Americans care deeply about their Second Amendment rights (courtesy nypost.com and AP)

“Part of the problem, I think, is that people who hate guns and gun rights cannot believe that people disagree with them in good faith. There must be evil motives, chiefly greed, that explain everything. The simple reality is that the NRA doesn’t need to spend a lot of money convincing politicians to protect gun rights. All it needs to do is spend a little money clarifying that a great many of those politicians’ constituents care deeply about gun rights. If you don’t know anyone who has a gun, you live in a bubble.” – Jonah Goldberg in The true secret of the NRA’s success [via nypost.com]

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33 Responses to IMI Systems Quote of the Day: Anti-Gunners Misrepresent the Source of the NRA’s Influence

  1. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

    ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

    • “Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

      ― Robert A. Heinlein, “Time Enough For Love”

      • Time Enough For Love is a difficult book for some due to Heinlein’s rather extreme Libertarian bent at that point in his career. Some people may seriously disagree with some of his political and social constructs in the the story.

        One interesting aside; on the planet where Lazarus resides, the president voices concerns at one point that he may not be doing his job properly because it has been a long time since anyone has attempted to assassinate him.

        That said, if you like the quote above there is a whole section in the center of the novel, in which Lazarus Long, a man who has lived for 2,000 years due to being born with essentially perfect genetics, shares the wisdom he has gained. This section can be purchased as a stand-alone titled “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long” and I highly recommend it to Republicans, Conservatives, Libertarians, Tea Party members and pretty much anybody right of center. I do not suggest it to Liberals or Progressives because their heads will explode about one third of the way into the book.

  2. “If you don’t know anyone who has a gun, you live in a bubble.”

    In which case, you may very well know someone who owns a gun, but has never told you about it (even if you think you’re their best friend) because they know how you’d react.

    • Telling the snowflakes in our lives (mostly family or childhood friends) that we own firearms is akin to telling a child there is no Santa Claus.

      On one hand, you want them to start growing up sooner or later, but on the other you don’t want to deal with the emotional backlash.

  3. I think it’s really a testament to the degree that Marxist analysis has become prevalent in our culture. Those evil firearms corporations are why we can’t pass decent gun laws. It’s always evil corporations to folks with center left or left thought.

    • Well, no correct-thinking person could disagree with them, so either it’s evil corps, or so much of the country disagrees with them that they might be wrong after all.

      The latter is inconceivable. Besides, the progressives have had at least two recent demonstrations of what happens when they insult the intelligence and character of Americans: the “bitter clingers” of Obama, and Hillary’s basket of deplorables.

  4. I think most politicians get it. Even Obama talked about how gun owners are passionate about protecting their rights.

    But they need someone to demonize when they don’t get their way. They need someone to blame when their statist agenda fails to get legislative traction. The NRA is a convenient, nameless, faceless scapegoat.

  5. Identity politics is the game. I studied Nazi Germany rather extensively some years ago. To the inner circle of the Nazi Party, their assault on Jews had far more to do with politics and socialism than racism. The Jews represented an obstacle to their political goals and a convenient target to focus the wrath and hate of the citizenry. The point is this. They are using the tactics of authoriatarian movements of the past. They divide society into groups, they attacks those groups that may be obstacles to their agenda, and convince the other groups that the groups they are targeting is evil. Of course, after they destroy the target group, they move onto the next group, and they repeat this until they have absolute control.

    • “To the inner circle of the Nazi Party, their assault on Jews had far more to do with politics and socialism than racism.”

      Yes. The Nazis needed a demon to catalyze the immediacy of their movement and chose the Jews. It could have been something else but the traditional European antipathy toward Jews made them a suitable target for Nazi claims for a moral imperative to take control of German society. The politics and socialism of gun-control part of a similar pattern, something we’ve seen more than a few times in this country. A perfect analog for the current gun-control movement is National Prohibition. Instead of Jews, Temperance and Prohibition advocates used public drunkenness as its “reason” for demanding the moral authority to change the US constitution. This is a well-traveled road.

      The NRA understands this kind of politics very well, perhaps better than any other advocacy group and, because of this, have been stunningly effective in fighting gun-control efforts.

      • The Temperance Movement got one thing right.
        They recognized that the federal government had no authority in the Constitution to regulate or ban recreational drug use, so they changed the Constitution to gain that power legitimately.

        Today we just wage an expensive and useless ‘War on Some of the Drugs” with no legal authority whatsoever.

    • They also targeted gypsies and homosexuals but those groups had credibility issues viz. the “keeping the country from greatness” narrative. Basically not enough of them, and too few in positions of wealth and/or power.

    • This is the real trick: divide and conquer. If the enemy (PotG) can somehow be divided then they will be conquered.

      In the run-up to Prohibition, the distillers, winemakers and brewers were divided. Winemakers and brewers couldn’t imagine that Prohibition would go so far as to affect their products. Prohibitionists will be satisfied if they crush the distillers.

      We PotG are very divided; and, most of us have a reasonable interpretation of their respective tactics. So long as we remain in our respective corners the Antis have the upper hand.

      We ought to be looking for some tactical position that we can unite around. One that gives us the upper hand and keeps us all united as an invincible voting block (at least in gun States and Districts).

      My proposal is this: McRINO must not bring Bump-Fire (or any other gun-control bill) to the floor for a vote unless they simultaneously bring 2 substantive gun-rights bills to the floor. We voters demand to see how our Congress-critters stand on gun-control and on gun-rights. We won’t learn what we need to know if only a Bump-Fire bill is voted on. We need to see the votes on National Reciprocity and HPA. Then, we can know who to primary. When the RINO is nominated, we can decide to vote for his opponent.

      If McRINO will not accede to this demand, we PotG will have no choice but to primary every establishment candidate we can and vote for his Democrat opponent.

      (I’m not wedded to my own proposal; please think about alternatives.)

      I think that there must be some such position that gives us a tactical advantage without offending the sensibilities of the absolutists, compromisers or optimists.

  6. Those 5.5M are just the members who openly support the NRA; there are many millions more who support and stand up for the cause, but are not members because they hate the constant please for monetary support. If there was a once per year donation that came without the weekly begging approach the NRA could probably triple their supporters (at least).

  7. I just perused Open Secrets again for the same reason just a couple days ago. Indian Gaming and Alcohol for instance both outspent the all gun rights orgs in campaign donations 2 and 3 to 1 respectively.

  8. I read somewhere that most people are never more than 6 feet from a spider, at any given time.

    Guns are like spiders, just because you don’t see them or like them, doesn’t mean they are not there and do not exist.

  9. Once again we see the NRA is the BIGDOG. I’ll continue to support them…and ignore their pleas for more $. Get rid of old Wayne…

  10. The whole argument that the NRA is just representing “the gun industry” is just blaming the corporate boogy man that liberals like to blame for a lot of things.

  11. Liberals whine about the NRA’s money, nut really, the NRA isn’t even in the top 20 of campaign contrubutors.

    What matters is the NRA’s 5+ million members who vote and who regard the right to keep and bear arms as a crucial right.

    So their basic quarrel isn’t so much with the NRA, but rather with their fellow countrymen who organize and assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances.

    At that point, it becomes clear that these people object to freedom across the board and that this is much larger than a difference in interpretation of one amendment.

    • Yep. Bloomberg spent more money on Everytown — a single anti-gun lobbying org — in its first year than the NRA-ILA spent on all its political efforts combined.

      You’ll never get the progressive prohibitionists to admit it, but if they weren’t beholden to big money before, they surely are the party of big money now.

  12. NRA has 5.5 million members. No one doubts that. There were claims it was lower due to third class mailing records of magazines, but it turns out that method did not count pdf . Turns out most US organisations that have membership publications now send 30% to 50% by email only. I get my NRA mags by email

    More to the point it has 58% approvals in the latest Gallup

    That brings up another point. The claims that 32% or 42% of US households own firearms is so specious it is not funny. The Washington Post, NYT, LATimes etc have all have had articles about how any surveying done asking direct questions of if a person is gay, who has smoked dope etc are enormous and scientifically proven under-counts. The science, the peer reviewed well understood science, shows all privacy related questions asked directly will only count about half of the actual number. Yet when it comes it firearms ownership, the news outlets, all take the GSS (face to face interview with your name and address recorded showing 32% gun ownership) or even Gallup (by phone with your phone number associated with your answers showing 41`%) and without condition call that “gun ownership rate.”

    The reason NRA has 58% approvals is this likely close to overall ownership rates. The fact that 63% of Americans say owning a firearm makes a household safer is also likely a reflection of true gun ownership rates.

    A minority is trying to stigmatize, that is all. About five year ago in my kids informal neighborhood parents email list someone suggested getting the names of parents who own firearms and not having kids play there. One of the parents turned out to be a captain in the state police with a post grad from John Jay in Criminal Justice. He pointed out that the data show gun owners homes, if the person is not an illegal gun owner are as safe or safer. The real risk is persons with a criminal history domiciled in the home. As it turned out (and the fact that criminal records are public is good) the parent who asked to stigmatize gun owners had in their home a domestic parent with four arrests, including a felony. She went insane about “violation of her privacy” when it ended up getting leaked and her attempt to stigmatize rebounded onto her.

    • Remember that the NRA’s 42% not listed under approval also includes the most ironclad gun supporters who hate the NRA’s betrayals (a number I’m pretty sure just went up.)

  13. NRA has let the mask slip too far , it will shrink and DIE …. just like the NFL. // The NRA knows that BATF is an ILLEGAL agency born by ” Color of Law ” … NOT proper procedure, but without BATF , the need for NRA is Diminished … $$$ It’s Money & Business. —– Please learn the strange , unconstitutional history of BATFE growing out of Prohibition. ……search term , BATF / Criminal Fraud.

    http://www.usa-the-republic.com/revenue/BATF-IRS%20Criminal%20Report.html#bqi

  14. So, a few million dollars over decades donated by fewer than 5 million members of the NRA, in a country of over 300 million people. Doesn’t sound like a very large, powerful, rich or influential “identity group”. So why does the left believe that the NRA has a stranglehold on Congress?

    Maybe they can’t come to terms with the obvious. That there are really 100-150 million gun owners who will never give up their guns or their rights, even if they’re not members of the NRA. That immutable fact means the disarmers will never be successful.

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