A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Gun Owners of America’ tag

Regarding the Supreme Court

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I know one of the biggest concerns the gun rights community has now that Obama will be in office for four more years are Supreme Court nominees. Several of the current robe-adoren ones are getting up there in age and will likely be retiring relatively soon. The main concern gun rights activists have is Obama appointing anti-gun justices who will reverse the decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. While the Supreme Court is potentially worrisome it’s also one of the branches that the gun rights community can, for the most part, control.

The Supreme Court only rules on cases that have been appealed to their level and they are willing to hear. Because of these two requirements, and the nature of the gun control movement, the gun rights community can mostly control whether or not gun rights cases get to the Supreme Court. Needless to say so long as the gun rights community doesn’t appeal cases to the Supreme Court level the Supreme Court doesn’t get to make a decision. Unfortunately this may mean holding off on lawsuits, which have proven to be a most effective tool as of late, if anti-gun justices are seated but it also means that the threat of seeing either previous victory reversed is mostly avoidable. This means that gun rights would not move forward through the judicial system but it also means it won’t move backwards either.

I also mentioned that the nature of the gun control movement plays are part in this equation. When it comes to court cases regarding gun rights the only two sides that are apt to file lawsuits are advocates of gun rights and advocates of gun control. Advocates of gun rights have good reason to file lawsuits against municipalities that violate gun rights but gun control advocates don’t because they want municipalities to violate gun rights. Without some kind of violation there aren’t grounds of lawsuits so it’s far more difficult for gun control advocates to initiate one. Furthermore the gun control movement has more limited resources available to it. The only gun control game in town that still has money is Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is funded by the personal fortunes of Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies. On the other hand the gun rights movement has the National Rifle Association (NRA), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Gun Owners of America (GOA), Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (JFPO), and numerous state gun rights organizations. Combining forces these gun rights organizations have a funding base of millions of members. Considering the expense of hiring a lawyer that has the required credentials to argue in the Supreme Court it’s unlikely that gun control advocates are going to pursue such lawsuits.

If Obama appoints anti-gun justices to the Supreme Court the gun rights community stands to lose one of its most valuable tools, but it mostly control whether or not ground will be lost. The worst case scenario is that gun rights activists will need to pursue another strategy. One of my biggest criticisms of the NRA is their laser-like focus on a single strategy even when it’s ineffective. When one strategy fails or is no longer viable then another must be developed. Innovate or die is the name of the game. Just because the gun rights movement becomes cut off from the Supreme Court doesn’t mean the game is over, it means a different game must be played.

Of course the real problem is the fact that nine robe-adoren individuals can decide what is and isn’t allowed for an entire country but I touched on that argument already so I’ll not repeat it here.

Such Much for No Compromise

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Gun Owners of America (GOA) like to tout the line that they’re the only “no compromise” gun rights organization in the United States. As far as I can tell their main reason for existence is to bitch and whine instead of doing real work. Likewise their whole idea of “no compromise” apparently only goes so far. As Snowflakes in Hell points out the head of GOA believes gun rights only extend to American citizens:

But Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt says the state has every right to restrict conceal and carry permits to citizens.

“If the guy wants to enjoy the full benefit of residing in the United States become a citizen. He’s been here for 30 years what’s he waiting for?,” Pratt told FoxNews.com.

Pratt says the only reason the ACLU brought the suit is to pave the way for illegal aliens to have conceal carry permits.

“They want to make it so illegal aliens have the same rights as everybody else…every little bit chipping away,” he said.

The person in question here is Wayne Smith a man who legally immigrated here 30 years ago. He’s been here legally so I really can’t see how this case will allow illegal aliens to apply for carry permits but honestly I don’t believe anybody should need a permit to carry a gun regardless of who they are. Likewise I find it disgusting that Larry Pratt would be such a hypocrite by stating his organization is “no compromise” while he’s will make compromise on things such as making a justification on why we should need to beg the state of exercise our right to bear arms. Furthermore Mr. Smith has held a carry permit for years:

The lawsuit was filed this week on behalf of British national Wayne Smith, who legally immigrated 30 years ago, and for years was able to get a concealed license. In 2002, however, South Dakota amended the law, making U.S. citizenship a requirement to carry a concealed weapon. When Smith went to renew his long-held permit last July, he was denied because he is permanent legal resident, not a citizen.

Ironically the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the organization who is bringing up the lawsuit against South Dakota. The ACLU doesn’t have a friendly history as far as the second amendment goes but even they’re less willing to compromise on the revocation of a person’s carry permit. What does that say about Mr. Pratt? Frankly I think it says he’s a prick in the highest form.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 10th, 2011 at 11:00 am

I Thought They Called Themselves Gun Owners of America

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Why the heck did Gun Owners of America (GOA) get themselves involved in net neutrality? According to Mr. Pratt:

“Back in 2006 we supported net neutrality, as we had been concerned that AOL and others might continue to block pro-second amendment issues,” said Erich Pratt, communications director for GOA.

OK I get the idea that GOA doesn’t like the idea of a filtered Internet but aren’t they a second amendment rights organization? I’m a firm believer that you can’t be an expert in everything and you need to focus your resources on the most critical things. GOA does a lot of complaining that they don’t have a whole lot of money to work with and yet they are splitting that cash between two subjects. Likewise I highly doubt that GOA has any real expertise in the field of net neutrality since they did say the following:

“The issue has now become one of government control of the Internet, and we are 100 percent opposed to that,” Pratt said.

Let me get this straight. You’re an organization that generally hates government involvement in the life of average citizens and you supported the Save The Internet organization. Save The Internet’s primary purpose has always been to get legislation through that will allow government enforcement of net neutrality. As soon as the word legislation is involved it implies government control hence there was no point in the history of the Save The Internet organization that they weren’t about government control. The fact that GOA got involved in net neutrality was questionable to begin with, but then they didn’t realize the organization they were backing was asking for government control shows a severe lack of research into the subject.

Here’s my two cents of advice GOA, leave net neutrality to the experts over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and keep your focus on whinging about the National Rifle Association (NRA) gun rights. If you get yourself involved in another fight you may very well get sucker punched because you didn’t study whom all was going to show up for the brawl.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 25th, 2010 at 10:30 am

Gun Owners of America and Partisanship

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I’ve been ripping on Gun Owners of America (GOA) quite a bit recently. My main beef with them is that they seem to spend all of their time bitching about the National Rifle Association (NRA) instead of doing something to eliminate gun control laws. Recently they’ve been going on about the NRA’s potential endorsement of Harry Reid who voted for the Brady Act back in 1993.

The problem? Well Kay Bailey, a Republican, voted for the same act. Why does that matter? Because she has an A rating from GOA. This seems to prove the point that GOA isn’t a second amendment organization but a conservative organization. They spend time talking about non-second amendment related issues and take those into account when grading politicians. The NRA on the other hand usually focus almost exclusively on gun rights.

I wouldn’t have a problem with GOA if they didn’t spend all their time whining and claiming they are the only no compromise second amendment organization out there. But to top it off they do that while bashing the NRA who actually work to get shit done.

Once again I state if you’re disenfranchised with the NRA please send your money to an organization that gets things done such as the Second Amendment Foundation.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 19th, 2010 at 11:30 am

Sitting on Your Butt Doesn’t Equal Doing Work

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So I’m watching Gun Owner’s of American’s (GOA) feed on Facebook and the following popped up:

Gun Owners of America elosi Trying to Shove DISCLOSE Act through Congress Once Again
— NRA remains on the sidelines – http://gunowners.org/a062210.htm

First of all I notice they couldn’t both proof reading their post as Pelosi has a ‘P’ in it. Second if you click on the link nothing is mentioned about what GOA is doing to fight this. The only two things they state are first asking you to call your representatives (which you already have I’m sure) and second call the National Rifle Association (NRA) and tell them to change their position.

Now I don’t agree with the NRA’s position but alas I disagree with GOA’s constant attacking the NRA while doing nothing themselves even more. I’m sorry I really want to like GOA as they are a pro-rights organization but unlike most organizations fighting for the right to keep and bear arms GOA spends most of their time attacking another organization instead of doing anything to preserve our rights (that I’ve seen and nobody so far has provided me citation of GOA doing anything major).

Once again I ask those of your disenfranchised with the NRA to ignore GOA and look at another organization like the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) who are spending their time and resources fighting bad gun control laws.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 23rd, 2010 at 4:30 pm

A Slight Change

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Yeah I made a slight change on the side of the page here. I removed the link to join Gun Owners of America and replaced it with a link to the donations page of the Second Amendment Foundation. After the two previously mentioned fiascos involving the NRA there has been a lot of calling for people to abandon the NRA and join Gun Owners of America. It was this that reminded me that I still had the link for joining Gun Owners of America (GOA) on the side of my page. I’ve been meaning to replace it for a while now but haven’t gotten around to it due to sheer laziness and a memory that doesn’t really remember things.

So why the replacement? Because after being a member of GOA for two years I’ve determined something, they don’t do anything. Well that’s not entirely true they do whine a lot. But in the two years I’ve held a membership I’ve not seen them actually work much for the right to keep and bear arms. Sometimes they send out envelopes with postcards pre-addressed to my representatives that they want me to sign and send. It’s an interesting gesture but I’ve already sent letters to those same representatives about the issue labeled on the postcard. Furthermore those postcards are far and few between. Their RSS feed for alerts almost never updates while the NRA-ILA feed has a rough average of 10 news items a day. The only decent thing GOA has is their rating page for representatives but that’s even tainted by non-gun related issues.

The bottom line is they claim they are the only no compromise group in Washington but don’t actually do anything. This is where people usually tell me GOA can’t accomplish much because they don’t have a whole lot of money. Bullocks. The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) doesn’t have nearly the same number of members as the NRA, nor nearly the same amount of money, but they manage to bring up lawsuits against entities who infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. Heller vs. D.C. and McDonald vs. Chicago were both SAF initiatives. They also hold a Gun Rights Policy Conference every year (where they work with other gun rights organizations like the NRA which GOA seems unwilling to do).

Another gun rights group is the Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (JPFO). Once again even though they don’t have the membership numbers of money of the NRA JPFO manages to do something. They produce literature and videos dealing with the right to keep and bear arms. They did an English translation of the Nazi’s gun laws and compared them to the Gun Control Act finding them to be very similar. They produced several videos relating to the right of self defense and the roots of gun control, racism (real racism not what the “progressive” liberals accuse pro-rights people of being). Like SAF JPFO is able to do something with less money than the NRA. Also you don’t have to be Jewish in order to join, just thought I’d toss that out there.

So really my point is this, if you don’t want to be a member of the NRA at least put your money somewhere useful. Join SAF or JPFO for instance. Join a local gun rights organization that’s doing something. But please don’t join GOA and then claim your money is being used to fight for your right to keep and bear arms. Unless I’ve missed something in my two years of membership I haven’t seem them do a whole Hell of a lot.

Maybe I’m wrong and my rage is misguided. I would love to be proven wrong on this so if you believe GOA is doing something please comment on what it is. I love being wrong on these kinds of issues. I do believe their hearts are in the right place but their lack of action depresses me.