NRA Bullies Hijack Debate

By the way, the Constitution doesn’t give the NRA a veto over gun laws. But you wouldn’t know it by reading breathless news headlines heralding the opinions of this weapons industry front group.

Is it really news that the NRA rejects the President’s gun control proposals? It might be if the National Rifle Association really had the power on Capitol Hill it pretends to have. But it doesn’t.

Last year the NRA was a huge loser among big-money campaign givers — 7 out of 8 Senate race losses; most House incumbents who lost were endorsed by the NRA. And that $15 million they spent against President Obama obviously didn’t do any good.

Yet the media insists on treating the NRA’s pronouncements as dispositive. Why? Because the group’s leaders, and a lot of their members, are loud-mouthed bullies. One person in a crowded room can hijack a discussion if they talk over everyone else.

Polls show the NRA’s intransigent opposition to any gun restrictions do not even represent most gun owners. Even their claims about the number of members they do represent is suspect. When soliciting industry advertisers for their newsletters the NRA is careful not to lie to their patrons — they claim about half the 4 million members they boast about to the media.

Studies of NRA finances reveal what ought to be obvious. It’s nothing but an industry lobbyist, and for that the NRA gets a role in the debate — but not as an arbiter of outcomes based upon its masquerade as a champion of the grass-roots and the Constitution.

92 thoughts on “NRA Bullies Hijack Debate”

  1. HopefulCynic,
    Your insight is needed around here. I hope you lend your voice to this and all other discussions.

  2. Yep, they are bullies with a rather large bull horn. Sadly when they speak or should that read scream, the press treats it as though screaming was somehow rational.
    They were offered a seat at the Biden table, but had nothing to put on it.
    As this debate moves forward, the wants and needs of the NRA should be a mere afterthought if thought of at all.

  3. I hold the media responsible for the NRA’s perceived power. Wayne LaPierre was on every news outlet with his delusional and false bullshit following the Sandy Hook tragedy, and the media let him get away with refusing to answer even a single question, so what is the average non NRA American to think other than “Hey, the NRA must be listened to.” He has been masterful at getting critters to quake in their boots rather than be given a 95% rating. Morons. OK, so, (1) Media, listen up, don’t give this asshole the time of day and for god’s sake stop broadcasting his delusional diatribes, (2) critters, listen up, the NRA is not your path to continued elections, so stop being its toady, (3) public, listen up, the NRA is a gun industry lobby and doesn’t give a crap about your rights, other than your right to buy their products – you get better protection from a cell phone than a Bushmaster, so wise up. GRRR.

  4. “the group’s leaders, and a lot of their members, are loud-mouthed bullies. One person in a crowded room can hijack a discussion if they talk over everyone else.”

    Craig, Love it when you get so feisty!

  5. Seriously, Craig.
    I agree with what Pogo just wrote: “I hold the media responsible for the NRA’s perceived power” (I agreed before he even wrote it, but he says things so much better than I do).

    Reading your post today, I couldn’t help but think that your anger was more at the attention the NRA is getting from the media than anything else.

    I’m beginning to worry they may be getting a higher membership ‘because’ of the way the media has handled this problem. Everyone from the government down is always trying to manipulate us with fear. Why would the NRA be any different? They have no power, except what we give them. The media? It’s turned into plain old brain washing. They’re the ones we should fear.

    As for the lobbyist: following the money never fails.

  6. When the City of Tucson held a gun buy back, the NRA was there. Threatened to sue the city to keep them from destroying the guns that had been bought.
    According to the NRA those guns needed to be sold and put ‘back into circulation’.

    Back into circulation? I guess they think guns are currency.

    The NRA at work! Fuck ’em.

  7. I’m kinda torn here. When the media gives wackos a voice it might encourage other wackos to do something that allows them the same attention. On the other hand, it also allows us the see just how wacko they look and sound. Did anyone here find that hearing what the NRA had to say changed their minds about the gun subject? It just reinforced my opinion.

    The responsible thing to do is to make sure they present the facts like Craig did here, that the NRA doesn’t speak for the majority of the gun owners and that they are just representing the industry that sells these weapons and that they don’t give a damn about the destruction that can result from the products they push.

  8. Sabotage the NRA by pointing out that the almost 70-yo AK-47 is a better weapon than the Bushmaster with a street price as low as $6.00 in certain parts of the world.

    That will force the NRA into the discussion of better weapon for what, and who decides what is better.

  9. I’m joining Flatus (I think it was yesterday?) in wondering where Patd is.

    It’s been a long time… if you’re lurking Pat: you are sorely missed.

  10. Chloe, I was going to wait for Happy Hour to answer him. Didn’t want to interrupt any meaningful intellectual conversation. Remember back when we called the evening hours Happy Hour here. Then we would start talking about all kinds of goofy, off the wall, stuff.

  11. A Guide to Mass Shootings in America

    Since 1982, there have been at least 62 mass shootings* across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. Twenty-five of these mass shootings have occurred since 2006, and seven of them took place in 2012.

    What do we find– more guns equal more mass shootings. Ar15 and their type have no legitimate purpose. Not for defense, they are piss poor hunting rifles. and as no stable democracy has ever become a tyrany there is no need for them to defend against tyrants. All they really are is a toy.
    Defending them is defending the right to have a toy against the right of a parent not to have their children turned into a pile of ground meat.
    It is that simple


  12. Craig…dead on. The NRA is stacking their membership numbers, and in reality, is a shadow of what they used to be. Most of the real gun nuts like me have split for one reason or another.

    On the assault weapons ban…an advocate of the second amendment and a hunter, I would never buy a .223 AR-15 with a 100-round clip for defense or offense. The damned things are worthless, and the only reason people buy them is they look bad. I can only guess the reason they sell is wusses buy ’em, cuddle ’em, feel powerful, and get an erection or something.

    If somebody is after me, I ain’t grabbing an AR-15. I’m grabbing my shotgun. Here’s an example. An AR-15 with a 100-round clip is a rifle that fires 100 .22 caliber bullets one at a time. With Number 4 buckshot, self-defense shotguns (which hold up to eight 3 inch shells) fires 41 bullets each time you pull the trigger, and everyone is larger than the AR-15’s. 4 buck is .24 caliber. In other words, a shotgun can fire 328 .24 caliber bullets in the same time the AR-15 can fire eight .22 caliber bullets.

    I guess what I’m saying is this…I don’t like macho guns and could care less if they were only available through a special permitting process for target shooters and collectors. Selling those things over the counter to a culture that likes “bad-looking” guns, instead of effective guns, does in no way help preserve my second amendment rights.

    I’ll quote Forrest Gump on assault rifles: “That’s all I have to say about that.”

  13. Mudcat, I love it when informed gun nuts like yourself disabuse uninformed gun nuts of their mistaken and ridiculously wrong assumptions. (Don’t you have to take the plug or whatever they call it out of the shotgun to load more than 3 shell into it? And isn’t that – illegal – in most states? SHHH, I won’t tell anyone.

  14. ” Remember back when we called the evening hours Happy Hour here. Then we would start talking about all kinds of goofy, off the wall, stuff.”

    Yep, Carol… I sure do. Back when Warren would join us. He was such fun!

  15. A thumbs up and amen Jack and Mudcat!

    And we really need to stress the point that Mudcat made…

    “I can only guess the reason they sell is wusses buy ‘em, cuddle ‘em, feel powerful, and get an erection or something.”

    These men definitely feel inadequate in their masculinity. No matter how rough these guys appear on the outside, they are wusses. It’s also possible that some of them are into criminal activity so they feel they need high powered weapons for protection.

    And hearing many of these gun nuts go off on their 2nd amendment rights…indicates to me that they are irrationally paranoid, and to the level that would qualify as a mental disorder. I’ve taken care of a lot of seriously mentally ill people in jail/prison. That’s where most of them are or will eventually end up. These guys I’ve seen recently on TV, like that Yeager, are more scary than any I’ve ever seen in jail/prison.

    I want the public to be exposed to all of facts. Then have time for ponder and discussion. Then put it to a vote by everyone. Don’t leave something this important to our corrupt politicians. I feel very confident that if everyone gets a say, that there will be a majority of sane rational people who get to make the decision. If I’m wrong, we’ll just have to live with the decision.

  16. Pogo, I’ve not yet had anyone ask to count the shells in the shotgun under my bed. I don’t remember exactly how many there are because I don’t remember if I counted the one in the chamber.

    I basically agree with what Mudcat said, except for the rate of fire of the shotgun being the same as the AR-15. But, if you were to be on the receiving end of the shot emerging from the barrel, the point would be moot.

  17. We are a nation of cowboys – we like the idea of carrying guns and using them.

    We are also a nation of cheapskates and our safety services have suffered greatly. Lots of folks think they have no choice but to arm-up because the police won’t save them.

    The NRA has a poster that goes something like – “Two people with guns one will be dead and the other on trial — which one would you rather be?” or something like that…

    Even though we were horrible to the Indians – we still like to think of ourselves as cowboys

  18. Flatus, I always wondered about that 3 shell limit anyway. I think I may have come of that information from the policeman father of one of my sister’s best friends. I thought that if it was true it was silly (and completely ignored by most shotgun owners). Now I wonder if it wasn’t some limit for bird hunting (Dad used to hunt quail) and I got the info from him. Hard to remember how I came of information 45 years ago – it’s a miracle I even have a passing recollection of it. I was looking at a copy of the pics my dad took of his little arsenal and noticed that one of the shotguns had a barrel noticeably shorter than the rest. I’d bet that’s the one he kept under his bed.

  19. Pogo, I’m not a hunter. But, I’ve heard, too, that people taking birdguns on a hunt are required to have a mechanical three shell limit. Something implemented after the Cheney fiasco, I suppose. 😈

  20. Pogo…you’re right about plugs, but not all states are plug states. For example: Virginia just removed their plug restrictions a couple of years ago. That gives Virginians five shells. At the same time, not all states are “self_defense” shotgun states. If you’re interested, google “self-defense” shotguns. There are some nasty, nasty shotguns out there.

    Flatus…the rate of fire of a semi-automatic shotgun would be the same as the AR-15 if there wasn’t the kick factor of the shotgun. The legal ARs are not fully automatic. Just semis.

    Anyway, the point I was trying to make is the mindset of the new gun culture says own a gun that looks like it wants to kill somebody. That’s what worries me. There is nothing positive that can come from that kind of macho thought…and loners (like the recent shooters) gravitate to macho.

  21. I’m with whomever has been saying…..’where is patd..’

    I hope pat is ok

  22. Mudcat, personally, I wouldn’t want a semi-automatic as a self-defense weapon–complexity adds fragility. Besides, I suspect that many of us wanting the self defense shotguns are old soldiers who are familiar with the pump military items.

  23. To Flatus…understand exactly where you’re coming from. I’ve got an old grudge against pumps…had an 870 Remington when I was a 100 lb. or so kid. Light to carry up the mountain but hurt me to shoot it. I went to the 1100 once I could afford it and still hunt with it.

  24. Well, 80.8-degF right now at my house. That makes three daily record highs in a row for Columbia. And the mercury’s just topped out at 81.1.

    I’m going to start looking around for daffodils.

  25. Dex, I use Firefox as my browser. Late last week they pushed a change to the browser disabling Java, the problem item, while leaving Java scripts enabled.

    That’s okay if one’s scripts are blocked to prohibit things that you don’t want to happen, but that should already have been done.

  26. This ‘highjacking’ of the debate Craig writes about is exactly why the nra’s language must be highjacked and used against it.

    To defeat the gunnutters, obummer has to honor the weapons and America’s ‘need’ to have an armed citizenry in the event that a foreign power invades, or a dictator arises. The speech should read like this :

    “The need is so great that we shall put all the high capacity tools (guns) and their owners into state organized and managed militias that will keep the weapons in armories, except for training events, until they are needed.”

  27. If passed, such a Federal law would put all the governors in charge of enrolling the militia members and storing the weapons. I would love to see the rip up lican governors put into the position of “dictators who are taking our guns away”.

  28. Mr. Mudcat @ 1:44 pm : “The legal ARs are not fully automatic. Just semis.”

    Unfortunately there are inexpensive devices one can buy that can make the AR-15 automatic. The rifle becomes a slow firing automatic, but still fires much faster than any human finger can pull a trigger.

  29. Of course, these devices can make any semi-automatic into a fully automatic weapon.

  30. When I was a youngster, I used a very light weight 16 gauge pump that hurt like hell any time I pulled the trigger.

    No 12 gauge I ever used bruised my shoulder like that dam’ little bastard did.

  31. Here is one of those responsible gun owners that the NRA keeps talking about
    Kids never do this at home.


  32. yep Carol

    Just goes to show, just because you can own a firearm doesn’t mean you should.

  33. And what was that about we need more armed citizens?
    How good would you be? ABC sets up a senario to see.


  34. Someone with some money, who is also interested in responsible gun control/ownership needs to make some public service commercials and include some of these videos, include the remarks from that Yeager, include the remarks from Alex Jones and anyone else who demos just how safe we are with the current laws. Then make a point to mention that these are your neighbors and they have lots of weapons, do you feel safer??

    Question for one of the lawyers here. Could those kooks be included in a public service video without their permission?

  35. When NRA folks talk about the citizen defending us in public spaces, they envision Jack Reacher. But from my experience what we would get would be Barney Fife.


  36. The NRA may have lots of money but so do others who must care about what’s going on here.

  37. The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 January 2013

    Tougher laws, gun buyback on target

    While the changes were backed by the then Labor opposition, political credit must go to then prime minister John Howard and National Party leader Tim Fischer for standing up to the hardliners in their own parties. They paid a short-term electoral price but history will judge them well.

    In the 1990s some argued that the gun buyback would make no difference to the firearms homicide and suicide rates. Yet careful studies have shown otherwise. In the decade before Port Arthur, Australia had an average of one mass shooting (involving five or more deaths) every year. Since then, we have not had a single mass shooting. The odds of this being a coincidence are less than one in 100.

    … the firearm suicide and homicide rates more than halved after the Australian gun buyback. Although the gun death rate was falling before 1997, it accelerated downwards after the buyback. Looking across states, we also found that jurisdictions where more guns were bought back experienced a greater reduction in firearms homicide and suicide.

    We estimate that the Australian gun buyback continues to save about 200 lives per year. That means thousands of people are walking the streets today who would not be alive without the National Firearms Agreement.

    Historically, the US National Rifle Association was a moderate body, akin to some Australian shooting groups. It supported the first federal gun laws in the 1930s, and backed a ban on cheap ”Saturday night specials” in the 1960s. Since the 1977 ”Cincinnati Revolt”, when hardliners took over, the NRA has opposed all restrictions on firearms ownership, including bans on assault rifles and armour-piercing bullets (”cop killers”). Members of Congress rate the NRA the most powerful lobbying organisation in the nation.

    The challenge for American legislators today is to stand up to these powerful extremists, and follow the example of Australia’s leaders in 1996. With 86 Americans dying each day because of gun accidents, suicides or homicides, perhaps our experience can persuade sensible US legislators that there is a better way. As in Australia, the onus is on the conservative side of politics.

    Yeah, that pretty well sums up the story. Evidence v rhetoric.

  38. Jack, the ABC films you present starting at 5:38 are the best I’ve seen on the difference between target shooting and training, training, training to defend one’s family without causing their demise.

  39. pogo: “I hold the media responsible for the NRA’s perceived power.

    No point in shooting the messenger.

    Find some heavyweight pollies and community leaders who are willing to stand up to this nonsense and tell it as it is.

    I just watched the craven efforts of Obama delivering a raft of excuses to justify doing everything to dodge any action. No use of the bullypulpit here.

    Until this group get some backbone then all you will hear are the NRA rants.

    But don’t blame the press, blame the gutless leaders and the folks who voted for them.

  40. From these statistics

    Bill interesting
    I looked some numbers up at the link above.
    As far as violence as measured by assaults per 100,000 the US at 294 and OZ at 323 are about the same. But we are almost 5 times better at killing our fellow citizens, US-4.8, OZ– 1.0.

    UK is over twice as rowdy at 664 but only kill people at the rate of 1.2
    Sweden is three times as rowdy at 936 but only kills folks at the rate of 1.0
    The difference is the gun law.


  41. Hey Chloe, don’t worry about the vernacular – it’s tough on most people, especially when a chin wag turns into an ear bashing. :roll:

    “We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.”

    Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost (1887)

  42. been reading some james lee burke…..a very new orleans writer….so i started looking into angola and then thought of cool hand luke and it turns out luke was written in 65 by a guy born in 28 in philly who left home at 15 and went on adventures most folks only think about and finally wrote a book a decade or so after doing 2 years on a florida chain gang. The writer, Donn Pearce appears in the movie as “Sailor”.

    everybody always says, “What we hayav heah…blah blah blah” but the money quote is buried in this clip.


  43. one thing which didn’t surprise me was that will ferrel’s dad was piano player for the “Righteous Brothers” and did the final song on “Talladega Nights”.


  44. another cowboy song. paray forgive me for my self indulgence.


    I know everybody knows but his dad was Alfred E. Newman.

  45. So Lance Armstrong is sorry — Not really. He is trying to make a comeback as a tri-athelete and needs to have the ban lifted. The first step in lifting the ban is for him to admit he did it and turn on his friends.

  46. boy I’m conflicted about lance….on one hand I wonder who the f he is and then on the other I wonder if he’s lying about something and I can never really see enough of him at any one time to hazard a thought about either.

  47. ha ha ha just kidding….i know that armstrong is the guy who beat nancy dick in denver in 85 or 86.


    Armstrong wins out over Dick.

  48. I think Lance is a big fat liar a perfect example of when complete assholes do some good things

  49. “Find some heavyweight pollies and community leaders who are willing to stand up to this nonsense and tell it as it is.”

    “I just watched the craven efforts of Obama delivering a raft of excuses to justify doing everything to dodge any action. No use of the bullypulpit here.”

    Hi Bill,
    What you say up above is so true.

    But I think it’s harder to follow that same plan in such a huge population as America has… and where every state seems to have a mind of it’s own (all 50!).

    I looked up the population for Australia, and came up with 22,485,300 (actual prediction was in third paragraph).

    Then I looked up the population of the one state I live in: Texas and it is 26,403,743

    …. and we’re not the most populated state (yet anyway).

    How do you organize… to get nearly ‘313 Million People’ to agree on anything.

    Therefore we count on our law makers, and as we all know… most of them have let us down.

    Don’t underestimate the media here either. They are a lot more than just the messenger. They’re owned by big money, and they have their own agenda.

  50. If the feds don’t act, state and local legislators are going to. We are already seeing that in California. Genuinely sensible gun owners better get out front on this issue or soon – you’ll be keeping your gun at the shooting range and buying ammo will be completely illegal

  51. look at ’em at the end….they were awed that they had actually pulled it off…they had some cream of the crop musicraans on that at seriously big money and the outcome blew them away….

  52. Chloe, I don’t buy your argument at all. Our system is just as chaotic as yours – we are talking quantum here rather than chaos. We have only 3 media owners in Oz as opposed to the diversity in the US.

    The way it can only work is for the gutless pollies to find some backbone. Just imagine this: Romney, Cornyn, Cantor, Boehner, McConnell, McCain, Gingrich and Palin together with the Democrat leadership team standing behind Obama when he lays down the law as to gun legislation and the financial package to implement it.

    That will stuff up the NRA because they will have no where to go and thus be irrelevant. Then the media listens. The media will follow the lead and gush with adjectives to bring everyone else on board.

    In other words, pollies offering real leadership. ‘cos that’s how it happened in Oz.

  53. Maybe you’d make a good President, I don’t know, but we’re gonna have to see your birth certificate first.

  54. Ok, I’ll report an actual observation in the interest of contribution rather than just snide remarks and youtube clips:

    One concession gun-owners with whom I have spoken, conversationally, are willing to make, is some kind of age-restriction. It’s always with a “hem”, and sometimes a “haw”, but they’ll usually agree that the father-son hunting experience could still be had without the kid holding the gun. They won’t tell you that, though.

    And how ’bout this for a zinger? Secretary of State Oprah Winfrey?


  55. One of the problems I have with recipes Bill is that I never use one. I start throwing what I know goes in the pot then I taste and adjust. I have this killer BBQ sauce that I once tried to write a recipe for. I wrote down the ingredients and amounts of each that I started with but after I had to add more of this and that many times, I got lost. And for that BBQ sauce the quantity of each ingredient was extremely important. My recipes would definitely require that my mouth be present to taste, for them to be accurate.

  56. What kind of gumbo are you referring to, chicken and sausage or seafood? My specialty is chicken/sausage. It may sound crazy but I don’t care for seafood gumbo. I like my seafood boiled, baked, broiled or fried but not in gumbo.

    As far as any gumbo goes, everyone who makes one does it different. They all should start with a roux. Screwing that up will really mess up a gumbo. It’s equal parts flour and oil. It’s a pain to get that right. It heated and constantly stirred until it gets to just the right color. The color is kind of a personal preference. You have to constantly attend to it or you will burn it and have to start over. We have many different companies that make roux and because of how much trouble and time it takes make it just right, I use one of them. I wonder if any of those are available in your neck of the woods?

    Another important thing is that when you use a roux, you must cook your gumbo long enough and at a high enough temp to keep it from tasting bitter. That could one cause of yukkiness

  57. A gumbo starts with the roux and then you wilt down your veggies in it or if you use the jar roux, sauté your veggies in a little oil. I use lots of onions, garlic, bell pepper and okra. I must have okra in my gumbo. It not only adds flavor, it thickens the gumbo. Some people think they don’t like okra so I cook it enough where they can’t tell it from the other veggies. Then you add your meat. Some people put tomatoes in their gumbo. I don’t like them in gumbo. If I use boneless, skinless chicken, I add lots of chicken broth instead of water. Gives it more flavor.

    How much roux you have in your gumbo can be an important factor. Too much and it can be yukkie, too little and you just have chicken soup. It’s a look and taste thing. I always add chopped green onions close to the end.

    If you’re making seafood gumbo, you substitute seafood in place of the chicken and sausauge. I’d make sure the roux got the boiling it needed before putting in the seafood because you don’t want to overcook the seafood. Don’t use chicken broth in seafood gumbo

    Again you’d probably need my mouth as a taster to make it just right. Don’t forget to add a good spicy Cajun seasoning.

  58. Here’s what I’ll be making this weekend, my inauguration tradition (but only for presidents I prefer):

    Kentucky Burgoo

    2 pounds lean beef stew meat, diced
    2 pounds pork stew meat or chops, diced
    1 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
    1 tablespoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon ground red pepper
    4 sliced carrots
    2 medium onions, chopped
    6 chicken thighs, breasts or legs, skinned and de-boned, sliced
    8 small red potatoes, cubed
    2 cups chopped green bell peppers
    2 cans (14.5 ounce) stewed tomatoes
    2 cans (10.5 ounce) chicken broth
    2 cans (17 ounce) whole kernel corn, drained
    2 cans (17 ounce) lima beans, drained

    Place beef and pork in a large pot. Sprinkle with onion salt, pepper and red pepper. Toss until evenly coated.

    Add carrots, onion, chicken, potatoes, green pepper, stewed tomatoes, corn, lima beans and chicken broth.

    Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. Feeds an army.

    Then sing “My Old Kentucky Home”


  59. Hey Carol, I was thinking of seafood but her indoors is not a seafood eater. So the chicken and sausage seems like a great option. Thanks for this because I will try it on Thursday night.

    In the mean time I will think about the process a bit to make it tasty.



  60. Bill, look at your larger grocery stores for the jar roux. After adding chicken broth to your sauted veggies you can slowly add the pre-cooked roux to taste. Remember that before it is cooked at a high temp for at least an hour, it will taste bitter.

  61. “Just imagine this: Romney, Cornyn, Cantor, Boehner, McConnell, McCain, Gingrich and Palin together with the Democrat leadership team standing behind Obama”

    Sorry, but try as I may, there is NO way I can picture that group coming together for anything (and you really want Palin there??). Thinking about it is almost humorous.

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