Currently Browsing: Gun Rights Organizations
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.
May 6, 2013
NRA Security has implemented some security theater outside the Board Meeting, so we are unable to bring you the stats for this year live, but we’ll get close. NRA has traditionally not allowed recording devices in meetings, but it was never really enforced. This year you have to check your cell phones at the door. Oddly enough, they aren’t using the obvious measure of checking NRA membership cards. What’s wildly ironic about all this is that the person who has the recording device with an intent to cause embarrassment (which is itself kinda funny, given how dry Board meetings are) isn’t going to obey the “no recording devices allowed” sign, and it’s not like they are checking beyond asking. I’m just a big believer in, if you’re going to do security, do real security,or don’t bother with it. I’d feel sorry for any operative who had to sit through the whole thing anyway, just like I felt bad for the guy ThinkProgress sent to record the legal seminar. I doubt he could follow anything, and he sure as hell didn’t get anything juicy. But nonetheless I’m still flummoxed over the irony of a cell phone free zone. Or maybe I should call it a lefty-operative empowerment zone.
More to come when we have it.
May 6, 2013
Stay tuned for our live coverage of the NRA Board Meeting, where we’ll find out what the attendance figures were for this year’s Annual Meeting and Exhibits. We already know part of the answer, since Secretary Land already spilled some of the beans in the President’s reception last night. As of then, his office was still counting.
Houston is a record meeting. This is unexpected, because Houston, in previous years, has generally been an average attendance event rather than a record buster. NRA doesn’t seem to schedule record busting cities for off-election-year events, so not only breaking the record this year, but we think possibly obliterating the record this year, is very welcome news, in terms of the political statement it sends.
Shortly we will head over to breakfast. Scott Bach arrived in last night, and invited us. He’s missed pretty much all of the meeting, courtesy to the folks in Trenton, and he’s flying back immediately after the meeting. We’re headed back later this afternoon, and will be out of pocket for a while. It’s been a good meeting for us, despite the fact that we forgot to book hotel space, and had to spend more than I wanted staying at the Four Seasons (though, their convention rate was a steal). I’ve also been shameless about attending catered events this meeting, and the press room cheese platter has made for adequate lunch. Unfortunately, most of my convention budget got washed away by a misplaced drywall screw.
Look for live coverage to begin. We’re only going to cover the morning business, and really not much of that beyond the stats. Really, NRA Board meetings are pretty dry, especially when they get into the afternoon business, which is nearly entirely about programs (e.g. shooting competitions, etc).
May 4, 2013
There were 1,718,786 people eligible to vote in the NRA board elections this year. That number is overwhelmingly made up of life members. What’s significant about this number is that it’s nearly 122,000 more than last year. That’s how many more (mostly life) voting members we have now.
Of those ballots mailed, only 123,646 bothered to vote at all. A little under 11,000 had to be tossed because they were invalid. The overwhelmingly common problem (nearly 3,400) is people voting for too many candidates.
More than 10,000 people more voted than last year. The top vote getter (Ollie North) received more votes than the top vote getter last year. There are plenty of years when there are no candidates who break 100,000 votes, but three did this year. Even more amazing, one of them was Sandy Froman even though she’s not a celebrity. (She’s just awesome and wonderfully likeable.)
When we get home, I’ll do up a serious analysis of how people participate in their NRA. This is just a quick and dirty set of facts picked up quickly from the election committee report.
Apr 16, 2013
NRA just helped deal a one-two economic punch to anti-gunners today. We’re talking millions of dollars worth of a punch.
In case you’ve forgotten the story, Reed Exhibitions sponsored the Eastern Sport & Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania every year and managed to generate upwards of $74 million in the local economy and in support of the non-profits that raise money and sign up memberships at the ESOS every year. However, Reed banned the display of modern sporting rifles and the backlash of their attack on our community cost them so many vendors and customer refund requests that they had to “postpone” the show. Obviously, the show has never been rescheduled and it was handled so poorly by Reed that lawmakers asked that they never be allowed to host the show again.
All of that meant that Harrisburg-area tourism groups and Farm Show complex organizers went shopping for a new host to a sporting show for the region. What do you know? NRA happens to host a smaller scale show just 70 miles down the road in Maryland right around the same time of year.
It was announced today that NRA has been selected as the vendor to run a much larger scale Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg during the traditional time of the Eastern Sport & Outdoor Show. Maryland, after pushing extreme gun legislation, now loses the economic impact of that show and Pennsylvania gets a new vendor for the sportsmen’s show that doesn’t hate hunters & shooters. To top it off, Reed forever loses the multi-million dollar show they once hosted. Anti-gunners lose and a pro-gun state wins.