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Why I’m Not The NRA’s Biggest Fan

Bitter chides me for not being an NRA member. Well, I don’t place a lot of faith in NRA grades or endorsements since they endorsed both Bushes for the presidency. Bush Sr. effectively banned imports of semi-auto rifles and Jr. would have renewed the AWB if only that mean ol’ congress would get it to him.

But Uncle, you say, Should they have endorsed Kerry? Not at all. They should have endorsed no one. And their campaign should have targeted Kerry for being worse on gun rights than Bush.

11 Responses to “Why I’m Not The NRA’s Biggest Fan”

  1. Bitter Says:

    I don’t always pay attention to their endorsements either, that’s why I ask about the voting records when I have questions. I’ve requested them in the past and they sent them to me because I was a member. The fact is, they do keep pretty good records on that kind of stuff.

    I have done a lot of bitching about NRA and it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what I really think. But I also happen to believe that as a member, I have more ability to influence the organization. No, I’m not naive enough to think I’ll change the entire culture there, but I know I have the attention of a few of who have more influence.

  2. Xrlq Says:

    I think it would be extremely dumb for the NRA not to endorse the candidate with the better record on the Second Amendment, simply because his record isn’t perfect. It’s fine and dandy to endorse the pure candidate over the mostly-right one in a head-to-head race between the two, but when the choices are between an imperfect friend of the Second Amendment – say, the guy who campaigned for, and ultimately signed, the concealed carry law his opponent had previously vetoed – and a near-perfect enemy, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know which candidate any pro- or anti-gun organization ought to back.

    Bringing up Bush-41 in this context is even sillier than your basic premise. What, exactly, had Bush the Elder done to offend any gunnies in 1988 – the first and last time that the NRA endorsed him for anything?

  3. SayUncle Says:


    as said in the post:

    ‘Bush Sr. effectively banned imports of semi-auto rifles’

  4. Xrlq Says:

    In or prior to 1988? How does a Vice President do that?

  5. SayUncle Says:

    did they not endorse him in 92? he signed the EO banning importing semi-autos.

  6. anonymous Says:

    Unfortuately the only two clubs around here worth shooting at require NRA membership. What a scam, but what can I do? Addicted to shooting…

  7. Terry Says:

    One of the bad things about a NRA endorsement is that the voter is left to assume that a challenger is anti-second amendment. But in many cases, the candidate receiving the endorsement is not stronger on 2nd amendment issues, but rather is an incumbent. Unless you absolutely take a hard line against the NRA, as an incumbent, you’re going to get the endorsement. If the other candidate is stronger on record, grassroots, etc., it just doesn’t matter.

    This is unfortunate and I know a lot of NRA members who wish it wasn’t this way. But for the most part, they do a really good job of being a presence that most politicians fear.

  8. Xrlq Says:

    The NRA did not endorse any candidate in 1992. Big mistake. If they had, there probably would have been no AW ban for Dubya to renew or not renew.

  9. Bitter Says:

    What I see here when it comes to bitching about NRA is that people aren’t willing to ask questions or to actually let NRA know their ideas. (Of course that doesn’t mean they will listen to you, but I would be shocked if any member who posts to this site or most other gun blogs has actually called ILA and talked to their state legislative assitants.)

    Yes, NRA has a history of endorsing incumbents, but that’s something you find out if you talk to anyone there, it’s no secret. They don’t try to hide that fact from their members. Although I don’t see how they leave voters “to assume that a challenger is anti-second amendment” when they publish the grades of everyone in the race in their election year charts. If they were trying to convince people that the other guy is anti-gun, they wouldn’t list any information about them, muchless the grade. If you want to know more about the grades in exact races, you call them as ask for the voting records or what their questionnaire said.

    As for the person addicted to shooting whose range requires membership, why are you opposed to that? Sure, there’s the political arm that you might not agree with, but are you also coming out against their firearm safety and range support programs? Are you opposed to the grants available for range improvements for gun ranges that otherwise might close down and then not be avaible to other shooting addicts? Are you anti-Eddie Eagle? Are you against the disabled shooting programs they run to introduce yet even more people to shooting? Be clear about your objections to NRA membership, especially if you claim to be an active shooter. The fact is that ranges have a very clear interest in working with NRA. They provide technical information and, in the worst case scenarios, legal assistance to keep ranges open to shooters. There’s different divisions and if you condemn NRA based on one, then I would wonder how interested you really are in supporting the shooting sports.

  10. Jacob Says:

    The key to improving the climate for gun owners is to win elections. That requires being involved in viable political campaigns. Politics is all about leverage and knowing how to influence the legislature. Winning elections gives NRA leverage and influences the legislature. NRA understands this. It has been my experience that most of the people who complain about NRA don’t. Ideas don’t count for anything unless there is a will and a way to implement them.

  11. Standard Mischief Says:


    did they not endorse him in 92? he signed the EO banning importing semi-autos.

    No, remember the “jackbooted thugs” thingy? That’s the excuse he gave for dropping his life membership. The real reason is rumored to be because he was not at all happy that he did not get the NRA’s endorsement when he was running for his second term.

    My opinion is that the lack of the gun vote and his waffle on the “read my lips, no new taxes” thingy is what cause him to lose.

    Yea, we got Clinton’s AWB, but I think it’s still a good idea to make it known that the NRA’s endorsement doesn’t automatically go to the candidate that’s the least enemy of our RKBA.

    I can’t possibly see how that Bush the First Executive Order is constitutional, but hey, no one seems too concerned about the Executive branch writing de facto laws.

    The irony that he was pushing for the passage of NAFTA while writing an EO that banned the importation of firearms that would be legal if they were made right here in the USA is not lost on me.