Whose Side Is the NRA Really On?


While the “mainstream media” and the rest of the usual suspects continue to demonize individual gun owners and the NRA, you don’t have to be a rabid hoplophobe to question the NRA.

The popular view of the NRA, no matter whether one supports or opposes the G-d-given right (or indeed a duty) to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the 2nd, 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution, is that it is a staunch and consistent defender of these rights.

Let’s see what the story behind the story is.  The NRA was founded in 1871 by Union veterans to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis” as a result of the poor marksmanship of the North during the War.  The NRA’s long recorded history of promoting gun control appears to have begun with its helping to draft and promote the Uniform Firearms Act of 1930, which was adopted by 9 states.  Interestingly, this NRA law was successfully challenged in courts as being unconstitutional.  The NRA also supported one of the very first and most important federal gun control measures, the National Firearms Act of 1934.  NRA continued its support for gun control by supporting the Federal Firearms Act of 1938.  (I am using the term “gun control” as shorthand for any measures, including legislation, that would control the people by infringing upon their individual rights to keep and bear arms.)

The NRA’s support for more and more gun control continued in spite of the opposition by many of its members.  That opposition resulted in a major change of leadership in 1977, with the NRA becoming a powerful advocate of the right to keep and bear arms.  While the NRA has retained that image ever since, by the mid-1980s, the NRA by and large became what it remains to this today -- ostensibly a gun rights champion while in practice ...  Well, I’ll just let the NRA tell you themselves:

The National Rifle Association has been in support of workable, enforceable gun control legislation since its very inception in 1871.”  “The truth is, NRA supports many gun laws, including federal and state laws ... .  NRA has also assisted in writing [both federal and state] gun laws ... .

Some of the ways the NRA promotes gun control include the drafting, supporting and/or silence with respect to new gun control, supporting the continuation and even expansion of existing gun control, introduction or support of slightly less onerous alternatives to new gun control, allowing or even supporting gun control amendments to otherwise pro-gun rights legislation and other quid pro quo tactics, supporting pro- gun control candidates, and supporting other measures that expand the reach and powers of the Federal government.

These “compromises” continue to this very day.  Not only is the NRA supporting a vast expansion of the Federal government’s role with respect to education and local law enforcement, it continues to support gun control while also flip-flopping.

In 1999, the NRA publicly and explicitly endorsed a number of “reasonable restrictions on gun ownership,” including the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act.  What makes this particularly interesting is that the 1999 NRA endorsement of the Act came only 4 years after the Supreme Court overturned the original Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 (à la NRA’s drafting of and support for the Uniform Firearms Act of 1930 which was also struck down by the courts).  (Congress, under Trent Lott and Newt Gingrich, passed the current version of the Gun-Free School Zones Act as requested by Clinton/Reno in an end run around the Supreme Court decision.)  Moreover, the NRA is currently endorsing the expansion of gun control by the Federal government.

Thus, it should be clear that criticism of the NRA is not restricted solely to hoplophobes and that there are indeed gun rights anti-NRA folks.  As for whose side the NRA is really on, I will leave that up to the reader.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-David/100003261907632 Michael David

    The National Association of Gun Rights is the strongest defender of the 2nd Amendment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Peterson/1226047357 Chuck Peterson

    They have always said that the NRA really stands for " Negotiate Rights Away" They haven't really stood strong on any anti 2nd amendment Bills that has ever been made law. Not the 68 gun control bill not the brady bill none of them

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.j.hall2 John Joseph Hall

    The nation's oldest gun control group.

  • Diamondback

    Everyone makes mistakes. The question is whether or not they learned from them. The only money the NRA gets from me is my annual dues. The rest of my money for fighting for the 2nd Amendment goes to the organization that was primarily responsible for the Heller v. D.C. (establishing for first time that the RKBA is a fundamental, individual right) and McDonald v. Chicago (applying the restrictions of the 2nd Amendment against the states) Supreme Court rulings upholding the protections afforded thereby:

    THE SECOND AMENDMENT FOUNDATION

    saf.org

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ralph-Weaver/1407789689 Ralph Weaver

    I have been a NRA member for well over 30 Years. I have not been as happy with them as you might think. I believe that they are in it as a way to make money. At one time they were the only game in town but now we have the GOA and NAGR which are better than the NRA. I am a member of all of them as well as Jews For the Presevation of Fire Arms organization. Reason being I have always been concerned at how any Jew could not value the second ammendment when it was Jews in particular were slaughtered in such high numbers under Hitler. There is one case in which a small number of armed Jewish men held off the Nazis with only a few arms for almost 30 days . While I am not a Jew I greatly admire these men and want to emulate them and support those that stand for the right to keep and bear arms. and I hope I can encourage others to join thier organization. and stop Jews from surrendering thier rights under the Second Ammendment and to stand up and fight for them.
    I probably contribute well over $1000 per year to this group of organizations. As many of you are now learning that it is the support of these organizatios that will keep us free with the patriots that are ready to die in support of the second Ammendment. I am a veteran who served over 25 years and do not regret one cent of what I have contributed to this cause and would not regret loosing my life while in defense of the Constituion.

  • http://twitter.com/eagle2758 George Washington

    So, since Komrade Obama Osama and Holder said they cannot use drones against us if we aren't in combat, I guess they'll let the Hellfire's go if we have a revolution,eh. Thermal imaging can be defeated, just ask Al-Qaeda.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grant.halverson.1 Grant Halverson

    GOA is the place to be! KarenWI

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.kirkham.7 Ken Kirkham

    The NRA may not be everything we wish and I agree that GOA is stronger in areas that I want. However, basing your disdain for the NRA on something that they did 80 years ago is not entirely valid. I was a Democrat until 1998 and now I'm a solid Constitutionalist and strong pro-gun supporter. I personally think the NRA has done much that we should consider as good.

  • Dempseycoleman

    The NRA is to Gun Rights as AARP is to health care.
    Personally I suport NAFGR They do not wave in the
    wind like the weak kneed NRA

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.mcamoil Daniel E McAmoil

    Just signed up as a life member,, feeling as long as they hold ground with the 2nd,, our vote with dues should point the direction they should follow.. Just my view anyway..

  • Smirking Wolf

    I am Life Member of Gun Owners of America. Also NRA unfortunately the NRA is still teh big gorilla in the room. WIsh GOA could take that role.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ted.madej Ted Madej

      I guess with lobbyists and politicians , they all have to lie or die, (alter the facts,spin the story,& sleep with each other ) with some give & take just so they have a job tomorrow.
      Right now I think we have to admit our loudest voice is still heard from the NRA. Maybe in the future ,???? we won't even need a gun rights group !

  • m123s

    The N.R.A. is a lobbiest orgtanization - same as the AARP; Felix Bronstein, lets do a future article on "whose side is the AARP on? God is a title, not a name.

  • 1_Eddie_1

    I have said it for years that the NRA wasn't doing enough for gun owners and Americans 2nd Ammendment rights. I have even told the NRA people that when they've called my home on a few occasions, and they did not like being called out on it. Join another organization like the Second Ammendment Foundation or the CCRKBA, or GOA and you will get better representation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-Palombi/1119591991 Fred Palombi

      National Association for Gun Rights and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners are 2 of the best at protecting our 2nd Amendments rights!

    • Diamondback

      Yea, pray tell us, what exactly have these two orgs actually done to advance 2nd Amendment jurisprudence in favor of gun rights?

      Just askin'. I'm quite active in the 2A community and have not heard of anything significant other than the NRA and SAF.

      Thanks for any credible info.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Wilson-Kingsley/100000397000382 Ann Wilson Kingsley

    Oh, so the NRA is responsible for the Sandy Hook shootings. I'm glad we finally found the culprit.

  • http://www.wr2a.wordpress.com/ Donald Borsch Jr

    For CT gun-rights advocates: (or if you live near CT, of course)

    11 Mar 2013, at the State Capitol, a rally!

    http://ccdl.us/component/content/article/38-news/240-lobby-day-at-the-capitol

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.bowman.773 Kenneth Bowman

    Today the main-stream media is nothing more than the official mouth piece for the American Communist Party. Many communist agents infest all aspects of American Society. Therefore, nobody can be trusted to tell the truth. Everything must be verified!

    LIES are the domain of Communists who excel at propaganda. Disinformation and misdirection merged with outright LIES define the Communist Party [Democrat]!

    Verify everything by reading all you can obtain from both sides of any issue. After one comprehends both sides you are impowered to decide for yourself. Even then with all the misinformation do we really have the truth?

    • Smirking Wolf

      I'm not sure these people are Communists. I don't know if they even understand the concept. That said, whatever they are, I do not like them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mrpaulpoole Paul Poole

      The new word for Communists is Progressives and there are far more of them than us in the media and that is the main reason armed civilian's using their weapons to defend themselves never gets out. So the idiot liberal's only believe what CNN and the other media types feed them.

    • aviationfinance

      I would hope that you would post this exact same statement on Huffington Post and anywhere else that you can every single day !

      Well Done !

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Peterson/1226047357 Chuck Peterson

      I agree Kenneth It all comes together when someone looks into what group started the Communist Party. The main Politicians pushing the gun control also fall into the same group. This same group also started the CFR the NAACP and the ACLU

  • J W. Dick

    If you are going to say God Given rights say it... dont bleep it out and say G-d.

    • Mike_Travis

      Religious Jews do not speak or write the name of the Lord. I respect that.

    • Smirking Wolf

      Our Jewish Brethren do not fill out the word God becase of heir belief that He is too awesome even to speak His name. Cut'em a break. :-)

  • A. Levy

    Words of wisdom;

    What you see is not always what you get...
    Things are not always what they appear to be...
    Think for yourself...

  • DontTreadOnMe11

    I have been an NRA life member for about 20 years. I haven't made a monetary donation to them in about 10 years. My money now goes to Gun Owners of America.

    • WASP

      Agree. The NRA is a bunch of self-serving opportunists, and LaPierre is nothing but a extremely high paid lobbyist. They need to keep gun owners up in arms (pun intended) so the donations keep coming in, but they are too compromising for my taste. GOA and JPFO are more militant and that's what we need.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mrpaulpoole Paul Poole

      Bravo on donating to the Gun Owners of America. That is where I put my money as well......we MUST hold a No Compromise stance on the coming anti-gun legislation coming at us. If they pass a law banning some sort a gun we must in mass get to D.C. with our banned item and tell them to try and confiscate it. The line has been drawn and our country is at stake.

    • Diamondback

      But WHAT has GOA actually accomplished pray tell.

      Don't get me wrong. I'm all for everyone that's all for the 2nd Amendment. But let's just get the facts straight.

      What has each org ACTUALLY DONE to advance the cause in the correct direction?

    • http://twitter.com/eagle2758 George Washington

      Dropped my NRA membership, went to GOA.

    • Diamondback

      Mistake! Should've KEPT the NRA and ADDED the GOA.

      Now go to saf.org and join them too!

    • joedoakes202

      I'm a lifetime member too . . . but please remember that the NRA has a dual mission of maintaining a vibrant and well established market in fire arms and ammunition as well as preserving our inherent right to keep and bear them; our national defense is built on this. That's a tall order and I believe that they fill it well. We will always have different opinions on how to attain a goal. But, the NRA over the past decades I've been on this Earth has met that goal; and will continue to do so!