With Friends Like This …

We noticed SAF/CCRBKA’s booth on the NRA floor, but decided not to stop. But Think Progress did, and noticed they were handing out literature taking NRA to task over Manchin-Toomey:

But despite the bill’s (perhaps temporary) defeat in the Senate, CCRKBA doesn’t appear to be backing down — The Gun Mag, a Second Amendment Foundation publication, published an “NRA Meeting Special Issue” whose lead article takes apart the NRA’s line on Manchin-Toomey.

So it would seem that SAF/CCRKBA is doing their level best to help revive this bill, along with the Democratic leadership in the Senate. We’ve already started to see Jeff Flake go soft, and there’s rumors about Ayotte. I think both of them are hoping this issue goes away. But not, apparently, if Alan Gottlieb has his way.

If we end up losing on this, and there’s a good chance we will, you can lay the blame squarely at their feet on this one. I have been reluctant to be truly harsh to Alan Gottlieb’s organizations because I understand that lobbying is not a black and white game, and sometimes you get forced into concessions, or make a bad call. But the Manchin-Toomey deal is dead, and we should all be on the same page in trying to keep it dead, and CCRKBA/SAF are not on that page. We do not need this while the Dems, the White House, and Bloomberg are busy twisting arms to try to reanimate Manchin-Toomey.

This has forced me to take the unfortunate step of removing SAF from my side links. As long as they are still trying to make a case for Manchin-Toomey, I will not help promote them.

48 thoughts on “With Friends Like This …”

  1. NRA needs to do some quality control on their vendor display list as well as with their guest speaker list.

  2. The SAF will be getting no more of my money until the seperate themselves from Gottlieb and publicy renounce Manchin- Toomey. This is unfortunate because they do good work on the litigation side but have clearly gone off the reservation. I guess all those people who worried that Gottlieb was not as commited to our cause have been proven right, I just hope we can keep him from doing more damage than he already has.

  3. I’ll second you removing them from the sidebar. Also it would be a good idea to contact the congresscritters who voted against Manchin-Toomey and thank them. They need all the support they can get from us. Positive feedback and all that.

  4. So what is their reasoning for trying to bring it back exactly? You don’t make concessions when you’re winning.

  5. Hold on, Think progress is different than CCRKBA. I just called SAF and they pointed me to this press release from CCRKBA. I will not be pulling my SAF donation until we clear this up…

    Let’s set this story straight? http://www.ccrkba.org/?p=3222


    1. OK, so if they aren’t supporting Manchin-Toomey anymore, why are they handing out literature defending it at NRA Annual Meeting? Are they backing it or not backing it?

  6. “handing out literature taking NRA to ask over Manchin-Toomey:”

    Should be “…taking NRA to task over…”

    1. SAF is more interested in internecine warfare with the NRA than with winning the war against gun control:

      “The NRA’s not willing to do anything because the other side is so Looney Tunes,” Gottleib says. “It’s like the right to life debate. The Pro-Choice side support partial birth abortions, which makes them look crazy. The Right To Life side insist that women who’ve been raped must have the baby, which makes them look crazy.

      “Same thing here. There is no middle ground for the NRA . . . If they don’t do what can be done, they’ll win the battle but lose the war. I don’t want to lose the God damn war.”

      1. Except both sides are consistent in his example. If it’s a child, what does the circumstance of conception matter when “choosing” to kill him/her? That’s the pro-life argument.

        The pro-choice side will always advocate for the choice to kill a child. It’s just more convenient and justifiable in their view if it’s rape or incest, but no less a child.

        The sun will always rise and set somewhere on earth, and the an organization that touts itself as supporting constitutional gun rights will always do just that… support constitutional gun rights. It appears the SAF would follow the path of least resistance while the NRA supports the constitution.

  7. The official press release is good enough in my book. Honestly anyone could have printed it out and handed to attendees @ Think Progress when they were saying otherwise at the NRA Convention. It could be oversight – maybe CCRKBA wasn’t aware of what Think Progress was saying. I’d like more evidence otherwise before I jump ship, with all respect.

  8. This blog post left out one fact, as a 501c3 non-profit SAF is prohibited by law from lobbying or endorsing legislation or candidates.

    Nowhere did they officially do that on this or any other bill.

    1. Yes that is true, but like the NRA-ILA the CCRKBA and SAF are loined at the hip. Because of that when they do something like this it makes me question the judgement of the leafership of both organizations since many of the same people are in leadership positions in both the CCRKBA and SAF.

    2. They are run by the same people. That would be like saying if the NRA Foundation published an article on legislation, it doesn’t actually mean that the rest of the NRA organizations have any say on it or share the same thoughts/strategy. Anyone who believes that would be considered naive, at best.

      Also, (c)3s are not prohibited by law from endorsing legislation or lobbying. They cannot spend a majority of their resources on them, but they can do it. Get your facts straight.

  9. If I could suggest something – we probably should refocus our attention on killing this bill by calling for attention on Flake and Ayotte, rather than getting riled up and calling for pulling support for SAF.

    This is very divisive, and saps our energy.

    1. You know what’s divisive? Making a shitty deal with lawmakers and trying to sell it to people as the greatest thing since apple pie, and then defending it, even after, despite your organizations previous support, the deal gets killed.

  10. OK, so TP names the publication they found it in, names it as a NRA convention special edition, The Gun Mag bills itself as an SAF publication, yet this is all CCRBKA and SAF had nothing to do with it?

    1. Sir, why are you even reading “Think Progress” and taking it seriously? Leftist progressive spin blog that it is!

      What’s next, referencing “InfoWars”?

      1. So is there not an article in the NRA convention edition of The Gun Mag by Dave Workman which “takes apart the NRA’s line on Manchin-Toomey?”

      2. I think Sebastian’s question is valid. Do you dispute the existence of the paper or not? Attacking the source isn’t really appropriate here. I’m not a fan of TP, but if they source something to the detail that they did in this piece, I’ll take it seriously. I know their bias. I know their spin. That doesn’t distract from the actual content of what they reported. Are you going to dispute that or simply attempt to belittle those willing to share the relevant information?

      3. I would respectfully recommend to everyone that with all the censorship in our world, that they not engage in self-censorship, i.e., controlling what information you receive yourself.

        Here is something that will shock, SHOCK most of you: Sources on the right will not often tell you of the foibles of the people in their own camp. Ditto for the left. If you read a discomforting report from a leftist source, your job at that point isn’t to self-censor and pretend you never heard it. You job is to do your best to find how much of it is spin or how much of it is plain false. But if what is being reported is of the nature of, “Conservative celebrity X said. . .” you can usually determine whether that appears to be true or not, and whether it is taken out of context. But if the beloved celebrity actually said or did something that makes him or her sound or look like a jerk, you have to entertain that maybe they’re a jerk. Their own wesbsite is not going to tell you.

        In the context of the current subject, Gottlieb has laid down a record that spells “opportunist charlatan” for years now. That his outfits may have accidentally gotten some things right over the years does not change that fundamental. But you are not going to hear his record questioned by an industry that operates on the “You lie, and I’ll swear to it” principle for raking in funds.

        1. “…In the context of the current subject, Gottlieb has laid down a record that spells “opportunist charlatan” for years now. That his outfits may have accidentally gotten some things right over the years does not change that fundamental…”

          This is pretty much the only issue where I can recall seeing this type of behavior from the SAF/CCRKBA/Gottleib. Could you please cite others? If I’m going to damn them, as I’ve largely damned the NRAILA (one word: Hohenwarter), I want to do so based on facts.

  11. There you go being a defeatist again. Just like right after Newtown you said that we were screwed and you told us to be active but then a few posts later questioned if it f have any affect at all.

    1. You seem to always interpret, when I say there’s a chance we could lose, which is reality not defeatism, that I means it’s all pointless. And how many times now have I said you’re very seriously misreading what I’m saying? It gets tiring.

  12. The nice lady who called me from the SAF looking for an additional donation got a solid ear full of NO and why I won’t be giving them any more money until their position on Manchin-Toomey is reversed.

    They know. They freakin’ know. And they’re doing it anyway. F be upon them.

    1. Well, they did officially reverse their position on Manchin-Toomey, but they seem to be talking out both sides of their mouth on that count if they are still trying to shoot down the points of the deal’s critics even after the bill has been defeated.

  13. I suspect one of the reasons why SAF is pushing this bill so hard is that they are trying to appear “reasonable,” which creates a difficult situation for those trying to portray our side as extremist ideologues. We can disagree with SAF about whether this was a reasonable exchange (I would have preferred 50 state recognition of carry permits), but I understand their goals.

    1. I understand their goals, but the bill went down to defeat. Why offer concessions you don’t have to offer? It’s one thing when you’re back is against the wall, but we beat it. It’s apparent we had the votes to defeat it even before CCRBKA announced they were getting on board with the deal. It was also a shitty deal, in a poorly worded amendment. And it also doesn’t look to me like the Schumer and Reid had any intention of bringing up some of the amendments Gottlieb had mentioned, which is why they pulled support at the last minute.

      There were also far better proposals out there, even if SAF wanted to stake out a “reasonable” position. Why not back Coburn’s Amendment?

      1. “There were also far better proposals out there, even if SAF wanted to stake out a “reasonable” position. Why not back Coburn’s Amendment?”

        This x 5 million. Good grief.

    2. I will remind again of when Gottlieb came out fore-square for “Safe Storage” legislation, presumably for the same motive. I suspect he is gambling the he can score a few more dimes and nickels from those among us who really do believe in “reasonable firearms legislation,” in case they were to abandon the NRA, etc.

  14. I’m about ready to call SAF and ask them to drop me from their member rolls.

    They can keep this year’s donation, won’t be getting anymore, and I don’t want their rolls to be swelled by +1 with my name. :-\

  15. There’s not a peep at the GunMag website about any such thing (they did congratulate NRA for the turnout in Houston): nor at CCRKBA, nor SAF, nor Dave Workman’s Examiner page neither.

    Only thing I saw in a fly-by at “Think”Progress related to NRA was a pants-wetting hysteric about setting up a home indoor BB range for kids. (Personally, I wouldn’t do it, but I’d never assume that no one ever should without seeing their house and meeting their kids first.)

    Not to say that it didn’t happen (they were for Manchin-Toomey before they were agin’ it, after all), but I recommend one lay hands on hard copy before drawing conclusions.

    1. Adding: I looked at the initial link and read TP’s assertions (which is all we have at the moment). If (and if it’s a big if) the thing actually exists, and if SAF/CCRKBA does buy into the “no provision for a registry, therefore there will be no registry” bullcorn, then SAF/CCRKBA deserve whatever happen to ’em.

      Considering the number of gun bloggers at the convention (I’m not a gun blogger and I wasn’t there, I hasten to point out), though, one would think someone other than TP would’ve noticed. It’s not like people were shy about confronting HS Precision when they got the coveted (/sarc) Horiuchi endorsement.

      Personally, I’m back where I was. I want to see a hard copy, or hear from someone who has one.

      1. if SAF/CCRKBA does buy into the “no provision for a registry, therefore there will be no registry” bullcorn

        Um, considering that Alan Gottlieb is on camera touting the amendment and even added in claims that any 4473 on a concealed carry permit holder would never go to the government, I think it’s safe to say that they “buy into” it. That was an outright lie based on the language from Toomey, but they claimed it. Unless, you consider that the video taken right in front the podium citing the exact speaker, event, location, and date to not be enough evidence…

        Look, I’m all about questioning the source in many cases. But given that the source here provided specific details on the publication name, the edition of the publication, the essay title, and the essay author, that seems pretty credible and was certainly what caught my attention when I found this story. There has been no denial by anyone from SAF that the publication doesn’t exist, and the TP piece has been up for more than two days now without any sort of denial that the publication was never printed and that they did not distribute such an attack in a specially branded magazine for the convention.

  16. Has anyone got a copy of the publication?

    That’d be pretty definitive.

    That SAF isn’t denying it is, at best, really poor on their part, given their past history of endorsing this idiocy.

    1. We already noted that we did not stop by their booth. We have not heard from anyone who did or anyone who picked up this particular publication. Given the specific citation of the source material, it seems as though it would be pretty easy for SAF to have refuted the TP report immediately if it was a false report.

      1. That’s my thinking. Given TP gave an issue, article title, and author that’s pretty easy to refute.

        Seems like they’re trying to play coy.

  17. I have retreated to being an “elder statesman” (statesman?) in the gun rights movement, with only my still reasonably clear memory of my period in history as an activist to offer — while expecting those memories to routinely be ignored. (You know the old chestnut about “those who forget history.”)

    So forget what Heller may have changed about the fortunes of “Safe Storage.” Gottlieb at one time supported Gun Control Lite (Lite?) in a scenario somewhat analogous to that surrounding the current background checks debate. Even if it was sixteen years ago, at the point he forfeited (for me) any position of trust in the gun rights community.

    This may be a poor analogy, but to me that is not unlike the way I would have forfeited any possibility of ever holding a high-level security clearance (which I did) had I ever dallied with the Communist Party — ever. I could have reformed mightily over several decades, but some things are just too important to gamble on.

    Alan Gottlieb is perfectly welcome to drop back to a position of gun rights supporter, and mail in all the checks he wishes to, to gun rights organizations of his choice. But for at least sixteen years that I can remember, he has been disqualified from any position of “leadership” in the gun rights community — even if he held such a position and said and did many beautiful and moving things along the way. What he is doing now was predictable, as is the way he is trying to get away with it, by sending out philosophically and chronologically mixed messages.

    “Treachery must never be forgiven.”

  18. Alright, we should hang together on this, as I think collectively we either we succeed or we “hang”. I’ve asked SAF (Philip Watson ) and Alan (alangottlieb@saf.org) to jump in this thread, and they have ignored my suggestion so far. I think a frank and open discussion with Alan Gottlieb would have fixed things (at least for newer members of pro2A supporters without the long memories), but there is a limited timeperiod to resolve things, and silence does nothing but harden positions.

    Phil Watson of SAF, I’m pulling my SAF donation as well and encourage others to do as well until SAF/Alan come clean with clear messaging to the 2A community. Alan Gura, let us know where to send donations other than SAF.


      1. I see that now.

        Phil, can we have that frank and open discussion? It would be helpful to have Alan of SAF join this discussion and say that he is 100% against this bill. It would also be helpful to have Alan acknowledge Dave Koppel’s expertise as he reviewed the MT bill to point out flaws for everyone. Everyone who has reviewed the DK comments about the bill will admit that he was professional and on point with his response to the MT supporters. Even the NYT refused to retract DK’s editorial on the bill (http://www.examiner.com/article/new-york-times-rejects-bloomberg-group-s-demand-to-correct-pro-gun-op-ed)

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