I am not a life-time member of the NRA, and never intended to be. I don’t trust anything built by man. I have updated my membership every five years for the last forty of my life; and therefore, could call it quits at any time, although I have probably paid in more than what a life-time membership would have cost me. But then I was offered a life-time membership on top of my lifetime membership. Now I am not the brightest nickel in the drawer, but I don’t see how that works. I also don’t appreciate that when I update my membership, I receive a “free’ gift that was made in somewhere than within the U.S. of A.
I was not enamored by the NRA, but I did feel that it was a worthwhile organization to join for several reason; one of which was firearm safety programs and, of course, support in fighting for something we should never have to fight for in the first place, the guaranteed protection of our right to keep and bear arms. After all, what the Lord giveth, the Government guaranteed in the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But we are now seeing how binding that guarantee is, and it is loosely bound it seems.
I have never been one to totally commit to an organization that is run by humans, simply because I have a distrust of humankind, and it has proven that it is not trustworthy on more occasions than I can count and on more topics that I can even think of, although management of itself comes to the forefront of my mind. However, I dutifully read the copy of NRA ILA that I receive and try to keep abreast of what’s happening.
The NRA was established in 1871 and is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. The NRA claims it is more than five million members strong and continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. Today, the NRA is being called upon to work with politicians in coming up with solutions to combat violence with firearms with infringing on the rights of lawful owners of firearms. According to Wayne LaPierre; “…the NRA opposes any legislation that unfairly infringes upon the rights of law-abiding citizens. The inconvenient truth is this: the proposals being discussed by many would not have prevented the horrific tragedies in El Paso and Dayton. Worse, they would make millions of law abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones.” For many of us, the members of the NRA, this will be the last opportunity for the organization to prove itself capable of representing those who, like most people, abhor the violence that is happening in America, while preserving our natural right to self-protection.
Now, it should be noted that originally the NRA was not about politics, but in 1872, the NRA created a committee to lobby for legislation in the interest of the organization. In 1934; however, the National Rifle Association created a Legislative Affairs Division and testified in front of Congress in support of the first substantial federal gun control legislation in the US, the National Firearms Act. And in 1975 the Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), the lobbying branch of the NRA, was established. But that was then, and this is now. Never have we had the degree of emotion for the disarming of America; a Pandora’s box that need not be opened in this country. And never has the NRA been at its lowest.
Today, it is being said that the organization’s leadership is corrupted by vanity and self-dealing. The organization has become a source of personal enrichment for its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre., who raked in a cool $1.37 million in 2017, plus additional benefits. Lt. Col. Oliver North and lobbyist Chris Cox, two of its most prominent leaders, have clashed with LaPierre and left the organization.
The NRA I once belonged to, was not a church whose ‘pastor’ has demanded a $6 million mansion in a gated luxury golf-club for greater personal safety. Perhaps, Mr. LaPierre, you should arm yourself or hire “good guys with guns” for protection? Today’s NRA is a degraded and morally-compromised organization that bears no relationship to the one I depended upon to look out for me and my interest. And you may be saying the same thing. Now, my membership and contributions have been placed elsewhere; The Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of American, and Georgia Gun Owners.
The NRA’s defense of the 2nd Amendment is indiscriminate. I contend that the only time America is truly safe is when we have the means to defend ourselves. If that means that good guys who have guns can stop bad guys who have guns, I am all for it. Without those good guys we would not be here today in an America as we know it. We have had our setbacks, but we are here because we have been able to fight in a lot of battles, in a lot of different places, both domestic and foreign. Firearms have saved lives on countless occasions, and yet people who would support the privilege of driving vehicles that can kill far more people, accidentally and not, than firearms will condemn a right of firearms ownership that without which, other freedoms will fall. However, vehicles are considered a necessity; firearms, not so much. Oh, and if a cure is found for heart disease, far more lives will be saved as compared to those taken using a firearm. When one looks at it closely enough, people are the cause for deaths, for whatever reason and regardless of how or by what means the deaths occur.
The most diabolical assault on our nation and on a free people is the destruction of the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and I am not the first to realize it. Many have been saying it all over the world, especially by people who no longer have a means to protect themselves from their oppressors.
I agree with a recent article by https://www.ammoland.com/2019/08/important-statement-nra-ceo-executive-vice-president-wayne-lapierre/#ixzz5wCSyJTgL, that Wayne LaPierre and the NRA must respect and strongly represent us for:
- The retention of the original meaning of the Second Amendment – an absolute restriction on infringement by the government of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”. (“(P)eople” as in individuals and distinguishable from the States in the “Bill of Rights”.)
- Enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment – “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” … The Fourteenth Amendment thus unequivocally applies to all of the lands within the United States of America wherein the residents are recognized as citizens of the United States of America, and thus no law (or bureaucratic rule, regulation, administrative procedure or other unlawful law) passed by a State, Commonwealth, territory, protectorate or any subdivision thereof preempts the absolute restriction on infringement by the government stipulated in the Second Amendment.
Further, legislate that if following “due process of law” a person is deprived the right “to keep and bear Arms” then such individual must become a ward of the government or another person who will be responsible for all the ward’s future actions.
Enforce the protections stipulated in the Second Amendment – Establish a “dedicate section” of the Department of Justice to investigate any and all elected representatives or judicial authority of any jurisdiction within the United States of America and the component jurisdictions thereof who move to or have moved to disregard in any way the absolute restriction on infringement by the government of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”. … Such acts of infringement by any individual in a position of authority shall be prosecuted as “treason against the people of the United States of America” and give rise to separate civil actions for monetary damages which shall be specifically exempt from any protections offered by “qualified immunities statutes” – as to allow such immunity or indemnification in matters of “treason” are against public policy and the best interests of the people.
Legislate that the Constitution of the United States of America and the meaning of the provisions thereof as intended when drafted, or when such amendments thereto were approved is the sole “governing document of the United States of America and not judicial interpretations as applied to individual fact matters” – “precedent and stare decisis” are no longer proper acceptable basis for judicial decisions – the facts of each case must be examined as if the first case to interpret the applicable Constitutional issues, but the cumulative history and understanding of original intent cannot be excluded from each case interpretation.
Aid in the abolishment of the BATFE and all historical data files compiled and saved by the FBI or any jurisdiction within the United States of America; failure of the responsible bureaucrat(s) to knowingly not completely destroy such records shall be prosecuted as “treason”.
Legislate that no federal, state or other jurisdiction’s law enforcement agency shall be permitted to have any “Arm” or weapon that can be operated by one or a squad of individuals unless such “Arm” or weapon is generally available to the people at no more than the same per unit cost as enjoyed by such agency.
I also contend that the NRA, and other “gun rights’ organizations step up the efforts to educate the public that their freedoms are at risk should the 2nd Amendment be abolished for whatever reason. The public needs to understand that more is at stake than what lies on the surface of ‘banning’ firearms. While not in the same context as the original quote, the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” reflects a more modern context that is an echo of ages past.
Like many other members of the NRA, I care not for what you have done in the past, but I do care for what you are currently doing and what you intend to do in the future.
I have two years left on my last five-year membership. NRA, you have that time to get your act together, if in fact you can last that long, to prove to me (and I am sure others) that you can help protect what is a God-given, inalienable right to self-defense, and which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. But perhaps, time has already run out?