Tuesday, April 7, 2015

NRA Putting GOP Establishment Over Gun Owners At 2015 Annual Meeting

The list of politicians appearing at the 2015 NRA annual meeting this weekend illustrates how the NRA has ceased being a gun rights group and has become little more than a puppet organization for the establishment wing of the Republican Party.

The NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on Friday will include a number of political insiders with questionable records on guns, like Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal. Truly pro-freedom legislators like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Utah Senator Mike Lee were not invited.

This comes after an election year where the NRA endorsed several establishment types (like Mitch McConnell and Thad Cochran) over conservatives with stronger records on guns, before going on to pour millions into barely contested Senate races while leaving Washington state gun owners out to dry.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the most head-scratching speaker at the forum. In addition to supporting universal background checks on all gun purchases, he is also the poster child for Republican support of immigration amnesty. As David Codrea has smartly pointed out, amnesty is a critical issue for gun owners because it would introduce millions of anti-gun voters to the electorate.

Another speaker is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who signed a law last year allowing the state to seize firearms from people accused of domestic abuse, calling it “one more big step toward trying to make sure that for every gun you take away, it’s that much better for (a victim, their) family and friends and loved ones who care about that person.”

Also speaking is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who signed a confiscatory law in 2013 allowing state officials to share mental health records with to the federally administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for firearms purchases. History shows that laws like this are ripe for abuse by the government, which uses them to target average citizens in addition to the dangerously mentally ill.

Meanwhile, Gun Owners of America A+ rated Rand Paul, who vowed to filibuster all gun control legislation in 2013, and Sen. Mike Lee, who last month introduced a ban on all federal gun control, were left off the guest list.  

Instead of giving career politicians a platform to pay lip service to gun rights, the NRA should be boosting leaders who actually make gun owners a priority.