Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

NRA not willing to rule out supporting the enemy?

The Pistolero points out something that should be disturbing to all gun rights activists, about what the NRA is not saying about the 2008 presidential candidates. He notes that in the October issue of the NRA's America's First Freedom magazine, LaPierre warns of the undeniable threat to gun rights posed by a Clinton or Obama presidency. I doubt anyone on our side would dispute that, but what is troubling is that LaPierre seems to think the only threats worth guarding against are Democrats.

Now, all of those are certainly viable threats, of which we all should be ever mindful. But reading LaPierre's column, I noticed no mention of anyone on the Republican side. Which to me was a little bit off, because as you know, at least one candidate on the GOP side supports at least licensing and registration, and this candidate was one of the big-city mayors -- in fact, the ONLY Republican mayor -- to file suit against several firearm manufacturers for allegedly "flooding the streets with guns."
Folks, I'm not trying to deny that most of the avid advocates of citizen disarmament are Democrats, and I realize that all fifty-nine cosponsors of Carolyn "What's a barrel shroud" McCarthy's H.R. 1022 ("assault weapons" ban) are members of that party, but does that mean that all Republicans get a free pass? Are we to assume that any enemy of our enemy is an ally?

I certainly hope not, and I don't seem to be the only one. Jeff Knox makes a compelling case for "un-picking" some candidates--some of whom are Republicans.
Weeding out the Democrat side of the political garden is easy; all of the candidates are unrepentant gun-blamers and believers in limiting liberty except New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson who has a pretty good record on gun issues.

Weeding out noxious Republicans should be just as easy because the records are clear; Giuliani was an ardent gun control supporter as Mayor of New York; Romney advanced and signed harsh anti-gun legislation as Governor of Massachusetts; and McCain stabbed gunowners in the back by lending his name to anti-gun advertisements and pushing for restrictions on gun shows.
As Mr. Knox says, there is nothing wrong with the idea of withholding judgment, for the moment, on whom to support in the 2008 presidential race, but it's certainly not too early to eliminate some choices--designating some candidates as historical enemies of gun rights, and publicly stating that they will never be acceptable.

Also, if the message we send the Democrats is that nothing they do will ever get the pro-gun vote, then we have removed any incentive for them to be on our side. In fact, we are actually telling them that they might as well pander to the (far from insignificant) portion of their base that advocates citizen disarmament. Likewise, if the Republicans learn that all they need to do to get our vote is be less anti-freedom than the opposition (who, you remember, we are actively encouraging to be as anti-gun as possible), we have taken away their incentive to be any more than the most tepid of "allies."

If I were the suspicious type, I might suspect the NRA of deliberately leaving open the option of supporting Giuliani, or Romney, or McCain. I might see the NRA as being willing to set the bar for worthiness of its support no higher than "not as bad as Hillary" with regard to gun rights. Alright, alright--I'll be honest--I am the suspicious type, and that's exactly what I suspect the NRA is doing.

If the NRA fails to understand that "not as bad as Hillary" isn't going to cut it, and supports a Republican who is only marginally less bad, the NRA will be supporting the enemy. That's the kind of thing the Founding Fathers frowned on.


Anonymous said...

You are dead on target!

I had not considered the effect you mention of encouraging the dems to pander to anti's.

Anonymous said...

As usual, you have nailed it. I have been saying much the same thing for a long time. The response I always get from the cheerleaders is "The NRA is the 800 lb. gorilla and we must support them."

Why must we? Shouldn't they be supporting us and our views, instead?

Is membership and 'belonging' so important? More important than principle and being able to trust your supposed ally?

Welshman said...

My concern, though, is what do people who are against McCain, Romney, and Giuliani do if one of them is the GOP nominee?

Does this mean they vote for Hillary? Why? True, the RINOS are not that good, but they ARE better than Hillary or Obama or for that matter anyone running for the Democratic nomination.

How is it helping our cause if the disgruntled cast a vote for someone like Hillary, or worse (Obama), just because they don't want a RINO?

I would take McCain, Giuliani, or Romney ANY day of the week over Hillary, Obama, or that imbecile John Edwards.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I certainly don't advocate voting for Clinton or Obama, even in a general election against one of the unpalatable Republicans (Giuliani, Romney, or McCain). That would leave the option of A) voting for some third party candidate; B) abstaining; or C) holding one's nose and voting for the unpalatable Republican. I wouldn't condemn any of those choices.

I make a distinction between individuals casting a desperation vote for a lesser of evils candidate, and a major gun rights organization actively endorsing said lesser of evils candidate.

That said, Giuliani and Romney won't get my vote, even with a gun to my head (with a gun to my head, I might vote for McCain).

Welshman said...

Believe me, I know what you mean about unpalatable Republicans. Worse than them, however, are the outright Socialists running for the Democratic nomination.

To me, a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for the Democrat. Should Ron Paul, for example, run as an Independent or a Libertarian against a Republican and a Democrat, he will only draw votes away from the GOP and throw the election to the Hillary or whoever, just as Ross Perot did in 1992.

Had it not been for Perot, we would have never been cursed with Bill Clinton.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't really make much sense to alienate any of the Republican candidates at this point in the game. We have no idea who the nominees are going to be.

We can attack Hillary or Obama, because they remain unrepentant gun controllers. If they were lining up to kiss our asses on the Democrat, it wouldn't make sense to alienate candidates in that primary either.

It's not really that anyone thinks Giuliani or Romney are pro-gun stalwarts, or will be our best friends. Neither of them have good records. Neither of them deserve endorsements.

But with the presumptive nominee for the Democrats being Hillary or Obama, it's better to have someone who you can at least have some influence with, than a pair of candidates who hate you. Alienate the Republican candidates before it's clear who the winner is, you may very well be faced with that.

I know everyone is tired of voting for the lesser of evils, but that's how it's looking like this election might be.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have to call horsesh*t. While Ross Perot MAY have sucked off enough votes to allow Clinton to win in 1992, how do you explain 1996? A president's term is 4 years, NOT 8. Therefore, there must have been enough support for Slick Willy to have made it through a second election.

OTOH, I have been told for 2 decades that I needed to vote for the lesser of 2 evils. Guess what, they were and are still EVIL. You can not reform anything by voting for the lesser of evils.

Would you rather be flayed alive and rolled in salt or dunked in citric acid? That analogy breaks it down very clearly. Both are evil options. WHat if I told you that voting to not be flayed would just end up with you rolled in salt? Does that change how you would vote?

Back in 2000 people were happy that Bush won. It meant that we would see a rollback, albeit small, in the size of government, a lessening, or abolition, of the assault on the 2nd Amendment, lower taxes, etc...

Oddly enough we didn't get any of that. Last year many of the Republicans in Congress were tossed out on their ear due to not supporting their constituents. 2nd Amendment support, specifically lack thereof, was a major cause. Sadly, the GOP didn't learn from that experience.

Your vote is much too important to be wasted on a candidate who does not represent you at least a little. Romney, Giuliani and McCain are ALL RINOs every last one of them. A vote for any of them is a vote for a Democrat. No, it won't be better. Until people start realizing that the only way things will change is by refusing unpalatable options we are stuck.

The minute that the 800 lb Gorilla starts to support me and a true, unfetterd interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is the mintue that I will start to support it. Meanwhile we are stuck in incrementalist h*ll where the incrementalists are workign to turn our right to keep and bear arms into a licensed priviledge, just like driving.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Sebastian, I can live with the NRA not coming out and explicitly stating that Giuliani, Romney, and McCain are unacceptable, even though they are, as far as I'm concerned.

What worries me, though, is what I see as the distinct possibility that in the end, they'll come out and actually endorse one of those gasbags. If that doesn't happen, I'll cut the NRA some slack.

D. Martyn, I've never bought into the idea (popular though it is) that "a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for the Democrat" (unless the third party is the Green Party, in which case the vote is apparently for the Republican). Yes, it takes a vote away from the mainstream candidate who would probably have gotten it otherwise, but it doesn't give the vote to the opposition.

If the mainstream parties hemorrhage enough votes to the third parties, they'll change their ways to pick those lost voters back up again for future elections. The Republican Party seems to need such a course correction these days.

Anonymous said...

I really don't think you'd see an endorsement. But as to the lesser of two evils, I'm sick of it too, but that's how it usually ends up. If you want someone really solid, tell Fred to get his act together. Right now he's being creamed by Romney and Guiliani.

But dude, if it comes down to Rudy or Hillary, the choice is clear to me.

Anonymous said...

"But dude, if it comes down to Rudy or Hillary, the choice is clear to me."-Sebastian.

Me too, if nothing else I would write in my own name. However, I do believe I could write in someone much more qualified and will do just that before either of those two get my vote.

the pistolero said...

This one's gonna be quick 'n' dirty...
However much influence we do get with the GOP in the White House, I can't help but think it's still going to be very little in the case of Giuliani or Romney. The NRA might well perceive one of those two as someone they can work with, but with their views on gun control, I'd guess that "someone we can work with" would mean getting registration and licensing as opposed to outright confiscation. Which is better in the short term, I suppose, but still unacceptable. And there are those who think Giuliani would go the confiscation route. Whether those fears are unfounded I don't know, but the choice between Giuliani and Clinton still isn't clear to me. At this point I can't help but think it's six of one vs. a half-dozen of the other.

Anonymous said...

"The NRA might well perceive one of those two as someone they can work with, but with their views on gun control, I'd guess that "someone we can work with"

You mean like they are working with McCarthy to place many more people on the prohibited list? Well, yeah, I they could work with them.