As I mentioned, many of my hobbies involve membership in an organization. Here's where I list them for you.
Many of the organizations to which I belong have some policies with which I disagree. For example, the American Motorcyclist Association has a policy against loud motorcycle pipes. I don't think that the AMA should have such a policy, because I believe it's the same sort of issue as helmets: let those who ride decide. It's not up to anybody but myself to police me. And, as it happens, I don't have a particularly loud exhaust (though it has been known to set off the more sensitive car alarms, heh heh); what I do have is a near-terminal fear that if we accede to the government on one issue, it won't be long before all our rights are eroded away.
And some of the organizations to which I belong have conflicting interests; for example, again the AMA and the NRA. Sturm-Ruger had a company policy that denies insurance coverage to its employees who ride without helmets, even though the state in which they operate is a helmets-optional state. They wouldn't deny insurance to employees who engage in other hobbies as or more dangerous, like bungee-jumping or rock-climbing; they wouldn't deny insurance to drivers who have an accident when not wearing a seatbelt. They chose to discriminate specifically against motorcyclists. And the NRA refused to address the issue -- hey, Tanya! It's not about helmets, it's about freedom!
But that's politics, folks, and that's what the Tenth House is all about. I find that the benefits and strengths of the organizations to which I belong outweigh their deficits and weaknesses.
News note: As of 26 May 98, Ruger has reversed their policy, according to a Release from AMA Government Relations (which is no longer online...). Good for them. Everybody who wrote to pester them about it should write to thank them... If you want to, you can read about everything the AMA did to help this turnaround
Here we go: