Sebastian over at Opposing View takes a dim view of those who criticize the National Rifle Association for its support of democratic politicians like Harry Reid. A really dim view, with enough link love for a Wikipedia entry. “Gun Owners of America (GOA) has once again shown that it is unwilling to help make supporting the Second Amendment a bipartisan issue, and it is shameful.” Shameful, he tells you, shameful! And here’s why . . .

Shameful that Gun Owners of America, in the 2008 election cycle, spent less than 200 dollars supporting pro-gun Democrats. In contrast, National Rifle Association (NRA), which is a bipartisan Second Amendment advocacy group, spent almost 1300 times as much supporting pro-gun Democrats, despite still spending 78% of its PAC money supporting Republican candidates. In the 2010 election cycle so far, NRA has spent infinitely more money supporting pro-gun Democrats, spending close to 150,000 dollars compared with GOA’s whopping $0.”

Sebastian slams the GOA for slamming Dems when some of their Republican best buds have betrayed the cause. While acknowledging Senator Reid’s 2A faux pas-–cough Brady Bill cough—Sebastian lauds the object of NRA members ire for his record on other gun control legislation. Reid gets props for National Park and Amtrak carry—and a couple of failed initiatives.

Sorry, weak beer. While a lobbyist’s gotta do what a lobbyist’s gotta do, Sebastian should read Reid’s record on TTAG, assembled by our own Brad Kozak. On balance, the Majority Leader is not friend to gun owners. Attributing America’s ascendent gun rights to Senator Harry Reid is like crediting the Taliban for improving U.S. troops fighting skills.

In fact, about the best possible thing that could be said about the dour pol is that he’s not rabidly anti-gun New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Reid’s probable replacement should Reid get the electoral heave-ho. This has been the rallying cry for most NRA supporters. But not our Sebastian.

It’s certainly true that conservatives have plenty of reasons to be upset about Harry Reid, but Gun Owners of America bills itself as a gun rights group, not a partisan conservative group. But you’d never know it from their actions. The fact is that Harry Reid is solid on the Second Amendment. We’ve gotten more out of the Senate under Reid than we got out of Republicans in the roughly 14 years they ran things.

Harry Reid is not perfect, but there’s no politician that has a voting perfect record, and many that have records on guns comparable to Reid which GOA grades highly. I will leave it to you to determine whether GOA have any credibility at all when it comes to help making sure the Second Amendment is protected by both parties.

To me the answer is clear, and it’s been obvious for a while Gun Owners of America is more interested in tearing down others in order to promote itself, than it is about keeping this important right for future generations.

3 Responses to NRA vs. GOA: Realpolitik vs. Fanaticism?

  1. Reagan's mantra was to "Never speak ill of a fellow Republican." Does the NRA think it will score points with rank-and-file members by trashing "fellow" gun-rights groups? The truth is the NRA fucked up big time in it's embrace of DC politics as usual. In an era of growing anti-DC tea party-driven discontent among the very rank and file it counts on for its existence, you'd think the NRA would "get it." Well it doesn't. And long-term that's bad for freedom-loving Americans. And the NRA itself.

  2. I'm sure Harry Reid is every bit as much "pro-gun" as Bart Stupak was "pro-life":

    http://www.battleswarmblog.com/?p=1694

    That is to say, right up to the point it really mattered. The liberals in the Democratic Party hate guns as much as they love abortions, and as long as Obama is President and pelosi runs the House, there's no such thing as a "pro-gun Democrat."

  3. In congress, it’s always hard to really say who supports what based on the voting record. You could have a bill that’s pro-gun, but also anti-apple pie, and everyone will be on record as not voting, or abstaining on some pro-gun legislation when they were really avoiding political suicide by not voting against apple pie.

    Or you could have a guy like Specter voting for something he knows isn’t going to pass, but not there in the tight vote, then claiming to be pro-gun.

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