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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Trust your extremists

The only reason gun rights aren't being swept away with everything else in the cultural wars is that the NRA did not give in to its moderates:
The moderates felt rejected by both the NRA hard-liners and the Washington elite. “Because of the political direction the NRA was taking, they weren’t being invited to parties and their wives were not happy,” says Jeff Knox, Neal’s son and director of the Firearms Coalition, which fights for the Second Amendment and against laws restricting guns or ammunition. “Dad was on the phone constantly with various people around the country. He had his copy of the NRA bylaws and Robert’s Rules, highlighted and marked. My father and a lot of local club leaders and state association guys organized their troops.”

Theirs was a grass-roots movement within the NRA. The solution was to use the membership to make changes. The bylaws of the NRA gave members power on the convention floor to vote for changes in the NRA governing structure.

“We were fighting the federal government on one hand and internal NRA on the other hand,” Aquilino says.

In Cincinnati, Knox read the group’s demands, 15 of them, including one that would give the members of the NRA the right to pick the executive vice president, rather than letting the NRA’s board decide. The coup took hours to accomplish. Joe Tartaro, a rebel, remembers the evening as “electric.” The hall’s vending machine ran out of sodas.

By 3:30 in the morning the NRA had a whole new look. Gone were the Old Guard officers, including Maxwell Rich, the ousted executive vice president. The members replaced him with an ideological soul mate of Knox’s named Harlon Carter.
Never, ever, permit a moderate in a position of influence, let alone leadership. They will ALWAYS bollix it up for one reason or another. Always. That is the fatal mistake the churches have made, and it is the reason the Republican Party is undergoing its present meltdown.

If you believe your role in the organization is to temper or restrain others in the organization, that's fine, there is a need for that sort of advice, but understand that you CANNOT be a leader. You are not suited for it. You will make a hash of it.

That doesn't mean that the most extreme individual will be the best leader. There will always be competing visions. But "making nice" and "finding common ground" are not strategic visions. They are nothing more than tactics that may or may not be relevant at the moment.

It's a bit ironic, but most people understand that someone who always wants to surrender or to fight is not to be trusted in leadership. And yet, somehow, they readily fall for the idea that someone who always wants to split the difference is a reasonable person to follow.

Labels:

55 Comments:

Anonymous Rolf February 28, 2016 3:39 PM  

Never really thought about the big shakeup in the NRA in terms of SJWs, but now that you mention it, yeah, it makes sense.

I remember reading about the two major factions, the "compromise to keep something" and the "hardliners" that recognized that a half of a half of a half of a half isn't much of something, and sided with the later (the made more sense). I was already and NRA member, so I also joined the 2nd Amendment Foundation and a couple of others at the time.

In retrospect, it was the right move.

Blogger OneWingedShark February 28, 2016 3:41 PM  

I dissagree that the NRA hasn't been given over to the moderates -- several years ago there was a gun case going up to the supreme court that they seemed inclined to go for a broader ruling for gun-rights and the NRA recommended a narrow ruling.

In addition, the NRA does not fight against current restrictions (eg NFA & GCA) -- nor is it particularly inclined to take "slam dunk" cases that would prove them on the side of Constitutionalism/rule-of-law.

Blogger Kona Commuter February 28, 2016 3:42 PM  

In case nobody has noticed the other side continually take. They'll take an inch this time. Next time they'll take another. Now they've taken two. It's death by a thousand cuts.

My previous employer does this with their workplace agreements. My idiot co-workers would bargain away rights for an extra $1 an hour. The following agreement the pay rise would be less because we were getting $1 an hour over the minimum wage already but that right we'd given up wasn't up for negotiation. That was never coming back.

Smoking in Australia is similar. There's talk of not even letting people smoke in their own home if children live there.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 February 28, 2016 3:53 PM  

"Never, ever, permit a moderate in a position of influence, let alone leadership."

I had this argument with a guy the other day who wanted to change our means of voting for President. His method was similar to what I remembered reading was proposed for the Hugos, with both first picks and alternates being considered.

I said the only thing I can see this doing is empowering moderates. He agreed and said we should for exactly that reason. I said what's the point, moderates are moderates because they don't have strong feelings one way or another about most of the political issues of the day, not because they feel both ways. Independents are the ones who feel both ways.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 February 28, 2016 3:57 PM  

@2

I think they're worried about a ruling going the other way. Like Cruz pointed out recently, we've got two SCOTUS Justices who don't think the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right at all, much less a core constitutional right. So better to chip away with smaller rulings, all going the right way, because each victory means that anti-gun judges have less cover to hide behind when bigger cases come up.

Blogger Rabbi B February 28, 2016 4:19 PM  

"That is the fatal mistake the churches have made . . ."

Too true. I am guilty of this mistake and have paid dearly. They weren't appointed because I thought they were moderate (this was revealed later), but it's true, when push comes to shove and the SHTF, moderates do not have your back. More often than not, they're the ones giving the knife a little twist after someone else planted it firmly between your shoulder blades.

They also like to pride themselves as ones who are able to rise above the fray and tout themselves as people who "keep their heads about them while every one else is losing theirs." And though they may not always be the ones throwing you under the bus at the end of the day, they are loath to lift a finger to do anything once you're there.

They are unreliable, useless cowards whose commitment and loyalty is to themselves and who extol pragmatism over principles.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Confederacy February 28, 2016 4:21 PM  

Moderates are good for staffing the glory holes.

Wait, what? Your organization doesn't have them? Are you sure?

You don't even want to have glory holes?

...

Nevermind.

OpenID b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 February 28, 2016 4:22 PM  

@5 All or Nothing. And the best time to do it all is early. The US could have gotten constitutional ban on gay marriage in the early 90s and instead it got Defense of Marriage Act as a compromise.


Will Best

Blogger Aeoli Pera February 28, 2016 4:24 PM  

Young Heaving Bosoms of Confederacy wrote:Moderates are good for staffing the glory holes.

Wait, what? Your organization doesn't have them? Are you sure?

You don't even want to have glory holes?

...

Nevermind.


It's the most perfect expression of meeting someone half-way.

OpenID sigsawyer February 28, 2016 4:37 PM  

Conservatives are all moderates, and this is why conservatives always lose; by definition conservatism is inactionable, a romantic fantasy about a past that never existed. It attempts to accomplish its goals through the same tactics as leftism; in fact, it has the same relationship to the past that leftism has to the imaginary, utopian future. It is not a true reactionary movement, it's a lobster trap for the disaffected, a tool of the left.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Confederacy February 28, 2016 4:44 PM  

Moderates: giving comfort to the enemy since the invention of the hole-saw.

OpenID randkoch February 28, 2016 4:51 PM  

Or, to put it another way:

"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all."
-- H.L. Mencken

Blogger Mr.MantraMan February 28, 2016 4:58 PM  

AmCon the rag has to have a change of leadership, like right now. A total fraud ran by moderates who blather on about liberty then side with the 2A haters in the name of moderation.

Blogger tz February 28, 2016 5:06 PM  

All things in moderation. Sort of like a garbage disposal or other waste receptacle.

Blogger rcocean February 28, 2016 5:09 PM  

Large numbers of people don't seem to understand that you don't compromise unless you have to. You don't retreat unless you have to. Instead they want leaders who are "Pragmatic" i.e. go into battle with the fixed idea to retreat and play for a draw.

Blogger Nate February 28, 2016 5:21 PM  

I've always wondered when and why the NRA became a gun-rights organization. It wasn't founded on that for sure. It was created by two yankee brothers that were deeply disturbed by how much better Southron's were with rifles, and they wanted to teach their yankee brethren to shoot better.

In fact, the NRA completely supported the National Firearms Act when it was passed.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr February 28, 2016 5:23 PM  

Excellent point, Vox. And a good example.

Backstory for the history-challenged: In the mid-1970s, the NRA was slowly losing on 2A rights. There was a faction of moderates that wanted to move the HQ to Colorado Springs, focus on hunting, and throw a significant number of gun owners, notably pistol owners, under the bus.

This coup ousted the moderates and caused the NRA to take a much harder line politically. There have been long-term side effects, notably that the NRA is now nearly useless as a competitive shooting organization. But as a civil rights group, they have no peer.

Anonymous Kudos The Lexecutioner February 28, 2016 5:46 PM  

@14 tz

"All things in moderation."

Except for moderation. In that you must go all in.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 28, 2016 5:54 PM  

@16 Nate:

In fact, the NRA completely supported the National Firearms Act when it was passed.

Nope, otherwise handguns would be about as rare as machine guns are today. That's why there's all those weird categories including "Any Other Weapon", it tried to all but ban the transfer of anything concealable. The NRA managed to get handguns dropped, their normal sort of "compromise" prior to their total opposition to Clinton's "assault weapons" ban, when they finally got seriously "extremist".

Anonymous BGKB February 28, 2016 6:07 PM  

9 Aeoli Pera It's the most perfect expression of meeting someone half-way

Remember what I said about not taking a ginger to a Milo event. They only released the audio but not the video of his event on Friday.

My previous employer does this with their workplace agreements.

There was a hospital system that thought with a new owner they could fire all the employees and rehire some of the better staff at lower wages. They told those that they would rehire that they wouldn't be able to collect unemployment because they offered another job. They actually thought that affirmative action govt workers at the unemployment office would go over each case individually.

Anonymous Blue SFF Reader February 28, 2016 6:08 PM  

That Would Be Telling wrote:@16 Nate:

In fact, the NRA completely supported the National Firearms Act when it was passed.

Nope, otherwise handguns would be about as rare as machine guns are today. That's why there's all those weird categories including "Any Other Weapon", it tried to all but ban the transfer of anything concealable. The NRA managed to get handguns dropped, their normal sort of "compromise" prior to their total opposition to Clinton's "assault weapons" ban, when they finally got seriously "extremist".


National Firearms Act of 1934

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Confederacy February 28, 2016 6:15 PM  

"Trust your extremists" is also known as "spitting out the lukewarm".

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Confederacy February 28, 2016 6:15 PM  

Be strong, BGS.

Blogger dc.sunsets February 28, 2016 6:21 PM  

There have been long-term side effects, notably that the NRA is now nearly useless as a competitive shooting organization.

Huh? No, NRA may not be USPSA or IDPA, but unless I'm misinformed NRA helps insure at least one private pistol range.

"A golf course is a waste of a perfectly useful rifle range."

Blogger frenchy February 28, 2016 6:26 PM  

@ That would be telling.

No. Nate is right. The NRA did support it.

http://jpfo.org/articles-assd02/nra-supported-nfa34.htm

I know that JPFO is no longer run by Aaron Zellman, but they are more trustworthy than the NRA.

It's one reason I cannot get behind them--they will not go after getting rid of the ATF. i get the impression that they like it, and want it.

Cursed Quislings they are.

Blogger dc.sunsets February 28, 2016 6:27 PM  

NFA 1934 & Miller: the evil that just keeps rotting. The ONLY good thing is that they didn't index the transfer tax to inflation, otherwise today's renaissance in sound suppressor use would be zero.

The continued obstacles to use of silencers remains unconscionable, akin to OSHA prohibiting hearing protection in a factory.

Anonymous BGKB February 28, 2016 6:28 PM  

I know Lewis Farrakhan is not going to support(((Bern in hell))), but who is left for him to endorse?
http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/02/28/farrakhan-dont-fall-for-satan-hillary-clintons-crap/

Blogger Groot February 28, 2016 6:32 PM  

OT but tangential: I'd like to thank whoever it was here who convinced to try the Pale Moon browser. I've been using it for the last couple of months. Every once in a while I have to go back to Firefox, since I have still have some tabs open there, and it is painful to use. Plus Eich.

Anonymous TontoBubbaGoldstein February 28, 2016 6:33 PM  

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"

--------Sen. Barry Goldwater

BTW, Sen. Jeff Sessions has endorsed Trump.

Can Nate and Josh be far behind?

Blogger wahr01 February 28, 2016 6:47 PM  

The trouble with this stance is if you take an "All or Nothing" approach, when your opponents take power they will have all the rhetorical ammunition they need to paint you as a loon and exclude your voice from the debate entirely.

For instance, the states where the left hold power are referred to as "slave states" by the gun community for a reason.

I'm not saying there should be Actual compromise, but gun grabbers don't care about Actual impact anyway, so give them "feel good-do nothing" "compromises" in exchange for real ground.

For instance, propose a "shall issue" national gun operator's license in exchange for federal pre-emption of state gun control laws. It's no more restrictive than the current patchwork permit system, in fact it's LESS restrictive,, but it makes them "feel good" and the gun community gets to waive their middle finger at CA and NY.

Blogger wahr01 February 28, 2016 6:50 PM  

As an addendum, regarding exclusion of voice, the recent rulings by Obama's appointees in the circuits since heller in cases like Highland park illustrate that the left is now making militance against the NRA a litmus test for judicial appointments.

It's unreasonable to believe democrats will stop winning presidential elections, so at least the "appearance" of moderacy might be a good idea.

Blogger Groot February 28, 2016 6:51 PM  

@29. TontoBubbaGoldstein:
"Sessions has endorsed Trump."

I have to confess it's influencing me. Sessions is principled, and I believe he would have extracted some credible assurances before endorsing.

Blogger Derek Kite February 28, 2016 7:05 PM  

This applies to hiring legal counsel. You want someone who chews on the bones of his vanquished foes arguing your case.

Blogger VD February 28, 2016 7:17 PM  

The trouble with this stance is if you take an "All or Nothing" approach, when your opponents take power they will have all the rhetorical ammunition they need to paint you as a loon and exclude your voice from the debate entirely.

So what? They're not going to listen to you anyhow. Don't be an idiot.

Blogger Ingot9455 February 28, 2016 7:18 PM  

I am led to believe that the NRA (and others) don't go after the BATFE because if they did, then its functions would get subsumed into the FBI.

The FBI is more competent about covering up its wrongdoings, and has better press than the BATFE, so it's much harder to attack.

Better the evil you know.

Anonymous BGKB February 28, 2016 7:36 PM  

I am led to believe that the NRA (and others) don't go after the BATFE because if they did, then its functions would get subsumed into the FBI

By having it separate you could defund it. Also easier to know where to sent the hooker with the recording device.

Blogger wahr01 February 28, 2016 7:40 PM  

"They're not going to listen to you anyhow. Don't be an idiot."

Except this is not how things work in representative democracies. Hard-line exclusionists tend to lose support of the broad majority and get voted out of office.

You can make arguments about moving the overton window, but that doesn't happen when you just come out full-throated for the extreme opposite position unless you have agents offering something further toward the middle of the spectrum.

Given this reality, it's important to paint THEM as the extremists and take that rhetorical high-ground.

Gaining this high-ground and advancing your issue of choice won't happen unless you're willing to play "rope-a-dope" and out-negotiate your opposition.

Anonymous Quartermaster February 28, 2016 7:41 PM  

Back in the 90s, Neil Knox was expelled from the ILA as a more moderate leadership took over. JPFO and GOA are the only pro 2A organizations that take no prisoners.

Anonymous RedJack February 28, 2016 7:44 PM  

The NRA is a good example of when the "moderates" push to far. I was a wee lad, but my uncle and grandfather were big hunters and shooters. My Uncle was part of the retaking of the NRA in the late 70's.

To be honest I have been surprised that they have held as well as they have. As a civil rights organization, they have no peer. I know of at least one minor minority rights group who has studied the NRA as a way to be successful. The biggest problem with the NRA is that they exist as a civil rights organization now, so they have no reason the solve the problem.

A similar thing happened in the LCMS (before my time). The moderates (heretics) had taken a seminary and were pushing to go full horrible on the next generation of pastors. It didn't work. The old guys, the young guys who actually believed the Gospel, and a few raging assholes charged in and drove them away. Many now in the ELCA viewed it as a tragedy. My house always viewed it as a victory.

Blogger VD February 28, 2016 8:00 PM  

Except this is not how things work in representative democracies. Hard-line exclusionists tend to lose support of the broad majority and get voted out of office.

There is considerably more to the cultural wars than political office. You don't understand what we're talking about. Also, look up the average shelf life of a representative democracy sometime. It's shorter than you think.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents February 28, 2016 8:25 PM  

AmCon the rag has to have a change of leadership, like right now.

Nah. It just needs to fade away. Stick a fork in it...

Anonymous Jim Scrummy February 28, 2016 8:35 PM  

Never compromise. Never.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents February 28, 2016 8:44 PM  

I am led to believe that the NRA (and others) don't go after the BATFE because if they did, then its functions would get subsumed into the FBI

BATFE was moved from Treasury to Justice some years ago.

Blogger ray February 28, 2016 8:50 PM  

@14 -- 'Sort of like a garbage disposal or other waste receptacle.'


Woodchipper.

Neither hot nor cold but good kindling.

Blogger Nate February 28, 2016 9:19 PM  

"Never compromise. Never."

And that's why so many of us belong to GOA instead of the NRA.

Blogger Halifax Donair February 28, 2016 9:34 PM  

@3 Never thought smoking would be bad and pedophilia good. Social entrepreneurship, lot of those types on K Street.

The real story is smoking in confined spaces adds radiation that doesn't dissapate, and I don'the see too many pictures of people in iron lungs because of wood stoves.

Now why would the government not want to nudge you with "you're smoking radiation?" And why did the nanny staters go apeshit when vapes, which got me to finally quit, came out?

Blogger Halifax Donair February 28, 2016 9:40 PM  

@17 Was kicked off a board of moderates because the president started getting pissed off that I would just go ahead and run the organization while he did coke all day. Never work with SJWs, moderates... or lawyers.

Blogger Halifax Donair February 28, 2016 9:45 PM  

@33This applies to hiring legal counsel. You want someone who chews on the bones of his vanquished foes arguing your case.

I pull a bit of a Trump manoever. They don'the LIKE the fact I compartmentalize info and each lawyer gets a piece, but they sure like my money.

Blogger frenchy February 28, 2016 10:34 PM  

@ Halifax,

"And why did the nanny staters go apeshit when vapes, which got me to finally quit, came out?"

Because they couldn't tax it like cigarettes. Though it would not surprise me if many states are trying.

Anonymous Greywrath February 29, 2016 12:15 AM  

I let my NRA membership expire when they endorsed Harry Reid's reelection in exchange for approval of a large expensive range in NV. They're the Republican equivalent of AARP.

Anonymous Rolf February 29, 2016 1:36 AM  

@49 - the NRA is about one thing: guns. They do that fairly well. Harry Reid, corrupt and self-serving bastard that he may be, was a reasonably solid gun-rights supporter with a lot of seniority. So he gets the nod, POS though he may be.

Blogger No Thank you February 29, 2016 2:22 AM  

Or you just get the laws they enforced repealed and freedom restored.

But no, lets us cuck with the gun grabbers who have done nothing but take, take, take.

Blogger vashine February 29, 2016 6:56 AM  

Support the National Association for Gun Rights, NOT the NRA.

The NRA are quite moderate and in bed with the gun safety schools and instructors who push for the licensing that will force all gun owners and buyers to take their gun courses.

Blogger Giraffe February 29, 2016 10:58 AM  

Greywrath wrote:I let my NRA membership expire when they endorsed Harry Reid's reelection in exchange for approval of a large expensive range in NV. They're the Republican equivalent of AARP.

I let mine go for similar reasons. I prefer Gun Owners of America.

Blogger Giraffe February 29, 2016 11:26 AM  

Nate wrote:"Never compromise. Never."

And that's why so many of us belong to GOA instead of the NRA.


Exactly

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