Monday, October 5, 2009

NRA - Good or Bad for Our Rights?

Over at the Northwest Firearms board, there’s a thread that asks the question – is the NRA good or bad. It’s a seemingly simple question, but there are a myriad of views on the topic. Here’s my take.

First off, let me preface this by saying that I'm both an an NRA life member and a GOA life member. I honestly think both serve their purposes.

Some gun rights activists accuse the NRA of secretly working with the anti-gun activists behind the scenes and a host of other nefarious activities. Do I think the NRA is in bed with Feinstein and co? Absolutely not. That's a ridiculous charge GOA uses to boost membership numbers. GOA is "no compromise", but they're also "no money" and effectively "no clout" in Washington – beyond a few individual representatives that were already onboard anyway.

Sadly enough I’ve seen gun owners fall into two camps – those who think they don’t go far enough and those who think they’re “too radical” – it all depends on who they’ve been listening to.

One important thing to consider, though, is the fact that the NRA has the money to push legal cases forward. That's why they're demonized in the media so much - because the anti crowd sees them as a legitimate threat. The landmark Heller case was funded largely with NRA money. The upcoming McDonald case I believe is mostly Second Amendment Foundation if memory serves, but you can bet that the NRA and GOA will most likely both file briefs.

GOA is good for whipping up the base, but that’s really about it. They just don’t have the resources to move outside that role at this point. The NRA on the other hand is aware of GOA, and seems to be taking a much harder line these days on Second Amendment cases. The Heller case finally got the government of the United States to admit that the Second Amendment affirms an individual right – just like the Framers intended. In short, competition is good.

I personally support the NRA, GOA, Second Amendment Foundation and the Oregon Firearms Federation when I can. We need to make sure that all of these organizations are well-funded to ensure the future of our Second Amendment rights.


Micah said...

Good write up.
I tend to agree. I'm a member of both. And I know GOA would like to get a bigger number of members, but we should all be on the same team. Sometimes I am a little concerned about the NRA because they're so huge, but I have seen them push for legislation to be changed in a positive way. I'll continue to support both.

milkorder said...

Would the NRA fight to repeal all gun laws?

When the NRA comes out against NFA 34 and GCA 68, I will think about supporting them.

Troy said...

I've strongly disagreed with their stance on a few issues in the past, but overall, they're a solid ally to have...

Fingolfen said...

I don't always agree with any organization (as Patton allegedly said "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking.") but I think they all serve an important purpose.