That said, comparing the NRA with labor unions is patently absurd. The NRA doesn't beat the crap out of, intimidate and threaten decent people to further its agenda, all of which are tactics commonly used by labor unions to this day. Likewise, the NRA is not a huge money laundering front for the Dimocrat political machine. On the contrary, the NRA is by far the foremost proponent and facilitator of firearms safety and responsible use on the planet. Moreover, contrary to your assertions, the NRA's political activities are, from what I can see, overwhelming supported by its membership.
I, for one, happen to agree with the notion that this nation's 22,000+ gun laws are more than enough. We keep having criminals break gun laws, and how do we respond? By adding even more gun laws! In most instances, the only people genuinely constrained are the ones we don't need to worry about when it comes to possessing firearms. It's utterly asinine at face value and it never works. Moreover, the assertion that "ATF is prevented from doing it's job by the NRA" is preposterous. ATF's own management and general liberal attitudes towards personal responsibility and swift punishment are far greater impediments to rightful enforcement and apprehension of the actual bad guys. If you want to condemn an organization for truly tying your hands, go talk to the ACLU.
Also, despite all the "low-information voter" rhetoric from the Administration and other proponents of so-called "gun control", the 2nd Amendment was never about "hunting" or "personal defense", per se. It's about freedom...the freedom of citizens to be armed and able to defend themselves against tyranny. Leftists ridicule that and smear and demonize anyone who points it out, but it remains true nonetheless, and is, in my assessment, one of the great things that separates America from the rest of the world. We (at least used to) believe that law-abiding citizens were worthy of being armed (if they so choose), and should be held personally responsible if they abuse that right. Not anymore.
I categorically disagree that defending elemental personal liberty and responsibility is a "disingenuous cause".
And as for the President's "proposals", it is a simple fact that like all hard-core leftists, Barrack Obama despises personal ownership of firearms and would make it unlawful with the stroke of his (auto) pen if he believed he could get away with it. Complete disarmament of all citizens is and has always been a core tenant of so-called "Progressives", and everyone with half a brain knows that, notwithstanding the administration's disingenuous rhetoric to the contrary. His latest "I go skeet shooting all the time" charade is so transparently ludicrous that even most liberals don't believe it. I, a manly man by most standards, am more comfortable holding a tampon than Obama a shotgun.
As for the Sandy Hook tragedy, if it's really "about the children", why is the Left perfectly peachy with the nearly 2 MILLION American children being killed every year by abortion? That's more than 4,000 times the number killed by guns. About 3,000 kids die every year in this country in car accidents. Is the Left trying to outlaw cars or make them slower? Well, wait, actually yes, they are. OK, so never mind that. Statistically, swimming pools are more than 100 times more deadly to children, but where is the moral outrage on the Left? How about the fact that my hometown of Chicago, for example, has some of the strictest gun laws anywhere, and yet the gun violence/homicide rate is off the charts? Talk about "having it both ways"! We can't stop millions of human-sized illegals from flooding across our border, but we will somehow be able to stop vastly smaller inanimate objects (that don't need food, water, shelter, free medical care, or welfare checks) from getting in? It's just colossally stupid.
Criminals will get guns, including so-called "assault rifles" (a nonsensical, inflammatory term invented by anti-gun zealots to gin up irrational fear), with banned high-capacity magazines, illegally, which means that many of the existing and proposed laws will only prevent law abiding citizens from being able to fight fire with fire. "Assault rifles" are also a factor in but a tiny fraction of firearm homicides, so once again, it's not about public safety. But hey, if some meth-smoking asshole comes on my ranch with an illegally-obtained AK-47, am I supposed to fight him off with a handgun and 5 rounds? And don't tell me it "doesn't" or "can't" happen...I am one of those folks who has personally stopped armed criminals from hurting me and my family.
All of this is so elementally obvious that a (mythical, non-indoctrinated) 2nd grader could easily understand it. But the Left is never hampered by mere facts, and in any case, "public safety" is not and has never been the real issue (for them).
Sure, the NRA is, like all other similarly large and powerful organizations, self-serving to a significant degree, but it is "hardline", as you call it, because there is really no other viable alternative in combating the pervasive, relentless, "facts-be-damned", insane, emotionally-driven stupidity of the Left.
And finally, for anyone with a double-digit IQ, this Administration and its Leftist cohorts in Congress have ZERO credibility on anything firearms-related. They are personally and unavoidably responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Mexican men, women and yes, children, not to mention a brave U.S. Border Patrol Agent and Marine. When Barrack Obama (and those who have conspired with him to cover up their duplicity) opens his big, whining yap about "gun control", anyone with the slightest degree of intellectual honesty should scream, "But what about `Fast & Furious'? Now, sit down and STFU!"
The NRA is a mirror image of ATF. We have bad management but a genuine honorable cause, The NRA has good management but a disingenuous cause. The NRA has become a hard line organization. They are following the path of labor unions, they have ceased to represent their members and are all about their political status. I am really holding out hope that there is a silver lining to the recent tragedies. The NRA will argue that there are sufficient laws in place to reduce gun violence, yet at the same time they take every opportunity to block us from doing our job. Can't have it both ways Mr LaPierre. I am encouraged by the Presidents proposals with some exceptions. Backing off from Mr Jones' nomination would be a good place to start.