The NRA Needs A Reform Movement?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

Discussing the same subject we did a few days ago (but coming to radically different conclusions), Sabastian remarks as follows.

While the figures involved in the hardliner (Knoxers in the past) versus pragmatist (Wayne’s faction) debate have changed, the essential debate is still with us.

NRA’s parasitic relationship with its PR firm isn’t anything new. The Knoxers railed against it too back in the day. I’ve never been comfortable with it either, but I’ve always had the choice of living with it as a member, or joining the hardliners. I am of the opinion that NRA taking a no-compromise, hardline stance will ultimately result in its irrelevance. Believing we can always win by saying ‘no’ louder is not a winning strategy when you’re working as a determined minority in a republican political system.

These days the issue is bump stocks and red flag laws. NRA largely surrendered on the bump stock issue to buy time to stop the bills that would have put semi-automatic firearms in legal jeopardy. They endorsed red flag laws provided they had sufficient due process (which none of them do). I believe both these moves are unpleasant necessities that reflect the reality of the political situation post-Vegas and post-Parkland. If you want to fight and die on bump stock hill, sorry, but we’re going to lose that fight. We also risk losing a large chunk of the current transferrable machine gun stock. You’re all aware of the debates, so I won’t rehash them.

That’s just bullshit.  The NRA didn’t “largely surrender” on bump stocks, it gave Trump the idea and cover for it.  They also endorsed red flag laws (ERPOs), and gave Trump the cover to say “take them first.”

Besides, the due process requirement is a red herring and everyone with two brain cells knows it.  Due process is for after a crime has been committed.  Threats are a crime, so you don’t need red flag laws to arrest someone who has threatened someone else.  The idea behind red flag laws is allegedly to prevent crime, or in other words, sit in the seat of the Almighty and predict behavior in the future.  I suspect that the real idea behind red flag laws will eventually become manifest, i.e., to remove firearms from people whom the FedGov doesn’t like.  Do you believe in the second amendment remedy for tyranny?  Presto.  Red flag your ass.

So you can reform the NRA until you heart is content, sir.  I won’t be a part of what I’ve noted is the best, most effective, most well-connected, well-financed gun control organization on earth and in history, having been involved in and supported the NFA, the GCA, the Hughes Amendment, the bump stock ban, and now red flag laws.

Seldom has it ever actually used its money and power to properly score votes, oppose gun control, marshal people and resources, and stand in the gap.  Can you imagine an NRA that actually used its wealth and power to oppose gun control instead of enrich the pockets of the powerful?

It’s hand-wringing to say that the NRA couldn’t have stopped this or that, if in fact history is no indication of its chances of success given that it has never actually tried.

And I’ll tag this post both NRA and gun control.  The two go together hand in glove.


Comments

  1. On April 24, 2019 at 7:06 am, H said:

    It’s telling that “Sebastian’s” first action beyond news reporting on this is to attack another faction of the RKBA community, and based on comments he’s got a lot of company in hating “hardliners” more than gun grabbers. A Leftist who only has guns in common with us, going so far as to accuse us raised in Gun Culture 1.0 types of racism by making a bigger fuss about the Federal government’s execution of religious dissidents at Waco than the smaller scale, over before we knew it, entirely local under a black mayor but otherwise comparable MOVE bombing in his back yard.

    As I commented on his blog, he wants a NRA like the current one with less graft, on Red Flag laws he and his supporters at best suffer from a fatal lack of imagination. Despite his single more important observation that polities where few people own guns don’t retain their RKBA, very few people fight for something they have no stake in.

    Do you believe in the second amendment remedy for tyranny?

    We should note that Sebastian doesn’t, he views this as an entirely political fight where if he loses he’ll turn in his guns; maybe that makes him sanguine about Red Flag laws which are almost certainly coming to his home state?? He’s not only explicitly proclaimed that, but was so uncomfortable with the hard line that he suffered significant brand damage to move his blog from “Snowflakes in Hell” to “Shall Not Be Questioned” (quoting the relevant section in his state’s constitution). That he’s so totally in the political game is why I and I think many of us deplorable “hardliners” frequent his blog, it’s an important viewpoint and segment of the RKBA movement, but it sure gets annoying when he attacks us without provocation. But clarifying.

  2. On April 24, 2019 at 8:44 am, Frank Clarke said:

    “I am of the opinion that NRA taking a no-compromise, hardline stance will ultimately result in its irrelevance.”

    What’s to lose? They’re irrelevant now.

  3. On April 24, 2019 at 2:37 pm, Chris said:

    So which pro-2A organizations are worthy of support? NRA may impolde, for good or bad. SAF seems to be involved in a lot of the legal challenges, but also seems to have certain aspects of a cult of personality (or the beginnings of a dynasty). Which do any good?

  4. On April 24, 2019 at 6:54 pm, Miles said:

    Herschel;
    You blog. Your rules. Your time.
    But I believe that when a man has a personal/professional problem they take it to the source instead of name calling or submitting elsewhere posts filled with calumny.

    For the record, when “H” pulled out the ‘race card’ over a passing remark made years ago by Sebastian that people in 1985 were more racist than today, and then using it to be personally offended (BTW that’s a proggie tactic) so he could use it a a vehicle to rant more, it makes me consider is just who is promoting divisiveness?

  5. On April 24, 2019 at 7:24 pm, H said:

    Miles, I find it fascinating that you are reading the comments to Sebastian’s blog entry, even posting the same complaint over there, while claiming here that I didn’t make these points directly to him there, and I’ll add not for the first or second time.

    When someone puts out a public call to, well, inaction on our part, the discussion doesn’t stay hermetically sealed on the original forum, and pointing out why this person is attacking us is very germane, it’s hardly out of the blue. He doesn’t have our best interests in mind, although he does give us the courtesy of being able to defend them in the verbal and physical worlds.

  6. On April 24, 2019 at 8:19 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Miles,

    A few words about comments. I don’t know what he is talking about, and I don’t know what you’re talking about. Nor do I have the time to learn.

    Comments are something that you cannot understand unless you have a blog and deal with them yourself. I’m not making excuses, I’m conveying reality. It is what it is, and I don’t apologize.

    I have going on 25,000 comments. I cannot moderate them all, I cannot read them all. I get paid exactly zero (0) dollars for doing this. In fact, it costs me money out-of-pocket in host fees for the web site. At one time I used Disqus, but got a lot of user complaints, and for good reason. I actually caught Disqus shadow-banning one of my commenters, where I could see the comment while logged in as administrator, but not at other times. They left it there for me to see, but no readers (in a ploy to hide from me, the blog owner, what they did). And I couldn’t re-approve the comment. Disqus had total control. So I jettisoned them and returned to the current protocol.

    I moderate comments for new users, then after that it’s pretty much up to them to post sensible comments. I have a few rules, like if I see a fight between readers I’ll normally only let it go on so long before I stop it.

    [EDIT]: Correction, 31,000 comments.

  7. On April 24, 2019 at 8:44 pm, Fred said:

    Sebastian and the rest of the NRA are gun controllers. Period. The end.

  8. On April 25, 2019 at 7:17 am, Longbow said:

    Can the NRA be reformed? Sure it can. The Board can fire ALL of the executive leadership and take control of the Organization.

    Will that happen? I doubt it.

  9. On April 25, 2019 at 9:19 am, H said:

    Longbow: the board was handpicked by the Winning Team … but now that leadership and their own behavior have put its members in civil and criminal jeopardy. Let’s suppose New York state indicts the members of the Audit Committee that back dated signoffs. Anything would be possible after that, especially since it’s likely one or more of them would take a plea bargain for cooperation with the prosecution.

    Indictment of one or more of the Winning Team could and should also have an outsized response from the board. We could also see a lot of members resigning, which depending on the bylaws could reduce the number needed to make real changes.

  10. On April 25, 2019 at 10:25 am, Fred said:

    Nobody is changing anything. The NRA is a fund raising arm the Republican Party. It is NOT a pro gun civil rights organization.

  11. On April 25, 2019 at 8:11 pm, Gryphon said:

    The NRA began as a Gun Safety/Marksmanship Training Group, which Endorsed Firearms Ownership for Hunting an Target Shooting. That is why the Organization “Never Met a Gun Control Bill it didn’t Like” and was Way Too Late to the Party in Defending the Right to Own Arms for Self-Defense, the Root of the Second Amendment Control on Government regulation pf Arms.
    And Fred is Correct, the Republican Party sees the NRA and its membership as a Cash Cow and (usually) Assured Votes.

  12. On April 26, 2019 at 9:38 am, John said:

    After considering what I believe gun rights in America would look like today
    without over a century of NRA activity I must say I believe you are wrong.
    Over the years the Organization has done much more good than harm.

  13. On April 26, 2019 at 10:17 am, Fred said:

    Well John, I’m not willing to trade my duties unto Holy God and those itinerant rights for an on balance compromise with the devil. The duty to defense is Revealed Law, Natural Law, and evident in nature prima facie. It’s not a political compromise.

  14. On April 26, 2019 at 11:10 am, John said:

    I honor your ironclad principles but a lot of hard knock reality has tempered mine somewhat.

  15. On April 26, 2019 at 1:11 pm, H said:

    My goodness, it didn’t take “Sebastian” very long to remind me why I stopped contributing to his blog back when he implicitly labeled me and mine as racists. We’ve been arguing about the size of the “hardliner” faction, he can’t come up with any data I think is solid (Gallup polling for example), but he’s very certain the number is very small, he guesstimates ~100,000 (I hadn’t laid down any numbers but I think there’s likely to be a few million at minimum).

    So in frustration I assume he laid down the “you’re a hypocrite for voting for Trump” card…. Bleah, it’s very obnoxious he’s got such good political insights, has for example of all the sources I follow sounded the siren about Bloomberg the loudest.

  16. On April 26, 2019 at 2:29 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @John,

    Okay then. Here’s a challenge problem for you. Give me examples of what the NRA has done for you.

  17. On April 26, 2019 at 2:53 pm, Fred said:

    John, there is a divergence then as I’ve become more ‘ironclad’ as time has gone by. That’s how I’ve been tempered. Respectfully, You’ve misused the word tempered related to the way it’s used in the Bible. It’s not a softening or an acceptance of a reality, it’s a hardening of belief on right and wrong, good and evil, God’s law and sin. A man is tempered and the dross is removed, a rather unpleasant experience if we resist or misapprehend God’s purposes.

    The devil asked Eve if God had really said not to eat of the tree in the midst of the Garden? To which she thought; well it sure looks yummy. That’s what he does, that’s how he gets you to acquiesce a little at a time. So when asked, directly or indirectly, if the Covenantal agreement by which we live really says; shall not be infringed, the only right answer is: YES. The thought of that oh so tasty reasonable compromise is the subtlety of the serpent. The devil isn’t even clever if we know God’s Law.

    Sabastian is either an agent of the devil or a teat suckling milk taker. (A casual survey of the American Church would indicate some considerable overlap here so it’s often hard to tell.) A nation of the Godless and of teat suckling milk eaters will not only go the camps, they’ll build and man them while rounding up their neighbors. I will die with my guns and it’s up to the enemies of God, of which Sabastian is one, if that’s at a ripe old age or something more dramatic.

  18. On April 26, 2019 at 10:19 pm, Miles said:

    H, I consider what you’re doing as divisive.

    You go pulling put the “racist” card like a leftist progressive uses it and then wonder why you get called to task for it?
    A comment made in passing 6 Years Ago as a “general garment” and you claiming it’s cut to fit you today is past suspicious ‘sir’.
    As I see it, that’s a tactic used to pick a fight for no other purpose than to pick a fight.

    I have no idea if you have a blog of your own, but if you did, I would go there to deal with you.
    You can come over to milesfortis anytime you want.

    The first point was a comment about this post about a beef with Sebastian. Herschel made comment about it here and and not there.

    I have a problem with someone, I go to the source.

  19. On April 27, 2019 at 6:24 am, H said:

    Miles: And again I repeat/restate, when someone attacks me and for example Herschel, as “Sebastian” has consistently done for years, in his latest posting we’re labeled “religious zealots”, that doesn’t stay hermetically sealed in his forum. Else we wouldn’t even be discussing his previous blog entry here on The Captain’s Journal where in the comments there he goes so far as to say he’d rather have the NRA die that reform if that results in the “hardliners” gaining control of it.

    Divisive for calling out someone’s divisiveness on their blog as you demand, as well as others’ like Herschel’s? So be it if that’s the only way you can see it, you can imagine how much I care about your standards of decorum in these dark times. Failure to be sufficiently “divisive” has resulted in a sclerotic and vulnerable NRA, and an increasingly public fight now inside the Winning Team, with LaPierre making public a letter claiming extortion after being asked to step down.

  20. On April 27, 2019 at 11:18 am, H said:

    Forgive me for “not going to the source”, not having phone numbers for these guys, but some of what’s going on between Wayne LaPierre and Oliver North just became clear. LaPierre complained in an open letter that North tried to blackmail him. And that:

    Last year [North] entered an employment agreement with [AckMac (AM)] that pays him millions of dollars annually, supposedly in exchange for hosting an NRATV documentary series, “American Heroes.” AN bargained to deliver twelve feature-length episodes of American Heroes within the series’ first year. That period expires next month, and AM has delivered only three episodes (the latest is a mere 11 minutes in length).

    And claims AckMac is trying to oust him because LaPierre is asking for an accounting of this. While we should be very careful about anything he says, the new detail reported this morning helps explain this. North announced he isn’t “seeking” another term as President, they’re for one year and it’ll end Monday, which I note is when the official private Board meeting is held.

    I’m guessing getting rid of LaPierre was part of the path North needed to keep his position. You could interpret this as a necessary part of reforming the NRA, except for the claims made by many that AckMac is paying North with NRA money, and getting rid of AckMac is just as important.

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You are currently reading "The NRA Needs A Reform Movement?", entry #21069 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,National Rifle Association and was published April 23rd, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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