Spat Between NRA and Tennessee Republicans

So it seems the Republicans won control of the Tennessee legislature for the first time in a long time, and then proceeded to do what Republicans do best when gun owners help them get elected: tell us they don’t owe us anything, and proceed to do little to move gun rights forward. While the particular topic of parking lot bills is not one I’m fond of, I agree with Packetman that I’m happy to see NRA holding Republican feet to the fire, and trying to push for the GOP to be better. As I said, I’m not fond of the parking lot bills, but Republicans have to get the message that just being less-bad than the other guy isn’t enough, especially in areas where the Democrats can be convinced to play along and compete for our vote. It also looks like strategic targeting in primaries is now becoming part of the NRA playbook, which is smart. If you can get enough heads on pikes*, eventually you just need to threaten, without having to throw down and follow through on election day.

* For our metaphorically and intellectually challenged friends in the gun control movement, I am not suggesting Chris Cox behead and pike any of our political opponents. I am not suggesting anyone do that. It is just a metaphor, like “heads on a platter” does not mean literal heads a platter, nor does saying a newly hired CEO is a wild hatchet man when it comes to culling the head count, means that the new CEO is an axe murderer. I would normally not feel the need to point this out, but many of our opponents have shown an inability to converse like rational adults.

34 thoughts on “Spat Between NRA and Tennessee Republicans”

    1. Think that the producers of “Game of Thrones” will use Lugar’s head on a pike for a scene? :)

  1. Thanks for the plug, Sebastian … unnecessary but certainly appreciated!

    It’s just my opinion, but the NRA really needs to re-think it’s pro-incumbent policy for just these reasons – Harry Reid may be relatively pro-gun but then he shoves it up our collective ass by voting to confirm the likes of Sotomayor and Kagan.

    Now I suppose I’ll have to deal with the Sebast-a-lanche in 3 … 2 … 1 …

  2. We’re getting reverse garbage here in Texas. Our state org (TSRA) is bending over backwards to support a career politician running for the open U.S. Senate seat.

    The Tea Party and TRUE conservatives are supporting the non-career/establishment RINO candidate.

    I doubt I’ll re-up my TSRA membership or contribute to them again until we get some new faces in the leadership circles.

    I’m all for NRA holding the Repubics feet and other body appendages to the fire. Defending the Constitution and Bill of Rights should be ANY politician’s first priority rather than “pay back pork bills.”

    JD Kinman

  3. Parking lot laws are a waste of time. Nothing pisses people off more than telling them when they can and can’t allow on their private property. The fight should be for preemption and constitutional carry.

    1. But those are capitalist expropriators who don’t count!

      Seriously, one should acknowledge the argument that the proletariat ^_^ have a right to defend themselves while commuting to and from work.

    2. David, I agree that parking lot laws are, at least, a low priority, but in the case of corporations I don’t see how it’s out of line for those who benefit from state laws regarding corporations to be required to conform to state laws regarding permit holders.

      Businesses have a legitimate interest in keeping weapons out of the actual workplace, but I believe that only sole proprietorships and limited partnerships should be allowed to absolutely ban weapons from their property.

  4. Has it occured to anyone but me that the conservative establishment and the NRA are playing a sort of rope-a-dope with you folks?

    Neither group wants a real solution to the gun rights question, it would put the NRA almost out of business if they didn’t have their crisis du jour, and the conservative establishment sucks your wallets dry every time they cry about rights and such.

    Liberals, on the other hand, need you to be their monster, because they want money too.

    There are serious questions to work on here, but being led down paths that are contrary to common sense is not going to get us to answers.

    1. You’re not really impressing me with your command of this topic, and it’s pretty apparent you’re a newcomer. I don’t have any sacred cows here, and I recognize the lion’s share of bullshit on both sides of the issue.

      I also know enough people who work or have worked for NRA to know no one there is concerned about being out of a job anytime soon because the gun issue is going to be settled, and a significant part of NRA would continue, even if it was.

      1. I’m not trying to impress you, but make you pause and think.

        I remember the NRA of the 50s and 60s, and it was nothing like today.
        Of course they aren’t worried about job security, they can always stir the pot and rile up a whole lot of contributors.
        they didn’t use to need so much money, remember?

        1. I’m obviously too young to remember the NRA of that period, but I did read a bunch of ’60s issues of American Rifleman.

          Somehow I didn’t get the impression that Senator Dodd (father of Christopher) was, oh, taking bribes from the NRA to push his gun control law which eventually became the GCA of ’68. (Not that he wasn’t corrupt enough. :-)

          Was Dukakis in the employ of the NRA and/or GOAL when he said “You know I don’t believe in people owning guns, only the police and military. And I’m going to do everything I can to disarm this state.” G. H. W. Bush and Clinton when they enacted their “assault weapon” bans? We’re still living with the former’s, BTW, there’s real work to be done there.

          I think I’ve made my points.

        2. Cause in my seven years as an activist in this issue, and five and a half years blogging on this subject, obviously I haven’t given this issue much thought at all.

        3. If you remember the NRA of the 50s, that means that you were a member (2012-1959=) 53 years ago, at least, and to actually remember the 50s (and not just the last year of the 1950s) you would have to have been a member more like 55-58 years ago. If you remember it at all well, you would have been adult back then–which would make you at least 73, and likely older than that.

          Call me skeptical. This sounds like Mobyism to me.

          1. Clayton, thanks for all the numbers. I used to believe in them too. Until I met computers…

            Your note exposes a fundamental flaw with using numbers to simulate reality, the assumptions.

            If your assumptions are faulty, no application of math will come up with an answer that correlates well with reality.

            When Sputnik went up, I was in the seventh grade, and that launch changed my educational life forever. SMSG,BSCS, CHEM Study, and PSSC.
            From eighth grade on, my education was science and logic.
            Living within sight of the Cape probably made a difference.

            I have an excellent memory, and my dad had a lifetime subscription to American Rifleman….

            As for Mobyism, I had to look that up.
            That’s nothing new, it’s as old as elections.

            The truth is, I don’t have many new ideas, but I surely try to learn about the old ones, because while history doesn’t actually repeat, it rhymes.

    2. It occurred to me a long time ago. It also occurred to me that the RKBA has been a swell tool they use to win our support as voters — to advance the rest of their agenda — while they never have to deliver very much on the issue, to keep us on the line. We respond to a relatively few talking points the way Pavlov’s dogs responded to ringing bells. Except we seldom get fed.

      It further occurred to me that logically, since liberals and conservatives are just different brands of authoritarians, it is not logical that authoritarians will ever support, for long, people having a viable means to resist their authority. I’m sure most conservatives sincerely believe they support firearms (and other) freedom, but if it ever came to pass, they’d discover quickly there were people to whom it shouldn’t apply or who didn’t deserve it.

      1. As to your first paragraph, AMEN.

        I do disagree with your assertion that everyone is at bottom, authoritarian. My experience suggests that most people don’t want to control you, they just want to be left pretty much alone to live their lives.
        It’s the exceptions that require vigilance.

    3. Agreed with Sebastian. I’ve never had a formal position in the pro-gun movement, I’m just one of an Army of Davids, but I’ve been doing what I can since the early ’70s and I expect I’ll still be fighting gun grabbers, or at least fighting to renormalize guns in American society, to the day I die a quarter century or so from now.

      If you go back to gun control extending beyond “keeping blacks in their place” (since most of that has been reversed), we’ve still got a good part of a century worth of gun control laws, measures and attitudes to reverse (those started with the big immigration wave plus or minus the beginning of the 20th century).

      Which brings up another point: now that public opinion has significantly changed, and we’ve got Heller and McDonald from the Supremes minimally enforcing the 2nd Amendment on the Feds and the states, we’re in a target rich environment. It’s routinely said the nation has “20,000 gun control laws” … we need to eliminate, say, 90% of those. Be it in the ballot box or court room, it’ll be the work of more than one lifetime.

      1. Isn’t it far less than 20,000 laws now? Pre-emption had weeded out the herd a lot.

        1. Yeah, but outside of Florida where the penalties got too severe aren’t they still on the books, and needing court cases or a Florida style law to fix them? Or look at all the things that happen in Philadelphia that our hosts tell us about, up to and including repeatedly passing laws that are in theory preempted.

          That said, no one really knows how many are still in place, still effective, except too damn many. Over here in Missouri we’ve shed our KKK past and are in pretty good shape, but getting a CCW licence is too expensive and they’ve even changed the required training (don’t know the details), and there’s a law forbidding CCW on buses that needs fixing.

      2. “20,000 gun control laws”… I wouldn’t get too worked up over that number, almost every town has an ordinance regarding the discharge of firearms over city streets, or some such. That would add up to a lot of laws, but it’s really the same law in a lot of towns.

        It’s not the courts or the ballot box where the gun rights argument will be won, but in the culture. And when everyone does a good imitation of attack dogs, that’s not going to sway the culture favorably.

        1. You act like the court battle and political battle are separate and distinct from the cultural battle. They are not. Without the political battle, you’d have no court or cultural battle, because you would have seen the gun culture destroyed through it being regulated to oblivion. They are all necessary.

        2. No, this is not an accurate description of the 20,000 laws. Discharge of firearms are not generally included in the list of gun control laws. I used to get BATF’s list of published laws and ordinances, and it is astonishing how many strange and generally useless laws are on the books: Oakland’s ban on Maxim silencers (by brand name); some Alaska village ordinances that were so badly worded that it wasn’t even clear what they did; an ordinance that Las Vegas used to have requiring foreign-made semiauto handguns to be sold with ammunition for the gun.

          1. I’m not sure you could get to 20K that way, but I’ll concede your point that a lot of laws are pretty useless.

            If I were the one who decided how laws were written, I’d have a few rules…

            Every law would have to explain why it was necessary.
            Every law would have to include a way to tell if the law was accomplishing what was intended, or more than intended, or less.
            Every law would have an expiration date, when it would be reviewed to see if it still had a useful purpose before it was renewed.

            It makes sense to me, does it make sense to you?
            If not, why not.

  5. I will agree with Harold Lloyd to the extent that I, too, remember the NRA of the ’50s and ’60s, and agree it was nothing like today. I became a member the first month that I could as an adult (1963) and a Life Member when I could afford it, about ten years later. Ten years after that I had personal friends on the NRA Technical Staff — until they were fired when the power-wrangling and regime changes began in earnest. Ahh, the joys of Warren Cassidy.

    Not that the NRA was perfect, ever, but in the earlier days one got the impression of being part of something “staid,” as opposed to “populist,” as it has become today; the American Rifleman was of genuine technical interest, as opposed to the oh-gee-wow-buy-one-and-see commercialism of today. And does anyone remember the monthly feature “A Court Case of Consequence?” (I am told the tech staff had a running joke, starting sometime in the early to mid-80s; when a staff meeting would close with the question, “Does anyone have any suggestions?” someone would always say, “Yeah — why don’t we publish a gun magazine?”)

    Sorry if I only went off on a tour of nostalgia; but like most old guys, I’m susceptible to the “Ya Hadda Been There” syndrome. At least, you had to have been there to appreciate what is missing today.

  6. Thank you Andy B, I feel validated. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a memory.

    Sebastian, I’m not crazy about the sarcasm, but only because it impedes communication.

    Of the cultural, court, and political, I think cultural is by far the most important.
    People need to be trained to think of guns as tools, not as spawn of the devil. No politician goes against the prevailing cultural norms if he likes his perks.
    As for the courts, I’d make a similar statement except that the court system is the favored recourse of the disgruntled few.
    Which is inconvenient, but the way the system is designed.

    You know, as I was typing, something occured me. Methods for altering public opinion are well known and often used.
    One fascinating story is how the American Tobacco company changed the culture on the issue of women smoking. Look it up.
    Those methods are explained in the book,”The Hidden Persuaders”. Since that time in the 50s, the methods have been refined through the application of the latest developments in neuroscience. The new field is called neuromarketing. Look that up too.
    Anyway,I was wondering why the NRA never tried those methods in the struggle for the hearts and minds of middle America.
    I mean, they have both the resources and the awareness, so why not?
    listen to it
    how you are manipulated and don’t know it…

    some of these are blogs, and opinionated.

  7. “how you are manipulated and don’t know it…

    Somewhat ironic that that came from Lew Rockwell!

  8. Andy B, you have cut me to the bone with that.
    First, because I thought that line up for myself.
    Second, because I went there to look around, and that guy is a LOON!
    I just borrowed a page from his site, and didn’t explore enough to realize that.
    A lot of these guys belong to the aluminum foil beanie club.
    I’d like to think I’m not quite that far gone.
    Is it okay if I try to separate that page from the rest, and suggest that it is only a starting point for a conversation, and not a political or philosophical position of mine?

    Mea culpa in any case, and thank you for pointing that out.

  9. Harold Lloyd:

    I’ve tried twice to make more extensive replies, which for some reason wouldn’t “take.” Suffice it to say we are on the same page, and this could be the start of a beautiful friendship!


  10. Well, once you pals hug and figure it out, maybe you can come help us here in California where the rambunctious Dipsticks with the permanent majority keep coming up with bizarro-world gun-limitation plans, from “no hunting with dogs” to “green ammunition” – and the swizzlestick-Republicans have only enough place at the Sacramento hog-trough to elbow aside the occasional Big-Stupid bill – but not the many smaller thousand-cut ones. If you want to see what a Single Party State is like, and the “opposition” is a Nomenklatura lapdog…

    1. Let me keep asking this: what can I, a person of limited means living half a continent away, do to help you?

  11. Dear NotClauswitz, I’m trying to bring logic and rationality to this forum. Bringing logic and rationality to California is beyond me.
    It’s our best example of the triumph of ideology over pragmatism.
    As for a single party state, Florida is pretty much run by the tea party these days. The result is that guns are not regulated, but the whole environmental picture is pretty grim.
    Our most beautiful springs are being reduced to sinkholes from overusing water.
    If you want some optimism, it’s been my experience that there is a pendulum effect at work in politics. First it goes too far one way then too far the other. If you catch it passing the bottom, you have an opportunity to fix things during a brief moment of sanity.
    I would guess your California pendulum will swing when the state goes broke, or the school system collapses. Or some such..

    Harold, if you live outside the U.S. there isn’t too much you can do. But if you’re a citizen, be active. Write all of your elected representatives regularly. Don’t rant, that makes you easy to dismiss. State your concerns briefly and request a response. If they don’t hear from you, they will surely hear from lobbyists.
    Do something to engage our youth in shooting sports. Not just in Idaho, or Montana, but in cities and suburbs. Start air rifle teams or some such. A kid who is concentrating on sight picture and breath control isn’t going to be out breaking into cars, and it’s a true path to improved self esteem.
    It’s the kids who are the key to this issue.
    Write letters to your newspaper, and be succinct and sane.
    Point out problems and suggest solutions that might actually be accepted.
    Don’t be just another nut, ranting away. Surprise people and be reasonable.
    In forums like this one, when you see someone going off the deep end, gently remind them that the ultimate goal is personal freedom, not getting off the best zinger.
    I’m sure that there are lots of folks out there smarter than me who could give you some more suggestions. I hope they will.

    We all need to become community organizers. Hopefully a more conservative version than ACORN, but using the same principles.

  12. “We all need to become community organizers. Hopefully a more conservative version than ACORN, but using the same principles.”

    Are we going off on a tangent by getting into details?

    I just wanted to comment that it is important to learn real tactics — not civics book tactics — but if you get into organizing, be very cautious where your “help” comes from.

    When I got into relatively high-profile activism, almost 25 years ago, I was immediately wooed and briefly won by the major “conservative” front organizations in the state; they seemed like great people and godsends, and the attention was flattering. Then I learned I was there to advance their agenda, mainly the acquisition of power, and my own was expected to take a back seat.

  13. “Are we going off on a tangent by getting into details?”

    Maybe, but I don’t think so. It’s in the details that conflicts are decided. For example, WW2 was fought by brave men on both sides, but it was won through logistical superiority.

    Many elections have been won, not because the prevailing side had the best logic, but because they arranged car pools to get voters to the polls.

    That’s part of how the whole ‘community organizer’ thing started…

    And of course, the devil is in the details.

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