How Alan Gottlieb sold out your gun rights

Today I’m continuing the discussion of how Alan Gottlieb of SAF and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms ended up endorsing a bill that sells out your gun rights and creates more gun control. Right now, there are four theories on how this happened that are circulating, and we’re going to take a look at each one of them.

First, the facts as they are: Alan Gottlieb was video taped at a public appearance giving his full endorsement to the bill. Alan Gottlieb is the Chairman of the CCRKBA, who on the front page of their website still have a full written endorsement of the Manchin-Toomey bill. The NRA opposes Manchin-Toomey. The NSSF opposes Manchin-Toomey. An analysis of the language of the bill by 2A scholar Dave Kopel reveals that it would actually create a national gun registry and weaken several important 2nd Amendment protections currently in law. So if the NRA is opposes to the bill, and the firearms industry group NSSF is opposed to the bill, why is Alan Gottlieb selling out our gun rights and supporting it?

Theory 1: The Chessmaster
Immediately after publishing yesterday’s piece, we began to receive emails from people telling us that Gottlieb and CCRKBA were playing the long game – that they had a master plan, and the plan was to get a bad law passed so they could fight it in the courts.

To put it bluntly, if that’s their plan, then their plan is stupid. That would be like an MMA fighter going into the ring and letting their opponent beat holy hell out of them for the first round so they could have a dramatic comeback later in the fight. It’s not good strategy from any point of view.

Theory 2: The Doublecross
The next theory that popped up was a variation of Chessmaster; the idea was that because Mr. Gottlieb, a noted pro-gun person, was now endorsing the bill that it would cause left-leaning senators to back off on it for fear of being seen as supporting a pro-gun measure.

While this strategy is comforting because it makes Mr. Gottlieb appear to be a calculating thinker, it’s also implausible because it fails the logic test. Remember, in the video Mr. Gottlieb claimed that CCRKBA lobbyists helped craft the language in the Manchin-Toomey deal. Why would he have his people help write an amendment that essentially brought the gun control issue back to life? Sen. Schumer’s bill was dead in the water, but the Manchin-Toomey compromise brought gun control back in the game.

Theory 3: The Reverse Chessmaster
The Reverse Chessmaster theory is perhaps the most unkind to Mr. Gottlieb, as it boils down to “he got played by Mayor Bloomberg and the gun control people.” This theory is somewhat unsettling, because in all his appearances and actions, Mr. Gottlieb has never struck me as a fool; and a fool is exactly what you’d be if you allowed yourself to get played by Mr. Bloomberg and the anti-gun coalition.

Theory 4: Follow the money
That leads us to the fourth and final theory, which ultimately is the most likely because it follows a logical progression. Remember, Mr. Gottlieb is the Chairman of the CCRKBA, which while having been in existence for some time, recently started its own lobbying activities on Capitol Hill. However, right now they have no legislative victories under their belt; legislative victories equal donations, and donations mean the organization grows and expands.

If Mr. Gottlieb is being truthful that his lobbyists helped craft the language of the Manchin-Toomey Sell-Out, then it only follows that he’d be supporting it because it gives CCRKBA a legislative victory, and allows him to kick dirt in NRA’s face, which is what every pro-gun lobbying organization wants to do. By supporting Manchin-Toomey, he and CCRKBA can then message to their supporters that they’re fighting for our gun rights while NRA sits on the sidelines not willing to play ball. Donations come in, CCRKBA grows, and Mr. Gottlieb gets a little bit richer off the backs of honest gun owners.

The Second Amendment Foundation has done tremendous amounts of good in the courts, with Alan Gura winning Heller and McDonald to protect our gun rights. But where SAF has been great in the courts, it seems that CCRKBA has failed at lobbying.

The NRA and the NSSF oppose the Manchin-Toomey sell-out. There will likely be a vote today in the Senate on the deal. Call and fax your senators today to let them know that Alan Gottlieb doesn’t speak for you, and to oppose Manchin-Toomey!

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