Gun owners are a strange lot. We are a cross section of American life, and American politics. We are, by nature, freedom loving, conservative, liberal, libertarian, pro-choice, pro-life, red-blooded, God Fear, God Loathing, Americans. Then, there is the National Rifle Association and it's five million plus members, it's rich history and storied tradition over it's 139 year existence.
Over the last few weeks, there have been some vary prominent differences between the NRA's management and what most mainstream media would classify as it's core, conservative membership. Conservative members and NRA policies have come under fire on three particular and important issues. First was the Disclose Act that was being legislated before congress (note I say, was). Second, are the Kagan nomination hearings in the Senate. Third, is the looming, potential [emphasis added] endorsement of Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid.
As I've stated before, yours truly is a Reagan Conservative-Libertarian, but not necessarily in that order. Personally, I believe in engaging the radical left statists at every turn, and fighting them off with unrelenting passion to restore our country to it's founding roots. Obviously, at the core of that fight is the Second Amendment, which leads us to the NRA.
In each one of those three major differences over the last few weeks, I've personally questioned whether or not I should continue to support the organization's efforts and their stated position of "one issue." I have never understood the point of "one issue" when the entire Constitution is under attack every single day. It was the NRA that single handily derailed the Disclose Act as it was able to carve out it's own exemption which was the poison pill that killed the bill. Kagan's nomination was peculiar in that at first there was a gag-order on board members to submit testimony against her, then there wasn't. Harry Reid, actually is a semi-friend of America's Second freedom, and has helped to secure major funding for his home state's newest shooting park, which can partially explain the potential for the NRA to endorse him. (Thanks Harry, couldn't bring that to Maryland could you?) Now, after membership pressure, the NRA has released a statement that it hasn't yet endorsed Reid, or any member for US House or Senate.
The point here is, with all of those things, the conservative push back against some of the NRA's position has shown me, just how important the Second Amendment is, even now that we have post McDonald/Heller world on our side. The tyrannical, elitist establishment will try at every turn to be able to neuter our Right to Keep and Bear [emphasis added] Arms, at all costs, including the loss of their political base. While I might not agree with the NRA taking a "one issue" stand, I have seen that the threat of members fleeing them, and taking their money with them, does get what we want.
The whole of the last few weeks has also shown how important it is to support all of our gun rights advocacy groups like The Second Amendment foundation, GOA, or my local Maryland Shall Issue. Each group has a voice and it's being heard, and it's being heard loud and clear in Washington and the whole of the country.
All of these things incorporated, I renewed my membership, a bit reluctantly while remembering this; "The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend." The NRA might not be the best "friend" in the business, but it is the biggest, and it has the most dollars. It does know how to use these resources to protect it's one issue, even though we might not see eye to eye on the end game.