A lot of people knock the NRA calling them sellouts, ineffective, money grubbers, etc. They talk about the GOA, JPFO, etc.
So tell me, what legislation have those last two groups ever gotten passed or stopped? What court cases have they initiated and won?
They mean well and they try to do things, but they simply don't have the history, the membership, or the financial wherewithal to take on the well organized groups that think the 2nd Amendment should be either ignored or taken out of the Constitution.
Why do anti gun groups go after the NRA? Because they know that the NRA have the experience, the finances and the practical attitude to do what it takes to protect the rights that gun owners care about. Sometimes they win, sometimes they delay or break even, and sometimes they lose. Heller was a win but some gun owners piss and moan because owning a firearm in Chicago is still not that easy to do as a result of delaying actions by the municipal government in Chicago. But so far every roadblock they've thrown up has been taken to court and knocked down. They've probably got a few more tricks up their sleeve, but simply because of the Heller decision they will eventually lose.
Illinois was forced by a recent court decision to start issuing CCW's. I'm sure they'll find a way to stall, but as long as pro gun groups, backed and/or supported by the NRA keep hammering away, eventually Illinois will cave.
The anti gun groups did not get all the things they have succeeded at by going out one time, losing, and then grumbling about how they lost. They were persistent, they were organized and they were patient.
Pro gun people have to take the same attitude or else we will lose.
Some people are asking why the NRA didn't initiate a law suit over the Conn. gun control laws that were recently instituted in the wake of the Newtown killings. Why is the current lawsuit being brought by local in-state groups instead.
Below is paragraph taken from the NRS-ILA blog about the issue that sums up the answer to that question quite succinctly.
"NRA is currently backing a lawsuit, Shew v. Malloy, to challenge the constitutionality of several provisions of the law, including its expanded bans on semi-automatic firearms and its restrictions on magazine capacity. Some have wondered why NRA has not appeared as a named plaintiff in the suit. Simply put, experience has often shown that NRA is more effective in lending its expertise and resources, rather than its name, to litigation. Many within the legal elite have been slow to embrace the fundamental, individual rights protected by the Second Amendment, and getting a fair hearing on these matters is difficult enough. When NRA participates in a legal case as a plaintiff, its involvement attracts a traveling media circus eager to criticize and attempt to discredit whatever it does. This can further inhibit courts from giving the merits of the case a thorough and impartial hearing. Unlike some groups who will eagerly tout their participation in any "gun rights" case, no matter how ill-advised or unlikely to succeed, NRA is more interested in advancing our Second Amendment freedoms through litigation, rather than just using lawsuits for publicity or fundraising purposes."
Direct and to the point. A strategy based on prior experience gained through previous lawsuits. If you're a gun owner these days, the NRA is the best thing you've got going for you if you want your civil rights to be upheld.
I will now get off my soapbox.