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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Are the Antis Trying to Divide and Conquer

ABC News has a story on their web site and a related video from the August 3rd Nightline titled "Guns - The Open Carry Controversy." But the story line is two fold - open carry, and what Dennis Hennigan of the Brady Campaign termed a new challenge not only to gun control efforts but to the NRA. That new challenge being the state groups that have gained a higher profile since the Heller decision in 2008 and how they are supposedly leaving the NRA behind in pushing for increased gun rights. One such group profiled was a Maine Open Carry Association. Nightline also included a clip of a Virginia group, VCDL. Hennigan referred to the state groups as "extremists" who take the "NRA rhetoric" to the next level.

If we were to believe Hennigan, there is this big rift in the gun rights movement with the NRA on one side, and all of the local groups on the other, fighting each other as much as they are fighting the antis. And, that may be exactly what the antis want.

There is no doubt that a number of state groups have their differences with the NRA. But, that is bound to happen because the NRA has a larger mission and it acts in what it believes is in the best interest of advancing that mission. Many of the state groups are narrowly focused (this does not include NRA state associations like VSSA, which have much of the same mission as the NRA - to advance the shooting sports and protect the rights of individual gun owners). For instance, VCDL was originally a more regional organization (Northern Virginia Citizens Defense League) that was formed to push for concealed carry reform. They later changed their name to reflect a statewide interest. While they, like VSSA, lobby on all gun related bills before the General Assembly, there is no question their main focus is the expansion of concealed and open carry.

Gun owners need to make sure we don't fall into a trap of infighting. The antis know that they have a better chance of winning if they can divide the forces aligned against them. We don't have to always agree, but we must not have open warfare with groups that have common interests - the advancement of our firearms freedoms.

1 comment:

Dann's Bookshelf said...

I think the GOA and the NAGR are playing right into the anti-gunners' hands as they can't seem to push their pro-gun agendas without trashing the NRA.

Dann in Ohio