Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A line crossed

For many years, I have overlooked the NRA stepping outside the gun-rights issue. They fall into the same trap as the media, where they assume the gun-rights issue is exclusively linked to a right-wing agenda and the Republican party platform. Every time they send me another right-wing tirade, totally unrelated to gun-rights, I have to will myself to let it go. With the appointment of James Porter as its new President I simply can't do it any more.

As a parting shot, I do want to defend the NRA to a point, or at least explain the history that I recall about their path toward a harder-line. Way back in the eighties, the NRA tried a more moderate approach. What you always hear about the NRA is that they should "compromise" more and accept "common sense laws." They tried that back then and each time they "compromised" the result was that one law was never enough. Every new regulation was looked at as a "first step" by the anti-gun side. The NRA compromised but the anti-gun side never did. They simply took each new law as progress and wanted more "compromise" by the NRA. This led to the NRA membership pushing back. The NRA membership wanted an end to what they saw as a steady erosion of gun rights. The NRA members pushed for a more hard-line and no-compromise stance. So those that now claim the NRA should compromise more, should recall that when the NRA was doing so, it wasn't a two-way street and it is the members of the NRA, the supporters of gun-rights, that asked the NRA to be more hard-line. We got here because the anti-gun side refused to compromise and simply wanted to pile on more bans and regulations of no particular value in reducing gun violence and suggesting a path toward an eventual ban of all private gun ownership.

So, NRA: Talk about gun rights issues. Be hard-line. Fine. But I can't abide the NRA stepping outside gun rights issues and attaching to an overall right-wing agenda. 31% of Democrats support gun-rights. More people identify as Democrat than Republican. An equal amount or more identify as Independent. The deeper the NRA goes down an exclusively Republican path, the smaller their numbers. By excluding Democrats and Independents, the NRA is cutting out nearly 50% of gun-rights supporters... it's foolishness.

For the record, I still support gun rights. I'm just going to have to do so through other means than the NRA-ILA.