By Dan Shea
I had several interesting conversations at the last Knob Creek- related to why SAR has been running advertisements for the National Rifle Association. In a parallel universe this might be considered a very odd question, but not in this one, on the Class 3 Planet.
For those who are just tuning in, let me bring you up to speed- there is a lot of long time animosity from many Class 3 people towards the NRA. The root of this goes to the 1986 ban on further manufacture of machine guns for private ownership. This was otherwise known as 922.o, passed on Monday, 19 May, 1986. There was a very strong feeling in the Class 3 community that the NRA sold us out in a deal for getting the “Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986” passed. “Black Monday” is the reason you are paying $6000 for an M16 that’s realistically worth $600, $8000 for an MP5 that’s worth $800, and a solid grand for a Mac that’s worth maybe two bills. Our government created a limited supply of a very desirable group of items, and we don’t see any way back. It’s the law of supply and demand on a scarce commodity. It isn’t really the money, so much as an issue of economically limiting us to what we can own.
I was very vocal about my anger back then. A lot has happened in the intervening years, not the least of which being that I got past my emotions on this and looked at the facts. The NRA hasn’t specifically left us in the dust, we class three people really are politically incorrect. Real hard to champion machine gun ownership in a society where “Lethal Weapon 3” and the new unarmed “Charlie’s Angels” get taken seriously for their anti-firearms ownership stance. Look at the 1992, 1996, and 2000 elections if you want to be shocked at how many people buy the restrictions on the Constitution to “Save the Chiiiiiiildren”.
For those who were around for the heady days of 1994 and the Republican Revolution, well, we class 3s had a lot to do with it. The Committee of 1776 stood tall and put 100,000 people on the streets for “Firearms Rights”. The NRA basically sat back and watched, while Gun Owner’s of America was right out front. If the NRA had backed us, we would have put 500,000 on the street. Still, I understand. The NRA talked with us all through the situation, and privately encouraged us. The political position they were in was very tenuous. In order to support us, they risked losing far more to the savaging of the national media. The Class 3 community is somewhat better off staying to the background, and fighting through the courts.
In the meantime, the NRA, the GOA, and the Second Amendment Foundation and many other pro Second Amendment groups are out front. If you watched the behavior of the Democrats in the recent perpetual election, you will understand “Solidarity”. For the last eight years, we have watched poetry in motion- the most amazing spin doctoring ever seen. One thing I learned a long time ago about the Democrats, is that almost anything they accuse others of, is what they are doing. They stick together- as in, when you see one group fronting an issue, you will see a whole bunch of unrelated liberal groups there to support them.
I am a staunch supporter of the NRA. There are a lot of good people there, working hard for us, and they deserve our support. I am a staunch supporter of Gun Owners of America, and numerous other groups. It’s time to do the laundry in the laundry room, not out in front of our enemies- We don’t need to give them any more ammunition, and we darn sure don’t need to play the stupid end of the “Divide and Conquer” strategy.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V4N5 (February 2001)|