My personal position on Harry Reid, is that the NRA should withhold an endorsement for him. I did not have a problem with the NRA highlighting the Shooting Facility in Nevada, nor giving a nod to Harry Reid for his contribution, if it truly was financed without taxpayer money, as they have said.
Don't mistake that for my supporting Harry Reid...I am no fan of Harry, and likely his pro-gun votes are more politically motivated than moraly and personal principles. He's a politician after all. I would bet there are also Republican politicians who vote pro-gun for similar motivation.
As some might wish, the NRA is NOT a right-wing agenda promotion organization. First and foremost, they are an organization largely focused towards promotion of firearms ownership and safe use, 2nd Amendment rights, shooting sports, hunter's rights, and shooting education. There are American citizens who are Democrats and avid firearms enthusiasts and it would be stupid for the NRA to alienate these people.
However, I do believe that lately the NRA senior board members could take the time to realize, just like the Constitution could fall without the 2nd Amendment, the same could be said for the 2nd should the balance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights be thrashed. Just don't take offense if the NRA doesn't champion every Republican, conservative cause...there are other organizations out there who will champion conservative causes outside of 2nd Amendment preservation and you should investigate those.
That said, it seems to me questionable to give up a Life Membership (presumably already paid for), or ANY Membership, rather than remaing a Member and keeping not only VOTING RIGHTS, but the possibility of running for Board of Directors (yes, if so motivated, there is a process for YOU
to do that). Doing the latter would give you FAR more influence/impact than a simple, individual resignation of membership, and most likely influence other like-minded individuals.
If you've made your decision; I accept that you're doing it as a matter of conscience, but given that, it doesn't make much sense to me if your goal is to persuade others, and the NRA as a whole, to adopt your point of view, given that other, potentially FAR more influential courses of action are available to you if you had elected to remain a member..
So to those so quick with the knee-jerk threats of membership resignation, that's what I hope you will do...
I have decided for myself, that quitting or not joining the NRA, is about the very most useless and counter-productive strategy you can possibly come up with. The Democraps are terrified of the NRA, the other gun groups for the most part are politically invisible (although I agree Alan Gura is a force as a 2nd Amendment lawyer). So why would I advocate destroying the only organization, although not perfect (and not alway successful in litigation), that has the BEST
record of promoting firearms ownership, firearms use and safety training, and promotion of our 2nd Amendment rights - period...since 1871.
If that had been the general mindset, then a leader like Harlan Carter and other like-minded individuals would not have achieved what they did in the '70s :
"After World War II, the NRA became more of a leisure and recreation club than a lobbying organization. Its espoused purposes during this time included firearm safety education, marksmanship training, shooting for recreation, and environmentalism. Its national board floated suggestions to change the NRA's name to the "National Outdoors Association".
After three high-profile assassinations using firearms—John F. Kennedy (1963), Robert Kennedy (1968), and Martin Luther King Jr. (1968)—the Democratic-controlled Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968, ending mail-order sales of firearms.
It should be noted that at this highly emotional time, approx. 80% of Americans FAVORED firearms registration.
The NRA fought against that - successfully.
The army ceased providing funds and guns for the NRA-sponsored shooting matches in 1977. In response, conservative hard-liners demanded the NRA's return to legislative lobbying. Led by the Texan Harlan Carter, they staged the Cincinnati Revolt at the annual membership meeting in 1977, stripping power from the elected president and giving it to the appointed executive director—Harlan Carter. As part of the nationwide conservative surge in 1980, Carter turned the NRA's moribund Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) over to professional lobbyists Wayne LaPierre and James Jay Baker.
These changes turned the NRA into a single-issue lobbying organization par excellence. Its membership had jumped to three million by 1984, with fifty-four state chapters and fourteen hundred local organizations. The locals became a grassroots political power, ready to inundate newspapers with letters to the editor and politicians' offices with pro-gun ownership materials. "
None of this could have happend had Harlan Carter and others adopted the defeatist, losing attitude of, "screw it...I'm mad at the NRA, so I quit."
Harlan and others had a vision and took the proactive approach to changing the organization.
Recently, NRA Board Member, Cleta Mitchell's Washington Post article expressed her dissatisfaction with the NRA leadership on the DISCLOSE Act. However, she also took this proactive approach. She had a different perspective and voiced it...but NOWHERE did she advocate quitting the National Rifle Association, nor ranting on firearms enthusiasts Forums, no doubt, in attempt to discourage others to join.
So I have hopes you will remain NRA Members, annual or Life Members, and use your voting rights, and your own internal NRA correspondence and activism, as you see fit in directing the organization's focus. And, much as I am doing, don't be shy to write the NRA and let them know you regularly contact your State and Federal representatives to encourage them to vote against Bills you are not in support of, as gun owners, political conservatives, or freedom and liberty loving Americans. I assure you the NRA has no problem with that....in fact, it's encouraged.
Never forget...YOU (and approx. 4-million+ other Members) ARE the NRA.
I will say this...if in addition to the NRA, you are looking for another organization to support, then I would take a serious look at the Second Amendment Foundation. This organization is doing more than sending newsletters and NRA bashing. They, along with the NRA, have been spearheading the litigation in the high profile 2nd Amendment cases of recent - Heller and McDonald.
The Second Amendment Foundation is ACTIVELY engaged in court litigation against 2nd Amendment attacks and are a force in Washington. Not just a "no compromise" group ranting against the NRA, mainly to solicit contributions to their own organization.
Second Amendment Foundation Online
Regards - Swampbilly
NRA Patron Member
NRA Certified Pistol Instructor