NRA's Cox calls RedState report 'a lie'
June 30, 11:14 AM
Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea
The head of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action denies that NRA has prohibited its directors from testifying during the Kagan hearings. Appearing on NRA's "Cam and Company" program, ILA Executive Director Chris Cox dismissed a report claiming a "gag order" as "just outrageous, it's a lie."
Here's the claim from RedState.com's Erick Erickson:
Internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members show that the National Rifle Association’s management team has explicitly and directly told the NRA’s board they are prohibited from testifying about second amendment issues during the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings.
...[T]his is one of those internet rumors that is simply not true.
Let's watch the entire exchange:
Cox did allude to an official policy, in fairness not unlike those adopted by most organizations:
But when we do communicate an official position of the National Rifle Association, it's important for us to speak with a united voice.
Is such a policy what Erickson's sources were referring to, and did ILA issue a specific reminder with the Kagan hearings in mind?
Mr. Erickson would do well to clarify, because as it stands, we have a he said/he said situation with credibility in question and much confusion in between.
And Mr. Cox would do well to take concrete action to show us his denial has meaning beyond damage control.
Adopting a "wait and see" attitude on the Kagan nomination hardly helps--especially since the perception is NRA was reluctant to take a stand during the earlier Sotomayor hearings. No one can seriously think Kagan will be protective of gun owner rights, and Monday's 5-4 Supreme Court decision ought to make it clear how foolhardy it would be to not strongly oppose such a nominee, who will assume lifetime power to rule on future Second Amendment cases if confirmed.
I see no good reason for NRA not making its objections known before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The "political capital" apologia does not wash--if there was ever a time to take a firm stand, it is now. If only certain authorized individuals can speak on behalf of the Association, why isn't Cox appearing? NRA presents itself as the leader, but the battle has begun and they're absent from the field, telling us their role is to be observers, not combatants.
At this point, we don't even know if they will formally oppose Kagan's confirmation and score it. And just to clarify, will Mr. Cox specifically tell us how he intends to keep NRA's commitment to score Sotomayor votes, which he repeated in this interview?
Will we see any lowering of letter grades? If we don't, what good is it, and how is that any different from no scoring at all? And if we do, will they be equally weighted across the board or selectively assigned? That is, will we see a standard scoring impact that reflects the gravity of putting an anti-gunner on the Supreme Court? Will NRA tell us what it is? Why haven't they to date?
Without these questions unequivocally addressed, the posturing is just words. NRA has been raising a lot of hackles lately with McCain, DISCLOSE, this, and lots more, and these are just recent disconnects with much of the gun activist community. It's past time for Fairfax to look at how their actions and attitudes have contributed to the perception.
Also see: Is NRA squelching dissent on Kagan?