Wayne LaPierre NRA
Dan Z for TTAG

A reader called our attention to this excellent article about AstroTurf “reasonable” gun control organizations that are allegedly run by pro-gun individuals. This post was originally published in November of 2015.

The reason for the anti-NRA sentiment among gun people that I mentioned above (that the NRA is soft on gun rights, hence a stronger org is needed) is that up until very recently the NRA was soft on gun rights. The NRA supported the original Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), and they compromised on a host of other gun control initiatives going all the way back to their support for the National Firearms Act of 1934.

But the AWB was the last straw for rank-and-file gun owners. Why? Because it was a massive pain that even the New York Times admits did absolutely nothing to curb gun violence. In fact (it couldn’t) possibly have really been intended to do so given that only about two percent of gun deaths every year have ever been attributable to long guns, and assault rifles are only a fraction of long guns.

By banning popular cosmetic features and specific models of semi-automatic long guns, the AWB succeeded in insulting, angering, and ultimately radicalizing gun owners while doing absolutely nothing about the drug-related handgun violence that accounts for the vast majority of gun homicides.

When the AWB finally expired in 2004, thanks to a sunset clause that a few hard-liners had thankfully forced the NRA to demand by way of compromise, gun owners had had enough. “Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice… won’t get fooled again,” as the saying goes.

Because gun control advocates at the peak of their early ’90’s power and influence decided to spend all of their capital on a (farcical, totally ineffective) piece of feel-good regulation (that used aesthetic features to restrict guns that only law-abiding gun owners ever buy and criminals almost never use), they created tons of ill will with the very crowd that they’re now trying to reach with astroturf efforts like [ed: now defunct] ACRGO, and they radicalized the NRA leadership by first radicalizing the rank-and-file so that they forced the organization to grow a spine.

Before I go on, stop and let the madness of all this sink in: by some estimates the much-vilified AR-15 accounts for only about 14 percent of rifles, and rifles haven’t accounted for more than 350 gun deaths in any year since 2009 (the number declines every year, so in 1994 it would have been a bit higher). So the gun control lobby put up a major legislative fight, spent its political and financial capital, and burnt its bridges with “reasonable” gun owners in order to enact a partial ban on an extremely popular subcategory of firearms that accounts for at most about 50 deaths a year.

And then after Sandy Hook (when the data was well and truly conclusive on just how pointless the original AWB had been and with gun control enjoying the kind of broad surge of public support that it hadn’t seen in some 25 years), the same cast of characters wasted all of that newfound momentum on trying to pass another assault weapons ban! This kind of irrational behavior is the very definition of insanity. And these folks accuse gun people of being irrational and driven solely by emotions.

The whole gun control thing comes down to this: If you’re gonna kill the king, you gotta kill the king. If you loudly declare that you intend to kill the king, but end up only giving him a painful wedgie, then you’re just stupid and you’ve got it coming to you once the king recovers. Or at least, that’s the lesson that gun control advocates should have drawn from their past two decades of failure.

But I think the lesson they’ve actually drawn is that you can’t openly threaten to kill the king; instead, you have to insist that you only want to give the king an itty bitty wedgie–not even a power wedgie or a swirly, just a little friendly wedgie, for his own good–so that you can get close enough to him to stick a knife in his back. But the king is still sore from that last wedgie that was supposed to kill him, and he’s on to your lame tricks, fool.

— Jon Stokes in Why “Moderate” Pro-Gun Groups like ACRGO Always Fail

37 COMMENTS

    • Threatening to punish innocent people for the actions of criminals, crazies, or terrorists doesn’t make logical sense to most rational people. It does in a political and/or ideological sense but that is a distorted viewpoint.

  1. And every year a new batch of government educated morons turns 18 and start spinning their wheels thinking these dead horse ideas are “new” and “progressive.”

    • Quote: “And every year a new batch of government educated morons turns 18 and start spinning their wheels thinking these dead horse ideas are “new” and “progressive.””

      This is true and is going to be a major issue in the future (if it isn’t already). Add few million well indoctrinated socialist who graduate from school every year to the hundreds of thousands of illegals who will vote as told and all the illegal ballots they manage to find now days, democrats (communist party USA) will win every national election in the future and they will succeed in reaching their goal of destroying America. They are well on their way now.

      20 Jan 2021 was the first day of “the New Dark Ages”. It may take 500 years to recover, if ever.

      Be Prepared !!!

  2. Honestly all my NRA memberships were free courtesy a Brazilian gun company…they’ve since quit comping buyer’s. I did believe old Wayne et all beat back bans in 2013. Not now with graft & corruption. We need a righteous “big dog”!

    • There is a problem with having only one big dog organization that is righteous. It is filled with flawed people, which is also the main reason government should be small. Once the big dog stumbles, falls or expires, there is none to take its place.

      While the NRA takes most of the flack because of their perceived big dog status, I’m pleased to see the growing number of mature and trained medium and small dog organizations that often work as teams like dogs tracking down and holding feral hogs or a nest of yellow jackets taking turns stinging.

      Whatever the metaphor, these organizations with diverse members and diverse perspectives on liberty are racking up wins. It’s a strength that has been missing in decades past. Sometimes pulling a reluctant NRA along. The NRA probably has the most diverse group of gun owner interests, which is why it can be slow or a no show on issues of great constitutional consequence.

      No matter which organizations we support, the goal has to always be to hold government to the test of “shall not be infringed”, and seeking monetary damages from the illegal acts they carry out.

      We have to also remember that we all can be yellow jackets in our own right. Never underestimate the power of one person saying NO.

      • The recent problems at NRA you refer to are caused nearly 100% by the money being wasted trying to stave off legal proceedings from NYS and other governmental agencies tying up money that should be brought to bear on pressing 2A issues.

        As per the sunset rider on the AWB referred to in the article, I don’t understand the lack of intelligence or information concerning what was going on during the first years of the Clinton regime. It was then-obvious to nearly everyone who follows politics even lightly that Brady and some form of semiauto legislation was going to pass Congress and be signed by the First Philanderer. Didn’t matter what NRA, GOA (blame them too) or the majority of American voters wanted- these were going to pass. Knowing this, NRA-friendly legislators added the sunset to the AWB and allowed states to decide how to handle NICS. (For Iowans with CCW or Permit to Acquire there was no change in gun purchases after passage of NICS.)

        So let’s say NRA “refused” to accept the AWB? GOA, Neal Knox’s Hard Corps and others claim they refused but what did that really mean to their members or Americans? They still had to live with it. Rather than have NRA admit a huge defeat it was better at the time to marshal in the amendments and go forward. I suppose a bunch around here think NRA should’ve advocated storming the Capital…

        Payback came in the 1994 elections and an even larger payback came only days after the AWB was signed when DiFi, Schumer, Boxer and the anti gun Dems were forced to realize that their signature legislation and “defeat” of NRA (meaning American gun owners in general) left exactly the same firearms on the market with idiotic cosmetic differences that they had agreed were what determined an “assault rifle”. And of course, another victory was achieved in 2004 when the “ban” sunset and today we have thousands of semiauto platforms that couldn’t even have been imagined in 1994.

  3. They’ve got a hard on for AR15s because they don’t want you to be armed with the same type of weapons as the soldiers they send after the rest of your guns. And you can’t load armed victims into the cattle cars.

  4. The NRA is NOT a gun education organization. They play lip service to it. They have no national gun rights education policy. Unless you EXPAND the number of educated people about their second amendment civil rights and responisbilities, you will not expand the number of pro gun voters.

    Black Guns Matter, supported by the GOA and Pete Brownell, is THE ONLY group out there working to expand the number of educated second amendment voters.
    The NRA is not working to get children to learn about how to hit a target accurately and safely. That is what the Boys Scouts did. And the Libertarians Liberals and the Left destroyed the Boy Scouts.

    • I have never heard of a “libertarian liberal,” you must enjoy posting ridiculous shit to get attention. You’re either a libertarian or a “liberal.”

      • Both will trade legalized drugs for gun rights. The gun is an instrument of Liberty. Legalizing drugs does not provide Liberty.

        • Liberty includes the right of the individual to package himself up in a hand basket and go directly to Hell.

          Tyranny is the power to package up the whole of society in a very large basket and send the entire lot to Hell.

          I’m not an advocate for the use of drugs for non-medical purposes. Nevertheless, I’m an advocate for liberty. In one’s irrational exuberance for doing to society what one thinks is best, democratically-oriented republics have an irresistible propensity to impose tyrannies that can’t be enforced on the non-compliant.

          Alcohol was the example on which we have formed a consensus.

          Marijuana is the example on which we are approaching a majority view. Several states have Nullified the Feds’ attempt to “do what’s good for us” without our consent.

          I anticipate that – eventually – support for drug-control will fall below the threshold required to sustain the tyranny. Whereupon, we will have to consider the possibility of self-control and parental-control.

          Sooner or later, democracies must decide whether the “cure” is worse than the disease.

        • to MarkPA
          You have legalized drugs in the city of San Francisco. And in much of the State of California. And you have less Liberty now there, even compared to when former governor Reagan signed the Mulford Act.

          When a state legalizes drugs, gun rights are taken away.

    • The NRA was radicalized decades ago. It used to be about education and training. As a result of so many anti-gun politicians trying to take away everyone’s guns, the NRA entered politics in a big way. This goes back to the 60’s. It was well before Clinton AWB. The biggest reason I don’t join is that it seems to help anti-gunners more than the American people.

    • I have to differ with you here. The NRA does lots of marksmanship training and coaching. The Boy Scout and 4H instructors are NRA certified. You’re right that they don’t teach the tradition or importance of 2A, like Appleseed adds to their curriculum.

      • The NRA is a 100 + million dollar organization. How much money do the other groups you bring up have????
        The NRA is not in the fight to educate the next generation of american children. But they should be. Professional athletes hold clinics in their respective sports for kids all over the country.
        But no one is doing that for the shooting sports.

        • This dollar value means nothing if not used. If that meant something then we wouldn’t see what we do. That’s like saying you can get closer to God by being a member of a mega-church.

          I’m not seeing anything on the legal side but them defending themselves and not doing a good job of it. It’s obvious that they are better at training.

    • Actually the Boy Scouts would not allow open homosexuals to serve as scoutmasters. However the Libertarians liberals and the left demanded that the Boy Scouts accept men, some of whom, have an interest in having sex with boys. And the Libertarians liberals and the left we’re certainly willing to take that chance.

      The Three L’s have always been in denial about the possibility of allowing this type of Acceptance in the Boy Scout organization.
      If it makes you feel better to call someone a homophobe who is concerned about their little boy’s safety, while in the scout, go right ahead. Many people already have.

  5. Libertarians are NOT liberals. They believe in freedom for all, limited government and in a conservative fiscal policy. Americans were free in their pursuit of happiness – not so much now.

    • Libertarians want degeneracy. In order to get degeneracy they will support the agenda of the Socialist Progressive. Giving up gun civil rights is worth it to get the degeneracy that they crave so much.

      “Issues with Libertarian Arguments Against Socialism”, Part 2 video 17 min long

      begin at time mark 12.55, If you wish.

      • That is a truly awful video. Please consume better intellectual content. Libertarianism has flaws but it is the only form of Government (limited, small) that has any chance of Governing a country that is no longer united by faith, creed, or culture. The number of outright incorrect statements he makes in that video are too many to address here.

        Are there individual Libertarians who are degenerates? Certainly. A large number of “Dude weed-lmao” types are in favor of Libertarianism. It does feel like main-stream libertarianism has been co-opted by socialists, much as the term “Liberal” has been.

        I’m a libertarian because I recognize that my beliefs are in the minority in our culture. I vote Republican grudgingly because I despise statists of all stripes but selfishly want some more time to prepare before everything goes to crap. Though there has been some noise about a “constitutionalist” party that I would happily vote for.

        Perhaps some libertarians want “degeneracy”. I don’t. I just recognize that degeneracy is here to stay until there is a massive shift (read: disaster) that makes the average American reassess their beliefs. We’re not going to be able to impose Judeo-Christian beliefs on the majority of the country when that same majority consist of generations of brainwashed morons who LIKE their degeneracy.

    • Yeah, rt66paul, a couple of the regular blowhards on this forum need to expand past their obligatory 6th grade reading and composition levels when it comes to ‘definitions’ of more than four letter words.

      Libertarianism was actually the fundamental philosophy of the Framers when forming the Constitution. After the ‘Revolutionary’ war ended, which wasn’t a ‘revolution’ at all. It was an independent secession from the English Crown dictatorship, America was essentially operated under a loose non-centralized system of order based on agreement and enforcement more under local hands-on small Colonial ‘government’, rather than large Central government not yet ratified across the country.

      The simple Libertarian philosophy held one natural premise for lawful peace and harmony in social integrations. Don’t steal anybody’s shit, and don’t to kill them for no valid justification, and sub-categories of lesser and varied delineations.

      This is essentially the fundamental of all human interaction in religious beliefs as well, until they begin to expand for more complete and total control. That’s why we have thousands of different ‘Christian’ sects and dozens of different ‘Christian’ Bibles. Humans have an innate defensive posture of maintaining much more laws than necessary to protect good from evil, instead of simply inquiring within their own minds to discern bad behavior from good will in integrations with others to minimize conflict and maximize potential value from human discourse that should be based iprimarily n reasonable objective equity value for all in mutual Egalitarian benefit.

      Original Libertarianism in the years between the end of the so-called Revolutionary War and the formation of the official Constitutional U.S. of A. provided for no income or property taxes, absolutely no Gun Control, no privacy violations, (unless you wanted to get shot or swing from a rope on an old oak tree), no National I.D. cards, and so on.

      Amazingly, most people got along and just tried to use their unconstrained freedoms to improve their lives honestly and diligently under severe circumstances that modern humans today could not even comprehend even if they could imagine them.

      Over time, the evil of mendacious avarice tainted the hearts of weak souls and political power agendas entered the arena of government as populations grew exponentially and political parties entered the government

      True libertarianism became spoiled and compromised and diluted into what it is now. Much like the original philosophy of Christianity. And it’s not because they support drug addicts in rampant drug abuse. If anything, Today’s Libertarians don’t support one of the most dangerous atrocities of modern Law Enforcement, the contrived and inhuman police state ‘War on Drugs’.

      And of course, similar to the evolution of organized religionism, original Christian philosophy notwithstanding, which is, of course, why the carnage of factional religious warfare throughout the world today is still a cause of, and not the cure of, so much death and destruction, as it was throughout history. The true teachings of Christ went somewhere else in the evolution of the commercial ‘non-profit’ and politically oriented current Church paradigm.

      Oh, by the way, in case some of you are still mentally imprisoned by the intransigence in your cultural brainwashing, Old Jeeze was the ‘King’ of Libertarianism back in his day…

  6. “This kind of irrational behavior is the very definition of insanity.”

    I feel like this should go double when you consider that they don’t just keep pushing AWBs, but they keep pushing the SAME one. Every new proposed assault weapon ban is a word-for-word, Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V copy of the 94 ban, with only the sunset clause removed, or with the stupidest, most minor tweaks (we gunna ban underbarrel rocket launchers, boyzz!!)

    • Not true. The Feinstein bill defines assault weapon as any magazine fed semi auto with any 1 of the 94 cosmetic features. In addition the list of features is significantly expanded.

  7. “…the drug-related handgun violence…”

    What is the word “handgun” doing in that article? There is no such thing as a violent gun. Why are pro-Second Amendment writers still using the language of the anti-gunners?

    Foy crying out loud people! Get this idiotic language out of your heads!

    Guns are inanimate objects. They have no capacity for violence, peace, love, or any other emotion or sentient act.

    Humans do violence.
    Animals do violence.
    Guns just lay there, not thinking or doing anything at all.
    That’s it.

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