The NRA is facing a defining moment right now. This is the crisis that many critics like myself wanted to see, however, it is not playing out to our benefit. At least not yet.
It appears that Wayne LaPierre and his fudd cronies are holding sway in the NRA. A long time ago, they made it virtually impossible for LaPierre and Chris Cox to be removed. There would be no 1977 membership takeovers of the NRA again. For any bureaucracy that must die to be reborn, these often-destructive and ugly convulsions are a part of the process. It’s a little like a demonic exorcism.
Chaos is good. Chaos creates necessary change. Myself and other hoped that as we dropped our membership (and donations), the NRA would feel the pinch and be forced to re-examine itself. If this were a marriage, this would be the point where the husband is on the couch or in a hotel with his last chance to figure it out. Time will tell if LaPierre sees the writing on the wall and does the right thing, or if he’s so desperate to maintain power that he takes the NRA along with it. If the NRA dies, it will be because of his feckless leadership and greed. I’m pretty much convinced at this point that LaPierre is an utter scumbag, not just a misguided fool.
Oliver North’s abrupt resignation by refusing a second term as President may wake up the membership to what’s going on. Most NRA members do not follow the inside “gossip” about the issues within the NRA. A lot of NRA supporters do so monolithically and refuse to question what it does, claiming that inner turmoil is bad and will weaken gun rights. I see that reasoning like a battered woman justifying staying with her husband after he’s beaten her again.
Gun Free Zone a pro-gun blog I like and it has a lot of posts that blindly support the NRA and the frankly disgusting Marion Hammer. Their argument is that there is no one else out there to do the heavy lifting and at least they show up. I see the reasoning there, but at the federal level, nature abhors a vacuum. GOA can replace the NRA and do a better job at federal lobbying. At the state level, well Nevada isn’t Florida and you’ve seen how we’ve been screwed.
Too many people don’t have the ability or interest to get involved in pro-gun activism or politics. So they donate. That’s fine. But the problem is when it is to only one organization that frankly sucks. In Nevada, so many people give to the NRA but few give to the NVFAC which actually does stuff for Nevada. Remember, your NRA dollars do not directly go to the NRA-ILA which is the political arm, especially at the state level. (The bloat at HQ sucks so much air from the ILA’s efforts; anyhow…)
Blind faith in the NRA is like the total trust in President Trump some people seem to have. Despite fulfilling none of his campaign promises, some people still think he is the orange Jesus. Faith in politicians is utterly stupid. Politicians will always fail you. Ronald Reagan is beloved by gun owners, but he banned open carry in California and banned new machine guns after 1986. Put your faith in Jesus, not Washington DC.
There is no voting our way out of this. Voting buys time and pisses off liberals. For example, if Trump takes the popular vote this year, California will be forced to give its electoral votes to him, regardless of how the state votes. That’s enough for me. I do not believe that Trump will build the wall, eject the illegal aliens, root out Democratic corruption, and get Tea Party-style conservatives into Congress. If we win anything positive in the next few years, it’ll be through Supreme Court and resulting appeals court victories.
Lobbying ultimately comes down to money. We saw what blatant bribes to Democratic legislators from Michael Bloomberg can do. If the “gun lobby” really wants to push the Second Amendment, they need to donate beaucoup bucks to get pro-gun candidates elected and bills passed. That can’t happen for two reasons: 1, rich conservatives don’t care enough about gun rights to donate like Bloomberg does to his side; and 2, big gun companies can’t do it because they are mostly owned by corporate conglomerates controlled by liberal board members out of places like New York City. Nevada specific example: Sheldon Adelson is a conservative and Steve Wynn supposedly supports gun rights, but how many millions have they donated to pro-Second Amendment causes?
Though on a positive note, the NRA-ILA (not quite the same as the HQ NRA) went all-out in 2016 and got Question 1 down to less than one percent support in-favor. That’s pretty darn good. But again, if the main NRA was less about smoke, mirrors, and the Beltway political cult, it could give and do much more at the state and local level. Maybe we would be in less trouble.
Back to the future, we can’t turn this ship around. Nevada is sunk because of demographics and rotten politics just like the rest of the country. Between illegal immigration, third-world immigration, and basically brainwashing poor people, a socialist president and Democratic Congress is coming in 2-5 years. Ten years from now, we will be in them midst of another depression Venezuela style while facing a civil war. There is no voting our way out of this. The NRA will not be able to save you.
GOA can take up the slack lobbying in the short-term if the NRA can’t do it. Lobbying is really just harassing politicians until they do what you say. The NRA’s ranking is crap—they gave Harry Reid an ‘A’ rating—and entirely about getting politicians elected or re-elected. It’s political-insider shenanigans. I want an organization that will blow up phones and mailboxes and threaten, with action behind it, to unseat an anti-gun politician. If NRA federal lobbying money jumps ship, the GOA is in place to do it, naysayers aside. Heck, the GOA would be bigger if the NRA was the 800lb gorilla in the room.
So stop putting your faith in big organizations and big-name politicians. If you want to put your faith in someone, put it in Jesus. Even Jesus doesn’t create paradise on Earth until after tribulations, so don’t be thinking some magic is going to happen in Washington. The hour of the Second Amendment being necessary is coming soon. There will be no NRA to reassure you and help defend and support you for shooting the stormtroopers or socialist street brigades.
If the NRA wants to shine, this is its chance. The members need to create such a stink that LaPierre and Ack-Mac leave, along with their acolytes in the organization. The NRA can re-focus on true no-compromise lobbying and push hard. Instead of blowing millions on advertising, fundraising, and executives, they can roll that money over to the NRA-ILA and help out at the state level, where a savior is desperately needed.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West