Sick of the NRA? Read this.

This was written by NRA Board Member Duane Liptak. It’s a long read, but if you’re in the ranks of those who are pro-gun but anti-NRA, it’s worth the read.

Mr. Liptak is the Executive Vice President of Magpul Industries Corp. and a former infantryman-turned-fighter-pilot who spent roughly three years with MARSOC between flying tours (there’s an interesting career path for ya!).

So, it’s relatively popular to bash the NRA right now, and we have a lot of folks in our own community that are happy to jump on that bandwagon. I get it. I don’t like where we are at with the 2A situation, either, and I wish the NRA could yell “Shall not be infringed,” from the mountaintops. But, through my involvement with the org over the past years, and the insight into the DC and state level situations I’ve unfortunately had to gain while lobbying and managing lobbying efforts, I also understand some things that make me appreciate the strengths of what the NRA actually brings to us, and I felt compelled to share that as a comment on some posts that decried the current state of the NRA. Some folks urged me to make it sharable, so I’m doing so, with some cleaning up of my language. 🙂 I get that some folks will call me full of it, or claim “the NRA is in full damage control” or whatever, but this isn’t an NRA statement. This is a statement from me, a very, very zealous advocate for extreme libertarian gun rights, with an understanding of the current political landscape. Take it as you will, but please put aside your prejudices for just a moment to read, because if we can’t get everyone pushing in the same direction, we can’t beat the disarm America movement, because they are more than willing to get together to achieve our ruin.
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In any of this commentary, I’m speaking for myself, not for the NRA. I have to use that disclaimer, as I’m speaking out of turn, and this is MY PERSONAL understanding of the events and information, not official NRA position. I suppose some of this information could also be potentially damaging to future efforts because it lays out some reasoning and strategy, but it’s to a point right now where people need to understand some things. The NRA is not just your best defense, they are your ONLY defense. FPC does fantastic legal work, as does SAF. GOA is great at grass roots email activation and they file some amicus briefs and lawsuits. All of them have ZERO capability to interact with lawmakers in a meaningful way more than me running up to DC, which I do a couple times a year. No one else does, period, and that’s why I’m on board with helping to steer the NRA rather than bash it.

I’ll start out by saying I’m about as hard core libertarian on gun laws as it gets, as in mail order suppressed FA belt feds for everyone. Let’s also get out that pretty much everyone in the NRA building is pretty far along that line, as well. I was talking to Chris and crew about strategies to open the registry during the Bumpfire stock litigation while we talked about how to fight some of the things we know are coming. They’re on board, really. Now, the other side of this is that it’s Washington, D.C., and the number one priority of most congress-folk is getting re-elected. To some extent, that’s fine, as they are supposed to be representing the will of their district or state, and votes support that. When they evaluate an issue, they look at how it will help or hurt their re-election, and…what else they can get for it. If they support A, can they get B as an amendment to help their state, can they count on attracting donors with a particular stance, etc. So let’s take a look at the bumpfire stock thing.

After Vegas, bumpfire stock legislation was drafted, but NRA had the juice to kill it. Then we have Parkland, and the public outcry to the lawmakers is that we have to “do something for the children”, even if it’s meaningless and dumb—because it was kids this time instead of adults in a currently unsympathetic demographic like Vegas. A strong majority of both chambers were willing to pass a bumpfire stock ban as “something”. The language in the legislative ban included binary triggers, cranks, etc., and could also at some point be interpreted by ATF to include ANY aftermarket trigger and even be mangled to include semi-autos in general as having the capability to have rates of fire similar to machine guns and thus, be regulated. It would be a disaster. NRA pushed back hard, but guess what…the legislators were reacting to public sentiment, and they had more than enough votes to pass it. It was going to come out of committee.

We (Magpul) yelled at our lobbyists to kill it. NSSF was trying to kill it. NRA was trying to kill it. But…Trump apparently dislikes two things in the firearms world: bumpfire stocks and elephant hunting, for reasons that are his own. So a veto was not happening. So…what’s your play? You can say “No bans, not one inch” and send out a fundraising email, and everyone would feel good about the NRA position, but the ban would have passed, and the Dems would potentially have everything they needed for a semi-auto ban already in law, ready to be interpreted nefariously. So, the decision to make the push to regulatory was hatched. NSSF was on board, as well, as everyone thought there was a better chance of killing it in regulatory, or at least fighting it as it would be a hell of a stretch to regulate like that. The NRA’s wording was poor from my perspective. Even if they said, “you don’t need legislation because this is a regulatory matter, and regulatory can take a look at it and clarify,” that would have been better. But, they didn’t…for a few reasons.

One, I’m sure they hoped that their “support” of a regulatory fix could sour the legislative efforts and then cancel the regulatory look, too. In any case, the legislation was averted by the push to regulatory, and the regulatory ban is narrow and also likely to be overturned. FPC is making good authority arguments in their suit, and the NRA is arguing on “takings”. The Dems have reintroduced the legislative ban in the house this session because they wanted the “other” stuff that was also intentionally included. As long as the regulatory ban lasts while legal arguments are happening, the bill can probably be killed. Is that a trade or a compromise? No. It’s not a trade if a dog turd sandwich is being forced down your throat, and it’s pretty much a done deal, but you manage to get away with only taking one bite instead of the whole thing. But, the left LOVES it when the NRA does such things because they have trolls that are helping to divide the gun community, although we do a great job of it ourselves.

The stronger the NRA is, the stronger the positions can be. The more members the NRA has, the more pressure they can bring in discussions about elections and the more support that stronger positions have when talking to politicians. The more money they have, the more we can spend in elections. Is the NRA perfect? Oh, heck no! No organization is. But they are our only real chance. The NRA, with the help of the NSSF, also, has killed an actual AWB and magazine restrictions on the national level several times in the past few years alone. I, or our lobbyists, have seen it. No one else was even considered part of the conversation, regardless of posturing. We also wouldn’t have FOPA, and if anyone wants to complain about Hughes, which I hate as much as anyone, if you were currently living under GCA ’68, and had the chance to get the FOPA protections, but someone slipped in the Hughes amendment at the last minute to try to poison the bill, you’d still support passing it.

The NRA didn’t give you GCA ’68. They tried to minimize damage in another time when overwhelming support for even worse gun control existed after Kennedy and King were assassinated. NFA originally included handguns, also, and was in a similar period of hysteria about mob violence. Without the NRA and also the NSSF, we wouldn’t have had the Lawful Commerce in Arms act of 2005, and the entire firearms industry in the US would be out of business by now—sued into bankruptcy just by fending off lawsuits from Bloomberg lawyers.

There are a lot of wins there, but make no mistake…I want more, too. However…please understand that even with the R majority we had for the last two years…soft Rs like Flake, Rubio, and the other purple district congressmen and senators had us in a bad spot even then. Repealing the NFA, as much as I want that to die, has about 5% support in Congress right now. You’re not getting that legislatively unless you change out 95% of Congress, no matter how hard we could push for it, or how many “strong statements” anyone makes.

We are, in reality, barely hanging on to a slim majority of elected officials at the national level that even believes the 2A is an individual right!

The only path to right this course, especially with states like CA, CO, NJ, MA, NY, WA, etc., is through judicial review. And…love Trump or hate him, regardless of anything else he has done, if it were Hillary putting 2, possibly 3 judges on the USSC bench, the 2A would be dead in 10 years. That’s why NRA went all in with him. Not because he was a philosophically pure candidate on all of 2A, but because he was willing to put pro 2A judges on the bench, and because he could win. No one else on our side could, and the alternative—a Hillary presidency—would be disastrous.

Someone is going to bring up salaries and expenditures and mail solicitations, and such, so let me hit that for a second. Executive salaries in the NRA are not shabby. Agreed. They are, however, less than organizations like the Red Cross, AARP, and other not-for-profit .orgs of similar size, and you have to understand that NRA execs are limiting their future options by taking that job. You’re not going from the NRA to Patagonia, REI, or ANY politically sensitive company. But… we can still do better, I think. There is a compensation review coming.

The organization has already slashed budgets by increasing efficiencies, cutting funding to major habitual contractors, tightening up contracts in general, and all around tightening up the ship. The new Treasurer is a stud. Good things are happening as far as a fiduciary responsibility to the members, as the org knows there is a BIG fight coming in 2020. And rumors of things like cutting off coffee to staff are BS. They just went from a vendor, like many offices use, to a self-administered coffee mess…like many offices use. We have that here. I hate getting junk mail, but they produce results. I’d love to streamline the opt-out process for that, plus maybe knock off the renewal notices a month after you renew and things like that, and those are goals of mine, but we also need the cash and members to keep up the fight, and the mailings produce results. Is it enough to offset people who don’t renew to avoid the harassment? I don’t know…but I’d like to look at it. Help to recruit a few new members yourself, and that will help cut down on calls and mailings.

Anyway, this is a heck of a rant, but I’ve seen too much NRA bashing lately by those who don’t know what’s even going on in DC. It’s a mess. I hate going there. But, the NRA is actually our best advocate there, regardless of what you think about some of the publicly stated positions. Making a press release that says, “We support repealing the NFA and doing away with the 4473 and all other remnants of GCA ’68,” doesn’t actually accomplish anything if you can’t produce results. It actually damages the ability to explain the real downsides of the issues that are at hand, with support, that need to be killed, because you won’t even get to talk to the people on the fence to make your case. Dems tend to ask for “common sense gun reform”, which we know means disarm America. Consider looking at NRA public statements through the same lens, in reverse. Maneuvering the swamp requires talking in less than absolute terms, even when behind the scenes, your goal is absolute. I have friends on the NRA staff. You’re not going to find more ardent supporters of the absolute, not to be infringed 2A than those people.

One last note on red flag laws…If you take a look at the terms the NRA is talking about, it’s adding the poison pills that make it less appealing to Dems—you know, like due process, and penalties for false reports, which they are really trying to get around with these. There’s not a single person in the NRA building that wants red flag laws–because of the risk of abuse. But…saying “not one inch” and sending out emails saying how strong someone’s stance is (that doesn’t actually accomplish anything legislatively) gives the left free reign to build whatever narrative and language they want. With NRA “supporting” a full due process version, it actually drives hardcore Dems sour on an “NRA supported bill”—because they don’t actually want a bill to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill or dangerous people…there are trying to disarm regular Americans.

You may also see attempts to tie reciprocity or HPA to it, whether NRA supported, or just through the actions of Republicans. That’s not a “compromise” or “deal”–it’s trying to pull a Hughes amendment on the Dems. To kill just enough support from their hardcore that it starts to falter—while they work moderates and weak republicans behind the scenes on the real issues. We’re actually in a really shitty spot with support for UBC and red flag laws in Congress, and without mechanisms like this, they’d pass a horrible version pretty handily in the house, and it is dangerously close in the Senate. If we have—God forbid—another shooting, it would sail through.

I don’t like any of this any more than the next guy, but people bash the NRA a lot without understanding the reality of how the silly reindeer games get played on the hill. Try to at least understand the value that the organization provides because it is big and very real, and critically important. I want a live tank in my front yard and mail order Solothurn S-18/1000’s from Bannerman’s. But the path to get there isn’t exactly a clear one in the current legislative environment. Without the strength of the NRA helping to pack the courts, shape elections the best we can, fight off bad legislation wherever possible and pave the way to improve rights through the judiciary (we’ve confirmed 85 federal judges in addition to the 2 Supremes with 130 more to go), I fear we won’t have a path to it at all. That’s why I’m a member, and helping to make the organization as right as we can get it is why I got involved.

I get the frustration. I’m mad that we’re even in this situation. How could we, a republic, born from free men taking up arms against oppression, even be considering some of this nonsense? It baffles me. And, I used to be super frustrated with the NRA, also. Until…I was forced into being involved in politics and seeing how this whole mess works. Now I know what I have to do, and I hope everyone out there who cares about gun rights can get on board, too.

So, if you want to support GOA or FPC or FPC, or JPFO…that’s fantastic. Join your state organization, also. Be active locally. Let your elected representatives know how you feel on these issues regularly. But…be a member of the NRA, and be active. Vote. Let the board and the staff know where you stand on issues. Help to be a part of the solution. If we, as gun owners, can’t stick together and take advantage of the strengths of all of our organizations where they can do the most good, we will lose this fight. I’m not willing to lose.

 

 

Duane Liptak

NRA Board Member Duane Liptak

 

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50 thoughts on “Sick of the NRA? Read this.

  • Pingback:The Maieutic Marksmanship Method: Magpul 2019 | Breach Bang Clear

  • March 18, 2019 at 7:47 pm
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    Laws become a joke when everything is illegal. Law-abiding Americans find breaking the law is easy when you must be a criminal just to live.

    Reply
  • March 8, 2019 at 5:38 am
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    Meh. Duane Liptak is a douchebag, and gun owners are a bunch of weak-minded losers who feel if they surround themselves with enough guns and ammo their life will have meaning.

    F**k the NRA, f**k gun owning losers, and f**k industry a**holes like Liptak.

    Reply
    • March 8, 2019 at 1:33 pm
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      OK, maybe not *all* gun owners are weak minded losers but Liptak is definitely a douchebag.

      Reply
  • January 17, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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    Liptak’s letter is exactly the kind of thing the NRA should be communicating to its membership. Unfortunately, he obviously had to go it alone because the NRA does an abysmal job of it. That is ANOTHER of their major failings.

    I do believe that Liptak is the exception among board members, where the likes of Marion Hammer is the rule – yes we need to vote early and often (snicker) to get those types out. LaPierre is closer to the Hammers of the world and has never been an articulate public speaker. Cox appears to be a swamp creature as well. And thus the crux of the current problem – what NRA said, and the way they said it, got us into this mess.

    Liptak is correct that none of the other national gun rights organizations perform lobbying. They all work through the judicial system by filing lawsuits, which leaves us no other alternative on the lobbying end other than NRA. Quite a dilemma for me personally and functionally for all of us. If not NRA, then who?

    Let’s also not lose sight of the fundamental problem right now – it isn’t bump stocks. It is the successful (for now) attempt by an administrative agency to rewrite the definition of a machine gun through an administrative rule. If allowed to stand, the .gov can get away with banning any-fucking-thing they want: guns, cars, popsicles, doesn’t matter.

    NRA should be screaming from the rooftops about this. They are not, and THAT is the problem.

    Reply
  • January 15, 2019 at 8:11 pm
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    I read it. Read the (majority of) comments. Know what I SEE? People ARE PISSED OFF! And basically, you’re saying “hey, it’s a NO-win situation we have here in D.C. Best just play by THEIR rules.” Really? I’m sick of all this crap…the damn electorate, the damn politicians that don’t give a shit. The NRA NEVER tried to “win” any battles, they were more interested in “just enough” to keep the money coming in. Job security. I’m READY for a civil war, and this is as good a reason as I can think of. NO SHIT…

    Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 7:28 pm
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    The real title of Liptak’s editorial: “How I transformed from a rabid 2A defender to an NRA surrender monkey in one easy step: By being elected to the NRA board.”

    Name one gun-grabbing law that the NRA fought against and repealed.

    I’ll wait while you do the research…………. You wont find any because they haven’t.

    Liptak CANNOT point to ANY law that has been repealed. None. If the NRA really believed in what he claims they would be on the offensive. They never have been.

    Holding the hand of a woman being raped and informing her that you are highly confident of your 4d underwater backgammon negotiating skills and are convinced that your ongoing talks with the rapist will succeed is not virtuous, but criminal. This is what the NRA has done every time they participate in the gang rape of the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Until the politicians actually fear the NRA at election time the laws will only get worse. Rapists only respect force, so spend your donation money wisely on those that know how to use it:

    https://www.georgiagunowners.org/ https://www.idahosaa.org/ https://www.wyominggunowners.org/ https://www.wisconsinfirearmscoalition.org/ https://www.missourifirearmscoalition.org/ https://www.ohiogunowners.org/ https://www.iowagunowners.org/ https://www.minnesotagunrights.org/ https://www.ncfirearmscoalition.org/ https://vcdl.org/

    They are social media savvy, and confront the anti 2a crowd in the legislatures and the streets. Some have even been spit upon by the gun grabbers:

    https://www.facebook.com/gagunowners/videos/1901199123248166/ https://www.facebook.com/likeohiogunowners/videos/995595450602775/

    Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 4:50 pm
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    If the NRA was unable to stop gun control measures while the GOP was in control of the presidency and both houses of congress, what good are they?

    Seriously. If your argument is that the NRA does national lobbying better than anyone else, and they aren’t even able to stop something like this, why would I put my faith in them to help when it really matters?

    Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 11:58 am
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    This is impressive propaganda.

    The biggest fear for the NRA honchos would be for the government to actually interpret the 2A as written. The lavish salaries, housing allowances, sweet printing contracts would all vanish.

    The current purpose of the NRA is to make money through fearmongering. To keep people afraid, the NRA has to help create problems… then scream for money to help solve them. It’s ALL about the money.

    Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 6:49 pm
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      Exactly. If they actually did what we paid them to do, they would be out of a job.

      Reply
  • Pingback:A Must Read – On NRA Hate | Shall Not Be Questioned

  • January 14, 2019 at 11:30 am
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    The mental gymnastics required to concoct this must have left Liptak exhausted. I’m sure NRA staff helped craft it after seeing legitimate criticism of Hammer and Cox and LaPierre blasted all over the internet.

    This “spontaneous” statement has a lot in common with the sellout Marion Hammer’s post over on Ammoland a couple of days ago. A nice blend of spin and BS.

    The tuxedo picture is a nice touch… it’s symbolic of how NRA spends our hard earned money.

    Reply
    • January 16, 2019 at 2:10 am
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      Liptak. Duane Liptak. I like my whiskey shaken, not stirred.

      Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 10:35 am
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    Blame the NRA. Fault the NRA failure to go on the “offense”. NRA leaders earn too much money. What a load of hooey from honest meaning gun owners who haven’t a clue.

    Here’s the deal folks. The NRA is NOT in charge! They don’t get to make the rules! Do you know who is in charge? Do you know who does get to make the rules? Elected politicians and their federal employee lackeys. That’s who is in charge. That is who makes the rules. Not the NRA and certainly not you! The NRA has to go hat in hand to government and “negotiate” the best deal they can in your behalf. They can’t go on the “offense” because it isn’t a war. It’s a chess game. It’s a chess game where the NRA is down several pieces every time they play. It’s about the flippin’ numbers people! It’s about the numbers of house and senate members who are willing to see things our way, and guess what…. the ‘flippin numbers aren’t in our favor! The NRA has to deal with that reality. They have to wine, dine and sweet talk their way into every congressional opportunity for a chance to get your voice heard by a politician who has damn little interest in your voice.

    You want to blame someone for standing by while our gun rights die by a “thousand cuts”? Blame the electorate. Blame us. It is the American people that are inexorably moving politically left. The large metro and surrounding suburban areas now represent the largest percentage of the electorate and guess what? They don’t like guns! They don’t see the point! The don’t really know what an AR-15 is, they don’t understand our position and they don’t care! They see the second amendment as an antiquated bit of nonsense that no longer applies to their daily lives. And they vote! They vote for politicians that are not on our side.

    Go on the “offense”? Are you flippin’ kidding me? The NRA has no choice but to work the defense side of the equation because the NRA doesn’t get to make the rules! The NRA has to play by rules defined by those in charge.

    You want the NRA to go full on offense against a bump-stock ban? Guess what? They’d flippin’ lose at the circuit level. The numbers aren’t there! Oh, you think a conservative SCOTUS would overturn the 4th or 9th circuit? Guess again…. the SCOTUS hears less than 5% of all cases enjoined. The ban wouldn’t even make it that far and if it did, the decision would be so damn narrow that the net effect would not be in our favor.

    I don’t think the average “true” 2A supporter realizes just how small a minority we have become. We are NOT a hundred million strong. We are NOT fifty million strong. Hell, the vast majority of gun owners are worse than FUDDS. Most of them have an old shotgun or revolver that lives in their closet and hasn’t been shot in years. Most of them aren’t even sure which end the bullet exits the barrel.

    Our “community” isn’t a hundred million strong. I’d wager dollars against the proverbial donut hole that less than 1% of gun owners can correctly explain what “well regulated” actually means. The numbers aren’t there and the NRA knows it! We’re hanging on by a thread and losing ground every year and there is NOTHING the NRA can do about that except what they have done… negotiate. Defend. Compromise. Settle. Do everything they can to slow the inexorable march towards a total ban on the private ownership and use of firearms.

    Oh, you thought that since the Republicans took control of the Presidency and both houses of congress that everything would go our way in 2016? Are you really that ignorant of how our government works? Did you forget that with few exceptions, most Bills cannot pass the senate with less than 60 votes? We didn’t have 60 votes! Hell, we barely had 50 votes when you consider the number of RINO’s pretending to be conservatives. Oh, you thought that electing a dimwit like Trump was going to make it all better? Well it did…. except for the fact that Trump wouldn’t know a bump-stock from a belt loop and probably has no idea who James Madison or George Mason were.

    Before you get on your “Shall not be infringed” soapbox, maybe you had better take a stroll down memory lane and look at the congressional mandates over the last 70 years. Learn just how often conservatives held super majorities in congress compared to liberals. I’ll give you a hint. Democrats have controlled congress far more often and more recently than Republicans. The only thing that has saved our ass in the last 50 years is congressional gridlock, where neither party has held a super majority. The NRA knows this. The NRA includes the people who sit outside the congressional offices, twiddling their thumbs and patiently waiting, hoping, praying that they’ll get five minutes of a congressman’s time. Most of those congressional doors are closed and wont’ see them at all.

    Oh, and you think NRA leaders earn to much money? Lord, give me a break! Do you know what their corporate counterparts earn? Have you paid attention to what celebrities and sports figures earn? A million bucks per year to run a five million member national association? Chicken feed. It’s an executive job that generally guarantees you’ll never get a job anywhere else if you leave, particularly given that the vast majority of corporations view the NRA as Satan incarnate. Go ahead. Put “NRA Official” on your resume as your last job position and see where that gets you. That and a buck and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee.

    Do you guys understand why the NRA isn’t more aggressive at the State level when these halfwit politicians infringe on our gun rights? Because the NRA cant’ risk losing and having that issue go national! You don’t think they’d lose? You think Trump has “drained the swamp”? Think again! Trump has barely made a dent in the circuit courts across the nation and has no ability to alter the more local courts. These courts are stacked corn high in liberal justices. The NRA would piss away every dime they take in and they would still lose.

    Go on the “offense”. What a flippin’ joke. Do you know what offense looks like? Are you honest to God ready to see five million, armed men march on Washington and several State capitals? Because that is what offense looks like and…. that isn’t going to happen, regardless all the social media, keyboard warrior bloviating. There is no “offense” when it comes to fighting gun control legislation. There is only an orderly defensive fight while members retreat from the form and function of the true second amendment. And that is NOT the NRA’s fault. That fault belongs to the electorate. The NRA doesn’t need five million members. They need fifty million members… at least! And that isn’t going to happen. Not now. Not ever. Because you dropped your membership over a flippin’ bump stock novelty. Because you told your neighbor that investing in the NRA is a waste of time and they should only support the GOA, and they did… for a year… then lost interest when they learned that the GOA is going to have to do the same kind of things that the NRA does… without benefit of the insider experience and contact list. The problem with NRA members is that they think there is a war to be won. There isn’t. That war was lost a long, long time ago. All that remains are the defensive battles to be fought in the remaining, somewhat free States where there is a chance of holding at least some small piece of ground. It’s guerrilla warfare at best with no evidence that it is going to get any better.

    Gun owners are vastly outnumbered in this country by those who are ignorant and afraid of guns. We are a shrinking minority with a shrinking investment in our own defense. While associations like GOA are worthwhile, they do not have the name recognition, access or experience of the NRA and it is far too late in the game for them to “take up the mantle” and lead us to victory. Step one in being more effective in these battles is to accept the reality that the war is, for all practical purposes, lost. Your children’s children are not going to experience and enjoy the full extent of the freedoms defined in the Bill of Rights. All that is left to us is what we currently have. Enjoy it while you can. We’re only an election or two, or maybe three, from losing what little is left, and there is nothing the NRA can do to stop that reality. What can be done, they are already doing. What most of you are doing (e.g. dropping NRA membership), is exactly what the political left wants. And what do they want? The full on destruction of the NRA. You are handing that to the political left… on a silver platter. Well done comrades. Tell your kids to enjoy their registered, licensed, single shot, bolt action 22lr rifles while they can.

    Reply
    • January 14, 2019 at 6:23 pm
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      Great rant, but I think you should rethink your focus. If the strategy being used by the NRA isn’t working, maybe they need to rethink the direction being taken. Several years ago Bloomberg stated he couldn’t win the debate Nationally because of the NRA’s strength. He proposed attacking gun ownership state by state. So far he is winning more often then loosing because the NRA has little if any grassroots organization at the state level. All I hear is people like you and the NRA itself blaming individual gun owners for their lack of support. Sound to me like you have an Army of gun owners available, but the NRA Generals don’t know how to organize their Army to fight. That’s on them. They left us and focus on using each loss in court battles to raise donations rather then also using their losses to rethink how they are carrying on the fight.

      Reply
    • January 27, 2019 at 6:58 pm
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      Bullshit!

      Gun owners make up over 45% of voting age adults. We are not outnumbered, we are being misled by people who only care about themselves and their riches. The NRA has done more damage to our rights then all the anti gun groups combined.

      You are right, they dont make policy, but they have a lot of power over those who do, and they have used that power to expand gun control. From helping write the NFA to NRA leadership actually testifying in front of congress in favor of gun control, including the POS LaPierre. All to enrich themselves. Why do the top 2 at the NRA make a combined $15m + a year. They sure as fuck dont deserve it.

      The NRA should be burnt to the fucking ground and their leadership strung from gallows in the town square for what they have helped to perpetrate against American citizens.

      Reply
  • January 14, 2019 at 6:45 am
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    Excuses, excuses… I’m tired of being on defense. Grow a pair and let’s get some offense going.

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  • January 13, 2019 at 10:16 pm
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    NRA:

    “Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?”

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  • January 13, 2019 at 9:31 pm
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    NRA- create or allow a problem then start rolling in those memberships and money from the blind gun owners…

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  • January 13, 2019 at 8:16 pm
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    The red flag laws passed are not a battle lost. but a war won. Divorced wives and angry relatives or neighbors can have law enforcement carrying out revenge. Confiscation of guns without due process can now start. What the hell happened in the United States?

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  • January 13, 2019 at 8:16 pm
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    So basically….

    “Yes we know they are going to rape you. But at least we got them to agree to use lube. And we even provided it!”

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    • January 13, 2019 at 9:25 pm
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      It isn’t just Wayne L and Chris Cox that make huge money, but some of the other top-level staff that work for them. I hate to say it, but go read the Bloomberg piece on the jackhole who is director of operations or general manager or something ~ i think his name is josh something. That dude ran every business he worked into the ground and somehow gets himself a cushy top job at nra with a huge salary and a housing fund. come on. find someone without a track record of failure to run the show. We see story after story about how vendors get sweetheart deals out of the nra because they’re buddy/buddy with wayne or chris or whoever. that’s the problem. it looks like the concept of merit went out the window in favor of building some kind of banana republic style circle of yes men.

      Reply
  • January 13, 2019 at 7:28 pm
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    ALCON,

    “Executive salaries in the NRA aren’t shabby.” Shabby you say ? They are outlandish and an insult to the millions of members earning much less than $50,000 a year !

    LaPierre & Cox both are being paid annual salaries in 7 figures ! Plus their perks, bennies and pensions. To try to justify these outlandish salaries and bennies the big shots at NRA are taking by trying to justify such, arguing that AARP and the Red Cross big shots get likewise, is ludicrous ! Those outlandish salaries at AARP, the Red Cross and other, ahem, “non-profits” are one of the reasons I am not a member of THOSE scoundrel organizations. LaPierre & Cox like their fedgov counterparts, are no longer representatives serving NRA members. Rather, these two NRA big shots have become self-serving just as politicians have. While those who pay the freight are now the servants ! LaPierre and Cox have learned well from their elbow-rubbing with the crooks on Capitol Hill.

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  • January 13, 2019 at 6:58 pm
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    My state was just seriously victimized by I-1639 pushed by Bloomberg Nanny Staters and pro socialist booger eaters in that cesspool called Seattle . There was almost zero NRA support for those of us fighting against this seriously flawed Initiative, now law. In fact they got outspent about 4.5 to 1. I live in South King County. I only saw 6 anti 1639 campaign signs anywhere in the area.
    Many of my coworkers resigned their lifetime and general memberships in NRA and have joined other organizations. NRA wants our money and our votes, they need to get off their asses and either put up or shut up.

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  • January 13, 2019 at 5:46 pm
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    You morons bashing the NRA well without them you would be throwing ROCKS

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  • January 13, 2019 at 5:09 pm
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    The hell with the NRA, and the hell, with you.

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  • January 12, 2019 at 1:51 pm
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    So is this blog only visited by anti-NRA readers?

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    • January 15, 2019 at 8:22 pm
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      No, not at all. What you’re witnessing is a bunch of PISSED-OFF 2A-ers…,Patriots if you will, waiting for a ‘supposed’ freedom-loving, gun rights advocate who happens to (supposedly) represent the law-abiding, hard-working GUN-owning Americans in Washington, D.C. That’s no longer under debate.

      Reply
  • January 12, 2019 at 12:20 pm
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    A Thoughtful Read — but way off target. His entire argument in support of the NRA is that we all need to support the NRA because so many people have been supporting it for years that it is the only name anyone outside the 2A community knows about.

    He admits that the NRA is off track and tries to imply that it would be possible to “steer” the NRA in a more responsive direction – clearly that is not true. The NRA has NEVER been a supporter of the right to keep and bear arms [Period!]

    Many folks here will recognize that I have repeatedly mentioned that every single piece of anti-RKBA federal legislation that has passed Congress in the last fifty years did so with the active support of the NRA. But the NRA’s active opposition to our right to keep and bear arms goes back a lot farther than just the past 50 years.Karl Frederick, NRA president in 1934, during congressional NFA hearings testified “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. … I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” The NRA pushed for the NFA of 1938. The NRA has occasionally opposed specific parts of anti-RKBA legislation but has never stood in support of the basic right.

    Until 1968, the NRA was basically an organization of Fudds. Then they suddenly discovered something important. No they didn’t discover the Second Amendment (they are still no more friend of the Second Amendment than the ACLU is). What the NRA discovered in 1968 was the Almighty Dollar — not money to support RKBA, but simply money to support the NRA itself. The NRA poses as a supporter of “Gun Rights” as the cornerstone of its membership and fundraising drives, but defending the Second Amendment is not, never has been, and never will be the primary or even a major role of the NRA. The NRA has plenty of members who think the organization should be defending our rights, BUT it has far more “members” who mistakenly think that the NRA is defending those rights and who mistakenly feel they have done their part by writing their dues check and maybe responding to one or two of the NRA’s constant fundraising campaigns.

    Duane Liptak is right that it takes an organization with many millions of members — and, yes, billions of dollars — to lobby effectively at the national level. Where he is wrong is his argument that the NRA is or ever will be that organization. If we want our rights defended, we need to have an organization dedicated to defending those rights. Doing that takes effort and money. We do need to find an organization that we can all get behind, we need to sign our membership cards, and we need to sign some checks – big checks.

    Today we have too many organizations working to defend our rights. Too many because they split our focus and split our support. Several or the national “Gun Rights” organizations are poorly run, some little more than scams themselves. Bottom line we have a choice is between GOA and FPC. I’d love to see them merge, but that isn’t going to happen (at least not yet). Sure, we could all just join both — certainly many of us have joined both. But supporting both still splits the one resource that they each need – our money. Unfortunately people won’t choose without being led. Someone with national visibility needs to stand up, and lead the exodus from the NRA and make a choice that we can all get behind. So who will it be – I can tell you that it won’t be me (no one cares who I support) and it won’t be Dr.I’m-Embarassed-To-Be-A-Gun-Owner, but we’d better hope that someone does step up to lead American Gun Owners while we still have any right left to defend.

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  • January 12, 2019 at 10:51 am
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    Sorry, I call BS.

    I like Liptak, a lot, but get real. You’re telling me that we’re going to keep it the way it has been and only with more money, members and support the NRA will do a better job?! WHAT?! So, in 2015-16 when membership was at record-breaking levels and support was at the highest level and we elected all the congressmen and president, this is where we landed? AND YOU WANT US TO MAKE THE NRA STRONGER?!? Careful, your pyramid scheme is starting to show.

    Just because the NRA has been using the same strategy since 1991 doesn’t mean it’s a good strategy. Hell, it is about time the board members started acting like board members and hold those at least accountable. All I see are justifications for poor decisions and poor planning. I just can’t listen to any more apologetics for failed strategy and leadership. Show me what you’re doing to change the NRA and correct their mistakes or GTFO.

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  • January 12, 2019 at 10:47 am
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    Republicans are NOT (not sure how I left that out) a friend of the 2A and neither is the NRA. I didn’t catch that in my post, sorry.

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  • January 12, 2019 at 10:45 am
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    You said, “The NRA is not just your best defense, they are your ONLY defense.” Defense is needed, yes, but you can never win a war if you don’t go on the offense often. This is where the NRA is really dropping the ball. Let’s see the FOPA of 86′ repealed (even though the NRA gave us this by supporting this with Reagan), lets see the 1968 GCA go away (oh yeah, the NRA was in support of this too), and lets see the NFA of 34 go away (dang, the NRA had their hands in this too).

    SO, as you can see the NRA has been in bed with the major gun control bills and so I don’t think you’ll defend us properly and you never go on the offense like our anti-2a gun grabbers do. Even Giffords just said this next gun control is just thae first step. They keep marching on the offense and when the Republicans (that are supposed to be 2A friendly) had full control of House, Senate, and WH, gave us fix NICS, and a bumpstock ban. The Republicans are a friend of the 2A and I wish gun owners would acknowledge that fact. Likewise, by actions the NRA isn’t a friend of 2A either.

    This is why I am done with the NRA and Republicans. Yes, I’m afraid this is all going to end badly for everyone. I don’t want to see this country torn apart as everyone is a loser but the current direction the country is headed makes it almost inevitable.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2019 at 10:15 am
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    I guess the Dems have forgotten what happened when King George tried to take our guns.

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  • January 12, 2019 at 9:37 am
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    Lots of words, Duane. I appreciate your passion and I understand you and Marion and others needing to put these “circle the wagons” letters out at this time…. right after the BoD Meeting where I know there was a lot of consternation over the growing number of people in the industry no longer afraid to openly and rightfully challenge the abuses of our resources and general dysfunction at the top of the NRA.

    Without a reboot of leadership and without the removal of Ack-Mack, the NRA is dead to far too many gun owners… Active Gun Owners. The fantasy that the NRA is the only organization that can influence politicians is a non-starter. Waving a dismissive hand at the work that organizations like Second Amendment Foundation has done is insulting.

    I do not doubt your personal sincerity in regard to believing the NRA needs more support and that such support would benefit gun owner. I do think you are wrong and that you are now so deep into the system that you’re becoming part of the machine there.

    See ya at SHOT… maybe you can convince me that there’s a reason to support Wayne and Co. over a beverage, because this essay did not change my mind.

    -RJP

    Reply
    • January 13, 2019 at 7:42 pm
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      Cox and LaPierre are each salaried at more than $1,000,000.00 yearly ! How many NRA members earn six figure salaries let alone seven figures ? ? ?

      Gee….and what are we paying that D.C insider Ollie North, now that Cox and LaPierre have embedded that fake into the leadership of the NRA ?

      We are in DEEP trouble not only in the NRA, but this nation as a whole. Greed, it is destroying everything we believed in.

      Reply
  • January 11, 2019 at 8:22 pm
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    NRA does not even attempt to learn what its members want. Its “polls” tell us what it wants us to think on issues it has chosen, rather than asking what we actually do think on issues, let alone what issues are important to us.

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  • January 11, 2019 at 7:33 pm
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    I joined the NRA and started paying for a life membership after the Las Vegas mass shooting. I thought the NRA is the best organization to support to protect my 2nd amendment rights. I can see how the NRA’s position on letting the ATF reevaluate the legality of bump stocks instead of leaving it in the hands of the legislature was strategic because the ATF already concluded twice that bump stocks were legal and did not make a semi automatic rifle into a full auto rifle. So, there was no reason to think they would rule any differently and they didn’t. This prevented congress from writing legislation based on emotion instead of facts. Here’s my problem with your statement. You say that it’s better to support gun control legislation in the public eye and help law makers write in things as part of the bill that discourages hard line anti gunners from wanting to vote to pass the bill instead of outright fighting the bill in its entirety. You say putting out a statement of “ not one inch” and drumming up the support of all pro gunners across the county to call their senators and representatives to voice their opposition to such a bill won’t work. Congress can not ignore the voice of over 100,000,000 Americans calling them in opposition of a bill. If they did they wouldn’t be in Congress for very long. So let’s get back to your tactic. The NRA supports the gun control bill and helps write in parts to make hard liner anti gunners not want to vote for it. Well the law is written to make both moderate sides happy then the hard liners vote for it anyway because it was the best deal they were going to get and they want to discredit the NRA by passing the bill to make it look like the NRA was in support of the gun control bill. The NRA then looses memberships and has to do damage control saying “If we weren’t involved it would have been worst.” But the problem is my rights were just chipped away and the NRA isn’t going to do anything to get the law repealed. I would rather the NRA take the not one inch stance and do a better job of drumming up its members to call their senators and representatives to defeat anti gun bills and if we lose then that shows that the majority of the county supports the bill. The United States is supposed to work this way. The majority rules, but if the NRA did this then people would realize they don’t need the NRA to represent their views in government. They can voice their own opinion and represent themselves. That said, what rights has then NRA tried to take back for its members? What federal anti gun laws has it gone after to try to get it repealed? Non as far as I can see. I’m in the boat of I want to see a no compromise NRA.

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    • January 11, 2019 at 8:31 pm
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      Congress obviously wouldnt ignore 100 million Americans reaching out to them but you seem to think that’s actually a possibility. IT IS NOT, period, so what you’re trying to say with that statement is a moot point. Read this piece again because you dont seem to understand the facts. The NRA is the one and ONLY organization that has the ability to effectively stand up for our 2nd amendment rights where it counts. That is all that matters.

      Reply
    • January 12, 2019 at 12:09 am
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      Incorrect.

      Congress wasn’t stopped by their push for a ban via executive fiat, it was stopped by people calling and writing their representatives, as always. Do you REALLY think the NRA saying “hey, let’s get the ATF to regulate it away” would REALLY stop them from doing something? All sorts of bills were introduced even though the NRA pushed for the executive fiat ban.

      All the bills went down in flames, no thanks to the NRA’s push for the ATF to regulate them away. What we now have is a VERY dangerous precedent where any alphabet agency can rewrite law on a whim or by presidential decree. You obviously can’t see the immense threat this presents, but you will when the next anti-gun Democrat takes office. Then, sadly, after our rights are lost I’ll get to say “I told you so”.

      It’s not about the stocks and never has been.

      The 3D chess the NRA claims to be playing is a ruse for money and power, period.

      The NRA gives away bits and pieces of our rights as an appeasement strategy. Appeasement has never been a strategy for winning, it always ends in a massive loss. In 50 years we will have given our rights over bit by bit, thanks to the NRA’s efforts, until we have nothing left.

      Where is the NRA’s lawsuit challenging the bump stock regulation if they really didn’t want it to happen? More 4D chess?

      Reply
  • January 11, 2019 at 7:26 pm
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    Yeah, I have to say…I literally got to the opening of paragraph six and was yelling at my screen for the third time. So first, my statement regards no further than paragraph seven…which should also be quite telling.

    Look…I don’t know this dude from Adam, but people I trust, plus actual real history that is accurately recorded flies in the face of this. I know for a fact that several supposed facts that the author lists is factually false in the public record. You want me to take your word for it? WHY? Tell me why I should believe this “information”?

    This reeks of revisionist history with a strong bent toward outright lies, so much so that I will not continue to read it as there are no references except for “trust me…I’m like you”. Sorry bub, I don’t trust you. Nothing personal, but I do not know you or your views and this is awful late in the game. In looking over the rest of this, um, statement, I see no references. I’m not going to just take your word for it…I have a brain in my skull, after all. I would not ask the author to just take my word for it (meaning anything) so I will not extend the same.

    This case was poorly made even by revisionist history standards, which, in applying Occam’s Razor (all other things being equal) tells me all I need to know. Again, nothing personal.

    Reply
    • January 11, 2019 at 7:29 pm
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      By the way, I walked into this being very opinionated, but willing to read, because you know what? I DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. But this is just a bridge too far.

      Reply
  • January 11, 2019 at 7:13 pm
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    Here’s the funny thing, you say be a member and make your voices heard. Vote.

    Did you vote with the surfs outside the main hall last year? Did you see the poll staff steering people away from Adam Kraut? I did. It was disgusting.

    Make our voices heard? We get banned from all their social sites when we do, no matter how polite we are.

    You/they don’t care what we think.

    And the strategy of giving bits and pieces away every time we get scared a law may pass leaves us with no rights to surrender in 50 years. Appeasement isn’t a strategy.

    We don’t need apologists for the rampant corruption at the NRA.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2019 at 6:53 pm
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    Remember everyone: Stuff like this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that leaving the NRA is a good idea. If it wasn’t doing anything they wouldn’t even acknowledge us. At no point has the NRA asked for forgiveness. Indeed Chris Cox, accessory to murder, continues to champion gun confiscation that has already killed a man.

    The burn means it is working. Don’t reward failure and betrayal.

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    • January 11, 2019 at 7:16 pm
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      Agreed. They are hemoraging members, as they should, so we get the apologists making posts like this with their revisionist history.

      The NRA opposed the GCA of 68? You mean before the revolt in Cincinnati where the “antigunners” who supported things like the GCA’s of ‘34 and ‘68 were ousted? That was in ‘77.

      Fib much?

      Reply
  • January 11, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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    What a simply beautiful fictional piece.

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  • January 11, 2019 at 5:16 pm
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    What about corking up the Ack-Mac money blackhole?

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  • January 11, 2019 at 5:11 pm
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    Oh and since you’re on the board: Tell us about the time Wayne LaPierre (Laval) escaped termination in 1997! You know, the time he was caught embezzling money by dumping it into a fake PR company (that paid him in turn) and refused a direct order to stop from the board? Where he kept his job through a bare minimum of votes?

    Yeah, I didn’t think so.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2019 at 5:06 pm
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    “The NRA didn’t give you GCA ’68.”

    That’s a lod of bull and you know it. Without Orth’s endorsement it never would have passed.

    In 86 Wayne LaPierre (Laval) said repealing the Hughes Amendment was the NRA’s top priority. In 2017 he said the NRA has supported the existing law on automatic firearms. He has lied to the membership to pass gun control.

    The NRA are useful idiots at best. Controlled opposition at worst.

    Reply

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