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A group called the National Association for Gun Rights makes the NRA look reasonable:

The Gun Rights association says it aggressively fights “gun grabbers” in state capitals and Washington. The group has raised millions of dollars in part by depicting the better-known National Rifle Association as too “inside the Beltway” and “more interested in having access to politicians and ‘getting something done.’ ”

“We believe in absolutely 100% no compromise,” the association says on its website.

Dudley got started in Colorado with his group the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which later morphed into the NAGR. He built quite the reputation in Colorado with his Grover Norquest-esque demands that Republican politicians sign his no compromise pledge. Here’s from an excellent piece by Eli Stokols:

He savagely and routinely attacks candidates and officeholders unwilling to pledge, in writing, their absolute loyalty to Brown on Second Amendment issues. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010—the “corporations are people” case—spurred myriad nontraditional political groups into action, and Brown has capitalized on his group’s newfound freedom. He’s built RMGO and the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) into a double-barreled fund-raising machine that bullies anyone who compromises Brown’s pro-gun, anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda… Says former state Representative B.J. Nikkel, a Larimer County Republican who ran afoul of Brown last year after she voted for civil unions legislation: “He’s a political terrorist and a modern-day charlatan who operates in the shadows and portrays himself as a supposed ‘Christian,’ but he uses the people naive enough to believe him and financially support him.”

And it’s people like Dudley that have caused the current chasm in the Republican party to open up; far-right ideologues of the Tea Party variety that Republicans tried to co-opt by delivering to them the rhetoric they more-or-less wanted to hear without ever actually delivering results. Republicans never thought these guys would ever take things into their own hands—they figured they could blame everything on Democrats and get away with it, forgetting that they’ve been broadcasting a brand of machismo that can’t allow for defeat from the sissy left. Here’s how Brown damaged Republicans in Colorado:

Brown’s hostage-holding of any center- or left-tilting Colorado Republican has crippled the GOP’s ability to regain a political foothold, making Colorado a swing-state microcosm of the national GOP’s biggest problem: breaking free of its base and becoming more “inclusive,” an imperative Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus outlined in March [of 2013]. Indeed, Brown doesn’t give much thought to the Republican team. “If you’re not feared in politics, you’re not respected,” he told me one day in his office. “And I don’t really care anymore about trying to play nice.”

Apparently lots of gun owners feel similarly. On their website, the NAGR claims “4.5 million members and supporters,” whereas the NRA, which has been around since 1871, reached its peak in 2013 with 5 million members.

Like any other group that buys into conspiracy theories, they’re fond of internet memes. I’m not really sure how people see stuff like this


and agree with it. The idea here of “accepting reality” means that the carrier thinks in reality they can be murdered at any moment, and that the logical response to that is to carry a weapon anywhere and be on the lookout for those would-be murderers. Or this one:

nagr 2

Even if you admit that you don’t carry to kill people, you admit other people carry to kill people. And they insist on points like this:

nagr 3

One of those classic ‘correlation does not necessarily equal causation’ deals, but if you’re as committed to guns as these guys, facts be damned. It would be just as easy to show that the declining number of gun owners has led to a decrease in violent crime in spite of the increasing number of guns. General Social Survey reports, via The Washington Post:

wapo gss

But even if the claims that a higher number of guns leads to a lower level of crime were true, it couldn’t dispute that a higher number of guns in an area leads to a higher number of gun deaths in that area:



But the conversation about guns in this country isn’t about what’s practical or logical or what measure might outrageous level of gun violence in this country. As people like Dudley Brown demonstrate, it’s about not comprising, ever, because to compromise would be to admit that we live in a democracy where other people get to have a voice, too.