The short answer is, No. However, the NRA is fast becoming part of the problem and one that needs to be addressed soon. Take for example the NRA publicly proclaiming they will not endorse Harry Reid. At the same time they have not endorsed Reid’s Opponent Sharon Angle, but is that the end of the story? Is the NRA staying out of Nevada’s Senate race? The answer is a resounding no. In fact while the NRA PR flaks say they are taking no position in that race their checkbook says otherwise.
When one person confronted them with this fact on their facebook page the NRA responded in a way that would probably make Senator Reid proud.
He sets the agenda. He determines what comes up in the U.S. Senate and what doesn’t. During his time as Majority Leader he has helped us pass pro-gun bills, none of which would have come up without his support. Not only did he bring them up, but he voted for them as well. In addition, he has stopped anti-gun Senators from offering anti-gun amendments to pro-gun bills or to must pass spending legislation.
Is he perfect, of course not. Has he cast bad votes in the past, yes. Has he been voting with correctly on gun issues over the last 6-8 years, yes. Those are undeniable facts.
Let’s look at the phrase “Has he been voting with [us] correctly on gun issues over the last 6-8 years, yes. Those are undeniable facts.” Now compare that to “The vote on Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Court, along with the previous year’s confirmation vote on Sonia Sotomayor, are critical for the future of the Second Amendment. After careful consideration, the NRA-PVF announced today that it will not be endorsing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for re-election in the 2010 U.S. Senate race in Nevada.” Oh my, it looks like Senator Reid hasn’t been voting correctly on gun issues over the last 6-8 years. Now we’ll probably hear the excuse from the NRA that the Supreme Court nominations weren’t a ‘single issue’ and as such their statement is still correct. My response to that would be words not normally used in polite conversation. Politely I would say the NRA has become part of the problem.
So why do I think the NRA is still relevant? When it comes to lobbying they are still the 800 pound gorilla in the living room and while it may have just been a case of a broken clock being right twice a day I stand by earlier assessment that the NRA saved the day in McDonald v. Chicago. The NRA has power just in their name, but their core is rotten.
Like the Tea Party movement seeks to re-establish Government as a servant of the people we need to try to re-establish the NRA as a servant of its voting members. In order to do that one has to be a member 5 years or longer. A 5 year membership costs a not to trivial in today’s economy $125 but with it comes a vote in the board elections. It may take time, but if we continually vote and agitate for for people who really care about gun rights, rather than people who care about maintaining their prominence even if it means a small sacrifice of rights on the altar of Government we can make a difference.
At the same time let’s not forget organizations that haven’t lost their sense of purpose like the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.
In closing I would like to extend a personal thanks to David Codrea at The War on Guns for tirelessly researching and reporting on this issue. His posts are the inspiration of today’s piece. You can view his NRA related posts using this link. Please make him part of your daily read if he isn’t already.