Myths of the NRA

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor -

Re: “The steel be­hind Amer­i­can free­dom” in the Cul­ture sec­tion of the May 9 edi­tion, NRA Pres­i­dent David A. Keene serves up Kool-Aid by the bucket in his piece con­cern­ing the po­lit­i­cal clout of his or­ga­ni­za­tion.

I have been a strong gun rights pro­po­nent for decades, but I am not, nor will I prob­a­bly ever be, an NRA mem­ber.

Con­trary to what Mr. Keene states the NRA is not a for­mi­da­ble gun rights or­ga­ni­za­tion. In­stead it has two over­rid­ing goals, garner­ing cash do­na­tions and sup­port­ing the “rights” of the shrink­ing num­ber of sport tro­phy hun­ters na­tion­wide.

When it comes to gun rights in gen­eral it ac­tu­ally op­posed the Heller case reach­ing the Supreme Court, by which it was even­tu­ally ruled that pri­vate gun own­er­ship is a right pro­tected (not granted) by the Sec­ond Amend­ment. The NRA only jumped on board when it saw its op­po­si­tion fail­ing and the like­li­hood that the case would be a gun rights win.

As for the touted four mil­lion mem­bers, that is smoke and mir­rors as many of those mem­ber­ships are via gift mem- berships which was part of a fundrais­ing cam­paign. Many of the peo­ple who are “mem­bers” would never have joined short of some­one pay­ing the dues for them.

Dur­ing last year’s elec­tions the NRA blindly en­dorsed in­cum­bents de­spite their record on gun is­sues and their chal­lengers pro-gun rights stances. I stood next to a friend as he per­son­ally chal­lenged NRA Board mem­ber and spokesman Wayne LaPierre on this is­sue. We were told, in a round­about fash­ion, that it’s pol­icy to en­dorse in­cum­bents. My friend, a long­time NRA mem­ber, and his wife can­celed their mem­ber­ships soon af­ter that en­counter.

Even at the four mil­lion mem­ber the NRA holds a sin­gle-digit per­cent­age of the over 100 mil­lion (and ex­pand­ing) le­git­i­mate gun own­ers na­tion­wide.

If the NRA had a tenth of the po­lit­i­cal clout it claims the “as­sault weapons” ban would never have made it out of com­mit­tee, let alone passed, and we would have na­tion­wide rec­i­proc­ity for con­cealed cary hand­gun per­mits. David Kver­a­gas New­ton Town­ship, Penn­syl­va­nia

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