Ray Schoenke, President of the American Hunters and Shooters Association made a statement about the NRA.
Schoenke said that the National Rifle Association once again demonstrated it is a partisan political entity, not an organization committed to the best interests of gun owners.
In 2001, the NRA’s magazine, America’s First Freedom, said that John McCain was “one of the premier flag carriers for the enemies of the Second Amendment.” That came after McCain introduced federal legislation on gun show background checks, which came after McCain’s appearances in television ads supporting referenda in Colorado and Oregon to require backgrounds checks at gun shows. The NRA vehemently opposed those measures, which were passed by voters.
See one of the McCain TV ads here:
And the other one here:
In 2004, the NRA endorsed George Bush despite his long-standing support for renewal of the federal assault weapons ban, a measure also vehemently opposed by the NRA. In fact, John McCain voted for the renewal of the assault weapons ban in 2004, when he supported S. 1805, which included an amendment on assault weapons.
This history is important. It’s hard to imagine any Democrat getting a similar pass from the NRA. In fact, the NRA has been going over Barack Obama’s state senate record with a microscope to find any bad vote. Meanwhile, Obama has repeatedly expressed support for the Second Amendment and has even supported a key NRA bill in the U.S. Senate.
But, the NRA’s long memory on Obama is contradicted by its lack of honest scrutiny of John McCain and his record. The GOP nominee mocked the NRA to its face by appearing in those TV ads in 2000 and serving as the lead sponsor for gun show legislation. The NRA is holding Obama accountable for votes taken 10 years ago, but giving McCain a pass for his actions within the past 8 years.
But, the leaders of the NRA always put their own political interests first. They’re willing to spend the millions of dollars of their members’ money to fight Obama when McCain has led the charge against the organization. The NRA is spending those millions to deceive its members and other gun owners. Three independent sources — FactCheck.org, CNN and the Washington Post, have found the NRA’s ads misleading and false.
And, the truth is that NRA has been selling out hunters on conservation interests for years. The organization that I head, the American Hunters and Shooters Association put out a comprehensive report showing that the NRA has support Members of Congress with the worst conservation records. Our report showed that the NRA has stood with George Bush, John McCain, and the corporate lobbyists instead of standing up for hunters and shooters’ interest in protecting our forests and public lands.
Today’s action by the NRA wasn’t unexpected. It just confirms that Wayne LaPierre has made that once great institution nothing but a pawn of the right wing conservative politicians.
Ray Schoenke is the president of the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA). He is a former Washington Redskin great and avid hunter who now runs a 300-acre hunting farm on Maryland‘s Eastern Shore. Located in Maryland, AHSA is committed to supporting the right to keep and bear arms, responsible gun ownership, and conservation.