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NRA Responds to Member's Concern of Their Support of CARA

From: "ILA-Contact" <ILA-Contact@nrahq.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 16:23:26 -0400
To: <rbeamis@keepandbeararms.com>
Subject: RE: Contact from NRAhq web site: Membership/General Comments

As for your concerns regarding NRA's support of H.R. 701, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), we appreciate you sharing your opinions, and we are happy to explain our position.

First, our support of CARA is based on a provision within the bill known as Title III-Wildlife Conservation and Restoration. NRA helped to author Title III, which provides additional funds to state fish and wildlife agencies through the Pittman-Robertson (P-R) trust account. Congress established the P-R trust in the 1930s with the strong backing of sportsmen, and the trust account assists states in conserving and restoring wildlife and habitat, which is a benefit to hunters and other sportsmen.

Because NRA has a long history of promoting and defending hunting as a shooting sport and as a viable and necessary method of fostering the propagation, growth and conservation, and wise use of our renewable wildlife resources, it is clearly appropriate for NRA to support Title III. And since Title III is one of 10 different sections of CARA, it is necessary for NRA to support CARA in order to ensure the passage of Title III. In addition, all major hunting and conservation organizations support CARA.

While NRA's support of CARA is based solely on Title III, we also understand that there are some organizations and individuals that object to CARA because of Title II, which creates a land acquisition trust account for the federal land management agencies. NRA certainly appreciates the views of those opposed to federal land acquisition in general, and as it relates to CARA, and NRA is very sensitive to the fears expressed by some of our members that CARA may pose a threat to their interests that fall outside NRA's purview of defending our Right to Keep and Bear Arms and hunting.

But it is also important for all concerned to remember that NRA's strength is based on its narrow focus on protecting the Second Amendment and our hunting heritage. This strength is enhanced by not being involved with other matters-including the issue of federal land acquisition per se-that might distract or divide our supporters. NRA has an obligation to its members to remain focused on defending our firearm freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution, and on preserving our
hunting heritage. As you can appreciate, the NRA's constituency is universal. In protecting the right to arms and the future of hunting, our Association draws allies from every point of the political, social, racial, religious, geographic and economic spectra. Since our members are powerfully united on firearm and hunting-related issues, our strength is enhanced by not being involved with other issues that could split our base of support.

Unfortunately, several organizations and individuals that are primarily concerned with federal land acquisition issues have launched a campaign against NRA because of its support of CARA's Title III. These opponents of CARA appear to have an overall objection to the federal government acquiring any private land-even land that may later be used to expand hunting opportunities or establish ranges for the general public. Because these organizations and individuals have failed to convince lawmakers to remove Title II from CARA or amend it to their satisfaction, they recently resorted to launching attacks on NRA in an attempt to convince NRA members to urge their Association to take up their specific cause. The NRA has openly supported Title III since CARA was introduced in 1998, leaving one to wonder why these organizations and individuals did not raise their concerns earlier.

This deceptive tactic by CARA's opponents has led to confusion among some NRA members, leading some to question NRA's support of CARA. And even though opposition to CARA has been based on issues that fall well outside NRA's purview, NRA is still a membership-driven organization, and we are always very responsive to the concerns of our members. While we support Title III of CARA, we are keeping close track of the comments from those NRA members who have expressed their opposition. This issue will likely be discussed in several committees during NRA's Board Meeting in November, and you can rest assured that the voice of those NRA members who have expressed their concern regarding NRA support of CARA will be heard.

Again, we appreciate you sharing your concerns, and we hope that NRA can still count on your support. Even if we cannot see eye-to-eye on this particular issue, it is important for the pro-gun community to continue to work together and present a united front. Of course, the ultimate decision regarding the outcome of CARA will come from Congress, so we encourage any NRA member with strong views regarding this legislation to contact your federal lawmakers.

Sincerely,
Rebecca A. Williams


-----Original Message-----
From: NRA Auto Responder [mailto:nra.auto-responder@nrahq.org]
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2001 6:43 PM
To: Membership
Subject: Contact from NRAhq web site: Membership/General CommentsContact type: none give
Name: Richard Beamis
Address: xxxxx xth Ave SW
City: Burien
State: WA
Zip: 98166
Phone: 206-xxx-xxxx
E-mail: rbeamis@keepandbeararms.com
Membership Number: 70818063

Message: I have not renewed my dues this year and will not do so until I'm convinced that the NRA is totally on the side of what's right. There must be no compromise in our fight against those who would seek to enslave us for once ground is given, it's nearly impossible to regain. The NRA has given too much ground already and is supporting giving even more ground up by supporting CARA. I suggest you rethink your support of this anti-American legislation before you alienate your membership.

Sincerely,
Richard Beamis


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