Monday, March 27, 2006

NRA Voting

Bill and I took time to recuperate the last couple of days. We had a nasty flu that’s going around—one which I’ve had for about two weeks. Except for one errand, we stayed in the house for three days straight and ended up with cabin fever. Better cabin fever than the flu and we do feel better now.

I was gratified to see Ten Ring had a lot of readers recently, over 450 on one day alone. That’s almost a personal best. I think most of the attention centered on my post about hot brass finding its way down one’s blouse. If I’d known how much attention that post would get, I would have breast-blogged earlier. Nah, they’ll be looking for pictures and I’m not about to try that.

Now to the meat of this post (I hear a collective sigh of relief). I’m a voting member of the NRA and I finally completed my Board of Directors ballot. If you too are a voting member don’t forget to get your ballot in. You have until April 30.

When I voted, I kept gun rights firmly in mind. All nominees on the ballot have impressive credentials, but it matters less to me if a candidate is a hunter, competitive shooter, or a former military hero. Any of those credentials are important, but I looked for people who have fought gun-grabbers in courts, in media, in political office, or elsewhere. I believe I found several good ones.

Now I gotta say that every time I blog about the National Rifle Association and mention that I’m a Life Member, I get comments on how NRA compromises too much, how they support “existing” gun laws, and other issues. I’m going to head off the comments by admitting that NRA has problems. What organization doesn’t?

I support NRA because I believe that without the organization, even with its missteps, we would be virtually stripped of our gun rights today. At the same time, I know we’ve lost much especially compared to my grandfather’s time.

Sometimes NRA representatives and lobbyists even backed certain laws that even ended up taking away our liberties. The passage of the NRA-backed Firearms Protection Act (FOPA) is a case in point. It included the last minute Hughes Amendment which makes it impossible for financially average gun owners to afford a fully automatic collector’s piece no matter how good a citizen he or she is.

But, I know that politics is the art of compromise. Many gun control bills would have passed no matter what NRA did. Certainly the 1968 Gun Control Act—the mother of all infringements—would have passed. NRA was at the table and did what it could do to soften the act. They later backed the aforementioned FOPA which further eased the impact of the 1968 assault on our gun rights.

We gunnies can take a no compromise attitude, refuse to negotiate with gun banners, and discuss how gun control laws are immoral and unconstitutional until we’re blue in the face. While we do, we‘ll watch our rights erode like a child’s sand castle when the tide comes in.

Gun banners and those who vote for their lies simply ignore us. Look at Massachusetts where I used to live. I hate to say it, but most voters there are proud of their state’s gun laws and would be happy to enact more. Massachusetts courts certainly won’t protect us and US Courts aren’t much better.

I can wish that more people and our government agencies supported gun rights and NRA could become a target shooting club again. But that’s not the reality we face and that’s why I support the only gun lobbying group that has been able to defeat gun banners often if not always.

There’s an old saying that’s apropos here, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” NRA is far from perfect, but it has done good work for us. I also plan on doing what I can as a member to keep their collective feet to the fire and let its leaders know that most of us support an unfettered and uncompromised Second Amendment.

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