The lamestream media told you:
[Late breaking news: This bill was killed by Pelosi three days ago, but the story and aftermath remain instructive]: Democrats are seeking to pass a bill called the DISCLOSE Act, that would do damage to free speech and force powerful political groups to use big chunks of their air time identifying their donors and leaders. The bill seemed doomed, but only because the powerful gun lobby objected to such encroachment on their right to free speech. The problem was solved however when clever democrats amended the bill to let the NRA off the hook -- while keeping chains on virtually all other political-interest groups.
The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
First, recognize that a Congress that would do such a thing -- write a law that exempts one single group so the law can be passed -- is as corrupt as anything you can name. While it's good that the NRA's right to free speech is not infringed, it is an abomination that Congress would do that to any other group under any rationale whatsoever. All groups deserve the same exemptions, namely, the entire bill should die (and as noted at the beginning, it did... for now).
Placing draconian burdens on political speech is tyranny.
Identifying players in the political theater might be acceptable, but burdening their free speech to do so is not a legitimate option. Congress, or at least the party behind this, deserves a face slap and leg irons.
In one sense though, carving out an exemption for the NRA was a good thing. In the backhanded dirty dealings of modern U.S. politics it may have been planned to get the result it did, death to the bill, by deep insiders who play these dangerous games. It showed the democrat leaders for the conniving deceitful beasts they are, and raised a firestorm against them -- not so much from their opponents, which they expected of course, but from their own members who revolted en masse! Are some politicians laughing at the morass? I sure am.
One of the best things the NRA has accomplished receives little recognition and less praise. Sure, they've fixed, bolstered, introduced and enhanced laws that improve the right to keep and bear arms. Yes, they have held the forces of darkness at bay, especially at the federal level where no one else does that job with as much pull. Of course they pour support into the state associations and local battles that are crucial to preserving the Second Amendment on a practical, every day level.
But the NRA is responsible for moving the public mindset, for challenging and changing the debate in the court of popular opinion, in a way all the smaller players could not.
People everywhere are more accepting now that a woman is entitled to protect herself from assault. That every home owner has the right to defend the family castle. Oh, the lamestream media has been slow to arrive at these self-evident truths, but America now largely accepts the idea of discreetly carried firearms, by responsible adults, even if the Cro-Magnon media thinks of it as Cro-Magnon.
Hopelessly bogus myths that our sacred right to keep and bear would lead to blood in the streets have crashed and burned. Gone is the fabricated silliness that “the right of the people” is a collective right of no one at all -- thanks in large measure to decades of NRA-supported research that led to the Heller case victory.
When we look at NRA-backed individual state and federal bills that might not please us totally, we need to always see the larger picture. The constant pressure NRA brings to bear against the anti-rights bigots in society is a steamroller suppressing the forces of evil, without which our gun rights would be a pale shadow of what they are, if they even existed at all.
Here is some of what the NRA would have been burdened with, if the Democrats had not (stupidly?) amended the bill. Most other groups would have suffered under these burdens if Democrats got away with their plan (and I don't for a second believe the plan is altogether abandoned):
Prohibit any organization that has one $50,000 or higher contract with the federal government from engaging in political speech (bill language as introduced);
Require NRA to list top donor and top 5 donors on all election mass mailings, no exception for member mail;
Require NRA to put CEO and top donor on all robocalls, no exception for member calls;
Require NRA to put CEO and top 5 donors on all election TV ads;
Require NRA to put CEO and top 2 donors on all election radio ads;
Require NRA to put CEO and top donors on all internet election ads that NRA pays to put on other websites;
Require NRA to disclose all donors $600 and higher to FEC for all independent expenditures;
Require NRA to disclose all donors $1,000 and higher to FEC for all electioneering communications;
Require NRA to put a hyperlink on its website within 24 hours after FEC posts electioneering reports to the exact FEC page where NRA's report appears and keep link live for one year after election day;
For donors who don't want their contributions spent on campaign activity, would require the NRA CFO to certify to them in writing within 30 days of their donation that their money wasn't spent on campaign activity.
P.S. A decision in the McDonald v. Chicago
case (supported by the NRA, SAF, ISRA and a long list of other rights activists including Bloomfield Press), that would force states to comply with the Second Amendment, is expected between now and the last day of the session, June 28 (smart money says it will be the last statement on the last day).