From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: NRA wants money? Will it work?
Organization: Dixie Communications Public Access. The Mouth of the South.
Robert.Allen@Eng.Sun.COM (Robert Allen) writes:
#Without flaming, I'll note that your post accurately
#demonstrates why the 3.4 million members of the NRA
#don't seem to have an impact on the anti-gun legislation:
#"Heads have to roll before I kick in $". A majority
#of the NRA membership probably feels the same way.
#As grass roots political action against Roos & Roberti
#showed, the only way things get done is if you take part.
#Send money to the ILA today, and every couple of months.
Why would I want to contribute money to an organization which is often
times as not, working AGAINST one segment or another of the gun
owner population? I'm not talking about NRA's historical
willingness to sacrifice any number of "bad" guns in order to
save the sacred "sport" weapons. I'm talking about them actually
sponsoring anti-gun legislation such as the Staggers instant registration
bill in Congress and their various similar bills we've had our
hands full defeating here in Georgia for the last few years.
Some would say that Staggers was an alternative designed to block
Brady. A story attributed to Winston Churchill applies to this tactic.
So it goes, he asked a Lady if she would sleep with him for $1 million
and got an affirmative answer. he then asked if she would for a dollar.
"Why NO", she said, "I'm a Lady." His reply was "We have already
established what you are; we are now merely negotiating price."
When the anti-gun lobby proposes a gun control bill and the "gun lobby",
as NRA is popularly reported, proposes a variation on the theme (and
in the process giving up one of the basic tenents of the gun
movement - no registration, no permission), what results is simply
a decision between versions of the same idea. Legislators who
don't want to appear to be in bed with NRA know that they can safely
go with the anti-gun plan and justify it by saying that it was
close to what the gun lobby wanted. You will recall that language
in the news after Brady. NRA gave up the high ground when it decided
to compromise and accept its version of gun control.
It's the same situation here in Georgia. The Georgia State Shooters'
Association, the official state NRA organization, popped up a couple of
years ago with a deal with anti-gun Gov Zell Miller, even more anti-gun
Lt Gov Pierre Howard and rabidly anti-gun inner city Rep. Scott. Their
deal was that they'd co- sponsor an instant registration
(euphemistically called "instant background check") bill if the bill
included a state preemption clause. They were so obsessed with
overturning Atlanta/Fulton County's waiting period that they were
willing to sell out their constituency. For three years they've done
this and for three years Scott and Howard (the Lt Gov wields tremendous
power in GA) double crossed them at the last minute by dropping the
preemption provision. But like lobotomized puppies, every time they got
knocked down, they came back slobbering, with tongue and tail wagging,
ready for more. Every year we've managed to kill the bill (this year in
the last 5 minutes of the session) but it's been hard. We hear over and
over from pro-gun reps: "If NRA is for it, how can I be against it?"
We've built a very powerful and effective state organization affiliated
with Gun Owners of America (larry Pratt) with a simple platform: No
compromise, no surrender. Ever. If a core group of perhaps 20 activists
backed by a couple of thousand contributors and a few thousand dollars
can stop the combined might of the anti-gun lobby and NRA, just think
what NRA could do if it was still a pro-gun organization!
The fatal problems with NRA are manifold. Probably at the top of the
list is the fact that it is attempting to represent at least three
groups whose interests are at odds. These are the citizen gun owners,
the police and the competitive shooters who by and large don't want
anything to do with politics. While the alliance between police and
citizens has traditionally been beneficial, events are evolving to
where it is likely that these two groups will eventually be on
opposite sides of the firing line. When the government decides to
make its grab for guns, it will be those nice NRA members in blue
who visit your home, knock down your door, burn your house and kill
you in the process of taking your guns. Yes I know that many of the
rank and file cops are opposed to gun control but most if not all
of them put duty and obedience to superiors and job security over
adherence to the Constitution. Don't think so? Contemplate how
many cops would NOT arrest you if he found you with a concealed weapon
and you did not have paperwork representing official permission
to do so. "Shall not be infringed" is about as clear and unambiguous
and yet people get arrested every day for keeping and bearing arms.
The second problem is that NRA has ossified to the point that the focus
of the higher echelon is job security and power instead of mission.
Don't believe me? Consider a few things.
First off, the so-called "spokesmen" (La Pierre, etc) with the possible
exception of James Baker, sound like idiots in public and yet they
continue to cling to their public positions. I cringe every time I
hear them speak, particularly when someone skilled in public speaking
such as either Brady, is opposite them. If these guys were really
mission-oriented, they'd give up the public spotlight for people
who know how to do it.
I suggested both on the net and in writing to NRA, that they get rock
star Ted Nugent, the Motor City Madman, as their spokesman. Anyone who
has heard Ted speak on the Limbaugh show or elsewhere about gun rights
knows that this guy is the perfect man for the job. When he talks
about music - what made him wealthy - he's interesting but when he
gets on the subject of gun rights, he is passionate, articulate
and exudes energy. He knows how to get his face on TV, knows how
to do a sound bite and perhaps most importantly, he can reach the
young generation, a group of people almost totally lost to the other
side by decades of state sponsored brainwashing known as public education.
What did I get from the NRA honchos? Silence. Total silence. I did
note with great satisfaction that Ted is now doing some work for GOA
and is planning on doing more.
Next, consider that NRA uses NONE of the traditional tools used by activists
to seize and hold the public spotlight. No demonstrations, no media
events, no civil disobedience, no leafletting, nothing. Except for very
expensive direct mailing campaigns to their members, of course. And
they do very little to help organize grassroots activist groups.
One only has to look at the various gay rights groups to learn how to
keep an apparently unpopular subject in the media light.
We hear the whine from HQ that the media keeps them locked out. Perhaps.
But there is an easy tool that they so far refuse to use, a tool that
would completely end-run the major media boycott. That tool is to run
NRA members for political office. Once they qualify for the ballot,
the media outlets MUST sell them advertising time. An anti-abortionist
group did this here in Georgia last year. The guy's only reason for
running was to gain access to the media. This year we (Citizens for
Safe Government, the state org I mentioned above) are running
ex-president Howard Rabb for Lt. Govenor. Once he qualifies,
we will be able to run all the pro-gun ads we can pay for.
Yet NRA, the deepest of gun group pockets, refuses to use such techniques.
It sometimes seems to me that NRA welcomes slow, creeping gun control because
it so stimulates membership and revenue.
Finally, NRA is crippled for the same reason Congress is powerless to do
anything good - the "leaders" must spend much of their time catering to
the "voters". Most all effective organizations such as ACLU are NOT
membership organizations (in the context of electing officers).
Thomas Jefferson once said that every government should be dissolved and
reformed every couple of decades. A very wise concept that I believe
applies equally well to organizations. I believe NRA has outlived
its usefulness and is now hurting American gun owners because it
has become the target of hate for all the anti-gun people. I believe
(and speak with my wallet) that it is time to stop supporting NRA and
start supporting other new, lean and mean groups.
Lastly, we have to all realize that there is a common enemy to all gun
owners and that enemy is the government. And we must take the position
that any gun control is unconstitutional, infringes our natural rights
to keep and bear arms and thus is unacceptable under any condition.
Hard Line, no compromise. Perhaps we will occasionally get beaten but
we WILL be beaten; we will not have given up without a fight.