I was a member of the NRA for about three years (just expired a few months ago), and I’ve written about gun issues from a very pro-rights perspective. I still hold those views.
But I was quite angry — indeed,Â it cinched my decision not to re-join — when I learned they strongly endorsedÂ George Allen for the Virginia senate seat, accusing Webb of siding too closely with the DNC on many issues (not, interestingly, guns). Allen indeed earned an A+ based on his beliefs, but Webb got an A. That warrants Allen getting the endorsement, but it sure doesn’t justify an active campaign against Webb.
You can read Webb’s response, explaining how he, an NRA member, received a card advising a vote for Allen, here. Also how the group put off posting his A grade on their Web site.
It seems, as this Raising Kaine post alleges, that the NRA is not truly a single issue group. I understand why they’d get involved with media laws that keep them from buying airtime, but there is no reason to support the GOP candidate when his opponent is a member of your organization.
The ultimate irony is that the NRA explained the endorsement by its policy of going with incumbents. But Webb won, so now they’ve managed to anger and possibly alienate a pro-gun senator.
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.