Okay, I Guess

So with the NRA leaving the inhospitable climes of the North and moving to Texas, I have to say “Welcome” like all the others, but with a single caveat:  leave the people at our Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA) alone.

Over the years, the TSRA has been highly effective in killing all sorts of gun control nonsense (proposed by, duh, big-city Democrat politicos) and in general, keeping things running on the side of the righteous.  And frankly (unless someone from the TSRA tells me otherwise), we do not need the NRA throwing their weight around here like a clumsy bull elephant.

I have what I think is a common attitude towards the NRA among gun owners:  I support them in general terms, but I also think that on occasion they’ve behaved in a manner that sticks in my craw — and I’m not talking about Wayne LaPierre’s suits, either.  That enormous HQ building in Virginia is a case in point:

That is a lot of member funds spent, in one of the most expensive real estate areas in the world.  It made me think at the time that the NRA had its priorities wrong, and I haven’t much changed my opinion since.

So I say to the NRA:  y’all come on down, but behave yourselves.  It’s what I say to California transplants, and it pains me to have to say it to gun folks, but there it is.


  1. Well the NRA does need someplace to work from so that they can send me daily requests to renew my membership. I started getting those the week after I bought my membership. About every other day I get a frantic appeal from old Wayne himself that something apocalyptic is going to happen somewhere if I don’t do something by midnight tonIght. For the record the only reason I belong to the NRA is to allow me to be a member of our local gun club and use their excellent range.

    These days the SAF seems to be lots more active at the state level and they are winning court cases. Not all of course but any victory is a good one. Maybe SAF has better lawyers or they’re not as busy trying to keep their boss out of jail.

    To help the NRA keep their real estate costs down I know of a couple of spaces in a trailer park in Del Rio (“the gold buckle of the Bible belt”) that can be had quite cheaply..

    1. He keeps promising me that it’s the final notice. All lies so far.

      I stopped giving years ago.

    2. That’s the only reason I belong to the NRA – so I can belong to our local club which has an excellent range.

      I give money to GOA, not the NRA.

  2. Well, at least the move gets LaPierre and the NRA somewhat away from the clutches of that beast of a New York Attorney General. Reports are that she had her claws in Pepé LaPierre’s nutsack, largely neutering him and the NRA during the 2020 elections.

    Until that Vichy bastard and his cronies go, the NRA doesn’t get another dime. My money is going to the SAF — They Fight.

  3. The NRA had little to do with our Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). VCDL concentrates on influencing state and local governments. The NRA seems to concentrate on lobbying nationally rather than locally. Sure they send Virginia happenings in their emails, but typically that’s just a fundraiser. They don’t have much to do with politics in Richmond (though they do routinely claim credit for VCDL’s great work).

    1. Right on. Wayne LaPrince (his self-image) tried to take credit for the VCDL’s 25,000 person plus march on the Virginia Capitol on Lobby Day last January a year ago. He didn’t have a damned thing to do with that.
      That turnout scared the crap out of our Governor Blackface so much he fortified the capitol grounds that January in a preview of the fortifications put up in DC as a reaction to the march on the national Capitol this year. This January, Governor Gelding played the Covid Card to outlaw having another appearance organized by VCDL. More importantly, that turnout and the thousands who showed up at nearly every county board of supervisors’ meeting and city council meetings all over the state scared a few Dem senators who represent semi rural areas so much that they declined to vote for legislation that would have banned AR’s and “high capacity”magazines.

  4. Wayne and his cronies get not a single cent from me….(Patron life member, btw)…

    A New York corporation? WTF? And Dallas? They should buy some land in West Texas and build a range to go with the museum.

    And the move, which should have been done decades ago is now going to leave the organization with a white-elephant building, in a very bad real estate climate. BRILLIANT, Wayne…

  5. Good riddance. I live less than 3 miles from the HQ.
    It is instructive that the windows are glazed so that they can see out, but no one can see in.

    Several years ago, myself and a group of investors tried to open an indoor shooting range in Fairfax County. We foolishly went to the NRA to see if they could provide us with some top cover with the county. Nothing, nada, zip. Not even a meeting. Every one of the investors were (were) Life Members.

    NRA is a grift. Saying they’ll do something to get money, get the money, pretend to do something but then complain they didn’t do it because they need more money. ‘ef ’em.

    1. The probably didn’t want to waste their money.

      When I lived up there, there were four ranges, one OK, one pitiful, one a club.

      One, in Annandale was grandfathered, no doubt. Another in off-the-beaten path Newington. One in Chantilly (not far from the NRA HQ range) That, I think, opened up long before the area got stupid crowded

      I can’t think if a single location where the locals wouldn’t screech and carry on should a range be proposed. The NRA themselves spent gobs of money to get theirs approved.

      So I’d see it as a waste of palm grease.

  6. Life member since I was in college. Lapierre and his ilk always seemed to be more concerned about getting invited to the right DC cocktail parties than protecting the 2a

    1. That and their bad habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, then claiming “it would have been much worse if we weren’t in there fighting for your rights send money.”

      1. It does make a guy think that us peons exist to perpetuate the organization, not the organization existing to protect us peons. Been through this before with other lobbying agencies I had the poor luck to be affiliated with. They treated the times they had to spend with us lowlifes as a necessary evil, until they could get back to the important things.

  7. I am a life member of TSRA and NRA.
    TSRA is A+. Texas is very fortunate to have them. (I hated to see Alice Tripp retire. She was great)
    NRA, not so much. They have even gotten to the point that they don’t support competitive shooting so much. Even so, we would not have a 2nd Amendment without their past efforts.

  8. FWIW, not a yuge NRA supporter. Used to live up there.

    But if memory serves they bought that building during a real estate meltdown, or banking crisis (I think it was supposed to be a bank HQ), at pennies on the dollar.

    Their original HQ was in DC, was falling apart, and would cost way too much, given it’s DC, to rebuild. So they picked up that building on the cheap.

  9. I was a yearly member of the NRA for years and missed one or two. I became a Life Member around 2015 or so when they had a sale.

    Not a dime more until LaPierre and his cronies are gone. He’s far overpaid for the position. We need an accounting of the NRA’s finances. They have some good training programs but they really need to organize weekly and monthly matches like they do in Switzerland. We need someone like Neal Knox running the show.


  10. Seems like it would make a whole lot more sense to move their HQ to the Whittington Center in New Mexico. They already own over 33,000 acres there.

  11. The NRA is not leaving the Building in Fairfax, they are just re incorporating in Texas from NY. They are far from done. I have shot in the range in the headquarters building, nice range for an indoor range. They moved to Fairfax to get away from the draconian laws in DC but close enough to the center of power. As far as their not supporting shooting. My club received a grant from them to rebuild our skeet range to make it handicapped accessible. Another club in my AO received a grant to fix up their pistol range to make it handicapped accessible. The NRA does support shooting.

    People who constantly criticize the NRA need to recognize who the real enemy is, and it is not the NRA. As for those other organizations (SAF,GOA etc) how many of them actually spend money on actual shooting activities? How many have training programs to instruct new shooters. NRA does a lot more than make noise about “Fighting” for the second amendment, they support it with training, grants, shoots and many other ways.

    I for one am frustrated by the constant criticism from shooters. The organization is not perfect but it exists and our current state of freedom is largely due to them. If they were not effective they would not be under attack from the left and the media. When was the last time you heard any of the other organizations attacked in the media. They hardly know who GOA and SAF etc are.

    And you who are life members, did you vote? Probably not. The way to change the NRA is to elect board members who will change the organization from within. Yet a minute percentage of eligible voters bother to vote each year or even know where the current board members stand on issues.

    OK rant over, can’t wait for the rebuttals.

    1. I like the NRA. Am a member, and I want to see it thrive and succeed. But I think LaPierre has been in there too long, and there’s some accountability with things that is not happening. Or at least I don’t see it. It’s like the situation with Joe Paterno, too many acolytes and not enough tough questions. I realize more probably gets accomplished on the golf course than the board room, but that excuse leads to the potential of some shady practices that are unquantifiable. I used to see the NRA with a booth at every gun show, lately its like they can’t be bothered, and it might well be that enough local talent has quit in disgust to move on to other organizations.

      I cant escape the feeling that WLP is protecting his kingdom first, the NRA second, and the 2A when it gets around to it.

    2. Not a big NRA fan right now – It’s time for LaPierre to go. When they get their internal mess cleaned up, I’ll probably join again. And I’ve told them so when the fund-raising calls come.

      That said, the reality is that absent the NRA, we probably would not have the 2nd Amendment freedoms we have now. Remember – we went over the last 40 years or so from the dark days of the “assault weapon” ban and carry being difficult and unusual, to today EVERY state having some form of legal concealed carry. 40 states are “shall issue” carry, and “constitutional” carry is spreading across much of the nation – 18 states and spreading. Aside from California, it’s hard to find a jurisdiction at this point doing further restrictions (and California is, well, California. Bizarroland.). Millions carry every day. A new assault weapon ban is a dead issue in Congress, and despite the cries of alarm heard all over the gun world over new bills introduced (and justifiably so), it is unlikely that any significant gun control is going to pass Congress. The votes simply are not there. Nationally, it is a much heathier gun culture than it was 40 years ago, a safer gun culture (accidental shootings are at record lows) than before, and the NRA is a major part of the reason why.

      And our enemies are not what they appear. They are largely the creation of Bloomberg’s checkbook. Without Bloomberg’s millions, there would be no significant anti-gun organizations, and the ones that exist (Mom’s Demand, Everytown, etc.) are entirely astroturf subsisting on Bloomberg’s cash. NRA’s influence comes from its membership, and more millions who support the ideals even if they’re not members. Fact is, gun control is an electoral loser of an issue in most places. And vast numbers of persons who favor more controls don’t realize the laws and regulations in place now – when informed about current laws, support for further regulations dwindles.

      For all the NRA’s problems, and they are real, there is a reason they are attacked. They’ve been effective. As the old saying goes, if you’re taking flak, you know you’re over the target. And yes, at times they’re willing to make strategic concessions (are bump stocks really the hill you’re willing to die on?). We may disagree on those concessions, but compromise, and knowing when to push, and when to wait, is the reality of politics. I haven’t always agreed with those decisions, but I understand that strategic decisions have to be made. They’ve been unnecessarily timid on litigation, and SAF and Alan Gura is doing much of the heavy lifting on that front.

      For all our complaining – and our understandable and necessary pushing to get back to a nation based on constitutional principles (we are, in my opinion, right now teetering on the edge of whether we are going to have a constitution that matters, in many areas unrelated to the 2nd Amendment), it’s useful to remember where we were.

    3. Harmony,
      Thanks for reminding folks the good things that the NRA does. That often goes unnoticed because negative news tends to be more attractive to read. Oh the NRA gave a grant and helped build a new range or improve an existing range and developed firearm safety courses. That’s nice but it’s expected. Excessive spending by LaPIerre and his cronies is not expected so that is what people focus on. There’s no question that the basic pistol safety class is one of the better basic classes out there and has been used as a requirement for obtaining a firearms license. The requirement for that license is another story altogether.

      I think the campaign the NRA had several decades ago should be brought back. That campaign is the “I’m the NRA.” that showed people that Second Amendment supports come from all walks of life and all occupations.

      Truth be told though, LaPIerre and his cronies need to go. From my understanding, numerous members of the Board of Directors asked for an accounting of the NRA’s finances. Anyone who asked or wasn’t part of LaPierre’s circle, was treated poorly either by not getting their committee assignments etc. I don’t believe that the BoD has the power to keep the NRA working properly.

      The NRA is in desperate need of a PR campaign among its own members. That’s very pathetic.

      The NRA should have a booth at every gun show and at the large matches. Set up a booth at IDPA, USPCA, Trap, Skeet, Rifle matches at the state level then start working towards club level. Every gun shop should have a bulletin board up with contacts for the local NRA recruiter, GOA, SAF and the state organizations.

      As some politician said, all politics is local. The problem with the NRA is that they need to get involved in local situations. They should give credit where it’s due.

      The NRA’s differences with Ackerman McQueen should have been resolved internally between them. In this day and age of stream your own content and podcasts, the NRA fubared their NRA TV run by Ack Mac. I liked the content generally but rather than do biographies of these super rich contributors, they should have shown more grassroots accomplishments. Do a story of each state’s local organization. That would educate and help get more people involved in supporting our 2A rights.

      I thought one of their good outreach programs was a monthly magazine marketed to women. My wife had that as her membership magazine while it was in print. It was a very good magazine. It contained the standard fear mongering letter from LaPIerre and Cox, the past head of NRA-ILA but the other articles were great! I wish they would bring that back or put an article geared towards women in their monthly magazines.

      Thanks again for mentioning the NRA’s merits. Unfortunately, the NRA currently has a significant number of pressing problems that it shows that it does not wish to address.


  12. Kim, as usual, I’m late to the comment thread, but what I’m about to write is of sufficient merit to not only include, but you might even want to post it “in red” at the top of a new thread, as it’s plainly obvious that people do not *know* of this option:

    If you want to retain your NRA membership, but DON’T want the junk mail, e-mail spam or unsolicited phone calls, the solution is simple. Call the Membership Desk, and ask them to “Code My Membership as NO PROMOTIONS.”

    You must use that exact phrase: “Please CODE my membership as NO PROMOTIONS”, as it’s a listed option in on the Membership Desk Operator’s screen. Do NOT ask them to “stop all the mail” or words to that effect. Those phrases are NOT options on the Operator’s screen. Literalism is important here, I assure you.

    It’ll take four to six weeks after you make the call, but you WILL soon notice a distinct drop off and eventual end to about 98% of those unwanted solicitations.

    Y’all give it a try, whydontcha?

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  13. If you do some research, you will find that the NRA has supported gun control since its founding. Wish I had seen that before becoming a Life Member decades ago. Their fundraising ability might be impacted if attempts at gun control had been sufficiently squashed early on. Just like politicians, they discovered that continuing threats of crimes or bad laws could be leveraged into filling their pockets.
    What makes anyone think that the BoD can be used to control the NRA? Have you ever seen a real company with 70+ directors? That setup has been deliberately engineered to keep the members from developing any control through the Board. It’s a joke. Considering the potential legal consequences of a bad result in the NY courts, any Director still associated with the NRA would appear to lack the brains necessary for their position.

Comments are closed.