Betrayal of Trust – How the NRA Bargains Away Our Second Amendment

 

Armed Females of America – by Nicki Fellenzer, 2003

 

It is with a heavy heart that I write my column this week. I write it as a columnist for Armed Females of America – a tireless proponent of the principle of “no compromise” when it comes to our freedoms.

I write it as a Featured Writer and Newslinks Director for KeepAndBearArms.com – an organization dedicated to the principles of defending our Second Amendment rights fully, completely and without negotiation, concession or conciliation. And I write this column as a member of the National Rifle Association.  

It is this last membership that makes it so painful to convey this story, but I feel I need to convey it to all of you – whether you are NRA members or not.

You need to know the truth about the largest organization of and for gun owners in the country. You need to understand that the biggest doesn’t necessarily mean the best, and that the political clout of an organization that allegedly claims to support and defend gun owners in the United States, doesn’t necessarily work in your favor or to protect your rights.

 

When I first joined the NRA, I did so because I felt they were the best suited to represent my interests. As the biggest organization dedicated to the rights of gun owners in the United States, I felt they had the most political influence and were in the best position possible to achieve our pro-freedom goals. I thought they served a terrific purpose – to mainstream the views of gun owners. And even though I disagreed with some if their political moves, I felt we all supported the same cause – to ensure the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not infringed – even though we took different roads to that goal.

 

I was wrong.

 

The National Rifle Association does do a lot of good. Their training programs, gun owner and children’s education programs are hard to beat. But their Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) and the NRA’s Political Victory Fund (PVF) are nothing but a horde of sycophantic, power-hungry compromisers, who aim to preserve their jobs – not to preserve your freedoms.

 

The ILA’s website unequivocally states the following: “For 130 years the National Rifle Association of America has stood in opposition to all who step-by-step would reduce the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to a privilege granted by those who govern. NRA continues to fight against those who would dictate that American citizens should seek police permission to exercise their constitutional rights.”

 

Let’s examine this particular lie “step-by-step.” A few weeks ago I wrote in my column that the NRA supports unconstitutional gun laws and that it takes credit for victories in battles not its own. I even provided a link to their own website to support this fact. The NRA, after getting irate phone calls and emails from numerous gun owners and members, immediately took action. Did they admit this fact? No. Did they take immediate steps to change that policy? Not that I’ve seen. No. They altered the link on their website so that anyone who tries to access it receives this messageNot to worry, however, you can still access this particular information via the NRA-ILA’s website. All you need to do is access “Fable III: NRA opposes all ‘reasonable’ gun regulations.” And you will see the following:

(As this article was published the NRA removed the above link from their web site. The author had taken a screen shot of the page in order to preserve the truth.) Click Here to view the screen shot. AFA Editor

The truth is, NRA supports many gun laws, including federal and state laws that prohibit the possession of firearms by certain categories of people, such as convicted violent criminals, those prohibiting sales of firearms to juveniles, and those requiring instant criminal records checks on retail firearm purchasers.

NRA has also assisted in writing gun laws. The 1986 federal law prohibiting the manufacture and importation of “armor piercing ammunition” adopted standards NRA helped write. When anti-gun groups accuse NRA of opposing the law, they lie. NRA, joined by the Justice Department and Treasury Department, opposed only earlier legislation because that legislation would have banned an enormous variety of hunting, target shooting and defensive ammunition….

… NRA only opposed a bill that would have banned millions of commonplace handguns, and instead supported an alternative, the Hughes-McCollum bill. That 1988 legislation prohibited the development and production of any firearm that would be undetectable by airport detectors, and enhanced airport security systems to counter terrorism. In the end, the NRA-backed legislation passed Congress with wide bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Reagan.

At the state level, NRA has worked with legislators to write laws requiring computerized “instant” criminal records checks on purchasers of firearms and those who carry firearms for protection in public…

How bizarre that an organization dedicated to the preservation of the right to keep and bear arms which claims that it “has stood in opposition to all who step-by-step would reduce the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms to a privilege granted by those who govern” would not only support unconstitutional gun legislation, but help write it as well.

 

How strange that an organization that claims to support the rights of all gun owners favors creating an elite class – law enforcement officers – who would be privileged enough to use ammunition suitable for any type of encounter, while you – the ordinary peon and employer of said elite class – are not to be trusted with such “dangerous” bullets.

 

How odd that an organization which supposedly supports the idea that gun ownership as an inalienable right would support legislation to check if those wishing to practice that right are “fit” to do so – especially since the NRA claims that it “continues to fight against those who would dictate that American citizens should seek police permission to exercise their constitutional rights.”

 

The NRA supported the National Firearms Act of 1934 which taxes and requires registration of such firearms as machine guns, short-barreled rifles and sawed-off shotguns.

 

It supported the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, which regulates interstate and foreign commerce in firearms and pistol or revolver ammunition. It supported legislation to amend the Federal Firearms Act in regard to handguns when it was introduced as S.1975 in August, 1963. Among its provisions was the requirement that a purchaser submit a notarized statement to the shipper that he was over 18 and not legally disqualified from possessing a handgun.

 

In 1965, the NRA continued its support of an expansion of the above legislation to include rifles and shotguns, as well as handguns.

 

Additionally the NRA supported the regulation of the movement of handguns in interstate and foreign commerce by:

 

· requiring a sworn statement, containing certain information, from the purchaser to the seller for the receipt of a handgun in interstate commerce;

 

· providing for notification of local police of prospective sales;

 

· requiring an additional 7-day waiting period by the seller after receipt of acknowledgement of notification to local police;

 

· prescribing a minimum age of 21 for obtaining a license to sell firearms and increasing the license fees;

 

· providing for written notification by manufacturer or dealer to carrier that a firearm is being shipped in interstate commerce, and;

 

· increasing penalties for violation.

 

All of these facts have been carefully and meticulously documented by KeepAndBearArms.com Founder and Executive Director Angel Shamaya in an article entitled, NRA Supported the National Firearms Act of 1934. This excellent and thorough essay details the NRA’s long history of supporting gun control laws, as documented and admitted by the NRA itself in a March, 1968 issue of American Rifleman. Those of you who have the issue, may want to give it a read. Those of you who haven’t, can access the entire article on the KeepAndBearArms.com website via the above link.

 

Never mind that several of the above are stepping stones to registration of gun owners – which NRA has publicly, repeatedly admitted leads to confiscation. In fact, NRA has raised money to ‘fight against gun registration’ out of one side of their mouth while helping create gun and gun owner registration lists out of the other.

 

Never mind the absurdity of placing a minimum age on a constitutional right – especially when teenagers can enter the military and use firearms in the defense of our country.

 

Never mind the pure maliciousness of forcing Americans to wait a week to exercise their constitutional rights!

 

The issue is: why does an organization which purports to be a major force in defending the right to keep and bear arms actually support infringements on said right?

Let me give you a clue: anytime the government or any other powerful entity speaks of permitting or licensing a right, it should be your wake-up call that said entity does not consider it a right, but rather a privilege – to be approved, licensed and controlled by the government. This is what the NRA supports, according to Wayne LaPierre, “We believe that a lawful, properly-permitted citizen who chooses to carry a concealed firearm not only deserves that right, but is a deterrent to crime. We support the right to carry because it has helped cut crime rates in all 31 states that have adopted it … with almost no abuse of any kind by the lawful citizens who took the courses, submitted to the background checks, passed the tests and became part of a proud citizens movement that’s making America a safer place to live.” (emphasis mine)

 

Seems the NRA wants to have its cake and eat it too. They want to appear moderate and supportive of “common sense” gun control legislation (cautiously avoiding the fact that the laws they have supported thus far have been an unconstitutional and ineffective farce), but at the same time they would have you believe that they stand in opposition to any attempts to gradually erode your constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Which one is it, NRA? This member would certainly like to know!

 

But my disappointment and disenchantment with the National Rifle Association doesn’t end there. They have repeatedly sold out gun owners by supporting petty tyrants in three-piece suits, who consistently take steps to infringe on our freedoms. In California, the NRA awarded Assemblyman Rod Wright its “Defender of Freedom” Award. This is the same Rod Wright who supported unconstitutional limits on firearms purchases and background checks. This is the same Rod Wright who authored a bill to increase licensing fees from $3 to up to $100. Never mind the absurdity of bilking peaceable citizens of hundreds of dollars for making a constitutionally protected purchase. This champion of “freedom” apparently thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to license and charge Americans for exercising their rights. The NRA’s “Defender of Freedom” in 2001 voted against gun owners 62 percent of the time, according to Gun Owners of California.

 

During the last election cycle the NRA and anti-gun Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence actually supported some of the same candidates! According to the Kennebec Journal, Deborah Danuski, a Democrat from Lisbon, was endorsed by the anti-handgun group, while also receiving an “A-” from the NRA on its report card of candidates. As a matter of fact, in Maine, both the NRA and Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence supported 18 of the same candidates!

 

Meanwhile, in Colorado, where the NRA supported Senator Wayne Allard for office, and even boosted his pro-gun lobby contributions to $37,000 since 1990, Allard stated flatly that he would support federal legislation requiring gun registration for private gun sales at gun shows. Is a legislator who wants to expand gun registration someone who stands up for the rights of gun owners?

 

The latest travesty comes from Virginia, where the NRA Political Victory Fund touted the pro-gun “accomplishments” of Delegate Jack Rollison. This is the same Rollison who in a press release had the unmitigated gall to paint Gun Owners of America and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, who have endorsed his opponent Jeff Frederick, as extremists and “milita-esque”[sic] organizations. This is the same Jack Rollison who wants to banyour right to self-defense in any restaurant that happens to sell liquor. And this is the same Jack Rollison who voted correctly on only two out of eight issues important to Virginia gun owners. And by the way, according to KeepAndBearArms.com, Frederick is actually an NRA member, while Rollison is not. But I have no doubt Rollison will run right out and join real quick just to correct that little error.

 

And if you have any doubt that the NRA supports gun grabbers, don’t take my word for it, read the words of former NRA board member Russ Howard, who resigned from the board in 1997. “In the past 5 years I’ve become increasingly concerned over NRA’s penchant for giving undeserved grades to politicians who trample on the 2nd Amendment.” This is an insider talking, folks. This is a man who knows the goings on inside the NRA’s boardrooms telling you that the NRA has been giving “A” and “A-“ grades to undeserving, freedom-trampling, gun grabbing politicians! And, as you can well see, the trend continues today.

 

The list of NRA betrayals goes on and on. In 2001, the NRA sold out North Carolina gun owners by allowing a bill to prevent cities from suing gun makers pass committee for a floor vote in the Senate. This bill is not what it appeared to be, according to Grass Roots North Carolina. While it restricted municipal suits against gun makers it also:

 

· Required peaceable gun owners to register private gun sales with the FBI through the National Instant Check System if they chose to sell a gun at a show.

 

· Would have allowed shooting competitions and wildlife clubs to be classified as “gun shows” if anyone sold a firearm at the event.

 

· Required registration of black powder firearms with the FBI via the NICS.

 

· Punished gun show promoters for illegal sales over which they have no control, offering them only an “affirmative defense” to keep them from being punished with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

 

According to the GRNC, the NRA sold North Carolinians out because “despite giving Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight (D-Dare, GRNC *) an ‘A’ and an endorsement, he has held their gun litigation bills hostage in the Senate. So they made a deal to include all of the gun show bill which GRNC has defeated for the last 3 years – a bill drafted by lobbyists for NC’s Handgun Control affiliate, North Carolinians ‘Against Gun Violence.’ Translated, that means the NRA just got into bed with NCGV!”