U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Stop the NRA shutdown,” a “critical update” in the latest American Rifleman urges.”New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched an all-out crusade to destroy NRA and put us out of business forever.”
No doubt the insufferable totalitarian wannabe would like to try. But as events unfolded over the weekend, resulting for the short term with Oliver North’s ouster as association president, it appears the greatest danger comes from within.
Not that Wayne LaPierre prevailing, for now, is a “win” for membership. Nor would it be had North succeeded. This was a coup attempt by NRA’s long-term PR firm Ackerman McQueen to replace former gravy train riders with current ones. There are no clean hands here, and with the weekend battle “won” by current management, don’t expect dramatic changes in the way things are run as long as they’re in power.
That means concerns being expressed by an increasing number of woke and angry members will continue to be glossed over by Fairfax “leadership.” We’ll continue to see NRA endorsing “compromise” infringements, with carefully-crafted statements giving de facto green lights to bump stock “regulations” and “red flag” confiscations, and with just enough weasel-wording for plausible deniability damage control when things blow up. We’ll continue to see dishonest political grades and endorsements that come back and bite gun owners. We’ll continue to see deliberate indifference to holding those politicians accountable for the single greatest threat to future “legal” recognition of the right to keep and bear arms – the overwhelmingly Democrat-favoring “pathway to citizenship.” And we’ll continue to see an organization that puts more energy into “Enforce existing Intolerable Acts” than it puts on “shall not be infringed.”
And of course, we’ll see continued appeals for money, no matter if the flacking is outsourced or increasingly done in-house. Someone’s gotta pay for the salaries and perks.
A meme that’s being increasingly parroted by the gun-grabbers as a way out is that NRA must “return to its sportsman’s roots.” Understand that this is being done by people who really do want to take your guns. Don’t think for a moment they’re saying this to be helpful, any more than Democrats urging Republicans to be more “centrist” are concerned with helping the Party regain appeal. Surrenders simply mean there will be fewer battles that the enemy (what do you think those who want to disarm you are?) will need to win.
Those calling for such a return want NRA out of politics and focused on being Fudds. They really just want to be able to pass disarmament edicts, elect gun-grabbing politicians and appoint anti-gun judges without any significant organized opposition. Curiously, although unintended by those offering such “advice,” returning to its roots is exactly what is needed.
NRA Bylaws define (and mandate) the association’s “purposes and objectives”:
“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.”
What the root-pullers either don’t know (or do, but have no intention of ruining a “good” meme by admitting), is that it wasn’t until after WWII that “the NRA concentrated its efforts on another much-needed arena for education and training: the hunting community.” The NRA’s real roots:
“Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871.”
There you have it. They wanted to train American citizens to become proficient in keeping and bearing “weapons of war.” Everything else, per founding intent, was to support that root goal.
We now have an NRA with member schisms running from apologists seemingly forgiving of any self-created failures from the top, and a growing number of increasingly vocal gun owners making pledges like “not one more dime.” If anything, the divisions between the two camps are getting wider and the rhetoric more heated.
What’s clear is, the danger from such internecine strife has the potential to be more destructive to NRA than anything Cuomo or Bloomberg could throw at it. Unless a thorough, top-down housecleaning and a credible effort to earn back lost trust are made, don’t expect the chasm to close, and certainly don’t expect the disillusioned to reopen their wallets.
About 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 regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.