I am one of those people. I have been for decades; long before it became trendy to notice the financial mismanagement (to be kind). So you are attacking me.
If I had done “1 percent of what Wayne has helped the NRA accomplish,” I would expect The Zelman Partisans to ban me from the site, cancel all my login credentials, and apologize to its members for allowing me to work there.
Let us speak of what the VNRA has done. It is a long list, but I will merely touch upon a few things, without going back too many decades.
Gun-Free School Zone Act: Perhaps you forgot that the VNRA supported that, putting honest firearm owners at risk of becoming felons simply by driving too close to a school. I consider that support to make the VNRA accomplices in every school shooting since.
NICS: That was another multidimensional chess “compromise” proposed by the VNRA. Sure, it sunsetted waiting periods… at the cost of forcing honest folk to preemptively prove their innocence in order to exercise basic human/civil rights. Since I was around at the time, I — unlike you, it seems — recall warnings that with the background check system established, it could lead to universal background checks… of exactly the sort we’re facing today. (And let me tell you how much I appreciated your “compromise: when I bought my first post-NICS firearm. I, an honorably discharged military veteran and former peace officer had to get the government’s permission to purchase a Marlin .22LR plinker. Thank you so very fucking much.)
Assault Weapon Ban: Not so much the ’94 federal ban, but others. Imagine my surprise when I moved to a midwestern city and saw an NRA press release claiming credit for writing that city’s AWB banning my deer rifle. The VNRA’s excuse: It would have been worse if we didn’t write it. Worse?! You banned a deer rifle by specific model.
Constitutional Carry: Do you recall how the VNRA was against before it was for it? I do. I remember how we (i.e.- not the VNRA) worked for years to get it passed in New Hampshire. We had it all lined up… and the effing NRA showed up on the last day of the legislative session and told reluctant assholes that it was okay to ITL it because the NRA didn’t support it. (Your excuse was that you only wanted it amended to duplicate some US Code language. But you did that after-hours, when you knew damned well it was too late to amend, and that you were working behind our backs.)
Old news, you say? How about some… newer news?
Bump-fire Ban: Stop pretending the VNRA simply meant to derail legislation by administratively “regulating” bump-fire stocks under the NFA. We told you that the only way to do that administratively was to call them machineguns, and that, due to the VNRA’s earlier FOPA “compromise” (which gave firearms owners nothing), they would be post-’86 “machineguns” and thus banned completely, no grandfathering allowed.
And we warned that it opened the door to ruling that all semi-autos are “easily converted” to machineguns. Since you probably weren’t paying attention, take note that
federal (correction: the one I know for sure is in Nevada state court) suits have been filed to ban all semi-autos for precisely that reason, using the the new rule as the basis.
Not recent enough for you?
Ex parte firearm confiscation orders: Yes, the VNRA endorsed that constitutional abomination. Sure, once again you pretended that you meant ex parte-with-due-process.
No, that is an oxymoron making “military intelligence” pale in comparison. Look up TRUAX, and explain how “due process” after the fact works. (Hint: “poorly”)
The VNRA is endorsing legalized SWATting of the sort that has already gotten someone killed, and firearms confiscated from innocent people who weren’t even the subjects of the orders.
A man is dead, Hammer; that is on your conscience and LaPierre’s. If either of you are so equipped, which seems doubtful.
The damage VNRA, under LaPierre’s “leadership,” has done to supposedly constitutionally protected human/civil rights is why I criticize it. I wouldn’t give a damn about LaPierre’s busty-intern budget, hoped-for mansion, hundred-thousand dollar wardrobe, or the rest of his compensation package if he was earning it. Instead, he’s being pampered and paid to screw over the NRA membership specifically, and the nation in general. Without lubricant.
As I said, I have criticized the VNRA for more than two decades. And yes, I tried reaching out to the NRA with my concerns and specific suggestions (by phone, postal mail, and email; I may have even faxed back in the day). All I ever got back was mass-mailing membership solicitations.
A couple of year ago, I came to the conclusion that the VNRA was no longer salvageable and, as an active danger to Americans’ rights, needed to go the way of the dodo.
I came to that conclusion before the VNRA’s bump-fire fiasco. Before its endorsement of lethal SWATting.
And here is Marion Hammer reinforcing that that conclusion.
The Vichy National Rifle Association delelenda effing est, bitch.
With my permission, The Truth About Guns republished this letter, and it’s garnering quite a few comments there. Notably, people take umbrage with my assertion that FOPA gave us nothing, in exchange for the loss of new machineguns.
Mike Hawkizard: “Remember, ATF used to charge people who sold one gun at a gun show for dealing without a license before FOPA.”
And they continued doing so for years after. “Spot the fed” was a regular game at gun shows in Georgia in the ’90s, and I had an ATF CI try to sting me in 2003.
You might even recall when Clinton began purging FFLs, to make it easier to bust sellers… in the ’90s.
Eric in Oregon: “Agreed, not even sure what mental contortions it takes to literally claim that gun people got nothing. This guy can’t be serious.”
1. Limits on FFL inspections, with a loophole the ATF still exploits.
2. “Safe passage,” which NYS and NJ were still violating at least up to a year ago, when a federal judge finally enforced it. Last time I had to drive through MA, I disassembled my firearms, tie- wrapped individual parts to prevent quick reassembly, locked them in a metal case, and chained the case to the truck frame, because MA cops routinely busted travelers for anything less; that was 2014, 28 years after FOPA.
3. Registry ban, which the ATF complies with by photocopying 4473s during inspections and scanning into an indexed image collection. All that data is collected, ready to be OCR’d into a searchable database as soon as a bill — such as already filed in the House — passes.
We lost machineguns, and later bump-fire stocks, thanks to the Hughes amendment. And, as mentioned, there is at least one lawsuit (two, I think) in progress intended to extend that loss to semi-autos.
A compromise that didn’t give firearm owners anything, if the feds allow violations.
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