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What does the NRA have, that other conservative groups do not January 29, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, scandals, Society, the struggle for the Church, true leadership.

I say that especially with regard to socially conservative groups.  With the exception of the pro-life movement, which has some level of small success, conservatives have been singularly ineffective in defending the moral order and seeing their agenda enacted.  All, that is, except for the NRA and the gun rights groups.  I saw this article on the surrender of democrat Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on his number one campaign promise – moves against gun rights – last night and what struck me was the fear of God the NRA can strike even in the hearts of liberal stalwarts.  We have nothing similar in the social conservative movement:

Virginia’s Governor Tery McAuliffe has retreated on his Administration’s decision to sever concealed carry reciprocity with 25 states after a firestorm of criticism…….

……It’s interesting to see the Washington Post attempt to call the permanent protective order a “major concession” in order to save face for McAuliffe. It was very much a minor concession in line with what most Republicans support. no one wants an violent abuser to have access to firearms.

You can tell just how much the reversal stung gun control supporters by the screams of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Outside extremely liberal enclaves like New York, Chicago, Washington DC, etc., the pro-gun agenda tends to hold sway.  Even the most anti-gun president in history has been able to do very little to limit access to firearms by law-abiding citizens in his terms of office.  Not for lack of trying.  But even many democrat congressman are terrified of crossing the NRA.

Why is that?  Why is the NRA/gun rights movement so successful, when almost every other social conservative enterprise has failed so spectacularly over the past 40 years or so?

Well, one thing…….the NRA has money, and lots of it.  They have significantly more resources than other social conservative groups.  But how do they get that money?  They get it through fundraising and constantly beating the bushes for more (they do also have some wealthy benefactors).

But it’s not just money that makes the NRA effective.  It’s also voting.  Gun “fanatics” vote.  They are often single-issue voters.  A politician who crosses the gun rights movement is, to all intents and purposes, dead to them, forever.  We are not nearly so consistent on the pro-life or pro-traditional morality side.  We do not have the strong track record of turning out of office politician after politician who votes/supports measures against our interest.  Yes, there were exceptions, particularly in 2010 after the Obamacare debacle, but, for the most part, there either aren’t enough of us, or we don’t vote consistently enough, to be a major electoral factor for a lot of socially liberal politicians.

Now, political power flows from numbers.  But a majority of Americans do not own guns.  While the number of firearms in circulation has dramatically increased in the last decade, the actual number of firearms owners has slightly decreased.  How, then, has the political power of the gun rights lobby seemingly increased?

And do gun rights advocates outnumber social conservatives, generally?  Don’t the two groups largely overlap?  Perhaps not.  I don’t have data, but I know a lot of pro-gun people who are fairly liberal on a host of social issues. They are more libertarian than conservative.

I doubt there are more strident firearms advocates than there are pro-lifers, at least, not enough to make a huge difference, politically.  So, my question remains.

I really don’t have an answer.  I talked with my wife about this last night and we didn’t really come up with any brilliant solution.  About the only thing I could conclude is that gun rights types vote more consistently and organize much, much better.  I do think that is one thing – the gun rights groups are tightly mobilized and tend to be quite disciplined.  The social conservatives are divided among themselves, and only a relative few are conservative across the whole spectrum on social issues (abortion, contraception, redefinition of marriage, sodomy, body mutilation/transgenderism, etc., etc).

I’m kind of out of time, but thought that might make an interesting topic for discussion.


1. skeinster - January 29, 2016

I have an idea on why this is, but will have to develop it.

2. MFG - January 29, 2016

You ask a great question Tantum. Maybe it’s because the NRA understands the stakes better than social conservative do? If they lose the government will come and imprison all gun owners. It’s apocalyptic.

We social conservatives still don’t see the stakes that high even though we already lost twice in 1973 (Roe) and 2013 (Ogberfell). We’re also wimps. If we understand the stakes, particularly from the Catholic camp we would have shut down the government long ago, threatened any politician with expulsion and flooded the streets in protest. It comes back to our Bishops and priests.

Pagans understand the stakes better than we do. Look how the protested against the pro-life bill in Austin in 2013.

A question to ponder: what would it take to activate Catholics to do this 2016?

3. Xopher - January 29, 2016

I think you’re on the right track with the “follow the money” philosophy. The NRA preserves right rights of Americans to BUY and own guns AND AMMO. You can bet that gun and ammo manufacturers contribute to their gargantuan coffers. Pro-life groups don’t exactly have a big business to contribute to them financially.

c matt - January 29, 2016

You would think diaper and formula manufacturers would, but they seem to do the exact opposite.

Judy - January 29, 2016

That’s a fantastic point. Wouldn’t they naturally seek to grow their customer numbers.

4. c matt - January 29, 2016

I guess one other thing they have going for them is an actual Constitutional Amendment to point to. Sure, such things have not mattered too much to the SCOTUS and its ilk, but it is harder to get around, and it is quite straightforward. Abortion, on the other hand, is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, which makes it harder for most Americans to see it as the judicial usurpation it is. It would require much harder thinking, something most of the electorate is either incapable of or unwilling to do.

And, oddly, in a sense, gun ownership is a bit like abortion in that, Joe citizen himself may never really want to own a gun (or have an abortion), but favors the idea of it being available for him should he so choose. Just speculating, but it is an interesting question.

5. Observer - January 29, 2016

A fair number, perhaps the majority, of NRA members are not afraid of lethal force, and that really scares liberal politicians of both parties.

6. Eoin Suibhne - January 29, 2016

Also, there are more Democrat gun owners than most people realize.

7. keithp - January 30, 2016

The NRA has a very experienced legal and lobbying arm known as the ILA.

OTH, they have been very ineffective in CA. I saw that as a Lifetime NRA member.

8. Margaret Costello - January 30, 2016

Agree that having a Constitutional Amendment in your back pocket helps, so does having gun and ammo manufacturers. I think it’s also a natural law issue of the right of self defense. We also have a media that is saturated with shows that portray guns, so we’re kind of used to that. The difference between abortion and being pro gun is that abortion is protecting others while guns (in theory) would protect ourselves. All gets back to that selfish bit of us, I guess.

You noted something in your other article on Islam about how the liberals respond to force…that they will cower in front of it. I think that might be the answer. Get the Christians to fight strong and the liberals will back off. Heck, all of the evil sects (Islam, Progressives etc) will back off if Catholicism takes them on in strength. Now we just need the men to do it:+) Only took twelve to start it all:+)

God bless~

9. CCIR - January 31, 2016

Sorry about posting off topic. Please remove this post if I have violated any policy of yours.

I have just received news that beginning March 1, 2016, Father Jason Cargo will serve as pastor of Saint Joseph’s Church in Richardson. Father Timothy Heines resigned some time go as pastor there. Monsignor Milam Joseph has since acted as Administrator of St. Joseph parish.

Is there solid reason to hope that Father Cargo will bring some sense of Latin Church liturgical tradition to St. Joseph? Any hope that Father Cargo can bring even a bit of Latin and Gregorian Chant to St. Joseph?.

Concerned Catholic in Richardson.

Tantumblogo - February 1, 2016

Fr. Cargo is very solid. I am a bit surprised by this. I figured he would be on the periphery of the Diocese for most of his career. Seems I don’t know everything, yet.

Last year he led Rosary processions through Corsicana during Lent, all 40 days.

Wow, from Milam Joseph, arch-liberal, to Fr. Cargo……whiplash for St. Joseph!

Yes, I would say there is a solid reason to hope for improved liturgy. As pastor, he may try to mix in more Latin into the Mass – perhaps especially on weekdays. Chant is a possibility, depending on the amount of resistance he encounters from lay staff at the parish (I have no idea – maybe they’d love it. I haven’t been to St. Joseph much in 15 years).

At one point Fr. Cargo was interested in offering the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin. That was several years ago. It did not happen, for several reasons. But he is certainly well disposed.

Are you sure this is confirmed? Actually fairly big news. I saw a photo of Fr. Cargo conducting burial rites in a black Roman chasuble and biretta not too long ago. So, I don’t think he’s compromised too much.

And if this comes to pass, I should have to publicly eat some words, which I would be very glad to do.

10. female - January 31, 2016

I have never belonged to the NRA. I believe in the right to bear arms and to self-defense. I learned how to shoot as a youngster but haven’t done so in years. I have also been active in pro-life activities for over two decades. I can only guess as to why the NRA is successful with their agenda. I’m sure it has many female members but I would assume that’s it has more male members and is male dominated. They are willing to stand up for what they believe in. I would assume that number one they want to defend themselves. Secondly to defend property and those around them. Unfortunately men are also some of the staunchest supporters of abortion/contraception. They’re not directly defending themselves as their number one priority. I think people will always be more motivated to preservation when it’s their own life on the line. It’s human nature. If the unborn could bear arms and join the NRA, I think we might see a different outcome. Also, while the Church approves of force used in self-defense, we seem to be rather averse to force used in defense of others — i.e. blowing up abortion centers is frowned upon. Perhaps this difference in Catholic policy also has an effect on the efficacy of the different movements.

11. CCIR - February 1, 2016

Thank you for having permitted my off-topic post about Father Cargo. I apologize for using the nickname CCIR as I would like please to remain anonymous. Please be assured that my information about Father Cargo’s pending assignment to Saint Joseph is 100 percent confirmed.

I hope that Father Cargo will bring Gregorian Chant to St. Joseph. But we are very heavy here into Marty Haugen music. The Sanctuary at St. Joseph is ugly. Save for the icon of Jesus that is above the wall well behind the free-standing altar, the Sanctuary here is barren of any sense of Catholicism. Should anybody doubt my description of the Sanctuary, please go to the following link of photos of Saint Joseph church and click to enlarge the photos of the Sanctuary:


I must say that the parish is blessed with two young and reverent priests in Fathers Jacob Dankasa and Juan Carlos Marin. But the parish is in desperate need of a pastor who will permit more of a sense of Holy Tradition to permeate the Mass and parish.

Concerned in Richardson

Tantumblogo - February 1, 2016

Sorry your comments keep getting flagged as spam. I am freeing them as soon as I can, but there is a delay in the system I have no control over.

Agree St. Joseph is no beauty. The tabernacle is in the chapel behind a narrow set of doors. I don’t like the altar or the entire arrangement of the open-air sanctuary with seating on 3 sides. That was all Msgr. Fischer. I was there when he did that remodeling and he was sure proud of it. Better than St. Mark, though.

Hopefully Fr. Cargo will be relatively free to act. God bless him, he’ll probably face opposition.

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