Question of the Day: Is the NRA a Damaged Brand? If So, Can It Be Revived?

NRA holds America hostage (courtesy crooksandliars.com)

After the Las Vegas spree killing the NRA was once again front and center and . . . silent. After almost a week went by, the NRA passed on defending the legality of the bump fire stock used by the Mandalay Bay killer. Instead, they blamed the ATF for the stock’s unregulated existence. What’s more they called on the ATF to take another look and regulate the bump fire stock to death . . .

It was a smart move, politically. Some 80 percent of Americans support a bump fire stock ban. But from a branding point of view, the NRA’s decision to toss the stocks under the proverbial bus was a disaster.

What part of “shall not be infringed” did the NRA consider expendable? That said, the advisability of the NRA’s “it wazzunt me” strategy depends on whether the NRA brand should appeal to its base or the wider public, or both.

Bump stock cartoon NRA (courtesy dailykos.com)

If the NRA wants the majority of Americans to view the gun rights group as a positive force for society, to support or at least tolerate the NRA’s pro-gun rights agenda, then yes, the NRA has to base its public stances on public opinion. In that case, villifying bump fire stocks and, what the heck, machine guns was the right thing to do.

If, however, the NRA wants its members and non-member gun rights advocates to support it come what may, the NRA shouldn’t have yielded one inch to public opinion. It should have declared that the Second Amendment prohibits the government from outlawing or regulating any firearms accessory — never mind one that’s nothing more than a piece of plastic.

NRA Political Cartoon Phil Hands Wisconsin State Journal

Setting the NRA’s bump fire appeasement strategy to one side, the familiar anti-NRA propaganda once again highlights the need for the gun rights group to repair its public image. The mainstream media has convinced millions of Americans that the NRA are a bunch of white, racist, greedy “death merchants” beholden to gun companies. A lobby group whose members are redneck, trigger-happy morons.

If the NRA wants to hang onto its base and win support amongst firearms freedom fence-straddlers, it must directly counter this endless smear campaign. In fact, the NRA needs to become so likeable that even people who don’t own guns listen to its arguments and maybe, just maybe, support its goals.

This kindler, gentler NRA would have to stop making all those “America’s safest place” flag-waving, Hollywood-bashing, “make America great again” check-out-the-violent-lefties videos. They warm the hearts of the faithful and raise huge quantities of cash. But they do little to endear the organization to the political mainstream.

I reckon the NRA should promote and defend the Second Amendment absolutist perspective. Bump fire stocks are a distraction from what we really need to do to reduce firearms-related injuries and deaths. National reciprocity is a necessary stepping stone to national constitutional carry. Silencers are the lawful gun owner’s best friend. They should do this work with a song in their heart and a smile on their face (where appropriate).

Or am I wrong? It really is us vs. them. If you’re not with us you’re against us. And NRA execs are doing a great job protecting the brand and, by extension, American gun rights. If the NRA has to pretend to hate bump fire stocks to protect greater gun rights, well, they know what they’re doing and leave them the F alone. 

Your thoughts?

comments

  1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “They warm the hearts of the faithful and raises huge quantities of cash. But they do little to endear the organization to the political mainstream.”

    1) Energizing the base is more important, and more effective, than trying to convert the enemies of liberty.
    2) Any political movement NEEDS huge quantities of cash. See also: Mike Bloomberg and George Soros.
    3) In more than three quarters of the states, the NRA IS the political mainstream. Keep them energized to ensure that the Second Amendment lives in perpetuity.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      In most respects, the NRA’s initial response to the LV killings showed a very savvy understanding of collective behavior. The NRA knew perfectly well that following the tragedy there would be a period of heightened anxiety and mass hysteria. Anyone who has paid any attention to previous similar events— Sandy Hook for instance—knows that during this period of high anxiety and raw emotionalism, all manner of people, activists and politicians, will come out of the woodwork to attempt to peddle political agendas that would otherwise be ignored both by the public and politicians. This happens like clockwork.

      Knowing that the mass hysteria would be of short duration, instead of expending political capital defending bump-fire attachments, the NRA performed a rather adroit head-fake by handing off the whole bump-fire issue to the ATF—which had already ruled the attachment as being legal. Doing this immediately defused the we-gotta-do-somethin’-right-now gun controllers because it gave the appearance of “doing something” while it simultaneously gave political cover to elected Democrat and Republican office holders who typically support the NRA.

      The NRA obviously correctly concluded that the bump-fire issue was not a do-or-die issue—-while Dianne Feinstein’s bill to put government in control of trigger design most definitely was. Kicking the bump-fire accessory back to the ATF immediately removed the imperative pushing Feinstein’s very dangerous bill. The period of mass hysteria has now passed and Senator Feinstein’s rather-too-timely-to-be-spontaneous attempt to regulate trigger design (and hence firearms) is effectively dead. All told I’d say the NRA did pretty damn good.

      1. avatar CZJay says:

        Sounds like someone didn’t read the NRA’s statements.

        1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          The NRA is playing “realpolitik”. What gets said is one thing. What gets done can be something else altogether. The NRA strategy made the heat go away.

      2. avatar the bastard from Ballarat says:

        here’s what the NRA’s response should have been: we’re hiring a team of Private Investigators to find out what REALLY happened!

      3. avatar Mikial says:

        Agreed. I don;t think NRA, GOA, NAGR, or any of the state level 2A rights group should budge and inch, but the NRA threw the ball right back in the Fed’s court. And guess what, the whole bump stock ban bill is dead.

      4. avatar flak says:

        Spot-on. It’s not the NRA that’s “damaged,” it’s the brain-damaged idiots that want to weaken the most effective organization for protecting the Second Amendment that’s ever come down the pike. It’s as if these know-nothings want to play into the hand of the anti-gun forces that have been trying to bring down the NRA’s political influence for decades. Egad

  2. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Yes it is. Solution:

    Get rid of Wayne LaPierre, put Colion Noir in his place. Problem solved for at least a decade.

    1. avatar Publius says:

      FYI, Colion’s Twitter feed was full of posts about him supporting the bump fire stock ban.

    2. avatar million says:

      That’s our ace in the hole and should not be played lightly. We need to save that option for when the shit really hits the fan.. after a white guy shoots up an urban pre-school with a suppressed bump stock equipped AR pistol that he concealed on his way past school security. Then if Colion wants the job, he’s got it.

    3. avatar TruthTellers says:

      I would like to see a Black guy as the head of the NRA, but Noir is compromised. He’s taken the NRA money and has been indoctrinated to their business philosophy.

      I suggest Mike Tyson.

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        Not sure if serious…

        1. avatar TruthTellers says:

          Iron Mike is the only Black guy I can think of that’s not a politician, businessman who can build and make his own brand like Trump does, and is honest.

          Plus he’s got the tough guy image and imagine him in a meeting surrounded by those NRA cucks and wimps who want to bend over to the bump stock ban law. Tyson would get up and say, “If I here any one of you say one more thing about banning bump stocks, I’m gonna fist bump you so hard I’ll shatter your knuckles, then I’m hit you so hard with a hook that your eyeballs pop out.”

          That’ll change things in the NRA real quick.

          And he supported Trump going back to 2015, so he’s more or less on our side.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “I suggest Mike Tyson.”

          I *highly* doubt that was serious.

          Contemplate this –

          Sheriff David Clarke as NRA spokesperson…

        3. avatar Vhyrus says:

          Clarke has his own baggage. Noir does not, to my knowledge.

        4. avatar barnbwt says:

          Devil’s Advocate; how would *you* debate Mike Tyson on this issue…with only one ear?

      2. avatar Slow Joe Crow says:

        I don’t think a convicted felon who cannot legally own a gun would be good choice.
        If he was still alive Roy Innes would have been a magnificent NRA spokesman.

    4. avatar neiowa says:

      Yes the NRA should hop on the progtard affirmative action bandwagon. Skin color as a selection criteria is so democrat.

      1. avatar TruthTellers says:

        I’m not just singling out Tyson for his skin color, I think he’d be a better leader for the NRA as the difference between him and the spineless cowards who run the NRA is Tyson is a real man and a fighter, much like Trump and like Trump, he’s been given a bad rap by jealous people.

        And I don’t care about the Islam connection, Tyson is a lax Muslim. In fact, maybe having him in such a position would help bring the nation together.

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        To the man’s credit, he *is* basically the best spokesman the NRA has as far as I know. Articulate, bright/educated, charismatic, young, telegenic (handsome, even) –none of the things seen from the dog-faced sonuvabitch running the crew today. Yes, he supports the bump ban…but so do his paymasters & his loyalty to them over us is neither inappropriate nor unexpected for a guy who isn’t in charge, frankly. At least he supports the ban from a position of actually knowing what bump fire is*, and I honestly can’t say whether the same is true for LaPierre.

        *seeing as he both knows what bump fire is and is trained in law (and enjoys semiautos & machineguns), I think it unlikely he doesn’t see the obvious path for abuse and eventual expansion of the ban to all semiautos

  3. avatar Greg says:

    The worst part of the NRA agreeing to a ban on a hunk of plastic is that, by doing so, they acknowledged the cause of all those deaths was the gun and it was not the killer. Once you go down that path you may as well turn in all guns to the government because, as the liberals believe, the government doesn’t kill, guns do.

    1. avatar The Punisher says:

      ^ So much this ^

      Funny how guns are one of the only things ever trotted out as the evil purveyor of crime.

      Nobody screams when a car or other object is used to murder.

      And nobody for sure screams when the government uses whatever it wants to murder people by the millions.

      1. avatar -Peter says:

        I grind my teeth every time I hear some talking head refer to “violence” or “murders” which are “caused by guns.” You never hear of drunk driving fatalities “caused by alcohol” or “caused by the car manufacturers.”

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          Scissors causing mass-infanticide.

          The evil POS (D) ain’t satisfied until they can use scissors to probe the privates of every living female.

          Why? Because their master demands sacrifice and tells them to.

        2. avatar Jim Walsh says:

          Never say never again.
          I hear stories of vehicular homicide caused by alcohol and/or drugs DAILY!

          The the indisputable fact is, motor vehicles are designed to transport a driver and passengers safely (that means no death or injuries). They are not designed to cause anyone’s injury.
          Can you say that about any firearm???

          Oh, and by the way, read the second amendment. It talks about an armed militia. It says nothing about private citizens rights to own and carry assault weapons.

        3. avatar Lenny says:

          How can you avoid hearing about deaths “caused by” alcohol or vehicles? Or opioids or other dangerous things? Things like this are in the news nearly daily — in lifestyle articles, in hard news, in local news, in national news — everywhere. And alcohol, vehicles, drugs and more have legal oversight and regulation.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Yup, thirty some-odd years of “guns don’t kill people; people kill people” logical diligence undone by a single act of ignorant pandering. For thirty more years we’ll hear “except for bump stocks, or machine guns, or hi-cap mags, or armor piercing ammo, or…”

  4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I’m assuming that was a typo, so yes, the NFL is definitely a damaged brand.

  5. avatar test says:

    It really is us vs. them. If you’re not with us you’re against us. — said by a pro-gun blog where editors and visitors constantly nitpick Trump’s policy.

  6. avatar Gman says:

    Never have been a member. I am an absolutist. What part of shall not be infringed don’t you f-ing understand? It’s really that simple. As soon as one allows the other side an inch…

    Not that I blame the NRA. But don’t think for one minute the NRA is in it for the good fight. We all have interests, sometimes our interests align, sometimes not.

  7. avatar Rokurota says:

    I hate to say it: it is us vs. them. Would moderating views make antigunners any less strident or conciliatory? (Hint: no) Would moderating views convince any fence sitters to join us? Again, doubtful. In the marketplace of ideas, the stalls are full of gun confiscation vendors. The NRA is the only national org of repute selling the alternative.

    I agree, though, that the NRA would do well to present gun rights as a non-partisan issue. Be all in and non-partisan. See Philip Van Cleave, Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    1. avatar Mike in KC says:

      Good luck with the non-partisan issue part given that one of the major political parties has as a stated goal in thier platform to basically abolish the 2nd amendment

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      The NRA is useful and all, but I think it’s naiive to think they aren’t part of the reason there are no competing national level orgs, yet tons and tons (and tons) of state-level orgs blossom across the nation…all of them affiliated with the NRA or woefully isolated. The drawbacks of monopolies apply to charitable organizations as well, and the gun rights crowd has allowed itself to become awfully dependent upon this one (big) group to voice its opinions; that’s why their sudden reversal on bump stocks was viewed as such a betrayal, because those who want to actually protect our semi-auto ownership from bans really didn’t have anyone else to turn to. Except GOA, of course, but that’s an order of magnitude or two smaller than the Big Dog. No, I’m not saying the NAGR guys are an alternative either, lol.

    3. avatar James Morgan says:

      NRA DOES try to be non-partisan. They do support Democrats as well as Republicans, and I’m sure other party representatives, who in turn support the second amendment.

  8. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    You cannot make the anti-gun zealots like the NRA, the sheep don’t care, so only those of us who are hardliners count (the Funds will stab us all in the back).

    The donation I had planned to send to the NRA as a reward for getting national reciprocity or SHARE through the House was sent to GOA instead. They didn’t start trying to throw our rights under the bus the minute a criminal used a legal product in a crime.

  9. avatar Cha-ching says:

    “They warm the hearts of the faithful and raises [sic] huge quantities of cash.”

    And that last part is why absolutely nothing they do will change or be changed.

  10. avatar Jim says:

    If they dumped LaPierre and the idiotic fear mongering they could probably improve.

    1. avatar NoID says:

      The fear mongering bugs the hell out of me, as do the incessant phone calls during election season. Take my money, defend and promote my rights, leave me alone and stop making me and my fellow firearms enthusiasts look like Alex Jones with a bigger tinfoil hat whenever you crawl out from under your rock to respond to a current event or perform fundraising.

  11. avatar Joe R. says:

    “Some 80 percent of Americans support a bump fire stock ban.” – said the LYING POS MSM, push-polling their own agenda.

    AND EVERYONE SAID STFU, WHO ASKED YOU?

    The MSM doesn’t really give a FV<K if you support the NRA, THEY JUST KNOW THAT THEY HAVE CONTINUED TO BE WORTHLESS IN THE FUNDRAISING DEPARTMENT, AND THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY ZERO PULL TO SELL IN WASHINGTON THAT MIGHT GARNER SOME $$$ FOR THEIR ELECTION 'WAR COFFERS'. Millenials are "cutting the chord" to tv. MSM is tanking in advertising fees, Disney is tripping over itself with the NFL protests, Weinstein will be in prison and not supporting any POS (D) anytime soon. . . IN ABSENCE OF THAT, THEY HAVE TO ATTACK THE (R)'s FUNDRAISING SOURCES. Ergo, stupid push poll articles regarding "will the NRA" ever be trusted again" F dat. IF WE HATE OUR GUYS (AND LATELY WE DO) THINK ABOUT HOW BAD YOUR GUYS MUST LOOK TO US.

    F EM ALL. BURY THE POS (D) IN THE SUPPORT OF YOUR FAVORITE

    C O N S E R V A T I V E

    CANDIDATE.

  12. avatar rc says:

    Any organization that is serious about about protecting a fundamental civil right, such as the 2nd Amendment, has to stand firm 100% of the time…otherwise, people will begin to think that this right isn’t so fundamental after all. Why would anybody consider joining an organization that makes protection of such an important right, subject to compromise based on the political climate? Once an organization, such as the NRA, starts making concessions for political expediency, they are sending a message that this right doesn’t really protect what it purports to protect. The anti-gunners (including the MSM) will continue to smear them until they give up and start pushing the anti-gun agenda…so a ‘kinder, gentler NRA’ will do nothing to stop the non-stop political warfare to destroy our rights, but it will certainly undermine it’s entire reason for existence…a fundamental right cannot be compromised, only defended. I’m afraid the NRA has already begun it’s ride down the slippery slope by endorsing the bump stock ban.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      This is pretty much what I was thinking.

      The NRA is now regarded more favorably than the press that demonizes it and the legislators who want to cripple it — and it didn’t get there by pandering to fleeting waves of public sentiment. It got there by publicly sticking to its pro-Second Amendment principles.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      WHAT bump stock ban? It’s already a dead issue and is going nowhere. The useless POS are not in danger. NRA played a card. Perhaps they read the future and could foresee that nothing was going to happen. If so good for the soothsayer.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        The only thing playing run-away-hand-brake to the POS (D) and POS complicit (R) anti-gun agenda, is that a super-majority are ready to stretch those ahole’s pelts on the side of their barn (much less drain the swamp and replace all of the office-holders).

        The NRA didn’t do sh_t BUT CAVE, because they can’t keep “fighting the good fight” (against “gun-grabbers”) IF THEY FV<K1NG WIN THE FIGHT.

      2. avatar rc says:

        Did you even read the NRA statement? They explicitly requested the ATF ban bump stocks…so THAT bump stock ban.

      3. avatar barnbwt says:

        Played a card for what, though? The inevitable ban that was utterly stillborn until they breathed on the smoldering ashes for a few days with their idiotic commentary? The NRA was the bulwark upon which the anti-gun wave crashes after these events; I thought we all learned after Sandy Hook that issuing *any* policy statement during the emotional and wildly inaccurate/misrepresented period is completely counterproductive, and silence or a call for mourning is golden. Even *if* there was a sudden watershed urge to pass legislation and it was realistically going to happen, why not seek some kind of compromise with compensation? This was nothing more than ceding ground the NRA never intended to defend in the first place, which they stupidly doubled-down on by saying NFA items aren’t protected (must’ve missed the part where a law turns into a constitutional amendment if its old enough). While they embraced the ‘black rifle,’ the attraction was literally skin deep; they realized just like the antis that the guns were no different than the Fudd semi-auto, but anything scarier than that (actual select-fire, NFA-configuration rifles & shotguns, silencers until *very* recently, bump fire, belt feed systems, tannerite, even mere rapid fire now) they fold like a cheap suit almost immediately, and unilaterally. The dems hadn’t even rolled out a real gun legislation effort yet (yeah, Feinstein pulled her sweaty old napkin bill from her wrinkly cleavage before the shooting had ended, but that was all)

        The NRA have proven themselves useful plenty of times before (though usually as a s***-magnet for anti-gun attacks). This was not one of them, and they deserve no credit for helping an unwilling congress get a doomed anti-gun law effort passed off onto unelected/unaccountable ATF officials who have a habit of abusing their authority (and who in turn are now actively encouraging congress to take up the issue; bolstering the seeming ‘legitimacy’ of the policy with their presumed expert recommendation)

  13. avatar Joe R. says:

    THE MSM MEDIA TOOLS,

    AND THE POS PEOPLE THAT THEY WORK FOR . . .

    F V < K 1 N G

    H A T E

    Y O U.

    Just look at their cartoon characterizations of (what is supposedly) YOU.

    Break it off in their a _ _ every chance you get, they're working four times as hard against you.

    1. avatar Jim says:

      Its time to take your meds Grandpa Joe.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        I worry for Joe’s health sometimes, but he’s right.

        The people that draw and publish these cartoons truly believe in the message. That guy in the NRA hat is you. It’s me. Even if you’re not a member of the NRA, it’s still you.

        And when they point the agents of the almighty state at us (as they surely will if left to their own devices), they won’t feel even the tiniest twinge of sorrow on our behalf. And if Lady Liberty snuffs it in the hail of SWAT team gunfire, well, that would be sad, but at least they will have got rid of the NRA, right?

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          Eh, that one cartoon is actually being somewhat clever, multiple puns & whatnot. Lady Liberty in a headlock or dead kids spelling NRA is the kind of illogical apish propaganda (what else would you call such fecal splatterings?) that’s more their usual speed. Yup, we need more regulations, bans, and laws binding our actions to ensure our freedom and promote liberty…Jesus that’s straight up Orwellian right there.

          Also, in this age of newfound MAGA and whatall, Lady Liberty herself was a thank you note from France to us for relieving her/Europe of a bunch of impoverished undesirables they didn’t want cluttering up their own cities, not unlike what they have been/are trying to do with the mideast/African migrants today. I think it’d be interesting to see how a giant statue of an ugly chick in exchange for taking on millions of ‘refugees’ would go over these days.

  14. avatar former water walker says:

    The NRA should(and could) have done the same as after Newtown. Line in the sand. But they got cute. I have a jaundiced eye on those proudly spouting off about absolutism. It won’t happen. Like it not the NRA is the big dog. In ILLINOIS there is a very real possibility of draconian anti-2A legislation being passed. If we could get all you so-called absolutist’s to join the fight(call,file witness and back NRA ila ) it would help.

  15. avatar achmed says:

    They are a damaged brand because of nonsense like oh . . every one of Dana Loesch’s videos.

    They need to reject any additional regulation of bump stocks as incoherent and unnecessary – which it is – and get a real PR strategy where we don’t simply walk into every dumb media narrative and stereotype.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      There is a reason why stereotypes exist.

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        There is a reason why stereotypes PERSIST. This ain’t a stereotype, however, it’s another bs characterization compounded by people pushing a different agenda.

  16. avatar Timoa Theos says:

    Liberalism is the damaged brand, unless you believe the lame stream media, stock fat and deep, the big war is here.

  17. avatar Republic if you can keep it says:

    In order to gain a possible short term political victory the NRA alienated more than half their members. I am willing to bet they lost over a million members because of this PR disaster. Pyrrhic Victory at best.

  18. avatar JayHu says:

    F*ckin wah. NRA handled a very bad situation pretty adeptly. So much so that all legislation has stalled. And no one has changed their mind on gun control, gun rights or the NRA. Be realistic about the situation.

    1. avatar Owen says:

      ^ This!

      The NRA is far from perfect but they handled this right IMHO. By appearing ‘reasonable’ they took the wind from their sails. The anti’s can’t rally around the opposing view. Brilliant!

    2. avatar Joe R. says:

      Yayju, you are either ignorant or LYING.

      The NRA didn’t do sh_t but step in it. The ONLY reason gun control ain’t moving very readily is because the evil POS (D) have absolutely zero suck in D.C. (they still got their mouth around the trailer hitch, and are generating plenty of negative pressure) they just don’t have any “pull”. And the stupid wet ca-ca POS (R) know that REGARDLESS OF WHATEVER ELSE THEY DO IN THE MEANTIME, we are working hard to replace those stupid worthless [might as well wear POS (D) helmets and jerseys] MF (R). We’re in drain the swamp (send campaign dollars 15 states away to cure this stupid sh_t) mode.

      The march is on, and it’s got nothing to do with the ‘let’s drag this out by conceding one’ POS NRA.

      F em all.

      1. avatar JayHu says:

        Look man, I can dig it. But the reality is that you have to know when – and how – to pick and fight your battles. You can’t always run out there swinging for heads. In this case, that would have given ‘them’ exactly what ‘they’ wanted and allowed their side to unite. By stepping out of the way, NRA gave them nothing to punch but air. NRA would have lost that fight anyway, so they did the best thing they could – gave the other side no enemy to hit. Took the steam right out of their fight. Went Tsung Tsu on their asses. You have to understand that, regardless of whether you like it or not. Fight the enemy whey they are not.

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          F that. If the ‘war’ is in danger of being un-winnable, then it is foolish to wait for it, as it buys you nothing further time to age your back and dull your steel.

          “Let us suppose a small State which is involved in a contest with a very superior power, and forsees that with each year its position will become worse: should it not, if War is inevitable, make use of the time when its situation is furthest from the worst? Then it must attack, not because the attack in itself ensures any advantages- it will rather increase the disparity of Forces- but because this State is under the necessity of either bringing the matter completely
          to an issue before the worst time arrives, or of gaining at least in the meantime some advantages which it may hereafter turn to account. This theory cannot appear absurd. But if this small State is quite certain that the enemy will advance against it, then, certainly, it can and may make use of the defensive against its enemy to procure a first advantage; there is then at any rate no danger of losing time. If , again, we suppose a small State engaged in War with a greater, and that the future has no influence on their decisions, still, if the small State is politically the assailant, we demand of it also that it should go forward to its object.
          If it has had the audacity to propose to itself a positive end in the face of superior numbers, then it must also act, that is, attach the foe, if the latter does not save it the trouble. Waiting would be an absurdity; unless at the moment of execution it has altered its political resolution, a case which very frequently occurs, and contributes in no small degree to give Wars an indefinite character.” (Clausewitz, “On War”, Rapporport Translation, Penguin Books, page 398).

          “Common sense will tell us that the power which hath endeavored to subdue us, is of all others the most improper to defend us. Conquest may be effected under the pretence of friendship; and ourselves, after a long and brave resistance, be at last cheated into slavery…. Wherefore, if we must here-after protect ourselves, why not do it for ourselves? Why do it for another?” ( Paine Common Sense pg. 47)

          Here’s some 200+ year old advice . . .

          “Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and jumble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to
          preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!” (Patrick Henry’s speech to the Continental Congress, March 23, 1775)

          IF WE’RE GOING TO DO IT, LET’S GO, I DON’T WANT YOUR STUPID ASSES TRYING TO JUMP ME WHEN I’M 90.

  19. avatar Ogre says:

    I try to be a reasonable guy, but in this issue I really do see it as an “us v. them” matter. The anti-gun forces are not going to give an inch and will try to take all the PR and legal ground they can with lies, distortions and Goebbel-like propaganda. We should not give an inch, either. The NRA, for all their faults (I don’t agree with them throwing bump-stocks under the bus, although I’ll probably never own one), does a very proficient job of defending our rights, and with the other major pro-gun groups, might actually gain some ground for us in the 2A fight. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, we’ve got to hang together in this or we’ll assuredly hang separately.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Og, it’s no longer sufficient to do the NRA dance “let’s push them back to the middle” line. Push back should be 500%. We want tax breaks for multi-gun ownership.

      WHEN THE U.S. CITIZENRY RISES UP AND REPELS THE EVIL POS (D) INVITED JIHADI HOARD IN DETROIT; OR THE WHO-THE-F-KNOWS-WHAT-INCLUDING THE FING CHINESE-THE-OPEN-BOARDERS-CAT-DRAGGED-IN MFs, IT’LL BE TOO LATE TO ARM-UP THE “LITTLE FOLK” [IN THEIR BROKE-ASS INTERPRETATION OF THE 2ND AMENDMENT ! ! !]

      W E [THE MULTI-GUN OWNERS]
      ARE THE ONES PROTECTING AMERICA
      AND THAT INCLUDES OUR PROTECTION OF AMERICA FROM PEOPLE CLAIMING TO BE CONSTITUTIONAL SUPPORTING AMERICANS.
      F ALL ELSE
      FTW

      We need to stuff the anti-gunner’s back so far they can’t see the next stepping stone with binos.

      1. avatar Kgun says:

        Joe R,

        Exactly this. We need some dramatic rollbacks or at least stated goals and real efforts to demoralize our opponents. So that they fear angering us because we push back as hard. Easier said than done but its the same anger and frustration at the status quo which I felt against our own GOPE and evidently alot of us felt which gave us PDT. Extreme positions and relentless pushback by the NRA would energize our side (except for the FUDs.)
        I think we would hear alot of fake news about how unpopular
        our new no compromise stance was but for the base it would
        be energizing.

  20. avatar EJQ says:

    I’ve got a question for the NRA. If Obama was the greatest salesman for guns, why has the NRA been claiming membership is at 5 million during that entire (or most of) administration? Seems inaccurate, because I’m at least member #5 million and one.

    Polls had Hillary beating Trump, so I’ve absolutely quit believing in those. I do know the above referenced poll did not bother to call me.

    I also had the gut feeling that if Hillary was elected (hey, the polls said so), there would be a Senate Committee, and former members of the then defunct NRA would be asked “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the (former) NRA organization?

    Glad that nightmare didn’t happen.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      For a long time, the accepted figure was 4 million. After the Sandy Hook crapstorm in 2014, membership went up to 5 million and that’s been the quoted figure for the last 3 years.

  21. avatar stateisevil says:

    Oh dear God people are dumb. Millions of members and we’re going to abandon it? No, we need to reform it and install absolutists. I just signed up for a 5 year membership.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      Yeah, that money will sure fix everything real good. Watch out NRA you got some dollar dollar bills heading your way.

  22. avatar Randbo says:

    Any organization who pays their executives millions per year is not “of the people”.

  23. The NRA was never relevant to the American populace.

    The American people don’t even like the NRA.

    The American People-people who subsidize your meaningless, forgettable, shit life, and get routinely shot for it.

    The NRA is and will always be a fascistic terror group. They don’t care about your or this country at all. Money is their god. And you gun-nuts are nothing but it’s mindless puppets that eat every bit of crap that comes out of their ass.

    I still don;t even see the rest of the world turning into something out of a bad dystopia novel.

    Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia still are doing fine without groups like the NRA terrorizing them.

    If the NRA or any other gun reich group ever cared about the American people. They would disband permanently and allow America to progress to it’s full potential of being a free, prosperous national.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      Actually, the rest of the world IS turning into a dystopian novel. London now has a higher violent crime rate than New York City. Western Europe, already beginning to fall into ruin due to lax immigration policy and weak defense spending, will be facing Iraq level sectarian conflict in less than a few years. Mexico and half of Latin America are becoming failed states. Many Eastern European countries will soon be absorbed by Russia. Australia will face a Muslim insurgency, and china, already is, in its western provinces.

    2. avatar joetast says:

      Your probably right about NRA and money. However WTF does China, Japan, or Katookyville have to do with MY country’s Constitution? Maybe people whom don’t like the U.S.A , should move. I’ve got blueprints on how to turn a Toyota into a space ship, if your interested

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Tens of thousands of women who are recent rape victims in Europe will tell you that Europe is not as “fine” as you claim.

      And the people in Europe who go to prison for the “crime” of defending themselves from violent attackers will tell you that Europe is not as “fine” as you claim.

    4. avatar JayHu says:

      haha, what a loser. Run along and fetch your frikkin shinebox, libtard

      1. avatar Hank says:

        Yes! Now go get yur fricken shine box!

    5. avatar Ing says:

      The majority of America disagrees with you. Pew polls say 55% of Americans think the NRA has the right amount of influence in politics or wish it had more influence.

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/05/among-gun-owners-nra-members-have-a-unique-set-of-views-and-experiences/

    6. avatar GS650G says:

      Elmo says you so smart! You even came up with a really big new name because your old one got blocked!

    7. avatar Scoutino says:

      If 5 million of armed people started to terrorize this country, you will know it. And if we gun owners were as violent as grabbers paint us, there wouldn’t be any of them left.
      With so many infringements still on the books it doesn’t look like the NRA has strong enough grip on politician’s balls.

  24. avatar Ralph says:

    “But from a branding point of view, the NRA’s decision to toss the stocks under the proverbial bus was a disaster.”

    What you mean is that from your point of view, it was a disaster. From the point of view of most of the NRA’s membership and the general public as a whole, it successfully burnished and enhanced the brand.

    It is now more difficult for the libtards to press the claim that the NRA is a terrorist organization when the NRA has taken a firm position on bump stocks while at the same time tossing the eternal enemy — the ATF — under the bus.

    I understand that 2A “absolutists” may disagree, but in the real world the NRA scored.

    As for not publishing anything about Mandalay Bay in the immediate aftermath, let’s just say that the NRA is neither a bloody flag waver nor a blog.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      +100000000 Ralph. The good they do far outweighs their failings. I think being old and older gives one a perspective not achievable by the youngun’s. We’d have the Hildebeast without the NRA…

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        “We’d have the Hildebeast without the NRA.”

        I am going to disagree with you there. We’d have the Hildebeast without (then) candidate Trump and the impeding appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court.

        I know a LOT of people who voted for the Republican presidential candidate because they wanted a conservative judge installed on the U.S. Supreme Court. And I also know a lot of people who voted for Trump because he has enough money where special interests cannot buy him.

        If the U.S. Supreme Court had a solid conservative majority that looked like they would live at least 15 more years and someone like Ted Cruz was the Republican candidate, Hillary would have won for certain.

    2. avatar JayHu says:

      Glad to see Ralph gets it. + 1 on this.

    3. avatar VF 1777 says:

      Count me in with Ralph. He states it better than i could have.

    4. avatar Joe R. says:

      F TO ALL THAT ! ! !

      The NRA didn’t just retreat, It threw it’s colors on the ground and abandoned ground already won.

      THAT THE LINE IS HOLDING ANYWAY, IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO ARMED AMERICAN VOTERS, NOT THE NRA LEADING THE CHARGE TO THE REAR ! ! !

      The Corporals and Privates have held the day, and they did so by holding out that they don’t need a bunch of wet-shit representatives to ‘defend’ us against our governmental wet-shit representatives. We’re looking to ditch the lot of you, and we’re mostly done talking about it in light of the continued acquiescence to the continued actions against us, amid further vocal threats. Gun owners don’t need to be gun owners to be / protect Americans, but they’ll stand up and bury you face down with their flag pole in your asses to keep you from making them break a sweat on the protecting America part. The rest can hold their manhoods cheap.

    5. avatar GS650G says:

      Once again Ralph shows how go’s he is at determining the level. The media wanted the NRA to take the bait and they didnt.

    6. avatar What About Bob says:

      Ralph, tonight the voice of clarity, instead of hilarity.

      Well said.

  25. avatar Noishkel says:

    No, the NRA isn’t a damaged brand. It’s just that every single person in the media is basically Joseph Goebbels: chief Nazi Propagandist. And if you’ll pardon the expression the NRA is the convenient ‘Jew to blame’. What, why else would the media have such a bro-mance with the Alt-Right? They give them more time than they ever had before the election. There’s like 3 people that are real mouth pieces but they get treated like their an insurgent armory already running around taking towns.

    It’s not like we don’t what how people are shot and killed with firearms. We have complete records of just about every single shooting that happens in the US. Doesn’t mean you’ll always get a conviction, but we at least know the broad strokes of what happens. And accordingly we know that statistically people almost every shooting is either suicide or a direct criminal shooting, usually of one criminal shooting another. And the reality there is is that non of these situations are at all useful. So they have to invent more and more hysterial BS and claims about the NRA. that is when they’re just flat out not performing a direct character assassination of gun owners. Which is pretty much every single one of those political cartoons here are.

  26. avatar Martin says:

    Speaking from my outside point of view (I’m Czech, not American), yes, the NRA is a damaged brand. The impressions I get from their actions is that they are too slow, too cautious, too willing to yield and too disconnected from grassroots gun rights activists.

    I know I’m not a statistically valid sample, and I know I’m an outsider to the US politics. But thanks to my perception of the NRA, I’ve never donated to them, even though I’ve sent a small contribution to the SAF in the past. Yes, you could say that our local Czech equivalent of the NRA shares some of the faults I’ve assigned to the NRA and then you could ask me why I keep supporting it, instead of someone more absolutionist. Well, we’re a small country, there’s no other reasonable alternative, and I’ve got to accept political realities. But the US offers way more choices. Frankly, I’m surprised that other gun rights organizations haven’t taken much bigger bites out of the total amount of money that US gun folks spend on defending their rights.

    1. avatar joetast says:

      If anyone should be able to weigh in, it should be people like you Martin. We Americans take a lot of stuff for granted, not just guns

  27. avatar Bob Watson says:

    Wayne called for the regulation of bump stocks and said he supports the restrictions on automatic weapons. Soooooo… just how many rounds per minute does Wayne think we should be “permitted”? 10?, 20?, 30? And, what is the basis for the number? Will the NRA help craft legislation that imposes a limit? Does he favor a law that mandates nonexistent technology to achieve his goal or does he think legislation could be devised to cover every possible technological innovation that will ever be devised? How about if we just impose severe criminal penalties on anyone who fires more than 12 rounds per minute? I do believe there is something seriously wrong with that boy.

    The NRA leadership is about as far off-track as they could be. That needs to be corrected. Their lack of perfection does not negate the good they have done in the past and will accomplish in the future. Or, we could throw away our best bet and cede the field to Shannon’s Sugar Daddy and his merry band of intolerant anti-civil rights bigots.

    1. avatar What About Bob says:

      You don’t play chess, do you Bob?

  28. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I have been a member for over 35 years. I really don’t have any big disagreements with how they handled this whole Nevada incident.
    Call me what you will. If tossing a bump stock under the bus is the worst one can come up with….
    Im not hurt by that much. Its been declared a legal product. Buy one if you have a use for it??
    Ban it after the fact?? Wont happen.
    Most want the NRA to stand 100% for every item on their personal check list.
    Well you cant legislate crazy. No matter how much some folks may want to be the thought police.
    The less this is talked about the sooner it goes away.

  29. avatar rt66paul says:

    I certainly don’t believe that 80% of Americans support a bump fire stock ban, but I would believe that 80% of gun owners wouldn’t have anything to do with a bump fire stock.

  30. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Pretending to hate bump stocks was the right move, or at least it was among the best moves. Best move would have been to say nothing about bump stocks and just quietly wait for the issue to blow over.

    Second best, they should have made the case that many of those attending the concert likely left their self-defense sidearms at home, out of reluctance to travel by air with them or because Nevada REFUSES to recognize carry licenses from some twenty other states.

    The NRA missed the opportunity to highlight air travel restrictions or to push for national reciprocity. How much more quickly the shooting would have ended if just several people in the crowd started returning fire?

    Homework time! Get a pencil and paper and go figure out the height of 32 stories.
    Then calculate the velocities of some common pistol caliber cartridges at that height. (Do you remember your Calculus?) Then, throw all of that away because:

    1. It’s irrelevant. Return fire of any kind is sufficient to repel a cowardly mass murderer.
    2. It’s really irrelevant because the NRA only had to make the argument, not guarantee defender hits on the attacker.

    Eschewing those approaches, the NRA instead took a mild and inconsequential swipe at an unusual and unpopular (even among gun owners) plastic accessory. That doesn’t score points with scorched earth 2A absolutists, but then again, 2A absolutists never score points with the general public, anyway. So who cares what they think?

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      Hate speech is not free speech.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “Hate speech is not free speech.”

        Spoken like a true Leftist…

      2. avatar Hank says:

        So then you’d agree that over half the liberal media, Antifa, and all the late night comics should be rounded up for hate speech? I’m cool with that.

      3. avatar Scoutino says:

        It is a free speech. You don’t need first amendment protection when you speak nicely. It’s the unpopular ideas that require it.

    2. avatar joetast says:

      I dont think you’d want me shooting at a room on the 32 floor if you was on the 31 floor and I with a pistol, from 400 yards away, not even.

      1. avatar What About Bob says:

        Firing back at a huge hotel building would have been just the thing to really poison the self defense argument.

  31. avatar pieslapper says:

    ” Some 80 percent of Americans support a bump fire stock ban.”

    Said the poll of the 4 people in the CNN break room. 3 of the 4 supported the ban, the other had a mouthful of kale.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      (snicker)

    2. avatar Stereodude says:

      FYI, It would need to be 4 out of 5 to hit 80%. 😉

      1. avatar pieslapper says:

        Libs always round up.

  32. avatar HP says:

    So the NRA threw the blame back in the laps of the Obama administration’s ATF, then suggested the ATF outlaw something they were not able to and can not outlaw.

    It’s almost like the NRA was smart enough to realize that deflecting the blame and asking for a review knowing what the outcome would be was enough to avoid future trouble. Instead, it was the finger mashing “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” internet crowd that seems to have missed the mark.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      When you put it like that, it actually sounds really good. (No snark or sarcasm intended in my comment.)

    2. avatar What About Bob says:

      Bingo!

  33. avatar David says:

    The NRA needs to help us all move closer to center ground. We are never going to get everything we want, and things like bump-stocks, (which the ATF says are not firearms), are not protected by the Second Amendment, and can be banned by local governments as easily as banning squirt-guns. (Yes, Philly at one time banned super-soakers).
    The NRA can get a broader following, and better funding, if it supports a bump-fire ban. We should also consider what we would trade for National Reciprocity, as that seems to be the highest priority. Many states are mandating universal background checks for all transactions, as well as waiting times. Would we concede on these at a national level, (the States are doing it anyway), if it meant we could get Reciprocity AND Silencer Deregulation?
    The “don’t give an inch” approach is damaging. It becomes extremism, and extremists are never popular. We all want to avoid Nancy Pelosi’s disarmament agenda and her “slippery slope”, but sometimes the best way to do that is to “cement” our highest priorities into mainstream law as fast as possible, before the Supreme Court becomes more liberal.

    1. avatar todd says:

      The trouble with caving is that the bills are ALWAYS written in such a way that they open a portal wide up to further bans. The current “bump stock” bill actually is worded to ban ANYTHING allowing someone to fire a gun faster. A trigger job, taking a 8 lb pull to 3 lbs would certainly qualify. Next thing you know, guns have to be sold with 12 lb triggers.

      Don’t doubt me. California and NY (home of the Police’s 11 lb Glock trigger) would be pursuing this 5 minutes after the law was passed. In fact, while Googling the weight of the NYC trigger pull, the first hit that came up was: “NY Democrats Introduce Mandatory Trigger Pull Weight Bill” – this being to enhance safety.

      The proper way is to simply explain such things. Using silencers as an example:”Many shooters in Europe have been using silencers for decades. There it is considered polite to do so. Drive a car without a muffler, you get in trouble. Shoot a gun WITH a muffler and you also get in trouble”.

      We just need to educate the ignorant.

    2. avatar Scoutino says:

      I disagree and refuse to horse trade with our natural and constitutionally protected rights. NRA should NOT get any softer trying to pander to wishy washy center. I pay them to fight for me and it disappointed me to see how easily they give up. Now gun grabbers can point and yell “See, even NRA says it’s O.K. to ban guns that shoot too fast and gun parts.”

      Throwing the bump stocks and machine guns under the bus poisoned our narrative that tools are not to be blamed for crimes commited using them.

  34. avatar Arandom Dude says:

    The NRA needs to be more consistent and less partisan. Loesch’s “godless left” scare tactics are really unhelpful. Not everyone who’s godless, or liberal, or enjoys a blunt now and then is the enemy. Even most anti-gun people aren’t the enemy; they’re just raised in a partisan bubble where they’ve never seriously considered other positions. We’re never going to turn the Fiensteins and the Bloombergs, but if we present reasonable, unemotional arguments, and don’t resort to name calling, we can turn a decent percentage of liberals/moderates who are only anti gun by default. We have the facts on their side.

  35. avatar todd says:

    The sad truth is that ANYTHING the left disagrees with will be smeared to the point of being a “damaged brand”. The left has decided that a scorched earth policy is the best way to get their way. Remember when Romney, McCain, and Bush ALL were the devil/Hitler/baby killers? Trump comes along and suddenly the left says the former three “weren’t so bad”, but Trump is. Guess what? Regardless of who the next Republican presidential candidate is, THEY will be “even worse than Trump”.

    Us rational folks just need to get used to their hysteria.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “The sad truth is that ANYTHING the left disagrees with will be smeared to the point of being a ‘damaged brand’.”

      Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! We have a winner!

      This is the Progressive stock-and-trade. Their ONLY strategy: demonize their political opponents because Progressives figure that the voting populace refuses to vote for evil-incarnate, regardless of whether or not their political opponents advocate great policies.

      As others have said, the fact that Progressives spew so much venom toward the NRA is proof-positive that the NRA is effective and really is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

  36. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    Bump-fire stocks are a silly signaling toy that enables the worst in the worst people. Now, it you’ll stop doing doughnuts on the high school ball field, let’s talk about why that’s not a good basis for legislation for the rest of us.

  37. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    The anti-gun folks seem very annoyed about people who aren’t them having something to say about what the government does. Weird.

  38. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    It’s almost like those anti-gun folks want a government of some people(1), by other people(2), for … which people(3)?

    I’m gonna go with 1 – not them, 2 – them, 3 – whoever is pulling the useful idiots’ strings

  39. avatar Yellow Devil says:

    As a side note, polls say the majority of Americans favor universal background checks and getting rid of the “gun-show loophole” so should we adopt those positions for political expediency too? Or should we work harder to educate the public about these issues in the first place?

    1. avatar todd says:

      “polls say the majority of Americans favor universal background checks ”

      Not sure I believe that. We keep hearing that, but when time to vote, Bloomberg needs to out spend the NRA 10 to 1 to squeak by with a narrow victory (NV, OR) or lose (ME). The best election outcome was WA IIRC at 64% in favor (a FAR cry from the lefts stated 95% support)

  40. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    Lovely cartoon. A hostage is someone held & threatened to get someone to do something. It’s a kind of extortion.

    When you’re restrained from doing something dumb, illegal, and immoral to other people you’re something else, as are the people stopping you. I’m sure there’s a name for these, too.

  41. avatar Bob999 says:

    The tactic of tyrants, including the Democrat Party, is to attack groups that oppose their ideology one group at a time until they destroy all opposition. If the NRA crashes, the Democrat Party will just go after the next group. The NRA is not capitulating like so many other groups of the past. They are fighting back. Appeasement doesn’t work, and I think the NRA has figured that out.

  42. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Be absolutist in what counts as “the good”, but the point is moving the needle that way. Less laws, less traction for their agenda, less credibility for the anti-advocates; all better. More of any of that for the pro-side, also better.

    The NRA was uncharacteristically clueful handling this latest anti-gun spasm. The mud flung their way missed, the anti’s punched themselves out, the ATF is on the hook and can’t win.

    Sets up second-order effects, too, like if the ATF can’t come up with a viable bump-fire restriction that will work, maybe such stuff is hard in practice. The table is set for when the try something: bring up the “assault weapons ban”(*), and various examples of over-reach(**). Write what you mean.

    Somebody’s been reading their Alinsky. Make your “opponents” look like idiots and bait them into making mistakes. This doesn’t convince true believers, but makes the persuadable middle wonder why they are listening to idiots. If you have an argument, you get a chance to convince the convincable. Contra Alinsky, who has you cashing in by grabbing a temporary advantage while your opponents are off balance, and your supporters all wee-wee’d up. It’s almost like he’s proposing “Rules for When You Don’t Have a Case.”

    Or perhaps whoever’s gotten a clue at the NRA has been reading HerSelf’s college thesis arguing that Alinsky’s goals would be better served with modified tactics applied from *within* institutions. Interestingly, neither of Uncle Saul’s two books declares outright what the goal is, what counts as good or better, or what process this is all in aid of. I don’t know what’s in the training & indoctrination for operatives. Perhaps some people just want to watch the world burn. Or be the one directing their flying monkeys where to light some fires.

    Besides, these good and upright people can’t want to make a precedent of stuff whittling on enumerated rights through sloppy proclamation. We kinda want to slow down and get this sort of thing right. Do we want The Orange Crush banning news channels by declaring them “fake'”? or “divisive”?

    (*) If they go to the AWB the set up reply is: “Deaths went down after the AWB, tracking without the ban where we could get a measure. The assault weapons ban seems to have done literally nothing. Do better this time?”

    (**) To any claim that it’s limited, and objections are just being pedantic: “Well, from proposal’s text, ‘…any device or modification to facilitate faster firing…’ could mean self-loading, lever-action, ‘light’ triggers or any number of other things. A muzzle brake reduces the pounding on your shoulder: you could argue making the next shot faster.”

    “We’re talking about an agency that tried to ban lead ammunition altogether, and common milsurp ammo people use for practice by redefining it as ‘armor piercing.’ It seems reasonable to assume they’ll do anything they can fit through the law’s wording. BTW, that attempted milsurp ban impacted blue state gun owners way more than red state, rural much more than suburban or urban, and frankly working poor much more than upper-middle class and above. Why do you hate them?”

  43. avatar CZJay says:

    I look at the NRA as the bad kind of gatekeepers. They make their followers lazy. They play an evil game of push and pull with the people’s human rights. They like to have their organization as homogeneous as possible. They want/need a divide to exist for them to prosper greatly; they will go as far as to create one if it’s necessary. Their end goal is maintaining their wealth by using gullible people. They have no intention of wining the war.

    If you want rapid fixes/changes from the NRA, you need to vote with your dollar. Do not give them any money and let them know why you won’t. Giving them your money, then playing a cute game of democracy, will only have the NRA leadership setup an appointment with their tailor to make their pockets larger.

  44. avatar Anonymous says:

    I think the NRA lives and dies with the opinion of the public. If enough voters want it so, guns can be legislated into oblivion. The NRA played a political game with bump stocks, simply because they didn’t want to ostracize all the fudds. They didn’t want the fudds to jump the boat over to the gun control side. They likely felt if they tried to defend bump stocks they would lose the fudds and if they capitulated to legislation they would lose the 2A supporters – so they tried to walk a razor sharp line in between by playing a political game with the ATF. And if the media wasn’t 95% dominated by leftists who would portray the NRA in the worst light possible in their attempt to defend bump stocks, they likely wouldn’t have played that game and just defended the 2A. So in short, the NRA is affected by populism. Because they know they live and die with the public opinion, and they defend what they think they can defend and abandon what they perceive to be indefensible.

    I can always rely on the NRA to defend what they want to defend. But I would never rely on them to sway public opinion. Only people like us can do that through debate and dielectic.

    I don’t care if they are a damaged brand simply because anyone who stands up against the progressive agenda will be attacked.

  45. avatar Rev R Vincent Warde says:

    I’m not always in agreement with the NRA – in fact I am very much opposed to their entry into the training and insurance market. However, I understand why they took the position they took on bump stocks. There are some realities most commenters are not considering.

    First, there is the real world definition of the scope of 2nd Amendment protection (Please note that I did not create this reality – I am simply reporting what it is):

    1) The Heller and Mcdonald decisions were, by far, the greatest victories for the gun rights movement EVER. Without them, we would be faced with a virtual repeal of the 2nd Amendment, which was the defacto reality for most of my 63 years. Lawyers were taught for decades that the 2nd Amendment simply and only applied to the militia, and that the militia was simply the National Guard. Heller and McDonald make it clear that the 2nd Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms.

    2) After establishing that the 2nd Amendment protects a personal right the next issue the court faced was that of it’s scope. What kind of arms does it protect? What are the boundaries that define it? ONLY AFTER THE BOUNDARIES OF THE RIGHT ARE DEFINED CAN WE KNOW IF A LAW VIOLATES – OR INFRINGES –
    UPON THEM.

    Some will argue that the right has no boundaries – that the people have the right to individually own fully armed tanks, surface to air missiles, grenade launchers, and even atomic weapons. I submit to you that if such a ruling were ever to be handed down, it would result in the prompt repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Let’s get real – while we may disagree with were SCOTUS has drawn the line – few of us would really want a completely unlimited right.

    SCOTUS could have let government define the right – which would have rendered it meaningless. They could have defined the boundaries themselves, which would have been little better. Thankfully, they chose a better way.

    I believe Justice Scalia showed great wisdom in how he approached this question. He respected the original intent of the authors, by asking a simple question: “When called into militia service, what kind of arms would citizens have brought?”. His answer? They would have brought such arms as they commonly owned. It then follows that the people decide the scope of the 2nd Amendment right by which arms they choose to own.

    So, any law that bans any kind of arm that is in common civilian use infringes upon the 2nd amendment right. A restriction that only affects arms not in common use does not cross the line into infringement. THIS IS THE LEGAL REALITY WE FACE – I DIDN’T CREATE IT – I AM SIMPLY REPORTING IT.

    I will say this: Heller is more than most of us who have been in the battle since the 1960s (before I could even vote!) ever thought we could get. It has already resorted in many gun laws being struck down. It’s why Illinois and DC are shall issue now. It gives us solid ground upon which to challenge so called assault weapons bans. The DC Court of Appeals even struck down long gun registration as an infringement. We have just begun to use this standard to strike down oppressive gun laws all over the nation.

    That said, the next question is: “Have full auto weapons ever been in common use?” I would submit to you that the answer to that question is no. The initial production of Thompsons, made for WW1, were not sold until Britain bought them all up after Dunkirk. Anyone is welcome to challenge the NFA on this basis, and if it can be established that full auto firearms were ever in common use, then at the minimum the Hughes Amendment would have to go. If the NFA restrictions on full auto guns are ever to be rolled back, it will have to be done in the courts, because it is politically impossible for the foreseeable future.

    The above is the legal reality we face.

    Second, there is the political reality we face.

    1) Convincing the public that we should be able to own machine guns without regulation is impossible. The vast majority of the public thinks they a currently illegal to own and wants that to be the case. Right now, even repealing the Hughes Amendment is politically impossible. The best shot at doing something about this would be a legal challenge to only that amendment, which prevents new full auto weapons from entering the civilian market. That would result in machine guns once again being available, although still highly regulated.

    2) The public now views bump stock equipped rifles as being machine guns. All efforts to convince them that they are not, simply come across as being loopholes and technicalities they want closed.

    LIKE IT OR NOT, OPPOSING BUMP STOCK REGULATION WILL COST IS CRITICAL SUPPORT. This is not a matter of satisfying our enemies, for they will never be satisfied as long as guns are legal. This is a matter of holding on to the support we currently have.

    So, why did the NRA endorse bump stock regulation by the ATF under the NFA? Two reasons:

    1) They do not believe that that bump stock regulation can be stopped.
    2) They feared that any bill placing them under the NFA would be used to ban many other items and even firearms.

    HR 3999 proves them right on the second point. The support for regulating bump stocks is being used to push a bill that will ban detachable magazines, stripper clips and who knows what else.

    How do I think we should proceed?

    First of all, we need to stop fighting amongst ourselves. If you are fed up with the NRA, stop supporting them and direct your support to another 2nd Amendment group. Then stop criticizing the NRA!!! If there was ever a time for all gun rights groups to get together, it is now. It is stupid to tear down a group that you agree with 95-98% of the time. We all hopefully agree that HR 3999 must be stopped – so let’s get it done.

    Second, let’s fight all these bad bills. If we cannot stop bum stock regulation, then we should write the bill instead of leaving it to our enemies, to make sure that it is limited to specific devices – and we should DEMAND that provisions advancing gun rights be included. If bump stock equipped rifles are to fall under NFA, we should get CCW reciprocity and/or suppressor reform. We should turn this into a net gain.

    Those are my thoughts. No matter if you agree or disagree, let’s not fight with each other when that is exactly what the gun banners want.

    1. avatar What About Bob says:

      Excellent summary of the situation. Thank you Rev….

    2. If Heller and McDonald were such good decisions, why did the NRA do everything in its power to stop those lawsuits from
      being filed? In the case of Heller, when they couldn’t get Alan Gura, Clark Neily and Bob Levy to dismiss the case, the NRA lawyers filed a competing case and tried to get the Dick Heller case dismissed. After the win, the NRA took complete credit for it, even though much of the money had come from the 2nd Amendment foundation and raised by Levy who was President of the Cato Institute.
      Heller has so many holes in it that trucks are being driven through it. None of the lower federal court judges are enforcing it and it hardly affords any Constitutional protection.
      The fundamental problem is that the Judicial Branch was designed to be the weakest branch and since Cooper v. Aaron in 1958, in which they imposed “Judicial; Supremacy” they are the strongest branch. Congress could change that tomorrow by repealing a dozen acts which expanded the jurisdiction of the federal court and authorized them to micromanage every aspect of our lives. No Constitutional Amendment necessary, just a simple vote to repeal. If we end up having too many federal judge with nothing to do, Congress can just abolish those courts with a simple vote and send them out looking for real jobs. The Supreme Court has even ruled that is constitutional.

  46. avatar Eng says:

    Could X be better? Yes. Could X be worse? Absolutely.

    Am I better off with or without X?

    When X = the NRA, I’m definitely better off with them then without them.

    All this talk about “suspending support of the NRA” over their stance on the bump stocks is just designed to make the point that “X could be better”, it is a symbolic communication to X that they ought to be better on that issue. Hell, I’d be inclined to trash talk their decision, complain to them, AND support them. They are us, so if we’re not there then they don’t reflect us as well.

    But I appreciate them overall because at this moment the only reason we have the luxury of “withdrawing support of X” is because X has done a well enough job up to this point that it’s not dire enough that we can be picky-choosey about their every action. So I say be practical, be a member of X if you are better off with them than without them, and also be a member of Y, and Z if they more absolutely suit your philosophy. We are much better off if we are in a position where we get to build a portfolio of pro-rights organizations.

  47. avatar MiserableBastard says:

    NRA can FOAD, my money is going to GOA.

  48. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    We’ve heard all of this before in the 90’s. All of it. Take a look at Gallup’s polling about the NRA going back into the 90’s:

    http://news.gallup.com/poll/186284/despite-criticism-nra-enjoys-majority-support.aspx

    The NRA’s membership count was a bit under 3 million back then. Now, it’s about 5 million.

    Look at the polling of the NRA vs. the media.

    http://news.gallup.com/poll/195542/americans-trust-mass-media-sinks-new-low.aspx

    Want to know why the media are running in circles, screaming like their hair is on fire and their asses are catching fire? There’s your answer.

  49. avatar Darkman says:

    Try to remember who the NRA is. It isn’t any of the people mentioned in these responses . They are simple mouthpieces. I am the NRA…You are the NRA…We are the NRA. Our collective voting power is stronger than any of these so-called leaders. To coin an NRA slogan Stand and Fight. Speak up…Speak out. Send your local,state and national politicians. Letters,Emails every day. Call them and state your position on every issue that concerns you. If you feel they aren’t representing your views. Find someone who will and Primary them out. Rise up and banned together. Take back the government at all levels. Yes it can be done. Just stop blaming others for your lack of hard work and difficult decisions. Freedom isn’t Free. It takes hard work and sometimes blood to preserve. Our ancestors knew this not that long ago. It’s truly a shame that so many have ceded their responsibly for Perceived Freedom

  50. avatar Mad Max says:

    The NRA and GOA should coordinate the message and play good cop/bad cop. I think that would be the optimal strategy.

  51. avatar Warlocc says:

    I’m in Massachusetts. The attorney general here keeps making up laws and issuing unconstitutional bans, on top of the bills going though for bump stocks and mag limits and everything else.

    Through it all, not a word from the NRA. The NRA is a joke. For dumb rednecks, by dumb rednecks.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      The NRA cares about money. They don’t want to spend money on things they feel don’t deserve the effort. They don’t fight every battle with all that money they raised, but they will have nice wine parties.

      The average NRA member doesn’t want diversity within the NRA. They like it being the way it is. They are fine with their club being as small as it is.

      The majority of Americans don’t like the NRA. The majority of gun owners don’t like the NRA. How long do white men live? That’s probably how long the NRA has before it becomes ineffective. I don’t think they can rely on the Alt-Right kids.

  52. avatar Native Real Californian says:

    None of you guys live in California where every year some Marxist, wacko politician is trying to make it harder and harder to own a firearm. Believe it or not Governor Jerry Brown is considered to be pro-gun in this state compared to the others. I spend every year calling and emailing stupid democrats just to try to prevent the banning of our firearms. I really don’t care about bump stocks in California, I care about all semi-autos being banned next year. It has been proposed several times in this state and once Brown vetoed a bill that would of effectively of done that. Kamala Harris through rulemaking is slowly reducing the list of available semi-auto handguns that can be sold in California. I don’t want to leave I was born here, and I want to stay and fight for our rights.

  53. avatar Chris Morton says:

    Anti-gun cultists don’t like the NRA?

    In more news of the obvious:

    * The Aryan Brotherhood doesn’t like the NAACP.
    * ISIS doesn’t like the ADL.
    * The Westborough Baptist Church doesn’t like GLAAD.

    Anti-gun cultists hate the NRA because it opposes their goal of creating a government (controlled by them) monopoly on the means of armed force. The only way to change that is for the NRA to switch sides and to proclaim it’s desire for there not to BE any gun owners.

    What the fifth columnists want is for the NRA to become AHSA (American Hunters and Shooters Association), the deservedly defunct false flag operation, which like the National Firearms Association (NFA) before it, was a tool of the anti-gun cult.

    If there was REAL support for such Quisling organizations, and the invidiously racist gun controls which they promote, the NRA wouldn’t be more trusted than the media, and more than a few of us would remember the NFA AT ALL.

  54. avatar ^Sammy says:

    The tactic being used against the NRA is straight out of Rules for Radicals, by Saul Akinsky. Without pro gun groups to focus on the left’s attack would have far less of a pint of aim, if you will. Before anyone starts typing I DID NOT SUGGEST GETTING RID OF PRO GUN ORGS. But you must admit they, thankfully, draw most of the fire. Have a nice day.

  55. I have all the NRA credentials (Life Member, Certified Instructor in 3 fields) but the NRA is a business run by ad agency
    Ackerman McQueen. The Board exercises no power. It’s Ackerman McQueen and Wayne LaPierre run the organization, selling Chinese trinkets ion the web site and treading water. They don’t want to win the war for our liberty because they would be out of jobs. In 2006-2007 they did everything possible to sabotage Alan Gura, Bob Levy and Clark Neily in the Heller v. D,C, Case. The NRA actively worked to get that case thrown out, then when Gura, Levy and Neily won (with money from the 2nd Amendment Foundation) the NRA put Dick Heller on the front of all the magazines and ran articles explaining that they were really behind it all.

    Any corporation or organization that has over 16-18 board members is simply saying that the staff runs the group and the Board is there for show. What is the NRA’s board size? Close to 50?

    As to picking a random Black and making him CEO, that would end the NRA. I was a trial judge for 20 years and the Black community is so firmly allied with the Soro/Democrat Left they could not be tighter. Blacks who sincerely believe in the 2nd Amendment and want to associate with the NRA are scorned by their community or worse.The minorities that you do get are the ones looking for a paid position like Colin Noir and the new version Maj Toure, a joke of an ambassador to the Black community. Does anyone remember the war waged just a year ago by Black Lives Matter, the New Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam against our police officers? I saw “Black Leaders” urging their community to burn cities and kill White gun toting rednecks–that’s us.
    Until the NRA is actually rin by its Board they will continue to play up to public opinion instead of doing what is right.

  56. Vote and Work in the next elections for “Whatever”, then do the same in the next, next and etc. Reread the Rev. Vincent Warde above comments, then think! Comments about the board, very true, cut the size, remember that most support each other because they sleep in the same bed with the same ??????, . This is true with very large Corporations, Unions and so on.
    BUT REMEMBER THIS: ” WHEN THE PEOPLE LOSE THEIR INDIVIDUAL RIGHT TO OWN A GUN”, a Dictator of some type takes over whether it by one name, group, board or political party. Ex. England and others like her. Their Citizens soon lose their right to own guns, or to single shot or limited number, then only with very costly permits, thus exclude most honest citizens. Question: Why can’t we buy a AK47 for less then one half the cost of out American Guns?
    The one reason that keeps our “Politicians & Their Controllers” somewhat honest, they all know the people under them, have the ability and weapons to eliminate them and their families, if we ourselves are willing to die also. Just as our forefathers did in 1776. PS: I’m 80 and a Christian, so they are safe from me, however a young man thinks a whole lot different, much less a Non-Christian.

    1. I was mistaken about the NRA board size being near 50. It’s 76, even worse.

  57. avatar Glen Rosen says:

    The NRA has done nothing for years. They should go after the court to make the Second Amendment solid. That goes for Non Violent Felons. Where does it state in the Constitution that they can take away a right? Why doesn’t North Carolina vs. Pearce make the gun act of 1968 illegal. Since they have made it so some violent misdemeanors and other non felonies cannot own guns, why are they grouping all felons, but not all offenders. If we did not have plea bargains, there would be millions more ex felons on the street. They saved the state money for a reduced charge but they did the same thing as a person that exercised there constitutional right for a jury trial. As in North Carolina stated, you cannot be punished for exercising your constitutional right but this is what they are doing. You also cannot group any one group together like felons, violent or non violent. They should have filed against the DC gun ban years ago, but it took citizens to do there job. There is not doubt that the Second Amendment means all people and not just a militia. You have to put your self at the same date and time when the Constitution was written. Everyone carried or had a gun to live by and to hunt for food and protect them selves. Plain common sense. They can make all the gun laws they want, but it will not stop the shootings. If people want to kill, they can steal a bus and run hundreds over. They can take a small plane and do the same thing. They can also start a fire. The Justices in the Supreme Court need to realize this whether they like guns or not. Most of they probably have guns anyway.

  58. avatar Wrong way says:

    Personally I can’t understand why anyone would want a bump stock. What are they good for? Besides burning through a bunch of rounds in a short period of time. Takes no skill to pull the trigger and hold on. You don’t need them for deer hunting or for that matter any kind of hunting. I have been hunting and shooting trap and targets for over 50 years the last 20+ in NRA long range pistol silhouette and have never had the need for a full auto or bump stock or for that matter any other modification of the rate of fire of any of the firearms I have shot. Besides it takes to long to reload ammo for that kind of weapon. Agree, disagree that’s my opinion and I support the NRA’s view as well as most of the people I have spoken to regarding the bump stock ban. .

  59. avatar john donahue says:

    I like what I hear from Sheriff Clarke. He is a sensible voice in group of zealots that would destroy USA. I think we need him to be more involved in national ploitics. So more funding. Oh guess what I am white in case you think me black!

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