NRA Playing Politics with US Senate Endorsement?

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?


  1. I gave up my NRA membership years ago after the NRA sold out. I became a life member of the GOA. But the GOA board is now also mostly controlled by the NRA. The CCRKBA and SAF are completely worthless and support the national id and gun registration through the national id. The best org I’ve ever seen is and everyone on this blog should become a member immediately if they are not already.

  2. nightcrawler says

    This one isn’t hard to figure out. I am a NRA member and do agree with the author that on this issue, JD has a leg up.

    The NRA is probably looking at this race the way many of us are..Would you rather have John McCain or a Democrat ? I like JD as does (no doubt) the NRA. He needs to convince us that after a hard fought primary that he will have enough gas (money) in the tank to win the general.

  3. Moon Valley GOP says

    On this issue, there really isn’t any difference between John McCain and a Democrat, so I wouldn’t look at this race that way. And frankly, the idea that a Democrat is going to win statewide for federal office this November is nuts. The environment is so bad for Dems, Arizona is not going to send another Democrat to DC to do Obama’s bidding. Time to step up NRA!

  4. For people who are afraid were going to elect a dem if JD is nominated think about what they would be up against. We have a national tide turning against the dems now I’m not saying it’s turning in the republicans favor but it’s turning away from the dems. Also the dems couldn’t get Jim Pederson elected here in a year that favored the dems.

  5. Could it just be that others do not see things like the echo chamber JD lovers? That they understand JD would be even more impotent in the Senate than he was in the House, where he was labeled as lazy and ineffective? Then unelected in a strong R district?

    Could it be they understand that leadership requires more than a loud mouth and hot air? The bully crowd JD surrounds himself with at home, Haney-Arpaio-Pearce…mean nothing in DC and neither will he. The NRA gets it.

  6. Stephen Kohut says

    The people get it Ann. Time to send McRINO into retirement to help Cindy sell beer. We’re done with him. Anyone who thinks a Dem will take the AZ Senate seat is smoking wacky weed or Obama’s koolaid. The 2010 election field of battle will be littered with the bodies of Dem’s and RINO’s. This is a grassroots conservative year and McRINO ain’t one of us.

  7. Pragmatic Conservative says

    What would the state wide impact be if JD were nominated. Would it galvanize the Democrats and cause them to resurrect their Obama and Hispanic base to defeat our local and state wide candidates? Would it give them the incentive and rallying cry they so desperately need to win? When you drink the cool aid start looking at the unintended consequences.

  8. Well I see it is starting already. We need to re-elect McCain because he can win the general. A weak argument to vote for someone, but an effective one to use with the uninformed. Thank you but no thank you, I will support the candidate that best
    reflects my values.

  9. Pragmatic Conservative says


    JD says that he is more pro gun that McCain, but JD voted for anti-gun measures in the 1990s, when it looked politically advantageous. (Consequences for Juvenile Offenders Act of 1999, Roll Call 233, June 17, 1999).

    He voted to make it easier for anti-gun activists to require background checks for guns sold by individuals with federal firearms licenses at gun shows and require a specific percentage of gun dealers at a gun show in order to be considered a legal place for firearms dealers to sell. He also voted to increase penalties for giving you’re under 18 child a semi automatic “assault weapon” or even a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

    The bill also required that the U.S. Attorney designate at least one Assistant Attorney to prosecute violations of Federal firearms laws; provide for the hiring of BATF agents to investigation specified Brady Act provisions relating to firearms; and ensure that each person referred to the U.S. Attorney be charged with a violation of the most serious Federal firearm offense consistent with the act committed.

    It also directs the FTC and the Attorney General to jointly conduct a study of the marketing practices of the firearms industry with respect to children, and to report to Congress.

    Voted to amend the Brady Act to prohibit any person from organizing, planning, promoting, or operating a gun show without: (1) registering with the Secretary of the Treasury and paying a registration fee; (2) before commencement of the show, verifying the identity of each show vendor participating by examining a valid identification document containing a photograph of the vendor and requiring each vendor to sign a ledger with identifying information and a notice advising the vendor of his or her obligations; (3) notifying each attendee of requirements under the Act; and (4) maintaining a copy of the records described above at the permanent place of business of the show promoter for such period of time and in such form as the Secretary shall require. It also sets forth provisions regarding: (1) responsibilities of transferors and transferees other than licensees, including criminal background check requirements; and (2) records of licensee transfers.

    Authorizes the Secretary to enter during business hours the place of business of any show promoter and any place where a show is held for purposes of examining required records and the inventory of licensees conducting business at the show, without a showing of reasonable cause or a warrant.

    McCain didn’t vote for it.
    Fortunately, this bill didn’t become law.
    That doesn’t sound like a pro-Second Amendment

  10. Stephen Kohut says

    Pragmatic Conservative,

    Is it only our 1st amendment McCain-Feingold), 5th amendment (S3081) and 6th amendment (S3081) rights that McRINO doesn’t like? I want hands kept off all my rights not just those a politian finds acceptable to them.

  11. Pragmatic Conservative says

    What you are forgetting is the Supreme Court decision gave the AFL-CIO and United Auto Workers Union soft money back to the Democrats, legally. There is no way to vette just S3081 you need to give the year and roll call.

  12. Pragmatic Conservative says

    Sorry, you are referring to McCains anti terrorist, try them by military Court bill? And you think it is a violation of the terrorists 5th and 6th amendment rights?

  13. Stephen Kohut says

    S3081 is new legislation filed this week (111th Congress, 2010). This is not an anti-terrorism bill. This bill applies to US citizens anywhere in the world. It allows the President to define whoever he wants as a “high value asset” and allows the accused, citizen or not, US soil or not, to be held without trial indefinately without access to courts, lawyers, 5th and 6th amendment rights, etc.

    Treason is the only crime defined in the Constitution (Art 3 Sec 3). It require s trial by jury and 2 witnesses. S3081 disregards a citizens rights under Art 3 Sec 3 and the 5th and 6th amendments.

  14. I was looking for home related articles this was great

  15. I believe that the NRA is simply waiting to see who comes out on top in the primaries. I’m fine with this. The vast majority of NRA members in AZ already support JD Hayworth. Also, the NRA has bigger fish to fry with the gubernatorial elections here in AZ as well. That race WILL be tight since the democrats are already fielding some candidates against whoever wins the republican primary in August. With the senate race, JD’s win is almost secured (well, that is in my own biased opinion….. go JD!!), whilst the race for governor may need some more heavy-hitting support.

  16. Ross Wolf says

    Before Hitler dissolved German Parliament, he got support for passing controversial legislation from corporations by bribing them with special breaks inserted in legislation that economically injured their competitors that produced similar products. Bribed corporations were so greedy, they didn’t realize Hitler was undermining the collective power of the corporations, turning the corporations against each other so they could not oppose Hitler’s policies. Subsequently the corporations standing separately and no longer together, Hitler was able to strong-arm, control and shutdown corporations he gave breaks to earlier.

    Will the Second Amendment come to an end in similar fashion?

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