I thank everyone for their comments.
I thought we could take it as an axiom among rocketeers that less regulation was better then more regulation. Many of the regulations that govern us are difficult to change (via US congress, BATFE suits, or NFPA guidelines). OTOH, for some regulations rocketeers are given the power to increase or decrease the extent of the regulation themselves (the specifics of cert granting by NAR/TRA for example). These latter regulations are relatively easy to change, a vote of the NAR BOT, for example.
So now Iz and I have presented the rocketry community, at the request of Mark Bundick, a proposal to lessen regulations completely within the law. But there seems to be a small vocal group that is saying "No! No! we want MORE regulation than the law requires!! We demand MORE regulation!"
I'm starting to feel like Jerry Irving :-). I literally can't believe this.
I have a PhD in Mathematics. Being a member of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America were both of help to me in achieving this "cert". I no longer belong to either organization, and I don't belong to the Alumni Association of the university that granted me this "cert". Should my PhD be taken away from me? (Note, my PhD is a condition for my current employment so having it taken away would have real consequences for me).
Another one of my hobbies is bladesmithing. The American Bladesmith Society has rather rigorous tests for granting Journeyman certifications and then granting Master Bladesmith certifications. Knives and swords sell more, typically, when made by a Master Bladesmith. There is a membership requirement in order to take the VERY DIFFICULT tests, but once granted the certification is always honored regardless of continued membership in the American Bladesmith Society.
People have brought up many government licensing procedures (drivers, boaters, pilots, EMT, etc.) and then ask "why shouldn't it be like that?" I answer "Because it doesn't _have_ to be like that". NAR is not the government. We should all be yelling "Yeah!!!". Why can't it be like my PhD or a Master Bladesmith certification? Just because something _is_ the way it is, doesn't mean that is the way it _ought_ to be (this is the infamous is/ought fallacy).
No one has made a compelling case (not even close, IMHO) why paying the NAR or TRA a fee every year should be a requirement for me being able to buy a HPR motor. I, like Iz, think there is value in being a member of NAR, but I should not be _required_ to be a member in order to buy a HPR motor. If this were not the case, I would have no interest in this issue whatsoever.
Ferrell Wheeler Sunderland, MD