Rift Over NRA Highlights Fundamental Divide among Gun Owners

Some of us would argue with that. Strenuously. Others would decry that as “NRA bashing.” And the gap is only getitng wider. (NRA Facebook photo)

U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- A recent series of AmmoLand articles reveals deep divisions between Second Amendment advocates and their perceptions of the National Rifle Association. Comments under the articles show emotional divisions among readers, with the vitriol on display one would generally expect to be reserved for gun-grabbers.

I’ve seen some readers complain, they’re tired of reading about this.  Fine by me – there’s a whole Internet out there to occupy yourself with if you’d care to leave. If not, be advised – these are my opinions and if I wanted to be popular I'd be writing about the Kardashians.

I’ve seen some who read an article on this site that defends the NRA and accuse AmmoLand of being their shills. I’ve seen others get angry at criticisms of the Association and accuse AmmoLand of being “NRA bashers.” I’ve seen comment posters dismissed as “Russian bots” and worse.

Anonymity sure emboldens, doesn't it? Most of us are a lot more circumspect in the real world.

Longtime readers of my stuff know I’m in the camp that says criticizing the NRA's leadership statements and decisions is no more an indictment of the association than criticizing a politician as un-American. As the slogan says, “I’m the NRA.” And I reserve the right to criticize when I feel it warranted not only because it’s a duty people of conscience have, but also because I’ve done my part to support the association over the years.

I found over those years that I could be more motivated and thus effective for my own ends working independently of the NRA and without the restrictions that come from representing anyone other than me. Plus, as I became more involved and aware, I found increasingly that I had disagreements with what I was seeing coming out of Fairfax, Virginia.

The small part of my agenda that involves the NRA is motivated by a desire to see the organization reformed. It's certainly no secret that many hard core gun activists are fed up with the Association – or more precisely, its management. Unlike some of them, I don't advocate leaving it – I advocate holding its officers accountable to a constructionist interpretation of the Second Amendment and the Association Bylaws.

It’s no different in principle than holding a politician accountable for fidelity to our Constitution. And unfortunately – or I should say deliberately – those bylaws have not been posted online for all to see, but instead copies must be requested by members.

For those who don’t have a copy, the bylaws define the purposes and objectives of the National Rifle Association of America as:

“To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially with reference to the inalienable right of the individual American citizen guaranteed by such constitution to acquire, possess, collect, exhibit, transport, carry, transfer ownership of, and enjoy the right to use firearms in order that the people may always be in a position to exercise their legitimate individual rights of self-preservation in defense of family, person and property as well as to serve effectively in the appropriate militia for the common defense of the republic and the individual liberty of its citizens.”

That is my benchmark for the NRA. That is what I expect its management to promote. That is what I expect its staff to promote. To people who want to slam anyone for taking on NRA political statements or political grades or public policy statements that contradict that, it’s on them to show where the criticism is untrue.

Support for any “gun control” law violates not only the bylaws, but also contradicts the truism that such laws don’t work.  The signal it sends is that such laws will work if  only they’re NRA-approved.

We’re told certain laws or rules will be supported because it’s pragmatic to do so, and if we don’t offer an alternative something worse will be forced on us. To me, that shows that the political ratings are flawed, since no politician worthy of an “A” and endorsement under the assurances that he is “a staunch defender of the Second Amendment” would support an infringement, but would instead go to the mat fighting it. Far too often we see it easier for a John Cornyn to advance a mental health blanket dragnet bill, or a Marco Rubio to push so-called “red flag” restraints that, by their very design cannot afford real “due process,” regardless of assurances insisting otherwise.

I’d expect an “A”-rater to be able to argue a compelling case to his constituents to educate them on the realities of citizen disarmament and to be able to demonstrate how they’re getting bad information and from whom. They present themselves as our leaders, so how about some leadership?

I’d also expect an “A”-rater to not endorse and support “F”-raters, as every supposedly “pro-gun Democrat” who turned around and supported Obama or Hillary for president did.  I’d expect an “A”-rater to not undermine his “pro-gun” votes by supporting “amnesty/pathway to citizenship” policies that will result in overwhelming anti-gun majorities, just like we’ve seen engineered in “sanctuary state” California.

But talking about all this plays into the hands of those who would “divide and conquer,” some will insist.

So what are we supposed to do? Pretend deep disagreements don't exist?

What will ignoring grievances accomplish, and how will it keep more of them from occurring? Some of us believe we are in an existential fight for the future of the Republic, and one that can devolve into much more serious conflicts than calling each other names. And speaking for myself, if you “compromise” for or enable any form of citizen disarmament, sorry, we’re not “on the same side.”

Besides, who would exploit the rift?  The gun-grabbers? Our enemies? They'll attack us regardless. The hell with them.

Here’s the other thing, though, for everybody placing all the blame on Wayne LaPierre & Co. (and he certainly has earned his portion of criticism): Out of the supposedly five million members, less than half of those meet the qualifications needed to vote for the Board of Directors. Of those who do qualify, Election Committee reports consistently confirm only around seven percent even bother to vote.

We can point fingers at the management-selected Nominating Committee if we like, but the bottom line is it’s up to each of us to MAKE the time to find out who best represents our interests. Believing what I call “Profiles in Apathy” to be the way things will continue to be, I don’t have high hopes to see the mandate for real change some are calling for actualized.

For those saying “GOA,” simple math tells us they won’t be in a position to exert as much influence without comparable membership numbers. That they have not attained those after all these years tells us something about them but much more about gun owners.

What all this means is, without something unforeseen and profound happening to unify gun owners, I’m not expecting to see the divide lessen. I wish I could offer a happy solution. But if it means giving up concessions to those that want it all, maybe we’re beyond debating in website comments and moving into something a lot more serious and for which far too few of us have prepared…


About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regular featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

  • 181 thoughts on “Rift Over NRA Highlights Fundamental Divide among Gun Owners

    1. I read both sides because I know why the first ten amendments were included in the Constitution and I count on all pro-firearms groups to work for “Right to Bare Arms”. All of us can loose big time if we are not careful, find the common ground where we agree.

    2. The NRA has done some good in the past if the task was easy, but if the road was filled with questionable obstacles they always fall back. They come up with some kind of compromise even if the other side requires none! They have some clout but they are afraid to use it. If the leaders heard: “the long sobs of the violins of autumn wound my heart with monotonous languor”, would they have started fighting the enemy or would they crawl under the bed trembling?
      The reason the NRA is ineffective is because it has been infiltrated by the enemy. If that were not so, it would be such a danger to the enemy they could not be allowed to exist. The leaders are lackeys of the enemy and do as they are told. The NRA is so huge it would be an actual means of destruction of the enemy! It must be controlled or it would be too dangerous to the enemy. And the enemy understands that fact completely!
      Would you like proof? Just have Wayne LaPierre cry out to the membership; “Men, get your rifles, we are going to D.C. to make things right!” If only 20% of membership showed up (approximately one million) you would see the most deserted city in the world. Even Vlad the Impaler could not cause such a desertion of a city as fast as the D.C. leeches would be leaving.
      If the NRA had real hard line leaders instead of compromised lackeys this country would become: “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all”. Instead of privileged despots with their corruption and crime.
      I would volunteer to go in a heartbeat, would you?

        1. I vote in every single BOD elections, and have for many many years. To me, the candidate list is always lacking in good candidate, at least as far as I am concerned. I seldom vote for anyone in New England; anyone in the East who is north of the Mason/Dixon Line; anyone from California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, IIinois, Minnesota, District of Columbia, or Maryland. Sometimes I don’t vote for anyone from Florida, either. But that really narrows down the list of those qualified, in my opinion. And I have actually been disappointed by some of those former military people who should have been stronger 2A supporters but weren’t. So, in my humble opinion, it is difficult to get all those I’d like to see on the Board. But I ALWAYS vote.

    3. In Illinois we are about to get our rears handed to us on a Democrat platter. The gun lobby is weaker now than it was 15 years ago. They keep making deals upsetting people and fewer and fewer people want to support them. GOA needs support but needs more people. Illinois is becoming a lost cause because the gun lobby, republicans, conservatives and Christians dont no how or dont want to win .

      What we are left with in Illinois is a Republican party that is worthless and the democrats have went total Left.

      I would like to see a GOA based group in Illinois that is not so willing to compromise. BUT, far to many of the 2.000,000 gun owners eligible to vote stay home. So we are back to being screwed

      1. @Freeillinois

        Much of that is because of the current structure of the republican party, which is “democrat progressive light.” They put up weak, impotent, spineless meatbags that they can direct to hold the status quo and do nothing, or when the DNC takes control turn out a massive fund raising drive by giving the illusion that they are “Standing up to defend conservatism!”

        Take John Cornyn for example, putting out the reciprocity bill now that Democrats control the House. Didn’t do jack on it while Republicans held both the House and Senate and had the means through measures such as Reconciliation to get it passed a filibuster. Of course, He also supported border Security in 2016 until a few months after Trump was elected, then his tune became “The American people don’t really understand what kind of Security they want, its up to us Senators to decide.” That Douche Nozzle has been in since 2002.

        See here.
        https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/03/wow-sen-cornyn-trump-supporters-not-really-want-wall-voted-trump-build-wall-video/

        In anycase, the Republican party is not our friend right now and yes they are selling you down the river in Illinois with bad candidates, bad ideology, and broken promises.

      2. Arizona had that problem, especially the one where the NRA would fly someone in to completely neuter a good bill we had progressing through the legislature. But we solved it.
        We didn’t wait for a national group to do squat for us. We organized our own state-level lobby (AzCDL), entirely independent of national groups or the state NRA affiliate, with our very own lobbyists, and we OWNED the legislative process. As a result, there has been zero anti-gun legislation passed in over a decade, plenty of good, meaningful pro-gun legislation, and were one of the first states to push Constitutional Carry through the branches into law.
        It looks like the lesson here is that God helps those who help themselves, and if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. From the results we have had, I highly recommend it. To paraphrase the colonial flag, organize something yourself in Illinois, or die.

    4. Change the name from NRA to Trump and you most all sound like the women on The View. Let go of your hate. Find common ground and work from with for the changes you desire. Anything else is folli.

      1. Between commuting to memeory whole articles from mother her Jones and the trace, and know what people on the view sound like, you sure seem to watch and read a lot of leftists media.

        A fuller picture of you emerges everyday.

          1. That’s all you posted, NRA boot licker. There is no common ground, the NRA is ready, willing and able to sell us down the river.

            1. Bill, cut the bullcrap! Some states are simply ” fu*ked ” and there is nothing the NRA can do! Examples are NJ, NY, California.

            2. @Bruce.
              How did they get there in the first place? It wasn’t overnight, and the NRA has been around a long time, claiming to be defenders. They got there because of compromises.

              Quite frankly, you can be offended all you want but it doesn’t change the validity behind Bill’s comment. The reason McDougall is angry is because he is trying to dictate what we as gun owners must do and accept the pillaging of our rights. To that Bill said “There is no common ground”. Bill is right.

            3. @Bruce We should fight in the “Simply F*cked States,” simply because that’s where the Constitution is being Infringed. You can’t get court standing on an issue that doesn’t exist. It’s like and EMT Tech,they don’t stop bleeding from your wrist when it’s coming from your bicep.

          2. Wow Don.

            Still haven’t changed have you….. Well never let it be said you didn’t prove the experts wrong, you actually did manage to cram your head farther up your ………

            This “Come at me bro” routine of yours always shows the same patern.

            1. You insult real Second Amendment Supporters and constitutionalists, then whine about insults.

            2. You avoid factual evidence and answering questions.

            Sorry Don, you had your chance on your own articles with me when I put some questions up that you did not want to answer. The Yankee Marshall even invited you on his YouTube podcast, but you didn’t bother responding to that at the time…. You tucked tail and ran away like a little skank because your kindergarten bully routine did not work there. And you still have not realized you are solidifying anger AGAINST the NRA with your idiotic antics.

    5. “Anonymity sure emboldens, doesn’t it? Most of us are a lot more circumspect in the real world.”

      Not me. I openly tell people the NRA is shit and beyond saving.

    6. There’s no anonymity to my posts. I post with my real name.

      I joined the NRA a few years ago because I thought they were the largest defenders of our rights, but found I was very naive as to what mattered to the NRA. Since I joined they have consistently waffled and given away all their political leverage. Always they say it is to avoid something worse but I have never seen them get anything in return.

      When I looked at how they are organized and governed I realized it is rigged to make it very hard to make any real management change. There is a huge board of directors and many of them have gun industry jobs or ties. Many of these board members use their influence and corporate donations to guide legislative PAC policies that put competitors out of business. If you don’t think that helped the bump stock stance and regulation along, you are very naive.

      My bottom line is I am actually considering buying out to my 5th year so I can vote for the board. The difficulty appears to be finding people running for the board that will actually do something to change this mess.

      1. There are some. Good Starting point. Look for anyone Marion Hammer hates. Chances are you will find a man named Adam Kraut at the top of the list. Start by looking there at what he stands for, then try to find someone more your cup of tea.

        1. I never understood why she hates Adam so much. By all appearances, he seems like he genuinely wants to make a change to association to bring into the current century. Am I wrong in thinking this?

          1. Absolutely, He wants to cut the cronyism, and give control of the org back to its members. Hammer is a creature of cronyism, and a “knows what’s good for you” elitist.

        2. @Rev well said , My ballot is in the mail Adam Kraut , Ted Nugent were marked on mine as well as all family members. It pays to talk to all voting members that you know.

          1. Yes. I voted by taking away my money from them, so I cannot vote for the board.

            I do however encourage those who still wish to join the NRA to be mindful of who they elect. Education is key. Each of us has the right of principle and must vote our conscience in our own way. That is why I push back against any who demand that someone vote in a way that someone else mandates.

            Oldvet, I wish you the best and hope you can help turn things around in the NRA. Be safe and Shoot Straight.

      2. Yes Carl, become a voting member! I’ve been voting in the NRA elections for decades. I never vote for the suggested list. I read every bio over a few days and make my own selections. Best we can do including writing letters to the NRA and giving our opinions. There are extreme views on both sides and the anti-NRA haters are on the ” extreme “!

    7. I long ago stopped giving the NRA my money. The only reason they exist anymore is to extract money from gun owners that don’t know what the NRA is up to. The NRA has supported gun control over and over and over again. They aren’t trying to defend RKBA, they are actively seeking to undermine it and then fund raise over those infringements. At this point I would compare many gun owners to battered wives that refuse to leave their abusive husbands.

      GOA is a charitable organization on Amazon. You can shop on Amazon using their smile system and support the GOA with every purchase. Do that, join GOA, join your local 2A groups. I’m in Oregon, and the only people I see helping us is OFF and GOA.

        1. First mistake, trusting Amazon. Its like trusting Twitter or Facebook to be a fair arbiter. If facebook did have it at one time it is probably taken down at this point though I could be wrong. I try not to do too much on Amazon since I know where Bezos’ money goes(And now where half of it will be going).

          If you want to make a Charitable donation, cut out the middle man. Start here.

          https://gunowners.org/

          They have a little Contribute button at the top right of the screen.

    8. I didn’t leave the NRA,,, they left me. BTW,, our Washington representatives take and oath as well ( ie; NRA by laws) and they lets down all the time. Just glad I was’t a lifetime member.

      1. Isn’t that cute Pete. You can put it on a t-shirt. The left has been trying to destroy the NRA for decades and people like you fall right into their plan!

        1. And people like you help magnify and enable the stupidity of the NRA. Isn’t it cute? You helped pass gun control legislation by not holding the NRA accountable. Good for you! Did you get your cookie from the NRA yet? Maybe they scratched your belly….. Regardless, they got you to do the work of the Gun Ban crowd, and kept a smile on your face all the while as they bent you over and lubed you up.

          Good job Bruce!

    9. I back the NRA all the time, but I feel they do not always do as they say. Never back down means supporting ALL gun owners. Their shameful stance on bump-fire stocks is but the newest glaring example of them letting all gun owners down!!!!!! The hunters and collectors better start backing the “black gun” crowd. Full auto and suppressed are just as important as that mint Colt SAA, or that high grade trap gun, or even that classic side-by-side double. If we do not stand together we WILL…..all of us…..WILL fall !!! If the NRA can’t be counted on, then all may already be lost. To those that use the excuse and bitch that they get to many calls or e-mails, or mailings from the NRA….they are lazy. Too lazy to hit the delete button or toss the letter in the trash!!!! These gun owners, or 2nd Amendment supporters need to join to show some clout with the law makers.

      1. I’m with you on this. I don’t know the stats but the fact that there are any gun owners who don’t vote is disturbing to me. Our power is in our ability to mobilize on the political scene from a grassroots level on up. There will be some who make it their full time job and some who only click where told. But if there are any who don’t or won’t do either of those then they have failed in their duty as citizens and should think about moving elsewhere, so the government can make all their decisions for them. If the NRA can’t count on all 5 million acting to protect our rights, then they are no more powerful than much smaller groups that have higher involvement levels. You’re stepping on your own dicks by not being involved and taking every action possible to secure our RKBA.

    10. The founders didn’t write, and the states didn’t sign the Bill of Rights for hunting, or shooting sports or self-defense. Those rights were so widely practiced, used and believed-in there was no need to declare them in the BOR. The founders strictly put “uninfinged” in the BOR to declare the threshold of governmental tyranny. That clear threshold protects all other amendments. The first amendment (speech) had to be first so people could explain the second. The only argument, cause, or whatever we should support is that any infringement on the right of free, legal American citizens to bear armaments is tyranny. Politicians, pundits, donors, the courts, scholars and all free Americans need to understand the 2nd. It has and will save our republic.

    11. I have expressed my disappointment to the NRA Membership centre at not receiving “The American Rifleman” since August 2018, on three occasions, so far without acknowledgement or response. As a long-time student of the politics of firearm control (going back to 1978) in New Zealand, awareness of what’s going on in the USA world of firearms is of course of great interest to me.

      My subscription falls due at the end of February 2019, and I doubt if my further renewal will result in receipt of issues of the magazine!

    12. “…comparable membership numbers. That [GOA] have not attained those after all these years tells us something about them but much more about gun owners.”
      Yeah, but NRA wasn’t self-destructing during those years at anywhere near the rate it’s self-destructing today. A lot of people who weren’t looking for a whiter knight back then are sure looking for one now.

    13. In my opinion, and not to start an uproar with it. If you own one gun or 1000, with the state of our government today, it is an imperative to join together with like minded people to stand up for what you feel and believe. To do less, is purely irresponsible. I have only been a member of the NRA now for 3 years. I joined because my father left me his gun collection after his passing, before that, I had never owned a gun. So, I joined, purchased a few more of my own and contribute as much to the cause as I can. The Constitution of the United States of America as written, is certainly worth my life to preserve, and I fully and without hesitation will do so if need be.

    14. Something a brilliant guy said just before “Desert Storm,” “Am not sure we should go in there, but if we do, we had better clean house once and for all.” The logic was that even though those countries had differences, if confronted with a superior enemy, they would consolidate against what became known as “the Great Satan.”

      We see this exact consolidation between far right and far left groups in the “Yellow Vest Uprisings.” We could even assign it to the Police Uprising that was put down in Venezuela a couple of days ago.

      Venezuela is of note because the population was effectively disarmed just two short years ago. The result speaks for itself. The military quickly put down the uprising by a well armed Police Force. Had the population been armed it may have went differently.

      It is not too far fetched to believe that when the government tries to confiscate here (although they are now), we would consolidate for the common good…This is one of many reasons I’m so dead set against Red Flag. That’s NAZI Crap. They come at people one at a time with near zero oversight and no transparency. Evil is always done in the cloak of darkness.

    15. The NRA swamp dwellers fortified their positions. Nobody is going to vote them out. The only protest you can make is to deny them dollars, because money is the only language they understand.

      1. This is beyond me. The NRA may not be your perfect defender of your rights, but disabling their ability to accomplish anything by cutting off support is stupidity that exceeds that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! I am amazed how few seem to know in how many legal actions the NRA is involved from local city actions through Supreme Court cases. They are the driving force that keeps pushing cases from one court to the next…and winning. You people, I’ll say that again, YOU PEOPLE are the type who would look at Trump’s economy growth, job increasing tax cuts, and record employment statistics, and then vote against him because he hasn’t finished the wall yet! Disgusting!

        1. The NRA spends very little money (about 1% of its total revenue) on 2A lawsuits. In many lawsuits the NRA is involved in, it actually only files amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs. In other lawsuits, the NRA is only filing them (costs about $150) to fundraise on them.

          Not spending any dime on the NRA is the recommended action by many that know the internals of the NRA, such as Rob Pincus (2014 NRA Board of Directors candidate).

        2. So you are fine with the NFA ACt of 1934, gun control act of 1938, the gun control act of 1968, the gun control act of 1986? All supported by the NRA

      2. Bad attitude Rusty! People with your views do not do our cause any good. VOTE in their elections and write letters! Stand on the sidelines and complain and you help our enemies!

    16. As in everthing else in todays world it has all turned Political, and the almighty dollar speaks louder than words. If it walks like a duck but roars like a bear it is playing both sides of the fence.

    17. Hundreds of comments on this site and others contend there is a wide chasm between the NRA and several of its members and gun owner nonmembers, but virtually no one presents a clear description of each issue and the opposing views. People reading these “arguments” include: young and old, experienced and novice, potential and existing gun owners. A high percentage of these people, and gun-haters, need to see a detailed subject, followed by the commentators’ well thought out support or criticism. Tell us what the NRA has done wrong (and right) and then tell us what it should be doing and why.

      1. 1. The NRA leadership has called for further regulations on bump stocks, causing them to get banned. The ban outlaws $100,000,000 in privately owned property without due process and without compensation. The ban is an unconstitutional rewrite of existing law by the Executive branch. The NRA leadership needs to reverse its original statement and join the FPC and GOA in fighting the bump fire stock ban. This is simply not going to happen under the current leadership. Also, there is a danger of the NRA sinking the efforts of the FPC and GOA. They have done that in the past. The NRA is all about creating fear, fundraising on it, and then compromising on it!

        2. The NRA leadership has called for red flag laws. The argument here is that these laws are OK as long as they include due process. The fact is that red flag laws, by definition, do not have due process. As with the call for further regulations on bump stocks, the NRA leadership is engaging in political doublespeak. Another issue with these red flag laws is that they blame the tool and not the person. A dangerous person suddenly becomes not dangerous anymore, because his firearms were confiscated. That’s outright nonsense! Lastly, red flag laws have already killed one person and will kill more. The NRA leadership needs to reverse its original statement on red flag laws. This is simply not going to happen under the current leadership. The NRA is all about creating fear, fundraising on it, and then compromising on it!

        3. The NRA has repeatedly engaged in the following scheme: A gun control bill is passed. The NRA files a lawsuit (which costs about $150). The NRA fundraises on that lawsuit. After a few months or a year, that lawsuit is dead.The NRA never spent the money it raised on said lawsuit. The NRA has also repeatedly engaged in the following scheme: Another gun rights organization is fighting a lawsuit. The NRA files a parallel lawsuit to either derail the first one or to claim credit when the first one wins. This has to stop! The NRA needs to be more transparent on fundraising and spending and should not pay off its cronies with funds raised for lawsuits. This is simply not going to happen under the current leadership. The NRA is all about money!

        4. The NRA leadership created the NRA Carry Guard insurance. It is a piss-poor insurance as it only pays for 20% of the costs upfront. It is also run by amateurs as it violates insurance laws in pretty much all states. There is a reason why the other self defense insurances are not set up as actual insurances, but as legal services (pre-paid or through an association). The NRA needs to immediately halt the NRA Carry Guard insurance. It costs more in lawsuits than it creates in revenue for the NRA. This is simply not going to happen under the current leadership. The NRA is all about money!

        5. With the creation of the NRA Carry Guard insurance in 2017, the NRA leadership threw the USCCA out of the NRA Annual Meeting two weeks before the meeting. This has created quite some negative reaction and division, as it showed that the NRA leadership is more interested in money than in getting the community together. The NRA needs to stop banning businesses in the firearms industry (who are also NRA members) from the NRA Annual Meeting. This is simply not going to happen under the current leadership. The NRA is all about money!

        6. The NRA Carry Guard training program is a boutique endeavor targeting the business of professional firearms training schools. Once again, the NRA leadership has decided that its own revenue stream is more important than its members running businesses in the firearms industry. The NRA Carry Guard training program should be abandoned. This is simply not going to happen under the current leadership. The NRA is all about money!

        7. The NRA runs a number of side businesses for creating revenue that have nothing to do with the NRA’s core mission. The NRA Wine Club and the NRA’s highly publicized rebate programs should be abandoned. They are distractions! If you want money, ask for it and specify what you want to do with it. Don’t create fake outrages, like about the cancelled Delta Airlines discount that only 13 NRA members ever used. This is simply not going to happen under the current leadership. The NRA is all about money!

        8. The NRA funnels quite a lot of money to its cronies, Ackerman McQueen in particular. Looking at the NRA’s 990 tax forms and other public information, one can easily see that the NRA spends about 10% of its revenue on lobbying and 1% on 2A lawsuits. 89% of the NRA’s revenue go to something else. This has to change! This is simply not going to happen under the current leadership. The NRA is all about money for cronies!

        9. The NRA has repeatedly ventured into non-2A politics. The famous Angry Dana videos are just one example. This is not only pushing away many gun owners, but also aligns the NRA with non-2A political agendas.The NRA needs to be more inclusive than just focusing on OFWGs. This is simply not going to happen under the current leadership. In fact, the NRA leadership has doubled down on that by appointing Oliver North as NRA President.

        10. There are many other issues, ranging from changing the NRA bylaws to make voting reformers into the NRA Board of Directors more difficult, to actively dividing the pro-2A YouTube community, to Wayne LaPierre being the effective CEO of the NRA for almost 30 years and making between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 a year, to claiming successes for lawsuits where the NRA only played a minor role or was outright obstructionist (e.g.,Heller & McDonald), etc.

        Many of these issues have been discussed over and over again, here and elsewhere. When the NRA’s support for the bump stock regulation (ban) was announced, The Gun Collective organized an e-mail broadcast to the NRA Board of Directors (http://www.theguncollective.com/nra/). What we got in return was Marion Hammer’s statement, which made even more people furious as it proclaimed that the NRA was never for bump stocks or machine guns anyway (https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2017/10/luis-valdes/marion-hammer-nra-never-wanted-legal-machine-guns-bump-fire-stocks/).

        1. What a conscise and thorough response. Thanks for outlining the issues in a clear cut manner . Having been away from the sport and membership for quite a few years has me gathering information on the current state of NRA as I have recently decided to get active again . I sent for my membership app but have been sitting on it while I gather more info on what the NRA has and has not been doing while I was gone . So in spite of a lot of negative aspects of the directions the organization i will still join hoping that change will come about . The way things are going those of us that really care must do what ever is necessary to stop the wave that is coming over this country .Thanks again for the insight .

        2. “Once again, the NRA leadership has decided that its own revenue stream is more important than its members running businesses in the firearms industry. ”

          Yes, they also cratered their education program by creating a “mandatory” online introductory safety quallification for all students, $60 each directly to the NRA, please. This sandbagged the efforts of charitable assistance organizations who taught NRA courses free to victims of violence so they could get their CCWs. It also offended their volunteer instructors who understood that you can’t “qualify” as a safe gun handler without someone seeing you handle an actual gun.

          And education was NRA’s original founding issue.

    18. Most of the problem is one of accountability, there are very few people that will actually make a true too their beliefs statement and or follow it up, its the blame game; some one besides me is screwing it up; it’s their fault they are not doing it my way, Egotistical snobbery at its finest! y firearms.
      NRA is one of the few organizations that have actively promoted Firearms, and yes they have F’d up but who hasn’t?
      it is going too reach a boiling point at some time and these politicians will get theirs

    19. “When it comes to your individual freedoms we will never ever waver”… What a giant crock of BS. Fund raising and expediency is the truth of it.

    20. The simple fact of the matter is that the NRA claims to work for the 2A when in fact a whole helluva lot of what they do in Fairfax does the opposite. NRA HQ is routinely caught in lies, which may explain the relative ignorance of a majority of NRA members – they’re being treated like mushrooms (having sh!t shoveled on them and kept in the dark). The very fact that the NRA has a century+ long history of supporting gun control rather than fighting it (and lying about that history), and other demonstrably false claims (such as being the “only” gun group that can fight gun control) proves that gun activists cannot trust the NRA and that the NRA is not worthy of gun owners’ allegiance.

      Unlike David Codrea, I strenuously aver that the NRA leadership refuses to change course, and that the election procedures for the NRA have been altered to preserve the executive leadership’s control over the organization. As such, NRA members and NRA supporters really have no way of fundamentally changing the organization into a true no-compromise gun rights organization. Certainly such cannot be effected in the time frame with which we must act. NRA members are already rescinding their membership and coming over to GOA, so arguments that GOA can’t do what NRA is supposed to do is patently false. In fact, with the current numbers, GOA is ALREADY doing more than the NRA to defend gun rights. Just imagine if another 2-4 million NRA members woke up, smelled the coffee, and switched to GOA? We would be able to move the world!

      The sins of the NRA leadership are so numerous, pronounced, and deceitful – and the inherent inability of the NRA membership to remove bad leadership – proves that the NRA would be better off sticking STRICTLY to marksmanship, safety, and competition training… just as they did before 1968 and before they realized the huge cash cow they had with the 1-2 punch of selling out our gun rights while stoking fear that the gun grabbers would win. Simply put, NRA leadership has done more damage to gun rights in over 50+ years than the gun grabbers ever did!! THAT is why people need to ditch the NRA, a sinking boat infested with rats, and come over to GOA, FPC, CCRKBA, etc

      I know there will be fudds who will vociferously defend the NRA and its sins to their last dying breath. As long as they don’t get in the way of the rest of us hardcore rights defenders, I’m OK with that. But as long as the NRA has a war chest with which to interfere with our rights by compromising them away with the assistance of politicians with undeservedly high NRA ratings (A+, A, B+), then the NRA is the enemy within and deserves to be put out of business.

      I do not apologize for my position, and I will not compromise.I am the ‘Rorschach’ of the gun community. Traitors, beware! I *WILL* call you out!

    21. I object to those that say we are trolls and we are plants that talk against what the NRA has done. I am a member, currently, and I will vote but I can still voice my negative opinions concerning what they have done. They think that compromise is winning, I disagree. I think compromise is selling us down the river. Bump stocks ban chips away at our rights but the red flag laws is a direct infringement on the Constitution itself and could, very well be, the beginning of the end. The progressives, including Granny Ginsburg, think the Constitution is an outdated document and they have said so. If those that still hold tight to the NRA think anything can be saved by negotiating our rights away are in need of an awakening and it may be brutal. I don’t know how long GOA has been around but I like what I read from them so this might be my last year as a member of Negotiating Rights Away unless they do a 360 and replace the dead wood.

    22. When are gunowners going to wake up and realize that the NRA is Not for Gunowners?????? Wayne LaPierre is nothing but a Political Hack. or God’s sake Wake Up!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Randy, your comment prompts me to state what I believe to be part of “our” problem. Here in Oklahoma there are many who will call themselves “farmers.” The reality is that they are not “farmers” but rather just landowners pretending to be farmers. The same thing occurs in the world of guns. There are many who consider themselves “people of the gun” who are in fact just people who own guns. They think that because they own a gun or two, or many, that they know what the solution to our problems are. In fact, they are just “gunowners.”

    23. David, this was one of the better articles I have seen on the topic of the NRA’s non-performance of its mission as stated in the revised bylaws, but I feel you dismissed the alternative too quickly. I believe the entire topic can be summed up, and a solution becomes available, if we simply START from your last two paragraphs. In those two paragraphs you identify both the problem and the solution.

      The problem is not the NRA or its leadership. The NRA is doing what it was established to do, what it has always done, and what it is good at doing — all of which has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose you quoted from the revised bylaws. The problem is Gun Owners (most of whom just barely care about their rights) who have accepted the false premise that the NRA’s function is to defend those rights and who feel that they have done their share to defend their rights simply be writing a dues check to the NRA each year.

      The solution is in the opening sentence of your final paragraph. We need “something unforeseen and profound happening to unify gun owners” — we need a mass movement to GOA. Yes, the NRA has nearly five million members while GOA today GOA has slightly over two million. As you pointed out, only a small percentage of NRA members even attempt to participate in selecting the so-called leadership of the organization — but even that total five million is only a tiny fraction of the total number of American Gun Owners. Personally I wish I could support the NRA for those things it is good at — but I find that I CANNOT in good conscious support the NRA good programs because those programs are intertwined with the NRA’s political positions which are thoroughly anti-RKBA. Just as you, yourself, decried the “A Rated” politicians who support anti-RKBA laws and the supposedly pro-gun Democrats who supported Obama and Hillary; we all need to apply that same standard to the NRA itself. The NRA is not, never has been, and never will be a pro-RKBA organization. Having changed the bylaws to put that into the “purpose” statement did not and cannot change the history and culture of the organization. If you want marksmanship training programs, support the NRA. If you want gun safety training programs, support the NRA. If you want someone to defend your right to keep and bear arms, DO NOT support the NRA.

      The NRA actively supported the National Firearms Act of 1934.
      The NRA actively supported the Federal Firearms Act of 1938
      The NRA actively supported the Gun Control Act of 1968
      The NRA actively supported the misnamed Firearms Owners Protection Act including the Hughes Amendment (1986)
      The NRA actively supported the final version of the Assault Weapons Ban (1994)
      The NRA _proposed_ the bump stock ban
      The NRA is actively supporting “Red Flag” laws at the state and federal level.

      Not one single piece of anti-RKBA legislation has passed the US Congress without the blessing and support of the NRA.

      What dooms us is the false premise — supported by the mainstream gun media — that the NRA is the “only game in town.” The NRA isn’t the only game in town — the NRA isn’t even in the game.

      The problem is NOT that we need to somehow “fix” the NRA. That’s like saying we need to fix the electrical wiring in a house because it doesn’t provide water. If you want water, you turn on a faucet, not a light switch. If you want RKBA, you go to an organization with that as their real mission, not an organization that at best pays lip service to the second amendment simply as a fund raising tool.

      So, when will any of the “industry leaders” have the guts to use their visibility to support the real solution?

      1. You missed how they wrote the LEOPA (armor piercing handgun ammo ban) and Undetectable Firearms Act. Also missed how they promised the UFA wouldn’t effect existing firearms, then rushed to renew it the second it did. Also how they blocked Heller for years then undermined it once it actually got to the supreme court by taking a portion of his argument time.

      2. @TomC

        If such is the case, then perhaps we get the NRA to stop claiming “That they are the great defenders of the Second Amendment.”

        They are the ones who have tried to tag that title to their tail, and it is a mantra that the leadership endorses and repeats endlessly. So either “Fix” the NRA and make them put their money where their mouth is, or send them down the river as just another shooting club. They are practicing hypocrisy, and you cant blame that on the average gun owner in this case.

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