Sunday, November 4, 2007

Why? Let me count the ways...

Here's the reasoning behind the decision to remove Mr. Jackson from the NRA BoD.

Mr. Jackson, a sitting NRA Board of Directors member, went on public television and this is what he had to say;

Interviewer: Of course a lot of law enforcement are concerned about things like assault weapons which they feel like don't really contribute to the keeping of the peace.

JJ: Well, I'm a person that believes in a weapon should never…I personally believe a weapon should never have over a – far as civilian – 5 round capacity. If a hunter, if you're a hunter if you're gonna go hunting with a weapon, you shouldn't need over but one round…

He went on;

Interviewer: So have you brought to the attention of your fellow board members at the NRA that maybe assault weapons ought to be restricted?

JJ: Well we've talked, we've discussed it you know, but uh this thing about assault weapons has been a kind of a touchy deal, but personally, I think these assault weapons basically need to be in the hands of the military and they need to be in the hands of the police, but uh, as far as assault weapons to a civilian, if you… if you… it's alright if you got that magazine capacity down to five…

Interviewer: Five rounds. Limited to that.

JJ: …five, five… Good to go. Five rounds or some…

As his voice trailed off it sounded like he was going to add some more restrictions...

Part II "The Inexplicable Explanation"

Here's where I get some serious heartburn. Mr. Jackson issued a statement to rebut the criticisms he was receiving as news of his statements to the press spread. It was filled with all the heart and soul of a guy trying to get back his place amongst his buddies at the campfire. Unfortunately, after looking closer at the statement, it is illogical and attempts to divert the reader from the real issue.

From his prepared statement:

JJ: When asked about my views of “assault weapons,” I was talking about true assault weapons – fully automatic firearms. I was not speaking, in any way, about semiautomatic rifles.

To illustrate the folly of this statement go back and reread his earlier statements only substitute "machine gun" for "weapon" and you'll see what I mean. Ludicrous. If we are to believe this then he just said he's okay with hunters using 5 round machine guns and civilians having machine guns so long as the mags are limited to 5 rounds. This is either the ramblings of a man who is out of his element when working with the 2nd Amendment (particularly when he started using the undefinable term "assault weapon") or is a blatant attempt to "pull the wool over your eyes." Either, way not the traits I want in an NRA Board of Director member.

A little further down he does address full auto machine guns (another giveaway indicating he wasn't talking about full auto above!) and is very generous saying;

JJ: Many Americans also enjoy owning fully automatic firearms, after being cleared by a background check and meeting the rigorous regulations to own such firearms.

I certainly thank him for his generosity! Strangely, I still haven't seen this in the US Constitution! But it does give you an idea where he is coming from and also shows he was not confusing the two different types of firearms, as he claims.

Now that we've explored what has happened let's look at how the NRA bylaws are effected (or more properly, how he has failed them and us, the members). (Like what we've already learned isn't enough!!)

As members (and Mr. Jackson especially, as a Director on the Board), we are charged with carrying out and acting according to the NRA bylaws. Mr. Jackson has broken several of them. This is serious as he is a sitting member. I've underlined the particular areas I believe Mr. Jackson violated by failing to uphold:

NRA Bylaws
Article II
Purposes and Objectives
The purposes and objectives of the National Rifle Association are:
1. To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially with reference to the inalienable right of the individual American citizen guaranteed by such Constitution to acquire, possess, collect, exhibit, transport, carry, transfer ownership of, and enjoy the right to use firearms, in order that the people may always be in a position to exercise their legitimate individual rights of self-preservation and defense of family, person, and property, as well as to serve effectively in the appropriate militia for the common defense of the Republic and the individual liberty of its citizens;
2. To promote public safety, law and order, and the national defense;
3. To train members of law enforcement agencies, the armed forces, the militia, and people of good repute in marksmanship and in the safe handling and efficient use of small arms."

The overwhelming majority of the above relates to self defense and arms useful as tools for self and family preservation, the militia and armed forces, and the ability to defend from criminals and tyrannical governments; IT'S NOT ABOUT HUNTING!


Article III Section 9
Duties of Members
(a) It is the duty of each member to assist in every feasible manner in promoting the objectives of the Association as set forth in Article II of these Bylaws and to act at all times and in every matter in a manner befitting a sportsman and good citizen.

Did Mr. Jackson's comments (or even his explanations), when looked at properly and with care, advance these objectives? Or harm them?

And does this mean anything: This is what the NRA wrote back to me concerning Mr. Jackson's statements:

"I can assure you that the apparent implications of his statement do NOT reflect the NRA's position." (their capitalization.)

What Director needs to be disavowed by the organization he is sitting on the board of?!! How does this jive with Article III Section 9? What this statement is is the NRA's tacit admission that Mr. Jackson is in violation of the NRA bylaws. I understand board members need to be able to have differing opinions (to invigorate discussion when with the group). BUT, you keep your trap shut when out in public and your views run counter to the established policies. That or leave the organisation.

This is the damage as I see it:

Several reasons we must recall him for this:
1- We have to live with his comments being used by the anti's forever more. This makes our job harder. It will be easier to say, "Yep, and he's no longer on our Board."
2- Consider it a "shot across the bow" of any other appeasers or "civil rights compromisers."
3-We lose members (and prospective members) when the NRA leadership takes up compromise positions on constitutional issues. You can't have a principled organization if you don't ensure the principles are applied. Read back through the various forums and count the number of people who have left or never joined because of the positions the NRA take!
4- We've lost at least three ways: He's given our opposition ammunition, we will have to expend capitol/effort to undo what he's done, we will have to expend more capitol to counter the anti's on this issue, and we could have used that capitol/effort advancing our agenda instead of having to work "damage control".

No comments: