The National Rifle Association was once a good thing. Back in the 19th century it encouraged firearms ownership and marksmanship. For a long time it was the place to go for high quality training.
I used to be an NRA member. I quit a couple of decades ago.
While the NRA was still good on training, I finally noticed other things. Well, thing; fundraising. To fight “gun control.” A lot of fundraising. I could get 3-4 mailings a week.
Yet somehow we got the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act (“assault weapons ban”), Brady waiting periods followed by (replaced with at federal level) preemptively-prove-your-innocence checks, “gun-free” school zones, Project Exile (shifting unconstitutional firearms cases to federal court for more severe penalties), and more.
And well before that, the NRA went along with the NFA ’34 (registration/taxation), GCA ’68 (no more mail order), and FOPA ’86 (no more new NFA items for you).
Like I say, I quit back in the ’90s when I realized that the NRA just used the fear of gun control as a money-making tool. The NRA needs gun control to “fight.”
They need it so much that they helped write an “assault weapons” ban for a city in which I lived; my ten-round-fixed-magazine SKS was illegal. The NRA said they had to do that or someone else would have written a worse law. As was, that law was so bad the state supreme court tossed it in its entirety.
When I lived in New Hampshire, RKBA activists spent years working for Constitutional carry. We finally lined up enough — too often reluctant — votes to pass it and a governor who said he’d sign it.
Lo and behold, the NRA sent in a lobbyist for the first time in a decade who told the reluctant Republicans that the NRA did not support the bill. That gave the weasels the necessary wiggle room to render the bill “Inexpedient To Legislate;” they killed it in an after hours session after the bill’s backers went home to sleep, believing it was passing, unknowing of the NRA’s backstabbing. (The NRA later claimed that never happened; that they merely told the law-makers that the bill needed to duplicate federal law language regarding prohibited persons. Legislators explaining themselves to pissed off constituents gave my version of the story.)
The NRA watched the concealed carry insurance industry grow, and decided to try it, too. Among their first actions was to ban their competition from their annual gathering.
The NRA is even having trouble with training these days.
Skipping plenty of other despicable NRA actions and inactions, Some Asshole shoots up a Las Vegas country music festival in a “gun-free” zone. Even as early police statements said the shooter used at least one fully automatic rifle and two “bump-fire” stocks, the NRA sharpened its knife and taped targets to honest gun owners’ backs.
The National Rifle Association preemptively surrendered by calling for the ATF to reevaluate bump/slide-fire stocks and regulate them as NFA items. Because they help shooters pull the trigger a bunch of times pretty fast.
The Zelman Partisans objected to further regulation, as did Gun Owners of America.
The NRA went into CYA mode with the red herring that they never called for a ban on any firearm. We know that.
We also know that what they did was signal to victim disarming scum like Dianne Feinstein that deep pockets NRA was cool with regulation.
Feinstein offered a bill banning bump-fire stocks and anything else that would help a semiautomatic firearm faster, effectively redefining “machine gun” as anything that shoots arbitrarily fast regardless of actual operation.
The NRA said, “Nah, we want bureaucratic regulation, not legislation.”
Feinstein said, “Nope.”
Pro-RKBA people were still noting the NRA’s surrender signaling to gun control-inclined Republicans. The NRA said, “No, we didn’t.”
Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo Introduces Gun Control Bill for Bump Stocks.
Gee, we never saw that coming. Oh, wait…
We did. We told the NRA. They blew us off.
I expect a flurry of fundraiser flyers in the mail: “Help the NRA/ILA fight the DC Bump Ban.”
Set aside the surrender-signaling for a few moments. Go back to the part where the NRA said they want the ATF to regulate stocks. Think on that.
Way back when, the original National Firearms Act draft called for hand guns to be regulated just like machine guns, suppressors, short-barrel shotguns, yadda yadda. It was unpassable that way, so hand guns were stripped out. We were left with — still unconstitutional — restrictions set by Congress, which at least pretends to be answerable to the people.
The NRA, in contrast, is calling for the ATF to have the power to arbitrarily add stuff to the NFA. You know, the guys who brought us Fast & Furious resulting in deaths in Mexico, the United States, and France. The folks who are apparently answerable to nobody.
Raise your hands: Who thinks the ATF wouldn’t abuse such power? (No, not you, LaPierre and Cox; we know you’re moronic quislings. And you, too, Gottlieb.) Anyone else?
Next question: Are you going to scribble down your credit card number or write a check to the NRA/ILA when you get those inevitable flyers to “Help the NRA/ILA Fight the ATF”?
For a long time after I quit the NRA, I said they’d never get another penny from me until they learned to respect the Second Amendment. More recently I said they have proven themselves an unredeemable deadly enemy and will never get another penny, period.
That is not enough. I am tired of the NRA presenting itself as speaking for all gun owners. They don’t speak for me, and likely not you.
The NRA claims 5 million members (the numbers are questionable). Estimates of American gun owners range from 60 million to as many as 120 million. So best case scenario for the NRA is that they actually speak for 8.3% of gun owners. Maybe a mere 4%.
I know of people who’ve “joined” the NRA only because it was a requirement to use a specific shooting range, or other facility.
So here’s this big money group representing a tiny fraction of gun owners using its resources to screw us all over, trampling rights, and begging for more.
It is no longer enough just to stop supporting the bastards. The NRA/ILA have hundreds of millions of dollars in assets. Every principled member could (and should) quit today, and they can continue to fund human/civil rights violations for years.
The NRA, as an organization, must die. I suggest civil suits under 18 U.S. Code § 241 – Conspiracy against rights. Those who have donated to the NRA Foundation can sue for return of their donations on the grounds that the NRA misrepresented how donations would be used.
NRA delenda est