Attempting to justify the NRA’s bullshit

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- So, it’s relatively popular to bash the NRA right now, and we have a lot of folks in our own community that are happy to jump on that bandwagon. I get it. I don’t like where we are at with the 2A situation, either, and I wish the NRA could yell “Shall not be infringed,” from the mountaintops.

But, through my involvement with the org over the past years, and the insight into the DC and state level situations I’ve unfortunately had to gain about lobbying and managing lobbying efforts, I also understand some things that make me appreciate the strengths of what the NRA actually brings to us, and I felt compelled to share that as a comment on some posts that decried the current state of the NRA. Some folks urged me to make it sharable, so I’m doing so, with some cleaning up of my language.
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This is the biggest load of horseshit I’ve read in a long time. In the first paragraph the writer makes it sound like it’s a fad to criticize the Glorious and Most High NRA while completely ignoring the fact that if there’s that gun owners, many if not most of them being past and present members, are talking shit about the the organization, then they must be doing something wrong.
Don’t forget to check out the part where he attempts to justify the high wages of the president and board members.

Also, be sure to read this piece HERE.

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53 Responses to Attempting to justify the NRA’s bullshit

  1. Bear says:

    I covered that — not just Liptak’s drivel, but Hammer and others — yesterday: “Quislings Defending Vichy NRA”
    https://bearbussjaeger.wordpress.com/2019/01/13/3292/

  2. Elmo says:

    From Wayne LaPierre’s Wikipedia page-
    Salary
    $5,051,249 (2015), $1,422,339 (2016)

    • Paulo says:

      They paid in Rubles?

    • Bacon says:

      Last thing I want to do is defend that bastard Wayne but those wiki numbers are both incorrect and misleading as presented.
      (It’s Wikipedia’s error, not yours Elmo.)

      Depending on how you want to list things, the correct numbers are either
      Reportable compensation:
      $927,863 (2014)
      $5,051,249 (2015) = $1,351,249
      $1,358,966 (2016)
      $1,366,688 (2017)
      Or Total compensation:
      $985,885 (2014)
      $5,110,985 (2015) = $1,410,985
      $1,422,339 (2016)
      $1,433,977 (2017)

      The reason behind these numbers is that he had a $3.7M payout from a retirement account in 2015. (That’s his own money, saved over his career, and the payout was mandated by tax law.) So I subtracted that to the right. It’s still a huge jump but it makes more sense anyway. The $5M+ numbers are meaningless, just tax accounting.

      • MN Steel says:

        Huh. So I guess you’re good with the annual membership dues of over 31,000 common members going to His Royal Heinous, eh?

        Perhaps he could “donate” some to another Glass Palace, perhaps in California, where he could team up with the other groups that supported the “limited list” of banned-for-sale handguns, but had no check on lengthening the list once passed.

        The only thing LippyAir has gotten correct was the European Socialist comment.

        • Bacon says:

          Huh MN? Are you having trouble reading what I wrote? I corrected wikipedia’s math error and fleshed out the numbers a bit. How do you get from that to my “being good with” that bastard Wayne’s behavior? NRA won’t get another dime from me.

  3. J says:

    NRA MIOS

  4. TM Willy says:

    I am a life member of the NRA. Yep, I wrote it, and it is true. That being stated, I can tell you that I do not agree with everything that the NRA board does, the management does, or even what Wayne does. But, looking around, I can also say that about a lot of places from the hamburger joints (I prefer more hamburger and less bun) to, well, almost everything. For those of you who have perfect lives where everyone around you and everything that happens around you is in 100% agreement with you, I congratulate you on your good luck. For me, that simply is not the case. Even the author of this blog has a dog whose behavior confounds him at times yet he has been able to adapt. Like the author’s dog, I am sure that most of us have some sort of issue in our life that vexes us in some way or another. However, most adults figure out a way to live with the inconveniences in life that occur. My membership in the NRA is one of those things. While they do things I might not agree with, they do a well enough job for me that I see no reason to blame them when congress or the media comes up with a new way to screw gun owners.

    For those of you who want to spend your time complaining about the NRA, that is your right. However, every time you complain publicly about the NRA you are just making it more difficult for everyone in the pro-gun community. Your complaints provide aid and comfort to everyone in the anti-gun community because it means their strategy of divide and rule (or divide and conquer) is working. One of the most effective ways to destroy a group is to get the members fighting amongst themselves. I suggest you take some time and read Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” as well as look up the phrase “divide and rule” on Wikipedia. While at Wikipedia, look up the NRA and read about their origins. Those with critical thinking skills will realize that the role of being the “defender of gun rights” is not something the NRA started out to be; it was a role more or less foisted upon them. At the time, there was no one else to do that work so the NRA stepped up and tried to do a good job of it. However, if you do not like what the NRA is doing, either don’t join, or quit. You could also join or support some other organization. Perhaps you would consider running for a membership on the NRA board and help guide the organization into a more successful position. Heck, send in your resume and ask to replace Wayne, and, if you are more qualified than him, maybe they will give you his job. Or, you can just keep falling for the same old “divide and rule” scam and keep squabbling amongst yourselves and weakening our position. Frankly, I would think that your time would be better spent in analyzing how to defeat the anti-gun groups rather than wasting it criticizing the NRA.

    Put another way, I like the NRA. If you don’t like the NRA, join another club. However, I would appreciate it if you would stop whining about the NRA, researching and analyzing why the NRA is wrong, and otherwise engaging in activities that interfere with my enjoyment of my NRA membership. Thanks.

    • ThinkingOutLoud says:

      NRA Life Member. Training Counselor in five disciplines, Chief Range Safety Officer, Level 1 Rifle Coach, decade of volunteering in Friends of the NRA. I’ve spent a bit of my adult life participating in many of the NRA training programs. I am grateful for what I’ve learned, and deeply appreciative of the old-school men and women who created those firearm safety programs.

      Things have changed. The ILA,not the Training Division, is now the tail wagging the dog, and the PR company Ackerman McQueen (aka Ack-Mac) is embedded in many of the departments. Many of the mistakes NRA has made have been laid at the feet of undue Ack-Mac influence – they are generally non-shooting people who worry about optics (the PR kind) and don’t understand firearms or the NRA base.

      Those with critical thinking skills will reasonably want to evaluate how their hard-earned money, their dues and donations, are being spent. Expressing their concerns about the direction of an organization is also reasonable. The NRA does not listen to individuals, unless they are on the Board or a significant industry player, but they do watch movement in media – why do you think Marion Hammer decided to respond in AmmoLand?

      There are many of us who have memberships in multiple gun-rights organizations. I don’t actually know anyone who supports just one. Because of their history, because of their established reputation as an 800-lb gorilla in lobbying, I hope and pray the NRA gets back on track so we, gun owners and 2nd Amendment supporters, don’t lose any ground. But NRA won’t change unless they need to, and these types of discussions eventually rise to the level that NRA will note and consider.

      TL/DR? I don’t follow any person or organization blindly. No one, no group is perfect. People should express their concerns if an organization is straying from its mission statement. If that makes you uncomfortable, if you have to characterize it as “whining”, if you find other people’s conversation interferes with your enjoyment of your NRA membership – there are plenty of photos of breasts, cute kids and goofy people on this blog. Why don’t you check those out while the adults are talking?

      • Wirecutter says:

        I took NRA gun classes from the time I was 7 until I was 17. In order to hunt on a military reservation, you have to take a gun safety class, and every one of them were done by the NRA. For that I am grateful.
        If the NRA did nothing but safety and training classes, I’d send them money on a regular basis.

        • ThinkingOutLoud says:

          Yes. 100%. Those classes were designed by real marksmen who loved the sport in all its variety, and wanted nothing more than to help other people become safe, skilled shooters. It’s a privilege and a responsibility to help someone learn how to shoot.

          There are still good folks in the NRA system, and I want to support them. But there are too many for whom the NRA is just a job and an ego trip.

    • FaCubeItches says:

      As far as having a role foisted upon you goes, the ideal one to get is defending a right, and an enumerated right at that. It’s a very simple position: no retreat, no surrender, no compromise. Ever. For any reason. As soon as you’ve done it once, it’s no longer a right, it’s a privilege, and then it exists solely at the whim of the government.

      Put another way, rights are like principles – you can’t just break them a little bit.

  5. CC says:

    After you send their literature and postage-paid envelope back with a msg. to remove you from their mailing list, they stop, unlike others.

    • Wirecutter says:

      The NRA? Not in my experience, they don’t. I haven’t been a member in I don’t know how long, I’ve sent several messages asking to be removed from their mailing lists and I’m still getting pleas for donations to this day.

  6. RDB says:

    Take this in the spirit it is offered. I’m not defending the NRA but asking for opinions. If not the NRA, then who or what do you suggest supporting?

    As a side point, what would it take to get the NRA to modify their stance on certain things? Or have they become compromised and firing them all is the only way to a better organization?

  7. Kapt Kaos says:

    More cucking from the cucks? What a surprise! I’m thinking we’ll very soon be seeing lots of so called Conservative politicians crossing the aisle very soon in the Senate for some serious “common sense” gun control legislation regardless of how much of that NRA money they’ve taken for campaign contributions.

  8. Bigg Ale says:

    Not carrying going to carry their water, but where do you think gun owners would be on 2nd Admendment rights WITHOUT the lobbying power of the NRA?

    How many gun rights association were fighting in the 90’s? One. The NRA got the sunset clause put into that god awfull bill that Fiendstien got Clintoon to sign. Thank God for that.

    Now I’m all about the free market, so if ya’ll belong to a better organization with as much lobbying power in D.C., I’m willing to hear you out.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Fact Check: Gun Owners of America was founded in 1975, so no, there wasn’t just one organization fighting for our 2A Rights in the 90s.

      How in the world can you use the words Rights and Lobbying in the same sentence and still keep a straight face?

    • FaCubeItches says:

      “but where do you think gun owners would be on 2nd Admendment rights WITHOUT the lobbying power of the NRA?”

      Again, enumerated Right. It exists regardless of what the government says or does, so long as the populace are willing to exercise it (which, in all honesty, it is not willing to do, and has never been willing to do – with respect to pretty much any of them, with the exception of the government-created right to abortion). NRA lobbying power has no impact on that. The NRA signing on to/endorsing any abridgement of that right just gives the government cover.

  9. ChuckN says:

    If there’s one thing that’s abundantly clear in the age of Trump it’s that the American populace is growing more intolerant of poseurs and anything resembling entrenched bureaocrats; regardless of party. The NRA has shown that they can’t handle “shall not be infringed”. With the bump stock ban passing more and more are seeing the NRA as nothing more than lip service and ever bit apart of the deep state staus quo that infects DC.

  10. Nemo says:

    …from a previous post , same subject last week:

    I quit the NRA 10 years ago after having been a member for 40 years. Between the never ending solicitations for more More MORE money and the dearth of results and outright capitulation on numerous rights crushing bills in both houses of CONgress and the exorbitant salaries and perks for the “officers” of the organization, I wouldn’t piss on the NRA if it was on fire.

    • Andy says:

      I am almost to that point now Nemo. I get so much “give me” mail from them is is sickening. How about this for a solution…take a damn pay cut and put that money into the pot. Quit asking me for more money! Pretty soon I probably will join the GOA and the TSRA.

      • TRX says:

        They need that money! It takes wads of it to sponsor a NASCAR team, you know.

        NASCAR is critically important to gun rights. Well, at least the NRA thinks so…

  11. DaveS says:

    So…I’m hedging my bets I guess. I’m a member of the NRA and the GOA. But, at least for the time being, the NRA certainly seems to be more effective than the GOA. The GOA may take a hard line stand on some things, but where’s the evidence that they’re actually effective? It’s kind of like the weasel and the grizzly bear – ounce for ounce the weasel is far more ferocious than the bear, but out on the trail I pay a LOT more attention to the bear. Size does matter.
    At least for now, I’m going to continue to support the NRA and try to elicit change from within the system rather than advocating for revolution and overthrow. Without the NRA, many of us would be considered felons by now if the gun control (i.e. people controllers) folks had their way.
    There’s an old saying about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There are things that I certainly don’t like about the NRA – which is why I also support the GOA – but until I see evidence that someone else can fill their boots, I’m not giving up on the NRA.

    • NOG says:

      So you are part of the problem. Until enough quit the NRA, you will see no change. If 250K NRA supporters quit and joined GOA, GOA would be even more powerful than current NRA. Because the fowl entrenched leaders of the NRA would then be kicked to the curb as they should have been 25 years ago and real 2nd supporters could take control. How powerful would gun owners be then? I quit the NRA and joined GOA. I will support them as much as I can. Nutty Old Geezer

    • pigpen51 says:

      DaveS. I am glad that I am not the only one to get it. I also belong to both the NRA and the GOA. I left the NRA for a time, but I rejoined last year. They have the connections in DC to at the least, influence the debate on the second amendment in congress. I believe that they are still relevant, even though they have dropped the ball at times, at least on the outside looking in would seem to show.
      The GOA does much of the actual legal fighting, filing briefs, and bringing suits when needed. So to me, the two groups are both needed, and fill different niches’ in the fight to keep our freedom safe.
      I decided that to have the right to complain about the NRA, I should be a member of the NRA. Just imagine the power that they would have if more of the countries estimated 60 million gun owners would join.
      Of course, like most everyone, I have many issues with what they are doing, and how they go about it. But unlike most, I know that lobbying the powers that be in Washington takes many different forms, and I simply don’t have either the knowledge or the ability to effect change the way that an organization like the NRA does.
      The polls tell us that there is strong support for the 2nd amendment, and little desire to add more shackles onto gun owners. It is only when we see another mass shooting that makes the major news organizations, that we see any kind of movement to clamp down on gun rights. And it is important that those of us on the pro gun side try and stay together in our message against blaming the gun instead of blaming the gunman. It is only a group like the NRA that has the size and the financial backing to wage an effective battle against those who live to take our rights away.
      I don’t think that everyone should belong to the NRA, since everyone must follow their own hearts and minds in this type of matter. The main thing to consider is that we all must be vigilant for the next attack that will certainly be coming. With the SCOTUS beginning to lean slightly more to the right, the next justice will be a telling factor in what direction gun rights head.
      I figure it boils down to the fact that the things that the NRA does well, it does very, very well. Such as gun safety education, etc. And the things that the NRA does poorly, they do very, very poorly. Like listening to their membership when it comes to how to proceed with lobbying efforts. These facts are not all that unusual in any organization, from the ACLU, to the AFA, who lobby against abortion. Sometimes we can be both our best ally and our own biggest enemy. Just remember, no matter what, an attack will come again. We must be aware and ready to take action, in whatever way we are comfortable with, be it contacting our congress people or giving money to pro gun groups, to whatever other actions you are able to come up with. The fight is never going away, so we must stay in it for the long haul.

      • Nemo says:

        ” It is only when we see another mass shooting that makes the major news organizations”
        \
        Once the new CONgress gets rolling and DiFi and Little Marco’s bills make it out of committee, there’ll be another mass shooting this year. Coincidence? Not likely. …and we’ll never know the truth of that one either, just like Vegas.

        • FaCubeItches says:

          “Once the new CONgress gets rolling and DiFi and Little Marco’s bills make it out of committee, there’ll be another mass shooting this year”

          Would almost certainly happen regardless of the composition of Congress. No conspiracy is needed.

        • Bacon says:

          Hey, crisis actors gotta work too ya know.

      • FaCubeItches says:

        “even though they have dropped the ball at times”

        That’s the problem. You can’t drop the ball even once. Once any infringement on a right is accepted, it ceases to be a right and instead becomes a privilege. Privileges may be revoked or modified at will by the government.

  12. SgtBob says:

    The author says we are doomed “if we can’t get everyone pushing in the same direction…” Well, damn. For normal gun owners, that part is easy. It’s the part the author claims the NRA cannot do: Yell from the mountaintop, “shall not be infringed.” With which part does NRA not agree?

  13. enn ess says:

    From what I’ve read and heard everywhere, with regard to the eventual confiscation of arms, there is room at the table for everyone, including the NRA, GOA, and any one else willing to contribute to the fight.even if the NRA has never met a big they weren’t willing to compromise on. There is NO compromise on the right to defend yourself, family, friends, community & country. NONE.
    The absolute best way to combat this modern atrocity is to learn your history. This battle has been raging first one way then another, defendant upon whom is in power at the time since the Grecian/Roman fiasco at Sparta and before. All throughout history. Knowing you history and whence your rights came is of prime importance and the best weapon for this fight.

  14. sjmld says:

    Over the last 35 years or so I have had some great experiences working with the NRA on local issues. They have been intelligent and responsive.
    I can’t say I have agreed with everything they do, but they are 95% on my side and that’s good enough. I disagree with my best friend from time to time, but we are still friends.
    I’m also a member of GOA and other more local groups, but they are less effective than the NRA.
    Every one out there grumbling please let me know of another organization even half as effective and I will support them too.
    FWIW I learned a good deal about grass root organizing from Marion Hammer when she was working on the FL concealed carry years ago. I was able to apply that and support from NRA to defeat a local ban in IL at the time. GOA and CCRBK were unable to help.

  15. Towser says:

    So much to comment on so little time… It seems the author of the article contends anyone who supports gun rights has to support the NRA or else. I call bullshit. Said “logic” would indicate I cannot speak against the Republican party if I disagree with their platform. Or I cannot criticize Peter King (R) NY or other “republicans” and his/their backing of this latest asswipe of a “common-sense gun legislation”. Bite me.

    I, for one, am tired of the idea of choosing the “lesser of two evils”. If one opts for the lesser of two evils, one still opts for evil. Here’s the rubber meets the road: either you support liberty or you don’t. The NRA abandoned liberty long ago.

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