Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Open Letter to the NRA (With Updates)

Dear NRA,

I have written you numerous times. Your only response has been those infuriatingly vapid "thank you for contacting us" form letter emails. This email, and any responses from you will be published on my blogs and sent to my friends and contacts who may also be NRA members. I am tired of being ignored. I am tired of being sold down the river by your support of authoritarianism. I am sick of being shoved aside and sacrificed to your police-state buddies, their liberty destroying programs, and your absolutely delusional assessment of the situation. I regret ever joining your organization, and especially regret shelling out the money for a life-membership. I may as well have joined one of the other victim disarmament gangs.

My September 2008 copy of your official journal, America's 1st Freedom, arrived this week. Can you say "last straw"? I am angry and I will be heard.

In past Presidential (and other) elections you have ignored the true pro-gun candidates of the Libertarian Party in order to endorse your darlings of the Republican Party. Now look where it has gotten you. In this copy of America's 1st Freedom, you go to great lengths to decry Obama's anti-gun history while ignoring McCain's even more disturbing anti-gun history. I say "even more disturbing" simply because this is the traitor you are pushing as the gun-owners' candidate! The man is a traitor in more ways than one, and on gun ownership is no better than the other traitor, Obama. Only McCain lies more smoothly because of your help. His history is swept under the rug, again with your help. Stop it NOW! In this election, partly because of your ignorance, the LP doesn't even have a pro-gun candidate. Did you orchestrate this situation on purpose? Because you couldn't have sabotaged gun owners any more thoroughly if you had.

Then, once again in America's 1st Freedom, your official voice, we are treated to an absolutely delusional assessment of the Heller decision. You crow about the "victory" while ignoring the fact that the black-robed traitors have effectively rubber-stamped any victim-disarming scheme short of an all-out ban. Any permits, restrictions, or other infringements are well within the scope of the "allowed" prohibitions. "Shall not be infringed" could not be any more clear. Where is the wiggle-room?

Stop supporting and endorsing police-state programs such as PROJECT EXILE. Stop supporting the enforcers who prop up these programs. No LEO ("Liberty Eradication Operative") who has ever enforced even one gun law is worthy of your adoration. Authoritarianism and gun rights are mutually exclusive. Choose sides and stop sitting on the fence. It makes you look like fools.

"Concealed Carry legislation" is unnecessary. Don't pass new laws, just strike the old illegal laws from the books. Or ignore them. Whatever you do, don't train people to beg for permission to exercise their basic human rights. It is a dangerous, slippery, slope that leads nowhere good.

Stop advocating the disarmament of children and teachers in government schools. Is there any place more dangerous than where parents can not be to protect their children? Bad people will always find a way. Stop giving them the advantage by supporting hideously cruel "gun-free" zones.

The Second Amendment prohibits the Federal government from passing or enforcing any law regarding personal weapons of any sort. That means your call to "enforce the laws we already have" is dead wrong. There is no way that enforcing any gun law helps me or the rest of us average, non-violent gun owners. Any prohibitions against "felons", "mentally ill", or anyone else possessing any type of guns, does not help anyone but the state, and does not make you or me safer in any way. Any prohibition or restriction on any sort of gun is prohibited by the Second Amendment. Yes, that includes machine guns. Any limitation of where or when or HOW (openly or concealed) anyone can carry any type of personal weapon is strictly prohibited by the Second Amendment.

Stop tip-toeing around the issues. You may shock or scare some people, but really, how much more can the gun-banners hate you anyway? Stop catering to them. Start standing up for the people who want to be on your side. A principled stand will show you are worthy of the support of gun owners again. Maybe some of those "as long as I can keep my deer rifle..." gun owners will get a clue and follow your lead. If nothing else, you can see who is really supportive of the right to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms.

I will not resign my membership, but feel free to kick me out. I, and principled members like me, will continue to be your conscience. Will you continue to ignore us?

Signed,
Kent McManigal
NRA Life member (#-------)

Added: Four days and counting and no response other than the "we received your email" reply.

An "answer" from NRA; five days later, and obviously a somewhat dated form letter. Notice how my points were completely ignored:

Dear Sir,

Please know that the NRA is a non-partisan organization. When considering candidates for endorsement, our political action committee, the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), reviews several aspects of a candidate's campaign. In addition to determining a candidate's position on the Second Amendment and firearms ownership rights, we also review other factors such as viability, likelihood of making a runoff, campaign strategies, methods and staffing, and, finally, whether or not a candidate has a possibility of success in a particular district or state. Obviously, some districts are so one-sided in relation to partisan politics that support for any other candidates or parties would be fruitless and wasteful.

NRA-PVF has an obligation to our contributing membership to support and assist the best pro-gun candidate, and you can rest assured that all serious candidates are considered and reviewed. Regardless of party affiliation, all candidates are given the same consideration. But when it comes to a pro-gun incumbent running against a pro-gun challenger, we will almost always side with the incumbent.

McCain certainly is not perfect, but he is far better than Obama on gun issues. Obama has a near perfect anti-gun record, while McCain has voted on the wrong side only a few times. McCain voted to restrict our lobbying activities (McCain-Feingold) and to increase regulations at gun shows, but he voted against the Clinton gun bans and voted to protect gun manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits, among many other pro-gun votes.

As for the Heller decision, with Justice Scalia writing the majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and Justice Kennedy, our individual right to keep and bear arms was formally recognized by the highest court in the land (Justices Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Souter, Ginsberg, and Stevens).

The Washington D.C. gun ban is now overturned, and this new precedent will be the foundation for furthering the protection and expansion of our right to keep and bear arms, both legislatively and judicially, especially in areas with restrictions as severe as California's.

Further, NRA has already filed five lawsuits challenging local gun bans in San Francisco, and in Chicago and several of its suburbs. The San Francisco lawsuit challenges a local ordinance and lease provisions that prohibit possession of guns by residents of public housing in San Francisco. The Chicago case challenges a handgun ban nearly identical to the law struck down yesterday in Washington, D.C. The other Illinois suits challenge handgun bans in the suburban towns of Evanston, Morton Grove and Oak Park.

All five suits raise the issue of the application of the Second Amendment against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, known in constitutional law as "incorporation." Because Washington, D.C. is not a state, incorporation was not specifically addressed in yesterday's Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, but the decision did repeatedly equate the Second Amendment to the First and Fourth Amendments, which have applied to the states for 80 years.

We believe violent criminals who use guns during the commission of crimes should serve long, mandatory prison sentences. We will not change our stance on that issue. We believe that crime control, rather than gun control, is the solution to the violent crime problem.

We don't support the idea of "gun-free zones": http://www.nraila.org//Issues/Articles/Read.aspx?ID=260

We are not all-powerful. We cannot suddenly have all anti-gun laws repealed. However, we are the most powerful lobbying organization in the country and we will continue to use our influence to steer legislation in a way that will protect the right to keep and bear arms. Although we may not get everything we want all of the time, everything we do is aimed at improving the current situation.

We do not cater to anyone but our members, fellow gun owners, and others who believe in the sanctity of the Second Amendment. I hope this helps.

Cordially,
Angus McClellan
NRA-ILA Grassroots

Added 9-24-2008:

So... I got my NRA magazine again and I see an election primer, spelling out which politicians are "pro-gun", at least by your reckoning. How in the world am I supposed to trust what you say? Your organization gives good marks to anti-gun oppressors who might have supported one of your pet pieces of legislation while ignoring TRUE pro-gun people who haven't had a chance to help out the cause because you refuse to endorse them. I might as well be voting blind.

8 comments:

  1. Ah, the good old NRA... maybe once it meant something, but it hasn't for a long time. When you set your organization's goal as "continuously compromise to slow the advance of evil", well, evil just keeps right on advancing.

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  2. The "gun free zone" examples they gave were all college campuses--no mention of grade, middle and high schools...

    We know what Wayne said back after Columbine. Anybody ever seen a retraction and apology?

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  3. I have certainly never heard NRA offer a retraction or an apology for supporting "Hincker/Cho Massacre Zones" in public schools.

    Also, did you notice that the Heller decision was "yesterday" according to the letter? That was my biggest tip-off that it is a form letter that they are probably sending out to all their disgruntled members.

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  4. You are not alone, I've been a life member nearly 30 years, once I started paying attention to what they really do, have written probably 100 times to state my displeasure. They have responded exactly twice, both times arrogantly telling me that if I don't agree with with them I am out of line. Check the history, they have supported/endorsed every federal anti law passed including the nfa act in 1934. They have also pushed laws that undercut state organizations numerous times. They have become the largest gun control group in the country. I won't resign either, will tell the truth until they change, but not holding my breath.

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  5. Well stated, Kent.

    I also am a Life Member. I just hope to live long enough to cost them money on my monthly magazines.

    At least they don't send me letters asking for donations anymore.

    NRA - Not Relevant Anymore - has sided with the enemy too many times.

    My belief is that they don't want to "win" the war on the Bill of Rights.

    That might cripple their fund raising abilities.

    There are a number of us out here who feel like you do - the NRA sycophants in the chat rooms notwithstanding...

    Ned

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  6. I rescinded my life membership a long time ago and they still send me American Rifleman every month. Some people are asleep at the wheel in the Beltway.

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  7. After 6 years, I let my membership in the NRA lapse and I will not be going back.

    They lost me by being completely consistant: Republicans good (no matter what they do), Democrats bad (regardless of reality), no one else exists.

    It was just too consistant, through two different "president" figureheads, for it to be an accident. It is a careful setup, deliberate in all its awful permanence.

    I'm glad you're using your life membership for something. Don't forget to run for the board.

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  8. As a FORMER NRA member I contacted my regional NRA representive some time back when I was still a member and suggested the following. If a race is between two basically anti-gun major party candidates and a libertarian who is clearly pro-gun then the NRA will at least passively support the LP member. Right now the only thing that a republican has to do is just be a little less anti-gun than the democrat to get the NRA's support which is a recipe for disaster for the continuation of the second admendment. I got the standard form letter form them so I gave up.

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