Daily Archives: July 8, 2010

The NRA Does Not Endorse Senator Reid—Yet

NRA says the Constitution and nine of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, not a factor in decision to endorse candidates.

Recently there has been a rumor making the rounds that the National Rifle Association endorses Senator Harry Reid of Nevada in the November election. A Facebook friend sent the NRA an email requesting they clarify their position. In response, the NRA sent my friend a long and detailed email outlining their position. You can read both emails here.

The NRA response, in part:

“In regards to recent reports that the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) has endorsed U.S. Senator Harry Reid for reelection, the NRA-PVF has not yet made an endorsement in the Nevada U.S. Senate race.

In fact, there have been no announced endorsements for any U.S. Senate seat for the November general elections—period.”

Had they stopped at this point, there would be no problem. However, they continued with an explanation that it is too early to endorse anyone yet. Their policy is to withhold endorsements until just before the general election, in order to make sure they have the most up to date information available. Again, that seems to be a sound and laudable policy.

They then go on to explain the basis for their endorsements.

“It is important to note that the NRA is a single-issue organization. Our ratings and endorsements are based solely on a candidate’s support for, or opposition to, our Second Amendment rights. Other issues, as important as they may be to many people, do not and cannot play any role in those decisions. NRA represents a broad coalition of American gun owners, who are bound together by their support for the right to keep and bear arms.

For us to factor non-gun-related issues into our ratings would foolishly divide our unified base of support on the Second Amendment. This policy has served NRA and gun owners well over the past three-plus decades, making us the nation’s pre-eminent pro-Second Amendment advocacy group.” (emphasis added)

This is followed by six paragraphs listing Reid’s five-year record of support for legislation favorable to the NRA’s agenda. The email sums up with this question for voters.

“All of which leads to a very serious question for all NRA members and gun owners who oppose Sen. Reid to contemplate: who would take Reid’s place if he loses his race—and his critically important position as Senate Majority Leader? Remember, the Senate Majority Leader is the gatekeeper who decides which legislation will be considered on the Senate floor. If Sen. Reid loses, the next candidate for Majority Leader is very likely to be Charles Schumer of New York or Dick Durbin of Illinois —two of the most anti-gun U.S. Senators in history!”

I have always considered the National Rifle Association to be one of the few stalwart organizations we could always count on to defend the Constitution and our founding principles. However, the tenor of their response leads me to wonder if they are not simply using the Constitution and the Second Amendment to further their own agenda.

When the Second Amendment was added to the Constitution, the Founders had two purposes in mind; giving citizens the means to defend their unalienable rights to life and liberty. In other words, the means to defend their own life and the lives of their loved ones, and the means to defend their liberty against the tyranny of government.

The right to life includes the right to self-defense, for us and our loved ones. It also includes the right to hunt for food during hard times to sustain life. Hunting for sport and target practice for recreation are side benefits that do not figure into the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms. The progress of our culture has made the need to hunt for food in order to live obsolete. The only real need for firearms today, from the Founders point of view, is for self-defense. That need becomes even more important as the community safeguards for our personal security continue to break down.

Some “Rambo” types may envision themselves storming the ramparts with their trusty firearm, in the face of bazookas, machine guns and tanks to overthrow the government and take back our liberty; but, let’s face it, in today’s world, that is nothing more than a childish daydream. I fully support the Second Amendment as necessary for our unalienable right to self-preservation. Unlike the NRA, I do not consider it to be, by any means, our most important right. Neither am I willing to give up more important ones in order to preserve it.

While the right to bear arms is important, as a practical matter, in today’s world, it is not as important for the preservation of our liberty as the right to free speech; the right to a free press; the right of free association and assembly; the right to own and enjoy personal property, including the fruits of our labor; or the right to vote. The Second Amendment, though important, is not as important as the First, Fourth, Tenth and other sections of the Constitution protecting the rights mentioned above.

Harry Reid may be Congress’ most important champion of the Second Amendment in the last five years. However, in that same time frame, he has helped to shred the Constitution and many of the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The overall tone of the NRA response indicates they are seriously considering endorsing Reid in the general election. I urge all NRA members to contact their leadership and encourage the organization to refrain from endorsing anyone in the Nevada Senate race, if Reid is their only choice.

It seems to me, the National Rifle Association leadership is faced with its own question to seriously contemplate this Fall. Are they willing to risk the perks they have gotten for their organization from Congress, in order to stand with the Patriots who are working to restore our Constitutional government; or do they consider their special congressional privileges more important?

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