Duane Liptak NRA Magpul
courtesy youtube.com
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By Duane Liptak

I’ve just completed some meetings and other duties with the NRA, and I wanted to get some of these thoughts out there, in case anyone finds them useful. There is a lot of work going on, and I’ve never been so encouraged by the efforts I’m seeing move forward. As a disclaimer, these opinions are mine, personally, and I do not speak for the NRA or anyone else in this statement. This is long, and potentially a bit repetitive on points of significance, but I felt it important to say.

Personally, I am something of a gun rights single issue voter, in that regardless of the merits of any other positions of a candidate, I weigh support for 2A rights as a prerequisite before even looking at other issues, and most of my friends and associates fall in that category as well. I believe those rights to be too important to do otherwise, especially at this time in world and national events.

Fortunately, a candidate’s stance on gun rights usually follows along with many of the other positions that are appealing to me as well, and if I can find a pro-gun, fiscally conservative, social libertarian, then I’m fairly happy. If you fall in that category of voter and are disappointed that we’ve achieved no forward legislative progress in the past two years of a Republican-held House and Senate on gun rights, I’m with you. But, I also spend enough time lobbying and working with lobbying efforts to understand that our simple majority by party is not a majority on many issues that I hold dear.

Personally, I’d love to see the NFA gutted, or at the very least, Hughes repealed and silencers and SBR/SBS completely removed from NFA purview, nationwide no-permit carry, as well as many other positions that might be considered “extreme” by anyone who doesn’t understand or love freedom quite so much, or understand that these measures actually increase the safety of our country. On the side of “just give us a common sense inch,” I’d love to see basic nationwide reciprocity passed without poisoned amendments, and that shouldn’t be hard—one would think. (That one is the fault of current Senate leadership for not having the fortitude to bring it to a vote.)

We are nearing midterm election time, and a lot is at stake. I don’t have any particular love for many of the positions of either of the two major parties, but the reality is that the Democrat side is embracing socialism and statist oppression so openly that it is hard to ignore the potential consequences of Democrat legislative control of either chamber at the federal level and losing ground in the states. The candidates in the NY State AG race are actually arguing over who will more voraciously wield the power of the state in trying to drive the NRA out of business to silence the voice of their political opposition.

We have some favorable odds to retain a Republican U.S. Senate just with the luck of the draw with the seats that are up, but we still need good turnout to retain it. Dems only need to gain about 24 seats to flip the House, and there are between 65 and 75 or so contested races that are within a few points, nationwide. It’s close. In addition, Governorships and legislative races at the state level could affect redistricting that would make it very hard to have anything other than a Democrat majority in the House for years to come, so those races are just as critical.

The unfortunate reality is that we were actually dangerously close to additional ANTI-gun legislation this year on rate accelerating devices and “bump stocks” that could have effectively banned all replacement triggers that was steamrolling toward the legislative floor and had enough bipartisan support in both houses to pass due to the emotion of the moment and not actually understanding what the legislation actually was banning—a common theme. There were some even worse bills on the table including the possibility of another national AWB this year, and the lack of understanding of what printed firearms were all about almost ended up with legislation banning those, with potential far-reaching second and third order effects from that, as well.

Without the NRA, these measures likely would have passed. That’s a fact, and I dealt with it through our Magpul lobbyists, as well. It was a steamroller, and disaster was very narrowly averted. Yes, I’m not happy that it was even close, and I’m certainly not happy with some of the other legislative shenanigans in other areas, but the alternative would be far worse with Dem control of the legislature and the committee chairs, even if we had the hope of a Presidential veto to hold the line.

One thing we are winning at, and that has potentially saved the Republic in my eyes, is in judicial appointments. We are about to finally have an actual solid 5/4 court on the basic individual right to own a firearm in the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC). We have been extremely close on that in previous decisions. We are likely not ever going to turn NY, CA, NJ, and other liberal enclaves legislatively back to more firearms freedoms, so the path to that is through the courts, and we could potentially get AWBs, magazine restrictions, etc., declared unconstitutional with the right court composition and granting cert to the right cases.

We will need the USSC and Trump’s appointees to do that, and in the background, Trump and the Senate have confirmed 60 constitutionalist-leaning judges in federal courts across the country, changing the balance in two district courts, with 40 more appointments planned before the midterm and another 40 or so after. This is important to the fight for ALL freedom with more judges who interpret the constitution rather than attempt to legislate statist ideals from the bench.

If we had lost the 2016 Presidential election to the Dems, this option would be dead, and we would potentially have the basic individual right to own a firearm (incorrectly and unconstitutionally) struck down by the courts. Like Trump or not, without him being the one making appointments right now, the Second Amendment may have died in this decade.

So, we need a strong showing this fall to keep, and ideally, expand control of both chambers. Please get out and do your part, and encourage others to do the same. The anti-freedom groups are motivated, organized, and well-funded. Bloomberg has pledged to spend $80 Million in house races alone.

Please understand that “taking a hard line, no compromise stance” publicly is great for fund raising and grass roots activation—and the goals behind the scenes can be exactly those no compromise positions, as they are in the offices of the NRA—but if a legislator doesn’t believe it’s in his or his constituents’ best interests or will keep in office to support something… your stance isn’t going to sway him. The facts may… but they also may not. That’s the wonderful thing about lobbying—some of the folks you are talking to couldn’t care less about the facts.

That’s right… some don’t care. At all. Show them a 4-foot pile of evidence that their anti-gun or even lukewarm stance on guns is detrimental in every measurable way, and they still might not care. Some of them only care about how things poll for their next election, and that’s it. Republicans in purple districts are hard to get to support pro-gun measures sometimes because they know it will potentially lose them their seat to a Democrat challenger—and there may be no better candidate in that district that has any chance whatsoever of beating a Democrat challenger, so you’re stuck with either the soft R or the hard D.

House and Senate leadership don’t want to tackle issues like that that may lose them control of their chamber due to the lost seats, and thus the ability to control the legislative agenda at all, plus the loss of the ability to support judicial appointments, pass budgets, etc., which is worse for the entire country, and can immediately undo anything that they DO pass. It’s a messy, flawed system. But, it’s what we’ve got to navigate.

When you demand a mile and refuse to take a foot when one is offered, you’re not going to move forward in this environment. All or nothing nearly guarantees that we get nothing. The antis actually LOVE it when we draw lines in the sand that prevent any progress at all for our side, and LOVE it when we are bickering among ourselves as to who is signaling more 2A virtue. 

Just as a reminder, as they are sometimes bad at talking about things like this effectively, we likely would have had some of the previously mentioned negative legislation passed were it not for the NRA, and we certainly would have ZERO chance of having any positive legislation without them. I know it’s fashionable these days to accuse the NRA of not being “hard core” enough, and yep, some of the statements have left me a little disappointed.

Folks need to understand that there are plenty of people within the organization and staff that are very aligned with my viewpoints. There just isn’t the political possibility of achieving those things right now, and that’s a real, and unfortunate, fact.

We were very close to having the votes for HPA passage, although not many of our elected officials want to take that up right now, and we are still very close to national reciprocity passage, but the legislative vote numbers on repealing NFA, ditching all provisions of GCA ‘68, repealing Hughes, etc., aren’t even close. That’s unfortunately not something we can change without changing the entire political and public opinion landscape right now—which will take some time, and a lot of effort from all of us. We all need to work toward that.

The reality is that the NRA is your only real viable voice in the fight for gun rights in these circles. Other gun groups are great at promoting “hard line” positions publicly—and BZ for them doing so— because they aren’t risking policy achievement by doing it, as they don’t have the horsepower to even be included. They publicly state a hard line position, file a few amicus briefs maybe, send out some emails to fire up the grassroots base (which actually is an important factor) and they cash your check.

I’m not saying don’t support them, because that grassroots activation is effective, as are some of the legal efforts! We need their efforts, also. The NRA, however, actually gives you a voice in this jacked-up circus of the DC beltway, in the best way to actually influence policy—because they actually have a seat at the table.

Unfortunately, sometimes that requires, at least to all public appearances, taking a certain position in order to achieve certain ends. Believe me when I tell you that it’s extremely frustrating to many of the staff to have to do this, just as much as it is for many members to see it. This is how change is effectively achieved, though, when larger movements are impossible.

Everytown and other anti-freedom groups absolutely want all guns banned, period, and this has been leaked or reported on in one form or another for some time. But, in most cases, their public positions are for “common sense safety measures” and “reasonable restrictions,” and having the tactical patience to take our freedoms an inch at a time helps them to get to where they want to go.

We have to be willing to win our freedoms back in the same way from a legislative perspective while we also charge forward with the legal strategy that may transform the national landscape for the better in a far more immediate fashion if we can get enough people on the bench that actually believe in the founding documents of our nation.

That legal fight is what can’t be forgotten. Other groups, like FPC, etc., do some great work, as well, but the legal battlefield on which the NRA plays is incredibly significant. Heller and MacDonald, getting the anti-gun ballot measures stricken from the Oregon ballots, the cases which have expanded concealed carry around the nation, injunctions in CA, ad nauseam—all of these had the hand of the NRA, and with the change in judicial landscape, more will come.

The NRA is currently fighting what is potentially one of the most important First Amendment legal battles in our nation’s history, fighting a State supported effort to drive an advocacy out of business because of its beliefs, and the NRA will prevail. Even the ACLU has backed the NRA in this effort, as it’s SO critical to preserving freedom of speech and preventing government from killing opposition using the power of office.

This case may have far-reaching effects on government censorship that affects the very ability to speak out in opposition of government at all, and could potentially be used to shut down the entire firearms industry by denying basic business services, should we lose.

Want the NRA to be able to get more done? Want things to actually get passed? Want to get more real pro-gun legislators elected? The way to achieve that is with numbers. The NRA is at its highest membership numbers, ever, but there are around 6 Million NRA members and over 100 Million U.S. gun owners—conservatively. If just another 5 percent of U.S. gun owners were members, the ability to influence policy would improve significantly.

As powerful as 6 million members can be, a lobby with the power of 10 or 12 million members is so significant as to not be able to be ignored. The NRA is currently under attack, because the anti-freedom opposition knows that the NRA membership can affect elections. The enemies of freedom are doing everything they can to force the NRA to the sidelines in this midterm, because they know the effect the NRA can have.

What can you do? First, become a member of the NRA. Become a five-year or life member if you are already an annual member, so you can vote in the board elections, also. Then encourage family, friends, neighbors, people you see at the range, co-workers, etc., to also become members.

With membership, we have more say on the national stage. Join other groups you believe in, as well. Support other efforts, or start one yourself. But…it doesn’t cost much to be an NRA member, and just the publications and other benefits make it worthwhile as a gun owner, let alone the cause you are supporting. So, do that first.

Then, become active this fall. Vote. Don’t be apathetic, even in races where you think we’ve got an easy victory. Every vote does count, and the enemy is motivated. Encourage others to vote. Help to educate others on the issues. Support a candidate if you can.

This could potentially be one of the most important elections in the history of our nation, and it is absolutely imperative that we all do our part to promote a victory for freedom.

Duane Liptak is an NRA Board Member and Executive Vice President of Magpul Industries.

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  1. “As a disclaimer, these opinions are mine, personally, and I do not speak for the NRA or anyone else in this statement.”

    Then what exactly is the point of you being on the board if your opinion doesn’t mean anything? What does the board actually *do*?

    And WTF does “I do not speak for the NRA or anyone else” even mean? Aren’t you speaking for yourself?

    • “These opinions are mine” makes me think he is indeed speaking for himself. Are you OCD regarding vocabulary and grammar, or just a jerk?

      • The set “anyone” includes the subset “yourself”. If he’s not speaking for anyone else, who is he speaking for?

        • You’re forgetting a critical modifier: he said anyone ELSE. That is not the same as simply saying “anyone.”

          If you’re going to get picky about grammar, at least get it right.

        • The Vikings were not the most erudite folks, interesting society but not necessarily “well spoken” when translated into English. Norse was expressive by idiom, not by design.

    • I want to personally thank the OP for speaking to us – from his personal opinion – BECAUSE he is an NRA board member. Far better that he speak to us than remain silent.

      I agree with everything he wrote. We gun-owners need to get smart about our politics.

      THE most important thing is to get a strong majority of voters to understand and appreciate the role of private gun ownership. There is no parchment barrier that is worth the paper and ink if a strong majority of voters do not INSIST on that barrier being respected. We can scream “MY RIGHTS!!” until we are horse; but, those rights mean nothing if there is no will to to insist that they be respected.

      Look at the practice of lynching. The equal protection of the law meant nothing as long as good men would do nothing to stand against the practice. Once good men refused to tolerate the practice, lynching slowly ground to a halt.

      The same prevails with gun-rights. As long as gun owners and their neighbors will do less-than-enough to support the right, the statists and progressives with have their way. SCOTUS won’t be enough. Defense of the 2A is in our hands. If we can’t get everyone to the ballot box once every two years we have no reason to imagine we will get everyone to bring his cartridge box to the barricades. We need every vote; lacking that, we won’t make every shot count.

      • Mark, I completely agree with you. Everything Liptak says is spot on. If us gun owners don’t stick together with the NRA, we won’t have a chance. Yea, I also support many of the other gun organizations, but all of them put together can’t equal the strength of the NRA.
        No one or no one organization can win 100% of it’s battles. The only way to win the vast majority of the battles, is to chose the battles wisely. I believe that is exactly what the NRA is doing.

  2. He’s right. About everything.

    Now, we wait for the usual slew of petulant NRA haters and instant gratification snowflakes to emerge here and deny what he’s said, all the while complaining about Wayne LaPierre’s newest suit.

    • Y’all do know that there is no rule in the bylaws of any pro-civil rights organization that prohibits a member or contributor from also being a member or contributor to another organization? You can support the little dog at the same time you do the big dog.

    • At least the NRA fanbois are here. Continuing to gloss over little “details” like Wayne LaPierre’s call for the ATF to ‘look closely at bump stocks’.

      That was in our best interest, right?

      Stockholm Syndrome, or just ignorance of the 50+ years of not only failure to support gun rights, but institutional support for taking them away?

      • I’m tired of hearing this crap. It was GOING to pass legislatively. Whether you like it or not. No amount of REEEEE NO COMPROMISE will change that. The NRA was right to take the wind out of their sails.

      • Ah, I remember you. The guy that accuses everyone who doesn’t have a white-hot hatred of the NRA of being a Fudd. You’re one of the people I spoke of in my original post, and you were right on schedule.

        • Can’t posit a factual argument. Fabricate things I never said.

          Good job. You’ve proven your fudd credentials.

        • You use the word “Fudd” like a liberal uses the word “racist”. You apply it to anyone you disagree with. It’s actually remarkable how similar some of the people posting here are to liberal snowflakes. Unless your posts are satire, of course.

    • As a Benefactor Member I do not respond well to accusations of attacking the NRA, but I have to say (after reading this), we need to change some ratings, here. How about, if a current or potential legislator cannot get 100% behind common-sense gun control (repeal NFA ’34, GCA ’68, and FOPA ’86, completely, for a start), then the highest rating he can get is a “B”. Something like that. The idea that we have a bunch of “A+” ratings on people who have to be compromised with in order to avoid weapon bans, is ridiculous. How are we to recognize REAL supporters, in order to support/vote/contribute?

    • This is a quote from the above article written by a NRA board member “Personally, I’d love to see the NFA gutted, or at the very least, Hughes repealed and silencers and SBR/SBS completely removed from NFA purview, nationwide no-permit carry…”

      And, we have the NRA to thank for supporting the Hughes act, the NFAs creation, the failure to hold money from poiticians until any forward movement on the HPA happened and also for allowing a carrying permit process to happen in the first place. Garbage.

    • Government behaving like government. If they passed what they promised, why would they get re elected? They need to be seen as fighting for something important to you so they can be relavant.

      Step 1 make people afraid of bears
      Step 2 promise to keep people safe from bears
      Step 3 do nothing abt bears
      Step 4 repeat

  3. Any vote for a democrat is a vote to end the 2nd Amendment. I can’t stand the Republican party, but I will vote for every republican I can vote for, considering I am in Illinois with their record here, because if the democrats take the house, they will impeach the President. The Senate Democrats will then use that impeachment to get Never Trump republicans and squish republicans to block all Trump appointments….including those vital judgeships and the 2-3 Supreme Court positions that might open up in the next 6 years. They will impeach, they are not hiding it. If you value the 2nd Amendment, you have to go vote, you have to get your friends and family to vote, and they need to vote for Republicans, at least while Trump is in office….if you don’t, you are surrendering your guns to the democrats…..your hunting shotgun, and your 6 shot revolver…they want them all.

  4. “When you demand a mile and refuse to take a foot when one is offered,”
    Wait, what foot was offered? What additional exercise of our rights was offered? What additional exercise of our rights has the NRA garnered?
    The author is claiming that the NRA has done so much, we just haven’t seen it. He’s half right, we certainly haven’t seen it.
    I’ll continue to withhold my support until I do.

      • The thrust of the article was to explain the political landscape. In short, there is near zero chance that any political party will die on the hill of preserving “gun rights” for a voting block that is not overwhelming. The reality is that we are not winning the battle for our rights, because we cannot assure the election/re-election of politicians who are faithful. The article tells us that delay is nationally the only avenue available….until we elect the right people, or become so powerful that the existing politicians dare not disappoint us. Until then “Not. One. More. Step.” will be futile, and self-defeating.

        Like the NRA or not, the author is a first-hand victim of liberal government, having been forced to put his business where his mouth is and leave an anti-gun state. If I remember correctly, Magpul refused to stay in Colorado because Magpul could produce “high capacity” magazines for sale anywhere but Colorado. His principled stand should have shamed Colt and S&W out of the gun making business.

        • “The reality is that we are not winning the battle for our rights, because we cannot assure the election/re-election of politicians who are faithful.”

          This is exactly how we’ve gotten into this mess. Politicians aren’t faithful because we don’t hold them accountable. Continue to capitulate, and they will continue to ignore you.

          The NRA’s playbook appears to be to continue to reward bad behavior, and then expect good behavior. This is foolishness and self delusion.

        • JWT, what we need here is more *PRIMARIES*. When the incumbent is our only choice besides a farlefty, he can take our votes for granted, WTF we gonna do? Primaries give us a chance to make some serious demands, and see if anyone wants our votes.

        • “. . . for a voting block that is not overwhelming.” That’s the key. We believe our numbers to be 100 million. If we all voted our interests we WOULD be overwhelming. Apparently, there are a lot of gun-owners who are NOT voting for guns; or not voting at all.

          We need to activate our fellow PotG and grow the number of gun-owners who attach life-or-death value to their ownership. Until we succeed at this, our strategy must be constrained to hold+increment.

    • But, but, but it would have been so much worse were it not for our strategic surrenders…

      If only Wayne hadn’t told the ATF to look closely at regulating something long determined to be legal, they would have banned every semi-auto ever made. Fer sherz.

      Or something.

      Maybe Mr. Liptak really believes what he wrote. Maybe his heart really is in the right place. But sorry old chap, you are tarred with the same brush as the organization who has (enthusiastically) given our gun rights away for the last 70+ years.

      Make me believe otherwise. And if you really care about gun rights at all, shut Wayne LaPierre the F up.

      • “And if you really care about gun rights at all, shut Wayne LaPierre the F up.”

        Most of us sit in the peanut gallery and kibbutz. This man moved an entire manufacturing company out of an anti-gun state. We, on the other hand, find reasons why we cannot disrupt our lives to vote with our feet (or money?).

        The author is giving us a look into the internals of the NRA. Into the realities of the national political game today. What he is saying is POTG are not persuading enough people to be a force for the changes we want (inside or outside the NRA).

        The problem is not in our stars, the problem is in us. We POTG love to argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but gun owners are not a monolithic voting block. Given that situation, think for yourself what the rational expectations should be. In politics, “all or nothing” is a near 100% losing proposition at all times.

        • Magpul did not move manufacturing out of Colorado, because manufacturing wasn’t in Colorado in the first place. They only moved the corporate headquarters to Austin, Texas.
          I ran the Texas delegation that recruited them. Also, the author is the executive vice-president, not the CEO.

          • Thanks. I don’t live in Colorado or Texas, so I did get the details a little confused (and thank you for setting things straight). Point is, the EVP moved with the company headquarters. He could have whined that it was too hard to change his life and inconvenience his family. Or any of a number of other reasons. The upshot is the EVP explained some of the inner struggles of the NRA board members and staff. In short, this is real life. “Never” doesn’t work well when you are in the minority, as an organization member, or legal voter. And the truth is, it is not up to the NRA to be THE organization that solves all the problems with “gun rights”, or even lead. We the people of gun ownership are responsible for what we allow to happen. If we cannot sell our principles to the overwhelming majority of voter, what has NRA to do with it?

            As a reminder, I am not sold on NRA membership (which is the fault of NRA for not providing a compelling argument for membership). But I also understand political calculus…we simply do not have the votes to turn the tide, and will be forced to adopt leftist techniques and depend on the courts to do what the legislatures will not.

        • Esoteric Inanity, they already had the most of the machines and operators there, they just moved the rest across the state line.

        • “Esoteric Inanity, they already had the most of the machines and operators there, they just moved the rest across the state line.“

          Apologies if Esoteric Inanity has failed to comprehend the complete context of jwtaylor’s post. However, is this one to understand that Magpul had production in another location in Wyoming before purchasing/leasing their current production plant(old Cheyenne Jeld-Wen building) in 2014? Also, how does the Wyoming state grant incentive of 8.3 million(offered in 2014) factor into this if operations were already present prior to 2013?

          Granted that some newspapers tend to be unreliable but: https://www.google.com/amp/s/trib.com/business/wyoming-board-approves-new-deal-to-help-magpul-move-plant/article_17857fdb-5a0e-59e3-aa45-2f0bab4aec00.amp.html

          Excerpt from the above article: “Magpul decided to move its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne and its headquarters to Texas after Colorado enacted gun control laws last year.“

          Now this is not to say that Esoteric Inanity is not mistaken, as he lives on the western side of the state and rarely gets over to Cheyenne. Not to mention that it has been several years, and he has somewhat forgotten certain details. Perhaps there are specifics that those not directly involved in the industry are unaware of. If jwtaylor could potentially elaborate as to his statement, Esoteric Inanity would be greatly appreciative.

        • “Does sorta, kinda, almost correct in my case get me out of the dunderhead box?“

          Depends, is a dunderhead box a place frequented by everyone from time to time, or is it one of those places only a special few are privy too?

          As to where Magpul’s production was before being located at 7201 Commerce Circle, Cheyenne, WY 82007, Esoteric Inanity isn’t for certain. From what he can discern, Erie, Colorado seems to be the referenced town in most articles. However, jwtaylor appears to have knowledge to the contrary, and he typically isn’t one to bullshit. Perhaps Esoteric Inanity is also mistaken and in the dunderhead box too.

          In all honesty, this one isn’t certain of what sort of an operational setup Magpul had before coming to Wyoming. He does however, recall the outrage of some fellow state residents regarding Governor Mead’s 8.3 million incentive of taxpayer money to incentivize Magpul. The payback plan was also a fiasco, especially after the company laid off some 70 employees last year.

          Don’t get this one wrong, he is glad that Magpul came to Wyoming. The company makes a quality product, provides jobs and as Sam I Am has previously stated, stood by their convictions in leaving Colorado. However, the whole deal to court them to Wyoming was rather murky from the get go.

          • “Depends, is a dunderhead box a place frequented by everyone from time to time, or is it one of those places only a special few are privy too?”

            I find there is no one in the dunderhead box to talk to.

    • Allow 1 year membership to vote for the board. And don’t be the evangelical preacher always want moar money.

        • What pray tell is currently stopping a bunch of Bloomberg financed leftists from signing up for lifetime memberships and taking “the NRA over”?

        • @HP…point taken. @Esoteric Inanity…equally true. And probably a better way for them to spend their anti-gun/anti-freedom money.

        • “@Esoteric Inanity…equally true. And probably a better way for them to spend their anti-gun/anti-freedom money.”

          A disconcerting thought to be certain.

        • “What pray tell is currently stopping a bunch of Bloomberg financed leftists from signing up for lifetime memberships and taking “the NRA over”?”

          Why do you think they haven’t? Adam Kraut’s failure to get a seat and the fact that NRA is either lukewarm or openly alienating the base kind of indicates they have a serious lib infection. Hiring Colion Noir is the only positive change they’ve made in this century.

        • Freaking wonderful!! So wee Mikey buys 10 million life memberships, NRA gets 10 billion dollars, and then we start the contest. I will be in line for li’l mikey to buy *my* life membership, if you’re not that’s your problem. WTF do you think is going on here, these people are MORONS! So, Mikey finds that after spending 10 billion dollars, he has 2 million disinterested and uncommitted antis within the NRA, and has paid for 8 million frothing-at-the-mouth 2A absolutists to FOREVER oppose his goals. Should he do that again? Maaayybe!

    • This is it exactly. No foot, no yard, no mile, was ever offered. The only thing on offer was to chop off only one of our feet, rather than both legs. The NRA has always seen that as a win, never once realizing that that foot will not grow back, and the antis will no sooner finish devouring that one foot, before they will be back for the other one. They have shown this a hundred times for almost a century.
      It’s the slow death of our rights by a thousand cuts, and the NRA has always supported such, and still does today. That is what this author is begging support for. Or perhaps he’s only begging for his paycheck to continue.
      Either way, my answer is no.

      • I’m glad many of you aren’t Generals. You’d never retreat and make your men fight to the death rather in every battle no matter how outnumbered even if it guarantees a loss of the war because you’ve squandered your troops in a bunch of pointless battles.

        But, you’d be able to proudly hold your head high in the next life knowing you never gave an inch.

        • When was the last time that significant 2A legislation was pushed through? Compare that to all that has been lost since 1986. Was mail order ammunition worth trading for the closing of the machine gun registry? Guns in National Parks is nice, but hardly amazing.

          If these trade offs are what one might call a win, then it is no wonder that so many are content with the NRA’s performance. Many infringements could be undone via executive order, one might wonder if anyone in the NRA has discussed this with the President.

          Custer has a better track record than LaPierre, at least he had a few victories before Little Bighorn.

        • A good commander adapts to both his men and the situation. Very good results have been obtained by violating the so-called ‘rules’ of combat. As example, putting your army’s back to a river, if they are of low morale and likely to flee at the first shot. By cutting off your own retreat, the men are forced to fight or die. That technique has won battles that looked utterly hopeless, at least on paper.
          The same for dividing your forces. It’s a violation of the standard rules, but often results in fabulous victories. If you are going to talk about warfare and “generals” you ought to study a little history first. Then your opinion will be an informed one, and won’t sound like a babbling infant.

    • I’d care more if the NRA felt the same way, they don’t though, they tried to get “Fix NICS” passed killing National Reciprocity along the way, they came out against bump stocks, the gave up on the Hearing Protection Act very quickly (after years of ignoring suppressors all together)

      But he made it clear these are his opinions, which is fine, but if you’re going to try and praise the NRA than your single opinion doesn’t matter, worse if you have to preface it by clearly stating this is your opinion I question what the NRAs is, generally people do such things when they try and say something controversial.

    • What you refuse to “see” is all the evil legislation that DIDN’T get passed. Maybe, if we had your support (and other slackers!) we could have seen positive progress.

  5. I will take “dangerous freedom over safe slavery” ANYDAY!! I’ll see the filthy socialists in HELL before giving up my 2nd Amendment rights! I hate what has happened to this country…just try asking ANYONE who has lived under regimes which infringe and dictate EVERYTHING in their lives and maybe the idiots who advocate socialism and even more government interference may just change their minds(that is, if they still know how to think for themselves)!

    • You bring an excellent point. Decades ago you had less gun control tyrants partly because some migrants had lived under tyranny in some foreign countries, or their parents did and told them the stories. Fast forward in 2018, and you have a bunch of spoiled, clueless, easily brainwashed snowflakes, advocating things they barely understand. We now have hordes of American zombies serving an agenda set to sacrifice Freedom, they don’t care they just want to be like the other “cool” teens and they want to “accomplish something” in their lives. They grow in a culture of “everybody is a winner”, and “if you don’t like it or if you disagree with it, then it must not be allowed”. These brain dead folks are dangerous as they empower those up there who actually know what they are doing.

    • Not that I disagree but where is the line in the sand where they take so much we literally fight back? Who’s going to organize the fight? Do we have enough people that are willing to take the ultimate risk? Something worth considering if you preach the “line”.

      I don’t know exactly where that line is myself. I’d like to think it’s there but it’s got to be the same for a LOT of people too.

      • I am absolutely confident that when and if the time comes, we will not be able to miss it. If there’s a question in your mind, this ain’t it! Meanwhile, if you are sitting in front of your computer waiting for it, you should seek help.

  6. What a joke. Personal opinion letters like this are worthless. It’s the NRA’s fault that we’re losing bump stocks and almost lost competition triggers.
    They have done jack at the state and federal levels after promising us the world with Trump’s election.

  7. He seems to accept that it’s OK for a politician to do or say nothing, that’s in the best interest of the Republic, to get reelected. That really bugs me. I’m not sure it can be changed though.

    • Not sure he’s “ok” with it, just acknowledging that it is a fact in our current environment that will take years, if not decades to change. And right now, the positive change will be dead in its infancy if Dems take over any part of Congress this year.

  8. So that’s the excuse for supporting anti-gun Republicans by not dropping their NRA ratings ahead of the election, huh.

    “The unfortunate reality is that we were actually dangerously close to additional ANTI-gun legislation this year on rate accelerating devices and “bump stocks” that could have effectively banned all replacement triggers that was steamrolling toward the legislative floor and had enough bipartisan support in both houses to pass due to the emotion of the moment and not actually understanding what the legislation actually was banning—a common theme.”

    And whom do we have to blame for that? Rather than educating the ignorant, it sure seemed like the NRA was right up there with them, stating the ATF, then the DOJ needed to regulate firearm rapid-fire modifications as ‘full auto conversion devices.’ At least, until they reaped a ton of blow-back from the membership and softened their stance, far too late to stop the ban in FL or other states, or the president from endorsing these measures (and others)

    Mr. Liptak; what EXACTLY is needed for us to finally see some sort of payoff for all the years of support and donations toward both the NRA and their favored politicians? Being eaten more slowly is a very poor investment, after all. We got the presidency, both houses of congress, and the supreme court at this point. When will we see pro-gun bills brought up for even a test vote, the way Democrats routinely get their wish-lists voted down? What haven’t we been seeing any positive effort or impact from the two branches (president & congress) that the NRA can actually influence over the last two years? All I can recall is an ambitious but pie-in-the-sky reciprocity bill that had a handful of sponsors & died in committee, and the Hearing Protection Act which had much more support and a more plausible path to success, yet had very little NRA lobbying support by comparison.

    • “Being eaten more slowly is a very poor investment, after all. We got the presidency, both houses of congress, and the supreme court at this point. When will we see pro-gun bills brought up for even a test vote, the way Democrats routinely get their wish-lists voted down?”

      Look around. The overall national issue is quick death of the republic, or slow death. The end is the same. I prefer a quick end, but will join those resisting immediate destruction.

      As to the current political realities….we are responsible for our destiny. We have the government we have earned over the last fifty years. We were told eternal vigilance would be required, but other things became more important than actual freedom and principle.

      The current climate is but the extension from the first days. In the founding of the nation, the two major positions were: only elites/royalty has the right to rule – and the people were fully capable of managing their own affairs (note: at the beginning even that proposition did not envision the masses as fully capable). The system of elites has been in ascendance since 1965 (at least).

    • I failed to keep with developments on Hearing Protection, but National Reciprocity did actually pass the House. NRA helped move that effort forward. Did I like the Fix NICS portions added to it, no. Was that the kind of compromise Mr. Liptak is talking about, yes. Some compromise is necessary in our political system. Sometimes a lot of compromise is necessary while you keep your eyes on the goal. Could reciprocity have passed without Fix NICS, not sure. Maybe it wasn’t worth taking that chance at the time.

  9. \> without the NRA this legislation would have passed.

    Mhm. Sure.

    I’m an NRA member with the goal in mind to get adam kraut and similar individuals on the BoD. Aside from dues the NRA won’t see a single donation from me until I see results. That’s the job of a lobbyist. In my opinion, that job isn’t being done.

  10. MEH…in ILLinois we’re screwed. NRA or no NRA. What an endless esposition signifying nothing. My eye’s glazed over…

  11. Republicans are responsible for much of the current nonsense anti-2A laws we are dealing with right now. They say they are pro-gun at rallies to get the vote, and then stab us all in the back. The sad thing is that the sheep continue to vote for them because “forget every time they screwed us before, they definitely mean it this time and the other side is worse because at least the Republicans care enough to lie to our faces about not supporting the 2A!” “Oh, and the NRA approved this new batch of gun control so it’s OK…” Republicans and Democrats are both terrible.

      • My plan is to continue to do what I’ve done, and what I’ve seen have a direct effect.

        Financially support candidates that do what I want them to do. Meet with members of my state legislature, as well as meet with my federal representatives on these issues.

        If writing a check to the NRA is your whole plan, you’re part of the problem.

        • “If writing a check to the NRA is your whole plan, you’re part of the problem.”

          You unraveled the entire point of the article. The author is explaining that NRA cannot use “shall not be infringed” as a lobbying technique because the politicians in place are not of that mindset. Which means we are responsible for voting in more politicians who are amenable to “shall not be infringed” because we voting are providing the pressure, via NRA and others, to respond to us according to our principles. Right now, the politicians don’t believe they have sufficient votes in elections that makes risking their positions reasonable.

        • Agree the supporting good candidates is the best course of action. If you don’t have a strong candidate in that race, then supporting the next best is the best course of action. Generally, a Republican may say he supports the 2A and then may or may not live up to it. I can’t think of a single Democrat who supports it and would vote in such a way. If they did, they’d lose all party support. It’s an easy choice. The NRA isn’t perfect and has screwed up a lot. But, if the 2A community would cooperate better to influence the NRA, there would be a powerhouse of lobbying acumen with the voting block behind it. There are not perfect anythings in politics or law.

      • Perhaps the soap box and ballot box are currently preferable to the jury and ammo boxes. Healthy debate in the community is a plus, along with attempting new tactics. Getting outside the echo chamber doesn’t hurt either. Above all else though, is recognizing past mistakes and avoiding repetition.

        Like it or not, there are those in the 2A community that are a hindrance to it’s efficacy. Are these the staunch absolutists, or the loyalists to compromise? Time will tell, but eventually something will have to give.

        Esoteric Inanity however, is curious as to Stereodude’s perspective. What does he/she perceive to be the best option?

      • I don’t know about anyone else, but my plan is to learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”.

  12. you are asking me for money to carry out my best interests in lobbying. I am asking for the NRA to adopt the same stance as the Anti-gun block.

    Here is the line. no further.

    perhaps if you stop negotiating with the anti gun block and capitulating, you would attract more than the 6 million members you seem to always have. . You want 10 million? 15 million?

    Then change your tactics. You aren’t getting the numbers you want using the tactic of negotiating away our Rights.

    I’ll become a life member when the NRA becomes a force to be reckoned with, not a force to be negotiated with.

    • So you’ll join the army for the victory lap after the war is over. What courage…

      This is a war and your strategy is a guaranteed loser. Get what you can when you can and hold it for as long as you can. If you’re starving and someone offers you a slice of pizza, you take the slice and eat it even if you’d rather have the whole pie. Otherwise you’ll end up dying of starvation while you wait for someone to bring you that gourmet meal you’re holding out for.

      • Go piss up a rope. I’m refusing to fund an NRA that negotiates away my rights. Giving them money at this stage is tacit agreement with their strategy. their strategy isn’t working. I refuse to contribute to my continuing loss of rights under the auspices of ‘capitulation until we win… or something. ” it’s called voting with my money. The NRA does not actually represent my best interests until they change tactics. You don’t get to tell me how to vote with my money, sparky. I pay for what I GET, not what I hope to get, “someday, sorta, maybe, we’re thinking about writing a sternly worded letter or something.” Or fighting only the battles they know they can win and conceding the ones they THINK THEY CAN’T.. without even trying.

        I said I’d support them when they changed tactics. you claim that I will be signing up after the war is won. essentially, you just admitted that changing tactics will win the war. But hey, 6 million members can make the fight drag on for a century, losing incrementally, funding the board. what’s in it for them to change?

        • Keep shaking your fist in anger at every successful lobbying group that doesn’t 100 percent line up with your beliefs. I’m sure that’s working well.

        • stereo and westward:
          Can you two(assuming you aren’t one and the same sock puppets) do anything other than whine and namecall? Do you know how to address facts in a rational way?’ If not, you should learn how. Join us. It’s pretty nice over here in the land of reason.

        • Lobbying and advocacy take money. Lots and lots of it. Perhaps avoiding the battles that are guaranteed losers in this environment is a better strategy to allow the allocation of resources toward winnable battles. Just like in gun fights, the best one is the one you aren’t in.

      • The analogy you keep presenting isn’t the reality.
        We should not be capitulating on how much we will lose, but on how much we are willing to gain.

        Again, this is how we did it in Texas. We wanted Constitutional Carry. We settled for vehicle and property inclusions. We came back, wanting Constitutional Carry. We settled for permitted concealed carry. We came back, wanting Constitutional Carry. We settled for permitted open carry. We came back, wanting Constitutional Carry, we settled for a dramatic reduction in the cost, carve outs, and multiple changes in locations. Next session, we want Constitutional Carry, the other side needs to decide what they are willing to give up.

        Realpolitik isn’t about what you are willing to give up, but how little you are willing to take. How only the left seems to understand this is beyond me.

        • The naysayers here wouldn’t support your Texas plan. If they can’t get Constitution Carry all in one fell swoop they’ll sit on the sidelines holding their breath wait for the opportunity to get it all in one fell swoop. Taking small steps toward the goal is considered unacceptable.

          They’d rather sit on the sidelines because a potential ally fails their 2A purity test. They should ally with anyone willing to advance the cause a bit. They can break the alliance later after they’ve gotten all they can from it.

        • Stereodude,
          “They should ally with anyone willing to advance the cause a bit.”

          Absolutely, but the key word there is “advance”.

        • @Stereodude: You have the picture.

          What gets me is the guy – who I imagine lives in the middle of a Con-Carry state – who is perfectly satisfied with what HE has. He never travels outside of his home state so he doesn’t care about the other 49 states or DC. He is a man of principle!

          Never mind the plight of those trapped by job or other circumstances in a Won’t-Issue state. They can save themselves. He won’t sacrifice his sacred principles to help Won’t-Issue state residents get Shall-Issue; that’s compromise, and that’s just not in him.

          Never mind that the Won’t-Issue states are the urban centers of the country. Never mind that the metropolitan areas of right-to-carry states are increasingly populated by Progressives escaping the economic disasters of the forever-blue states. As long as the won’t-issue states remain so there will be no progress in gun-rights in these states. As long as blue-states keep feeding right-to-carry states with Progressives immigrants, the right-to-carry states are turning purple.

          Our smug brother – happy with what he has in his home state – doesn’t care that demographics are pushing the country away from an appreciation of the right-to-arms. He has his virtue to signal.

          Hunters and marksmen are not numerous enough nor growing in numbers to save the 2A. Self-defense is the growth area; which won’t grow rapidly enough unless the Won’t-Issue states flip to Shall-Issue. We need to popularize guns for self-defense; without that, the demographics will forever work against us. Without a “market” in the populous Won’t-Issue states we can’t build the numbers of voters on our side.

          Our man of principle is unconcerned. If necessary, he will move to Alaska and make his last stand there.

      • StereoDude…… Think what kind of political clout we would have if N R A membership was the 100 million supporters of the second amendment . But as in any group you will have a few people carrying the load and paying the way while the majority sits on their butt and criticizes and complains. If these arm chair activists would get involved and ring the senators etc. phones off the walls and write tons of letters demanding second amendment results then you would get action. Bitching and complaining here will accomplish nothing !

        • Ed, totally agree. I’m lucky as one of my senators is 100% pro gun, the other is mostly pro gun. I remain in contact with them regularly by phone and email. If gun owners did this regularly, we’d see a huge difference in how the politicians respect the 2A.

  13. Face it, gun owners are the problem. If the NRA had 25+ million members who were committed to voting primarily on gun rights no politician would cross them and they could demand all the hard line positions you guys want. But, with only 6 million members and way too many gun owners not voting or not voting primarily on gun rights they don’t have the political muscle to force the sort of legislation through that you all claim you want.

    But sure keep posting online from the sidelines that the NRA isn’t effective. Your sideline sitting is going to make all the difference.

    • I remember Pres. Bill (check out that ass) Clinton muttering after the Republican surge in 1994 that when gun owners vote, “They never forgive, they never forget and they always vote.” Yeah there might only be 6 million dues paying NRA members, but a big hunk of the gun owning public votes 2ND amendment issues first, even if not an NRA member. I also remember ol’ Slick Willie trying to tell Hillary to stay out of the gun issue in 2016, but she didn’t listen because she “knew better”.

      • bontai joe, that may have been the facts in the past. It isn’t anymore. There are fewer and fewer true 2A voters out there. If they were still that strong, there would be fewer faux 2A candidates and far fewer gun grabbers on the left side of the aisle in Congress.

  14. Second Amendment, First Amendment, and Insurance Regulation

    Dear Duane,

    As an attorney who specializes in regulation of the insurance industry, as well as a Life Member of the NRA, a member of the Snoqualmie Valley Rifle Club, and holding a Washington Concealed Pistol Permit, I have followed with interest recent developments concerning the NRA and its run-ins this year with insurance regulators in New York, New Jersey, and Washington.

    I am admitted in New York and Washington, also admitted but inactive in California, Florida, and Washington, DC. I have practiced as a partner with major firms, including Fried Frank and Manatt, Phelps, and Phillips, among others, and have handled insurance regulatory matters in all states over my career.

    The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) found – apparently without hearings – that the NRA’s Carry Guard insurance program was illegal, although it is difficult to determine how much of the DFS findings were based on clear violations of the New York Insurance Laws versus an anti-gun bias.

    The states of New Jersey and Washington have now followed NY’s lead. One can expect that all other states ultimately also will follow suit. One can also expect that insurance regulatory decisions in this area – regardless of state – will also filter insurance regulatory violations through the prism of anti-gun bias.

    But the issue is no longer whether the state is pro-gun or anti-gun as to the NRA or other pro-Second Amendment organizations. Nor is the First Amendment much help in this arena. Rather, the issue is whether the NRA and perhaps other organizations were licensed to sell or market insurance, which would not appear to implicate First or Second Amendment protections.

    If the insurance regulators are correct that the NRA or other gun owner organizations were selling insurance without a license, the NRA and others potentially have massive financial exposure not only for the Carry Guard program, and similar programs offered through other gun owner organizations, but for all lines of insurance that the NRA or others have marketed or sold through their websites or other media, mailings or publications in the past.

    Selling or marketing insurance without an insurance license is per se illegal in all states.

    Through the media and the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s (NAIC’s) national reporting system, all state insurance departments are now aware of the NRA licensing issues. And they will have no alternative but to take legal and regulatory action against the NRA and other organizations that illegally sell or market insurance products.

    Note that every state has an unfair trade practices statute that insurance regulators are not hesitant to invoke, along with broad market conduct powers, and other regulatory tools to remedy non-compliance, including onerous fines and penalties.

    Insurance regulators have the authority to reach back for years to require the NRA or other gun organizations to disgorge profits from past insurance transactions for all lines of business where they were not licensed. And all state regulators will have no choice but to join the bandwagon, regardless of their gun control views.

    If the firearms industry’s only strategy is to litigate with insurance regulators, the industry inevitably will become mired by the insurance regulatory issues. And ultimately will be forced to deal with these issues at considerable cost in resources and treasure.

    Not a pretty picture.

    • An interesting and helpful recap of potential issues. However….

      The matter of whether or not the insurance offerings are illegal is superfluous and deceptive; the intention is to use insurance regulation to control a legitimate business/organization. To wit, if the phrase “murder insurance” had not been introduced into the matter at hand (liability insurance and attorney assistance) your focus might be compelling. As it is, the regulation “violations” were only the curtain behind which the anti-gun states hide their intent to intimidate insurers to abandon a complete line of insurance products. This is not an unfortunate but unintended consequence, it is the very essence of the action by New York et al.

      Gun owners should remain alarmed, skeptical and aware.

      • Today, California Insurance Commissioner Jones decided that the NRA has marketed one or more insurance products in CA without a license.

        What I am saying is important. The state insurance regulatory authorities have relative carte blanch to thwart the NRA’s and other gun organizations quite effectively.

        This topic is where the wheel meets the road. Not at rant at all, just regulatory reality. And, unlike the many rants about First/Second Amendment, unreasonable insurance regulation can be confronted in a variety of ways.

        • I do understand your input related to regulation of insurance products in the different states. What I am pointing out is that the licensure issue is convenient cover for the real agenda.

          Since there is no constitutional protection for insurance products, it is a small step from licensing actions to simple banning of insurance for activities against public policy/safety. The states could even be slapped down about licensing requirements as a process requirement, but still stand on good ground that certain types of insurance encourage (or result in) egregious acts (murder – stand your ground) that result in crimes against the people.

          It will be interesting to see how many underwriters attempt to move into registration compliance only to be denied on the grounds that gun-related insurance is not permitted in one or more states. What I think will actually happen is that properly licensed companies will abandon self-defense insurance to avoid the legal burdens. Note that the underwriters have already declared self-defense insurance is not considered a socially acceptable business proposition – those who refuse to underwrite did not claim it was because of failure to obtain proper licenses.

          • There is a federal statutory protection for insurance products, the McCarran Ferguson of 1945. Never has seriously been challenged. So the settled law of the land is that the States are responsible for insurance regulation, not to mention pocketing the taxes.

            But all that is besides the point. You are correct that state insurance regulators and/or state legislatures, may declare that a certain type of coverage violates public policy. You also are correct that underwriters will shy away from such products.

            That said, we shall see whether such declarations withstand judicial scrutiny.

        • So, we manage to convince all insurers to drop any manner of firearm insurance completely. What are the bets of how many months or years will pass before a bill requiring insurance to possess a gun will be quietly slipped through legislatures? And – BOOM! – Voila! – we have finally succeeded in absolute firearm prohibition in the US, all that’s left to do is decide the punishment for bitter clingers.

        • If that is the tactic, then every university that markets insurance for its members and groups like AARP need to get out of that business as well. NRA was just the marketing arm. The insurance was underwritten and the actual transaction happened via licensed brokers. Sam I Am is also correct in that there is ample public record from the chief clown in NY that this is about hoplophobia.

  15. ” additional ANTI-gun legislation this year on rate accelerating devices and “bump stocks”” “Without the NRA, these measures likely would have passed. That’s a fact” “we likely would have had some of the previously mentioned negative legislation passed were it not for the NRA”
    The legislation the NRA’s leadership LITERALLY, non-metaphorically, explicitly endorsed not just once but repeatedly?

    “The NRA is currently fighting what is potentially one of the most important First Amendment legal battles in our nation’s history, fighting a State supported effort to drive an advocacy out of business because of its beliefs”

    Want to mention that fight is ongoing because the NRA tried a smash and grab on a pro-2A company (USCAA) so the NRA could line their pockets?

    Until I see them make public calls for the resignation (or at least a salary cut) of LaPierre Laval, Cox and Hammer for their anti-2A endorsements, I don’t buy any NRA board member when they plead “we’re totally on your side!”. You have the most dangerous enemy of the 2A at arm’s reach and you do nothing. Why should I believe you’re not on their side?

    Go to 4:09 in this video https://youtu.be/2pk2LqqqtDs?t=4m9s
    Then look up the Volume 13, Number 13, August 15 1986 edition of The Monitor
    “”Repealing the machine gun amendment tacked on to the McClure-Volkmer bill will be a high priority” said National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action Executive Director Wayne LaPierre Jr.”

    Wayne LaPierre openly lied to the membership to pass gun control. From the looks of it, the board still supports him despite this. I will NEVER willingly donate to the NRA while he is in power.

    • Good facts and great research. Unfortunately, the NRA fanbois will ignore them all, the same as the antis ignore all facts they don’t like. Statist sheep are sooo predictable… When the dog barks, they run whichever direction their fears take them. That’s about all one needs to know about flocks of sheep.
      I’ve about given up on them ever waking up and smelling the facts and evidence. I guess chanting; “NRA… NRA”, is just too much easier. Kudos to you for still being in there clinging to hope though. If you can wake up just one…

  16. While this is mostly good commentary on the situation we’re in, and while the author is only speaking for himself, not for the NRA in any official capacity, I really must say:

    You don’t get to make every effort to sabotage the Heller suit and then years later claim credit for the Heller suit.

        • About ten minutes into the Gura video, I was reminded of something much more heinous than the deliberate sabotage and attempts to prevent the Heller case from being heard:

          The NRA, not a party to the Heller suit, but wanting to take credit for Gura’s efforts, petitioned for and was given a sizeable chunk of Gura’s oral argument time, messing up his presentation of his case for no good reason other than to help dishonest people claim credit for the NRA’s part in this affair.

          I was livid when I read about NRA interference in the oral arguments ten years ago, but somehow I find myself even more furious about it today. Nobody involved with that attack on a landmark civil right case has any right to ever work in the civil rights field again.

          Duane, were you on the board in 2008?
          If so, what efforts did you undertake to remove LaPierre and every other cocksucker involved in the NRA’s disgusting interference with the oral arguments of Heller before the Supreme Court, and why did those efforts fail, as I am entirely unaware of a single cocksucking pile of shit ever being fired from the NRA for that?

        • Gura filed the Heller suit when Sandra Day O’Connor was still on SCOTUS. She was very likely a fifth vote AGAINST finding an individual right. The NRA freakout was that Gura was going to get Heller up to SCOTUS with O’Connor still on the court and get a ruling that hurt 2A rights.

          Once O’Connor retired, and a reliable fifth vote in Alito was on SCOTUS, NRA came on board with supporting Heller. Spin it all you want. This is exactly why NRA tried to stop Heller initially.

        • Westward HO: Regarding the timeline of Heller:
          “The defendants petitioned the United States Supreme Court to hear the case. The plaintiffs did not oppose but, in fact, welcomed the petition. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on November 20, 2007.” -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller
          AND ALSO:
          “Bush picks White House counsel for Supreme Court. If confirmed, Harriet Miers would succeed O’Connor… Tuesday, October 4, 2005” -http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/10/03/scotus.miers/
          SDO retired years before Heller went to SCOTUS. Whatever fiction you try to float next, it couldn’t possibly be any worse than this one… You REALLY should have known.

        • I am not as deep into the facts and lies as you guys obviously are, but I DO remember that the NRA fought against the Heller case’s progress because they were afraid of a negative precedent from SCOTUS and wanted to wait for a more receptive court composition, for how long who could tell? Undercurrents and backbiting aside, it clearly hurts NRA credibility when somebody else (SAF?) proceeds anyway and is successful! If that had gone the other way, though, we would be REALLY unhappy, with the only way forward being a Constitutional Amendment proclaiming that 2A means what it says.

        • Larry:
          Do you remember the NRA SAYING that, or DOING that? With the NRA, as with all things involving humans, one does much better by watching their actions, not their words. Words are cheap, promises are cheap, but actions take effort. White man speak with forked tongue. Also red men, yellow men, black men, green men, purple men, etc.
          My point was that the Sandra Day Oconner business was just made up claptrap, whether it was by the fanboys here, or the NRA and just getting repeated. Either way, it is false. SDO was long gone by the time Heller hit SCOTUS. It didn’t even leave the Appellate Court until 2007.
          Was the NRA afraid of losing? Maybe, but that’s no excuse for not even making an effort. But that’s an excuse that NRA uses continually. Almost like a boxer that throws a fight, but then makes up lots of ridiculous excuses for why he lost, like Ali vs. Leon Spinks. Plus, as you stated, it really makes their excuses look stupid when someone else makes the effort, and succeeds.

  17. Personally, I am something of a gun rights single issue voter, in that regardless of the merits of any other positions of a candidate, I weigh support for 2A rights as a prerequisite before even looking at other issues, and most of my friends and associates fall in that category as well. I believe those rights to be too important to do otherwise, especially at this time in world and national events.

    If they support gun rights typically they are of a certain mentality that will take the other views I have on non-gun subjects as well. In other words, if they support gun rights, they are likely to also support first amendment rights for speech and religion. Also they are unlikely to be a communist / socialist democrat, and are likely not to support nanny state welfare government. If they support gun rights they are likely to not see “the people” as something to be “managed.” They are likely to prefer maximizing the responsibility for individuals rather than the collective hive mind.

  18. Here’s a little thought experiment :

    you have 6 million members who support you despite the fact that you negotiate away our rights. You seem to have an inordinate amount of people who WON’T become NRA members because you are willing to negotiate away our rights.

    Do you really think, the NRA members you currently have will LEAVE your membership rolls if you step up and go hardline “Not one inch further” ? Because all you will do is gain members. you won’t lose the ones who already support you.

    just like politics, you need to court the votes you DON’T HAVE. You aren’t in danger of losing the ones you already have.

    • Do you really think, the NRA members you currently have will LEAVE your membership rolls if you step up and go hardline “Not one inch further” ?

      Anti gun politicians like George Herbert Wanking Bush might.
      No, wait, he already did. But that was years after he celebrated his presidential inauguration by enacting a gun ban by executive fiat.

      No great loss, he only bought a life membership, probably with campaign funds, because he (rightly) thought we were so gullible that we’d believe he was pro-gun simply because he bought a life membership and suddenly started calling himself a ‘lifetime member’.

    • Coffee addict: All good points BUT…
      What the NRA would then be in danger of is WINNING… and then subsequently losing the opportunity to rattle their donation can under your nose. If they would actually win the fight, they would lose money. It is in their vested interest to talk tough, rattle the can, conduct membership drives… and then back down and compromise away yet more. Then they can rattle the can again , and conduct more membership drives. And then rinse and repeat, just as they have been doing for decades. Their fond hope is that their fanbois will never wake up to the scheme.

  19. Take the foot that is offered. Like JWTaylor said about the huge progress that’s been made in Texas.

    If some of you view your investments like you view your rights, heaven help you. “This stock better double overnight or I’m never buying again!” Study compound interest, it’s magic — and it’s exactly what the left’s been doing to us, to the point where they are very near taking over entirely.

    “The NRA never did anything!!!” Well, if nothing else, the NRA is the big giant target that keeps distracting the lefties, while Trump replaces insane leftist judges with realistic judges. The NRA went big on Trump, and share some significant credit in getting him elected.

    “But I don’t have what I WAAAANT!!!” Yeah, I know. Neither does anybody else. But we’re way the hell better off now, than we were thirty years ago. 20 years ago “assault weapons” were banned, now they’re the most popular rifle in America. 30 years ago concealed carry was pretty much impossible, now the 2nd has been incorporated against the States and all 50 states have a carry permit system (even if some don’t work).

    You can cut off your nose to spite your face. You can choose which hill to die on, but if you choose to be petty, you’ll lose everything. Look at the Democrats, they’re throwing all in with the socialists, even Nancy and Chuck are telling them to back off and now Nancy and Chuck are viewed as the enemies of the democrats. That civil war is likely to rip them apart.

    Y’all are doing the same. You should be all getting on one team and fighting to win, rather than whining about the specifics of what you refuse to accept.

    • Ted, just a couple things. CC wasn’t impossible 30 years ago, by 1988 I had carried concealed in about 30 states, during the previous 20 years. It just wasn’t recognized as legal (although of course it was, under 2A). Also, Chuck and Nancy hold the same actual beliefs as the extremists, they would simply prefer to lie about it until returned to power. All in all, though, not bad, Ted! Not. Bad.

  20. I’m trying to get some clarity here, because we are talking about two different things.

    Are people mad that the NRA hasn’t been winning enough?
    Or are people mad that the NRA seems willing to lose too much?

    • It is Esoteric Inanity’s opinion that most people’s consternation with the NRA, originates from the organization’s tendency to seemingly fold when the pressure is on. Especially after having expressed a firm position on pro 2A issues for fundraising efforts. Only to then come back with an obfuscatory explanation and tentative stance. Finally when it all blows over, rinse and repeat.

      It is difficult to fault a pro rights organization that fights tooth and nail yet still loses. As when one is standing up for what’s right(semantics and objectivity aside), even in defeat they are victorious. The NRA seems to be afraid of losing. Or if one is of a more skeptical nature, they intentionally avoid attempting to win.

      The NRA apologists don’t help either. Their constant rhetoric of the NRA not being perfect, but being the only viable option is not merely sophistry but also fatiguing. Not to mention the blatherskite of “compromise being the only way”. To all those of that mindset, Esoteric Inanity would posit the question: When was the last time that Planned Parenthood or the NAACP compromised?

      • “The NRA is a bloodthirsty group of corporatist/greedy/immoral(Pick One) lobbyists who co-opt politicians into voting against any common-sense gun control.”

        “The NRA is a cowering group of corporatist/greedy/unprincipled(Pick One) lobbyists who constantly sell out their members’ rights.”

        The first opinion is the one they get from the left. The second one is the one they get from people like you. You’re not part of the solution, you’re just the other side of the problem. But keep fecklessly bitching about NRA so you can feel morally superior while accomplishing nothing.

        • Perhaps Westward Ho can explain to Esoteric Inanity the NRA’s perculiar predisposition to constantly shift their stance. They tend to take on an air of righteous resistance against infringements upon the second amendment when they want donations. However, when shit happens they are quick to, after a period of silence, “appear reasonable” and offer compromises and capitulations. Then when their membership gets flustered, they turn the other face to fundraise some more. Once things calm down, then it’s time to rinse and repeat. The NRA’s MO is very circular, and it’s time the members get off the merry-go-round and hold them to their rhetoric.

          When was the last time that the NRA really pushed for a pro 2A piece of legislation? Why have they virtually abandoned fellow countrymen in California, only showing their face to sign on to a case after The Second Amendment Foundation has done all the heavy lifting? This one sees such behavior as disingenuous at the very least.

          ‘“The NRA is a bloodthirsty group of corporatist/greedy/immoral(Pick One) lobbyists who co-opt politicians into voting against any common-sense gun control.”

          “The NRA is a cowering group of corporatist/greedy/unprincipled(Pick One) lobbyists who constantly sell out their members’ rights.”’

          Somebody likes to build strawmen and put words in their mouth.

          “The first opinion is the one they get from the left. The second one is the one they get from people like you. You’re not part of the solution, you’re just the other side of the problem. But keep fecklessly bitching about NRA so you can feel morally superior while accomplishing nothing.”

          Because Esoteric Inanity desires the “nation’s oldest civil rights organization” to cease its duplicitous activities, naturally this makes one part of a problem eh? After all, wanting an organization that proclaims to “defend the second amendment” for law abiding citizens to do just that is quite problematic.

          Surely Westward Ho can see that the NRA has many issues unrelated and not caused by Esoteric Inanity. If not, then this one would not insist that Westward Ho is part of any problem. Rather, Esoteric Inanity would suggest that Westward Ho has a problem. A very big problem when it comes to sanitary erect urination, as somebody so blind surely can’t piss into the head whilst standing up.


    • Speaking for myself, I’ll start the payment plan to become a lifer the second I hear the leadership say they’re fighting for things like ending the whole SBR nonsense, deregulating suppressors, full national reciprocity, etc…

      I don’t even need them to win coming out of the gate. I just want them to act like they’re fighting for me for a change and not just to get me “eaten less quickly” as was stated above.

      • While I plan to continue my annual support, I agree that I would jump up my support big time if the NRA would take these stands and fight for them.

      • It’s certainly not the issue for me, and judging from the comments, not the issue for others.

        The issue is lauding constant capitulation.

  21. He is asking for support? I do support the NRA and I’m willing to consider more. Here’s what I want, and what I think a lot the membership wants:
    1. Stop marketing with fear tactics. I have all the fear I need of the gun grabbers. I don’t need my gun rights organization playing “Chicken Little” all the time.
    2. Tell ,me what you’ve accomplished. What victories can you claim? I want to see what I am getting for my support.
    3. Let’s see more street action. This “moving and shaking behind the scenes” is all well and good, but we also need rallies, demonstrations, etc. Where are they?
    4. Convince me that you have have members’ best interests ahead of the industry, because our interests are not the same. And they have the NSSF. All we have is the NRA.
    5. When you talk about how deals need to be made and taking a hard line is not a good idea. Convince me that DOESN’T mean compromising on 2A and the RTKABA, because if you are crossing those lines, you’ve lost me.

    I am a loyal member and supporter. But I want my voice heard.

  22. The problem that I have with the NRA is the same problem I have with other orgs. like the Humane society WWF etc. TOO much junk mail. Don’t send me a bunch of junk mail (in the NRAs case x 6 million mailings) How much could that money do to advance pro 2a issues/lobbying? I also don’t want a bunch of calls at all hours of the day. I won’t support junk mail and unsolicited calls. Take my money, send me one renewal card and keep the rest to do the job.

  23. FPC just pushed back against NC’s unconstitutional gun grab during the upcoming hurricane and won, almost immediately. Did the NRA even know what was happening? CALGUNS and the 2FA just beat back California’s first amendment violation regarding the promotion and use of pistol images in store signage. NRA was nowhere to be found. The NRA wants to only engage at a federal level and wants to fight everything in a big splashy case in front of the SCOTUS. When I asked them why they weren’t involved in the signature gathering to try to block the Ammo Bills in California ( Purchase with BGC, FFL storefront only ,) they said that it couldn’t win. didn’t even try. They were too busy soliciting additional funds from me to step up. California gun owners are getting the piss beaten out of us and the NRA has conceded the battle. written off.

    Tonight the FPC and the 2FA get a donation from me. The NRA doesn’t represent me. I don’t have enough life left to wait for the 10-20 years of court cases to hit the SCOTUS for the grand show so they can rattle the donation can under my nose.

    • Coffee addict is obviously awake and aware. I guess that’s why the handle… 🙂
      You give me hope again… Too bad that all the NRA fanbois will be too busy chanting; “NRA…NRA…”, to notice a word of your quite powerful testimony.

      • I support the NRA and agree with Coffee Addict. The exception is that I have a few more years ahead that Coffee Addict purports to have (God willing), so I will also play the long game with the NRA. 2A is vitally important to me, so I’ll support multiple players in the field.

  24. I think we need to stop the pro-gun group infighting. I think our mantra should be: If you want to keep your gun rights, join a solid gun rights organization, any one of them. Donate to them. Participate in their events. It could be the NRA, the SAF, the GOA or your state’s gun rights organization. If you can, join more than one, or join all of them, but at least join one.

    Right now, it seems that less than 10% of the estimated 100-160 million gun owners in the US (depending on whose numbers you believe) do that. If we doubled that, if even 20% of gun owners were a member of some pro-gun group, any group, legislatures would think twice about messing with gun rights. If that same number had CC permits, they would really take notice. And if that number wrote their representatives regularly about gun rights, we could turn this whole situation around. 20%. Twice what we have now. That would do it.

  25. NRA has been giving away so much ground that I’m sending all my donations to Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) who actually fights these laws in court and win.

    NRA didn’t win Heller for us. It wasn’t NRA who found and won Walmart under 21 Gun Ban.

    What has NRA done for you lately.

  26. Here’s the real deal:

    51 Republicans
    47 Democrats
    2 Independents
    60 votes for cloture (for now)

    Not all of those Republicans are good pro-gun votes. One or two of the Democrats, maybe, sometimes will vote for some pro-gun measures.

    That will never add up to a pro-gun win in Congress.

    • True CarlosT, but while a R might keep his/her word and vote pro-2A, we know that a D will cave to the far-left or lose his/her seat. Which way to vote is pretty clear to me.

  27. … the legal battlefield on which the NRA plays is incredibly significant. Heller and MacDonald, getting the anti-gun ballot measures stricken from the Oregon ballots, the cases which have expanded concealed carry around the nation, injunctions in CA, ad nauseam — all of these had the hand of the NRA …

    I beg to differ. I see Alan Gura and Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation on a LOT of winning lawsuits. Anyone care to list who (the NRA vs. Second Amendment Foundation) has won more lawsuits and done more to secure our rights in the last 20 years?

  28. It would be an interesting experiment. What if each of the 6-million members of the NRA were willing to pay the $35 (sometimes as little as $20) for one other person to join the NRA just for this year? We could test the theory that 12-million members would be a voice that couldn’t be denied or negotiated away. If that didn’t work, I’d join all the naysayers. If it did work, hey, it worked! The question is, who will join me in doing that? Can you sacrifice another $20 or $30 to pay for a membership for another person? I’ve been doing that several times a year for the last few years. I’d be willing to do more if we could figure out a way to make this into a campaign of some kind, maybe even some kind of challenge with matching.

  29. Far and away the NRA is the most effective barrier standing between you and total disarmament in this country. Whether the naysayer imbeciles on this site or anywhere on YouTube agree or not. Haven’t any of you idiots ever heard the old saying divide and conquer? You’re already being divided and marginalized on a daily basis and you’re too stupid to even realize it. The socialists in government and the private sector are beginning to get the upper hand in this country and you’re so wrapped up in your silly little games about your RIGHTS you’re blind to what’s happening all around you. When the NRA is dissolved and you all get your wish who’s going to lobby for you in that cesspool called Washington DC? The NRA has a proven track record over the last 90+ years in combating the endless assault against our 2nd amendment RIGHTS. Without them we would have lost that RIGHT years ago. But I know, you’re so smart with your meager government mandated indoctrination (education) you know what’s good for this country far more than a truly Patriotic organization such as the NRA. And how after the fall of the NRA you’ll take to the streets and fight for your RIGHTS. Yeah right, you’ll just hunker down and wait for the authorities to come and confiscate your weapons and ammo. All whimper, no fight. Most of you don’t know the fight It’s been for what the NRA does on a regular daily basis. EVERY GUN OWNER IN THIS COUNTRY IS AND SHOULD BE MORALLY OBLIGATED TO JOIN THE NRA. When you buy that first gun and are feeling so good about your GOD given 2nd Amendment RIGHT, the first thing you should do is write a check to the NRA. Because they’re the only reason you still have the RIGHT keep and bear arms.

  30. An Open Letter To NRA Board Member Duane Liptak:

    I read your open letter and there is certainly much that we agree on. There are also numerous points where I felt a need to reply. I will try to address those points mostly in about the same sequence as in your letter but I will take one point out of sequence…
    Let me start by saying that I am not currently an NRA member. I have been a member at least twice and on each of those occasions various things about the NRA added up to my choosing not to renew. I might join again, but I strongly suspect that it would be just as temporary as my previous memberships.

    I too am a gun rights single-issue voter, or at the very least a first-issue voter. I have to say that it has been years since I have seen a candidate that I really wanted to vote for, but I have voted in every election for nearly a half century because there are always candidates worth voting against.

    If you can find a pro-gun, fiscally conservative, social libertarian, please encourage him or her to run for office — any office, anywhere. I considered suggesting that you ought to run for office rather than running for the NRA board, but then I realized that we need a firmly pro-gun voice on the NRA board as much as we need it in congress. (You might take that as a hint as to why I am a multi-time former NRA member.)

    Yes, I am disappointed that we’ve achieved no forward legislative progress on gun rights in the past two years of a Republican-held House and Senate, but I would say that this is largely because the Republican party has totally forgotten how to be a majority party (or perhaps they never really knew how). Despite their willingness to engage the “Nuclear Option” the Republicans are even more fractious than their “Big Tent” opponents.
    Your agenda on the NFA largely matches my own view – repeal Hughes, open the registry, deregulate suppressors, SBS and SBRs (SBS and SBRs have largely become irrelevant due to the widespread introduction of smoothbore “firearms” and rifle-caliber “pistols”). I’m not as enamored with nationwide no-permit concealed carry, but strongly support nationwide reciprocity.

    You say “the unfortunate reality is that we were actually dangerously close to additional ANTI-gun legislation this year” — I am not at all sure that “were” is the correct tense. As the mid-term elections draw near, I think we have a brief pause; but if the Democrats flip the House I don’t think they will even wait for those new seats, and I am confident that there are plenty of RINOs who will join with them to support “common sense” anti-gun legislation.

    You mentioned the threat of legislation on rate accelerating devices and “bump stocks” – let me remind you that much of the impetus for such misguided legislation came from the NRA. In the past the NRA has usually waited for the anti’s to propose legislation to trample our rights, but in the aftermath of Las Vegas we had the NRA itself calling for a ban on “bump stocks”! This was a major departure from the usual NRA battle plan. Normally the anti-gun forces find someone to introduce a bill that everyone knows has no chance of passing outside Kalifornia. The NRA then floods our mailboxes (both physical and electronic) with dire headlines warning what will happen if we don’t donate enough money to stop this assault on our freedom. The anti’s then vilify the NRA in their fund raising campaign to Stop The NRA Killing Children. After a few rounds of this exchange, both sides find that their usual donors have dried up, so it is then time for both sides to move into phase 2. Phase 2 consists of drafting the “bi-partisan” “compromise” bill that contains everything the anti’s really hoped to get. This, of course, triggers another round of fund raising on both sides. This round doesn’t take quite as long because the donors on both sides are close to tapped out. Finally the anti’s agree to remove one or two more points from their wishlist “compromise” bill, some RINO holds a “bi-partisan” press conference with a Democrat to announce the compromise and both sides declare victory — and, of course, launch yet another round of fund raising. Remember that not one significant anti-gun bill has passed the US Congress in the past fifty years without the blessing of the NRA.

    Yes, the one area where we have pulled ahead (somewhat) is in judicial appointments, although I’m more than a bit dubious about the appointment of Mark Bennett to the 9th Circuit. And now we have the Republicans about to abandon Brett Kavanaugh in the face of a staged accusation of teenage misconduct.

    Then you launch into your valiant defense of the NRA’s incessant will to compromise. Yes, politicians are all creatures of compromise; and yes, all too often the choice in an election is between the soft R or the hard D. But the truth is that for the organizations on both sides of the “gun” debate neither side really wants to win, because a win would put them out of business just as surely as the opposition.

    You are right when you say “When you demand a mile and refuse to take a foot when one is offered, you’re not going to move forward in this environment.” But the problem is quite simply that their side is the only one demanding a mile and our side is the only one giving up that foot — and the next foot — and the foot after that. Five thousand two hundred and fifty feet later we will discover that we have given up that mile, and they will still be there demanding the next mile.

    Say what you will, HPA and National Reciprocity are dead without a massive Red Wave in the mid-term election. Which we are NOT about to see.

  31. This is what we ALWAYS hear from the NRA, and those on the board and just like the Congress they do NOTHING and everything stays the same.

  32. Thank you to the author for his spot-on comments. It is the well reasoned, boots on the ground, a lot of our fellow arm chair quarterbacks need to hear and absorb. Their is a way to get things done, and its not by screaming the loudest and calling every opponent the vilest of names. We are in the business of education those that don’t have a dog in the hunt, because their vote counts just as much as the most ardent of 2A supporters. Call them every profane name in the book, and watch the 2A go away.

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