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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kopel Weighs In on NRA Endorsement of Pro-gun Democrats

A number of conservative activists continue to beat up the NRA for some of their endorsements this year.  This blog and a number of others have explained the reasons behind the NRA's decisions.  The NRA has even gone the extra step and thoroughly explained the process.  Still, some rank and file gun owners and a number of the conservative new-media, are not deterred from their slinging of arrows at the NRA.
Last Friday, Dave Kopel weighed in on the issue at the Volokh Conspiracy and did an excellent job of making the case for the NRA's decision making process.

Earlier this week, I wrote that NRA would be foolish to obey the wishes of Republican activists who want the NRA to endorse only Republicans, and especially to not endorse endangered House Democrats. Here are some data on NRA endorsements, and some of the actions that dozens of House Democrats have taken to merit their endorsements:

NRA Senate endorsements in 2010: 23 Republicans, 2 Democrats.

NRA House endorsements in 2010: 197 Republicans and 61 Democrats.
Kopel noted that of the 251 members of Congress that signed on to the pro-incorporation amicus brief in McDonald vs. Chicago, 81 were Democrats.  In addition, 76 Democrats have signed off as cosponsors of a bill that is a top priority for NRA this year, H.R. 2296, the BATF Reform Act of 2009.  Noting all of the various priorities that NRA has in congress, the number of Democrats signed on to the various bills are at or above the total number that NRA has endorsed in this year's midterm elections.
Kopel closes his post with this:

As the numbers above illustrate, Democrats constitute an indispensable part of the pro-Second Amendment majority of the current Congress. Without the NRA’s strong working relationship with so many Democrats, 2009-10 would have seen the enactment of destructive legislation for gun rights, rather than the constructive legislation which has become law.
This year's NRA's endorsements have generated a lot of discussion among gun owners and in the media in general.  Some of it more constructive than others.  Kopel did a great job of reinforcing the message that it is NRA's job to protect the rights of gun owners, regardless of the party to which our friends belong.

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