Daily Beast explores some arcane, to non-insiders, gun rights movement politics to explain why the National Rifle Association (NRA) is being mean to a candidate who is as pro-Second Amendment as they come, Rand Paul.
Roughly, in case you didn't know, to many in that world, the NRA are the squishy equivocators of gun rights, and Paul is affiliated with some more hardcore ones in perceived war with the NRA.
Thus, the NRA snubbed him by not inviting him to a conference they are throwing tomorrow to which other candidates have been invited.
Details from Olivia Nuzzi at the Beast:
Paul has an A-rating from the NRA, but the objective grading of his gun-rights credentials has little to do with the politics of the pro-gun lobby, wherein his involvement with extremist groups tied to his father, former congressman and libertarian-icon Ron Paul, has not won him many friends.
“Sometimes the NRA doesn’t like it when people are bigger defenders of the issue than they are,” the source suggested. “They also don’t like it that he helps other, stronger groups like the Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights.”
Rand Paul's response, reported by David Weigel at Bloomberg:
"The interesting thing is that there's probably no greater advocate for the Second Amendment in Congress than myself," Paul said today. "To not be invited, probably, will serve more to cast aspersions on their group than it would on me. Because my record's pretty clear. It probably looks a little bit petty for them not to invite a major candidate because I raised money for other Second Amendment groups."
My book Gun Control on Trial told the story of how obstructionist the NRA was about the Heller case that established a firm Court-recognized right to personal ownership of commonly used weapons for self-defense in the home.