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National 2nd Amend. Political & Legal Discussion Discuss national gun rights and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 05-01-2019, 7:10 PM
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TrappedinCalifornia TrappedinCalifornia is offline
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Default National Review Article - Will The Culture War Kill The NRA?

Bear with me. This got a little longer than I intended, but I have tried to remain somewhat 'neutral' during this tempest and I need to vent my spleen a bit on a couple of subjects.

Jonah Goldberg penned an article for The National Review...

Will the Culture War Kill the NRA?

Quote:
On the surface, the NRA’s problems have little to do with the typical criticisms hurled at it by its biggest detractors... But it turns out that its real problems, in part, may stem from its outsized ambitions... The NRA doesn’t actually give very much money to politicians, at least compared with, say, organized labor or trial lawyers... What the NRA does do — incredibly effectively — is organize and inform voters, mobilizing them to vote reliably for philosophically aligned candidates... Political parties once had the desire and resources to manage their own brands — keeping activists and interests at a more healthy distance. Those days are gone... In such a climate, it’s no surprise that things such as good corporate governance became an afterthought at the NRA.
In short, what Goldberg seems to be arguing is that the NRA's problem stems from bad decisions, including not doing the proper housekeeping and focusing on mobilizing/informing voters regarding gun rights. Okay. But, I think such an analysis is superficial as regards the actual problems.

Clearly, there is a bit of a schism in the NRA membership as to where the focus should be - gun rights vs. the broader, for lack of a better term at the moment, culture war. Those who wish to solely focus on gun rights have an argument to make; but, that argument also has its detractors and logical fallacies. Neither side's arguments are unassailable.

For those in favor of being involved in the larger, 'culture war,' the argument is that, in today's politics and as clearly evidenced in court, it's no longer about simply pointing to the 2nd Amendment and getting a definitive answer. 1st, 4th, 5th, 10th, 14th Amendment issues (and more) have ALL come into play in the context of legislation and litigation. It also comes into play in terms of which candidate/party is predominantly supported. In short, it's virtually impossible to truly look at just one issue in 'isolation' anymore. (In fact, Calguns is a "2nd Amendment" forum, yet we actively discuss the very topics being criticized as part of the larger, 'culture war' as part of our 'gun rights' discourse.)

On the flip side, while an argument can be made that focusing solely on gun rights is the more pragmatic approach, allowing us to consolidate our resources (and power), that argument largely ignores the differences among gun owners when it comes to consolidating the 'standard' that would be used. As just one example...

One of the biggest arguments regarding the NRA vs. GOA is the perceived "compromising" position of the NRA and the claimed "no compromise" position of GOA. Arguing that 'compromise' is inevitable and necessary is fraught with peril when it comes to fundamental rights; i.e., where does one draw the uncrossable line in the sand? Arguing that the bump stock ban was necessary given that it's an 'useless' accessory, that no one had heard of or used it, that it forestalled even worse legislation, et al. is fine - except - it ignores the reality that with each part/accessory/firearm that is successfully banned, it becomes incrementally easier for the anti-civil rights crowd to argue that the 'next' part/accessory/firearm is 'dangerous and unnecessary.'

This is the very thing we're seeing, at this moment, with Tomi Lahren's Twitter spat with Alyssa Milano. Actually, it began as a call/response with Eric Swalwell about his call for "Australian-style" gun bans and Lahren criticizing Democrats for, yet again, not letting a good crisis go to waste. It eventually got 'round to Lahren noting that Australians now own MORE guns than prior to the assault weapons ban; something anti-civil rights proponents jumped on with Milano, and others, quickly pushing...

Quote:
Australia has strict gun laws and they still own guns AND the country is safe from unnecessary gun violence. See how that works? Stricter gun laws means a safer country and people still get to have guns if they choose to.
You see? The anti-civil rights crowd see such as an acceptable compromise. Sadly, so do a number of gun owners. Unfortunately, pointing to a presumed reduction in "gun violence" while simultaneously ignoring the notable uptick in "violence" overall, using 'alternative weapons,' is tantamount to the illusionist wanting you to watch THIS hand and ignoring what their other hand is doing.

On the flip side, the "no compromise" proponents cannot ignore the fact that it's taken decades for us to reach the anti-gun situation we're now in and that it is part of a larger agenda related to changing the 'culture.' Declaring the NFA, the GCA of 1968, et al. unconstitutional and expending efforts to have them declared as such is, for many, simply a 'waste' of resources in that the chances of accomplishing such, at least in the current climate, are somewhere between 'barely a possibility' and 'no chance.' Instead, it is more likely that the incrementalist approach used by the anti-civil rights crowd is going to have to serve as the model; where Trump's appointment of Supreme Court Justices, hopefully, more favorable to 'gun rights' would be a start. (Yes. That's ignoring the possibility that those same Justices are strong States' Rights proponents and 'compromise' is going to end up being the name of the game.)

This is where those in favor of engaging in the larger, 'culture war' have a point. In a nutshell and at the risk of oversimplification, what anti-civil rights proponents are pushing is an "abnormal as normal" agenda. Homosexuality is a choice, not a biological demand; at least that has been the 'norm' for a culture going back centuries. While it has been far more common than many would like to accept or acknowledge, that doesn't change the standard of 'normalcy' our culture has adopted.

Does that mean we should have the standard(s) we do and that we shouldn't change them? That's both a personal and societal call. But, changes to those standards is not, necessarily, an 'evil' form of "Progressivism" either.

Are we a country of immigrants? Depending on how one defines that, certainly. Even the American Indian is largely the progeny of 'immigrants;' even if one argues they got here first. Was the rise of the United States tied, to whatever degree, with forms of racism, illegal immigration, etc.? Yes. But, that doesn't necessarily mean that's who we are or that unbridled/uncontrolled immigration is a GOOD thing when it comes to economics, politics, or individual, fundamental rights. In fact, it is, by definition, antithetical to Nation, State and Country; which, by definition, require some control over borders, 'governmental' administration, and culture.

Does that mean, as an organization, the NRA needs to get itself involved in things like the choices Sports Illustrated has/is making in terms of plus-size models and birkinis? I mean, it's part of the larger 'culture war,' isn't it? Well, I don't know that the NRA or any other 'gun rights' organization needs to go THAT far. But, it can be 'fun' to discuss on a personal level.

What it boils down to is what John Lott was trying to get at the other day... John Lott Provides Perspective on the NRA's 'Turmoil' It seems to be what Jonah Goldberg is ultimately getting at as well.

Focus on the what's important - the 2nd Amendment, with the recognition and protections it provides for our fundamental rights. Simply because someone disagrees with you over exact policies or board member choices or NRATV content doesn't make them a nefarious person, a non-gun owner, an enemy of the 2nd Amendment, a pinko-commie, a Liberal by modern definition, or... (*gasp*)... a Democrat. Neither is being an NRA member who annually donates "X" amount of money a litmus test for 'properly' defending fundamental rights.

Ultimately, this shake-up at the NRA could prove to be either a good or a bad thing and it doesn't necessarily depend on 'which side' you personally agree with. But, the NRA, as an organization and even as a 'defender of the 2nd Amendment' isn't the brass ring. While it may be the 'biggest' gorilla we have to put in the room, it's not the ONLY gorilla in the room and the current dust-up might even spawn more or bigger gorillas.

Just don't let the 'turmoil' cause such dissension that, in Goldberg's choice of terms, it "kills" our ability to gather and mobilize voters in support of the fundamental rights recognized and protected by the 2nd Amendment.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2019, 11:30 PM
Ugly Hombre Ugly Hombre is offline
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Steady as she goes NRA- don't back down- harden the fook up and fight.

This current attack is a Bolshevik Neo- Communist Democrat media false flag attack on the NRA..

Planned and plotted by the usual commissars Soros, Bloomberg, DNC deep state operators, MSN propagandists etc

The NRA is worst enemy of the fake news SOAB media and there New Democrat Bolshevik masters.

They fear and hate the NRA because the NRA is effective at fighting and stopping the Socialist/Communist Democrats when they attack our constitutional rights.

They know the NRA cost them the last election think! if the evil fat bat had got in- GD I shudder to think about it..

Back the NRA to the hilt.

Send them money to hire lawyers and save our guns!

The chit has hit the fan! lol

Last edited by Ugly Hombre; 05-01-2019 at 11:35 PM..
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Old 05-02-2019, 5:17 PM
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I thought it was a rather interesting National Review article, despite being too brief.

@TrappedinCalifornia I'm not entirely sure what your position is with respect to the article... but it seems that you are illuminating particular divisions within the 2A "scene" - as opposed to what most would consider to be issues of the so-called "culture wars", which is what is addressed by, but not explicitly defined in, the article.

While I don't disagree that there are divisions on "our side" of the pro-2A position that clearly ought to be worked out, the issue I see presented by the NR article is that the NRA has become so politically aligned with the GOP that it has effectively alienated most non-GOP members, and thus has become so closely aligned within the "culture wars" to render it impotent outside of that context, and gathering little support from those outside of that group.

I would argue that a large majority of Americans (on both sides of the aisle) currently equate pro-gun-rights with anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-environmentalism, etc. ...despite the fact that they honestly have nothing to do with one another. And, I think the NRA is quite culpable when it comes to laying blame for these perceptions. But, as the article points out, it is certainly a chicken-vs-egg situation for why things came out this way.
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Old 05-02-2019, 6:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrappedinCalifornia View Post
This got a little longer than I intended
GTFO

You never met 40 paragraphs you didn't love!



That wall of text and you can't answer one simple question: What was your handle on the old account?
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Old 05-02-2019, 9:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_w View Post
I thought it was a rather interesting National Review article, despite being too brief.

@TrappedinCalifornia I'm not entirely sure what your position is with respect to the article...
You are correct. The right to keep and bear arms has become part of the culture wars. The 'alignment' of 'sides' is a 'tactic' being used to divide. As I said, in a nutshell and at the risk of oversimplification, what anti-civil rights proponents are pushing is an "abnormal as normal" agenda.

"Republicans" have, typically, been considered the more... "Conservative" over the last several decades. The problem is that such comes with a capital "C" rather than small "c." People tend to forget that the Republican Party, when formed, was more associated with "classic liberalism" or what we tend to refer to as, "conservative" with a small "c."

This is why you had 'degrees' of Republican/Democrat; i.e., conservative, moderate, liberal. It's why you had Reagan Democrats and the Reagan Coalition. It's where the thought that the Republican Party was a "Big Tent" came from. In a sense, it reflected where the country was at; i.e., "right of center," but not too far right.

Today, the Parties have become defined, not so much by their platforms or philosophical alignments, but by the stances each takes opposite the other. In a sense, it's become Parties of the 'opposite' and that 'opposition' has become more extreme. As George W. Bush stated it: "You're either with us or against us." The problem is that, as we saw in 2016, where Hillary won the popular vote and Trump got the Electoral College, if you're going to position yourself more than 'slightly' right or left of center, the country has little "in common" to rally around.

This is the actual danger of being "aligned with the GOP." "Classic liberalism" has always been more aligned with 'traditionalism;' i.e., not necessarily maintenance of the status quo, but with an emphasis on the individual and civil liberties via "the rule of law" and a more 'market-based' capitalism. Over the last 30 years (or more), Republicans have moved increasingly toward a 'Big Government' approach; something antithetical to 'individual choice,' whether it be civil liberties or economics.

Thus, you now have two Parties which emphasize "Big Government." The difference is not only the degree of 'choice,' but what you get to 'choose' as an individual and what the Government chooses for you. That's why, as you say, Republicans are currently equated as pro-gun-rights, anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-environmentalism, etc. The problem isn't that they are truly pro/anti. The issue is the degree to which they are and the degree to which they are portrayed as being.

Spend enough time on this site and you'll find that many Republicans are actually problematic when it comes to being pro-gun rights. Some consider Reagan to have been 'anti-gun.' The bump stock ban was pushed through by Republicans. You hear about RINO's 'stabbing us in the back.' Et al.

Likewise, Republicans aren't, necessarily 'anti-abortion.' Many aren't even 'anti-choice.' Unlike the 'other side,' however, they do attempt to impose limits on the choice and use of abortion; ostensibly pointing to the idea that the unborn should also have an 'advocate' in terms of, for lack of a better descriptor, giving the unborn a 'say' in the choice. That's why the argument tends toward WHEN the choice can or should be made.

Neither are Republicans anti-gay. What they do is, once again, attempt to impose 'limits' or, if you will, maintain a 'balance' to society. "Gay marriage" is a good example in that it requires a cultural change to how 'marriage' is viewed/accepted and the perception of that new definition being 'sanctioned' by Government. The problem is that, culturally, 'marriage' was, long ago, made into a 'government operation' and, as such, it is protected by the laws and rights restricting Government.

There are many, many 'gay Republicans.' However, they tend to keep their private lives... private. They don't march in the streets, declaring themselves, in a "look at us" way, to be such. Most adopt a more 'traditional,' private vs. public, relationship. Truth be told, so do many couples on "the other side." But, the more 'anarchistic' elements tend to get the media attention.

Republicans aren't, necessarily, anti-environment. However, they often find themselves in a conundrum when it comes to 'market-based' solutions. Remember, it was Republicans who brought the U.S. preservation of public lands, the Environmental Protection Act, etc. The problem is that, too often, Republicans also side with a mindset that seems to view 'pockets of protection' as sufficient. But, the reality is that, once again, they attempt to 'balance' (another word for 'compromise') protection of the environment against economic 'necessity.'

Set that against the more extreme elements of the Democrat Party today which would dismantle the economic system (usually in the name of the environment and equality) that allowed and built the U.S. into what we are today, who would allow 'abortions' after live-birth (otherwise known as infanticide), who would make virtually every sexual lifestyle "the norm" for society, who have a different 'understanding' of the 2nd Amendment (collective rather than individual right), and you begin to get the sense for where the problem lies. It's not that one side is small Government and the other side is big Government. It's not that one side is truly pro- and the other side anti-. It's about the prism through which the relative positions are viewed.

This is why you see accusations of Fascism, Nazism, totalitarianism, authoritarianism, etc. thrown out there. It's an attempt to create a perception of the relative position of 'the other side.' This is where the NRA has also chosen to put themselves as participants in the game. It's why we see constant complaints on this site of the 'scare tactics' being used by the NRA in their marketing, donation solicitations, etc. Is it a tactic that is necessary to 'wake' people up to the 'danger' and/or get people to actually contribute?

That's a big part of the turmoil currently going on with the NRA. According to Newt Gingrich, if you're a 'Constitutional Conservative,' then 'compromise' is something you have to believe in. The trouble is that no one seems to want to recognize that 'compromise' used to mean that both sides get and give. Both sides now want the whole cake and neither side is interested in a 'common sense balance;' in large part due to the idea that 'common sense' now means "my way or the highway."

This is what has led to the divisions in the NRA and what Goldberg is getting at in his article; which is why the quote I provide in the OP is...

Quote:
On the surface, the NRA’s problems have little to do with the typical criticisms hurled at it by its biggest detractors... But it turns out that its real problems, in part, may stem from its outsized ambitions... The NRA doesn’t actually give very much money to politicians, at least compared with, say, organized labor or trial lawyers... What the NRA does do — incredibly effectively — is organize and inform voters, mobilizing them to vote reliably for philosophically aligned candidates... Political parties once had the desire and resources to manage their own brands — keeping activists and interests at a more healthy distance. Those days are gone... In such a climate, it’s no surprise that things such as good corporate governance became an afterthought at the NRA.
It's why Lott, Goldberg, myself, and many others are admonishing to stay focused on the what's important - the 2nd Amendment. The NRA, as an organization, is just ONE means to that end and disagreements over the extent to which that organization becomes embroiled in the larger, 'culture war' as it relates to the degree of 'choice' and what you get to 'choose' as an individual and what the Government chooses for you is simply the base you start from. It's the basis of the Great Experiment that is the United States. As a result, there will always be a 'tension.' The trick is not to let that 'tension' become all-consuming, leading us to lose focus on the prize.

Last edited by TrappedinCalifornia; 05-02-2019 at 10:05 PM..
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Old 06-06-2019, 2:34 PM
EMP3 EMP3 is offline
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National Review is a neocon publication, not that it can't publish info consistent with our Founding Fathers' tenets of freedom, liberty, and justice. There isn't a foreign enemy it will not create. It loves interventionism, a construct wholly antithetical to core tenets of our Founding Fathers.

The NRA has created lots of its own problems due to its endorsing gun control legislation. If it does so again, I'll return my life membership card.

Neoconservatives are the most dangerous threat to America and Americans. Their primary objective is the New World Order, or one-world-government. Who'll control their planned one-world-government is a guess, but it won't be We the People. We'll become de facto slaves.

There is a lot of info that exposes the very real and prominent threat neocons pose to Americans' rights and liberties. This is one of the best:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-_kW81TShM

In my opinion and only my opinion, the John Birch Society is a better option for preserving Amendment II and our constitution than any other organization including the NRA.

www.jbs.org

It the face of onslaught to our rights and liberties, I remain optimistic.
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