The Faceless, Mysterious NRA. Or Something.

Donald Kaul’s recent missive for otherwords.org lists, in lenten fashion, what the guilt-ridden, self-described granola liberal will be giving up for 2012. He first covers global warming. For some reason. But then he swings around to gun control, his dogged support for it and ultimately his lamenting that he didn’t find enough fellow travelers to back him up. His words perfectly embody one of my biggest peeves; the pathetic yet pervasive argument from the left that the NRA – and gun lobby in general – is a faceless entity with mysterious millions of dollars to push a purportedly minority agenda.

What he and the rest of our friends on the left need to get through their thick noggins is that pro-2A entities are anything but faceless. A great example is the many businesses participating in a program that relies on countless small donations like NRA Roundup. Since 1992, Midway USA alone has collected $1.5 million from folks voluntarily rounding up their order totals to the nearest dollar. And then some if they wish.

That’s money contributed by average folks giving what they can when they can. My point is if just one website giving customers the option to give what basically amounts to pocket change can raise $150,000 a year for ten years, what does that say about NRA membership and donations?

And that’s only the NRA. We also have GOA, SAF and many other eminently worthy organizations operating on donations from thousands and thousands of everyday folks. The gun lobby isn’t faceless in any sense of the word. We don’t need to rely on lump sum donations from Ben & Jerry’s, the Joyce Foundation or numerous mouthy celebrities. We stand on our own, patriot to patriot.

Kaul also has the audacity to contend that the gun lobby gets its way purely through monetary means. Any politician knows that, in the end, what counts are votes, votes, and more votes. Money greases the wheels but votes seal the deal. Politicians are, for the most part, sycophants who say or do what will get them reelected. And with the tide moving towards increased gun rights, the politicians are taking notice.

Kaul also buys into the tragically uniformed opinion that the Founding Fathers never intended the Second Amendment to cover current weapons. If he had a modicum of forward thinking ability, he’d realize the founders didn’t mean citizens’ rights to arms ended with muzzleloaders. In its original wording, does the first amendment specifically cover what’s said on radio, TV or the internet? So what’s the difference in the progression of technology with firearms? But Kaul is a vitual poster boy for denial and double standards. Pretty much par for the course.

comments

  1. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    Math correction; “Since 1992, Midway USA alone has collected $1.5 million from folks voluntarily rounding up their order totals to the nearest dollar. And then some if they wish.

    That’s money contributed by average folks giving what they can when they can. My point is if just one website giving customers the option to give what basically amounts to pocket change can raise $150,000 a year for ten years, what does that say about NRA membership and donations?”.

    1992 – 2012 = 20 years, $1.5M/20 years = $75k/year.

    That said, I couldn’t agree more with the rest of the points in your post. The anti’s travel in their own small circle chasing their tails and relish the comforting bubble of the echo chamber of their own creation. As Joe Huffman and many others have pointed out, these people are impenetrable, they can not be reasoned with, they are willfully ignorant. They are often bigots of the first order.

    1. avatar H. Rearden says:

      Just checked the Midway site: their NRA roundup program total is in excess of 6.6 million dollars.

  2. avatar Charles says:

    “… lamenting that he didn’t find enough fellow travelers to back him up.”

    I know how he feels, but I’m happy he feels that way. Does that make me a bad person?

  3. avatar Rick Tyler says:

    It was said best in a Businessweek article from Jan 5th entitled:

    Gun Control: A Movement Without Followers

  4. avatar Mauser says:

    “Get real. The Constitution is a wonderful document, but it’s outmoded in many ways. Consider the preposterousness of North Dakota having the same number of senators as California. But it’s not going to change any time soon, at least not for the better.”

    I think this last paragraph destroys any shred of credibility he may have. Clearly he has no understanding of the Founding Fathers’ intentions. Bicameral legislature, checks and balances, etc. Maybe he’s still upset about failing 8th grade civics class.

    1. avatar Charles says:

      Yeah, to hell with the land of liberty!

    2. avatar Karl says:

      You need to look into why all states have two Senators in the first place. Founding fathers had states and land owners best interests when they created the senate. Two per state was to make it so a populated state would not have more influence than one like South Dakota. And I forget the exact date it changed but you used to have to be a land owner to vote for a senator. The in the 1800s it changed so all voters could vote for senator. So now today they are just a glorified congressman. I still think it would be good today if only land owners could vote for senator than maybe they would listen to people who have invested in the state instead of the populace who simply reside their.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Actuallty the purpose of the Senate was to represent the States in Washington. They were elected by the State legislatures not the voters. Once Senators became elected by the voters the States gradually lost their voice in the national affairs.

    3. avatar Karl says:

      You need to look into why all states have two Senators in the first place. Founding fathers had states and land owners best interests when they created the senate. Two per state was to make it so a populated state would not have more influence than one like South Dakota. And I forget the exact date it changed but you used to have to be a land owner to vote for a senator. The in the 1800s it changed so all voters could vote for senator. So now today they are just a glorified congressman. I still think it would be good today if only land owners could vote for senator than maybe they would listen to people who have invested in the state instead of the populace who simply reside there.

      1. avatar Mauser says:

        Clearly having a senate with two Senators per state was intended to make sure each state had equal representation in one body of Congress.

        I was under the impression that senators were originally appointed by the state legislature, not landowners.

        1. avatar rosignol says:

          Your impression is correct. This led to Senators usually being the biggest hacks the state Governor could dig up, which is part of the reason there was popular support for changing it to direct election.

          Back in the reeeeally old days, you didn’t need to own land to vote for a Senator, you needed to own land to vote at all.

  5. avatar WW Paul says:

    Poor Mr. Kaul is one of the sorry souls who keeps yelling “Jump!”, and no one is asking “How high?”.

  6. avatar 101abn says:

    If we would just ban firearms, criminals/would be criminals would not have the means to pursue their chosen paths. We would be free from worry and tragedy. Our “Founding Fathers” did not foresee the carnage run rampart because of the free and easy access to firearms so prevalent today……………….(could I make a living at this, or what)?? {Full disclosure: I have an 8th grade education, but, I have always been determined not to let those 13 yrs go to waste}

  7. avatar Stuart says:

    Actually, legislation *can* be bought.

    PIPA and SOPA: Congress cannot work out stuff like cutting the national debt or maintaining tax cuts for middle class workers, but when the MPAA and RIAA pay lobbyists $94 million, all of a sudden Democrats and Republicans are falling over themselves to co-sponsor bills that would kill freedom of speech on the internet.

    Please, call your Congresscritters and tell them NO on SOPA and PIPA. Then vote “not the incumbent” in every election.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      +1 f’ing thousand

  8. avatar Tarrou says:

    *slurp slurp*

    Ohh, Mr Gun Control Advocate, your tears are delicious! So yummy and sweet! The tears of unfathomable sadness! Yummy!

    1. avatar Mike says:

      Very true, so maybe TTAG and others will stop scaremongering about forthcoming gun control legislation or saying the current administration is very anti-gun when no tightening of laws has happened (or will happen)

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Visited a gun show last weekend, and it seemed like every other vendor was using the “when Obama gets re-elected, which he probably will, that will be banned, you just watch. If you want it, you better buy it now” line.

        I heard it used to try to sell me everything from personal defense ammo to hi-cap mags (from 16 to 100 rounds) to tacticool shoulder-things-that-go-up.

        It was like all the vendors had a meeting to decide what their line would be, and it really got old by about halfway through the show.

  9. avatar Silver says:

    Childish gun control tantrums in the age of ever-growing support for 2A freedom amongst the public. So sweet.

  10. avatar GS650G says:

    And he laments that small states have 2 senators like CA does. He would prefer a state with more people Lord it over the smaller states even more than they do already.
    With the way things are going on the left coast, they might not have as many representatives in the future. New York lost seats and Texas gained.

  11. avatar Martin Albright says:

    Nothing to add to the above except to say that my favorite site for dirt-cheap ammo, http://www.cheaperthandirt.com, also has an ‘add a buck’ program to contribute to the NRA. I normally kick in a dollar every time I place an order there.

  12. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

    Where do I get one of those assault rifles that fires 400 rounds per minute? I assume he’s talking about a non-class III rifle, and I’ll be darned if I can figure out how to get my .223 black rifle to fire that many rounds. All the mag changing alone to get to 4oo rounds in a single minute would probably take 30 seconds at least.

  13. avatar Derry M says:

    I give to the NRA whenever I buy anything from MidwayUSA, and have done so at other sites who offer the option.
    I read Kaul’s rant (it took awhile since I had to stop and throw-up a few times), but what was really interesting were the comments…hugely negative! This guy is like someone hitting themselves in the head with a 1 lb. sledge. Let’s hope no one tells him “It will feel better if you stop.” If his other missives get the same types of Comment Responses, he is a paradigm for someone who feeds on abuse. Needs to find another avocation – like Asbestos Removal…

  14. avatar IdahoPete says:

    I have always wondered why the NRA, GOA, etc., with millions of individual members, are “the gun lobby”, while leftist groups like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, etc., with (at the most) 50,000 members are “grass roots organizations”.

    Actually, I don’t wonder about this – it’s classic media leftist bias.

  15. avatar Lemming says:

    Money? Really? I mean, I guess he’s got a point. It’s not like Mike Bloomberg has billions to throw around.

    Oddly, much the same point can be made about the AGW debate that he starts out with. Those who argue “follow the money” should first see if it doesn’t lead to their own door.

  16. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    “the NRA – and gun lobby in general – is a faceless entity with mysterious millions of dollars to push a purportedly minority agenda.”

    This is true. But, why do you call it “mysterious?” Didn’t you read those reports of how the NRA spent (wasted) $40M OF YOUR MONEY to prevent Obama from winning in 2008? So, yes there are “millions” being spent and there’s nothing mysterious about it.

    The “purportedly minority agenda” idea works like this. As you say, politicians would not agree to be bought by the gun lobby if the voters weren’t going to be there, but that doesn’t mean those voters represent a majority position. Let’s take all the gun owners, you know the famous 80 million. Most of them are not passionate about gun rights and would actually vote against them. But, among them, apathy takes a big toll.

    Among the non-gun owners, there’s a small percentage that would vote for gun rights just because they hate federal interference, but the vast majority of non-gun owners would vote against gun rights. But, even more than the non-passionate gun owners, they suffer from apathy.

    So, what your left with is a small but very vocal and well financed minority, which is you.

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      “Most of them are not passionate about gun rights and would actually vote against them.”

      “the vast majority of non-gun owners would vote against gun rights.”
      —–
      You do, of course, have studies from peer-reviewed journals to back up those claims, right?

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      “So, what your left with is a small but very vocal and well financed minority, which is you.”
      You do realize how many people own firearms in this country, right>?

      1. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

        There may be polls and studies out there which back up what I say, but I don’t know of them and won’t spend the time to search them out. And you know why, because you would dismiss them as cherry picked and therefore not convincing.

        I’m using my head which you guys should try for a change.

        GS, you want to know if I know how many people have guns. Didn’t you read that I wrote it’s 80 million. Maybe it’s more but my contention is most are as apathetic about guns as the average non-gun owner.

        What do you think, they’re all as passionate as you who says someday EVERYONE will own a gun because the cops can’t protect them?

        1. avatar Stuart says:

          “There may be polls and studies out there which back up what I say, but I don’t know of them and won’t spend the time to search them out.”

          In other words: “I am making a sweeping statement that I cannot back up, and turning it around so that it is all your fault”.

          Mike, you are a troll. And people here should really learn that the way to make a troll go away is to stop feeding it.

        2. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          No, stuart. I’m jsut a guy who disagrees with you. I’m also a guy who places more value in my own reasoning than in polls and surveys, especially since they so often contradict each other.

          About my being a troll and how the others can get rid of me, were you not around a few weeks ago when that was the main topic of a couple posts. The majority was with me, or at least with my staying around.

          Are you just a sore loser or did you start coming around since then?

        3. avatar Derry M says:

          “There may be polls and studies out there which back up what I say, but I don’t know of them and won’t spend the time to search them out. And you know why, because you would dismiss them as cherry picked and therefore not convincing.

          I’m using my head which you guys should try for a change.”

          So, it is more convincing for you to fabricate “supporting facts” for whatever suits the point you wish to advance and claim that kind of nonsense as “using my head”? The only thing you really accomplish is demonstrating clearly the ridiculous poverty of your point of view based on ignorance and prevarication. To call you a “Troll” is unkind to Trolls.

    3. avatar Matt Gregg says:

      I’d love to seem some studies or polls to back up your claims that the majority of the 80 million would vote against RKBA.

      1. avatar mikeb302000 says:

        Matt, it’s been shown that the majority of them agree with certain things that you guys generally oppose, like background checks on private sales. But you know what your side said right? Bloomberg’s a liar, or the question was worded badly, or the whole survey was rigged.

        That’s why I say we have to use our heads and make our best judgment call of what’s right and what’s wrong. That’s where the argument lies, not necessarily in hard stats. And, that’s not the same as “fabricating” something, in spite of what that meanie Derry M said.

        1. avatar That Meanie Derry M says:

          Thanks! There aren’t many of us “meanies” around anymore and we don’t get the recognition we deserve.

          You are right. The argument is really about the philosophical basis upon which we establish the political and social norms that define the principles of human freedom we are striving to embody in the American Republic. This process requires the use of reason and judgement.
          You habitually allude to “facts” that you cannot produce (and baldly admitted you would not take the time to research), then you extract those “facts” into spurious generalizations about those of us who ardently support the Second Amendment and act all surprised that we reject what you say. When you are called on playing loose with the facts, you think you can just assert that the argument really isn’t about the facts after all, but about “…our best judgment call of what’s right and what’s wrong.”
          Your problem is that you conflate the two lines of argument and produce conclusions that are so obviously flawed that they cannot be taken seriously.
          I welcome worthwhile opposition to my views on the Second Amendment (because I also ardently Support the FIRST Amendment), and I think many others who blog here do, as well. So, use your head and give us some discussion worth debating.

        2. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          Sorry Meanie D, I think the 2A is anachronistic and meaningless but I don’t have any “facts” or statistics to prove it.

        3. avatar 101abn says:

          There are those that would suggest the entire Constitution is anachronistic and meaningless. Ignoring, or repealing, the Second Amendment would be the first step.

        4. avatar That Meanie Derry M says:

          Your stated opinion that 2A is “anachronistic and meaningless” is part of the heart of the debate here over RKBA.

          Maybe you should elaborate your opinion a bit further.

          Those of us on the Pro-2A side accept certain inferences about RKBA and the right to self defense (against foreign enemies, domestic criminality, and in extreme cases a government engaging in tyranny), since 2A uses the broad verbiage “…being necessary to the security of a free State”.

          Thomas Jefferson specified his take on this…
          “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” —
          and
          “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
          — Thomas Jefferson

          Apparently, we disagree on the definitions of the concepts of a “free man” and “the security of a free State” and “tyranny in government”.

          How would you define those concepts?

        5. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          101, Your fear of the slippery slope is laughable at best. It’s paranoia. Of course, it could be a mendacious attempt to side-step the issue.

          Derry, I don’t go in for nor am I impressed with quoting the founding fathers who were men of a different age. They had a different view of race and slavery as well as women’s rightful place in the scheme of things. I believe their antiquated ideas render them an unreliable source.

          Those lofty ideas you mentioned like freedom itself, or more specifically freedom from government tyranny, in my opinion are not dependent on the 2A. You keep saying they are in order to justify your gun ownership, but it’s bullshit. You just like guns and perhaps you really believe you need them for personal safety. If there were no 2A, you’d still be able to have them, in my opinion. And on the other hand, with the 2A as it is and a few of those “reasonable restrictions” that Scalia mentioned, you’d still be able to have them.

          The 2A has nothing to do with it.

        6. avatar Stuart says:

          +———-+
          | PLEASE |
          | DO NOT |
          | FEED THE |
          | TROLLS |
          +———-+
          | |
          | |
          .\|.||/..

        7. avatar That Meanie Derry M says:

          Yes, I am paranoid of the slippery slope of the erosion of my Constitutional Rights. You got me.

          The “lofty ideals” have already been perverted by people who advocate what they claim to be “reasonable” and “sensible” laws and restrictions. The Second Amendment is one of the stars of that pathetic show.

          Don’t ever for a moment think I would accept your “opinion” that without the Second Amendment I would still be able to own firearms because that is the “bullshit” you employ to dupe others into making yourself appear reasonable.
          In the end I am just a guy who disagrees with you and thinks your point of view is absolutely wrong.

          I sure enjoy these little exchanges, though. Thanks for playing.

  17. avatar GS650G says:

    There are two kinds of law abiding citizens, those that are armed and those that will be. Gun ownership is increasing as people see the police unable to protect them any longer, and more politicians work with judges to release criminals back onto the streets.
    Too bad we can’t melt down criminals when they smelter their confiscated guns.

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