PA Senate Hearing Pt 3 the NRA comes up small
September 30, 2019
by: Frank Tait
Dave Weber of the NRA’s performance at the hearings was a disappointment. He came with outside counsel, Johnathan Goldstein, and both of them just read from their scripts with the usual talking points from the NRA. There was no adaptation of the scripts to reflect the testimony of the day before or earlier in the day.
I contrast this with other panelists like John Lott, PhD, Charles Gallo, PhD, Kim Stolfer of FOAC, Dr. Val Finnell of GOA, Joshua Prince, Esq. and Dave’s co-panelist Walt Gibson. All of the other presenters took the time to listen to how the Senators were asking questions and to what questions they were asking. They adapted their testimony to reflect and address the talking points of the anti-gun Senators like Steven Santarsiero (pictured left) rather than just regurgitating the written testimony that was previously submitted. They saw how the anti-gun senators were setting verbal traps to get the pro-gun panelists to contradict themselves, agree to outrageous points and limitations on our rights and avoided them.
Dave Weber walked right into Sen. Santarsiero’s traps as if he were unused to testifying before hostile politicians who want to take away our rights. He seemed unsure of himself and did not present a strong case to protect our rights when compared to the other panelists that testified. When asked if he and the NRA were open to limits on the right to bear arms, such as comprehensive background checks, he said yes :-(
A great example of the contrast was Joshua Prince’s example from earlier in the afternoon when he deftly avoided the same verbal traps and threw it right back in the Senators face. When faced with the same questions Dave Weber stumbled into, Josh repeated the words of Article 21 of the PA Constitution and said that the only limits would be those that the people agreed to through an amendment to the constitution.
The other major deficit from Dave Weber and the NRA’s efforts were the apparent complete absence of collaboration with any other second amendment group. FOAC and GOA spoke on the same panel and obviously prepared beforehand so that they were leveraging each others points and providing a united front with a deeper understanding of the unique situation here in Pennsylvania. Hallway conversations observed prior to the start of the hearing saw several of the panelists talking together. It was obvious that they knew each other and that they had a long history of collaboration.
The NRA needs to learn to not do it all themselves if they want to have maximum impact in protecting our rights. They need to learn to collaborate with the other second amendment defending organizations and individuals and in particular the state specific organizations Like FOAC that have a much clearer grasp on the situation and the political players. And some role playing for those giving testimony in how to handle verbal traps from anti-gun politicians seems to be an immediate need.