The NRA's Influence is Over?
"We stood up to the NRA and won, we passed the most comprehensive criminal control legislation the country has ever seen." Sen. Frank Lautenberg. [9/21/94 North Jersey Herald & News -AP wire]
"No more! Now people are waking up to the danger." Neal Knox [this year all pro-gun publications]
The Senator is wrong in two areas, first that was not crime control legislation it was pork barrel legislation, second the NRA did not lose...America did. Senator Lautenberg won re-election but I would like to remind him, and you, of past history and some recent history when it comes to denying the American people of their constitutional rights, Mr. Knox could not have struck a more clarion bell even had it been the Liberty Bell.
In 1968 the Gun Control Act was passed because certain key senators were reading polls instead of talking to their constituents. Two senators that were particularly instrumental in having that legislation pass were defeated in the next election. Joe Clark in Pennsylvania in 1968, and Joseph Tydings in Maryland in 1970.
Reagan's strong turnaround primary victories in North Carolina and West Virginia in 1976 were aided by strong NRA mailings criticizing Gerald Ford's support for handgun bans. The same year, Massachusetts gun control advocates put Measure 5 on the ballot to ban many hand guns; it was defeated, 69-31. It was also said at that time that the NRA's influence was over.
The gubernatorial victories of John Dalton in Virginia in 1977 and Bob Martinez in Florida in 1986 are credited by the candidates themselves to the gun issue. In 1982, a California gun-control measure on the ballot brought gun-owners to the polls in record numbers and helped underdog Republican George Deukmejian defeat Democrat Tom Bradley for governor.
In 1992, gun opponent Beryl Anthony, a member of the House Democrat leadership was defeated in a Democrat primary by gun owner activism. So as you see history has shown us differently. The NRA...we...manage to overturn legislation and help elect pro gun candidates, directly and indirectly... we are now faced with another battle.
The media seem to think that we will lie down and accept what has recently happened, but again they are condemned to fail because they refuse to read history and learn by their mistakes, as do politicians, so they are condemned to repeat their mistakes. We are like the Timex watch, we "take a licking and keep on ticking."
Gun-control advocates point to the primary victories of Tom Andrews of Maine in 1990, and Mike Synar of Oklahoma in 1992 as proof that their cause is correct. Synar is history and pro-gun advocate Olympia Snow has won. Yeah...the NRA's influence is over. So much for Synar and Andrews' reading of the polls.
People that are polled on the gun issue often are 75% to 89% in favor of gun-control, waiting periods, or the Brady bill [Law]. The hitch is, when you ask a stand alone question like that you will get those numbers, in a poll but not at THE poll. Most people that "support" gun-control seldom vote on the issue...gun owners do.
Let us look at more recent evidence that the NRA's influence is over.
In a Georgia runoff three weeks after Clinton's win, the pro-gun issue elected Paul Coverdell over incumbent Wyche Fowler. Coverdell's 17,000 vote margin is more than accounted for by the NRA's decision to mail it's 90,000 Georgia members three times in support of Coverdell and then to phone each member to get them to the polls. Our ads ran ten times a day on 68 radio stations...What NRA influence?
We know what happened in New Jersey. Who got it done...we did. Governor Whitman may not want to recognize us but it was the NRA and the gun fraternity that turned the tide. The NRA made more than 300,000 get out the vote phone calls and on election day she won by 27,000 votes. The New Jersey governor is the most powerful in the country, with roughly 4,000 political appointments. "This is a larger political force than the combined staff of the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee all in one state." [Grover G. Norquist, American Spectator 2/94]. We must not let the Governor forget our contribution to her election and press for the reversal of the "assault [imitation] rifle" ban we helped her become one of the most powerful Governors in the country...what NRA influence?
I believe that Neal Knox said it best that some gun owners have been lulled into a false sense of security with eight years of Reagan and four of Bush. "No more. Now people are waking up to the danger." I hope you have, I have never even dozed.
Meanwhile, state constitutional amendments have strengthened the rights of gun owners in North Dakota, Maine, West Virginia, Utah, and Nebraska. Savvy Democrat politicians understand the implication, the NRA is alive, active, and strong. Tom Foley of Washington [defeated] and George Mitchell of Maine [retired] come from rural gun owning states and understand the implications. They butted heads with the president's willingness to get more gun-control today at the expense of fewer Democrats in the House and Senate tomorrow and they are history because they went along with his gun-control stance.
Think about this, the NRA is a giant, we are 3.3 million strong and growing, we dwarf all other political organizations, HCI claims 300,000. Why are they being heard and we are not? Part of the problem is the media, and the other part is us. Will you be heard? When? Will you write to Congress, the people that you employ? When are you going to address the inadequacy of the representation that you expected when you cast your vote? WHEN?
Get off your duff, get out of the wagon...we are carrying to much dead weight...and start pulling the wagon. Freedom was never a free lunch, we have paid in blood and dead GI's to achieve the freedoms that the United States of America promises, all we have to do now is GET SMART, GET ANGRY AND, GET ACTIVE!