…then by all means, go right ahead:
The new agreement would exempt from the disclosure requirements organizations that have mare than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states, and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations. The NRA, with 4 million members, would fall into the exempted category and will not oppose the DISCLOSE Act now, according to Democratic sources.
Best case: the NRA is prostituting its principles in order to eke out an exemption specifically targeted at them.
Worst case: the NRA sees this as a prime opportunity to damage its competition: smaller pro-gun organizations like the SAF, that have been very successful from a litigation standpoint lately (in spite of the NRA’s best efforts to stymie them, and/or steal the credit after the fact), and tend to drain away potential members who feel that the NRA is too willing to compromise away our rights.
Either way, it doesn’t speak well to the NRA’s honor and commitment. It is incidents like these that have caused me to swear off ever donating another cent to the organization and make me wonder whether I want to continue to be represented (I have a life membership) by such a group.
Not much chance of being able to convince enough people, but perhaps we should start trying to drive the NRA’s membership numbers below 1 million so as to exempt them from the exemption, so to speak.
Hat tip to Redstate via VCDL Executive Member Grapeshot.
The National Rifle Association believes that any restrictions on the political speech of Americans are unconstitutional.
On June 14, 2010, Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives pledged that H.R. 5175 would be amended to exempt groups like the NRA, that meet certain criteria, from its onerous restrictions on political speech. As a result, and as long as that remains the case, the NRA will not be involved in final consideration of the House bill.
So, in other words, we don’t believe this is constitutional, but we’re going to stay silent on the issue as long as we are specifically exempted from it.
Looks like the scenario identified as “best case” is (at least publicly) the NRA’s reasoning behind their lack of opposition to this admittedly unconstitutional bill.
The Second Amendment is purportedly the one that protects all the others…unless, of course, we just don’t bother. Heck, if we opposed this bill and it passed anyway, it might serve to damage our image as the most powerful lobby in DC. Better to use our influence to get ourselves exempted from it and pretend like that’s some sort of principled stance or something.
Update 2: Countertop seems to think this was some sort of ingenious plot to get the bill killed outright. That the outrage generated on the left by the exemption eked out by the NRA is putting attention on the issue that it otherwise would not have garnered.
Perhaps he’s right. I was not raised to value deviousness and I simply don’t think that way most of the time. I realize that’s what politics IS, but my brain often just doesn’t work that way.
And I’m not convinced that that was the NRA’s goal to begin with. What would it hurt for the NRA to say so if that was its aim? Something along the lines of “We oppose this bill on principle; Although we are glad that our membership will be protected by the amendment exempting our organization from its provisions, we hope that this amendment will bring to light the glaring flaws of the bill and assist in its defeat…” or something to that effect?
I don’t know. I freely admit that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer…maybe there are more aspects to this that I’m just not seeing. I guess I’ll just have to take a “wait and see” attitude.
Another thing that Countertop mentioned is an aspect that I’d noticed but didn’t completely grasp the significance of:
The amendment exempting the NRA specifically states that the organizations exempted can receive no more than 15% of their income from corporations.
The anti-gunners have consistently claimed that the NRA is nothing more than a shill group for the firearms industry, that the NRA profits from high gun sales and that is why they oppose “common sense restrictions”. This amendment and the fact that it would effectively exempt the NRA from the bill’s provisions proves beyond a doubt, the lie in that contention.