I am a member of the NRA. I am a member of that most famous of American Gunslingers Brigades, The "James Madison Brigade". So far, membership of that Brigade has meant a five year membership and a magazine a month for those five years, no voting rights (It is the also the cheapest of the Brigades -don't give enough money to the NRA, you don't vote) and an unlimited number of phone calls asking me to donate more money to the NRA.
As a member of good standing in the "El Cheapo Brigade" "James Madison Brigade", I was concerned when this report came out about how the NRA had dropped out of opposition to the Democrats latest attempt to quash freedom of speech, the DISCLOSE Act currently under consideration in Congress. It seems for dropping their opposition to the act, the Democrats carved a special niche for the NRA so they wouldn't be affected. When I read this, I shot off a quick Email to the NRA, expressing my displeasure with them for having sacrificed the principle of free speech for all, just to save themselves from any inconvenience.
Here is a link to the NRA's response. It is a canned response, but take the time to read it.
Here is the "Money Quote":
"We didn't "sell out" to Nancy Pelosi or anyone else. We told Congress we opposed the bill. As a result, congressional leaders made a commitment to exempt us from its draconian restrictions on free speech. (emphasis added) If that commitment is honored, we will not be involved in the final House debate. If that commitment is not fully honored, we will strongly oppose the bill."
This is where I think I did irreparable damage to my sinuses because I was drinking a diet Mountain Dew when I was reading it and I shot the Dew through my nose in combination of surprise, anger and disbelief. After a few moments of absolute panic about self-inflicted drowning and then several minutes of cursing and moaning about the damage done to my sinus cavities (Memo to Self: Notify authorities in Guantanamo Bay on newly discovered alternative to water boarding, cc the Advertisement Department of Pepsico, Inc.), I re-read the offending paragraph.
Let me get this straight: The NRA only objects to "draconian restrictions on free speech" (their words, not mine) when it is applied to them, but have no dog in the fight if they are exempted? Those rustling sounds you hear are Chuck Heston and James Madison rolling over in their graves.
If there is a more damning, self-serving statement ever made by a special interest group, please send it to me because I can't remember one so bad. The NRA has truly devolved into a decadent, self-serving money gathering machine that exists not so much to protect the 2nd Amendment, but to gainfully employ (and no doubt handsomely reward) Wayne LaPierre and his lobbyist cohorts. I am not a lawyer, but something tells me that if you lose the 1st amendment, the rest of the amendments are probably due to be quashed soon thereafter. There is a reason the 1st amendment is First....YOU CAN'T GUARANTEE THE OTHER NINE WITHOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!! D'oh!
Folks, I don't know about you..but some heads need to roll at the NRA over this one. I have never seen such a stupid response to a question made in my life. I swear, except for the fact they managed to spell the word "draconian" correctly, you would have thought this response came from some Ivy League Sophomore trying to impress his leftwing nut professor in politics 101.
Now, I know I'm just a humble member of the "James Madison Brigade", but someone with more "Oomph" than I (and Money: because it is evident that money, not the 2nd Amendment, is the current NRA management's top priority) needs to challenge Messieur LaPierre and entourage for control of the NRA. The average NRA member and the American public have had enough of what has become a Stalinist like cult that has sprung up around Messieur LaPierre in order to keep him in charge.
I think it is time for the voting membership of the NRA, to paraphrase our "Dear Leader", to "Kick some Ass" and give Wayne and his boys the boot.