23 thoughts on “Pointing out the Naked Emperor”

  1. Hear, hear! I’m a generally conservative Libertarian (meaning I don’t care for either party in their entirety, but I identify with more of the conservative parts of the Republicans than the liberal parts of the Dems and usually vote accordingly), but my primary interest is the RKBA. Without a fully functional RKBA, all other discussions of our “rights” are purely academic. That being said, the NRA has done more than GOA ever has, or likely ever will (if they keep up their current shenanigans) to further that right. I do understand that there’s a bit of a David and Goliath comparison between the two organizations, but GOA would be wise to focus on “gun ownership” like the NRA does, and leave the rest of the politics out of it (like I said, it’s a moot point if the government has a monopoly on force anyway). GOA reminds me of a little kid brother jumping up and down shouting, “Look at me! Look at me!” and they just need to “grow up.” Do I like Harry Reid? No, but he has done some good stuff for the RKBA, and I’d sure hate to see which “Progressive” idiot the Dems would stick in his place if he wasn’t there.

  2. •An amendment to allow National Park carry inserted into the Credit Card bill.


    •An amendment to fix DC’s gun laws inserted into the Voting Rights Act.

    Which was defeated.

    •An amendment to create national reciprocity recognition that even included recognition for states that did not issue licenses, like Vermont. We lost his one, but the vote never would have happened without Harry Reid.

    The loss would never have happened if Harry Reid hadn’t (a) set the vote up to require 60 votes for passage, and (b) gotten a few Senators to change their votes to “no” when it looked as if the amendment would pass even so. I’m more pissed about his cynical “Lookit me, I made a pro-gun vote” than I would be if he’d made an honest “no” vote.

    •Funding rider to force Amtrak to allow guns in checked baggage.

    Which benefits what, seven people? But it gives Reid another meaningless “pro-gun” vote.
    •Let’s also not forget all the other funding riders which are important for us, which Reid helped us get.

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about here; are you lreferring to that gun range in southern Nevada? I would hope the world’s oldest civil rights organization has more to offer than Congressional pork.

    So, at the end of the day Reid has won carry in national parks and made it easier for people to carry on Amtrak.

    The GOP leadership, which you disparage (and with good reason) passed the PLCAA, despite your implication that it was Reid who did it, and allowed the AWB to expire. Granted, the GOP’s 2A record is piss-poor, but based on the facts, it was slightly better than Reid’s, at least during the 2000’s.

    And the GOA’s hypocrisy re: Hutchinson is about as relevant as the statements on gun rights by the Liberal Party of Slovenia. Amazing, I know, but it is possible for both you and the GOA to be less than 100% right. Reid isn’t running against Kay Bailey Hutchinson. He’s running against Sharron Angle. If Reid wins, he will stab us in the back at the first opportunity, as was proven by his games that killed the Thune amendment. If Angle wins, she won’t.

    Also, I find it incredibly hard to swallow that Schumer or Durbin are going to get 50 votes for as unpopular a position as gun control *after* getting stomped this November. At least Schumer is (relatively) honest about his hatred for gun owners; Reid uses backdoor methods.

    Do you remember how you told us that gun owners *needed* to support Arlen Specter, Sebastian? Or how we needed to support Kristen Gillibrand? How long are you going to try kicking the football, Charlie?

  3. Let me see if I can put this in a nicer way: do you think it is a better sign for the future of gun rights if we run on the basis of hope, or of fear? Are we better served by some schizophrenic, Wile E. Coyote train of thought that says we should nominate a man who headed Clinton’s anti-gun pogrom because We’re a Genius!–or by nominating a good woman (I’ve met her personally, and no, I’m not affiliated with her campaign–yet) with a perfect record on guns?

    Do you think that if Adolf Eichmann had moved to the US and compiled a half-decade’s worth of mostly insignificant votes pro-Israel votes, that he would deserve the endorsement of the ADL?

  4. Ken: NRA has an incumbent friendly endorsement policy. Given two pro-gun candidates, they will endorse the incumbent. If Angle unseats Reid, she’ll benefit from the same policy against challengers. If NRA says “Sorry Harry, we don’t like you because you’re not a conservative” they will lose all credibility when it comes to convincing Democrats that there’s support to be had by their supporting gun rights.

    I am absolutely willing to piss off the conservative movement and do the right thing here. The Second Amendment has to be bipartisan in order for it to be safe over the long run. Harry Reid, for better or worse, is going to be a big part of that equation of convincing Democrats they have more to gain than lose by supporting our issue.

  5. Ken, what exactly has GOA done to advance the RKBA? It’s one thing to knock Reid and/or the NRA for questionable wins or failed attempts, but I can’t think of anything that GOA has done for me as a gun owner. The NRA has, SAF has, but GOA….?????

  6. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to further this NRA/GOA rift. It’s just that I have a limited amount of funds to spread around, and right now that money goes to the NRA as the single most effective tool out there for protecting my RKBA. If the GOA would concentrate on the same issue, then they might be able to increase their grassroots support, which would allow them to grow and achieve more, which would bring more support, and so on. What they’re doing now accomplishes nothing, so I choose not to support them.

  7. >•An amendment to fix DC’s gun laws inserted into the Voting Rights Act.

    >Which was defeated.


    Fine. It wasn’t defeated. It wasn’t enacted either. The House refused to vote on it. I realize that wasn’t Reid but Pelosi and Hoyer, but it isn’t as if Reid didn’t know full well that Pelosi would never bring it to the floor.

    >And how did Reid’s games kill the Thune Amendment exactly? Because he voted for it. It was Schumer who was whipping in opposition to Thune.

    Are you freaking serious? You’ve never heard of the concept of Senators voting yes on the final passage, and yet doing everything they could to make sure the noes win? This is one of the oldest legislative tricks in the book.

    And no, I’m not particularly surprised that Reid got Schumer to do his dirty work here.

  8. >Ken: NRA has an incumbent friendly endorsement policy. Given two pro-gun candidates, they will endorse the incumbent.

    Yes, but *Reid is not pro-gun.* I don’t get that from Red State or GOA either. It’s from 24 years of living under his heel here in Nevada. Have you ever driven in your car, with a radio advertisement blasting in your ear, in which a comedienne does a commercial for your U.S. Senator saying that his opponent is uncool because he’s friends with Charleton Heston and the NRA?

    I HAVE.

    >I am absolutely willing to piss off the conservative movement and do the right thing here.

    The right thing being, supporting a senator who spearheaded Clinton’s anti-gun pogrom, then after the public turned decisively against gun control, cynically voted just barely pro-gun enough to get the NRA’s endorsement in 2004, and then, as Majority Leader, allowed enough pro-gun votes to get an ostensibly pro-gun record again, while making sure that no real game-changing legislation was really passed (even though he cynically voted yes).

    > The Second Amendment has to be bipartisan in order for it to be safe over the long run.

    And the best means for doing that is not to put all your eggs in one basket and desperately supporting one man above all others, when deep in your heart you know damned well he can’t be trusted. A much better way is to meet the enemy head-on. Do the Democrats have the balls to bring anti-gun legislation to the floor after getting stomped in November? I doubt it, but frankly I think we’d be better off than doing all our fighting in smoke-filled rooms. The best thing that ever happened to the Democrats was the 1994 GOP landslide, because it put the GOP on the spot supporting things that really weren’t very popular. If the Dems get stomped supporting gun control–not because the NRA-ILA made a few phone calls, but because the American people told their Congressmen hell no–it will kill gun control forever.

  9. >Ken, what exactly has GOA done to advance the RKBA?

    Not much that I can see. But then again, I’m not defending them. I merely happen to agree on this one issue. Sebastian seems to have the misapprehension that I’m somehow getting my information from them, but I’m not.

  10. And I was just trying to point out that, while not necessarily perfect, the NRA has been pursuing a largely successful strategy of patiently pushing back bit by bit over the years. Our RKBA wasn’t eroded in a day, and it won’t be restored either. And Reid, although he may be a fake supporter or expedient believer in the 2A, is better than the alternative–not the person filling his particular seat (I would agree that his opponent is much friendlier to the 2A), but the alternative Majority Leader.

  11. I don’t at all mean to imply you’re a kool aid drinker Ken. I just don’t agree when I look at Harry Reid that I see an anti-gun politicians. I don’t see Tom Coburn or John Thune, but I don’t see Diane Feinstein either. FYI, Reid voted against the Clinton AWB, which IMHO was the worst of Clinton’s agenda.

    I’d put Reid in the same category as McCain… who’s been with us most of the time, but has on occasion wandered off the reservation. But for most of the past decade, they’ve been with us on the really important votes.

    I don’t see any reason to believe that Harry Reid had Chuck Schumer do his dirty work for him. From every account I’ve heard opposition to Thune was lead by Schumer…. who I would remind you would be a likely follow up to Reid as majority leader.

    If folks want to find out which tricks the majority leader has up his sleeves to prevent pro-gun bills from exiting the Senate, just wait for Chucky or Dick to show you.

  12. Senate Majority leader has an awful lot of negative power. If Reid let something on the floor, it was because he felt he had to. Whether it’s the NRA holding his feet to the fire, or his own beliefs, it really doesn’t matter.

  13. Once again: fear or hope?

    Pray for scraps from King Harry? Or take advantage of America’s 75% pro-2nd Amendment majority and tell Schumer et al, “Make our day”?

  14. If 75% of the Senate agreed with us, we wouldn’t need Sen Reid. But for whatever reason, he did in fact publically support the pro-gun forces. I guarantee you Chucky Schumer would have buried National Park Carry without even a floor vote.

  15. 60% of Americans are against Health Care. That didn’t stop them. You only get a chance to speak every two years, and the Senate is slower to turn than the House.

  16. Deliberately slow to turn over by design; and in its original form intended to be a non-democratic bulwark against populism.

    Fine – we want a different Congress. Unless you live in Nevada, why not start with someone who is a lot more repugnant to the cause of RKBA?

  17. Excellent post, Sebastian. I couldn’t agree with you more on your very clear opening position: “In order for the Second Amendment to be truly preserved, it must have support of both of our major political parties.”

    The NRA has of course done tremendous things for gun owners in America, and, yes, as shown by support of Reid & other Democrats they do maintain some claim to being politically neutral. They also avoid la-la land, which the is the GOA often wanders.

    However, the NRA could, and should, do more to prove their political objectivity, & they would be more effective if they did. Regardless of what you think of people like Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Gingrich, etc. no one can argue they are anything but conservative,Republican and anti-Democrat. When Wayne LaPierre is featured at CPAC at all, let alone sandwiched between speakers like those, it reinforces in Democrats’ minds the idea that gun rights organizations work exclusively for the benefit of Republican candidates and that Democrats cannot contribute to the cause of gun rights if it means helping the NRA. I know a lot of Democrats who strongly support gun rights who will have nothing to do with the NRA, and thus has little outlet for their voices at all. Another example is when LaPierre makes statements like “gun ownership is a conservative value” (close to his quote a CPAC a couple years ago) instead of framing gun ownership as an American and small-d democratic value, or even speaking the (large-D) Democratic language by talking about guns as a civil rights issue or even emphasizing the racist, Jim Crow & similar origins of so much gun control. Clearly LaPierre is politically aware of what he is doing, as well as how his choice of language or posturing alienates potential left-wing gun rights supporters from allying with him. I can take a few guesses as to why he chooses to do what he does, and perhaps the choices are good for the NRA, but they aren’t necessarily good for gun rights–the NRA not having credibility with the majority of Democrats matters a lot when Democrats hold majorities, as the all-but-certain nomination of Kagan is unfortunately most likely to sure us, if not this year then at some point in the future.

  18. Sebastian,

    There are some unhappy people here in Ohio with the Buckeye Firearms Association endorsing Democrat Ted Strickland for a second term as governor, but like the NRA, BFA is a single issue group and Strickland is A+ on guns and second amendment issues even if he is killing Ohio with other items on his agenda. GOA just doesn’t get it.

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