Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What's The NRA For?

Not what they stand for, their function.

I ask (and answer) this rhetorical question after having been to the NRA convention and having read a thundering essay by one of my favorite writers, denouncing them for being too palsy with the bATFe and (historically) only too happy to kowtow to Congress.

He's got a point; they're not out there at the bleeding edge, they're in there buyin' coffee for the regulators. --But somebody's got to and better NRA than the Bradyites. Way better.

The National Rifle Association's not the totality of the broad, broad base of gun-owners, either; though a significant percentage of gunnies have been, are now or will be NRA members (and even more think they are), at any given time more gun folk are not members of NRA than are.

Neither the pointy end or the fat end, our friends in the NRA are the center: the part that holds it all together. Many of the smaller gun group define themselves by filling a need or taking on a project (or foe!) their members think the NRA has overlooked. Anti-gun groups find a ready-made target for their ire in the NRA.

--The NRA itself? It is the glue. The sticky stuff that holds things together. The calm, personable folks in suits, who bureaucrats will talk to and, more important, listen to. The big boys with the clout to pull together a ginormous, firearm-positive, armed-citizen-positive event like the recently concluded Annual Meeting in Louisville.

NRA's what we've got that everyone knows about. As far as most people are concerned, as far as Uncle Sam is concerned, they're us. They're a Big Tent outfit; you won't find the whole circus under the Big Top but what's not there won't be very far away.

Politics is run by those who show up. If you want to change things -- in Washington, in your State or City, in the NRA, in society, being there is the first step.

And for most gunnies, the NRA is the first step in "showing up."


Anonymous said...

Well said! Thanks for putting things into perspective.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out something else: The NRA is the only pro2A group out there that has the muscle.

The GOA has 50 thousand members. The NRA has almost 5 MILLION. The GOA can safely be ignored by most elected officials, the NRA cannot.

Say what you want about them, but they wield the real power of the Pro2A organizations.

Tam said...

Lime many, I belong to the NRA.

And the GOA.

And the JPFO.

I need to get signed up with the Indiana state org...


Tam said...

Er, "LiKe" many.

Although I'm down with the limes, too.


Roberta X said...

HTRN: isn't that what I said?

Tam: That's the ISRPA. I've been a member and hope to rejoin at the next gunshow.

phlegmfatale said...

Nodding vigorously here.

Anonymous said...


Assrot said...

Amen sister. I've been a life member for so long I can't remember when I wasn't a member.

I'm a real member too. I actively participate in all NRA functions, write to all the politicians, write to all the Liberal anti-gun news media and donate all I can afford to.

If there was no NRA, our guns would have been gone a long time ago.

At times I get a little dis-gruntled with the NRA and wonder WTF they are thinking but I always get over it and support them no matter what.

We gunners have to stick together lest we lose it all.

Molon Labe,

Anonymous said...

Well said, Roberta!
Might have known it--in additon to everything else, Tam is one of the evil Joooos I keep being warned about.

Roberta X said...

Funny you should mention--! JPFO membership is open to everyone. I have not enquired closely of my roomie's antecedents but she's slightly less religious than me and I'm a bit tone-deaf along those lines.

The thing to remember is that NRA has rto appeal to a very broad spectrum of gunnies. I get just as irked with 'em as El Neil does, I just look on them as a point of entry more than a destination.