After reading that the National Rifle Association endorsed the incumbent Governor of Iowa Chet Culver, I have decided that I will not be renewing my student membership nor will I ever be a member in your organization again. I will be removing the NRA sticker from my vehicle and asking that my Uncle and my Grandfather, who are both Lifetime members, stop donating money to your organization. As a former member of College Republicans in the state of Iowa, I have already talked to five of my friends, all of whom signed up for the NRA through College Republican events, and they are all ashamed to carry a card from an organization that supports politicians such as Gov. Culver, that are in such opposition to the gun laws that we hold dear.
I was on the floor of the Iowa House as a Legislative Clerk the day when Senate File 2379 was voted on and passed. This bill was a watered down version of another gun rights bill written by Republican Representative Baudler. It was common knowledge that day that the bill passed by the Democrats and later signed by Gov. Culver was a sad attempt to reign in their previous anti-gun bills and, but for a bad political environment for Democrats, the bill would have never made it out of committee. Now I am not an idiot; I assume that you made this endorsement in exchange for Gov. Culver signing Senate File 2379 into law months ago. If this is the case, you are no better than any other corrupt organization that exchanges money and endorsements for votes. Instead of waiting for the people of Iowa to reject the failed policies of Chet Culver in November, you chose to use your political clout to try and keep a politician who hates guns in office. As someone who loves guns, owns guns, and has an understanding of how the 2nd Amendment works, I cannot support your organization any longer.
I am not of the position that Democrats cannot earn the endorsement of the NRA. I know plenty of Democrats that support gun rights, own guns, and would gladly base their vote on the gun rights position of a candidate. While Republicans in general seem to be more supporting of gun rights, there have been plenty of good, common sense Democrats whom I would be glad to share a brisk Iowa morning pheasant hunting with. However, Chet Culver is not that exception. He has consistently instructed his Democratic colleagues in the Iowa House and Senate to limit the gun rights of Iowans and has spoken out on may occasions against rights of hunters to carry and use their weapons for sport. Since you are not required to endorse anyone, any endorsement of a politician should be based on whether the politician supports gun rights as a fundamental principle and not because of public pressure. Gov. Culver would have gladly vetoed Senate File 2379 if he thought it was politically advantageous for him and his party. If this is the precedent you are trying to set with your endorsements, you would think there was another earthquake in California with how fast Charlton Heston is rolling over in his grave.
I hope the endorsement of Gov. Culver and the political negotiating that the soon-to-be former governor did to get that endorsement was worth it to the NRA because I know a lot of gun owners and friends in Iowa that are not pleased.
Corey J. Becker
Former Executive Director of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans
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