The Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb sent out a March 3 email notice to members and supporters in which he endorsed the candidacy of Grover Norquist for director in this year’s National Rifle Association board election.
“My good friend Grover Norquist who is also on the NRA Board and up for reelection this year had an excellent interview with Newsmax that I want to call your attention to,” Gottlieb announced, directing readers to an interview on concealed carry decreasing crime. “He got my vote for the NRA Board and if you haven’t cast your vote yet I highly recommend that you also vote for him. A strong NRA helps us all.”
The problem with Gottlieb’s endorsement is that Norquist is what even “progressive” MSNBC acknowledges to be an “amnesty-loving immigration activist.” No less an authority than Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has declared the millions of illegal immigrants in this country have “earned the right to be citizens … An earned path to citizenship for those currently present in this country is a matter of, in my view, homeland security to encourage people to come out from the shadows.”
Democrat Rep. Kurt Schraeder further defined the shape of things to come when that happens, linking the current push to the civil rights march on Selma, and declaring “Immigration reform is probably the biggest issue of the 21st century. It will decide who is in charge of this country for the next 20 or 30 years.”
That’s a meme that’s being widely spread, as evidenced by a social media post from Democrat strategist Donna Brazile, who tweeted “Let’s march on and urge others to join with us and fight for a constitutional amendment for the right of all eligible citizens to vote.” That she doesn’t elaborate on who is actually currently eligible and being prevented from voting is of no matter. “Amnesty activists” are trying to co-opt the “Bloody Sunday” commemoration to lay claim to that eligibility.
OK, but so what? What does any of that have to do with gun rights?
Really? Being a keystone objective of the anti-gun “progressives,” the Obama administration, and the Democrat party, which includes things like a renewed “assault weapon” ban in its national platform isn’t enough? How about the fact that all credible polling shows not only will this result in overwhelming support for the Democrats, but also that this population is overwhelmingly (71 to 25 percent) in favor of more government controls on guns?
Yet curiously, with the threat this has of undoing all legislative and judicial gains in gun rights enjoyed to date, especially through the confirmation of judges who will then be in a position to reverse such wins, only Gun Owners of America has consistently been sounding this alarm. Out of the national gun groups, only GOA intends to score politicians on amnesty.
For all of NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre’s talk about rights being dependent on each other, meaning a threat to one is a threat to all, he made sure to leave amnesty conspicuously out of all the other issues he raised at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference in February. The NRA Nominating Committee’s endorsement of Norquist made it problematic to mention the conflict of interest between the guy Newsmax introduced as an “influential DC insider-type person” and the membership.
“FYI, I am going to publicly and strongly oppose this,” I emailed Gottlieb, disappointed and perplexed as to why he would make such an endorsement. “If you would like to offer a for-the-record comment for publication on your decision to do this and the continued silence on the amnesty/pathway to citizenship issue by CCRKBA and SAF, please do.”
“Grover Norquist is a staunch Second Amendment rights advocate on the NRA Board of Directors,” Gottlieb responded. “SAF and CCRKBA only deal with the issue of gun rights. While I personally oppose amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for people here illegally, immigration policy and issues like abortion, global warming, health care and others are not part of our mission statement, articles of incorporation or approval for our non-profit tax status.
“I personally urge gun owners interested in those issues to get involved in organizations whose mission directly deals with those issues,” he elaborated. “I have chosen to serve on the boards of directors of a number of organizations like the American Conservative Union, Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise and many others that work on issues that I am concerned about.”
For the record, ACU supported Marco Rubio’s “immigration reform” and sponsored CPAC, where LaPierre gave his above-referenced speech. And Gottlieb is president of CDFE, which does not include immigration as a project priority on its website. His apples and oranges deflection aside, if those other issues started posing the same threat to gun rights as an influx of millions of new anti-gun voters, why wouldn’t a gun rights organization oppose them?
Gottlieb’s response this time is a bit different from the one he gave after SAF invited attendees to submit resolutions, and then held back mine on the amnesty threat at the last Gun Rights Policy Conference. While he insisted afterward that the submission was not rejected and his “independent resolutions committee … ran out of time,” he never did respond to my follow-up request to have the issue considered when his group did have time.
His position given now helps explain why that has not been forthcoming, and frankly, it’s baffling. With the landmark decisions SAF helped bring about in Heller and McDonald, each won by just one vote, anti-gun lower court appointments and a Supreme Court shift will become inevitable. As will legislation that all but eviscerates the Second Amendment, or at least government recognition of it.
If Alan Gottlieb, Grover Norquist, Wayne LaPierre and establishment Republicans have credible data — not just anecdotes and platitudes — to refute those fears, it’s up to them to share it so that it can be validated. Otherwise, an understandable suspicion will remain that they are showing deliberate indifference to these concerns for other reasons.
I’m not trying to pick a fight with any of these people, or to harass them, or to bring down the wrath of their loyalists on my head. If they give a credible, unequivocal answer that can be corroborated, I’ll stop harping on the subject and leave them alone on this issue.
And all of that aside, words about permitted carry given to Clinton BFF and Newsmax honcho Chris Ruddy’s “conservative” news site notwithstanding, Norquist has proven more than willing to ignore NRA member interests and empower gun-grabbers when he‘s wearing one of his higher-priority hats. He ought to be voted down as a director for that reason alone, except the lack of informed choice transparency — and you understand that’s by design — probably means his election’s in the bag.