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An Open Letter to the N.R.A.

By Lee Robinson

As a member of the National Rifle Association, I receive from them on a regular and frequent basis various offers, special reports and questionnaires. The basic message in all of this is to send more money. I am told over and over again about the sleazy politicians who are trying to eliminate my various Human Rights, specifically the right to arm and defend myself, and how urgent and expensive is the need to lobby against these treasonous swine. The questionnaires always profess great respect for my opinions and state how important it is for the N.R.A. to form itself in an image most agreeable to its members. Then they ask for more money to continue the political battle. Unfortunately, and probably deliberately, the phrasing and thrust of these questions never seems to allow an answer that would really change what the N.R.A. has become, another cog in the political machine that is running and ruining America. So I would like to take this opportunity to clearly state my advice to the National Rifle Association.


To attempt to solve the problems of bad government by immersing oneself in the degenerative process that creates bad government is like trying to save one's marriage by moving into a whorehouse. By this I certainly don't mean that N.R.A. members should not participate in the civic process. The voting power of 4,000,000 citizens has had a noticeable effect in the past, which is how Democracy is supposed to work. But so long as the political machine decides who we can vote for and how they will perform once they are in office, that noticeable effect will not translate into a noticeable change. For Association members to keep funding a pack of lobbyists who spend their time schmoozing with politicians is self defeating. It perpetuates the insidious process of back room deals and quid pro quo bargains in which our rights and freedoms are the currency changing hands.

The people who choose to do this kind of work enjoy the prestige of cuddling up to the powerful. The working conditions aren't bad either; restaurants, fancy bars, cozy offices. It's always warm in the winter and cool in the summer and it is always covered by an expense account. If the cause they claim to be fighting for was won, this would all be lost. The incentive is to compromise, to equivocate, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory so that it can all go pleasantly on forever. The process is corrupt and corrupting and one cannot be a player for any length of time without also becoming another piece in the infernal game.

A textbook example of this phenomenon, one very relevant to our subject, is Senator McCain. As a prisoner of war his courage and strength enabled him to resist overwhelming efforts to betray his country. But his years in politics have done what his years in prison could not. Now he is reduced to allying himself with one of the greasiest weasels to inhabit Washington since Roy Cohn was slithering along the corridors of power. Together they would create laws that bring our country closer in essence to the one McCain once fought against. In Viet Nam we often didn't know who the enemy was, but in Washington you don't know who the enemy is nor who your friends are. It is not the place to seek justice or respect for personal Liberty.

I am by no means certain that anything will really be allowed to change, but if it can be done at all at this point it must be done through the courts. The N.R.A. should be bringing a massive civil rights lawsuit against all government agencies, individual politicians and any other bureaucratic lackeys who have infringed upon our legal rights, undermined our Constitutional government and violated their oaths of office. Simultaneously, we should be attacking the political machine itself - and what could be more appropriate than using that body of law designed to protect us from Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations? R.I.C.O. lawsuits aimed at the hierarchy of the machine, the Republican and Democratic National Committees, brought by a competent legal force, would do more to cleanse our government than all the lobbyists since the Constitutional Convention. That is a plan of action that I will support financially. I'm not handing over any more money to lobbyists.

Of course, it can be argued that the courts are really nothing but another apparatus within the political machine and it would not be wise to put the fate of our freedom in such hands. The Supreme Court has ruled at one time or another in favor of keeping Human Beings as slaves, in favor of putting certain citizens in concentration camps, that the killing of Human embryos is not only legally acceptable but a right, in favor of forced sterilization and several times in favor of racial segregation. They are essentially a pack of politically connected lawyers who embody all the well known qualities of both politicians and lawyers, otherwise they wouldn't be there.

But I say let's get it over with. We are wasting our time with legislators because all of the law we need was written 200 years ago. It is called The Constitution and ultimately it is up to us to enforce it. And if the courts prove to be the final agents of the great double cross? Well, that's why we have a Second Amendment in the first place.

Lee Robinson lives on a farm in Tennessee where he raises exotic poultry. He enjoys target shooting and making life difficult for tyrants.

ę 2002 (unless otherwise noted)

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