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View Full Version : Alan Gura Addresses Grass Roots North Carolina


The Shadow
04-22-2011, 2:01 PM
I just found this, and I have to say that I find it somewhat disturbing. The kind of end fighting, posturing, and grab for the brass ring at the expense of the overall cause has to stop. We're all in it together, and everyone that's in the fight has to work as a team, and not as individuals. If it continues, and we lose ground, the only people we have to blame will be ourselves.

Personally, I could care less about finger pointing, I just want the end fighting, blame game, and loose cannon type behavior to stop.

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J.D.Allen
04-22-2011, 2:17 PM
By and large he's right though

The Shadow
04-22-2011, 2:24 PM
By and large he's right though

Right, wrong or otherwise, I hate seeing people air our dirty laundry in public. This kind of disagreement needs to be resolved and kept behind closed doors.

wildhawker
04-22-2011, 2:28 PM
The Shadow, you want mommy and daddy to stop fighting. Reasonable response

However, Alan is right. We're going to get the most robust 2A possible because he's doing what it takes despite the naysayers, subversive tactics by others, and the best efforts of those who want to write 2A out of the BoR

wildhawker
04-22-2011, 2:31 PM
Understand why he said what he did in a venue like that. A man who wins 2 gun cases at SCOTUS chooses his words carefully.

The Shadow
04-22-2011, 2:38 PM
Okay, no argument there. But what's with the posturing ? You have parties on all sides trying to get their cut of the pie, and I understand that bad precedence makes for a losing end game. But the finger pointing and cut throat tactics, doesn't solve anything and just makes us look like rabble, and disorganized. Personally, I think our side is better than that.

Stonewalker
04-22-2011, 2:43 PM
The NRA almost screwed up McDonald. They didn't want to argue for incorporation via the 14th amendment, and have to argue for overturning the Slaughterhouse Cases. They tried to take over the case and we are very lucky they didn't. Our result wouldn't have been as strong had they succeeded. Alan knew what he was doing and didn't need their interference. He is understandably pissed.

The Shadow
04-22-2011, 2:47 PM
The NRA almost screwed up McDonald. They didn't want to argue for incorporation via the 14th amendment, and have to argue for overturning the Slaughterhouse Cases. They tried to take over the case and we are very lucky they didn't. Our result wouldn't have been as strong had they succeeded. Alan knew what he was doing and didn't need their interference. He is understandably pissed.

Yeah, I'm aware of that, and it pisses me off that they did that. But I don't see what good it does to vent when he knows it's going to go out on the internet. There's a time to vent and there's a time to let it go.

Stonewalker
04-22-2011, 2:55 PM
Yeah, I'm aware of that, and it pisses me off that they did that. But I don't see what good it does to vent when he knows it's going to go out on the internet. There's a time to vent and there's a time to let it go.

Perhaps it is a bit of posturing, but I think he is right in doing so right now. His argument is that the litigation moving forward from here is going to be extremely important and we can't risk having bad cases anytime soon. I think he is attempting to build public support for that idea. He says many times that he is grateful for the NRA and they are fulfilling important roles, but that they need to keep their nose out of litigation. They aren't the correct group to champion 2A litigation.

He is not trying to make enemies, he is saying something that needs to be said, even if it sucks and it's a hard truth. And honestly I think he does a pretty good job of keeping things civil and friendly!

AVgunGUY
04-22-2011, 2:57 PM
I'm now a contributor to SAF.

safewaysecurity
04-22-2011, 2:58 PM
OLD!

The Shadow
04-22-2011, 3:00 PM
I'm not so much concerned about us seeing the end fighting, and quite frankly, I'm not really concerned about the anti-2A extremists seeing it. I'm more concerned about those sitting on the fence, comparing what the antis say about us, and what they see.

Stonewalker
04-22-2011, 3:01 PM
OLD!

But now we have another contributor to the SAF! I'd say that's a good use of forum space! :D

I'm now a contributor to SAF.

Stonewalker
04-22-2011, 3:05 PM
I'm not so much concerned about us seeing the end fighting, and quite frankly, I'm not really concerned about the anti-2A extremists seeing it. I'm more concerned about those sitting on the fence, comparing what the antis say about us, and what they see.

You know from that point of view I'd say it's actually a good thing that the NRA isn't the face of all 2A litigation. Many fence sitters are democrats or at least not-republicans who understandably feel alienated by the NRA. Honestly I was that way before I got into pro-rights stuff. SAF and CGF were rays of sunlight into the RKBA litigation world for me.

I know what you mean, I think the fence-sitters are the most important people to RKBA right now. We are winning in the courts and it's going to take time to get our culture "OK" with guns again, until then we won't win in the legislatures.

The Shadow
04-22-2011, 3:19 PM
You know from that point of view I'd say it's actually a good thing that the NRA isn't the face of all 2A litigation. Many fence sitters are democrats or at least not-republicans who understandably feel alienated by the NRA. Honestly I was that way before I got into pro-rights stuff. SAF and CGF were rays of sunlight into the RKBA litigation world for me.

I know what you mean, I think the fence-sitters are the most important people to RKBA right now. We are winning in the courts and it's going to take time to get our culture "OK" with guns again, until then we won't win in the legislatures.

Well, at least we won't win any significant battles in the seriously antigun state legislatures. But the rest of the country seems to be doing very well and getting progun bills passed hand over fist. Unfortunately, we have to go to court, and get laws thrown out, which seems to be at a snails pace.

Anyway, I just wanted to air my grievance. I hope that the posturing stops and ALL parties use more discretion in the future.

kcbrown
04-22-2011, 5:01 PM
Understand why he said what he did in a venue like that. A man who wins 2 gun cases at SCOTUS chooses his words carefully.

This is true, but then, turning Alan's argument own against him (something I'm not happy to do, by the way), one can say that Alan specializes in litigation, not public relations, and that if he wants people who do not specialize in litigation to stay away from the litigation arena, then perhaps he should in turn stay away from the public relations arena, and let someone else who specializes in that make the arguments he's making here.

Then again, Alan's a very sharp guy and thus hopefully is acting here on the advice of someone who is really good at PR, in which case it's all good. :D


That said, I personally found his arguments compelling, but I'm not necessarily the audience he targets.

wildhawker
04-22-2011, 8:45 PM
You make the assumption - wrongly - that Alan doesn't know strategic public relations. In fact, he's one of the best you could hope to have.

Alan is *not* an executive vice president or director of a grassroots organization. He is, however, an extraordinary advocate who understands how public perception works. Remember that he got LA Times, NY Times, and WaPo to support incorporation of 2A. NRA did...

-Brandon

This is true, but then, turning Alan's argument own against him (something I'm not happy to do, by the way), one can say that Alan specializes in litigation, not public relations, and that if he wants people who do not specialize in litigation to stay away from the litigation arena, then perhaps he should in turn stay away from the public relations arena, and let someone else who specializes in that make the arguments he's making here.

Then again, Alan's a very sharp guy and thus hopefully is acting here on the advice of someone who is really good at PR, in which case it's all good. :D

That said, I personally found his arguments compelling, but I'm not necessarily the audience he targets.

Dreaded Claymore
04-22-2011, 9:45 PM
Alan Gura is talking about the NRA the same way Abraham Lincoln talked about the rebels. He's not calling them the enemy. He's saying that the fighting itself is the enemy. :yes:

kcbrown
04-22-2011, 10:48 PM
You make the assumption - wrongly - that Alan doesn't know strategic public relations. In fact, he's one of the best you could hope to have.

Alan is *not* an executive vice president or director of a grassroots organization. He is, however, an extraordinary advocate who understands how public perception works. Remember that he got LA Times, NY Times, and WaPo to support incorporation of 2A. NRA did...

-Brandon


Excellent. I love it when any semblance of an argument I might be able to come up with is so completely blown away like this. :43:

So, basically, it means Alan's listening to someone who is really good at PR ... himself! :D

The guy sounds like he's quite multitalented. Definitely the sort you want on your side!

ChuangTzu
04-23-2011, 2:57 AM
I don't really see this as positive or negative per se. I'd have to hear a better argument either way to really make up my mind about that.

In any case, how is posting it here and venting about it not allowing the dirty laundry to get some more air time? Remember, this is a public forum too.

Right, wrong or otherwise, I hate seeing people air our dirty laundry in public. This kind of disagreement needs to be resolved and kept behind closed doors.

Gray Peterson
04-23-2011, 6:58 AM
A few things.

1) The NRA, and law firms in the NRA's orbit (Dan Peterson Law Office, where Stephen Halbrook is, Cooper & Kirk who's doing the Jennings case in Texas) are in fact starting to learn the lesson that Alan is stating here. You notice they aren't filing cases where the NRA is the lead plaintiff anymore?

2) The NRA did a lot of things to try to torpedo the Parker case originally, and then did what they did with McDonald. It was shameful and needed to be called out.

The Shadow
04-23-2011, 7:40 AM
Okay, well I'm simply looking at this from my perspective. I have personally avoided groups where I saw this kind of end fighting. I get that there's going to be disagreement, and there's no doubt that Alan Gura has done a phenomenal job in restoring the Second Amendment as a fundamental right. I listened to what he said, and I agree with everything he said, right up to the point where he seemed to say that he would not work with the NRA on any litigation. To me, that creates a chasm that seems impossible to close.

I don't particularly like anything that might be the avenue by which a "divide and conquer" strategy could potentially be used against the momentum we have. Maybe I'm missing something, and someone just needs to help me connect the dots, but that's the way I see it.

One last thing, Chuang Tzu, I am more comfortable posting here, than on You Tube. Here, there are only anti-second amendment extremists, government officials, and pro-second amendment advocates reading my posts. The fence sitters are busy watching You Tube.

hoffmang
04-23-2011, 10:55 AM
I listened to what he said, and I agree with everything he said, right up to the point where he seemed to say that he would not work with the NRA on any litigation. To me, that creates a chasm that seems impossible to close.

There are two important points lingering in here. Point 1 - listen closely and note that he points out NRA-ILA (who is running litigation there) and not NRA generally. Why does the Institute for Legislative Action run litigation?

Point 2 is that he's happy to work in parallel and be cordial but after NRA-ILA got to the fourth or fifth time they messed with his cases, he's kind of done. Are you aware of why Heller took 6 years? Seegars v. Ashcroft? Dearth v. Holder had to go all the way to an appeals court because of Seegars before we could get to the merits on it. It's not just the McDonald stuff - not at all.

Most all of us are NRA members and co-operation requires a two way street that I'm not seeing from my organization. It doesn't make me happy and I'll continue to criticize that short sighted and amateur behavior.

-Gene

SanPedroShooter
04-23-2011, 11:16 AM
I didnt realize their was so much bad blood between the NRA and Alan Gura. Well I am an NRA member, but if it comes down to it, I know which side I will be on.

Gray Peterson
04-23-2011, 11:42 AM
I didnt realize their was so much bad blood between the NRA and Alan Gura. Well I am an NRA member, but if it comes down to it, I know which side I will be on.

NRA needs your membership, and we need that +1 in Washington DC. We are talking about solely the NRA-ILA litigation division.

As Gene has stated before: "Never ever refuse to be an NRA member".

SanPedroShooter
04-23-2011, 11:59 AM
I agree. I am a member, so is my wife and father and father in law. All signed up at my request. We need the clout numerical support provides, at least thats how I explained it. I have volunteered to do sign up drives out side of turners. If you own a gun you should join the NRA.

The Shadow
04-23-2011, 12:59 PM
There are two important points lingering in here. Point 1 - listen closely and note that he points out NRA-ILA (who is running litigation there) and not NRA generally. Why does the Institute for Legislative Action run litigation?

Point 2 is that he's happy to work in parallel and be cordial but after NRA-ILA got to the fourth or fifth time they messed with his cases, he's kind of done. Are you aware of why Heller took 6 years? Seegars v. Ashcroft? Dearth v. Holder had to go all the way to an appeals court because of Seegars before we could get to the merits on it. It's not just the McDonald stuff - not at all.

Most all of us are NRA members and co-operation requires a two way street that I'm not seeing from my organization. It doesn't make me happy and I'll continue to criticize that short sighted and amateur behavior.

-Gene

Actually, I wasn't aware that Heller took six years, but I am aware that the NRA has made some mistakes, and it really does piss me off, that they would do that.

Perhaps there could be a mediator between Chris Cox and Alan Gura. I'm thinking someone like Chuck Michel who may or may not have both of their ears. Something like a "Beer Summit" so that everyone can lay their cards on the table, air their grievances, speak their minds, and just get beyond what could work against everyone who has a dog in this fight for 2A rights.

Understand, I am well aware that my point of view may be looked at as an amateur telling the professionals what to do, but as a stake holder and one who doesn't want to see his freedoms go away because of an unresolved issue, I don't like seeing this kind of divisive bickering.

wildhawker
04-23-2011, 1:11 PM
As a stakeholder, you should contact NRA-ILA and let them know they shoud focus on [and improving] their core functions (lobbying, candidate grades and endorsements) if you feel so compelled. Here in California, for example, they have a long way to go.

However, the reality is that Alan and others are going to bring good cases regardless of anyone or anything else, and some cases will be brought by those that may return poor outcomes for us (e.g. criminal, pro se civil, inexperienced civil).

We can't entirely choose the path the case law will take, but to the degree we can, we do. Not to be dismissive, but you're reading far more into this than should be.

-Brandon

Actually, I wasn't aware that Heller took six years, but I am aware that the NRA has made some mistakes, and it really does piss me off, that they would do that.

Perhaps there could be a mediator between Chris Cox and Alan Gura. I'm thinking someone like Chuck Michel who may or may not have both of their ears. Something like a "Beer Summit" so that everyone can lay their cards on the table, air their grievances, speak their minds, and just get beyond what could work against everyone who has a dog in this fight for 2A rights.

Understand, I am well aware that my point of view may be looked at as an amateur telling the professionals what to do, but as a stake holder and one who doesn't want to see his freedoms go away because of an unresolved issue, I don't like seeing this kind of divisive bickering.

The Shadow
04-23-2011, 1:16 PM
As a stakeholder, you should contact NRA-ILA and let them know they shoud focus on [and improving] their core functions (lobbying, candidate grades and endorsements) if you feel so compelled. Here in California, for example, they have a long way to go.

However, the reality is that Alan and others are going to bring good cases regardless of anyone or anything else, and some cases will be brought by those that may return poor outcomes for us (e.g. criminal, pro se civil, inexperienced civil).

We can't entirely choose the path the case law will take, but to the degree we can, we do. Not to be dismissive, but you're reading far more into this than should be.

-Brandon

Okay, then I will write a letter to Chris Cox myself and point out my observations. I may be reading more into it, but think a proactive approach is always better than a reactive approach. And I think this really does need attention so that it doesn't get out of hand.

HondaMasterTech
04-23-2011, 2:47 PM
I agree with Mr.Gura. I wouldn't ask my garbage man to repair the wiring in my house.

The Shadow
04-23-2011, 4:47 PM
This is my letter to Chris Cox.


This is primarily directed at Chris Cox.

Recently, I've seen something that disturbs me and I'd like to discuss this with Chris Cox directly. As a member, who has an interest in the fight for my second amendment rights, I consider this my right and duty to bring this to Chris' attention. There's a twofold reason for doing this, 1) to acknowledge the problem, and 2) to determine how severe the problem is.

What brought this to my attention was a video where Alan Gura was speaking at a meeting of "Grass Roots North Carolina". In it, he appears to be somewhat frustrated with the NRA and what I can only conclude is interference in Heller and McDonald. Speaking to attorneys close to Gura, in substance, I was told that NRA involvement in Heller actually dragged the case out longer than it should have been, and in McDonald, the NRA hired an attorney that actually opposed Gura in the Heller case. I was also told that my concerns are much ado about nothing. But what if I was someone that is still deciding if the second amendment is an anachronism or relevant to today ?

As a veteran in the United States Army, a parent, and grandparent that has taught my kids and grandkids to shoot, I'm well aware of how important our rights to keep and bear arms are. And I'm well aware of how important NRA has fought legislation in California that is designed to incrementally strip away our right to keep and bear arms. I also know that as second amendment advocates, we have dozens of like minded attorneys on our side that use their vast knowledge of jurisprudence, the constitution, and the law, to stop, slow down, and even litigate cases that have resulted in the repeal of unconstitutional laws. What I'm wondering is, if the attorneys on our side are doing an incredible job, why are political lobbyists disrupting the momentum ? Why is the NRA using an attorney that opposed us from the beginning, instead of just letting our already proven legal talent keep doing what we know they're good at ? What can we do to stop the posturing, and bickering amongst ourselves ?

One thing that Alan Gura mentioned, and I've heard from other people as well is, if we lose big, it will be because we did it to ourselves. If the NRA-ILA is causing delays and interfering in cases that are being litigated by talented attorneys, then why am I supporting the NRA ?

At this point I'm satisfied with what all of our professional attorneys and lobbyists are doing to secure my second amendment right. I just hope that you guys get over what issues you have with each other and keep working together, using your talents in the best way that they serve all of us.

Sincerely,

The Shadow (I used my real name)

AVgunGUY
04-23-2011, 4:54 PM
But now we have another contributor to the SAF! I'd say that's a good use of forum space! :D

I don't make it below the fold - so if it only has a 3 day shelf life there's a strong chance i'll miss it. It was new for me... I contributed...

IrishPirate
04-23-2011, 5:18 PM
end fighting, blame game, and loose cannon type behavior

I didn't see any of these things....

what i did see was a man informing the people he's trying to help that the NRA is crowding him and making his job more difficult, and i only saw about 2 minutes of that. the other 13 minutes were extremely informative. Mr. Gura obviously knows what he's doing and he has been doing it very well for some time now. If he says the NRA needs to back off, then there is no doubt in my mind that is true. Nothing I've ever seen/read/heard about Mr. Gura suggests that he is closed minded or hard to work with. I'm sure he has very valid reasons for saying what he's saying and I suspect that he'll work as closely with the NRA as he needs to in the future. They just need to listen when he tells them to back off a bit.

The Shadow
04-23-2011, 5:34 PM
I didn't see any of these things....

what i did see was a man informing the people he's trying to help that the NRA is crowding him and making his job more difficult, and i only saw about 2 minutes of that. the other 13 minutes were extremely informative. Mr. Gura obviously knows what he's doing and he has been doing it very well for some time now. If he says the NRA needs to back off, then there is no doubt in my mind that is true. Nothing I've ever seen/read/heard about Mr. Gura suggests that he is closed minded or hard to work with. I'm sure he has very valid reasons for saying what he's saying and I suspect that he'll work as closely with the NRA as he needs to in the future. They just need to listen when he tells them to back off a bit.

So is my letter to Chris cox accurate or inaccurate ?

ddestruel
04-23-2011, 6:02 PM
Right, wrong or otherwise, I hate seeing people air our dirty laundry in public. This kind of disagreement needs to be resolved and kept behind closed doors.

IMHO keeping it behind doors has been the problem for years..... Get it out there and find a path that works... old deep rooted beliefs and approaches to the problem is what aided the deterioration of our 2nd amendment rights for years. If it wasnt for the new guard challenging the old guards approach through new techniques (creative cases and planning) we'd still be pre Heller. The old guard feels threatened and if it isnt called out into the open how will the rank and file dues paying public public ever be aware that there are diffrent options for leadership different approaches and new ways to get things done. All to often things are kept behind the doors and blind supporters never have the information to make a truely educated or aware decission