Does the gun ruling hurt the NRA?: The Swamp
The Swamp
Posted July 5, 2008 3:42 PM
The Swamp

by James Oliphant

Here, on the weekend that we celebrate the successful armed rebellion by America's founders, is the thought question of the day.

For years, anti-gun activists and others have whispered that the National Rifle Association, the most powerful gun lobby in the nation and one of the most powerful Washington lobbies on any issue, has really never wanted the Supreme Court to define the Second Amendment.

Why? Well, the theory went that a ruling such as the one the court handed down last week in District of Columbia v. Heller could dent the group where it hurts the most: fundraising.

After all, the NRA became the powerhouse that it is today largely because of the basic proposition it offered the American voter: The government wants to take your guns away.

(It's similar to the conspiracy theory that holds Republicans never really want Roe v. Wade overturned, because of the money and political support that would rush to pro-choice groups.)

And in fact, it wasn't the NRA that filed the lawsuit that brought Washington, D.C.'s gun ban down, it was a group of libertarians, acting on their own with help from the CATO Institute.

After the Heller decision, in which the court found, for the first time, a constitutional right to gun ownership for self-defense, can the NRA still suggest to the public at large that the government is able to pull firearms from households? The court's ruling suggests that no regulation can deny a resident the right to keep a functional handgun at the ready.

It's interesting that the legislative arm of the NRA, which conducts its public message-making, has already adopted an approach in reaction to the ruling: eternal vigilance.

A right gained, the NRA says, can easily become a right lost.

In an email the association sent out Thursday, it warned about about the decision inflaming the media's "anti-gun hysteria."

The email invoked many of the conservative bogeyman in one ready-to-go package: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Adrian Fenty, the mayor of D.C,. Chicago mayor Richard Daley, the New York Times and, yes, the Chicago Tribune's editorial page, which, after the decision, (with some collective tongue in collective cheek) suggested the Second Amendment should be repealed.

Here is an excerpt from the NRA missive:

[T]he sad truth is that [the Heller decision] will motivate the Second Amendment's enemies to redouble their efforts to destroy the right to arms. Given the timing--just over four months before the November elections--we all have more than ample reason to redouble our efforts to ensure that November's winners will be the kinds of elected officials who will help us build upon the victory achieved in the Supreme Court.

Of course, the landscape after Heller is not a defined one. More questions remain than answers, the primary one being whether the decision applies to gun bans in localities such as Chicago and San Francisco. Also, whether the government can ban short-barreled shotguns, automatic weapons, concealed weapons or guns outside the home. Some analysts (including pro-gun ones) believe the Heller decision may have damaged the gun-rights movement by suggesting that there is a great amount of room for the government to regulate guns, more than many Second Amendment absolutists would like.

The debate has shifted, and an avalanche of litigation lies ahead, which should keep the money flowing to the NRA and its opposition, at least in the short-term. The game has changed, but it hasn't gone away. Not by a long shot.

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On the dubious assumption that this the main selling point for the NRA, then its main selling point still has legs. That's because people in and out of government still want to take people's guns away. Most States and Cities with strict gun control regulations aren't going to give them up without a fight. So, yes, the NRA can still get a lot of mileage from its basic theme.

Let's see.... did scores of victories over segregation result in the collapse of NAACP? Did the liberalization of free speech and press during the Warren Court destroy ACLU? Did Roe v. Wade and its progeny doom NOW and NARAL? Or did victory strengthen the winners?

The average person concerned with firearms rights is not going to dust off their hands and retire from the fray simply because they have a 5-4 against the most eggregious form of infringement.

Who Cares what this Harvard Court Thinks; In the End, it will all come out Harvard Evil. Harvard, Yale, and The Case Study Method, were all founded to protect Slavery; First Chattel Slavery; Now Wage Slavery. Where there are Wage Slaves; There are Wage Slavers; We need a General William Tecumseh Sherrnan again to kill 99% of the Wage Slavers; Just like he killed 99% of the Chattel Slavers.

This group was founded to defend our right to self defense, hunting and to ensure that every American had an opportunity to receive training in the safe use of firearms. When ALL of those ideals are fully protected and endorsed by this government there will be no further need for the group in its current form to exist. However it is not likely those things will happen so: LONG LIVE THE NRA!

Only if someone pulls the trigger, while pointing that gun at them. That's right, guns don't hurt, people do!!

The American Left still wants to take our 2nd Amendment rights away, Constitution or no Constitution.

@Jay of Yuma:

The second amendment to the United States constitution is not about hunting in any form whatsoever. The second amendment is about not only defense of self and family either. The purpose of the ratification of the second amendment to the United States Constitution was to ensure that should a new revolution ever be necessary to restore Liberty and once again cast aside the chains of tyranny, the people would retain the tools which enabled them to accomplish this task.

The second amendment was not written to protect your O/U Athena D’Italia V Shotgun, it was written to ensure the population's access to the common weapon of the infantryman by prohibiting any infringement upon that right. Today, that would be the M16A4 rifle; not a neutered Armalite, (or bushmaster, Olympic Arms, Colt, Rock River Arms, or whoever your favorite manufacturer is), AR15, but a comparable weapon that is carried into battle. (if you prefer the AKM, M14, Garand, or Galil please substitute). The second amendment is not about hunting or "sporting purpose" in any aspect.

"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People."
-- Tench Coxe, 1788.

"When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
--Thomas Jefferson

"The constitutions of most of our states assert that all power is inherent in the people; that … it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. … "
--Thomas Jefferson

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themseves against tyranny in government."
--Thomas Jefferson

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?"
--Patrick Henry

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined...The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun."
--Patrick Henry

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is a force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
--George Washington

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."
-- George Washington

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. … From the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable. … The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
-- George Washington

"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it."
-- George Washington

Obama and the other liberal wack jobs will always hope to confiscate your guns. Bush and the other nazis would like to also. The right to protect yourself scares these nutcases silly (and keeps them in check)

Most all of them are right wing nuts. The NRA will continue to use this issue. Count on it. I should know; I was once one of them.

As an NRA member I say it's a good thing if Constitutional respect for right to keep and bear arms removes the need for the NRA to be involved in politics. If it means the organization shrinks, limiting its attention to activities such as helping tens of thousands of Manhattan and Chicago snubby owners kill muggers more safely -- I'll be glad.

The NRA stand for killing. Their answer is more people dead from gunshot wounds. They don't really care if more children die, more battered women die and more cops die, they just want to blast away at anything that moves. It's about murdering federal agents serving legal search warrts like at Waco. It's about treason and overthorwing the government. This isn't about safety and security, it's about vengence, and bloodlust.

I am amazed that nobody in this argument, especially the so-called "originalists" address the actual fact that the Militia is clearly described, as well as the sources of their arms, in the Constitution.

Article I (Powers of Congress), Section 8, which covers, among other things, that "Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States" includes the following description of the Militia:

"To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;"

So the Militia's arms must be provided by Congress.

Jay of Yuma, You hit the nail right on the head sir, The intent of the the amendment gets clouded by all the controversies. But sir you know your stuff. There will be other posting(s)
to distort what you have said, but Im a believer as well. Keep On Preaching Im Listening.

The goverment shall provide the arms in time of war at their expense, that was installed to be sure the draftees were not required to to by their own weapons. As far as Bush wanting your guns, nothing can be further from the truth.The NRA does not stand alone, They are nothing more than a class action suit against the government, one person will never be heard like 3 million ! Too many times people think they are quoting the constitution, and haven't a clue what they are saying. A common misquote is a jury of your peers, that phrase does not exist, Its an impartial jury. Most of those that quote Title 1 USC (US Constitution) have never read it, or the DC v Heller opinion . When you adhere to others opinion you chose to follow some one elses path in life, not your own. The decision DOES include hunting personal defence. These are the same people that Burn our flag and hide behind a peace symbol AKA as a foot print of an American Chicken !! So follow some one els's path in life I will chose my own...

"dent the group (NRA) where it hurts the most: fundraising?

Are you really serious in asking such a stupid question?

On July 4, 2008, I upgraded my "annual" membership to "Life" membership. I need the NRA more now than ever before to watch over my rights to firearms.

In addition to that, I will also continue to contribute on a periodic basis!

It is easy to split the pro-gun/anti-gun issue into right/left and liberals/conservatives, but that is simply not the case.

I am "left-wing" on many issues, yet I remain pro-gun. The biggest mistake one can make is not being a democrat or republican, but letting everything which is democrat or everything which is republican define and control their views.

Yes indeed, I am traditionally a democrat but I will not be voting for Obama after reading his history on gun control, his flip-flopping on the patriot act and foreign policy, the policy of his former church, etc. We are not all clones, you know.

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