NRA Board Member Tom King Laments Rhetoric At Pro-Gun Rallies

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 1 month ago

NY Daily News:

In my “Albany Insider” column today, I wrote how Tom King, the head of the state Rifle & Pistol Association, was critical of the increasingly angry and inflammatory rhetoric at pro-gun rallies. King said he fears that the ugliness that has popped up at the rallies is actually hurting the pro-gun cause. He also said it’s time to stop the rallies, arguing that they won’t result in a repeal of the SAFE Act. He wants to instead focus on trying to get the law struck down in the court …

I won’t post his silly letter, but I thought it would be appropriate to highlight this paragraph.

Fellow gun owners I submit this to you for your consideration. We will never convert the 22% rabid anti-gunners, we don’t have to convert the 32% avid pro gunners but we must convert a sizable portion of the 46% of those somewhere in between if we want to retain our 2nd Amendment Rights long term. These are the soccer moms, the guys who say I’ve never shot a gun but would like to try it and the people worried about their safety. How do we do that? Not by standing on stage screaming obscenities at Cuomo and certainly at large rallies where people stand on stage, pound their chest and tell the attendees to prepare for war. That frightens the very people we want to attract to our side, the people who will insure (sic) 2nd Amendment Rights for our grandchildren.

As a sidebar comment, the people he wants to attract will not insure (sic) 2nd amendment rights for our grandchildren.  But second, this letter is as  emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the NRA as I’ve ever seen.  It’s the perfect example of how not to think about our rights.

The strategy he advocates is why we’re where we are, among other reasons like loss of our national moral conscience.  He wants first to turn to the black robes, and failing that (as it certainly will fail and has already failed), he wants to turn to popular opinion.

Like so many other NRA board members, he wants to be oh-so-respectable and loved by the people.  Don’t appear extreme and scary, says he.  Never mind the warnings that should be issued to the collectivists should they continue with their pursuit of confiscation and onerous laws and harassment.  Never mind that they could be declaring war as an unintended consequence of their lust for power.  Don’t be scary to the people we want to persuade.

I rarely cite polls or popular opinion because while they may matter to the exigencies of my life, they don’t matter to my rights.  I have weapons because God gives me the right to own weapons, not the second amendment.  The opinions of the people are as subject to the vicissitudes of ideology as the times in which they live, and the mind of man cannot be entrusted with the rights of mankind.  If Mr. King is placing his trust in the people, he is building his house on sand.

My rights are what they are by divine pronouncement.  It is righteous to own guns because it reflects the character of the Almighty.  Without this I’m no different than the statist thugs and collectivists who want to disarm me, except we happen to be on different sides of an issue.  It means everything … everything … to be right and righteous.

Until the NRA board of directors is as convinced of the foundations of their rights as I am, they will be a weak and neutered organization, fit for nothing much except a good magazine once a month.

UPDATE. David Codrea links some history on this.  Jacob is a real piece of work.  Come on into my house, Jacob, and let’s throw down.  I’ll call you out for being the sorry, pathetic, collectivist piss ant you are.  Or did I already just do that?

  • robertsgunshop

    Isn’t it ironic that the NRA has supported most of the gun control laws we have today. NFA34, GCA68, Brady…

    I don’t always agree with the NRA, yet I remain a member. It’s that whole 800 pound gorilla thing.

  • boogyoogyoogy

    Kinda like that Marxism by slower means, that the republicans have adopted, Robert?

    This 800 pound gorilla is no longer an asset, it is in fact a liability which does precisely that, creates more “palatable” left wing solutions, for us to swallow. Kinda like when speaker Boner says he only has this much power and can’t do anything about anything, and really can but doesn’t?

  • wildbill

    The name is Fudd. Elmer Fudd.

  • robertsgunshop

    You are so right. It seems like the NRA keeps bending to what the leftist want and soon they will have no power left. Death by a thousand cuts, as it were. The only people they seem to be pleasing anymore is Wayne and a chosen few. I’ve written to the NRA before and have never received a response. I was critical of their actions. I guess they feel that one of the peon’s shouldn’t have a opinion. It’s damn sure not the NRA I joined back in 81.

  • robertsgunshop

    Kind of looks like him too.

  • Pat Hines

    Well said, Mr. Smith (who is my neighbor, sort of), you’ve stated what I’ve said to members of the Gun Confiscation Lobby many times.

    My right to self defense is my private property, a gift from God, and as property it is to be defended. Rights, of which the right to self defense is among the most important, are not subject to the democratic process, nor do they require a demonstration of utility.

    The NRA, of which I’m a Life Member, are often called the Lairds of Fairfax, for good reason. They can be extraordinarily limp-wristed a good bit of the time.

  • Thomas Rice

    The NRA is a political action comittee,, that has no balls and does not represent the true intent of the second amendment. A dollar for the NRA is a dollar wasted.

  • Glenn Jacobs

    That double-dealing is precisely the reason I resigned my Life Membership in the NRA many years ago.

  • Paul B

    Last time I got one of the extra giving calls from the NRA I told them the same thing that I told the Republicans. Until we start jailing some of the criminals they are telling us about I am done giving money. Once heads start to roll I might give again.

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  • Cameraman

    Fudd”s are Duds!!!

  • jaquebauer

    The NRA is not a an organization whose doctrine is the preservation of the Second Amendment. Had it been so, we would not be living with outright bans on certain classes of weapons, both by import restrictions, manufacturing restrictions, and the various gun control acts over the last hundred years. The NRA is a populist gun organization whose roots were born to train civilians in the art and skill of marksmanship. It grew from there into a very rich lobby group, who walks a very narrow line down the center of firearm politics, laws, and public education of firearms safety. You will not see the NRA fighting on behalf of the Class 3 fraternity, and those that collect automatic and heavier weapons, silencers, destructive devices, short barrel rifles, and weapons outside the “mainstream.”
    We need the NRA, and we also need the JFPO, NAGR, GOA, and the SAF.

  • kurthofmannstlgunrightexaminer

    Hey, I found the Tom King/NRA version of the Gadsden Flag!

  • will-ford

    Join the G.O.A. Gun Owners of America. They do not bow down on 2nd amendment

  • Barry Hirsh

    “I have weapons because God gives me the right to own weapons, not the second amendment.”


    And the SCOTUS has agreed with you:

    “The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” – U S v. CRUIKSHANK, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) 92 U.S. 542

  • Herman Nelson

    I had the NRA call me the other day looking for money. I rubbed my hands together with glee and proceeded to ask them why was I sending them more money? “So we can stave off the anti-gunners” was the reply. I told them the NRA needs to grow a pair of balls, that I will not send them more money until they can prove to me and millions of others like me that our money is creating results. I told them I was not sending money because it’s being spent on law enforcement only classes (thereby creating a more effective militarized police force which we will be fighting later). I would not send them another dime after I found out that they supported the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the National Firearms Act of 1934, and the NRA was not doing anything really to stop and overturn these two unconstitutional and treasonous acts. The caller could not get off the phone fast enough.

  • bloodyspartan

    Anything scotus gives can be taken away,
    I doubt he ever will.

  • John Watson

    The goa doesn’t do anything. To make things absolutely worse, they were the only gun group to ask for the narrow view during Heller VS. Washington. To make things even more disgusting about the goa, they wimped out during McDonald which was the Second Amendment Foundation’s fight. I have asked for ten years just what the goa has ever done on their own. I even email the organization once in awhile to ask just what they do. They don’t even bother to answer.

  • John Watson

    None of those groups waste their money on losing fights.

  • John Watson

    The NRA became a lobbying group during the 1970’s.

  • robertsgunshop

    When did Wayne the pain takeover? I thought that was in the mid 80’s.I remember the Neal Knox/Harlon Carter years. It’s part of that getting old thing,dates are starting to elude me. ;)

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  • Concerned American

    Gutless sack of pig vomit.

    Tom, ESADMF.

  • Yank lll

    Finally the NRA is showing their true Quisling colors.. a bullet for their thoughts.

  • Michael Gladius

    The NRA has won most of their court cases. Bias, maybe? Who else overturned the DC gun bans and didn’t give up trying to overturn Chicago’s gun ban through the courts?
    The NRA is focusing on the naïve, not-fully-informed majority who don’t care under normal circumstances and will be caught by surprise when SHTF. These people will be the ones who decide who runs this country: Will they support us in obscurity, hide us from the SWAT teams, and feed us intel, or will they welcome the UN peacekeepers who promise to protect them from the wild mobs of loony preppers? Assuming they’ll know we’re the good guys is hubris at its best.
    We will never have a good image in the press. The NRA is showing, in the small things, how calm, composed, and normal we are. Our culture is one of go along, get along mediocrity, and anything extreme (especially good extreme) is considered a turn-off. We are normal people, and we sometimes forget to show that.
    We want to intimidate our enemies, not potential allies. The NRA has had great success working in the system and has fought, often unsung, against tough nuts that we’ve forgotten about. Don’t blow them off as just another bunch of mediocres; they’re doing the obscure work that you don’t see but desperately need.

  • Herschel Smith

    I don’t buy it, and I don’t buy what jaquebauer is saying above either. The NRA doesn’t exist just to show folks how to shoot M1s and M1 Carbines and hold pistols the right way. They are a political action organization too, and if you don’t believe it, tell them you’re going to take away every firearm they’ve got except muzzle loaders. See if they accept it. If so, they their threshold is muzzle loaders. They’re willing to compromise up to that point. If not, narrow in on what their threshold is. They have one, you have one, we all have one.
    The NRA didn’t want to score the vote on that ridiculous nominee for surgeon general because it would seem scary and extremist. Again, what’s your threshold? Mine says to score the vote, probably yours too. The NRA had to be dragged kicking and screaming into scoring the vote.
    Would you vote for Harry Reid? The NRA endorsed Harry Reid. To me, he is a communist. We all have our limits, and I suspect that if your limits and the NRA limits are the same, then we don’t see eye to eye on a whole lot of things.

  • Pingback: The Righteousness of Owning Guns — Or, Putting Wads In The Pacifists’ Panties | Arms are the Mark of a Free Man()

  • nobull

    You only win by shooting back and proving to be hard target …and a mewling sycophant is no hard target. e.g.

  • TiredOfBanksterScum

    GOA does one thing: send out letters and emails begging for money.

    No one pays any attention to the GOA. They’re the crazy uncle Ed of the gun rights world, sitting in the corner and talking loudly to themselves about “no compromise” and unable to notice that no one is expecting them to compromise because no one needs to have anything to do with them.

  • my 2 cents

    yeah, i personally would like for the NRA & GOA to use their websites to help organize a national comm system (internet forums, phone trees & email lists, ham radios, frs/gmrs radios) and neighborhood security groups and city/county militias across the nation, each could have a forum for having discussions and have sop files. also i’d like for them to demand that all firearms laws be repealed. i know they can’t just wave a magic wand and make everything perfect, but that’s my one suggestion.

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  • Parker Orfield

    The people that hate and use propaganda against The N.R.A. or want to destroy the Second Amendment forever and don’t want people to own guns, period will not ever have their minds changed. I am glad that the N.R.A fights for gun owners rights and Second Amendment or the gun grabbers would take every gun away even though they say they won’t do that. The N.R.A doesn’t win every battle it takes to task and isn’t perfect by any means. A lot of propaganda has been used by many on the left to try and destroy its membership! The N.R.A is made up of people and people make mistakes but all in all the N.R.A. fights for gun owners rights!

  • Parker Orfield

    The N.R.A. did not indorse Harry Reid but they did give money to a shooting range in Los Vegas where Harry Reid spoke. Also the Washington D.C. Gun Ban was found to be unconstitutional and the N.R.A was not in the case.

  • peck2

    I kinda sympathize with you on that “date” thing. At 73, I haven’t had one in years.

  • Herschel Smith

    It wasn’t a formal endorsement, but it was ringing praise.

  • Herschel Smith

    What’s that “propaganda” to which you refer? Be specific, and show your work.

  • THEyardpilot

    No, they created a lobbying group as PART of the organization by vote of the membership. heir main thrust is still as it always was.

  • THEyardpilot

    Now, have you read the history of those so you can understand why they did what they did in those cases?

  • Herschel Smith

    I don’t care why they did what they did. Both the NFA and GCA are evil abominations, and the excuse that we wanted to avoid a worse evil abomination doesn’t wash with me or most of the rest of my ilk. It’s why we are where we are. Compomise has always ended up with a deletarious affect on our rights.

  • Parker Orfield
  • Jim Suttle

    NRA = Negotiating Rights Away

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns,National Rifle Association,Second Amendment and was published March 31st, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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