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Myths, misunderstandings and falsehoods about NRA, Second Amendment

Today’s follow-up column on firearms by Seattle Times writer Jerry Large got a reaction from one reader that is so far off the mark as to rank right near the top of any list delineating myths, misunderstandings and downright falsehoods about the National Rifle Association.
 
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NRA Fudd types tend to be more willing to Vote Republican ( He Men Outdoorsmen Republican haters & Libertarians often consider "Other Factors" than 2A in their voting habits and thus seem more willing to vote Democrat in some cases ...
 
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Thank you for the polite reply. My point is that the NRA should focus on guns & gun rights. As it is it should change its name to the National Conservative Association or perhaps the National Republican Association. I'm not criticizing them for defending gun rights, the problem with them is venturing into other areas. That tells libertarians like me to get lost. We need to work together to defend gun rights & that requires focus.

How do you protect gun rights without venturing out of your front door into other areas? In order to defend things in this our Great Republic one must engage the systems that can effect those rights. One must engage the political mechanisms. One must identify sympathetic politicians and ones that stand in opposition. One must raise money and fight cases in the judicial branches (both Federal and State). One must attempt to generate sympathy to the cause in every corner. So you see sir you cannot sit idle on the side lines pinning the hopes of rights protection on simple dreams and wishes of simply being left alone. You have to play the game and you have to play all 48 minutes. Lastly to this point can you show me anything from the NRA that tells you to get lost? I too am Libertarian in nature. I believe in a much smaller government with very specific duties and responsibilities, most of which simply result in me being left alone. However I also do not like political party labels and believe in the final speech from George Washington that implored the nation to avoid getting bogged down in party politics as they will simply be a divisive force on this great nation that he and others since have fought, bled and died so nobly to protect and preserve. So in this debate who do you think has lost focus. The national organization whose putting energy and time into preserving the rights of the masses, even if they don't know in part that they need them, or would it be those that would seek to tear down that organization? You see sir I think that in part the NRA would be quite content spending the rest of its days on promoting the shooting sports and safety. I think they would be quite happy not having to trudge up to Capital Hill again to derided. I am sure they would be happy to not be called baby killers. We do not live in a world yet where those things have come to pass.

There are many LEOs & military people that mean well. They don't understand that while they are part of the "standing army" many Founders warned against they are destroying liberty. Gun rights are secured by securing all other liberties. That means taking away the govt's ability to tyrannize. It doesn't mean give the govt forces that can tyrannize & hope that it doesn't.

It would be a beautiful world Darren if we could all sit by on our porches sipping cool beverages and basking in the liberties we have. Yet there are those that seek to destroy that liberty, both within and without. History has proven that time and again. Be it the British in 1776 & 1812, The Central Powers during WW I and the Axis in WW II, just to name some of the more notable. Liberty and Freedom are fragile things. If not protected they can easily be taken away. Therefore we have organizations that are numerous that fight for issues near and dear to them or the masses. As such we have the Marines, Navy, Army and Air Force, because liberty undefended is a lamb ripe for slaughter. The liberties you now enjoy, this conversation we are now having are buoyed up upon the sacrifice of those who have gone before us and gave the last great measure of their devotion towards protecting this ideal. You can't simply call up at a moments notice a force such as the Navy Seals, for example. The raid to eliminate bin Laden had to be performed by a group of fighting men that have trained for a very long time. They cannot be created at the last minute. The ability to respond to the various threats to our country around the world cannot be created out of the ether. Look at Ukraine as a present day example. Living as they are next to Russia. Their military was under developed. Their freedom is now in question. Lives are now being lost in attempts to even preserve their country. They called up soldiers and sent them to push back separatists and as soon as the tanks crossed into rebel territory they raised the Russian flag and switched sides, so they could get food and rest. Because Ukraine was unprepared, sitting as a lamb before the hungry Russian bear.

"This subject is so self-evident, that I am almost ashamed to prove it: for if look through the world, we shall find in no country, liberty and an army stand together; so that to know whether a people are free or slaves, it is necessary only to ask, whether there is an army kept amongst them?"

--John Trenchard An Argument Shewing, that a Standing Army is inconsistent with a Free Government, and absolutely destructive to the Constitution of the English Monarchy http://www.reformation.org/john-trenchard.pdf

Are you saying here that you think yourself a slave sir? Whenever someone raises the specter of slavery I turn to the United States circa 1860. Have you been beaten till you bled? Have you had your children and loved ones taken from you and sold or killed? Have you been forced to work with little or no support and subject to disease and living in squalor? Make no mistake slavery is an entirely different demon. Are their laws which are considered unjust? Yes. Are there liberties that are curtailed that some feel shouldn't be? Sure. However sir I would say to you that you have means at your disposal to influence these things and are therefore not a slave. Slaves have no voice, choice or rights. You sir, have all of those. You have the right to vote in an election. You have the write to write a letter to your elected officials. Hell you have the right to run for office. You have the rights to support or not support certain organizations or to withhold that support as you see fit.

Following the events in Newtown, there were a great many emotional arguments raised. I talked to a number of folks, who made passionate pleas. I told them to think with their minds about these issues rather than their hearts, a hard ask to be sure. I like most was infuriated at the loss of life. You see I have experienced loss in my life at the end of a gun. I have heard the unearthly howl of a mother having to bury her son. However I didn't blame the gun. I blamed the gang member who pulled the trigger. I blame the justice department for not prosecuting him to the fullest extent of the law. Likewise, I do not blame the erosion of liberty on the NRA or the military of this country, who prove themselves in large part to be some of the strongest supporters of the Constitution. I do place blame however where it belongs. The Executive, Legislative and Judicial organizations of this country. I therefore exercise my rights to the fullest extent possible to influence change in whatever way I can within those branches of our government. If you see things that need changing than please work towards that. But don't attempt to divide the force. As was once said so rightly, "A house divided cannot stand."
 
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If the OP is not an NRA member he has no right to say who, what, where or why they can conduct their business.
Libertarians are no better or worse than any other political party out there and Democrats should be your enemies (unless you embrace their progressive destruction of America)
 
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But FAR too many folks at Firearms Forum/Boards will NOT vote GOP no matter what (And would vote Democrat just because they could not live with themselves if they voted for a Republican...

I will vote for WHOEVER is worthy of a vote, and I don't care the least bit what letter is next to their name.

I haven't voted in about a decade.
 
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Apparently the responses to my original post were too inflamatory, so it got deleted. I will reitterate.

The NRA is far from perfect, but the political power and influence that they wield is crucial in the fight for our rights (on the local and national level). We need them as much as they need us. "They" are "us". We are the NRA.
 
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I'm a uniformed member of the government and I have no intentions of taking your liberties or God given rights. In fact I swore an oath that I would defend them. I take umbrage to your implication that because I'm a uniformed service member I would obey an unlawful order to remove you or anyone else of said liberties and/or rights. Perhaps I've misinterpreted you and this was simply a hasty and inaccurate summarization of your feelings towards uniformed members of the government. Perhaps I have not. Either way, regardless of whether I agree with what you say, you have the right to say it and I will defend that right.
Well said!
Unfortunately, DarrenLobo and Cookie suggest that we don't understand the real issues, and they do.
That infers that we are incorrect, and they are correct.
Darren suggests that if we would just change a little to make him less uncomfortable, it will all be more better. If more corrects joined, then the organization would be more correct. Eventually, the organization would morph into a libertarian utopia where all can be shown the way of correctness. Incorrects may then find themselves booted from the organization they once were members.
 
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I will vote for WHOEVER is worthy of a vote, and I don't care the least bit what letter is next to their name.

I haven't voted in about a decade.

This explains a lot. Thank you for helping to elect and reelect Obama.

bravo_zps85b94b30.gif
 
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How do you protect gun rights without venturing out of your front door into other areas? In order to defend things in this our Great Republic one must engage the systems that can effect those rights. One must engage the political mechanisms. One must identify sympathetic politicians and ones that stand in opposition. One must raise money and fight cases in the judicial branches (both Federal and State). One must attempt to generate sympathy to the cause in every corner. So you see sir you cannot sit idle on the side lines pinning the hopes of rights protection on simple dreams and wishes of simply being left alone. You have to play the game and you have to play all 48 minutes. Lastly to this point can you show me anything from the NRA that tells you to get lost? I too am Libertarian in nature. I believe in a much smaller government with very specific duties and responsibilities, most of which simply result in me being left alone. However I also do not like political party labels and believe in the final speech from George Washington that implored the nation to avoid getting bogged down in party politics as they will simply be a divisive force on this great nation that he and others since have fought, bled and died so nobly to protect and preserve. So in this debate who do you think has lost focus. The national organization whose putting energy and time into preserving the rights of the masses, even if they don't know in part that they need them, or would it be those that would seek to tear down that organization? You see sir I think that in part the NRA would be quite content spending the rest of its days on promoting the shooting sports and safety. I think they would be quite happy not having to trudge up to Capital Hill again to derided. I am sure they would be happy to not be called baby killers. We do not live in a world yet where those things have come to pass.

I respectfully disagree that participating in the political process helps protect our rights. It is precisely how we lost our rights. Voting & elections are a way of fooling people into accepting the legitimacy of the govt & allowing themselves to be ruled. Regardless, my criticism of the NRA is about their propagandising for the empire & police state that we have.

It is the advocacy of an armed govt that tells libertarians to get lost.

It would be a beautiful world Darren if we could all sit by on our porches sipping cool beverages and basking in the liberties we have. Yet there are those that seek to destroy that liberty, both within and without. History has proven that time and again. Be it the British in 1776 & 1812, The Central Powers during WW I and the Axis in WW II, just to name some of the more notable. Liberty and Freedom are fragile things. If not protected they can easily be taken away. Therefore we have organizations that are numerous that fight for issues near and dear to them or the masses. As such we have the Marines, Navy, Army and Air Force, because liberty undefended is a lamb ripe for slaughter. The liberties you now enjoy, this conversation we are now having are buoyed up upon the sacrifice of those who have gone before us and gave the last great measure of their devotion towards protecting this ideal. You can't simply call up at a moments notice a force such as the Navy Seals, for example. The raid to eliminate bin Laden had to be performed by a group of fighting men that have trained for a very long time. They cannot be created at the last minute. The ability to respond to the various threats to our country around the world cannot be created out of the ether. Look at Ukraine as a present day example. Living as they are next to Russia. Their military was under developed. Their freedom is now in question. Lives are now being lost in attempts to even preserve their country. They called up soldiers and sent them to push back separatists and as soon as the tanks crossed into rebel territory they raised the Russian flag and switched sides, so they could get food and rest. Because Ukraine was unprepared, sitting as a lamb before the hungry Russian bear.

The issue today isn't defense of the US, it is the US projecting power around the world. We'd have to reduce the military considerably before it could credibly be called a defensive force. In the mean time the US does all kinds of anti-liberty things like creating & proping up dictatorships abroad. Take the Russians. Without US help in WW II the USSR would have been conquered. That would have avoided the communist slaughter houses in China & Cambodia. There would not likely be a Russia to deal with today.

I doubt Ukraine could build up a conventional force that could defeat Russia. A better option would be a militia trained & armed to fight a guerrilla war.

Are you saying here that you think yourself a slave sir? Whenever someone raises the specter of slavery I turn to the United States circa 1860. Have you been beaten till you bled? Have you had your children and loved ones taken from you and sold or killed? Have you been forced to work with little or no support and subject to disease and living in squalor? Make no mistake slavery is an entirely different demon. Are their laws which are considered unjust? Yes. Are there liberties that are curtailed that some feel shouldn't be? Sure. However sir I would say to you that you have means at your disposal to influence these things and are therefore not a slave. Slaves have no voice, choice or rights. You sir, have all of those. You have the right to vote in an election. You have the write to write a letter to your elected officials. Hell you have the right to run for office. You have the rights to support or not support certain organizations or to withhold that support as you see fit.

When we have the option not to pay taxes we can stop calling ourselves slaves.

Following the events in Newtown, there were a great many emotional arguments raised. I talked to a number of folks, who made passionate pleas. I told them to think with their minds about these issues rather than their hearts, a hard ask to be sure. I like most was infuriated at the loss of life. You see I have experienced loss in my life at the end of a gun. I have heard the unearthly howl of a mother having to bury her son. However I didn't blame the gun. I blamed the gang member who pulled the trigger. I blame the justice department for not prosecuting him to the fullest extent of the law. Likewise, I do not blame the erosion of liberty on the NRA or the military of this country, who prove themselves in large part to be some of the strongest supporters of the Constitution. I do place blame however where it belongs. The Executive, Legislative and Judicial organizations of this country. I therefore exercise my rights to the fullest extent possible to influence change in whatever way I can within those branches of our government. If you see things that need changing than please work towards that. But don't attempt to divide the force. As was once said so rightly, "A house divided cannot stand."

I want to unite us in working for liberty. Things are so bad that we have to start with getting well intentioned people to stop doing harm. That's what so many who think they stand for liberty are doing. Stop supporting the police & military. Stop supporting taxation. Giving the govt the means to oppress means they will oppress.
 
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I'm a uniformed member of the government and I have no intentions of taking your liberties or God given rights. In fact I swore an oath that I would defend them. I take umbrage to your implication that because I'm a uniformed service member I would obey an unlawful order to remove you or anyone else of said liberties and/or rights. Perhaps I've misinterpreted you and this was simply a hasty and inaccurate summarization of your feelings towards uniformed members of the government. Perhaps I have not. Either way, regardless of whether I agree with what you say, you have the right to say it and I will defend that right.

The fact that you work for a govt that one can't ignore when they want no part of it means you're violating the right to free association. Additionally, you live off of the proceeds of theft (taxation). Please resign. Stop serving the govt. I understand that you mean to do good but you're not. Consider Herbert Spencer's arguments:


1. The Right to Voluntary Outlawry


As a corollary to the proposition that all institutions must be subordinated to the law of equal freedom, we cannot choose but admit the right of the citizen to adopt a condition of voluntary outlawry. If every man has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man, then he is free to drop connection with the state — to relinquish its protection, and to refuse paying toward its support. It is self-evident that in so behaving he in no way trenches upon the liberty of others; for his position is a passive one; and whilst passive he cannot become an aggressor. It is equally self-evident that he cannot be compelled to continue one of a political corporation, without a breach of the moral law, seeing that citizenship involves payment of taxes; and the taking away of a man's property against his will, is an infringement of his rights. Government being simply an agent employed in common by a number of individuals to secure to them certain advantages, the very nature of the connection implies that it is for each to say whether he will employ such an agent or not. If any one of them determines to ignore this mutual-safety confederation, nothing can be said except that he loses all claim to its good offices, and exposes himself to the danger of maltreatment — a thing he is quite at liberty to do if he likes. He cannot be coerced into political combination without a breach of the law of equal freedom; he can withdraw from it without committing any such breach; and he has therefore a right so to withdraw. (snip)
 
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Show me such a Dem or Socialist candidate. (Seattle is full of such folks. They'd step on the 2A in a heartbeat, out of Pavlovian reflex if nothing else.)

Oregon state senator Betsy "Machine Gun" Johnson. (D)

The only Democrat I have ever voted for in my life and probably the single biggest reason why gun control legislation has gone no where in the past two sessions of the Oregon Legislature.
 
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One thing that always gets me when there is at least an attempt made to have a free exchange of ideas is those who can't disagree in a rational format resort to name calling, and other forms of righteous indignation.

As to the OP... I'm not as critical of the NRA as the article is, fact of the matter, the NRA is one of the country's oldest lobbying organizations, as a consequence of this, it's entrenched in doing whatever it has to do to maintain paying members. As it turns out, militarization of law enforcement, wasteful foreign wars, and incarceration of illegals is what most american's want. If you feel this alienates you, there are other organizations that may do more to suit your needs. I am not a member of the NRA, but on a semi-regular basis I make donations to the ILA, JPFO, and others when I can.

At the same time, I am quite alarmed that any government feels the needs to collect call data from my phones, parse my e-mails for keywords, mine my web browsing history, and when it finds something it doesn't like, execute a no-knock raid on my house in the middle of the night and shoot my dogs and possibly my whole family also. The current implementation of the surveillance state would be the wet dream of any secret police force looking to round up dissidents and partisans. Against this, firearms are almost meaningless.

What is becoming more and more apparent is that while there are some differences between republicans and democrats, they both generally believe that a larger state, that wields more power over the lives of it's citizens will somehow be better. A prurient example of this was afforded us when Diane Feinstein asserted last year that Edward Snowden was a "traitor" for revealing the width and breadth of the NSA's surveillance operations on you and I, the lowly tax-paying serf, and that "congressional oversight" was sufficient to ensure constitutional protections. However, she felt that it was an outrage that she should be subject to the same scrutiny as the rest of us.

Stomper raised the question that if the government were disarmed, then how would it provide for the common defense. Which is constructive, because it exposes one of the fundamental flaws in his mindset. In the constitution, it starts out with "we the people", it doesn't say "we the government", the states, the army, the political parties, or anything else. We as a nation provide for our common defense by raising armies when we need to, typically we do this by paying people to show up. Interestingly, one of the reasons the NRA was formed, was to aid in "providing a common defense" by instructing citizens in the use of arms, so when called upon to serve in the army they would have at least some of the skills necessary to do so. The important aspect of privatizing the training of soldiers is then you don't have to pay to maintain them. Thus, having a population that is "well regulated" in the use of arms largely negates the need for having large, expensive, standing armies; that is, unless military adventurism is the goal.

We are at a unique time in the history of human civilization, in that you and I, while thousands of miles apart, are capable of communicating complex ideas on the meaning of the constitution, political philosophy, foreign and domestic policy as a well reasoned discourse, and the government, though not invited will be well aware of it. The enemy of liberty is not the NRA, it's not the government, it's not just the socialists, it's us to. Everyone who desires to ban this, ban that, pass a bill here, pass a bill there is just another brush stroke that paints us into the corner of despotism. The law of unintended consequences is alive and well, and before taking too drastic an action, we had all best consider the consequences as we have all seen what happens when we don't.

Feinstein references:
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/304573-sen-feinstein-snowdens-leaks-are-treason
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/11/politics/senate-cia/
 
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Well articulated about the standing army issue, but however intellectually good that sounds ON PAPER, you don't acknowledge the nature of modern global warfare compared to our founding years.

Long gone are the days that takes months to sail an armed force and materials across the ocean to project the force of will of your king. The U.S. enjoyed the advantage of oceans thousands of miles wide, with a narrow border to defend down South, but those are not the obstacles they once were because of technology.

Nobody has the luxury of having a year (minimum) to raise a competent army, or countless months to debate the merits and methods of even raising an army when a crisis enevitably arises. The only reason you can express your ideas right here, right now is because we've had a strong enough military over the years to deter our would-be conquerors that have sworn "to bury us".

I do however share the spirit of the sentiment you express, but being that we "were" a republic we could have HAD IT ALL if not for the parasites within the system, rigging the "game". In the not so distant future, there will either be a very long fall, or a very profound "reset" coming.
 
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Well articulated about the standing army issue, but however intellectually good that sounds ON PAPER, you don't acknowledge the nature of modern global warfare compared to our founding years.

Long gone are the days that takes months to sail an armed force and materials across the ocean to project the force of will of your king. The U.S. enjoyed the advantage of oceans thousands of miles wide, with a narrow border to defend down South, but those are not the obstacles they once were because of technology.

Nobody has the luxury of having a year (minimum) to raise a competent army, or countless months to debate the merits and methods of even raising an army when a crisis enevitably arises. The only reason you can express your ideas right here, right now is because we've had a strong enough military over the years to deter our would-be conquerors that have sworn "to bury us".

I do however share the spirit of the sentiment you express, but being that we "were" a republic we could have HAD IT ALL if not for the parasites within the system, rigging the "game". In the not so distant future, there will either be a very long fall, or a very profound "reset" coming.

I tend to think you're overstating the nature of modern global warfare.

While I completely agree that force projection is a major issue, however a major component of force projection is the willingness to use it. Instead the government that puts it's heavy hand down upon us, asks for dialog and hashtags with our enemies and adversaries abroad. As you point out, the technology that can bring enemies to our shores in hours are the same technologies that can push our soldiers into their homeland in the same short-order, how is a minor logistical challenge.

One of issues that is poorly addressed as a criticism of standing armies is the wasteful bureaucracy and politics of the administration of these organizations. I know more than a few veterans, and in talking to them, sure they tell stories of great battles, kicking a$$ and taking names, and once that wears off, they'll tell you about the time some colonel came up to their squad and said "I saw a cigarette butt 200 meters over there, go clean it up".

There are many ways to short circuit the training and deployment of an army. Reasonably, on Dec 8, 1941 we were not ready to drop the bomb on Japan and be home before the street lights came on. However on May 16, 2014 if japan had bombed pearl harbor, would our response have been that much swifter?

I'm not going to say this is a simple issue, in fact it is likely the most complex aspect of foreign policy. However force projection only works if you have demonstrated your willingness to use it.
 

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