Well, I did it. On Tuesday, I paid the final installment on my NRA life membership. That’s right–you can now only get my NRA membership card away from me when you pull it from my cold, dead hands.

This was not easy for me–and I’m not referring to the anorexic quality of my finances, after my purchase of the “SNBI Militia CQB Special” ( 😉 ). No, what made it difficult for me to consummate my relationship with the NRA (speaking figuratively here–get your minds out of the gutter) is that I am rarely happy these days with the direction in which the NRA seems to be headed. I won’t bore anyone with the details now–I’ve aired my complaints about the NRA often enough that all three of my regular readers must have the gist by now.

There are more than a couple people for whom I have enormous respect who actually see the NRA (or NRA leadership, anyway) as traitors to the cause of gun rights advocacy. I’m not ready to go that far–I see Cox and LaPierre more as Neville Chamberlain types than Vidkun Quislings. Then again, a Neville Chamberlain or two can do a hell of a lot of damage, too.

And still, I did it. While on the subject of “still,” I’m also still not sure if I’ve done the right thing. In my defense, I’m also a life member of GOA, CCRKBA, and SAF. I’d probably do a life membership to JPFO, if they offered an installment plan (why don’t they, anyway?). As mentioned yesterday, I’m also intrigued with the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), who seem to share my unhappiness with the NRA, and it would probably be more surprising if I don’t end up soon joining them, than if I do. I figure my support of those less “polite” groups might help (to some degree) to offset the hypocrisy of becoming a life member of a group that I have a habit of “bashing,” according to some people.

The real reason I completed the process (aside from inertia, and the fact that I didn’t particularly want the money invested in the membership, before my disillusionment, to be wasted) is that it wasn’t that long ago that with guys like Neal Knox at the helm, the NRA was the kind of organization that could warm even the cold, black heart of an “SNBI” zealot like me. I’d like to think that it can be restored to that kind of organization . . . and now I have a vote.

And to think that I’ve been accused of being unwilling to work within the system.

2 Responses to “Life”

  1. Jeff Knox Says:

    I applaud your decision and Dad would have too.
    No matter what anyone wants to believe, NRA is absolutely the most influential voice in the gun rights debate and it is suicide to abandon that voice to the Neville Chamberlains of the movement. There is definitely too much money and effort expended on building a personality cult around Wayne and I’m often not happy with the organizations choices, but the current Board of Directors is, for the most part, stellar. They are steadily getting better and better and I have high hopes that they will eventually move the association back to a more aggressive, principled, and uncompromising position. (Probably not AS aggressive, principled, and uncompromising as I’d really like, but closer than we’ve got now.)
    I appreciate the hat-tip to my father, Neal Knox, but I was a little disappointed that you didn’t mention his organization, The Firearms Coalition, as one of the groups that you support. The Firearms Coalition has been in the trenches lobbying Congress and the NRA for almost 25 years. We have been providing thoughtful, reliable information, without hype, bluster, and manic fund raising pleas, since the 4th of July, 1984.
    (That’s not to say we don’t ask for money, we do, we just don’t make the asking for money the central theme of our activities the way some do.)
    Our web site and e-mail alerts are free and our semi-monthly newsletter, The Hard Corps Report, is offered on a “value derived” basis (you send us what you think the information is worth.) You can receive a few issues for free to see how you like it by simply dropping us a note with your mailing address. We’ve never had a formal dues structure (though we’re considering it) but generally suggest that members donate at least the price of a box of ammo so we can keep providing ammunition to grassroots rights activists fighting the good fight around the country.
    Please stop by our web site at and let us know what you think. We also need as much help and exposure as we can get for our newest project,
    Yours for the Second Amendment,
    Jeff Knox
    Director, The Firearms Coalition

  2. 45superman Says:

    I appreciate the hat-tip to my father, Neal Knox, but I was a little disappointed that you didn’t mention his organization, The Firearms Coalition, as one of the groups that you support.

    Jeff, that was a complete brain cramp on my part, and I’m more than a little disappointed with myself for that. I will try to make amends tomorrow.

    I’m actually a member of The Firearms Coalition, and used to participate in the discussion forum there. I kind of got busy with other things, and drifted away, but I think it’s time I return.

    Anyway, please accept my apologies for not giving The Firearms Coalition due credit for the good work you have done, and continue to do.

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