Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

NRA- Wingnuts in Charge, and It Needs to Fix That

It should be no surprise that I know a number of people who are progressive in their politics and who own firearms. Over the last few months, I've been trying to persuade them to join the National Rifle Association.

The cover of the April, 2013 issue of The American Rifleman is not helping:


Two points: First off, like it or not, President Obama won his re-election contest with 51% of the vote. He is the first president in 56 years to win both of his elections by a clear majority. Not even Reagan did that.* Tens of millions of people who have firearms in their homes voted for him. Those are people who, likely as not, do not belong to the NRA. As long as the NRA pulls shit like this, they aren't going to.

Lobbying groups are all about numbers. The AARP is powerful because they have something like 35 million members. You can bet your ass that when an AARP lobbyist talks to a congressional staffer or the boss politician, those folks know that. They know that if the AARP sends out an alarm to its members, that the congressional/senatorial office is going to be overwhelmed with mail and telephone calls from outraged AARPers, that there will be the horrible optics of grannies protesting and those folks vote.

When the NRA pulls shit like this that has the effect of discouraging non-Tea party gun owners from joining, they are only hurting themselves. I'm an NRA member, I have been for a long time, and I can't think of the last time that I read one of the lobbying/political articles in The American Rifleman, because it's just more bluster and bullshit like this. I don't pay attention to them.** I check out the proposed legislation, look at the bill's track record on Thomas and read the bill if it looks like it is going anywhere. I make up my own mind without any input from the NRA. I'll bet that I'm not alone.

Second: We have a lot of problems in this country. We have a lot of things that people disagree on. If you are going to preach to the choir and effectively give up any hope of persuading the other listeners to adopt your point of view, then fine, shit like calling the President "King Pinocchio" is not the worst thing anyone has said about him.*** Nobody with more than six functioning neurons is ever going to expect reasoned discourse from the likes of Glenn Back, Rush Limbaugh or Donald Trump.

But if you want to have your point of view listened to by the other side and treated seriously, you don't do it by opening with insults. When the NRA claimed that the Obama Administration wasn't listening to them, well, shit, who can blame the Administration for that? Would you take seriously a guy who has spent the last five years calling you a Marxist tool?

I believe that the NRA can turn out its membership without resorting to rhetoric that is just offensive. I believe that if the NRA dropped the demonizing, they could significantly grow their membership. But I guess we won't know, not so long as the current crop of clowns is in charge.
_____________________________
* George W. Bush had to steal both of his.
** Frankly, if the local gun club didn't require NRA membership as a condition of being a member of the club, I would have let my membership in the NRA lapse.
*** I'm looking at you, History Channel.


19 comments:

Anonymous said...

You pretty much laid out why I am not a member of the NRA. The NRA is most certainly not the same today as it was during my childhood. I have to wonder if the NRA is actually protecting the 2nd amendment or the revenue stream of firearms manufacturers.

-Terrant

Peter said...

Just a heads-up: my security software is warning of a cross-scripting attempt (XSS) from your site. That's the first time I've had that warning on visiting here. Has your server been invaded by something nasty?

Comrade Misfit said...

Peter, I don't know. Google runs the servers, so I guess it's possible. I'm not getting that kind of warning.

Anonymous said...

"Two points: First off, like it or not, President Obama won his re-election contest with 51% of the vote."
Just because somebody won an election, does not mean he is above any reproach or that that he shall be spared criticism. The recently-deceased Hugo Chavez won more elections than President Obama and still he was a socialist prick.

bearsense said...

EB - - Like you, I rarely read the AmRif - - usually only the historical or technical stuff. Only reason for my membership is the insurance (once had a gun stolen before belonging and really took a hit on the homeowners premium).

Nangleator said...

The NRA is a lobbying group for the arms industry, and has no interest in the little people other than taking their money. But that's just frosting on the cake. It's really about selling guns and ammo, period. The proof is not hard to find. Here's another piece: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/amnesty-international-on-nra-032613

So, tell me... why would the NRA care about guns in OTHER countries?

LRod said...

The American Rifleman is pretty much the reason I no longer belong to the NRA. And by "no longer" I mean since about 1972. I had been a member for a half dozen years, perhaps, but I kept seeing stuff in the ads that bore no resemblance to the sorts of things I thought appropriate for an organization advocating for gun owners' rights to own guns.

I didn't have the broader view about what their real function was until much, much later, and that clarity was that they likely didn't miss my presence one bit. What the NRA has become today is purely despicable, and not at all what I first joined and not at all for anything I hold dear.

"They're" not coming for my guns, so what do I need today's NRA for, anyway?

LRod
ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

Earl said...

I haven't read my American Rifleman for politics, for a long time, and their program for teaching firearms safety, fire arms instruction and use is like most things designed by committee - too large, too costly and not getting down into the schools or the ghettos. But thank them for trying, like we have to Congress, they try.

About the NRA and guns in other countries, is a concern. That there is murder, revolution and civic wonders in other countries is always of interest for people trying to find knowledge and solutions. The NRA could be so much more, could be more effective, and better at promoting safe shooting sports and knowledge but the money isn't where its heart should be... so in America it chases power and money. If it were centered in Kansas, it would be better at outreach.

Old NFO said...

So the demonization of the NRA and it's members is okay? Because it's what the left does...

Comrade Misfit said...

Where did I ever say that was OK?

Comrade Misfit said...

I do not say that the President is above reproach or criticism. (You might know that one of the tags on my blog is Barry is Frakking Up.

But "King Pinocchio" is neither. It's sandbox-level name-calling. And it is one thing when a pissant blogger does it. It's another thing when a national membership organization, which has millions of members does it. If the NRA would like to get the gunnies who don't align themselves with the Tea party, they sure are going about it the wrong way.

Comrade Misfit said...

With respect, you think Amnesty International is the go-to source on this issue?

(By the way, why does AOPA care about the rights of pilots in other countries?)

CenterPuke88 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CenterPuke88 said...

I left a while back to, after the magazine became a font of political pandering.

Anyone notice this story:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-21/californias-gun-repo-men-have-a-nerve-racking-job

Eck! said...

CP88, read that. Maybe we should take the cars of people that have been
arrested (skip charged or tried) for a DUI? After all its only taking
trivial property that they have been caught using dangerously.

If due process was followed it maybe justified.

General on NRA, one simple question. Do the leadership tell us what way to
march or does the membership tell the leadership what should be goals and
targets?

Oh, if you not a member you have so say in their operation. If you are, why haven't you said something?

Just a few thoughts.

Eck!

CenterPuke88 said...

Eck!, I tried the leadership should listen to the membership thing that way way-back when, but the tide was clearly going the other way. So I elected to vote by not allowing me to be counted as a member and by not contributing funds. That's also why I don't bitch about the NRA like I'm a member (I'm not involved, so they can do what they wish), but simply as a bystander watching a car wreck.

The California thing is interesting because it constitutes enforcement of existing laws...exactly what the NRA called for. Be careful what you wish for...

BTW Eck!, in most jurisdictions the car of a DUI arrestee is subject to impoundment. Since you then have to pay to get it back, can you get a refund if the charges are dropped or you are found not guilty? I don't know.

On the same thought, perhaps we are to lax on allowing people to drive. A more in depth driving test might save lives...but in a wide open country like the US, especially without viable mass transit in many places, driving is much more necessary than in Europe (where the driving test is a serious affair). The difference is that a gun is not necessary (in almost all cases) to earn a living, where a car may be. That's why occupational licenses are available to even repeat offenders. Of course, then we get into a discussion of confiscating phones from those who make prank calls, et al.

The interesting point of this debate will come when a picture(s) of a Newtown victim gets released. Until now, the victims are (in peoples minds) the sweet children we see in the pictures the media publishes. Having heard some details of the corpses (jaw missing, left hand blown off during a probable defensive reaction, etc) it will possibly be an Emmett Till moment and totally change the terms of the debate. The "gun issue" in the US is multifaceted, with terrible statistics in the big cities, innocents dying every day, the Second Amendment, government vs the people, etc. I'm not sanguine with revoking the Second Amendment, in a way similar to my discomfort with those who argue that their AR-15 is necessary to resist the Feds and keep America free. But I see the demographic numbers inevitably leading to the slow demise of the Second Amendment.

Please understand I'm not advocating that step, but I see the NRA as similar to the Family Values crowd in the late 80's and 90's. Look where their opinion then puts them now, on the wrong side of today's values (and I'm not debating if they were right or not).

Comrade Misfit said...

CP88, I have lived in places where if you called 9-1-1 (or the other numbers), you were pretty much guaranteed a 20-60 minute wait for somebody to show up. Living there, you had to have some good fire extinguishers, a decent first-aid kit and yes, some guns.

Guns were for the ferals. The flatlanders who summered there had a nasty habit of adopting dogs, then dumping them in late August. Many of them turned rather nasty and, as there was no county-wide animal control, well, you can do the math. There were two-legged ferals who liked to break into houses and sometimes they had to be dealt with, as well.

dinthebeast said...

In Oakland, they used to take your car from you, not impound, confiscate your car if the OPD thought you were in Oakland to buy drugs or patronize prostitutes. They called it "Beat Feet", and the ACLU got it stopped in '98, if I remember correctly...

-Doug in Oakland

Golfjopa said...

Okay, I'm late to the party here, but I just found your blog. I could not let this comment pass though - "He is the first president in 56 years to win both of his elections by a clear majority. Not even Reagan did that."

Why would you say that? Reagan got 50.7% to Carter's 44% in 1980 and won 44 states and then got 58.8% to Mondale's 40% of the vote in 1984 and won 49 states. What part of a 6% and 18% win isn't a clear majority?

Granted, I did pull these numbers from wikipedia so they may be incorrect...