Stay in the Fight

I’m disappointed to see Kim isn’t renewing his NRA membership over the whole Joaquin Jackson fiasco. Not nearly as disappointed as I am over what Joacquin Jackson said in that interview, and I will keep that in mind when his seat on the board comes up for a vote again. Kim says:

Looks like it’s going to be another year (or more) before the NRA sees any of my money, or my support. You NRA members may want to contact them with your thoughts on the subject. (I think that one of those NRA begging letters returned in the postage-paid envelope with a message scrawled in red ink saying: “Not Another Penny Till You Change Your Position On Assault Rifles!” would be a decent touch.)

Except NRA never changed their position on the assault weapons ban or magazine restrictions, and pretty much distanced themselves from that idea when they put out Jackson’s admittedly deficient statement on the whole matter.

Jackson is only one of 76 board members at NRA, it seems hardly fair to punish the entire organization over the action of one of them. It doesn’t make much sense to me either, because by allowing our memberships to lapse in NRA, or refusing to join the first place, we lose the one thing that would allow us to actually fix this situation; our right to vote for NRA board members. If you are unhappy with Jackson because of what he said, don’t vote for him next time. Quitting NRA because one of their board members said something stupid is like tearing up your voter registration card because your Congressman did something to piss you off.

Stay in the fight, and vote the bastards out!

17 Responses to “Stay in the Fight”

  1. Jadegold says:

    Kim du Toit?

    Hahahahahahaha. Jeebus, you folks have some seriously warped bedfellows.

    I hear du Toit, I think of this every time.

    I try not to be judgmental but…jeez, sometimes my worse instincts get the better of me and I can’t help but think of Kim duToit as the quintessential gunloon.

  2. Justin Buist says:

    I don’t think Kim ever was in the NRA. He’s not just letting his membership lapse.

    This is something that needs to be pointed out to the anti-gun crowd: The NRA is actually fairly mainstream when it comes to gun rights supporters. The “extremists” aren’t the body of the NRA. Now, I consider myself part of the “extremist” crowd and I keep my NRA membership up to date, but I do that begrudgingly. If I had to take a hip-shot at the “extremist” population in the NRA I’d say about 50% of the rabid pro-gun crowd are actually paying their dues to the NRA. I have no numbers to back that up, just a feeling I get from being on boards like TheHighRoad and frequenting pro-gun blogs.

    What we need to do is get the staunch pro-gun crowd to join the NRA, figure out what it takes to becoming a voting member, and make the NRA into the boogie man that the Brady Bunch makes it out to be.

    I want gun laws to look like 1933 again: machine guns and silencers at the local hardware store sold with every bit of restriction on them as the hammer next to them.

  3. Sebastian says:

    I am an “extremist” too, and I sympathize. But we have to make allies with people who aren’t, or we’ll lose. We’re not a big enough group to get everything we want, so we have to stay realistic, keep fighting the small battles, and hopefully keep taking back territory one frustrating step at a time.

  4. Sebastian says:

    Kim is actually not an absolutist, and probably supports more limits on the scope of the second amendment that many of us would. Kim speaks like an absolutist, but he’s not really one of them.

    Most absolutist wouldn’t agree with what’s written here.

  5. GeorgeH says:

    I dropped out of the NRA in ’68 after they threw exotic weapons over the back of the sleigh to keep their deer rifles. I rejoined in the early ’90s when it seemed like they were ready to work for all gun owners.

    This time I’m jumping off the sleigh before they have a chance to throw me. I’ll take my chances with the wolves, I always know where they will stand.

  6. Ahab says:

    I strongly disagree with the whole “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” approach he seems to have going.

    What’s funny is that Sebastian and I are both extremists when it comes to gun rights; but we’re both voting members of the NRA specifically because we are extremists.

  7. Sebastian says:

    I hear that a lot GeorgeH, but NRA didn’t even have a lobbying arm until 1975, when they founded ILA. I’ve never been able to find very good information over what exactly their involvement was with GCA 68? I know that the gun industry was responsible for pushing a lot of the importation restrictions, as a protectionist measure, but what role did the NRA play?

  8. Sebastian says:

    I should note that I’m a realistic extremist :) There’s no way we’re going to get rid of all gun control. The vast majority of federal gun control is here to stay. I’d be tickled pink if we could accomplish only repealing the Hughes Amendment, or getting the importations restrictions in GCA 68 removed.

    Repealing the Brady Act – not going to happen in my lifetime
    Repealing all of GCA 68 – not going to happen in my lifetime
    Repealing all of NFA – not going to happen in my lifetime

    We have to focus on what’s achievable right now, and work toward it. We’ll burn the other bridges when we come to them.

  9. GeorgeH says:

    “I hear that a lot GeorgeH, but NRA didn’t even have a lobbying arm until 1975, when they founded ILA.”

    Because the tax laws didn’t require them to have a separate lobbying arm until then. They always had a heavy lobbying presence. They just decided it was easier to give in on anything that most members didn’t care about.

    The only way to deal with someone like Joacquin Jackson is to quit in large enough numbers to cause the rest of the board to shame him into resigning and apologizing.
    He’d probably fit right in at one of the phony law enforcement groups allied to the Brady Campaign.

  10. Sebastian says:

    The only way to deal with someone like Joacquin Jackson is to quit in large enough numbers to cause the rest of the board to shame him into resigning and apologizing.

    Except if you do that, you leave the wishy washy guys in charge, which weakens NRA, and suddenly you have more gun control to deal with. I really think the only way to affect change in NRA is from within.

  11. GeorgeH says:

    The wishy washy guys are already in charge, and the clueless.
    It’s a rare week when Bitter doesn’t have a rant about something the NRA didn’t get email or a press release out on until it was long over.

    If Bitter will run for the board, I’ll stay in.

  12. Sebastian says:

    Careful what you wish for ;)

  13. Sebastian says:

    To some degree a lot of that is just bureaucratic incompetence, which you’re going to get with any organization of any appreciable size.

  14. Tarn Helm says:

    Joaquin Jackson is another Zumbo.

    I never knew much about either until they recently jammed their boots in their mouths.

    Now I know enough to make me like neither.

    The Second Amendment cannot afford to have “friends” like Jackson and Zumbo.

    The only way you could imagine Jackson and Zumbo to be friends of the Second Amendment is if you do not understand the “original intent” behind the Second Amendment.

    If you consider yourself a friend of the Second Amendment, it is important for you to understand the “original intent” behind it.

    Use a search engine to look up “In Search of the Second Amendment.”

    It is a very recent scholarly documentary (not entertainment) by David T. Hardy, one of America’s most respected Second Amendment scholars (quoted in Court decisions and in high level policy documents).

    Neither Jackson nor Zumbo is a friend of the Second Amendment.

  15. Sebastian says:

    I agree Tarn, that we can’t afford to have “defenders of the second amendment” saying such thing.

    I already have a copy of “In Search of the Second Amendment”, though, and have met David Hardy on a few occasions. If you’d like to help promote the film, might I suggest going here to David’s blog, where he’s asking people to carry it on netflix, and get it in libraries.

  16. David Codrea says:

    I’ve been accused of being an NRA basher, but in fact, I am a life member, and former members council officer and volunteer, Golden Eagle, etc. So, like the slogan goes, I AM the NRA, albeit admittedly in a minority. My differences are not with NRA per se, but with certain actions and statements by some members of management and staff, and I make no apologies for being vocal about them–especially since their voice and reach is so much louder and longer than mine. The counterbalance is needed, even if the change to course is imperceptible–we never know if vocal dissent causes minor course corrections or not.

    I agree that the ‘extremists’ need to join NRA, not leave it, and also think that much of the complaining comes from people who, by not doing this, have sidelined themselves from being able to effect change.

    I agree with you, Sebastian, that voting or not voting for NRA Directors is the best way to make this happen, but the problem is, there is no coordinated and systematic means for people not in “the NRA establishment” to do this–and I’m sure you’ve found that getting gun owners to agree to anything is like the proverbial herding of cats. So we’re left with situations where NRA posts its Nominating Committee recommendations, and we saw the way they discouraged the coalition put together by the late Neal Knox–so the LaPierre faction retains control. And this is not to start the debate on whether they should or not, or what their track record is, or whether a more extreme approach would result in more or less progress with legislation–I’m only examining the process for board change here.

    How do we know who to vote for and who will be more “hard core”? You can’t just disqualify people because they’ve been nominated by the committee as you’ll lose a few who are OK. And you can’t rely on published bios, because they’re basically just advertisements.

    I do use them–I just don’t rely on them. For instance, if all a candidate can say is he’s an endowment member and he helped put in some hunting program, I figure we’ve got more than our share of those already.

    What I’d like to see is some sort of rating system–just as NRA and GOA do with politicians. But how would we know how to rate them?

    I developed a questionnaire some time back, admittedly not acceptable to all, but it satisfies what I need to know–and I suspect what a few fellow ‘extremists’ would like to know, too. Trouble is, I was the only one pushing it, so naturally it would not go anywhere. When everyone in a race doesn’t return your questionnaire, that kind’a moots the point that they didn’t respond.

    Still, I believe the idea is valid. I just don’t think it would be effective to host it on my site, because again, I’m tainted with the brush of being biased and having an axe to grind, plus, my reach is way too small. However, if a coalition of bloggers and activists picked up this idea and formed a coalition to promote it, it could turn it into a force to be reckoned within NRA elections.

    Ratings could then be given, although I’d expect them–and the questions–to be challenged and competing alternatives to spring up–which I view as a good thing, new outlets for gun owner involvement…

    Face it–if we can’t even generate the clout to affect an NRA election, how can we expect to be effective on a larger political scale? And until we do something in an organized fashion like this, future BOD elections will continue as they have, in effect impervious to dissatisfaction, with individual directors shielded from accountability.

  17. Sebastian says:

    Thanks for the comment. That’s an interesting topic to bring up at the GBR in October. Last year Bitter was doing endorsements for the board, and I mostly went with those, since she knows some of them personally. Nonetheless, I’ve never felt I was voting with enough information on hand as to exactly what a specific board members contribution would be on what their specific views are.

    I do hope there’s enough individual accountability on the board that Jackson is unable to win another term.