United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The attacks on the National Rifle Association by the Cuomo-James regime is an existential threat to every pro-Second Amendment organization out there. That being said, Wayne LaPierre made serious errors of omission, particularly with regards to the warning signs of what was coming from New York’s state government.
However, we also should not forget the real accomplishments LaPierre can rightly point to, as Dean Weingarten has outlined. Duane Liptak’s observations on NRA staff match with my experiences working there. We have come a long way from the times when the Second Amendment was in doubt in the early 1990s, especially with Texas passing constitutional carry. We have a Supreme Court that is much friendlier to the Second Amendment than it was just 13 years ago when Heller was handed down.
So, where does the NRA go in the future? How do we keep this vital organization going?
Here’s what I’d do, once the Cuomo-James assault is struck down on First Amendment grounds.
Reincorporate In A New State
The first step is to get the NRA reincorporated in a much friendlier state than New York. I’m not talking Texas. I’m thinking states President Trump carried by a wide margin. The ideal location would be West Virginia, given the fact it is deep “red” and for its relative proximity to Washington, D.C.
Texas may have passed constitutional carry, but it has trended in a more purple direction in some recent elections. If things go south there, the NRA could very well be forced to relocate again, so it makes far more sense to pick one of the reddest states in the country.
Relocate NRA Headquarters
This is a big-ticket item, and it will be expensive. But the fact is that Virginia has become more hostile to Second Amendment rights, and it is well past time to make a statement on that front. West Virginia’s eastern panhandle is still relatively close to Washington, D.C. for executives to lobby federal lawmakers. But there are other benefits and reasons to make this admittedly expensive shift.
In addition, West Virginia has constitutional carry, other state firearm laws are about as Second Amendment friendly as one could ask for, and it will be cheaper to live there than in the northern Virginia/Washington DC suburbs, which will be of longer-term benefit in attracting good staff and employees.
The fact of the matter is that current NRA strategies have created vulnerability in the suburbs, ignored urban areas, and have failed to address other realities that exist. The fact is, the NRA can make gains simply by getting on the field in some areas. Hiring translators for Spanish and other media is something that should have been done decades ago. It is well past time for the NRA to have its own cultural engagement division.
The fact is, there are trends that could be very favorable to Second Amendment supporters. Those could be accelerated with the right approaches.
Launch A Four-Pronged Pro-Second Amendment Offensive
The fight for people’s hearts and minds is not just fought on one front but on multiple fronts. There is the political/legislative arena, which the NRA has excelled in (Why else did Andrew Cuomo and Letitia James want to destroy it and not other pro-Second Amendment groups?), and the legal arena, where the Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition work hard.
The NRA needs to be involved in those two areas, but their cultural arena will also matter. Not just in the news, but also in entertainment. Not working with up-and-coming conservative entertainment outlets like Daily Wire, Conflix Studios, or Creado Media to help shape portrayals of the Second Amendment would be penny-wise and pound-foolish.
Finally, the NRA also must empower its members to fight the battles at our local school board level. Anti-Second Amendment extremists have had free reign in our public schools for far too long, and that must change. NRA can’t have a lobbyist everywhere, but the members can act on their own – and local school boards are where individual members (or a group of members) can have an outsized effect.
The fact of the matter is that the NRA is arguably the best vehicle for Second Amendment supporters to assemble the type of coalition that can not just win the 2022 and 2024 elections but to build a lasting pro-Second Amendment culture. To do so, it needs to change and adapt to the 21st century.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics, and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.