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More Eating Our Own

If folks want to know why I will never join or give a dime to GOA, this is a big part of the reason why. I followed over to their site, and found the accusation in the fall newsletter. Now, given that it was the Wisconsin Ethics Board that made this mistake, I can understand how this made it into the newsletter. I think a phone call might have been in order, but it’s a pretty official source, so I’ll give them a break on the original inclusion.

But now, knowing it’s a mistake, do you think maybe a public retraction is in order? It seems like the honorable thing to do. But I’m afraid WGO is more interested in crapping on NRA than being honorable.

I don’t think it’s healthy for gun owners to only have one voice, but it’s definitely not healthy gun rights activists and organizations to form a circular firing squad, and I won’t have any part of organizations that promote it. It’s one thing to disagree, it’s another to do what GOA and their state affiliates have been doing as of late.

8 Responses to “More Eating Our Own”

  1. Sailorcurt says:

    I’m not disagreeing with you…in fact, I completely agree. However, I think the NRA has a tendency to feed the problem rather than try to alleviate them.

    They refuse to even acknowledge the existence of any other gun rights organization at the national level, let alone give them credit for accomplishments…in fact, the NRA tries very hard to take the credit for those accomplishments.

    They often find themselves at odds with statewide gun rights organizations with regard to state legislation and candidate endorsements. They regularly refuse to assist state and local organizations in achieving their goals and, on the rare occasion that they do help, it is only to take full credit for the accomplishments themselves.

    I could go on because the list of grievances is long.

    In this particular case, the NRA’s position was obviously misrepresented as a result of a mistake…but what does it say about the NRA’s history when a state level group will automatically assume that the mistaken information is correct?

    I know if I heard something like that in Virginia, I wouldn’t be surprised. It has happened too many times to inspire any incredulity.

    The “circular firing squad” is definitely not a good way to advance an agenda, but I would humbly submit that the NRA’s current practices are a part of the problem. If they don’t want to be treated like the enemy, they should probably try not to act like the enemy.

    Incidentally, I’m NOT a member of the GOA (because of these types of incidents) and I’m a life member of the NRA. I vote in the board elections and I regularly write to the NRA about issues at both the national level and in Virginia.

    Notably, I am regularly ignored. Par for the course.

  2. Boyd says:

    I agree. While I initially had a favorable impression of GOA when I first heard of them (with a niggling question in the back of my mind on why they existed in addition to the NRA), lately they and their leadership have left me feeling like they only exist to criticize and defame the NRA. And they take stupid positions and spout false information to support their anti-NRA-ness.

    When you disagree with someone on your side of an issue, you discuss it calmly and quietly together. When you agree, that’s what you shout from the mountaintops.

    Well, at least that’s the way it is in my own little fantasy world.

  3. Boyd says:

    Oh, and while I agree to some extent with my fellow Virginia sailor Curt, the NRA strikes me as typical of the large national organization representing a particular hobby or interest. They’re all big bureaucracies, and it’s hard for a little ol’ member to be heard.

    Such is the way of the world. *shrug*

  4. Sebastian says:

    Sometimes I think the state groups have a point when they complain about NRA, sometimes I think the state group is wrong. For instance, NRA dropped its opposition to HB1744 here in Pennsylvania, while other state groups are continuing to oppose it. I’ve read through the bill, and while I don’t think it’s necessarily awful, it adds another regulatory burden on dealers, and I’m not sure dropping opposition was the smart move.

    By the same token, there’s been cases where state groups have done things like fight concealed carry, because anything less than Vermont Carry was unacceptable to them.

    There’s bound to be disagreement, but to some degree you have to accept that we’re all on the same side, make the case for your position, and why you feel the other group is wrong, and continue on. Villanizing and demonizing another group is crossing the line.

  5. Sebastian says:

    I should also note that quite often other groups try to take credit for NRA’s accomplishments too, so it works both ways.

  6. Bitter says:

    but what does it say about the NRA’s history when a state level group will automatically assume that the mistaken information is correct?

    When the group is still putting out statements in their Fall newsletter, and NRA’s public statements and testimony were in the spring, it raises questions about motives. Oh yes, and then that whole using it for fundraising purposes bit…

    At this point, it’s not an honest misunderstanding. The group is actively lying.

    Having actually worked at the state level, NRA tends to ignore the standard shots across their bow because there are too many to nitpick. But when another group continues to put out false information months after public statements are made and then use it to make money, that’s a big freaking problem. I would say it’s a new low, but it’s not.

  7. Sailorcurt says:

    At this point, it’s not an honest misunderstanding. The group is actively lying.

    On that we absolutely agree and the group deserves all the vilification it gets for that aspect of it.

    Although it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they attempted to contact the NRA about this issue and were ignored ( I’ve seen it time and again), once the issue was cleared up, they should have backed off, made a retraction and let it go. Continuing to harp on the situation after its been resolved is uncalled for and unhelpful.

    Again, I wasn’t disagreeing with Sebastian’s contention, just saying that I think the NRA has some culpability in this problem as well.

    We all need to work together. That doesn’t mean that state groups should be required to kowtow to the mighty NRA who may or may not be looking out for the interests of the citizens of that state; but we also shouldn’t be quite so eager to publicly flog each other over disagreements either.

  8. guy says:

    Thanks guys, as a WI resident I SURE do love living in one of two states that absolutely deny their residents the right to carry.

    So, keep it up. And by no means should your organizations talk to each other privately over this dispute. Public pissing matches are SO much more effective.

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