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Wayne LaPierre
Executive Vice President
National Rifle Association
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Dear Mr. LaPierre,

First and foremost I would like to thank you, the NRA and its members for defending our Nations Second Amendment rights.  I also thank you for sending me an offer to join the NRA . . .

From the first day I became a firearms owner I have wanted to very much become a NRA member and I still do. However, I live in the state of New Jersey and I am sorely disappointed and embarrassed in the way the national branch of the NRA has abandoned my home state and its law abiding firearms owners. This was disgustingly obvious during the 2013 hearings in Trenton where gun owners were under fire and attacked by New Jersey’s so-called lawmakers. I witnessed only our local Second Amendment associations such as ANJRPC and NJ2AS fighting to preserve our 2A rights in Trenton. Your national branch’s inactions continue to this day.

The national branch of the NRA has made a very strong statement via its non-actions that it is not willing to support and fight for its New Jersey members’ Second Amendment rights. Rather, it has chosen to use New Jersey and other states as sacrificial lambs. An example of this is clearly printed on page fourteen of the January 2014 issue of American Rifleman. James W. Porter III wrote, “Look at California, New Jersey or Connecticut where, prodded by the Brady Campaign and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, real bans criminalize gun ownership have become law”. The fact that you know this and do nothing other than hang these states out to dry is 100% unacceptable and irresponsible. You may be wondering why I am referring to the NRA as the “national branch”.

I understand that ANJRPC, whom I am a proud member of, is the legislative branch of the NRA in NJ. The work that ANJRPC has done for the rights of firearms owners in New Jersey is outstanding. ANJRPC has done a great deal of work and gone above and beyond the call of duty to help fight the constant anti-2A battle in New Jersey. However, given New Jersey’s current anti-2A political climate, ANJRPC cannot do everything. We law abiding New Jersey gun owners need the full strength and support of the NRA in the state RIGHT NOW.

You must also understand that what happens in New Jersey does not stay in New Jersey. Rather it slowly infects other states very much the same way a minor infection spreads and turns into a critical major life-threating problem. Unless YOU and the national branch of the NRA take an active and aggressive role in helping the people of this state break free from the Second Amendment Iron Curtain, sooner rather than later the other so called “free” states will begin to crumble and become just like New Jersey.

You must realize that people from the free states move for various reasons. These people may start families in more restrictive states such as NJ and by default give up their rights 2A rights. Thus the NRA loses more members and unity due to its lack of support. In addition, as time goes on, more anti-2A people move to “free” states and slowly begin to change and erode attitudes about firearms, which leads to the “more gun laws are better” mentality. As a matter of fact, the NRA’s own home state of Virginia now has an anti-gun governor.

I am not alone in my feelings and there are many New Jersey gun owners who will not join or support the NRA for the very same reasons I have stated above.

In closing, I again thank you and the NRA for your membership offer. However, at the moment I must decline until I see that the national branch of the NRA is truly willing to fight for New Jersey’s 2A rights, not simply looking to gain an extra thirty-five dollars worth of revenue while using its New Jersey members as sacrificial lambs. If you and the NRA are truly interested in preserving the Second Amendment rights of our country and New Jersey’s citizens then YOU and the NRA will bring this battle to New Jersey, which is ground zero for the Second Amendment fight.

Sincerely,

Javier Rojas

211 Responses to Dear Wayne – Why I’m Not Joining the NRA

  1. As a California gun owner, I understand where the author of this fine letter is coming from, and agree with you for the most part… hence why I am a proud supporter of Calguns and other local grown gun owner groups… to me it’s felt like the NRA has turned its back on us in the Bear Flag Republic and focused efforts on states where the least amount of help is needed in securing our constitutional rights.

      • You just said it, Zombietactics, “recent”, but the Roberti-Roos AWB has been in place since when? A landmark passage of anti-2A legislation (1989) that eventually had national consequences and propelled the Federal AWB in 1994 (expired in 2004). Roberti-Roos has no sunset clause, no expiration and the only way it’ll ever be defeated is if it’s repealed, although IANAL and they may be other alternatives. The NRA should have had a major and continued show of force in CA since 1989, because it was mainly in CA, DC and NYC that the majority of anti-2A legislation was being passed. What, the NRA doesn’t receive enough money from CA constituents? Of course they do, but they need the anti legislation to stay in business. And they’ll have plenty of business as law makers and politicians on both parties continue to use the Bill of Rights and The Constitution as doormats to their offices.

    • Peruta v. Gore, discussed here at length on multiple occasions, the lead case in the Ninth Circuit, is an NRA funded case. And there are multiple others. Gen Hoffman, president of CalGuns is totally antagonistic towards the NRA, as reflected in his plethora of posts post-Peruta criticizing the NRA’s litigation tactics and taking credit for the win. Sometimes we are our worst enemies.

      And separately, NRA was responsible for Moore v. Madigan in Illinois and in negotiating the carry bill afterwards.

      • And getting back to the point of the letter, where has the NRA been for NY, NJ, and CT? Those states aren’t in the 9th Circuit, nor in the 7th.

        • The NRA is here in CT. There is a representative at every CCDL meeting. They provided busses for a Rally in Hartford, they testified in front of our legislature. The NRA like any organization does not have unlimited funds and if people decide not to join, then they have fewer funds.

          It works both ways, you need to join and support and they need to come help but they cannot be everywhere and need to be strategic in where they go.

          No matter what state you go, it starts with the grass root of that state.

          I have said it before, and I will repeat it again. By not joining the NRA you help nobody. It is one thing to show up and say the NRA is there to represent 5 million member, it would be another thing to show up and say they are there to support 50 million members and have the money and votes that those 50 million members bring. Grass roots is important at the local/state level, but at the national level we need a stronger voice.

          The problem with the people who say, “I am not supporting the NRA unless they do X”, is even when the NRA comes and does what they want, they still do not join.

          Look at AARP, those blue hair have two things, 40 million member and a slogan that says “Divided We Fail” when they show up politicians sh!t a brick and often they get what they want.

          Unless gun owners better organize we will never have the same force of action — I do not give a crap what the constitution says — politicians do not care what it says, but they do care about votes and campaign money

      • Gene Hoffman is the sole reason why I never donated a cent to Calguns, even when I was living in California.

        He’s just like an anti-gun politician: he wants HIS view of gun ownership, and damn the rest. He’ll throw them under the bus to get what he wants. This includes NFA and open carry. You either support it all, or you’re not really pro-gun. You’re just less anti-gun than others.

        • “he wants HIS view of gun ownership, and damn the rest” followed by “You either support it all, or you’re not really pro-gun.”

          hmm.

      • Mark,

        I’d be interested in some of the links you mention about Gene Hoffman being antagonistic towards NRA.
        One thing I do notice is his signature where it says, never ever consider NOT joining the NRA.

        I’m not disputing your remembering- I just dont recall seeing that lately.

        I can remember reading Calguns.net a few years back and it was kind of wild- a lot of mud-slinging, to the point where it got unproductive. There were people there pushing their own agenda, and wasting a LOT of time bad-mouthing one another.

        Some of the adults got control of the sand box, and at same time started the Cal Guns Foundation. Since then the focus has been much more clear and the legal wins have been happening, with team work by Calguns with SAF and NRA.

        I don’t pretend to know the inside workings of the NRA- however, I HAVE seen a lot of much better PR lately- the Women of the NRA, the Colon Noir vids, etc.

        So to the extent that thoughtful commentary from TTAG and letters like Dan’s helps get that voice of the customer to the top, its a good thing.

        Circular firing squads in anonymous forums- not so much.
        Leonard Embody is notorious to the point of being ignored at Calguns, forums, for example.
        And again- if the progtards can’t win on the facts, all they have in insults and disinformatzia, OT thread hijacks and other troll tricks, which we should be careful to be on the lookout for here, too.

      • Wow, really, Mark, so Gene is now anti-NRA huh? I don’t believe I have ever seen an anti-NRA post from Gene, but he is definitely vocal about strategy within the legal system in CA, and rightfully so! But I guess that is your definition, anyone with an alternate or subjective view.

        I’ll state that I resent the NRA for abandoning us for years, regarding CA “a lost cause”, when in fact we are the frontline trenches to stop this illogical and unreasonable legislation from spreading. You don’t think this BS could go national or do we want to ignore the 1994-2004 AWB still? Too late though, look at CO, spreading from the coasts inland.

        While I know Gene was very concerned about Peruta’s past and publicly stated as such, combined with information to support it, his point was that the antis could use this information, as they always do, to paint a very colorful picture for the media. His concern is not unfounded. In other words, when you pick your defendant, and there are many to choose from in CA when it comes to CCW, pick them wisely, especially if the case has national implications. Hell, Peruta chimed in on several threads on Calguns, ignoring the advice of his lawyers…. But it all worked out, truly a great day for us all in CA, Ed and his team came out on top, as they should have. I have no issue with Peruta’s past, to me and many other’s, but I’m sure some TV show will start scraping from the bottom of the barrel and up, totally distorting the view to the general public, painting a very different picture of Peruta for sensationalistic ratings… geewhiz, that could never happen.

    • As a Californian and a member of several pro-2A groups (including the NRA), I think it’s important to point out, that while they may not be walking around with Gonzales or Gadsden flags, the NRA has lobbyists who actually sit face-to-face with the governor and other key state legislators.
      I’m pretty certain this is the case in most – if not all – states.
      What I don’t know for certain is if the other organizations can say the same. I suspect they cannot.
      The NRA may be an imperfect organization, but I think there is a lot it has on the smaller and local groups.
      The fact is undeniable that they have more skill, experience and assets to work behind the scenes – where effort is most effective.
      Which brings me to my last point: given how things went in NJ this year, Chris Christie is not our friend. Remember that in 2016,

      • Dr Vino- very good point.

        Effective lobbying is not cheap- it takes talented people who have worked relationships for years. And having a wide membership that once informed can take action- calling legislators, Governors, etc for fast action on a sneaky legislative trick, is the other half of the formula- so being a member, even if you dont agree with everything- is important, so you can get the word and be heard.

        And that helps the other groups as well, even if they disagree on tactics. You wouldn’t just have one tool in your toolbox, would you? Just one weapon for hunting, self-defense, target shooting?

        The point being- defending our 2A rights is a multi-pronged effort- just as the left has many outlets, many channels, and numerous “front” groups- we have to make use of all the help we can get, working on what we can agree upon, and letting the various groups work independently on something near and dear to that state, or that particular group of customers.

        Its not a zero sum game here, where someone has to lose in order for someone to win.
        If you have the money to buy a quality gun, $35 a year to the NRA and another $25 or so to your state org is chicken feed.

        And if you are young and starting out- then getting involved in a political group that speaks to your passion is a good place to learn the ropes on real life- including politics. It aint bean bag.

        And sitting back and b1tching like a little girl on anonymous forums is not impressing anyone, except maybe yourself. Thats not aimed at you Dr V, but others who recognize themselves are free to flame on as they see fit, but since we already know it takes even less time to click a link and fill in your info on a web-form to join a petition- color me un-impressed unless you can come up with some facts to prove you have gotten in the weeds and done some work.

        Money talks and you know what walks….

  2. I am not always flying the NRA flag all day neither. Sure they have their faults,,,, who amoung us doesn’t?

    N.J. as well as other anti gun states are going to be a tough hurdle for ANY organization to scale. Is it possible that N.J. is only as far along gun-wise as it is BECAUSE of the presence of the NRA in surrounding states?

    I think poor Javier has a case of the “poor me”. People see EXACTLY what they look for.

    • I think you failed to read the letter. He’s making a serious argument about strategy, not asking for pity. The NRA is not fighting hard in some states – and that’s an error. If NJ, NY, and CT are allowed to get worse and worse, it can only embolden gungrabbers in other states. And, of course, the citizens of NJ, NY, and CT shouldn’t be left to rot, either.

      • There’s always a certain amount of “picking your fights” in any cause. And an element of that is always going to be using your resources where there is some chance they will actually have an effect. What can you do with a state like NY, where the top banana of the “opposition party” in the state senate can declare, with a straight face, that the SAFE Act was a good compromise that respects the 2nd A ? Who can the NRA put their money behind that can actually win an election in that kind of environment? Who can they lobby that will actually listen and represent their point of view–and that with any hope of success? I don’t know, I’m not there, but from afar NY looks like a lost cause, 2A-wise, except in the arena of court challenges.

    • How is it a “logic fail” as you put it…??? The same hold true for politicians and other organization as well…they don’t support your position, you look to another who will, there was no “logic fail”, the only failure here is you inability to understand where this individual is coming from…But drive on hamster, drive on…

    • Disagree. I, too, am not very fond of what the NRA is (not) doing in my state of NJ, although I’m still a member. I can certainly understand the OP’s frustration at NRA asking for money, yet not getting involved much in NJ. A while back one of their reps emailed me saying that in essence they declared NJ a lost cause. If so, why would the OP or anybody else for that matter want to pay annual dues if they don’t see any gains from it on a local level? I share some of the guy’s frustrations, but I decided to renew my NRA membership because every once in a while they do get involved in major cases, and that’s better than nothing. I actually think that the Second Amendment Foundation is more aggressive in NJ, so I suggest that the OP contributes there if he does not want to join the NRA. I recently sent some money to the SAF to show my support in lieu of the Drake v. Jerejian case. The OP can do the same.

  3. ###Shakes Head###

    I understand the authors frustrations.Living in Chicago will do that.

    With that point made, I’ll just say that activism has to come from the source states constituents. The NRA cannot defend the RKBA for New Jersey residents when those same people are voting for gun control.Why should a national organization spend time and capital on activism when the native citizens don’t want the right to begin with?

    Oh, right, the spread of gun control as a culture. Except, if anything, it’s going the OTHER direction. Illinois is now a shall issue state, Colorado fired the reps who voted for their gun control statues, and even NY State had to repeal their asinine 7 round limit. If anything, New Jersey will go shall issue long before Texas adopts an AWB.

    All that’s left is getting most of New Jersey on board with voting according to the Constitution instead of to a political machine.

    • “The NRA cannot defend the RKBA for New Jersey residents when those same people are voting for gun control.”

      The NRA isn’t there only to follow others into the fight, but also to lead others into the fight. I don’t see any reason to make excuses for them for not showing up to the battle.

    • ^ This.

      What would the author have the NRA do? Rig elections? Threaten to assassinate politicians if they fail to repeal gun control laws?

      I have said it before about California and I’ll say it again with respect to New Jersey: when a supermajority of voters support pro gun control politicians and policies, there isn’t a damn thing the NRA or anyone else can do about that.

      The only possible contribution that any organization has in states like New Jersey and California is funding lawsuits and outreach programs. And outreach programs are next to impossible to accomplish because legacy media (television stations, newspapers, magazines, etc.) refuse to participate preventing them from reaching out. As for lawsuits, no organization (including the NRA) can be held responsible for the unconstitutional rulings of corrupt judges and courts that sit on cases indefinitely.

      This problem falls squarely on the local residents. They have three options:
      (1) Move to a state that actually respects the U.S. Constitution.
      (2) Stay, do nothing, and accept gun control.
      (3) Stay and do everything humanly possible to reach every family member, neighbor, coworker, etc. and get them interested in supporting gun rights.

      Why are you surprised or frustrated that someone else is NOT effective fixing YOUR problem?

      Time and again I have heard people of the gun complain about gun control laws. And yet 95% of them have never written or called their politicians, never helped the campaign of a pro-gun politician, never contributed money to a pro-gun politician’s campaign, never visited their politicians in their office, never attended hearings on gun control laws, never attended a gun rights rally, never introduced anyone to shooting (e.g. take them to a range), never even impressed the history and importance of gun rights on their own children, and don’t even show up to vote at elections! THIS is the problem, not the NRA, Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, nor any other group.

      • But many of us have done all those things you just listed, and we find the NRA conspicuously absent as we desperately try to rally people. I just don’t understand blaming the little guy for the failure of the big guy to take action.

        Rojas’s letter is not about asking the NRA to do our work; it’s about asking the NRA to support us in doing our own work. But they’re not stepping forward.

        • You let your godvernment dictate to you who can pump gasoline into your car, yet you blame the NRA for failing to take action. Get real bro.

        • Mothalova,

          I applaud you and those like you who are activists. The trouble lies in the other 95% of gun owners who are not activists … and other 70% of the population who actually want gun control and vote for politicians who will give it to them. You never answered my question. What would you have the NRA do when 70% of the population supports politicians who implement gun control?

        • Uncommon_sense –

          Thanks, and good question.

          To clarify, the numbers are probably closer to 60-40 than 70-30 in NJ rather than 70-30, but they’re still not great, that’s for sure.

          I’d like to see the NRA help plan and fund public rallies and speaking events; do targeted television and radio spots; issue more press releases responding to news stories and political developments in NJ; host more pro-gun events, like first-time shooters events, fundraisers, etc.; and in general maintain a higher profile and a more aggressive stance in the state.

  4. I am amazed that these grown men weren’t already members of the NRA and are only now stating their intentions not to join. Had they and thousands of other New Jersians (and Californians) been members years earlier maybe the NRA would have had the financial resources to back them. Stop complaining and let this be a lesson to others. Join the one national organization, the NRA, NOW!!! not when your State is in the process of passing laws to take away your rights.

    • Bill, I couldn’t agree more. I hear a lot of kvetching about the NRA but politicians don’t really care about 5 million members spread amongst 50 states, this is just over 1% of the total population. I think if enough people actually supported and joined the NRA the number could easily exceed 20 million members and that would get the attention of all politicians at every level. So quit your bitching and spend the $35. and know there is strength in numbers.

    • +1. What’s an NRA membership, $25? If what the NRA does nationally — forgetting any state work — is not worth $25 to you, I don’t see how you can claim to be pro-gun.

  5. I couldn’t agree more with Bill. Without the NRA, we wouldn’t have just had the huge Peruta win in California. Mr. Rojas is cutting off his nose to spite his face.

  6. Sorry, but if the nation falls when it comes to 2A, it doesn’t matter a damn what the state’s do. Winning on the national scale sets up the board to win in the states. Heller, McDonald, etc these all set up the board for the current winning we’re doing around the country. Plus I’m pretty sure Scott Bach who’s an NRA board member is extremely active in NJ’s plight. ANJRPC IS the NRA state level association and being a member if you live in the state of NJ is a responsible gun owners duty, but the fight is on two fronts, national and state level and both organizations need members and funding. Even just to stand and be recognized counts. When the NRA can finally say it’s 20 million members strong, imagine the clout they could have then to defend 2nd Amendment protected rights. Quit yer bitchin and man up!

    • This.

      I live in Connecticut and I’m a member of the NRA. I celebrate the national gun rights victories just like the rest of you, even though very few affect me directly. I know it’s a well-funded NRA that makes these victories possible.

      • Fighting the national fight. If the NRA had 20-30 million members, they’d have a lot more resources to throw behind every single state fight, but we have people who refuse to join because they “didn’t help me”, and so the numbers stay low and the resources stay limited. If you have limited resources, you win the big battles and you win the battles that can help spring board future successful campaigns.

  7. Sorry that the NRA did not come to the Rescue for gun owners in the State of New Jersey. However, sometimes you have to bow to the absurd. You see, it is not the rest of the countries responsibility to protect you from your own stupidity. “You Can’t Fix Stupid”.

    You voted these people into power. You allowed for your state to become the most corrupt Unionized State in the “Many States United”. If you cannot live with the laws your elected officials have imposed upon you…. Try voting for responsible leadership. Stop paying dues to, and supporting of, the SEIU/NSDAP!!! Stop doing the same stupid thing, over and over, in hopes that something positive will some day come from it. The 2nd Amendment is not about YOUR right to keep and bear arms… it is about your responsibility to the Security of a Free State where everyone gets to have these rights.

    We would like to help protect you from that bolt of electricity… but if you refuse to take your finger out of that socket… It will only shock us too when we try to help.

    You might consider moving to a part of the “Many States United” where the Constitution still exist… but here in Texas we have found that most of the idiot/morons that move from those states simply want to force their communities here to change to be like the ones they just moved away from. So, if you decide to move to the Free States, please do not bring your SEIU/NSDAP Crap here.

    Thank you.

    • Well said, except for the part where you (and every other person I’ve ever heard chime in on the topic) make this assumption that gun owners are voting these people into power. It has all but been proven that gun owners are single issue voters. If there’s 10 gun owners and 50 anti-gun people and they vote right down issue lines, guess what, the gun owner loses, every single time. When the pro-2A side is so grotesquely outnumbered as they are in NY and NJ, you fight tooth and nail, but you usually end up losing. That’s the nature of the beast in those states.

      • Let’s get something straight here and now: We are supposed to be a Government of the People. However, by default, we are only a Government of the People that participate in the Governmental process. If Gun owners in that state simply sit on their butts and hope that someday things will get better, then there’s your problem.

        Get out and take action. That is what they SEIU/NSDAP is doing. That is what anti-American, anti-gun people are doing. If it is good enough for them… it is good enough for everyone one… even pro-gun pro-American’s.

        • I don’t disagree. However, the people of the gun in NJ ARE taking action. They are calling their representatives daily, they are showing up at town halls, and senate hearings. Every senate hearing the place is so packed they have to block people from entering.

          You have guys like James Kaleda being strong armed by police while testifying, and then being targeted politically for their views later on

          http://www.ammoland.com/2014/03/outspoken-nj-gun-law-critic-targeted-by-state-police-72-hours-prior-to-hearing/#axzz2wcqPJgeO

          so they ARE being active and taking action in NJ, but the numbers are not there. That doesn’t mean stop fighting, but please stop with the “they get what they deserve” meme. Perhaps the ones who WANT gun control get what they deserve when the effects of those laws results in higher crime, but that’s a different story…

        • Amen, Eagle Scout. Just because we have lost a lot of ground in NJ doesn’t mean a lot of us aren’t fighting. And we deserve a little more respect for it, too, seeing how much harder it is to fight in NJ than in, say, Idaho.

    • We have had discussion about this on TTAG before. Just because these assholes got into office because they are in the majority party doesn’t mean gun rights supports voted for them in any way. “You got yourself into this mess” isn’t a helpful attitude to the cause as a whole and moving out of the state is not a realistic option for a lot of people who have homes/jobs/families.

      • Actually, not only is it an extremely helpful attitude, it’s the only helpful attitude. The problem isn’t just that you didn’t vote these guys in (or so you claim now, in buyer’s remorse), it’s that you didn’t vote at all. These states are falling due to apathy.

        If others like the NRA continually swoop in to save you, then that creates moral hazard, whereby people who feel insulated from the consequences of their action tend to take more risks. If people keep bailing you out, then you’ll depend on it and never take responsibility for youselves, which perpetuates the crisis cycle. If you don’t vote, others will, and their preferences are unlikely to match yours. In NJ, with a mere 38% registered voter turnout, you have no excuses.

        You can’t blame anyone but yourselves for your failure by forfeit. So quit chastising the rest of us and NRA unless and until you have an intelligent refutation of NJ’s piss poor voter turnout rate.

        • It was this kind of thinking that kept the RNC from giving much support to GOP senate candidates in Virginia and New Jersey and elsewhere in 2013. Without the RNC’s full support, the candidates came pretty close; with the full support of the RNC, they would have had a good chance of pulling it off.

        • NJ’s 2012 Senate race, the Dems won by nearly 20 percentage points. That’s a blowout no amount of NRA could save. 2013’s special Senate election, the Dems won by 11 percentage points. By Senate terms, especially without an incumbent, that’s a blowout, too.

          Nice you mention it, though, because the Dems won in 2013 by about 150,000 votes out of roughly 1.3 million cast. Well. In 2012, the Republican, blown out by 20%, got over 1.3 million votes himself! And still lost. So where the F were all his 1.3 million+ voters just a few short months later in the special election? Sitting on their butts, that’s where. And you’re STILL blaming the NRA? Get real.

          As for Virginia, similar story, but the big point is that the GOP party itself didn’t fund their own candidate! Soooo…..the Republican Party won’t fund their own candidate and Republican voters won’t go vote for their own candidate, and it’s the NRA’s fault when they lose? Your break with reality demonstrated today might qualify you for inclusion on the FBI’s No-Buy list. You may want to stick with privately purchased firearms from here out.

          Wake up, gunowners: donate, raise funds, volunteer and go VOTE! Quit waiting for the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, GOA, SCOTUS, or your countrymen to bail you and and save your rights. Fight for them yourselves! “Molon labe”, my rear end, from the same people who won’t vote.

        • Jonathan in Houston – Your response is overblown. I didn’t make the claim that the election losses in 2013 were solely the NRA’s fault. Do you really think their intervention wouldn’t have made a significant difference? Combine that with more intervention from the RNC, and you have a real chance of a victory in NJ in the special senate race (and in the VA gubernatorial race, victory would have been guaranteed).

    • Sadly, Thomas, it’s actually even worse than that. Look at Maryland, for example. Malloy just snuck into office with a very slim majority in 2010. If we look to 2012’s election results, we see that Obama still carried Maryland handily, but that Romney captured many more votes in 2012 than the Republican governor candidate did in 2010. That means there are many more Republicans out there and who do vote in the big presidential year elections. However, when it’s “only” an off year election with the governor’s race topping the ballot, Republicans in Maryland tend to stay home.

      Even in New Jersey, where Chris Christie won in 2013 with 60% of the vote, winning by a 22% margin, voter turnout was only 38%. So he won with the votes of only (.60)*(.38) = .23, or 23% of the registered voter base. So for everyone who voted for Christie or someone else, about two other registered voters couldn’t be bothered to get to the polls and vote at all, allowing this guy to win with a small percentage of tbe electorate’s support. And that’s not even counting those eligible, but unregistered to vote.

      Now, whether the nonvoting/unregistered people are so because they’re content, complacent or indifferent, is open to debats. Still, pretty much everyone has some kind of complaint about the govrrnment, so I’m leaning toward lazy and ungrateful as these people’s reason for abdicating their civic duty.

      Where we’re losing, we’re doing so by forfeiting the fight, not by getting beaten outright. That’s not the NRA’s fault. That’s these states’ shame.

      • just as bad as Harkness: gun owners in Maryland either didn’t vote at all OR voted for the politicians in office? maybe if you want people to stop “chastising the rest of us and NRA” you shouldn’t chastise them in the same way?

        also, Malloy is the governor of CT. O’Malley is MD’s governor. he won in 2010 with about 15% more of the vote (56.2 versus 41.8). this sucks incredibly if you don’t like O’Malley… but in the national election, Obama got 61.9% to Romney’s 35.9% (and a larger disparity of raw votes). so what’s the argument there about MD gun owners if we don’t have more information? if they’re sitting on their ass at home, yes, i agree they deserve to be reamed for it… but if they’re not? and do we know they were?

    • Thomas –

      Your despair-peddling is exactly the problem. When many of us are trying to fight back and win in the Northeast, you’re telling us all that it’s hopeless and we shouldn’t even try. And that message gets through to a lot of people who will keep sitting on their rears instead of joining the fight.

      If the NRA came in swinging, it would do a lot to inspire hope and rally gun owners and other defenders of liberty.

      You keep on feeling self-righteous wherever you are. Those of us who are actually fighting in the Northeast – and you can better believe that includes Javier Rojas – don’t need your sneering. What we need is support from the NRA.

    • yeah, if your argument is that people in anti-gun states VOTED for those anti-gun politicians… then your logic is flawed. oh, and if they move, they’re immediately told “do not bring your SEIU/NSDAP Crap here?” and then we doubled-down and implied the only other option is that they sit on their butts and don’t vote or otherwise engage in the politics of preserving their gun rights.

      might want to remove that part where you’re concerned about EVERYONE having rights, i guess, since i think you’re only worried about people who live where you do.

  8. The NRA can’t afford to fight in NJ. They are too busy fixing up ranges in Colorado. You know, really important stuff.

      • Must you really stoop to ad hominem attacks? I will take the higher, educated road and refuse to call you a boil on the butt if life. Show some class, man.

    • You do realize that the NRA-ILA and the NRA training division (and other divisions as well) are completely separate divisions, right? Different budgets, different fund-gathering mechanisms, etc.

    • Funding for things like range improvements, youth shooting training & competition, which, by the way, are very important for developing the next generation of firearms owners and 2A defenders, comes from the Friends of the NRA fundraising events. These typically include fundraiser dinners and gun raffles, but donations are accepted, too. There are hundreds upon hundreds of these events conducted nationwide each year, and have been for decades. That’s all completely and legally separate from tbe NRA’s litigation, legislative and political activities.

      Were you more involved, you’d be more informed and, one would hope, more relevant to the cause and conversation.

  9. I have to be honest, I let mine lapse this year. I opted for a membership for a local group, since while Utah might be a NRA “stronghold,” it only takes a few years of apathy before anybody becomes California.

      • Maybe because the NRA isn’t doing enough to deserve the support? There’s a reason the GOA exists. (It’s not because the NRA is awesome.)

        • I *am* allowed to pump my own gasoline. I’m in Colorado. Not that it is in the slightest bit relevant, though you seem to think it matters in a discussion on guns for some fool reason.

          Maybe you should read the name of the person you are responding to instead of assuming it’s MuthaLova again.

          Intellect fail on your part, AGAIN.

        • Yeah pardon me for responding to the wrong person Steve. As for the intellectual fail on your part, I forgive you for not understanding the gas pump analogy. But to help you, think free men vs. slaves. Hugs n kisses!

    • DisThunder*,

      Your own comment explains why you should renew and maintain your NRA membership. Apathy gives purchase to the antis’ insidious efforts to curtail our freedoms, and must be fought on both the national and state/local levels. Without battling the grabber’s efforts on all levels, we lose ground and the antis suppress our freedoms.
      *This actually applies to ALCON on this and other comment threads who have expressed displeasure at the NRA’s inability to simply wave a magic wand and make all the anti-gun crap just disappear.

      The NRA, CalGuns (for CA) and 2AF are all good organizations worthy of our support to defend and strengthen our gun rights and protect our freedom of choice in all 2A matters that affect POTG. The NRA works heavily in the national arena. If we lose ground there, everybody loses nationwide. The NRA also supports (and often leads) key gun rights battles at the state level especially when the violations are extreme and the outlook for success strong. These state specific initiatives have impact both inside the state and influence outcomes elsewhere.

      2AF does a great job legally challenging key 2A infringements wherever they occur and where the outcome will have greatest affect both locally and nationally.

      In California CalGuns, like state pro-gun pro-2A organizations in other states, focuses on state/local activities to protect us from or overturn the perfidious efforts of the antis to erode our rights one new law at a time. CalGuns is our (CA) POTG homeland security to monitor local anti-gun intrusions, educate the public, challenge and defeat the primarily Democrat politicians’ and statists’ efforts to marginalize us and confiscate our weaponry.

      For each of these pro-gun groups’ efforts to accomplish their respective missions, we must lend our full support both financially, and when called upon – or even upon our own initiative – write, call and email our political representatives to respectfully insist, encourage and demand they see the truth, look past the politics, see through the false rhetoric and uphold our natural and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

      Like you said, “…it only takes a few years of apathy before anybody becomes California”. Well, now we Californians of the bear flag state must push back hard, expose the lies and try to educate the public and the media, and fight the lame brain Democrat politicians every way we can to recover our diminished and infringed right to keep and bear arms. That is an uphill battle that could have been better protected had we all had the foresight to take the initiative years ago when we still maintained some of the high ground. Lesson learned – hopefully not to be forgotten soon.

      Renew your NRA membership; stay strong, express your resolve as effectively as you can both with monetary support and through communication with your representatives. Every little bit is necessary and important to win this fight.

      Apathy will lose every time; the Democrat politicians and their sheeple supporters are greedy and NOT ultraistic. They will abolish our gun rights if they can so as to render us irrelevant.

      Lend and sustain your support, stay strong, not one step back.

  10. Dear NRA,
    I’m not joining(again) because I’m already a LIFE MEMBER. Update your files and stop begging me to join at your introductory rates for free crap. I’d also like you to stop playing the follow-up-call game where you beg me to upgrade my lifetime membership to a “legacy” membership(iirc) once you find out(again) from the first call that I’m a lifetime member.

    I’ve only been a L.M. for about a year and this has happened 3 times(iirc, sans follow up call once)….. You’re getting a bit annoying.

    Regards,
    Shaun

      • Eloquently put. I bow to the blatantly obvious philosophical principles brought up in your well thought out retort and apologize for somehow missing that point entirely in the post which was meant to be merely off the cuff humor.

        Next time I will make sure to convey the true intent of my post by just typing “whaaaaaa 🙁 ” thus divesting others of the need to waste their time reading my misguided drivel.

        Thank you for not only making me feel welcome here but showing your support by teaching me a valuable lesson.

  11. Although I am in Texas, I understand what those in Kalifornia and the Communist Republic of NJ are saying.

    I dropped my NRA membership for other reasons. First, the salaries these guys are pulling down. If memory serves Wayne is pulling down around 1 million a year (2010).

    While on the subject of Wayne. He his a poor spokesperson for our rights. The new program with Colin is more effective. However, one recognizable, smart articulate person, should take over those duties from Wayne.

    How about a smart, articulate female, with children and a job history?? Make her the Pres of the NRA. Beat them at their own game! Now that would pi$$ off Emperor Bloomberg and his doormat Barak.

    NRA should stick to what it does best, education. I funnel my money to other groups that understand the legal and political fight.

  12. I 100% understand where the writer is coming from. Part of this stems from the fact that it’s pretty embarrassing to be a R these days, nobody wants to be associated with the deficit scolds, hyperinflationistas, tehadists, or rape-does-not-make-you-pregnant Akins. Not the fault of the NRA.

    Now, I am not a fan of WLP. I think he should go.There needs to be more urban outreach. The NRA needs diversity. I do not want to hear any more about the war of southern aggression.

    That said, let me give a shout out to Shannon Alford (Maryland liaison for the NRA) and company who have changed my opinion. They tirelessly go to Annapolis against all odds and testify. Even while (8 or 9 months) pregnant, during a snow storm. Even in an election year when no guns bills are to get through the legislature. Depositions, lawsuits, testimony… there is a lot of stuff behind the scenes. So, while the face of the NRA needs a facelift, there really are diligent hardworking people behinds the scenes. Does it suck to be in MD or NJ and see and OFWG on tv? sure does. But, the situation was not created overnight and cannot be changed overnight. Maybe instead of complaining the writer should become a life member, and encourage diversity, because its much easier to change an organization from within.

      • Nope, not saying that, exactly. Recently, Paul Ryan made exactly the same comments about inner city work ethic, urban poverty, and welfare as Obama did in 2008. Identical. Guess who got called a racist?

        The left wing knee-jerk race baiting machine is like a troll, you don’t feed it, to the extent possible. People need to see people with diverse backgrounds sharing the same values – gun rights and self defense. Even better, authoritative people. Having the Detroit Police Chief in the news about responsibly armed citizens deterring crime is a win every single time. Having a highly visible member of the NRA talk about the war of southern aggression is not just feeding the troll, its giving it juicy red meat to headline on HuffPo.

        • Hmmmm, is this the same Paul Ryan that is pushing with all his might for amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens???

    • And where I would start, by the way, is: Why does the prez of the NAACP think its ok for him to have a CCW in Maryland and not the people in the city he supposedly represents. Clearly, he thinks a gun protects him.

      • For the same reason Dianne Feinstein has CCW, same reason Bloomberg is flanked by 6 fully armed goons which he gets special passes for when he leaves the country, same reason Michael Moore’s fat ass owns a gun, and Bill Maher, the egregious hypocrite not only has guns he says publicly he’d shoot anyone breaking into his home. They are all exceptional liberals: they feel by their own virtue they are the only ones qualified and “not crazy” to own guns or be around them. The irony is people like them are the reason average citizens WANT to be armed, cause they know what kind of treachery can come from people so openly abusing power. They are textbook tyrants. Tyrants aren’t anti-gun, they just want to be the only ones WITH the guns.

    • I hope you aren’t saying it is NOT an embarrassment to be a give-felons-the-vote, make-the-world-safe-for-Kermit Gosnell, bake-that-wedding-cake-for-the-queer-couple-or-we’ll-fine-you-into-bankruptcy, ban-guns-with-that-shoulder-thing-that-goes-up Dem?

  13. I am a proud life member. The NRA has its warts but which org doesn’t? Anyhow – in NJ and other states, your politicians helped sell you out. I would start with them and cutting off their $$ for re-election.

    • Dirk – Just cut off their $$? And how do you propose doing that? Look, the people of NY, NJ, and CT who want to keep their liberty are in the minority. They can’t win the fight all on their own. They need national support. That’s why the NRA’s absence is stunting the cause and leaving a lot of people very frustrated.

  14. I let my membership lapse once I found out the NRA has little to no interest in helping collectors or owners of NFA items. With their lobbying power they could help us remove SBSs and SBS’s from the NFA. They could also lobby to have the NFA Branch get properly staffed and upgraded. There is no reason there needs to be a 10 month wait on Form 1s and 4s.

    They do good work, but lack the guts and goals of the GOA.

  15. You didn’t even mention that’d you like to have them stop churning absurd fears whenever possible, causing ammo and firearms supplies to dry up like a salted slug…

  16. NJ residents need to take a hard look at the RINO governor they keep electing… if he only had the stones to veto these idiotic bills there wouldn’t be an issue. But instead he keeps cozying up to Obama & the rest of the Democraps and signing all this b.s. legislation.

  17. What a load of bullshit. First, these “I was never a member and now I am just staying that way stories” are priceless.

    Mr Zimmerman evidently expected the NRA to come be his knight in shining armor, yet he never joined. He expected the other gun owners who do join, mostly not in his state, to fund and do all the work to secure his rights while he contributed nothing to the organization. He declined to help fund and get a voice in how the organization works- then when it didn’t do what he wanted, he screams he is being neglected by an organization he never joined.

    I guess he sends Allstate letters about how he will never use their insurance since they didn’t pay his claim when he was never a policy holder too. Same logic.

    Whats worse, he acknowledges that the NRA does have a state level organization, the
    ANJRPC , and that they went to great effort. yet somehow he thinks this has nothing to do with the NRA.

    Mr Zimmerman, please stay in NJ. Way too many supposed “conservatives” flee that state then bring their closeted liberalism and freeloadeer tendencies and screw up good states.

  18. Perhaps instead of blaming the NRA, Mr. Rojas should blame the people of New Jersey for electing people who have no problem infringing on their rights?

    • Actually the 1.05 party system is a major cause of the lack of progress for second amendment rights (not to mention the first, the fourth, etc.) As an actual marxist who supports the Bill of Rights, from my perspective, the problem briefly: libs who supported a deformed social democracy that has morphed into a repressive neoliberal capitalist “democracy” that supports gay marriage but not much else, rightists who support busting unions, gun rights and throwing more coals on the fire for the great majority living in capitalist hell. Most sensible people don’t support the corporate republican weltsanshauung of the NRA, can’t get beyond that, so they don’t join. Similarly most gun enthusiasts are militant individualists, above and beyond the usual American (ab)norm, so they don’t join either. There are some contentious folks who do join and organize groups like Illinois Carry that do get much of our rights restored in the face of intransigent and corrupt opposition, but it’s a rough row to hoe. Perhaps activists in New Jersey could contact activists in Illinois Carry for some advice and support.

      +1 on the renovation of the NRA’s face toward people of color and urban areas.

      I am a full member of GOA (gotta love my crazy paleocon grandpa larry) and a $10/yr member of the NRA (corporate republican bureaucrats, not so much. Although I do hear the arguments for supporting the lobbying and the court cases). I’m a full member of Illinois Carry and of the ISRA. I would become a life member of the NRA if they revamped their leadership and rhetoric and got rid of criminals like Oliver North.

  19. Interesting the letter didn’t also go out to the GOA, or SAF. There are also local chapters of the NRA in almost every region of the country, including Stalag New Jersey. A bit whiny in tone IMHO.

    Local,local,local. Grassroots man!!!!

  20. I don’t want the NRA wasting my money in your hellhole of a state unless it’s to file lawsuits that actually have a chance of going somewhere. Deal with it, Javier.

    • You don’t want your money wasted in NJ? No problem. But then why should Javier pay dues to support the NRA if he gets essentially ZERO return in NJ? That’s the other side of the coin.

      • He gets zero return because NJ is the heart of ****ing darkness where dems are the majority and republicans aren’t much different.

        What do you want them to do? Waste money trying to perform a miracle? Show up and just talk a good game to make Javier feel better?

        Pointless. I want the NRA to do what it can, where it makes sense, as efficiently as possible.

        • Yes, NJ is corrupt as hell and very anti-gun, but it seems that some organizations are more involved than others. All I’m asking is why send money to the NRA if the return is zero in your state of residence? He can give money to other 2A organizations who are more active in NJ (like the SAF). That’s money better spent. And if the NRA wants that support (read: cash) back in their pocket, that should motivate them to get more involved in NJ.

        • So it’s OK for the NRA to abandon NJ, but gun owners in NJ should still fork over their money to the NRA? The NRA doesn’t own anyone. They exist to represent us. When they fail to fight for us, we should stop giving to them – or else they’ll continue to take us for granted.

      • Because the NRA fights the LEGAL battles on the FEDERAL level that end up having the effect of counteracting the stupidity of New Jersey voters who elect people who they agree with, “except on guns”

        • Oh they do? They fought AGAINST taking the Heller case to the Supreme Court. Whoops.

          I’m not saying they don’t participate in some good cases, but they’re not exactly full-throated defenders of our liberty, either.

        • I understand, but people’s funds are limited, they have to pick their battles. I don’t think Javier should stop supporting 2A organizations entirely, and looks like he hasn’t. But if, for example, the SAF gives you a better return for your money in your state of residence, then that’s who you’re going to support. If more people do that, it would give the NRA more incentive to get that support money back and thus get more involved on local level.

        • Here’s the thing. I want them to do more. But if the only ones buying lifetime memberships are the FUD’s then what do you expect the leadership to focus on. Those who vote for the leadership are the ones who determine who gets represented. NJ abandoned the NRA long before the NRA abandoned NJ. NRA/ILA work on the NATIONAL level. On the local level, there are local gun rights organizations. And it’s not like $25 for a year is an untenable amount when you see them work against the bills that died miserable deaths last year due in no small part to the NRA/ILA

        • I’m not disagreeing with you, but it seems like the NRA presence is barely felt in the blue states, or at least in NJ. Some 40+ states have decent gun laws and the NRA can draw plenty of support from there to focus on national issues, but at the same time it seems not to be involved much at all in places like NJ, where their efforts are urgently needed. I don’t think Javier and others should stop supporting the NRA, but I understand if they want to sent their money elsewhere, to those organizations who show more local support.

  21. the NRA needs numbers to succeed. lower the membership price and make up the difference in fund raising. more useful giveaways for membership. they need to swell the ranks!!!

  22. Stupid arguement. I do not support the manner in which the NRA appraoches certain things, but make no mistake, the only reason we have not lost our 2A rights in this country is because of the NRA. If you are a gun owner and value freedom, you join the NRA, or you are irresponsible. Join the others as well if you like, the state level groups are great, but a gun person belongs to the NRA, period.

  23. I hear your frustration but the amount the NRA does on a national scale that helps everyone more than makes up for my dues.

    And pshh… who pays the full $35?, they must send an email every other day offering $25 and a free hat! 😛

    • I got a big Swiss Army knife look-alike this last time. I liked last year’s knife better. It’s been my first aid kit knife since.

  24. Politics is the art of the possible. The NRA is the single largest, most well funded, and effective gun rights lobbying organization in the USA, in addition to all the other things it does to support the shooting sports nation wide.

    Bitch and moan all you want about what they haven’t done for you in your particular little niche. If you don’t like living in CA or NJ, and if you feel SO strongly about your gun rights, then leave.

    The NRA has scored major victories in the past several years. Ever hear about Illinois?

    I’m a life member of the GOA, the Second Amendment Foundation and the NRA (Benefactor).

    Put up, or shut up.

    • Amen. Every organization has its flaws, but where would we be now if the NRA had never existed? To the best of my knowledge, the citizens of the United States have more freedom in re the ownership of firearms than any other nation on the planet. No other organization has done more to preserve that freedom than the NRA. People who sulk like Achilles do nothing to maintain our rights.

  25. Belonging to a local RKBA group should not be at the expense of a membership to the NRA. Politicians and the political parties pay attention to the NRA’s membership trends. Declining membership in the NRA emboldens the enemies of 2A. 5 million members out of an estimated 90 million gun owners is not good. Ask yourself this. Would the enemies of RKBA (especially those elected officials) be as bold as they are both on the national and state levels if there were 50 million NRA members, or even 20 million?

  26. Well, let’s remember the NRA comprised in 1986 letting FOPA 86 get passed on the NFA weapons. “With the who needs a machine gun, suppressor attitude.” Who knew a few years later here come the first “Assault Weapon” bans. Then the high cap mags, etc etc. It shouldn’t be a divide and conquer problem. But the NRA did make their own bed on this. So I understand why people are upset with them. I was a member too……up until 1986. And let’s also remember the Republicans (Reagan) was in office, and control the Senate until Nov of 1986. And it still got passed….and signed on April 19th 1986. So before turn this too political, it should be ALL ABOUT OUR FREEDOMS…period. The real fight is coming. Just a matter of time, and which state first.

  27. The NRA is far from perfect, but they are the biggest force in the Pro-2A camp. The anti-gun groups have to focus all of their attention on them.

    Besides, it has to drive the anti-gunners insane (more insane?) when they read how many members the NRA has. I like to think I’m contributing to some sleepless nights for Bloomberg and company when they think about the NRA having 5 million members and MDA having what? a little over 100K members.

  28. The NRA does have a history of supporting gun control: it backed both the national gun act of 1934 and the national gun act of 1938… in 1963, the VP of the NRA testified before congress in support of banning direct gun sales via the mail… nor did the NRA put up any sorta fight in 1968 when stricter gun laws were passed after RFK and MLK were assassinated, heck, last year NRA President David Keene said that fully automatic weapons should be illegal and the 1986 ban should stand … so, yeah, we shouldn’t be surprised when the NRA makes deals, doesn’t fight all too hard, or acquiesses to the demands of gun grabbers…

    Buuuuut, it still does some great work, and its continued focus on Education and Gun Safety are second to none…

    For me, though, it’s hard to support an organization that has left us Left Coasters high and dry for nearly twenty years: although the NRA’s funding of the plantiff’s case in Peruta vs San Diego has been making me rethink my self-imposed embargo on a lifetime membership!

  29. Well said. I left the NRA years when I realized they present themselves as THE organization protecting the 2A, but where have they been in Massachusetts? Why have they not challenged the constitutionality of Massachusetts blatantly unconstitutional gun laws? No thanks NRA.

    • C’mon Pete I’m here in MA also but I am an NRA’er and of the local GOAL and will always be. Strength in numbers. If we had 100k members here in MA even the Masshole politicians would be forced to give us some consideration.

      • So true, I maintain my membership with the NRA partly because it’s a requirement of the shooting club/range I’m a member of, but mostly because it’s a good idea. I’m also a member of GOAL, and I highly recommend every gun owning resident of MA to join as well.

        And Pete, if you’ve read any of the decisions pertaining to MA, you’d quickly see that the outcome is predetermined. I’d rather the NRA stay at a distance than waste time and money fighting a losing battle, unless that loss will further a long-term goal. NRA is still the authority on safety and training, as much as the Commonwealth may try to distance itself from that, it still requires NRA certified training to get any of the different flavors of license.

        And not aimed at anybody specifically, but remember, some of the biggest wins for us are won through the grassroots, so when the NRA throws out a warning, I write to my representatives. Hell, I’ve even gotten some promising responses from state senators. Then we can sit back and shake our heads at the media saying the gun industry killed legislation, knowing it was probably a group of citizens firing off letters and e-mails.

  30. Maybe if NJ residents were a little more proactive in preserving their rights, the NRA more effective.. You keep voting gun grabbers into office, and then complain because the NRA isnt bailing you out.. Im not seeing the logic here..

    • There are no pro-gun candidates in New Jersey. It’s a BLUE state, run by union thugs and the 50,000 in law enforcement are all worried about protecting their civil service pensions, so remain quiet in supporting 2A citizens when it comes to pro-gun laws.

  31. I left the NRA years ago when I realized the NRA who represented themselves as the organization that protected the 2A was nowhere to be found in Massachusetts helping the average joe exercise his/her 2A rights. Until the NRA challenges Massachusetts and states like it that have enacted blatantly unconstitutional gun laws, I’ll continue to say no thanks NRA.

  32. I couldn’t disagree any more with this reasoning. In the People’s Republic of NYS, the NRA works through (and supports) the State Affiliate the NYS Rifle and Pistol Association. I find this the more preferred method. These are more closely related to the grassroots organizations in each state. They are closer to the politics, and closer to the elected officials. They are also less of a “trigger” for the anti’s than the NRA is. I believe it is of great benefit to have the local affiliate advance these remedies with the support and assistance of the NRA in the background, and let the NRA focus on national issues. This is an efficient way to do business and leverages resources exponentially – the NRA could not directly support the fight in all states alone….this is a well coordinated strategy.

    Regardless of how you may feel about the NRA they ARE the big gorilla in the room, and while they may not be perfect, (let he who is without sin cast the first stone) they have saves our asses on several occasions (there’s no federal AW ban is there?)

    In the end, it’s this kind of bickering and infighting the anti’s love….we must have a united front, and we can bicker about the details after we’ve won. The enemy of my enemy is my friend…and all that.

  33. I have also felt this way about the NRA in the past but sometimes a person should look at how certain states continue to vote I personally don’t want the NRA to waste money in liberal majority states. If you live in one of these states why don’t you take all this energy and use it to get people to vote these communists out of office. Maybe if the NRA sees this start to happen they would be more willing to spend everyone’s money there.

    • Or maybe if they tried to help us out in NJ, NY, and CT, then NJ, NY, and CT wouldn’t be so dang liberal and anti-gun.

      These battles are not lost overnight. The NRA has been MIA for a long time, and the laws have continued to get worse, partly as a result of their refusal to join the fight.

      The battles are also not won overnight. If the NRA returned to the fray, there might be no good results for the first couple years, but they will be able to build up support and be effective in the longer term.

  34. +1 Mark Chamberlain. If all the HUNTERS out there understood they’re at great risk of losing their rights we might NOT be having these arguments. Yeah I live in Cook County,Illinois. This state is dominated by dumbocrats. I ALSO live a mile from the Indiana boarder. We’re getting MORE like Indiana, not vice versa.

  35. I pay my dues to the National Rifle Association for what they do at the national level. That’s their charter.

    The state chapter in my state decided to mostly support hunters and abandon the rest of the gun owners. So I pay dues to an independent state gun rights group that works for all gun owners, even hunters. And even open-carriers.

    Anther way to go would be join the state organization and vote the narcissists out. But I have only so much money and less time.

  36. The issue in CA is one of numbers… sure we may have 8% or so of all registered gun owners in the US, but in a state as massive population-wise as CA, that translates to only about 1 in 5 Californians owning a fire arm… so even though we turn out in droves, there just ain’t enough of us it seems to turn an election… and in more liberal bastions like San Francisco, LA, Berkeley or Silicon Valley, it’s even worse… hence why San Francisco has a proud history of its voters passing gun ordinances that are later struck down as unconstitutional…

    So, on one hand, I can see why we gun toting Californios get passed over on a national level as a lost cause… But on the other hand, it sucks for us…

    For the record, I have been a member of the NRA: I just didn’t care for the constant push to renew my membership… something that began less than a month into my very first year as a member… Also, the perceived lack of action in my state didn’t help matters…

  37. I’m a former New Jersey resident off almost 50 years, former law enforcement officer and a strong conservative. in 2003, after much consideration,I decided to leave the state of regulations, taxes, anti constitutional laws and archaic politicians. I am a gun collector,target shooter, competitor and cartridge and shell reloaded. my passion for the sport was always hindered by anti gun anti hunting public sentiment and regulations. Next thing I have every done however, I must add this to the equation, NJ is well known to be like another Chicago, corrupt and blue as well as its people always voting after death for the democ rats, so for me to complain or anyone else, first let’s look at the way we vote for we in NJ have what we deserve,what we voted for.
    The same goes for our country, you wanted ” hope and change”? You got it!

  38. I 2as once an NRA member, but after they tried to sabotage the Heller case, I not only did not renew my membership, I have spoken out against them at every turn. I’ve come to find out that Heller was not the first the NRA has actively attempted to derail pro-gun legislation; they did it in NH, and attempted to stop the push for SYG law in my home state of PA, via their state coordinator, John Hohenwater.

  39. I’m “pro-gun” but I vote for Democrats. I’m “pro-gun” but I’m not a member of the NRA. I’m “pro-gun” but I live in NJ. Nonsense.

    How about joining every pro-gun organization you can think of. Most memberships are only about $30/year. Write your congress critters, call their offices, and buy from pro-gun companies whenever possible. A whole lot less whining and a whole lot more action would cause us to have a whole lot more freedom.

  40. yeah, I’m sure he’s impressed with your letter, when the phone don’t ring, you’ll know its Wayne.

  41. The NRA is not perfect and doesn’t do everything I want, therefore they suck.

    You guys sound like f***ing teenagers.

    I’ll continue to send my money to the NRA, the single most effective gun-rights organization that terrifies politicians with its power, and you pouters can continue to reap the benefits without ante-ing up.

    You’re probably the same jagoffs who sat home in 2008 and 2012.

  42. It’s a sad scenario I see here. I agree that the NRA is not perfect and has made mistakes in the past and will surely make more in the future! That being said, wake up people, they are the only Major group out fighting every day. Yes there are other great groups out there, but not the oldest civil rights group in the USA. It is also very apparent that they are doing GOOD! Why would every so called “Liberal” and the “Left” Press be making them out as the “Demon” they are portrayed! I feel for the States that have allowed their powers to be grab their gun rights but this is just a follow on to the trend in their state laws. NJ has some winner laws and they didn’t happen over night! MA kept electing Ted! 300 million plus guns but only 4 million NRA? People will spend 100s to see a football game but not $35 a year to help protect the Constitution! While I wish the NRA could get the membership info right to use that money else where, I did upgrade to Patron and I try to help out some of the other groups as everyone who believes in this country. People seem to miss the “Divide and Conquer” the “left” finds to easy to promote! Every time I see a post like this I want to know what “they” have been doing all these years to protect “Gun Rights”

    • +1. For those who are upset that the NRA has not met their expectations, I strongly urge you to form your own gun rights group and take charge of your own destiny. We in the NRA are only 4-5 million of the 100 million US gun owners, so there is lots of room for you to establish a giant group that will carry out your wishes to the extent you desire. We will welcome your efforts! And we won’t even sit back and gripe that you are not doing it the way we would do it.

      Alternatively, feel free to sign up for the NRA (as voting Life or 5-year members) a few million people who agree with you, nominate your slate of candidates for the NRA Board, and TAKE OVER! Then you can steer the organization in the direction you like. That’s what we OFWGs did back in 1971 at the Cincinnati Annual Meeting, and that’s what you can do if you just buckle down to the actual work of recruiting members who agree with you – rather than griping that our actions don’t meet your standards.

  43. It’s good that you’re involved with state groups, but getting attention from a national org is kinda chicken vs the egg. You’re not going to join because they don’t lobby hard enough in your state, but they don’t lobby hard in your state because there aren’t enough memberships there.

    • I get that – but we would never blame consumers for the failure of Borders or KMart. The business has to sell itself. Management has to engage with potential consumers, drive product, break into new markets.

      What a lot of us see with the NRA is complacency. They have a good base of support, but they could have twice or four times as big a base if they tried to break into new markets. And there are plenty of potential supporters up here in the Northeast. They just need to know that they have a friend in the NRA. If the NRA steps forward, many people will respond.

  44. +1 dwb…I see loads of black folks buying guns locally.(Illinois & Indiana). They’ll never join the NRA, vote Republican or GET WHO fights for their RTKBA. It’s the whole entitlement mentality. “Obama doesn’t want to take my guns.” Willfully ignorant.

  45. I have a more practical stance. NRA, GOA, SAF. Fund them all, plus your locals if you want to hold the line.

  46. I do both (several local and national groups), NRA membership is a cost of a pizza and bottle of soda once a year…

  47. Let us hang together, lest we hang separately. If every gun owner in Amerika joined, the antis wouldn’t have a snowballs chance in Death Valley. There are an estimated 65 million+/- gun owners wit a paltry 6 million+/- NRA members. Put your $25 (1 or two trips to Starbucks) in and see what fighting the good fight as well as gun safety and shooting sports support might give you. BTW, you are the activist that can help the gun owner’s cause in NJ. And I’m sick of sending tax dollars to the NE US just to see them thrown into a giant money pit that just wants more money. You get world class public transportation, sports team, entertainment etc, handed to you and red states get bunko. Pull your head out and smell the future. Fight with your wallet. I provide my own transport, feed my own family, buy my own house etc plus I support NRA, NAGR, local gun orgs and many others. If you want help, join, then ask for or demand and work for help. If you want something for nothing, want in one hand and s$&@ in the other and see which one fills first. I vote no for the NRA to give your my money. Let them use yours.

  48. Eh, despite what Bloomberg would have you believe, the coffers are not actually unlimited. Throwing good money after bad is a waste of time and resources better spent on winnable fights. The citizenry of NJ has spoken and spoken very clearly. If you want the NRA to spend money in NJ, find enough NJ residents to fund its doing so.

  49. Don’t good journalists always try to get both sides of the story? If the other side doesn’t respond or makes themselves unavailable, that’s one thing. However, shouldn’t the attempt at least be made? Why not contact the NRA for their side of the story? Isn’t that the honorable thing to do?

  50. I think New Jersey had more to do with violating your rights than the NRA. And the other two organizations should not be congratulated for failing. If you beat your head against the wall and scream and yell and nothing happens…do I congratulate you on your bruises?

    The NRA is as much as an organization to educate and support as it is to represent its members. You can only lead a horse to water. New Jersey residents must drink from the trough of freedom first.

  51. So let me get this straight — the NRA should spend it’s revenue from Texas or Arizona in order to fix New Jersey, while New Jersey gun owners continue to elect one gungrabber after another and shouldn’t contribute one thin dime to the NRA.

    Is that about it?

    Hey, New Jersey — stand up for yourselves and you just might find the rest of the country behind you. Vote for decent candidates for once. Show some backbone and some brains. Until then, NJ gun owners are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    • Ralph –

      We typically agree, as far as I remember, so don’t take this disagreement the wrong way. NJ gun voters DID turn out heavily to try to elect Lonegan to the U.S. Senate in our special election. He faced national celebrity Cory Booker. Booker was supposed to win by 25-30 in a state where Democratic senate candidates typically win by 15 or more. Instead, he won by only 10.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2013/senate/nj/new_jersey_senate_special_election_lonegan_vs_booker-3938.html

      NJ gun voters are active. More could turn out, that’s true, but as a group, they are fighting. They need help to build their support to the point where they can no longer be ignored by the legislature. That’s where the NRA could do more.

      You may not agree with Rojas’s conclusion, but the facts are what they are. The infantry is fighting, but the cavalry aren’t showing up.

      • I think the only assumption being made is that time and time again the majority–make that the vast majority– of folks in NJ vote for liberal gun grabbers. It was the hijinks of the NJ Democrat party and their lap dogs in the state supreme court that induced me for the first time ever in my life to vote a straight-party ticket, in the negative sense–that is, not a single Dem, for any office, local, state, or national. Even if you buy the argument that an increased NRA presence would change that heretofore consistent state of affairs, the costs involved could very well be, as they say, prohibitive.

        • It may be the only assumption you make. It’s certainly the only one I make.

          I was responding to Ralph, who chastised the gun owners of New Jersey specifically for voting for these people; he appears to be blaming them (and them alone apparently) for what has happened there.

  52. So, Javier wants to spend $35 to let the NRA take over the heavy lifting in NJ?

    Nice.

    Javier, I don’t know you from Adam, but I’ll offer this tidbit of advice, with a money back guarantee:

    What have you done for the 2A cause of late?

    Do you just sit on your keyboard justifying your non-participation in the nation’s largest gun rights organization or do you go to your state’s capital / capitol and lobby your legislators?

    Do your legislators know you by sight and name? If not, I’d say you need to get busy post-haste young man.

    How many hours a week do you spend promoting the pro-gun rights point of view? Do you participate in meetings and events to educate and communicate people about the proven benefits of firearm ownership? Do you spend money on pro-gun activities?

    Or do you just read a firearm blog now and then and post here and there and think you’ve done your part?

    I’m hoping you’re only half as active as some of us because the last thing we need are more gun owners sitting around on their keyboard bitching about the NRA. With support like that, you will lose your guns.

    John

  53. I don’t always agree with my wife, but I don’t divorce her.

    The politicians I vote for don’t perfectly represent my views, but they are as close as I can get and much better than the alternatives.

    I get that you (and many others) are not happy with the NRA because of X, Y, or Z. I personally think their official line on lead hunting ammo and damage to certain birds (mostly the condors, but bald eagles also show reduced reproduction rates).

    But I have am a lifetime member of the NRA. Why? Because they are the ones making the biggest impact right now. Can they be everything to every one? No. But if they have done even one thing per year that affects you, then they deserve your support. For example, every potential CCW carrier in CA should donate/join, at least for a year, thanks to Peruta. EVERYONE, can donate a little for their defense against onerous proposed laws in the past 1 or 2 at the federal level.

    At least give money to SOMEONE that supports our rights. As an alternative, help fund the Second Amendment Foundation. They do much less on the legislative side, but the SAF is behind many of the recent court victories in the US.

  54. Wow, just wow. I too support Calguns, SAF, and the CRPA because f the good work they do and have done (as the first poster to whom I can’t reply), but I call BS in your rationale.

    I am a lifelong liberal, and I support the NRA. Are they perfect? No. Are you or I perfect? Same answer.

  55. The NRA is fighting on a national level to free the commie states some of you people CHOOSE to live in. Politically there is almost no hope to free some of your states from the inside–it is going to take Congress and the Supreme Court to get the job done. You whiners remind me of some of the French or Dutch complaining in 1944 that it was taking the Allies too long to liberate them–except here you VOLUNTARILY chose to live under totalitarians. No one invaded and subjugated you–you choose to pay taxes to these tyrants. Who is less useless than you?

  56. In addition to the NRA I support GOA and other local groups, but gun owners that choose not to join the NRA are no different than those conservatives that opted not to vote at all in 2008 just because Romney was not their perfect candidate. The result was 4 more years of liberal hell. So you can get on your high horse about disagreeing with this NRA position or that NRA position, but all you really do is empower the anti’s through your inaction and non-support at the national and state level.

    NRA & GOA Proud Life Member

  57. 2a is the law of the land. Your zip code does not negate the constitution and the BOR.

    The NRA is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Anti pols and MSM don’t call anybody but the NRA out in their attack messages.

    Join the Phucking NRA.

  58. Just the response the anti gun folk love, well, cannot will them all. Tell me please, who else is doing anything for NJ rights? Sounds like you are just too cheap to stand up for your rights. Sorry, not buying your excuse. Sure you have lots more, but do not bother us with them.

  59. So, it’s the NRA’s fault, that the PEOPLE of New Jersey, have entrenched and continue to vote for the DEMOCRAT party. Last time I checked, it was the Democrat party, who hates you, hates your gun rights and simply want “common sense” gun legislation, which if they were honest, means, civilian disarmament.

    No, Mr. Rojas. The NRA isn’t all powerful and in places, like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California, it is the support of the voters, that have all but destroyed your 2nd amendment rights. So, by NOT joining the NRA, or the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, and your State organizations, it is YOU who sit back and let people like Attorney Alan Gotlieb and Alan Gura, fight your battles in courts, stacked with federal democrat appointed judges and a completely liberal judiciary on the state levels.

    Join the NRA, Mr. Rojas, if you don’t like their inaction in your slave states, then join the NRA and fight from within.

    The 2nd amendment wouldn’t exist in the other 49 states either if it were NOT for the existence of the NRA, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

    Get off your wallet and join for $35 per year. Did you hear me, sir. $35 per year! If you really hate the NRA, join the 2nd amendment foundation, or GOA (Gun Owners of America) or a State Organization.

    Your damn right too. The state of New Jersey is a sacrificial lamb, but not on the alter of the NRA. You, the “SHEEP” the people of the state of New Jersey, are responsible for the loss of your gun rights. You get the government you elect. Again, it is the Democrat Party, who is always the ones assaulting your gun rights. If you are a DEMOCRAT and a GUN OWNER, I DO NOT understand how you can pull the lever for a democrat candidate. IT is the PEOPLE of NEW JERSEY who is at fault for your situation!

    Myself and the other 5 million NRA members, can only do so much. When you willingly give up your rights, it’s awful hard to stop men from loading you into boxcars and heading them east to the gas chambers. Pay attention to history. Stop whining, get off your ASSES and your wallets and fight. STOP voting for Democrat candidates and YOU will see changes, that the rest of the nation has fought for and funded that change through membership and donations to the NRA!

    Chad Hendrix
    Biloxi, MS
    (Formerly of liberal Ann Arbor, Michigan).

  60. NRA is a gun manufacturing lobby, not a 2nd amendment lobbying group.
    They act like they care about our rights, but its only with regard to how much they can profit off of it, look at their attempts to kill foreign gun imports. I remember them claiming the government needed to ban foreign ammo and arm importation to keep the 2nd amendment, because if they weren’t restricted or heavily tariffed the US local industry would die and then the government would ban imports and the 2nd amendment would be nullified. Pure protectionist BS.

  61. The NRA like all organizations has limited resources, and they are completely correct to marshal out those resources where they think it will do the most good. They play the long game, and frankly I applaud them for it. For citizens of liberal bastions to decry the NRA for their fate is ironic, because the citizens of those states are responsible either directly or indirectly for their own fate. Either you sat idly by as the liberals overran you state, or you continue to fuel the machine by residing in these states and paying their exorbitant taxes. Physician, heal thyself!

  62. I am an NRA Lifetime Member, but, I AM NOT THE NRA. What I am is somewhat ticked off member that the NRA still supports John Cornyn in Texas. You have got to be kidding me…support the biggest sell out the Republicans have next to McCain and Bohner. In my view, I am tired of the constant mail asking for donations to the NRA-ILA and to NRA proper for, get this…”out last fight against Obama…”. I call BS and the NRA had better rethink their strategy to the likes of NAGR and many 2A groups. If they don’t they will see a failing membership both new and renewed quicker than they think. Like the rest of the jack wagons in DC, they certainly have the appearance of selling out.

    • Yes, Sen. Cornhole, who will likely be re-elected by Texans, is a sell out to conservative principles. But has he sold out gun rights? I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking. You say the NRA should bounce him because he is a lousy conservative….but that would go beyond the NRA charter, that is, issues dealing strictly with the 2A.

      So what do you want? An NRA that is 2A oriented? Or a watered down NRA that spreads itself all over the map????

  63. I have been a member for 20 years. I have renewed annually and donated every year. New Jersey born and raised I’m a veteran as is my brother who lives in CT. WE support GOA, NRA, CT Carry, NJ2AS, CALGUNS, JPFO, and FPC. If I had maig money I’d be the anti bloomberg but I don’t have his money. When I can’t give I don’t but as soon as I can I do. United WE can accomplish anything divided WE all fail. Donate 5 dollars to each that you can write emails if you can’t donate, make phone calls to reps of other states. WE DON”T LEAVE ANYONE BEHIND !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The NRA has more than 4 million members if each member made one e-mail or one call or sent one fax…… Now combine that effort with every pro 2a organization across the country and send, call, or fax one rep a week who is anti gun rights this will change. Don’t complain about the results you don’t get for the effort you didn’t make to change whats wrong.

  64. Everyone should join the NRA as it has done enormous things to protect gun rights. It isn’t perfect, but that is why you should join it in addition to other organizations.

  65. The NRA lost my support and membership when they endorsed an incumbent congressman that voted for the Brady Bill and the 1994 AWB over a challenger candidate with an “A” rating and LIFETIME membership in their organization. The NRA sacrifices gun rights and makes compromises in regards to our rights all the time. They pussyfoot around and allow themselves to get bullied by extremist groups while endlessly soliciting money for “the cause” to support their incompetent leadership and do-nothing lobbyists. Their constant meddling with legislation, then their sudden retreats eventually lead to the constant erosion and the outright surrender of our rights while creating the illusion of being on our side, “but if only we had your continued $$$ support, we can stop XYZ from getting passed.” I am disgusted by their lack of fortitude and political ineptitude. Who is the NRA is compromise my Constitutional Rights? Who are they to negotiate away my God-given rights in shady back-room deals?

  66. Many years our local Fudd organization (SSAA) made a public statement that self-loading rifles should be sacrificed because of their associated image. That year the organization had its biggest membership drop ever.

    I stayed out of the organization for over a decade because of that sell-out.

  67. Saying that you support the Second Amendment is great and all, but if you can’t see the difference between your enemies and your friends you are not much use to anyone. The NRA has not abandoned Connecticut or New York or any other state. In fact, in both of these states and many others the NRA is fighting legal battles to preserve the 2nd amendment. The only people who have “abandoned” their constitutional duties are in fact the leftist “Democrats” in these blue states.

    If you want to be mad about something, be mad about that… And vote accordingly.

  68. Dear Mr. Rojas,
    Perhaps you’re putting the cart before the horse. A better strategy might be to join the NRA and do your part to get as many of your friends, family & neighbors to join as well. Then the NRA would have 1) more members’ interests to serve there and 2) more clout in the government lobbying process.
    Just a thought. Continue fighting the tyranny.

  69. I wasn’t able to finish all the comments. I became ill after I saw how many people are withholding their support for the NRA or who have (really?) left the NRA. In my opinion, those who do that are pro-gun-control statists because that is what you are supporting by leaving the NRA. The NRA needs improvement. I agree. By leaving it or not supporting it, you’ve shown that you don’t care about gun rights. If you look on TV, you won’t see the liberal media demonizing the great and powerful GOA, NAGR, or even the SAF. At least they spend almost no energy on those groups. Just the same, I’ve given small amounts of money to all three. But you will see the media spending immense amounts of energy to demonize the NRA and its horrible faceless members (supposedly, only firearms manufacturers if you believe the media). That means the liberal media (and politicians) know the power of the NRA even with its small membership.

    We had a great opportunity last year for the roles of the NRA to increase dramatically when they lowered the cost of the life membership to $300. My wife and I discussed it at the time and we agreed that it would be shameful for us to leave that opportunity on the table. We spent the money for one nice pistol to get two life memberships. If I sound like I’m lecturing, I guess I am. Why is the membership of the NRA so low? Imagine what it would be like if the NRA membership swelled to double or triple its current size. By the way. Did you know that you can contribute directly to the NRA ILA? For those who won’t join the NRA, perhaps you could help out by contributing to the part of the NRA doing a lot of work to protect your rights.

    The conversation on TTAG should be about how to double the membership of the NRA and what we are each doing individually.

    • The people complaining here about the NRA are complaining about what the NRA/ILA is doing or not doing; regardless of whether they are right or not, if they believe that, why should they care to contribute directly to the ILA? If I were in their shoes I’d want a way to contribute to the NRA that involves ensuring that the ILA doesn’t get a dime of the money.

  70. Here is the bottom line. If the NRA did not exist neither would the 2nd amendment. Imagine what the NRA could do if all the current pro-gun groups came under one banner. Instead of spreading money out to a 100 different groups put it in one pot and accomplish something. Don’t like how the NRA leadership is doing things, change it, run for a position at the table. Divided we fall, united we stand was never more true than the fight for your right to own a gun. Imagine the NRA with 10 million members or even 50 million. At that level we could even change NFA laws and make them sensible.

  71. Look at how the NRA’s campaign contributions dropped in New York post-SAFE Act. Astorino received only $1,000 from the NRA in his run against Cuomo. (It can be researched in the news rags.) The NRA has abandoned a few states to concentrate their efforts only where they can win. That leaves millions of gun owners in the states that are at peril and saddled with Draconian laws at loss for assistance. A national organization that has clout has never materialized at any gathering in Trenton, and New Jersey stands to follow in New York’s footsteps with their own version of a SAFE Act the minute Christie leaves office; bet on it!

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