A Must Read – On NRA Hate

NRA Board Member and Magpul EVP Duane Liptak is addressing the NRA hate that’s popular as of late. The growth in NRA hate does not surprise me. We’re on the defensive, and there’s a lot of people who don’t understand there’s such a thing as a no-win scenario. So when NRA does things like push ATF to reclassify bump stocks instead of rolling the dice with legislation, people who think there’s a pathway to victory on bump stocks get all bent out of shape. There isn’t. At least not at any price I’m willing to pay.

I’ll start out by saying I’m about as hard core libertarian on gun laws as it gets, as in mail order suppressed FA belt feds for everyone. Let’s also get out that pretty much everyone in the NRA building is pretty far along that line, as well. I was talking to Chris and crew about strategies to open the registry during the Bumpfire stock litigation while we talked about how to fight some of the things we know are coming. They’re on board, really.

That’s been my experience as well. But there’s what I ideally would like things to be, and there’s reality. And we have to live and work in reality. The reality is the hill to die on is saving semi-autos. I realize that, a lot of other people realize that, and NRA realizes that. Read the whole thing.

63 thoughts on “A Must Read – On NRA Hate”

  1. I understand the demands of reality, but I still think the executive order versus rolling the dice on legislation was a poor move.

    At the time it was possible to get a real compromise (settle a dispute by mutual concession). We could have actually gotten something good in exchange for bump stocks.

    Instead with the executive order, it just kicked the can down the road to rolling the dice on legislation to a time where we will have to compromise (accept standards that are lower than is desirable). So they’ll still take bump stocks but something(s) else too.

    TLDR: When the courts reject the executive order, the newly resurgent grabbers will have an excuse to go after the whole thing. They will ‘compromise’ by taking less than they otherwise demanded.

    1. You really can’t control the legislative process to a fine degree. An EO in a generally friendly administration can be more easily controlled. With legislation, once the sausage making machine starts, you can’t really be sure what kind of sausage you’re going to get.

      You might end up with shit on that legislation you really don’t want, and when the grinder starts churning after a horrible mass shooting, you’ll be in a far weaker position to control the outcome than you would be if you could buy some time. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that A rated politicians are really allies. Some of them are. That 5% of lawmakers who he mentions that would support repeal of the machine gun ban? Probably real allies. But everyone else votes on that issue according to political expedience, not true conviction.

      1. Having spent a lot of time involved with the legislative process (albeit on non-gun issues), I firmly believe that when things get down and dirty, you have to trust the people on the spot. That would be the NRA and on some issues the NSSF. I may not always agree but they are there and I am not (and don’t want to be) so I trust them.

    2. The brilliant part about the EO and defeating in the courts, is that the momentum is dead.

      So we took a potential terrible bill that would have banned any after market trigger, and potential semi-autos, to nothing.

      1. First of all, there wasn’t an Executive Order. There was a Presidential Memorandum while the rule change was already in progress.

        Memorandum: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-memorandum-application-definition-machinegun-bump-fire-stocks-similar-devices/
        Rule change: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201810&RIN=1140-AA52

        Second, if that rule change is defeated, the now Democrat House will take this up and will likely put a rather terrible bill together. The NRA, President Trump and Republicans in Congress have already given up on this subject, so this has a huge potential to backfire big time.

        As far as the gun control momentum goes, it is election season with a Democrat House and weak Republicans in the Senate. President Trump is unpredictable. The NRA leadership is busy fighting its own members. We are about to get screwed!

        1. Second, if that rule change is defeated, the now Democrat House will take this up and will likely put a rather terrible bill together. The NRA, President Trump and Republicans in Congress have already given up on this subject, so this has a huge potential to backfire big time.

          You missed the point. That was the problem originally, just with a Republican House. They were all set to pass a terrible bill. And a Republican Senate will go along with a Republican House. Now? Just due to party rivalry, its much less likely, especially if its a terrible bill. And the NRA will come out and fight it.

          1. Sorry, but I don’t believe in this “4D chess” strategy. If something was going to almost pass in the last Congress on gun control with Republican support, it will surely pass in this Congress. There are only 4 Republican Senators the Democrats need to convince now. Rubio and Collins would be two of those, I guess.

            The NRA has still not reversed its stance on bump stocks and is not participating in any lawsuits. They would look like idiots if they opposed a bump stock ban bill. If fact, the NRA’s past backing of the bump stock ban will make it easier for those 4 Republican Senators to vote for a bump stock ban bill.

            Actually, you missed the point as you clearly did not understood my last paragraph. I expect gun control bills to pass in the 116th Congress as the Democrats rule the House and we have _weak_ Republicans in the Senate.

            Anyway, only time will tell. We have been arguing in gun forums about the NRA’s decision on bump stocks since October 2017. It has significantly divided the community.

            1. It’s not 4D chess. It’s basic legislative strategy. And it worked. We did not get a bump stock ban legislatively. It bought time, and sometimes that’s enough.

  2. I am starting to wonder if the majority of my fellow gun rights supporters are really, really stupid or there are a lot of anti-gun people trolling as pro-gun people to divide us.

    Over and over again on gun rights FB pages I see things like “Accept it — Trump has approved more anti-gun legislation than Obama” and multiple people replying with posts that seem too obvious to be legit, things like “I’m not even bothering to vote in 2020 if that’s the best the Republicans can do.”

    It’s like they don’t know that Obama WANTED a return to the AWB and Bloomberg style background checks on all, but just couldn’t do it because the NRA and the Republicans fought it.

    But you’re likely to get called a Fudd at many sites if you even stand up for the NRA. Idiots, trollers or Russian bots. All are worrisome.

    1. I am starting to wonder if the majority of my fellow gun rights supporters are really, really stupid or there are a lot of anti-gun people trolling as pro-gun people to divide us.

      Both might be true :)

      As a whole, gun owners are very politically motivated, but not very politically astute.

      1. There have certainly been trollers around here though none seem to be currently active. Or perhaps it was just one, changing his name periodically. You should be proud that someone thinks it is important to troll you.

          1. He wasn’t the only one. There was also National Observer but he seems to have gone away as well. As for the original guy whose pen name I forget, I am not sure what you mean by false flag. I guess he was pretty transparent posting all those Soros-linked stories but he never admitted advancing a leftist narrative. There is a guy over at Ayoob’s blog that calls himself Liberal Dave. Needless to say, no one agrees with him but no one abuses him either because he is honest about what he is.

            1. There was a couple of them. Whetherman was another one who may have also been NO.

              1. I’m not going to out his identity, but it’s someone I know in meat space. He’s an anarcho-syndacalist, so his pro-gun sentiments are genuine.

                1. I found his positions maddening at times, but there were two things I never questioned about him:

                  (1) That he was pro-gun,

                  (2) That he was anti-Republican, and probably even a bit liberal (although sometimes I got mixed signals from him).

                  I fail to see how these two positions are necessarily contradictory. Indeed, it’s sad that gun rights isn’t just simply recognized universally as a good thing by both sides!

                  1. Weeelll.. they can be contradictory _if_ you’re voting in a party that will take away the rights that you cherish. I know both parties can do that, but let’s not pretend they’re remotely the same. A person who says ‘screw the NRA because bump stocks’ and then supports the lady saying, ‘ban all semi-autos’ does seem to have some conflicting political strategy, if not philosophy.

                    1. I completely agree that they *can* be contradictory, but they *shouldn’t* be. I would sleep better at night knowing that, as much as I dislike the Democrat Party, I wouldn’t have to worry about them attempting to take away my right to guns.

                      We live in a sad time when the 2nd Amendment is defended by only one Party. Our rights would be *significantly* safer if both Parties are determined to protect this right.

                2. I thought you must have known him in real life but why the heck would an anarcho-syndicalist be linking to a bunch of Soros stuff.

    2. I really am starting to think it’s an anti-gun trolling effort. Take reddit gun forums for instance – the amount of divisive commentary and anti-NRA commentary is astounding. Basically doing all the divide and conquer work for the antis. Periodically there are always posts against gun rights on the subs, but you have very assertive and insulting comments arguing that the NRA is full of Fudds from people I doubt have given a dime to the effort ever in their life even if they are legitimately pro-2A. It all seems very Alinsky-like in the sense of “holding them to the extremity of their rhetoric”.
      What worries me is that the 90% of lurkers get swayed by this portion of comments.
      On the flip side, I do hope the NRA is listening to some of this, because if only a tenth of it is true, there’s valuable insight there into fixing a perception problem. While I don’t agree that weakening the NRA is in anybody’s interest, there are criticisms that are entirely valid. If those were visibly addressed, it would help all of us out here in the field.

  3. To me there is no point in the NRA vs GOA or anyone else. The fight is going to be against Dems and an AWB again…and I am waiting for the shoe to drop here in PA esp after Wolf standing with the Pittsburgh Mayor , knowing damn well state preemption makes those ordinances illegal
    Give $$ to NRA to GOA to anyone who will fight for your rights but most of all and to alot of fudds who think there old 30-30 won’t be next get off your butt …call and write your reps now , attend rally’s council meetings anything you can possibly do.

    BumpStocks to me were just a novelty, should they have been banned , no , Having to fight for Constitutionally protected rights sucks and should not even be questioned . More than that though is the “Red Flag” laws and ordinances. NO due process before your property is removed. No Attorney provided for your hearing , all on the word of anyone who points a finger. We already have a 302 process , and protection from abuse orders.

    AWB , Red Flag , and magazine limits will do nothing but remove the rights of the law abiding.

  4. If there is one thing that the NRA can effectively do is go on a “counter-offensive”, especially over these vile and bastardly “Red Flag/ Gun Violence Restraining Order” laws.

    We’re likely gonna get a Federal Red Flag/ GVRO Law this year. The NRA needs to work with the GOP Majority Senate and load up a Federal Red Flag/ GVRO Law with very “aggressive” Due Process and Trial By Jury Provisions.

    Make the accusers pay the $price for false, reckless, slanderous, libelous, and defamatory accusations. No anonymity for accusers, and bring the cases immediately before a Jurry. Should the accuser lose their case, then they pay all of the legal fees and damages.

    We all know the Democrats will never agree to this stuff though. That’s how we get back on offense.

    1. That is what the NRA actually advocates and, from what I understand, what is in the bill currently introduced in Congress.

      The problem with red flag laws is that they are a violation of due process by design. To quote the President, “take the guns first, do due process later”.

      A 48-hour time window for a court hearing isn’t much of a help when the SWAT team comes to confiscate your guns. There has already been one person killed in such a red flag police action. There certainly will be more.

      A post-confiscation court hearing is also negating innocent until proven guilty. One will need to argue their innocence in court to receive their guns back as one has already been deemed guilty by a court in absentia.

      The next problem is that many that have their firearms confiscated simply do not have the means to defend themselves in court, financially or practically.

      Lastly, red flag laws just reinforce the gun control mantra that the tool is the problem, not the person. Remove firearms from a dangerous person and he is no longer dangerous, right?

      Note that the federal red flag law bill is literally just a bribe for the states to implement them in a certain way. States are still free to do whatever they want.

      1. Agreed with everything you’ve stated. These Red Flag Laws really are a Trojan Horse to institute the tactics of The War On Drugs to create a War On Guns and Gun Owners.

        That being said, a Legislative Ban on Bumpstocks will set the Precedent to institute the Comestic Feature Ban of the Assault Weapons Ban upon the Country. Pistol Grip Stocks are the “base” piece for bumpstocks, as well as the folding and adjustable stocks.

        I know that we at this blog are dying on the hill to defend Semiautomatic Firearms, but looking at long-term (think 10 or more years from now), the next Democrat Controlled Federal Government will declare all Semiautomatic Firearms to be “Capable of Full Automatic Conversion by Any Means”, and Ban them, especially if we wind up with a true scumbag like Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris.

      2. Definitely agree. The NRA agrees too. They would rather not see any Red Flag laws. But the choice is between a law with due process protections or a law without. There is no third choice of no law.

        1. Patrick Henry, seem to have misunderstood me. There is simply no red flag law with due process! If you know how to implement a red flag law with due process, please let us know! The NRA has not given any specifics. The NRA’s support for red flag laws has the potential to further split the community, as there is already that same political doublespeak that was with bump stocks.

          1. You have a hearing where you can be represented by counsel and confront witnesses against you. This happens before there’s any action on the part of the state.

            But they aren’t going to agree to that because the goal of red flag laws is to make gun ownership legally risky, not public safety.

            The idea is you give a middle ground position that the radicals won’t accept, but has a prayer of peeling off enough support to deny them a majority. Getting ATF to reevaluate bump stocks was a similar move. Peeled enough votes off that awful bill to stop it.

            1. What you describe are general Protection Orders, which are already on the books! Red flag laws or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (EPROs) are extensions of Extreme Protection Orders (EPOs), which are also already on the books! While EPOs are only valid for a few days, EPROs are by design valid significantly longer with a court hearing after state action. There is simply no due process with EPROs aka. red flag laws!

              Both, the NRA’s support for the bump stock ban and for red flag laws, are simply acts of surrender. They divide the NRA membership and the community.

  5. The comments section on that article over at Breach Bang Clear is brutal.

    The one thing no one ever addresses when they push back on the NRA and suggest supporting FPC or GOA is what those two organizations have actually accomplished. What HAVE they actually accomplished? I honestly want to know.

    And then one of the commenters links to that Ammoland article written last year by Knox about that “deep dark history of the NRA” and bashing . So you distrust what a NRA Board member says, but you completely trust a guy who directly benefits from donations to his organization when he bashes his competition?

    That being said, the issues like WLP making over $1m a year, the advertising agency issues, and other things certainly make one question whether donations to the NRA or NRA-ILA are actually being used effectively.

    This whole drama is getting tiresome and is distracting everyone from the actual battles.

    1. “That being said, the issues like WLP making over $1m a year, the advertising agency issues, and other things certainly make one question whether donations to the NRA or NRA-ILA are actually being used effectively.”

      Odds are that they are not. This is because WLaP and cronies don’t have to answer to the membership, or the board. 70+ board members! Might as well try herding cats as get something accomplished through them. That huge number has been set up deliberately to keep the board powerless to steer the direction of the NRA.

      Granted, it does keep down the possibility of outside mischief, but it can do nothing to combat “Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy”, which is what we are dealing with. That MUST be addressed, or the NRA will continue to act like a blind cripple in the struggle against the government. The NRA has been hamstrung by it’s leaders, and it is a deliberate policy.

  6. That’s a really good statement.

    Sad a bunch of dumb gun owners don’t like it.

  7. The NRA’s stance on the bumpstock ban, as infuriating as it was, may have been the correct tactical decision to make. I don’t know.

    Unfortunately, I do get the idea that Wayne LaPierre is crooked and needs to be replaced.

    1. Well, the NRA leadership certainly made a tactical decision. It wasn’t strategic! It infuriated and divided the community.

      As for Wayne LaPierre, there is lots of reading material on that subject out there, if one is interested.

        1. In other words, the community is just too dumb? You do see the problem with your statement, right? Is Rob Pincus emotional and irrational? I guess the community should just blindly trust the NRA leadership, right? No accountability, right?

          1. The community has ordinary human failings. That’s what I’m saying. I’m OK with NRA leadership being accountable, but not to people who want a bad legislative strategy.

            1. In other words, you are OK with the NRA leadership being held accountable, but not by NRA members with a different opinion. Those NRA members with a different opinion are just “emotional and irrational”. I didn’t know that I joined an authoritarian cult when I became a Life Member. Thank you for setting me straight. I will act accordingly.

              1. NRA is civil society, meaning it’s run in a democratic manner. People used to understand what that means. But not anymore, apparently.

                1. Again, thank you for setting me straight. I will act accordingly. You have convinced me that I really should abstain from supporting the NRA until it actually represents me. Democracy, and all of that!

                  1. If you need to always get your way, you don’t get civil society. So yes, please exit it. Because that attitude gets in the way of it.

                    1. I didn’t say I will exit. I will continue to be that criticizing voice within the NRA! I will just not spend any money on the NRA until it starts representing me. Civil society, and all of that! LOL!

                    2. Yes, you are free to continue to criticize the NRA. We are free to continue to criticize your view and explain your criticisms will lead to less gun rights, not more.

                    3. Criticizing the NRA leadership on helping creating more gun control is somehow creating more gun control? That’s quite some logic right there.

                    4. Any questioning of the NRA leadership is simply wrong as it would lead to more gun control, is quite a self-serving logic. It has zero to do with a civil society. It has all to do with the NRA leadership thinking what’s best for all of us and we NRA members should just fall in line or just shut the hell up. Hence, the NRA is losing members, donations and power. I guess I just shut the hell up now! Good luck with that approach!

                    5. Any questioning of the NRA leadership is simply wrong as it would lead to more gun control

                      That’s not what anyone is saying. I’m saying that if NRA had just stood firm and shouted “NO!” very loudly, Congress would likely have passed a monster.

                    6. The NRA said loudly “YES” on bump stock regulation (political doublespeak for a ban) and “YES” on red flag laws (aka unconstitutional gun confiscation). Questioning the NRA’s decision, tactic and strategy (or the lack thereof) on both of these actions seems to be unwanted and called “emotional and irrational”. Good luck with that approach! Now I will shut up as I have been told to!

                    7. No. We have a difference of opinion on the matter. It happens. I’m not telling you to shut up. I’m trying to convince you that you’re wrong. We can agree to disagree on that, and it’s not the end of the world.

    2. He’s been there for 10 years too damned long. To me, he is a vestige of the Bush-Era GOP which is DEAD!

  8. I’ve been a LM for 40+ years. And I understand the realities of getting things done politically – its tough.

    But the NRA is fine with preventing lawful carry of firearms on school grounds – that is they are quite content with restricting school carry to “only ones”. That’s a fundamental breach for me.

    The last time I was happy with them was with the “jack-booted thugs” ad, now they “back the blue” (I’m more scared of the blue than I am of the criminals).

    But, throwing bump stocks under the bus so easily really pi$$ed me off.

    The proper response was “the ATF has already ruled bump stocks as not machineguns and correctly so because they are not, so if the law is to be changed Congress will have to do it”. And “we’ll support that if we get something for it” (that part didn’t have to be public – let the friendly Congress critters make that negotiation).

    The Dems would have never offered to compromise with NCCR or anything else so the legislative effort would have died.

    Instead we have a horrible rule and no guarantee that the courts will invalidate it.

    I think they screwed up big time.

    Maybe they’re playing 3D chess and by the time the courts do over-rule it the fervor will have died down and the political climate will be better. Who knows.

    But I’d like the NRA to make principled stands on the Constitution and the “rule of law”.

    1. Scott- I guess the problem is that we don’t know that the legislative effort to ban bump stocks would have died… for all we know, it would have been lightening the trigger on a rifle.

      1. No, we don’t know. But we do know that such legislation has died before.

        And now we do have a horrible rule, and the NRA (at least tacitly – or maybe that is their 4D chess) and the Prezzy championing the “rule of men”.

        That’s worse.

      1. If they don’t, or won’t, or can’t, stand for the “rule of law” I’m not sure they can make any argument in favor of our rights.

        I’m not asking them to die on the hill of the Hughs amendment, just stand on the FACT that the Congress has defined what a “machine-gun” is and that the ATF has previously – correctly – stated that bump stocks are NOT.

        The degradation of the “rule of law” is a bigger danger than the anti’s outright assault on the 2A. And makes their assault easier.

        1. The problem was congress appeared to be all set to re-define a “machine gun” as anything that made a gun shoot faster!

          1. And now we have a rule that some are claiming can be read the same way.

            And we have the NRA and Trump advocating for the “rule of men”.

            Great strategy and results.

      2. oh, and I think claiming Custer’s last stand was on principle is pretty silly. You can do better than that.

  9. It also feels like bump stocks just released a lot of pent up unhappiness towards the organization.

    1. It sets the Precedent to ban more firearm cosmetic features, especially by EO if Trump’s EO isn’t struck down by the Courts.

      Remember that Pistol Grip Stocks are the “base” of bumpstocks.

      1. Please don’t use the term EO. There simply wasn’t an Executive Order. There was a rule change by the DOJ, which is legally something completely different. I agree, if this rule change stands, it will have significant implications for the future.

        There was a Presidential Memorandum while the rule change was already in progress.

        Memorandum: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-memorandum-application-definition-machinegun-bump-fire-stocks-similar-devices/
        Rule change: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201810&RIN=1140-AA52

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