Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 21, 2008

THE NRA MUST BE DESPERATE.... Estimates vary, but the National Rifle Association reportedly spent about $15 million in 2008 on attacks against Barack Obama. The group is no doubt frustrated, not only with the election's outcome, but with its inability to have a serious impact on the campaign.

What's more embarrassing for the NRA is that it's still doing robocalls, seven weeks after Election Day. The Hartford Courant's Colin McEnroe received Wayne LaPierre's latest message yesterday.

So my phone rings today; and after that 1.5-second delay that tells you it's not a beloved friend, a guy comes on the line and says his name is Chris White from the NRA. Do I want to listen to a message from Wayne LaPierre about "Obama's scheme to ban guns?" You bet I do.

So Chris presses play and suddenly Wayne's voice is blasting in my ear at three times the decibel level of the human being who spoke first.

Wayne says that Obama's assurances that he will respect gun rights are "an outright lie."

Obama has been "stacking his administration with the most notorious gun-banners in America."

Wayne says he wants to "send a message loud and clear that the fight for our freedom is not coming. It is here and now."

When Wayne's automated message ended, a person comes back onto the line to explain that Obama has appointed "a cabinet full of gun haters." When pressed to name one, the NRA representative pointed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who, of course, is not part of the Obama cabinet. Pressed further for an actual cabinet gun-hater, the NRA rep offers nothing but silence.

The point of the cheap smears, of course, is to raise some cash for the organization. Colin McEnroe wasn't exactly persuaded by the fundraising pitch, but it got me thinking -- just how much financial trouble do you suppose the NRA is in right now?

It invested $15 million to go after Obama, and an additional $25 million to help Republicans win congressional seats. The group's failures notwithstanding, that's a lot of money to spend in the midst of trying economic times.

Sure, the NRA also has an endowment, but if it's anything like all of the other institutional endowments right now, it's lost a whole lot of its value.

How much financial trouble, do you suppose, the NRA is experiencing right now?

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (66)

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Comments

Wow, it's like an NPR fund drive. But they call you, they're mendaciously evil, and no Click and Clack.

Also, FIRST!

Posted by: Gene Ha on December 21, 2008 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

You get the impression that the NRA doesn't represent gun owners, but rather the Republican party. "Guns" is just the medium, just as "religion" is for Dobson, Reed and Robertson, or "Taxes" is for Grover Norquist. One clue - the shortage of new ideas.

Posted by: Danp on December 21, 2008 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

If the NRA hadn't wasted money by sending out thousands of blatantly false mailers against Democrats during the campaign season, I might have some more sympathy for them. Which still wouldn't have been much, but I might not be cackling over my morning coffee as I read your post.

Also, what Danp said.

Posted by: Clark on December 21, 2008 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Frist of all Gene, it is "Frist" so get it right.
I can remember my Dad tying up telemarkerters for as long as he could just to aggravate them. He would always act interested and kept them on the line as long as possible. When they went to close the sale, he would always tell them to call back on the frist of the month because that is when his welfare check came in. His thought was that if he could keep them tied up, they would not be bothering anyone else. I am proud to say that I am carrying on that proud tradition. Wish I could get a call from the NRA. I would tie them in knots.

Posted by: Rick G on December 21, 2008 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

The NRA doesn't represent gun owners or the Greedy Old Perverts . It represents gun manufacturers who happen to own a lot of elected Greedy Old Perverts.

Posted by: Klyde on December 21, 2008 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Well the $15 you say they spent going after Obama seems easy enough to make up, but the $25,000,000 is a bit harder. :)

Posted by: QrazyQat on December 21, 2008 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

The local gun shops are reporting heavy buys of guns to avoid Obama's certain gun bans, so the NRA may just be surfing and stoking an already present hysteria. Sheep were made to be fleeced after all.
OTOH, do they really want to be caught fleecing armed hysterics?

Posted by: Steve Paradis on December 21, 2008 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

Since the election the NRA has been running a campaign aimed at inducing the fearful to buy guns and ammunition. They have been successful. Demand, especially for the AR style rifles, has been high in several states. So far the gun industry has been doing well despite hard times. The question is how much longer can they keep it going. All the Obama team has to do is continue doing what they have been doing and at some point the NRA will run out of credibility.

Posted by: Ron Byers on December 21, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

>"You get the impression that the NRA doesn't represent gun owners, but rather the Republican party. "

Why I quit the NRA many years ago.

Posted by: Buford on December 21, 2008 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

the extreme disaster of bush has momentarily shocked the country into lucidity. Hence the rantings of the lunatic fringe such as the NRA are not resonating for the moment. This lucidity will last for a very short time as the republican enabling corporate media will turn every Obama milquetoast initiative into dramatic failure. This is why it is so frustrating that Obama insists on squandering this moment on bipartisanship - code for not getting anything of value done.

Posted by: pleuge on December 21, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Aren't you supposed to be some kind of a journalist? Why not make a few calls and tell us something concrete about the NRA's finances?

Posted by: chuckling on December 21, 2008 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Earth to pleuge OBAMA IS NOT PRESIDENT YET!!!

Posted by: Gandalf on December 21, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

NRA members are generally financially well off, and gun ownership their highest priority. So I imagine it doesn't take long for the NRA to re-fund itself.

Posted by: coldhotel on December 21, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Not to be too annoying, but aren't decibels logarithmic?

Posted by: jhm on December 21, 2008 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

sorry Gandalf, no middle earth for me, just the real Earth. I wouldn't dream of cluttering your beautiful mind with what words mean. You just stay happy chasing rings where you are.

Posted by: pluege on December 21, 2008 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Since they're still there, the answer is, "not enough."

Posted by: TCinLA on December 21, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Sounds like autoeroticism of the chattering classes to me.

Posted by: Tom Casey on December 21, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

The NRA is financially just fine. The only organizations in financial crisis in the gun issue arena are the VPC, the Brady Campaign, etc.

Powerful as the NRA is, it's safe to say that some really large macro issues trumped tangetial issues like gun control this year, so I don't really think you can argue the NRA's influence has somehow waned because people were voting around issues like the worst economy since 1930 and two failed occupational wars on the other side of the planet.

That the Democrats have largely abandoned gun control as a plank is

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 21, 2008 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

The NRA is financially just fine. The only organizations in financial crisis in the gun issue arena are the VPC, the Brady Campaign, etc.

Powerful as the NRA is, it's safe to say that some really large macro issues trumped tangetial issues like gun control this year, so I don't really think you can argue the NRA's influence has somehow waned because people were voting around issues like the worst economy since 1930 and two failed occupational wars on the other side of the planet.

That the Democrats have largely abandoned gun control as a plank is evidence of the NRA's strength, not its weakness.

Keep dreaming, gun haters. Think we're in trouble? Start pushing some of Obama's positions on guns and watch the precious political capital the Democrats have evaporate on a useless pursuit of a failed public policy when it damn well needs be applied to the financial crisis and the war in Iraq.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 21, 2008 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, one other thing--from what I've read, NRA endorsed candidates actually won more than non-NRA endorsed candidates.

Why? Because contrary to the bullshit you read in comments here, the NRA endorses Dems AND Republicans. The reason they appear to the uneducated to be shills for the GOP is that for a long time they weren't any candidates on the Dem side of the aisle who agreed with them on their particular issue.

The NRA supports candidates who respect the RKBA, period. Because for a long time a great majority of those candidates happened to be in one party you saw a correlation to the GOP--but mistaking that for causation is stupid.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 21, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

That's true pleuge keep chasing windmills. Lets not try and actually get something done lets just keep jumping up and down on our ideological soapboxes. Weeeeeeeee!

Posted by: Gandalf on December 21, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

I just renewed my membership in the NRA. Also recently purchased a GLOCK. Didn't know the NRA was having financial trouble, so I will write them a check.

Posted by: Nick on December 21, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

The NRA despite blowing through 40 million in the campaign had next to zero impact. On balance, time is not on their side despite the blustering by the organization and those like Nick that support it on this site who boast about how many guns they just bought. Did you pick up a chest wig at the same time? They are in rather the same position as the anti gay or anti choice factions in that the increasing urbanization and tolerance of US society makes their stridency and irrationality less acceptable. Then the events of the past eight years have inficted a heavy blow against the Rambo style simplistic nationalism of much of the gun crowd. If Obama turns out to be a succesful president and starts to overturn lots of the silly prejudices of US society against things like mass transit systems or universal healthcare it's hard to belive the day can be far away when Americans start to re-examine gun laws, or the lack thereof, that result in about 30,000 homicide, suicide and accidental deaths each year.

Posted by: Ottovbvs on December 21, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

That the NRA assumes people are stupid enough to fall for baseless smears without evidence suggests that, perhaps, it's time to impose an intelligence test for gun ownership.

I'm happy for people to have guns if they want, so long as they aren't too stupid to use it properly. Calling the President-elect a liar based on no evidence is rude and demagogic, and anyone willint to fall for it seems like a dangerous person to have holding a pistol.

The Constitution refers to a well-regulated militia, not an angry mob.

Posted by: biggerbox on December 21, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats did not elect Obama. The US voters did.If he swerves to far off the path of good senses he will be punished by them. He has plenty of trouble with out picking certain fights. I prefer to wait and see. Did we pick a dud or a stud.

Posted by: EC Sedgwick on December 21, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Pro-lifers have been desperate since Roe; anti-2nd amendment deadenders like Obama will be fighting the same sort of desperate battles against the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Luther on December 21, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Well if they're invested in Hedge Funds... they're getting bailed out! I can't believe there has been no comment about this here on WM.

I'm totally outraged.

Posted by: Clem on December 21, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

They're clearly bleeding from a million little wounds, but it's certainly Good for the Nation to nobly get the wingers to protect us from the incoming Muslim hoards by loading up and stashing a few more guns well before the black helos are dispatched to take them away.

Or something like that.

Galloping paranoia is a fine basis from which to raise funds from the doublewide set.

Posted by: trollhattan on December 21, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I hope their endowment is invested with Madoff.

Posted by: exlibra on December 21, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

NRA members are generally financially well off

Well-off enough to want to spend $35 a year on membership. Beyond that, I doubt it. The truly well-heeled prefer a different kind of masturbatory paranoia.

Posted by: shortstop on December 21, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

"How much financial trouble, do you suppose, the NRA is experiencing right now?"

NONE, you nitwits...

Have you not seen/read/comprehended the endless parade of articles since Bambi was picked about unprecendented gun sales?

Have you not read that gun/ammo sales are the ONLY retail sector exploding in this economic mire that GanFranGranNan, Grumpy and the merry band of liberal dwarves got us into?

Now, put on a scrunched up thinking frown on your little face (don't hurt yourself) and ask yourself, 'What peripheral organization will benefit from skyrocketing gun/ammo/accessory sales?', ...

'What peripheral organization will see increased money from gun/ammo/accessory MANUFACTURERS?', ...

'What peripheral organization will see increased money from increased money from membership, increased money from safety/proficiency class size AND increased money from magazine sales to new owners?', ...

...to say nothing of the stack of cute little bumberstickers I bought: I'll Keep My Guns, Freedom, & Money... You Can Keep The "Change!.

Duh.


Posted by: Syllabucks on December 21, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I came over here from RCP...
What else from Washington Monthly, more "Washingtonian" than even the Post? Give me a break. Syllabucks hit it on the head. Gun sales (I go to gun shows and know my gun shop owners on a first-name basis) are in high orbit right now, sales have shifted to the non-PC categories, and it turns out a lot of main line makers such as SandW (remember what happened when SandW kissed Bill's butt) and Remington are now offering EBR's (Evil Black Rifles) although Rem's R-15 and R-10 are offered in camo-film only.
It is the nature of grassroots groups such as NRA that membership declines or flattens when the threat diminishes, and comes back up when the potential for harm increases. So NRA is probably going to be busy and prosperous, just like the gun makers seem to be.
Except for that turncoat weasel Dan Cooper.

Posted by: Dave Skinner on December 21, 2008 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Taking Obama at his Word on Gun Rights

"Knock off the snickering I am serious."

Posted by: Syllabucks on December 21, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

>How much financial trouble, do you suppose, the NRA is experiencing right now?

Very little. The monies given by facets of the NRA for political purposes come from PAC and PVC (political victory funds). Yes, they were trying to raise money, but that's what they always do.

As to the inability of a phone operator to answer specific questions... you'll get the same thing with almost any business that calls you.

That's nothing out of the ordinary.

Posted by: Allen on December 21, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Futile hope, but any chance the NRA entrusted their endowment to Madoff?

Posted by: Tess on December 21, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

I am a 66 year old rural southerner raised in a family that has hunted and owned guns for generations. there are guns in my home and always will be. BUT I donot endorse the NRA!! I have no respect for the organisation at all.

Posted by: LaBelle on December 21, 2008 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

...to say nothing of the stack of cute little bumberstickers I bought...to say nothing of the stack of cute little bumberstickers I bought

OT, I see this misspelling of the word "bumper" -- you know, like a car bumper. Get it? -- coming from wingnuts all the time. When did the right fall prey to this particular solecism?

Posted by: shortstop on December 21, 2008 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

Three names come readily to mind:

Eric Holder, Rahm Emanual, and Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Pete on December 21, 2008 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Weird NRA bashing article. Fact: HRC, Ram Emanuel, Daschle, and (oh my God) Eric Holder are 2nd amendment haters. Fact: Obama has supported banning hundreds of rifles and shotguns commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.

Just because a young NRA coldcaller in the pits had a bad day, you libers go ape shit. Besides, your liberal story teller is a guaranteed lair. One thing I can guarantee you, The One's appointments are NOT pro-gun.

Of course, it's all because of global warming, after all we are a planet in peril...good reason to take away the cititzens front line defense against tyranny.

Posted by: Paul Revere on December 21, 2008 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

What evidence is there that Obama wants to take away firearms used for hunting?

Posted by: 2Manchu on December 21, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

It's funny how the angry, crazy, paranoids like Syllabucks get so cranked up about guns, sputtering and purple-faced. What is it about guns that make some people hysterical? Gun nuts are even worse than religious zealots, with whom they share the feeling that they're always under attack. As if gun ownership is in any way threatened in this country. I really don't get too worried about gun issues, just concerned that people like the Syllabucks have them and are always full of rage. Gun nuts are really a breed apart.

Posted by: jrw on December 21, 2008 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

JRW--there's no more a typical gun owner than there is a typical gay person or a typical woman who has an abortion or a typical white person or black person. Gun owners are every bit as diverse as American society. After all, there are 80mil of us out there--so making broadsweeping generalizations about "gun nuts" is a bit silly, really.

If we do get a bit testy, it's that we recognize a simple truth--there's no more valuable civil right than the right to protect your own life, and people who want to take guns away from all of us to try to stop the small fraction of people who misbehave with guns are threats to that civil right. You don't take beer and wine away from all of us because Lindsay Lohan is a kooky lush who can't control herself. Gun control makes no more sense.

As for Obama and hunting, he's supported bans on semiauto rifles, which are commonly used for hunting and sport. There's a start. Pretty sure he's also supported bans on pump action shotguns, also commonly used for hunting.

In any event, you anti gun types have to understand why we gun owners don't find your assurances that you don't want our hunting arms particularly reassuring--that's because better than 80% of American gun owners are NOT hunters.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 21, 2008 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Oh, one other thing--from what I've read, NRA endorsed candidates actually won more than non-NRA endorsed candidates."

Oh, I doubt that, I really do, particularly considering that the NRA tried really, really hard to prevent further erosion in the House and lost 15 out of 16 of the races where a Democratic candidate took a formerly Republican seat.

"As to the inability of a phone operator to answer specific questions... you'll get the same thing with almost any business that calls you."

No, actually you don't, particularly when that is the centerpiece of their pitch. A business that's on the up-and-up (and even many that aren't) hand their operators a script and FAQ list. But hey, maybe you're right. So tell us, who are these "notorious gun-banners" that Obama has been stacking his administration with?

Posted by: PaulB on December 21, 2008 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Another take on this:

NRA-endorsed candidates lost 80 percent of their races against gun-control candidates. More than 90 percent of candidates endorsed by the NRA's nemesis, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, won their races. If 2008 was, in the NRA's own words, "arguably the most important year in its history," then the election results suggest that the gun group is arguably the most overhyped and impotent special-interest lobby in the country. The NRA even got its chamber cleaned in its home state of Virginia.
Posted by: PaulB on December 21, 2008 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Gun nuts are even worse than religious zealots, with whom they share the feeling that they're always under attack.

That siege mentality is comical but somewhat disturbing, and is what separates the gun nuts from more reasonable gun owners. The problem with people who think they're always about to be attacked is that they tend to hope like hell that they're going to be, and look forward with such relish to the imaginary fight. Then, when they don't get it, they start escalating rhetoric in hopes of touching off a conflagration. Playground games.

Posted by: shortstop on December 21, 2008 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Well Paul, let's cut to the tape. Immediately after the election, before a few races were decided, we knew that of the 23 candidates for the U.S. Senate endorsed by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, the NRA-endorsed candidate won in at least 14 of these races.

Of the 248 candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives endorsed by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, the NRA-endorsed candidate won in at least 216 of these races. So it's not like they couldn't get candidates to win.

What you're forgetting is that the Dems taking over doesn't necessarily mean the NRA is losing tons of ground, because Dem doesn't necessarily mean gun grabber, and Repub doesn't necessarily mean gun friendly.

As for the gun banners in the Obama administration, they're not hard to find as has been pointed out. Hillary and Rahm are a couple that have been pointed out already...how about you point out some gun friendly folks for us, since the Obama administration is supposed to be "diverse"?

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 21, 2008 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

because Dem doesn't necessarily mean gun grabber

Hush. You're depressing sales and hysteria. Ixnay on the actsfay.

Posted by: NRA on December 21, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Heh! Funny, but that underscores the larger point--trying to spin the recent victories in the last couple elections as gun control victories is indefensible--given not only the emergence of the pro gun Dem (Webb, Tester, Casey, etc)....but also just look at the candidates themselves. Counting who won which race is silly. It ignores the fact that gun control wasn't even close to an important factor in the last election.

Gun control is a bottom of the barrel issue for the Dems. They avoid it wherever they can, and when cornered mumble something incoherent about respecting the 2A and hunter's rights and try to move on as fast as possible. I can't think of any close race anywhere where gun control was a deciding issue. Candidates on both sides sought the gun friendly vote, but nobody courted the Brady Bunch vote anywhere.

In short, the Bradys and that oft debunked Alternet article are ascribing to gun control victories that Dems won for lots of reasons...but in point of fact I can't think of a single race where gun control was even in the top ten issues that decided who won.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 21, 2008 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

The common law origin of the collective right, i.e. militia, to keep and bear arms was expressly the right to overthrow the central government. The Second Amendment was about keeping the central government honest by threatening it with an uprising by armed and incensed citizenry. My guess is that if Jefferson had been offered a hypothetical situation where the combined governmental entities controlled, say, 15 percent of GDP, he'd have automatically considered that a cause for immediate overthrow, regardless of the particular policies pursued.

But the era of small, limited government is over, and a large, all-intruding government is here to stay. Entities and groups who focus on advancing true, inditual liberties are just spitting in the wind, because human politics is primarily about bending others to your will. Limited government, in the western sense, was a brief respite from the normal history of human politics, but that respite is over.

People who would donate to groups like the NRA would be advised to give to groups who want to take the reins of government for the purposes of forcing others to their bidding. Because that is the sole future of government, either you're using your political resources to bend others to your will, or you will be bent according to another's will.

Posted by: Asher on December 21, 2008 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it's the Second Amendment, or Lexington Green, or Boone and Crockett.
It's the line in the Donald Westlake novel: "He used to have a hobby--now the hobby had him."

And it usually ends with a dawning wish to get rid of all that shit in the basement.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on December 21, 2008 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

"As for Obama and hunting, he's supported bans on semiauto rifles, which are commonly used for hunting and sport. There's a start. Pretty sure he's also supported bans on pump action shotguns, also commonly used for hunting."

I don't think that's completely accurate:
http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_promise_last_year_to_ban.html

It seems that Obama isn't really that hard up putting a ban on hunters' semi-autos, like my dad's old Remington 750, or my old Ruger Mini-14.

He does seem to want to put a ban on certain firearms, such as the AK series with their ability to take a 30 round magazine. Can anyone really claim that you need that much firepower to take on any kind of game in this country?

I guess if you're facing a fast-charging herd of rabid mule deers, okay, maybe.

As for pump-action shotguns, why exactly would he ban these?

Posted by: 2Manchu on December 21, 2008 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

He does seem to want to put a ban on certain firearms, such as the AK series with their ability to take a 30 round magazine. Can anyone really claim that you need that much firepower to take on any kind of game in this country?
Posted by: 2Manchu

Oddly enough, having a sub-par penis size is the single biggest predictor of answering "yes" to that question.

Posted by: Gonads on December 22, 2008 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

Oddly enough, having a sub-par penis size is the single biggest predictor of answering "yes" to that question.

What an utterly moronic comment. The world is stupider for it.

Posted by: Asher on December 22, 2008 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

That Fact Check probably needs a fact checking. Their defense of Obama's record on guns wasn't too convincing. They put out several Obama defenses that amounted saying "well his campaign said he doesn't want to do that", but ignored that you can say anything in a campaign, but you can't run from your record. Obama in point of fact has repeatedly stated he favors semi auto bans of all sorts of descriptions. In fact, I doubt you can point to a gun control law he hasn't supported.

http://volokh.com/posts/1222201928.shtml

FactCheck is usually pretty good, but they weren't on this issue.

In any event, the premise of your objection is wrong--the AWB Obama supports would indeed ban semi auto rifles other than AK clones. He would ban the Mini, because it can take a large capacity mag.

And it would ban the most commonly used sporting rifle in the US, the AR15.

So yeah, it's accurate. Completely accurate. What you're forgetting is that an AWB that bans AK clones is also going to get AR15s and Mini14s.

Pump actions typically get gun banners after them because they hold 8 or 9 shells sometimes.

Obama also supports a federal ban on concealed carry.

So please...don't piss down our necks and call it rain by suggesting he's not incredibly antigun.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 22, 2008 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

More evidence that Fact Check just wasn't on the ball defending Obama here.

http://www.saysuncle.com/archives/2008/09/24/how-many-facts-could-factcheck-check-if-factcheck-could-check-facts/

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 22, 2008 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

I would say that Obama as president would have a broader viewpoint on gun ownership than what Obama as Illinois legislator did.

Is it possible for presidential candidates to take a position that differed from previous actions? I dunno, did you believe that John McCain would support tax cuts as president, after he voted against such cuts in 2001, 2002, and 2003?

Funny things happen when you enter the Oval Office, and often times your perspectives change.

So when you say "ban", do you mean that the federal government will forcefully enter into a home an remove any firearm they deem to be an "assault weapon"? Or does it just prohibit the manufacture of said weapons?

As for pump guns, has Obama come out and supported a ban on pump-action shotguns? Or is it just putting him in league with people who, for whatever reason, do want to ban them?

He supports a federal ban on concealed carry. Kind of ambigious.
Does he opposed all concealed laws, even like the one here in Nebraska, that only allows permits to private citizens who meet the rather stringent requirements and pass the training? Or does he opposed those laws that allow anyone to carry a concealed firearm?

Posted by: 2Manchu on December 22, 2008 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

NRA-$15 million

Obama- 3/4 of a BILLION dollars (enough to pay for all the medical care of illegal aliens in Texas for a year. (look it up)

Posted by: Tom on December 22, 2008 at 4:19 AM | PERMALINK

However much financial trouble the NRA is in, it is not commensurate with the trouble it deserves to be in.

Posted by: Lynn Lightfoot on December 22, 2008 at 7:34 AM | PERMALINK

And with that, we see what's really wrong with this country--people want to blame others for their own lack of responsibility. Lynn, let's be blunt--gun control is the philosophy that young urban males will quit knocking each other off if we all disarm.

That's just stupid.

The NRA protects the most important civil right of all, the right to protect your own life. Your philosophy is the first really big step on the road to the end of personal liberty.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 22, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Re: your initial point that he'll take a "broader" point of view, well sure: he might have changed his stripes, but probably only because he recognizes that gun control tends to cost Dems political capital they can't afford to spare right now. Kinda makes my larger point for me--gun control is a dead issue for the Dems. In any event, we know what Obama's record is on guns, and it's decidedly devoid of the McCain style flip flops you mention--once again, I defy you to show me a gun control law he didn't vote for.

"So when you say "ban", do you mean that the federal government will forcefully enter into a home an remove any firearm they deem to be an "assault weapon"? Or does it just prohibit the manufacture of said weapons?"

This is largely a distinction without a difference. Banning further manufacture is still anti-personal freedom, and since guns are full of wear items that need be replaced, banning further manufacture is essentially the same as an outright ban on possession, it just takes a bit longer to take effect. And also, simply makes no sense. If it's not ok for me to buy a new one, why should I get to have an older one?

As for shotguns, Obama supported a bill in Illinois SB1195 that would have banned all shotguns that hold more than 4 shells (ie, pumps) and any that have threaded barrels (for chokes used for various hunting and sport shooting purposes.

As for carry, he's openly stated he opposes CCW laws, so yes the law you have in Nebraska and about 40 other states would be eliminated if he had his way. So much for local rule. When the SCOTUS overturned the gun ban in DC, the antigunners screamed about local rule. Whattya wanna bet Paul Helmke and Sarah Brady would laugh all the way to the bank if Obama ignored local rule and go rid of CCW nationwide?

Ah well. It won't happen, as he'd never have the votes in Congress--but the fact that Obama lacks the political capital to pass gun control laws doesn't mean he's not a gun banner, so please...give it up already. The reason he lacks the political capital is BECAUSE the NRA does such a good job protecting our civil liberties and raising awareness.

The irony is the very success they've had means Obama's had to abandon gun control...so you folks beating them up for pointing out Obama's record on this issue are essentially beating them up for their success.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 22, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

La La Pierre is a bonified nut job!

Posted by: Don Lowell on December 22, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

I'll agree it's a dead issue for Dems, much like how privatizing Social Security is one for Republicans. Right now, there are more important issues that require attention, and the issue of guns is not one of them.

So parts manufacture would be banned? Were they banned under the 1994 law?

Also, I've seen some differenct bills introduced on the issue of AWB.

HR 1022, introduced on February 13, 2007, does give a rather extensive list of firearms to be included in the ban, including the Mini-14. But I have not found any report on its current status.

I did find another bill, HR 6257, that was another attempt to reinstate the AWB, but it does not list specifically the Mini-14, though it does state that the ban would not apply to:

(C) any semiautomatic rifle that cannot accept a detachable magazine that holds more than 5 rounds of ammunition; or
(D) any semiautomatic shotgun that cannot hold more than 5 rounds of ammunition in a fixed or detachable magazine.

It would technically "ban" the manufacture of the Mini-14 after the ban is inacted, unless S&R decided to make the mag fixed.

Personally, I think that banning the weapons themselves is not necessary. I would rather see the ban applied to large-capacity magazines. Why someone feels the need for more than 10 rounds in their firearm is beyond me.

As for shotguns, why would you need more than 4 rounds if you're hunting? I can see not banning chokes as a legitimate argument, but magazine capacity.

As for concealed carry laws, when Obama was in the Illinois Senate, he voted for a bill that would allow retired officers to carry concealed firearms. What's to say he wouldn't support the Nebraska law and its stringent requirements?

Like I asked earlier, what evidence is there that shows Obama opposes all CCW laws (outside of one audio comment), and not just those laws that allow anyone to carry?

I myself was opposed initially to my state's CCW law, but then when I read the law's guidelines that a private citizen had to meet in order to get a permit, I became a supporter. It was a pretty common sense law, something Obama has stated during the campaign that he supports.

As for NRA "protecting our civil liberties (how many times have armed citizens in this country been able to successfully stand up to the government?) and raising awareness", I'd wish they'd spend more time on the gun issue I find most important: gun safety.

Posted by: 2Manchu on December 22, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

More Minnesota senate race ballots found for Franken on cereal boxes. Learn more at, http://stopthepresses2.blogspot.com

Posted by: stopthepresses on December 22, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

I am a member of the NRA, and have been for years. I am not married to my guns, although I do feel more comfortable with than without. I won't go into the the history of gun supression, etc. Anyone can can research for themselves what's happening in Australia, and England, where crime is now being committed with knives, so the Brits are trying to figure out how to ban them! As far as personal protection goes, I am all for responsible people owning and having the right to concealed carry. Ask a criminal who they go after; people they know aren't armed or someone who might have a gun and would defend themselves? What do you think. And while 911 is a good idea, police can't be everywhere, and when in a life threatening situation "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away". The NRA is an organization that, in my opinion is firmly for safety with weapons, but I agree with them, that the 2nd amendment should be defended.

Posted by: CT Bob on December 22, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

"So parts manufacture would be banned? Were they banned under the 1994 law?"

If you don't allow the sale of the rifles, nobody can make a living just selling piece parts. Besides, it's the lower receivers that usually get banned, and that's where a lot of the moving parts are. So the answer is generally yes. A ban on manufacture of new rifles but allowing piece parts to be made wouldn't be practical anyway, so for intents and purposes, again...you're discussing a distinction without a difference.

"Personally, I think that banning the weapons themselves is not necessary. I would rather see the ban applied to large-capacity magazines. Why someone feels the need for more than 10 rounds in their firearm is beyond me."

Why does anyone feel the need to have an abortion? Or have premarital sex? Or drive an SUV? The burden on you to show why someone shouldn't have the choice--not why I have the need. When you're discussing rights, need's got nuttin to do with it.

That said, mag capacity bans have no practical effect. If you limit mag size, people will simply buy more magazines. Limiting mag size isn't going to stop bad guys.

Why do police carry 15 round magazines? Why shouldn't I get to as well?

FWIW, the "need" is that that half second it takes to load a mag when you're in a self defense situation might be critical. Contrary to what you've seen on TV, bad guys don't just drop dead and go flying across the room when they're shot once. If you have several bad guys coming after you and each one takes several shots to drop or stop, only have 7 or 8 rounds might not be a good thing.

As for shotguns, most states have laws limiting you to 3 rounds loaded while engaged in hunting. But that's irrelevant--if Obama bans the pump shotgun, you won't have it to hunt with in the first place. And for home defense purposes, you might want more than 3 rounds available. Frankly why the focus on hunting? As I pointed out, an overwhelming majority of us firearms owners aren't hunters. Limiting me to only owning breach loader shotguns is stupid.

Once again, mag capacity bans make no sense. They're unnecessarily limiting for self defense minded gun owners and do nothing to stop criminals from being bad people--they'll simply ignore the laws anyway like they already do.

As for Obama re: CCW, he's on record as saying he doesn't support private citizens having carry rights. Period. I don't know why you can't accept that. It's just reality. The retired officer law doesn't do much good for the 99.99% of us who aren't retired officers. He's on record as stating he'd favor a nationwide ban on laws like Nebraska's and about 40 other shall issue states. At this point I don't know what else to tell you as even you seem to diverge with Obama here.

Gun safety is like car safety--it's an individual responsibility and all the money spent by organizations like NRA won't matter if people like you and me don't behave responsibly. NRA spends tons of money on non-political gun safety efforts, in fact I think you'd be equally hardpressed to show where gun safety efforts are falling short because they're not spending enough money on them. Nobody wants for gun safety because NRA isn't making the funds available.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on December 22, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

"Well Paul, let's cut to the tape."

Sigh.... Which of these candidates did they actually spend money on, since that was the whole point of the original post?

"As for the gun banners in the Obama administration, they're not hard to find as has been pointed out. Hillary and Rahm are a couple that have been pointed out already"

ROFL.... This is the best you can do?

"...how about you point out some gun friendly folks for us, since the Obama administration is supposed to be 'diverse'?"

Dear heart, I'm not the one making the claims; the NRA is.

Posted by: PaulB on December 22, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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