What is more important to the NRA — the Second Amendment or playing politics with Washington insiders like John McCain? At present, it unfortunately seems like the latter is true.
With an epic battle brewing between John McCain and JD Hayworth, gun owners from around the state have started to engage in the race. Within the first week or two, the Gun Owners of America wholeheartedly endorsed JD Hayworth, yet to date, the NRA hasn’t followed suit. To anyone who cares about gun issues, this seems very mysterious. Remember that the NRA has called John McCain “one of the premier flag carriers for the enemies of the second amendment”, so why are they having trouble taking a position on this race? What other factors are they taking into consideration? There seems to be a clear difference between the flip-flops and leftward lurches of John McCain on this critical issue, and the consistent dedication to our Second Amendment shown by then Congressman JD Hayworth.
Here are some facts for the NRA and its members to consider:
John McCain authored and championed his McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform that took away the constitutional right of Freedom of Speech from groups like the NRA and GOA. Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled that his so-called reform was an unconstitutional infringement on our First Amendment rights and tossed it into the rubbish bin.
After 9/11, when national security experts, gun advocacy groups, and pilots all united in support of allowing commercial pilots to arm themselves for self-defense, John McCain prepared an amendment that would have replaced the term “firearms” with “stun guns.” In a case of forced entry into the cockpit, as was done by terrorists on 9/11, how could John McCain think that a stun gun would be an effective deterant, and why did McCain align with the “guns are bad” crowd on such an important public safety and national security issue?
John McCain teamed up with the anti-gun lobbying group Americans for Gun Safety to exploit the post 9/11 terrorist threat to try and close down gun shows. This group, with McCain as its figurehead, repeatedly tried to scare Americans into believing that terrorists were going to gun shows and buying large numbers of weapons. I don’t know what gun shows they were talking about, but the ones that I attend would be the LAST place a terrorist would want to show up. This group, funded by an anti-gun New York billionaire went so far as to buy 30 second advertisements at movie theaters across the country to warn people about the dangers of firearms. In July 2001, the NRA’s magazine America’s First Freedom commented that “according to McCain and AGS, the only safe gun is one that is completely inaccessible to the owner in an emergency.” Those are the NRA’s own words on John McCain!
John McCain then went on to co-sponsor a bill with Joe Lieberman on a bill to close the so-called “gun show loophole”. This bill would have given unprecedented federal control over how gun shows are run and promoted. All guns shows would have to be approved and licensed by the federal government. All attendees of a gun show would have to give the federal government personal information and failure to do so would be grounds for imprisonment. These are but a few of the provisions included within the McCain-Lieberman bill. Does that sound like a Constitution-friendly bill? I ask because John McCain wrote it!
Over the past decade the NRA has constantly called into question John McCain’s support of the Second Amendment. They are constantly calling its members to arms, pun intended, warning us of the federal government’s encroachment on our civil and constitutional liberties. They have repeatedly pointed out McCain’s hypocrisy in claiming to be an advocate for firearms and a supporter of the Second Amendment while at the same time working to restrict our freedoms and rights as Americans.
Sure, in 2008, largely because of their affection of Sarah Palin and their justifiable fear of Barack Obama, the NRA managed to convince themselves to endorse the McCain/Palin ticket. But that wasn’t about John McCain’s record on the issue. All the NRA’s leadership team has to do is read their own magazine over the past 10 years to see numerous examples of why they CANNOT support John McCain this year. For the first time in a very long while, there is a strong conservative alternative who supports and fights for our Second Amendment rights, JD Hayworth.
Hayworth holds a lifetime “A” rating from both the Gun Owners of America and the National Rifle Association (compare that to the “C” and “D” grades that McCain has earned). Hayworth has defended gun manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits stemming from product misuse. He opposes any restrictions on a citizen’s constitutional right to bear arms. He opposed McCain-Feingold and McCain-Lieberman. The citizens of Arizona can finally have a Senator who will stand up for their Second Amendment rights and freedoms, and the U.S. Senate and gun owners all over America will be better off for it.
So now we wait for the NRA to decide if they are going to stand and fight, as they urge us to do every single month in their magazine. Or will they duck and cover and provide more ammunition to groups like GOA who accuse them of being too political and too willing to compromise? After all, if you will stay on the sidelines when a Senator is trying to take away your member’s rights and silence your ability to advocate on their behalf, then what sort of advocacy group are you?