National Rifleman's Association

This may seem like an American thread but I open it up to all who wish to comment. The National Rifleman's Association had its Annual Convention this last week. To say the least, it is in disarray. (n the latest year reported (2017) its annual contributions decreased by $55 million. $19 million was from a single anonymous contributor. It blew $27 million on the 2018 elections and did not get any benefit from it on the state or national levels. It is having trouble fundraising for the 2020 election. On top of that reports have gotten out that a number of the top executive officers have been lining their pockets with NRA funds that were budgeted for other activities. Oliver North, their president either quit or was fired--depending on which story you are following, And there was a move to oust their CEO, Wayne La Pierre, but he was able to hold on. On top of that the Attorney General for New York State is now investigating them for misuse of funds. They could lose their non profit status, or the state may sue for dissolution of the whole organization.

Our presumptive president is not claiming that the NRA is under attack. To which the AG of New York state has replied that under the presumptive president's watch there have been over 4,000 people killed. He is not offering thoughts and prayers for the NRA.

Yes, indeed, thoughts and prayers.
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Comments

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    FWIW, it's the National Rifle Association, not the National Rifleman's Association.

    The only thoughts and prayers I have for the NRA are the thought that it is a cancer that is doing extensive damage to this country, and prayers for its own demise.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited April 29
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Oliver North, their president either quit or was fired--depending on which story you are following, And there was a move to oust their CEO, Wayne La Pierre, but he was able to hold on. On top of that the Attorney General for New York State is now investigating them for misuse of funds.

    Who could have foreseen that someone most famous for skimming money from arms merchants would (allegedly) skim money from arms merchants?
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    I have NEVER understood why this group gets tax-exempt status.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Long may they rot. Is North an ex-con or was he pardoned? Can ex-cons own guns?
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 29
    Even if they do rot, is there another group waiting to rise Phoenix-like from the ashes? Or is the NRA pretty much it?

    [/Antipodean ignorance]
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    His Wikipedia entry is instructive.
    He was convicted in the Iran–Contra affair of the late 1980s, but his convictions were vacated and reversed, and all charges against him dismissed in 1991.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited April 29
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    FWIW, it's the National Rifle Association, not the National Rifleman's Association.

    The only thoughts and prayers I have for the NRA are the thought that it is a cancer that is doing extensive damage to this country, and prayers for its own demise.

    You are right. Their magazine is The Rifleman.

    Pigwidgeon wrote
    I have NEVER understood why this group gets tax-exempt status.

    When they were originally formed they were an organization that promoted firearm safety. They were not a political organization at the time.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I have read that the NRA's biggest problem is Donald Trump.

    Lots of people genuinely believed that Obama was going to take their guns away, so they joined the NRA to defend what they perceived as their rights. Under Trump, those rights no longer seem to be under such threat, so the urgency of the NRA's lobbying is diminished.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I remember during the Obama administration you could not find .22 shells anywhere. Other ammo was in short supply as well. It was amazing after the presumed president's election you could find ammo everywhere. And all of the sudden there was an oversupply of .22 shells. In the meantime Remington also declared bankruptcy.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Pigwidgeon wrote
    I have NEVER understood why this group gets tax-exempt status.

    When they were originally formed they were an organization that promoted firearm safety. They were not a political organization at the time.

    But if they do not follow the rules, they have to give up that status. I just found this with a quick Google:
    In return for its favored tax-status, a charitable nonprofit promises the federal government that it will not engage in “political campaign activity” and if it does, IRS regulations mandate that the charitable nonprofit will lose its tax-exempt status.
    (https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/political-campaign-activities-risks-tax-exempt-status)



  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    FWIW, it's the National Rifle Association, not the National Rifleman's Association.
    Thank you, Nick.
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    When they were originally formed they were an organization that promoted firearm safety. They were not a political organization at the time.
    They were also dedicated to conservation, at a time when that was not a particularly popular cause. My father and grandfather were avid hunters, and concerned with preserving game and its environment; that's why they joined up. It was a very different organization back then.


  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    This evening I had the great privilege of meeting someone who wants to do something about the NRA and the senseless gun violence in this country. Mark Kelly (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Kelly) is running for the U.S. Senate, representing Arizona, in 2020. He is running unopposed for the Democrat nomination. (Another possible candidate decided not to run, in order to support Mark.) Mark is a former astronaut -- his identical twin brother is still one. Mark's wife, Gabby Giffords, represented the Tucson area of Arizona in Congress until an assassination attempt in 2011 almost killed her, and did kill six bystanders. Since then, Mark and Gabby have fought for sensible gun laws. Mark's other major issues are healthcare and climate change. His background in science is unusual for the U.S. Congress, and his input in climate change will be valuable. He mentioned this evening seeing the Amazon area from space and the noticeable loss of rain forest in just a few years. But when it comes to the NRA and gun control, how can you argue within someone who came so close to losing his wife? It was a great honor to shake this man's hand, and I hope that I can somehow become a part of his campaign in some small way.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited April 30
    His Wikipedia entry is instructive.
    He was convicted in the Iran–Contra affair of the late 1980s, but his convictions were vacated and reversed, and all charges against him dismissed in 1991.

    Grrr. Bloody even-handed defenders of justice ACLU... Thanks very much Miss Amanda.

    Pigwigeon, that is superb news about Mark Kelly.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Not enough people can die at any one time to make the slightest difference. The irreversible problem is the Constitution.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Not enough people can die at any one time to make the slightest difference. The irreversible problem is the Constitution.
    Well, it is arguable that the problem is the NRA’s interpretation of the Constitution. Current jurisprudence on the meaning of the Second Amendment is the result of extensive work done by the NRA over recent decades.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    Though I think the wording of the provision itself is a large part of the problem. The first half of the provision obviously contemplates an era we don't live in any longer, but then it's followed by the absolute prohibitive language of the second half. If it were just a provision of some obscure statute it would probably have been repealed long ago as obsolete.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    The wording definitely doesn't help. But the NRA has successfully pushed an interpretation of the Second Amendment that arguably results in something far different from the intent of the framers. For one description of the NRA's efforts, see this article from Politico.com: "How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment"
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Not enough people can die at any one time to make the slightest difference. The irreversible problem is the Constitution.
    Well, it is arguable that the problem is the NRA’s interpretation of the Constitution. Current jurisprudence on the meaning of the Second Amendment is the result of extensive work done by the NRA over recent decades.

    Their 'freedom' can never be diminished. Their interpretation is irreversible. It needs a Medes and Persians solution that transcends their 'freedom'. That cannot be availed through the courts. The only other alternative is secession. Row vs. Wade is being overturned because it's not framed directly in the Constitution.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    yeah, except it was in the 1990's and prior, and no persians had to die.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Not enough people can die at any one time to make the slightest difference. The irreversible problem is the Constitution.

    I understand that nine, at once, at the right time, could be enough to permit the re-interpretation of an Amendment to the Constitution.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    The wording definitely doesn't help. But the NRA has successfully pushed an interpretation of the Second Amendment that arguably results in something far different from the intent of the framers. For one description of the NRA's efforts, see this article from Politico.com: "How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment"

    This. I haven't got a handy link to hand - If I can find one I'll post it but...
    According to legal experts I've read, the current interpretation of The 2nd Amendment is very much a modern (i.e. post ~1980) view. The NRA has successfully pushed this understanding as the only view. That is not irreversible. Nor is it that difficult to get some sensible gun-laws in place without tangling with the Amendment. In the past, the NRA has successfully lobbied against safety catches being mandatory. If you really want to get angry, look up the stats for accidental shooting by children. Get rid of the power and influence of the NRA and lots of things are possible - like removing semi-automatics from the scene. There's more that could and should be done but that would be a helluva good start.

    AFZ
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    sionisais wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Not enough people can die at any one time to make the slightest difference. The irreversible problem is the Constitution.

    I understand that nine, at once, at the right time, could be enough to permit the re-interpretation of an Amendment to the Constitution.

    Article Five says two thirds: 33 states are needed to amend the Constitution itself.

    Nine is the number of Supreme Court justices?

    Might one ask what one means by the re-interpretation of an existing amendment?

    There is a Medo-Persian solution: the 18th Amendment - Prohibition - was superseded by the 21st, so the 2nd could be by the 28th. If 33 states agree... 'only' 16 have constitutional, unrestricted, permitless, concealed carry...
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    sionisais wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Not enough people can die at any one time to make the slightest difference. The irreversible problem is the Constitution.
    I understand that nine, at once, at the right time, could be enough to permit the re-interpretation of an Amendment to the Constitution.
    Actually, it would be five—a majority of nine—who could re-interpret (or re-re-interpret?) the meaning of that Amendment.

    @Martin54, Supreme Court history provides a number of examples of holdings that provisions of the Constitution mean one thing and later holdings that those provisions mean something else.
    Get rid of the power and influence of the NRA and lots of things are possible . . . .
    Yes. But part of the problem will remain, because of the effects of the power and influence they have had, and the damage they have done. The NRA and its allies have convinced so many people that the Second Amendment guarantees an unfettered right to bear arms and that the government is the enemy, that even if they are gone, we'll still need to deal with the so-called Patriot organizations, including Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, and their ilk.

  • jbohnjbohn Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    I have read that the NRA's biggest problem is Donald Trump.

    Lots of people genuinely believed that Obama was going to take their guns away, so they joined the NRA to defend what they perceived as their rights. Under Trump, those rights no longer seem to be under such threat, so the urgency of the NRA's lobbying is diminished.

    Of course, the irony is that the Trump administration has enacted more sweeping gun control (bump stock ban) than Obama ever did.

    Martin54 wrote: »
    Might one ask what one means by the re-interpretation of an existing amendment?.

    The U. S. Supreme Court interprets the Constitution as one of its core functions. This interpretation is subject to change; Google "Dred Scott" to find one longstanding ruking that it later reversed.

  • jbohnjbohn Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    But part of the problem will remain, because of the effects of the power and influence they have had, and the damage they have done. The NRA and its allies have convinced so many people that the Second Amendment guarantees an unfettered right to bear arms and that the government is the enemy, that even if they are gone, we'll still need to deal with the so-called Patriot organizations, including Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, and their ilk.

    Too right, unfortunately. Many of them already think the NRA is too soft on gun rights...
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    So it can be done through the courts, re-interpretation of the 2nd, thanks afz. All it will take is a quarter of a billion dollars and change, a couple of bucks a head. So why won't that happen?
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    jbohn wrote: »
    Ricardus wrote: »
    I have read that the NRA's biggest problem is Donald Trump.

    Lots of people genuinely believed that Obama was going to take their guns away, so they joined the NRA to defend what they perceived as their rights. Under Trump, those rights no longer seem to be under such threat, so the urgency of the NRA's lobbying is diminished.

    Of course, the irony is that the Trump administration has enacted more sweeping gun control (bump stock ban) than Obama ever did.

    Martin54 wrote: »
    Might one ask what one means by the re-interpretation of an existing amendment?.

    The U. S. Supreme Court interprets the Constitution as one of its core functions. This interpretation is subject to change; Google "Dred Scott" to find one longstanding ruking that it later reversed.
    Dred Scott was overruled by constitutional amendments, not by a later decision of the Court. A better example might be Plessy v. Ferguson and the later Brown v. Bd of Education.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Article Five says two thirds: 33 states are needed to amend the Constitution itself.

    Thirty-four. Thirty-three is slightly less than two-thirds of fifty.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Not seeing prohibition of bump stocks as sweeping gun control which to me implies something with much broader application or reach.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Article Five says two thirds: 33 states are needed to amend the Constitution itself.

    Thirty-four. Thirty-three is slightly less than two-thirds of fifty.

    That's what I was afraid of. Ceiling up, not just rounding mathematically.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Things the NRA has prevented: a comprehensive study of gun violence in the US funded by the federal government. (I think they really do not want the truth).

    A more comprehensive background check for sales of any civilian weapon.

    The elimination of the sale of assault rifles to civilians. Nearly every mass shooting has been with an AR-15 or similar weapon.

    The limiting of the number of bullets a clip can hold in civilian weapons.

    The tracing of guns used in a crime.

    The imposition of liability laws on manufacturers and gun sellers.

    Must be more.

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 30
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    This evening I had the great privilege of meeting someone who wants to do something about the NRA and the senseless gun violence in this country. ...
    That must have been amazing. And intensely emotional. Thank you for sharing.
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    But when it comes to the NRA and gun control, how can you argue within someone who came so close to losing his wife?
    Sadly, I agree with Martin's "Not enough people can die at any one time to make the slightest difference". To those who think they have a right to any possession or action, even the most abject suffering is capable of being dismissed due to some reason or other. I'm sure I may be telling you how to suck eggs, but research after research indicates (on both political sides) presenting people with facts going against dearly-held beliefs can make those dearly-held beliefs even more strident.

    [Completely off-topic]
    Martin54 wrote: »
    That's what I was afraid of. Ceiling up, not just rounding mathematically.

    Come to NZ...the shops have signs indicating they use
    "Swedish rounding"
    with explanation (< 6¢*, down to nearest 10¢; otherwise up) -- never had heard it called that before, it was always just "rounding" to me, though with 5 as the up point. Tuck that away for a pub trivia night.

    * yes, my local supermarket rounds NZ$5.55 down to $5.50 -- my maths teacher would be appalled!; it's up to the company
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    When it comes to the Constitution, one always rounds up, just to make sure there cannot be any challenge to it.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Or to put it another way, if the Constitution specifies "two-thirds", anything that's not quite two-thirds doesn't meet the requirement.
  • Does the US constitution actually guarantee the right to bear firearms specifically, or just the right to bear arms ?

    No one seems to think it guarantees your right to carry a battlefield nuclear weapon around - so on what legal basis do they define the cut off ?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited April 30
    Does the US constitution actually guarantee the right to bear firearms specifically, or just the right to bear arms ?

    No one seems to think it guarantees your right to carry a battlefield nuclear weapon around - so on what legal basis do they define the cut off ?

    Just the right to bear arms (generically).
    Amendment II
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    The cutoff is wherever state or federal legislators are willing to put it, within the limits that a majority of the Supreme Court won't object.
  • In which case, it would seem to me, there is nothing inherent in the constitution itself that stops you implementing any level of gun control - there’s an infinity of non explosive weapons folk could carry.
  • Or you could say they could carry only the firearms available at the point in time the constitution was written. A musket with a bayonet is still a substantional weapon, but a handicap to a spree killer.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    It all depends on what level of restriction counts as "infring[ ing ]" the right to bear arms.
  • In which case, it would seem to me, there is nothing inherent in the constitution itself that stops you implementing any level of gun control - there’s an infinity of non explosive weapons folk could carry.

    The context would seem to imply a militiaman's personal armament - the normal weapons used by an infantry soldier. Which is more or less exactly the AR-15 beloved of spree killers. But "would seem to imply" is one of the places the Supreme Court finds lots of work to do.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Little tidbit: the rifle that Lee Harvey Oswald used to shoot John F. Kennedy was purchased through an ad in the American Rifleman
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    To my mind the central problem is the nature of the US constitution as the expression of 17th-18th Century liberalism, which, after the principles of Locke, saw government as limited and recognised the right, indeed, duty to rebel against it when it transgressed its contractual boundaries with the citizenry and their natural rights in a state of nature. That being the case, for citizens to exercise that duty it is essential for them to have the power to resist that of an over-weening state, which means the possession of force at least commensurate with that at the disposal of the government. It follows that any individual ought to have at his/her disposal the most up-to-date and most fearsome weaponry. For US citizens the notion that the state should have the monopoly of legitimate force is anathema to the notion of liberty. Gun control, therefore, is not about the protection of the individual from criminal violence and nut-cases but the enslavement of society by government. The High Plains Drifter is the folk hero forever needed to bring corrupt elected mayors and sheriffs to justice. The NRA is not some crypto-fascist conspiracy but an expression of the basic values that created and sustain the USA. That's just one reason why I'm glad I don't live there.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    @Kwesi - the problem with that is that the Constitution is NOT Locke or Rousseau. It has specific terms and limitations and cannot be made to stand in for all of the Enlightenment thinkers' beliefs about war and government.
  • What I find a bit strange about the 2nd amendment debate is that there is a perfectly good model for a modern citizen militia that can keep its weapons at home - Switzerland. They also have extremely strict gun control laws.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    This may seem like an American thread but I open it up to all who wish to comment. The National Rifleman's Association had its Annual Convention this last week. To say the least, it is in disarray. (n the latest year reported (2017) its annual contributions decreased by $55 million. $19 million was from a single anonymous contributor. It blew $27 million on the 2018 elections and did not get any benefit from it on the state or national levels. It is having trouble fundraising for the 2020 election. On top of that reports have gotten out that a number of the top executive officers have been lining their pockets with NRA funds that were budgeted for other activities. Oliver North, their president either quit or was fired--depending on which story you are following, And there was a move to oust their CEO, Wayne La Pierre, but he was able to hold on. On top of that the Attorney General for New York State is now investigating them for misuse of funds. They could lose their non profit status, or the state may sue for dissolution of the whole organization.

    Oh. How. Sad. Fingers crossed. :smiley:

    In NZ a rifleman (titipounamu) is our smallest native bird. 8 cm long weighing 6.9gms.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    I take mousethief's critique Kwesi, but I like what you say. There is a tragic magnificence about America's cowboy history. My favourite actor for decades was Charlton Heston.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I take mousethief's critique Kwesi, but I like what you say. There is a tragic magnificence about America's cowboy history. My favourite actor for decades was Charlton Heston.
    Who was a spokesperson for the NRA in the 70s.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Aye, I remember his cold dead hand speech well. He who was a civil rights activist who went neo-con, pivoting at the time of the superb The Omega Man. Sad. Me too... in my own front room.
  • jbohnjbohn Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Dred Scott was overruled by constitutional amendments, not by a later decision of the Court. A better example might be Plessy v. Ferguson and the later Brown v. Bd of Education.

    Plessy was the one I was thinking of. Good catch. Must get more coffee... ;-)
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    What I find a bit strange about the 2nd amendment debate is that there is a perfectly good model for a modern citizen militia that can keep its weapons at home - Switzerland. They also have extremely strict gun control laws.

    Most of the people who live there are Swiss. That makes a difference too. I suppose they are very attached to their crossbows though.
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