Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The NRA - incompetence, or just not 100% pro-gun ?

Back in May, the controversial and poorly named "Patriot Act" was extended for four more years by Congress. The bill has been constantly debated since it's passage due to the additional, and arguably unconstitutional, surveillance powers it gives the Federal government. Even the ACLU, whom I usually disagree with, is on the right side this time. They have criticized the bill's infringement upon Americans' civil liberties.

My longtime readers know that at one time, I was an NRA member. However, over the last few years I have become very unsatisfied with the organization. I have criticized them on a number of occasions in earlier blog posts, because they no longer appear to have the best interests of gun owners in mind. I was very critical of them last year in regards to their boondoggle on The Disclose Act. In fact, they have dropped the ball so much that I am no longer a member of the organization. The NRA's lack of leadership in the renewal of the mis-named "Patriot Act" is the latest of their "fumbles." If they were an NFL running back, they would have been traded or cut by now.

Rookie U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R -KY) (pictured upper right) attempted to add an amendment to the re-authorization of "The Patriot Act" that would have exempted the records of Americans' firearms purchases from the warrantless searches authorized by the so-called "Patriot Act." In my opinion, it was an amendment that was needed since Janet Napolitano's Department of Homeland Security has issued a report deeming gun owners as potential "terrorists." Sen. Paul's proposed amendment stated :
Nothing in the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56; 115 Stat. 272), the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-177; 120 Stat. 192), the USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-178; 120 Stat. 278), or an amendment made by any such Act shall authorize the investigation or procurement of firearms records which is not authorized under chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code.
Sen. Paul's amendment might have passed, too, if the NRA had pulled it's head out of it's butt and done the job it's members expect and pay it to do - stand up for them and the 2nd Amendment. However, instead of supporting Sen. Paul's amendment, the NRA took no position as shown in the following statement sent to Sen. Saxby Chambliss by the NRA's Chris Cox :

Dear Senator Chambliss :

Thank you for asking about the National Rifle Association's position on a motion to table amendment # 363 to the PATRIOT Act.

The NRA takes a back seat to no one when it comes to protecting gun owners' rights against government abuse. Over the past three decades, we've fought successfully to block unnecessary and intrusive compilation of firearms-related records by several federal agencies, and will continue to protect the privacy of our members and all American gun owners.

While well-intentioned, the language of this amendment as currently drafted raises potential problems for gun owners, in that it encourages the government to use provisions in current law that allow access to firearms records without reasonable cause, warrant, or judicial oversight of any kind.

Based on these concerns and the fact that the NRA does not ordinarily take positions on procedural votes, we have no position on a motion to table amendment # 363 .


Due to the NRA's failure to support Sen. Paul's amendment, the U.S. Senate voted to table it effectively killing it. I'm irritated not only by the amendment's failure to pass and the NRA's failure to act, but also by the fact that both so-called "Republican" Senators from Tennessee, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, voted in favor of tabling it. Both have claimed to support gun owners, but when they have a chance to prove it, they voted against us. They didn't stop there, though. They both proceeded to vote in favor of the extension of the "Patriot Act." They both have got to go, and I can't wait for a chance to vote against them.

Furthermore, I'm can't understand what the NRA was thinking when it chose not to take a position on Sen. Paul's amendment. The organization's statement that the amendment would "... allow access to firearms records without reasonable cause ..." is simply untrue. A simple glance at what the amendment says shows that it would have done just the opposite and prohibited such access. Can the NRA not read ? Is it completely incompetent ? Or, is it simply not the pro-gun organization it claims to be ? Perhaps it's a combination of all of the above.
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