LA Times -- NRA's clout waning?
Understand, I've been reading stories that NRA power is declining since the 1970s. As its membership went from 600,000 to 4-5-6 times that, the stories kept coming. But this one is a chuckle. It argues that NRA's power is waning because gun owners have completely defeated the opposition!
"Congress hasn't passed major legislation to restrict gun use in 14 years. Democrats -- scarred by past NRA campaigns -- almost never talk about the issue anymore.
And Americans now show little interest in gun control. Just half want tougher rules for gun sales, compared with nearly two-thirds in 2000.
"The issue has been essentially removed from the political agenda," said Robert Spitzer, a political scientist at the State University of New York in Cortland who has written extensively about the politics of gun control.
This marks a major victory for gun rights groups, which less than a decade ago were fending off demands from both Democrats and Republicans for strict new limits on gun ownership after the 1999 Columbine school shootings."
It goes on -- 40 states have right to carry, gun manufacturer protection was passed, the assault weapon ban not renewed, the Sureme Court is likely to find the 2A is an individual right....
OK, how to argue that's bad news for the gun rights movement?
Uh ... because gun control is almost a non-issue, the Times says, it's hard to swing elections based on it. I suppose it wouldn't occur to the Times that for groups with causes winning elections is not an end, but a means to an end.
Hat tip to a strong 2A supporter, in LA of all places, whom I met at the Backlot Film Festival...
Yeah, nobody ever goes to the NRA Convention any more. Its too crowded.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at June 14, 2008 12:27 PM
What a weird headline!
I suppose on V-J Day the LAT headline was "U.S. To Slash War Spending!" And then in very small print: "Japan Surrenders"
Posted by: Turk Turon at June 14, 2008 12:57 PM
Well the NRA are hardly getting anything done anymore. All those anti-gun rights Democrats are passing so many self defense laws, maybe they are putting the NRA out of business.
Do you suppose it's reverse psychology? We'll show them people, we'll get gas prices so high they will all be walking and riding bikes. ... You know, I am not sure that's going to work -- Now that the "pay more in taxes so government can pretend to control the weather hoax" went down in flames, and real science has totally debunked all it was standing on.
I predict the anti-gun types will need a new fund raising gimmick by the end of June.
Posted by: bill-tb at June 14, 2008 01:29 PM
The LA Times was merely being a little premature. These ARE halcyon times for gun owners, but only relatively. There is still no National carry, still silly importation bans on some semi-automatic rifles and their parts, and all that supposed "power" of the NRA still doesn't stop gun-grabbers from trying out new, underhanded ways to throttle the 2A, such as "microstamping", or encoded ammunition, etc.
The NRA itself is a disaster waiting to happen. They had to shut down their entire educational supply program for a month this year because ONE vendor collapsed. In the last two years, they have been far too slow to respond to some State legislative threats, such as OR Sen. Ginny Burdick's bill in the past legislature to re-regulate (read: shut down) gun ranges. We write letters, bombard them with phone calls, scream from our blogs, but they still won't get off the dime and react.
Then there is their shameful market-everything to members section. The NRA marketing cheap wine? Who'd a thunk it?
No the 2A is in fairly good shape for the moment, but with the election as President of a complete gun-banner looming, and also looming, a potentially hostile AND filibuster-proof Congress, the NRA won't have to wait long to have it's very existence threatened, along with the existence of the very 2A it exists to support and defend.
That distant rumble over the horizon isn't a summer thundershower, it's the sound of battle, the very battle we will soon be fighting for our Second Amendment. The NRA stands, like untested garrison troops, quailing and wondering just what horrors that battle may bring.
The NRA claims they are ready to "defend our guns".
Our guns don't need defending, they are simple tools which lay ready to be used by anyone. Our gun rights, no, EVERY right we enjoy under our Constitution will need defending soon, and the NRA just stands there in it's parade dress, thinking that the shiny brass buttons and polished boots will scare off the enemy.
It's not going to happen that way this time, this new enemy will not fear parade dress uniforms, and the troops they send out to battle will have fought before. Unless the NRA is willing to dig trenches, and get down in them to fight bloody face-to-face warfare with those who have already told us that they WILL cancel our rights when they gain power, then the NRA has already failed us. By their non-reaction to present, albeit lesser threats in the current time frame, I would have to agree with the LA Times: the NRA has seen it's day come and go, it just doesn't realize it yet.
The NRA will make a very poor "wartime consigliore".
Posted by: Rivrdog at June 14, 2008 01:57 PM
Damn, Riverdog, you did't have to sugar coat it! :>)
Posted by: RKM at June 14, 2008 03:52 PM
LAT is obviously trying to spin a bad (for their ed board) situation. But there is a cautionary tale here - assuming the Court's opinion in Heller goes as anticipated, pro-Second Amendment advocates cannot get complacent.
If the NRA does not realize that, even after a favorable Heller opinion, it faces a foe fully as determined and committed to undermining the RKBA as pro-life advocates have proven to be after Roe v. Wade, then Second Amendment rights truly are not secure.
Posted by: zippypinhead at June 14, 2008 04:10 PM
the problem with the NRA is that it has a broader agenda than the 2nd amendment.
this has caused gun rights to be seen as the cause of conservative republicans and a few conservative democrats.
the 2nd amendment should be as is support for israel---a third rail if you don't support same.
instead---when the democrats take over a legislature or executive branch--guns rights are lost.
the nra does much good---but we will lose our gun rights because of the "other agenda" of the nra.
Posted by: gp martin at June 14, 2008 07:24 PM
(Arrrgggghhh...what Tag do I use to Align Left)
The NRA effectively "folded its Tent" several years ago when they jumped to hold hands with Carolyn McCrazy, Shumer, et al.
Little Trivia Quiz:
1. What is the relationship of the Constitution to the "Articles of Confederation?"
2. What is the current status of the "Articles of Confederation?"
3. Under what authority did the Delegates attend the "Constitutional Convention?"
4. How many Presidents preceded George Washington?
5. Why is all of this important?
Posted by: Gordon at June 15, 2008 01:35 AM
Well, somehow, it all came out right, except for the Line Break 'br's"
Posted by: Gordon at June 15, 2008 01:38 AM
The NRA apparently has some clout, just for small fry shit (no offence but it's the truth) like CCW in national parks (tip: if they ban CCW somewhere like a park, just stay out of it) and they 've still done nothing about...*drum roll* Machine Guns.
One thing the NRA isn't effective at is derailing cases like Heller, which they tried to do, an of course failed at. But those jerks will spin it like they're responsible for the win, even though they tried to kill the case. What a bunch of snakes.
RKM: why sugar coat the NRA? They suck, they're nothing but a bunch of Elmer Fudds (and by the way the NRA is the reason I've never gone hunting and never will) who want everyone to use stupid deer bolt guns with 5 round fixed mags.
Posted by: Paul Henning at June 15, 2008 05:47 AM
The anti-gunners aren't dead, they haven't given up, and they aren't beaten. They're like a bunch of rats, They'll scurry into dark places and as soon as we turn our backs they'll be out there eating our groceries again.
Most of the gun control laws passed within the last century have been passed; "for the benefit of the children", "to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals", "to protect the general public", ... ad nauseum. Many infringements of our 2nd amendment rights have been successfully sold to even those of us who have tried to maintain our rights over the years.
After all, why object to laws forbidding:
1. concealed carry when everybody knows only card sharks, criminals, and other nefarious characters have a reason to conceal the fact they’re carrying a weapon?
2. open carry as everyone knows the practice of openly carrying a weapon tends to distress and/or alarm the general peace loving public?
3. fully automatic weapons as everyone knows only criminals and/or the military use automatic weapons.
4. weapons of 50 Caliber or larger as everyone knows they’re good only for sniping at innocent women and children from great distances. (Lately it’s been determined that larger caliber firearms may also be utilized for downing aircraft.)
5. Sawn off shotguns and rifles because everyone knows they’re used only by the criminal element.
6. “Assault” rifles because everybody knows they’re the weapon of choice of criminal street gangs.
I’ve said all that to say this – The anti-gunners and their cradle to grave protectionist compadres are concerned only with their own rights, not yours. If DC v. Heller is decided in favor of the individual right to keep and bear arms the anti-gunners will gripe, complain, throw sand into the air, and then retire into the shadows where they will regroup, heal up, and try figure out ways to circumvent the Heller decision. A “dead” rattlesnake is most dangerous when you think it’s dead enough to pick up.
Posted by: W. W Woodward at June 15, 2008 03:22 PM
I wonder if the only way to really make the anti's lose is a restoration of the militia. It would be different than in Switzerland or Israel, but those are at least two models that we can draw from for modern usage. Our own history also provides instructive examples, as well as the caution that statists like full time government paid goons to call on, rather than independent minded citizens in a militia.
Posted by: RKV at June 15, 2008 04:13 PM
Just a note. We will see and hear from time to time the idea that the constitutions 2nd amendment is for state run militias only.
This interpretation is born out of poor research if not down right purposeful misinformation.
The Federalist Papers, written by the guys who where there at the time, make it clear that citizen bodies of armed men could muster in times of need. Examples of need are discussed.
The point is they were to be armed from their personal store whatever that may be, but certainly privately owned weapons kept in their domicile was the idea.
The ability of the citizenry to muster and arm outside of any federal or state muster is the example. This is the "keep and bare" provision and has nothing to do with sanding armies state or federal.
In fact the example of an armed citizenry mustering to defend itself against a federal despot sending federal troops against them is used by Madison in the papers.
The second amendment is the citizens amendment and has nothing to do with state or federal powers to muster armies. The term militia is used in its most basic terms, a citizens muster.
Posted by: Tad L Nelson at June 17, 2008 11:35 AM
NRA is like music. You won't hear it unless we play our instruments. This music was intended to work out a peaceful solution for freedom. We're alive but haven't paid our dues lately. Not 600,000 members but over 100 million is more like it. Inside that number be rest assured millions will know what to do if ever called on to preform. As you read this guns and ammo is being sold like no time in the history of the world! Non combatant VV
Posted by: JJ at May 15, 2009 12:04 PM