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TTAG Commentator Greg In Allston penned the following:

Hi Rebecca. Here’s my two cents and take it as you will. Being a Massachusetts resident, I certainly have my issues with the NRA. They haven’t done much more than jack to right the many wrongs foisted on the good citizens of this state by our legislature. I’m also not too keen on some of its Fudd board members or their ubber social conservative leanings (and being gunnies, one has to admit that to a very real extent social conservatism, rightly or wrongly, often goes hand in hand). That said, I’m a member and have been, off and on, for over forty years. Why?

Simply because they do some (many) things right. Their shooting sports programs, training and instructor development are just a few of the things that they do well. Perfection is the enemy of the good and all that. They’re also The Big Dog when it comes to lobbying and the media. There truly is strength in numbers. If we’re going to win back and expand our fundamental human and civil rights, I think that being a member of the NRA is a very good idea. Only by broadening their membership will change come from within.

You and Margaret can help by being a catalyst for that change. I’d also recommend that you join your state’s NRA chapter organization. It’s your call and it’s your dough.

The NRA are also tediously tenacious money whores, as you’ll surely find out if you join. My advice is to totally ignore that aspect of membership. If you have a few extra bucks that you’d like to direct to civil rights action in regard to the 2A, might I suggest that you make a contribution to SAF? SAF isn’t as high profile as the NRA, but what SAF has done that the NRA has been very reluctant to do is fund some of the most important 2A litigation to come down the pike in decades.

The sainted Alan Gura, the man who won both Heller and McDonald, is working closely with SAF on numerous other landmark cases across the country; Hightower v. City of Boston, Muller v. Maenza in NJ, Woollard v. Sheridan in MD, and Kachalsky v. Cacace in NY are just some of the important cases that they’re working on. These cases have the potential to change the 2A landscape for the better for decades to come. These cases don’t come cheap. If every 2A supporter (millions of us) gave just a few bucks towards these and other cases, we’d be an absolutely unassailable force that would send the anti’s into oblivion.

Of course you should join the Pink Pistols. Though they may just be a Facebook page in your area, it seems that there are active groups across the country. Start a chapter in your area. One again has to look at the demographics. I would venture to guess that the majority of gay folks tend to be left or even well left of center, yes? That segment (the left that is) of our society often finds guns icky and uncivilized.

It’s a bit of the same paradox that you find in the Jewish community here. After all of the hatred and bigotry that they’ve experienced over the centuries, many Jews in this country are reluctant to embrace the 2A. The phrase “Never Again” will only be empty words if you can’t or won’t defend the principle. Aaron Zelman started JFPO for just that reason.

It’s a long, hard slog. Patience, focused hard work (and money) and building community are some of the keys that will allows us to unlock the doors to greater freedom and liberty. By joining some of these organizations, and promoting them within your sphere of influence, you’ll help change the landscape and make for a better country.

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  1. Greg, the pro-NRA points that you raised are why I re-joined the NRA after a 40-year membership gap. The NRA is far from perfect, but it is useful. It’s training standards are universally recognized. It’s hunting programs are justifiably well-regarded. After years of being litigation-shy, it’s starting to utilize the court system more frequently on our behalf. Even its rival, the SAF, is starting to play nice and say nice about the big boy on the block.

    Also, let’s face it, the freedom-hating Left hates the NRA, and the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If the ATF can arm the Sinaloa Cartel to fight the Zetas, we can arm the NRA to fight the gungrabbing slimeballs who would rather see us dead than empower us to be free.

    • The impression I have is that NRA was dragged into litigation kicking and screaming while SAF led the way. If there’s one thing the NRA seems to care about more than anything else, it’s the appearance of being the end-all-be-all gun rights organization. It seems they couldn’t afford to let SAF upstage them on these high-profile lawsuits, so they grudgingly went along and claimed almost all the credit when Gura won. Reading the accounts of Heller and McDonald in Rifleman, you might not even realize that SAF exists.

      This “gun rights and NRA are one in the same” attitude was apparent again in the DISCLOSE Act controversy. NRA managed to get a carve-out that didn’t apply to any other gun rights organization. To be fair, there’s a bit more to the story: NRA’s law enforcement training programs might have meant that DISCLOSE would have been more problematic to NRA than to other gun rights organizations. But in their initial attempts to handle the controversy within their membership, they did little to dispel the impression that they would be perfectly happy if every other gun rights organization went away tomorrow.

      Nevertheless, I’m still an NRA member because I think they get the most done on the legislative front, even if SAF is really leading the way on litigation. A state-level gun rights organization is also worth joining though because so much of the work of expanding freedom is done at the state and local level. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a state chapter of the NRA though. In some states, other gun rights organizations are much more vibrant and active than the NRA state chapter.

  2. I forgot how NRA had socially conservative leanings.

    I guess my refusal to join because their endorsement of pro abortion politicians was a mistake…

    Actually a pretty good reason to go against the NRA is that its reactive instead of proactive.

  3. I’m a life member of the NRA and did so way back when it was a lot cheaper to do. That said, I haven’t always agreed with them on issues but they are a large organization that the Congress critters listen to on issues. My donations go to other smaller organizations through the Combined Federal Campaign. I usually split between two groups, one that lobbies and one that helps defend gun owners.

  4. Thank you, Greg, for your thoughtful and insightful message. I will be talking with Margaret about it, for sure!

    Thank you, Robert, for making this an article in its own right. This is something we all should think and talk about – then do.

    • Thank you so very much for your kindness Rebecca. It’s much appreciated. I’d also like to thank you for coming here and sharing your thoughts and your life with us. Your voice is such a welcome and refreshing contrast to this usually male dominated sphere. Your perspective and your thoughtful good nature are of particularly great value to this forum and to the broader conversation in general. I for one would be very pleased indeed if many more woman like you would join the fray.

      Robert, to say that I was a bit surprised when I saw my “by line” today would be an understatement. Thank you for the honor and thank you and your colleagues for building such a remarkable and valuable forum. As much as it’s like a very democratic soap box where all are welcome to express their views, it’s also like a really great magazine, but without the side shows and all of the advertising. You and your team should be very proud. BTW, that video clip that you chose for the lead was particularly poignant and conveyed the exact message that what I was trying to get across. Well done sir. and thanks again.

      Ralph, it was indeed a pleasure meeting you yesterday at AFS for the trauma course. I regret that we didn’t have longer to talk and that we didn’t exchange contact information, but I would like to make amends sometime in the near future. I’ll likely be going down to AFS sometime in September for some range time and when I have a date and time, I’ll reply to one of your posts here to let you know. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll leave the information in an envelope with someone at the desk.

  5. I LOVE the NRA and they love me. I know they really like me cuz they’re always asking me for help, and since I’m so easy going I ALWAYS help them out. I also like to help out any of the smaller groups who are fighting hard to protect our rights. I’ve even sent them donations without them asking, just because some silly gun grabber happened to piss me off that day. We should all help out this gun rights groups, because if they go away, all of our rights to own any guns will quickly follow.

  6. great commercial . all gun owners should support the NRA . SAF too they take no position on any other issue. if a pro gun candidate runs against a anti- gun candidate they endorse the pro gun candidate. no matter what party they are or where they stand on any other issue. you need to find other groups to work through for the other issues you care about. They will fail if they try to be all things to all people.

    then we will be england.

  7. We should all support all the groups working to keep the 2A alive and well. NRA and SAF especially for their country-wide effect.


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