb’s organizations because I understand that lobbying is not a black and white game, and sometimes you get forced into concessions, or make a bad call. But the Manchin-Toomey deal is dead, and we should all be on the same page in trying to keep it dead, and CCRKBA/SAF are not on that page. We do not need this while the Dems, the White House, and Bloomberg are busy twisting arms to try to reanimate Manchin-Toomey.
This has forced me to take the unfortunate step of removing SAF from my side links. As long as they are still trying to make a case for Manchin-Toomey, I will not help promote them.
May 6, 2013
It’s no surprise the top vote getters this year were celebrity board members. The surprising thing to me is that Ollie North took the top spot and not Ted Nugent. I’m not reflexively opposed to celebrity Board Members, provided they are bringing something to the table, but I am of the opinion that the NRA Board has too many celebrities who aren’t brining anything, and who actively push contributing members off the Board. Often times losing Board members have skills the association needs. Joel Friedman comes to mind as a Board member who has been struggling to win another three year term.
This is not to say that none of the celebrities contribute. Susan Howard, of 1980s TV “Dallas” fame shows up and chairs a committee. R. Lee Ermey has been to every Board meeting I’ve attended, and has long been a competitor in NRA programs. Ollie North also shows up and participates on the Board. But how many people even know Karl Malone is associated with NRA? I’m not sure he’s even been sworn in.
These are some things to consider when it comes to well known names on your ballot. We’ll never endorse celebrities, mostly because they generally don’t need any help, but we’re happy to have the well known on the NRA Board of they participate.