The National Rifle Association is successful because it is popular, because its members are highly engaged, because it is defending a right that is enumerated in the nation’s founding document and a tradition that is cherished by members of both major political parties, because its opponents routinely embarrass themselves with their hysteria and with their lack of rudimentary knowledge about the topic at hand, and, most of all, because it is a single-issue organization that maintains its focus.
There are other problems with success as well. You get lazy. An organization can rot from the inside and only have an empty shell that looks imposing but doesn’t have the inner strength to take on the next opponent.
I want each of these organizations to be constantly thinking and working to improve themselves. They should be constantly asking themselves, “How can we be more successful in crushing the enemies of the Second Amendment? How can we repeal ineffective, stupid laws that infringe upon the rights of innocent people?”
NRA and gun owners in general are headed in the right direction but our current set of infringing laws and oppressive public sentiment has been decades in the making and it will probably be decades more before the likes of The Brady Campaign, Bloomberg and friends, The Violence Policy Center, and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence are as despised as much as the KKK are now. The NRA, and gun owners in general, need to keep the final goal in mind as well as fighting and winning the individual battles.
As Cooke points out this will require some focus and discipline. It would be easy for a lot of the supporters of the NRA to dilute its power by branching out into issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and racial issues. Our opponents recognize this as our softest spot and frequently attack it. Don’t make their jobs easier. The issue is the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. As soon as our opponents veer to another topic call them on it. Announce they must be admitting defeat on the topic at hand. If the best they have are dick jokes and absurd claims of race or a “war on women” then most people will recognize the crazy rants for what they are.—Joe]