More on GOA’s Grades

A commenter last night pointed me to GOA’s Political Victory Fund and this web site here where t offer a voting guide. But it still does not shed light on how GOA justifies such low grades for pro-gun Democrats. Thirdpower brought up the matter of Debbie Halvorson last week, and yesterday we had an attack on Walz. Halvorson has a longer record than a lot of newer Democrats. But what does GOA have on her?

  • She voted for the bailout, which has exactly nothing to do with guns.
  • She voted for three motions to recommit, which has about as much to do with voting against guns in national parks as the “no” votes on the final bill of GOA favorites Tom McClintock, Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann, and Paul Broun and  vote against the final bill did. These people are all legitimately pro-gun, but it makes no sense to count Democrat procedural votes on the bill, and not count these votes on final passage.
  • She voted on Obamacare, which has exactly nothing to do with guns, especially after Harry Reid (another favorite GOA whipping boy) got language inserted that protected the interests of gun owners.
  • She voted for DISCLOSE, which I’ll give GOA dinging her on, since they weren’t exempted from it. But I will point out the only pro-gun organization that would have been affected by DISCLOSE is the NRA had it not gotten itself exempted. GOA spends practically nothing on independent expenditures, and groups likes SAF have a tax status that does not allow for them to participate in elections. This isn’t a big enough gun issue to throw all the other pro-gun Dems under the bus for. If you’re willing to sacrifice those relations to preserve an activity you don’t participate in materially, I question your political judgement as a single-issue organization.

Taken together, this says that GOA is not strictly a gun rights organization. It is a conservative organization that markets itself as a gun rights organization. It’s fine if that’s how they want to play the game, but I don’t consider it an effective way of protecting the Second Amendment.

As a citizen, I am certainly not happy with Obamacare, bailouts, or DISCLOSE, but as an NRA member I’m very pleased they are seeking a bipartisan consensus on the Second Amendment that works across ideological lines. Ultimately, that’s the only way to protect rights in the long term, and it’s been very successful to date. I’m hoping to see the Bradys bashing their heads against the wall for a long time to come.

3 thoughts on “More on GOA’s Grades”

  1. GOA includes many things that are not directly second amendment including – if you look at Larry Pratt’s list on the GOA web site – they graded on the DISCLOSE votes and the Obamacare votes and hold that against the democrats…

  2. One important vote that should get any member of Congress a grade no higher than a “D” is whether they said AYE or NAY to electing Speaker Pelosi.


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