Archive for the 'National Rifle Association' Category

We Need A Strong, Focused And Reformed National Rifle Association

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 21 hours ago

Following up his bomb on the NRA BoD, Lt. Col. West updates us and fills in the gaps.

As a Battalion Commander in the 4th Infantry Division, 2d Battalion, 20th Field Artillery, I told my soldiers, before we deployed to Iraq, that the most expendable person in the unit was me. No single individual is more important than the unit they are called upon to serve.

America needs the National Rifle Association in these troublesome times. But our Constitutional Republic needs the NRA focused on its core competencies, its mission: to train and educate this nation on marksmanship and responsible gun ownership, and to ensure we will never be subjects, but armed individuals . . . citizens.

Read the rest here.  Most interesting, however, is what some of the comments say.  This one is rich.

To those of you who seem to be ANTI NRA, Stuff it . If the NRA goes down, TURN IN YOUR GUNS. You people are surely haven’t looked at the other side. OR your out to help the LEFT kill the second . Five million plus two million is a very large number , two million minus five million is to loose the second. This GOA and NRA LIFE member thinks that you should think about what you are doing . Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.

So it sounds as if the author, “Rich Z,” needs a historical primer.  Via Kenny, commenter Skytrooper reminds us where we have been and where we are.

“Before there was an NRA/ILA to fight to protect our rights” — You conveniently “forgot” to mention the fact NRA officials support the BATFE and every current federal anti-gun law.

“the Democrats wove into their DNA the desire to disarm America.” — The two most vehemently anti-RKBA SCOTUS justices, Warren Burger and John Paul Stevens, were appointed by Republicans, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Who created the BATF in 1972 then told journalists there was no anti-gun law he wouldn’t support and how he regarded the private ownership of firearms as an “abomination”? Republican Richard Nixon.

Who signed the Mulford Act in 1967 banning the open carry of loaded firearms in California, endorsed the Brady Bill in 1991 then wrote members of Congress in 1994 urging them to vote for Bill Clinton’s “assault weapon” ban? Republican NRA Life Member Ronald Reagan.

Who voted for GCA-68 when he was a member of Congress, signed an executive order in 1989 banning the importation of many superb semiauto firearms then appointed anti-RKBA liberal David Souter to SCOTUS? Republican NRA Life Member George H.W. Bush.

Who supported the same anti-gun laws as Al Gore and John Kerry and, like Barack Obama, wanted to make Bill Clinton’s “assault weapon” ban a permanent statute in 2004? NRA-endorsed Republican George W. Bush.

Who signed Massachusetts’ “assault weapon” ban into law then touted his zeal for strict gun control? Republican Mitt Romney, NRA’s choice for president in 2012.

Who wrote a book, The America We Deserve, in which he wanted to make it harder for everyone to purchase a firearm, supported “assault weapon” bans, and criticized Republicans who “walk the NRA line?” Who contributed a fortune to liberal anti-gun Democrats, joined with Hillary Clinton in wanting to forbid Americans from being “allowed” to purchase a firearm without any due process of law then directed BATFE officials (without a shred of legal authority) to misconstrue the definition of automatic firearm under NFA-34 to ban “bump stocks”? Republican Donald Trump, NRA’s choice for president in 2016.

Kindly identify a single current Republican member of Congress seeking to repeal any federal anti-gun statute, every one of which is supported by Wayne LaPierre & Company.

“While we know the National Firearms Act” — You mean NFA-34 which NRA officials supported in 1934 and still do today?

“The National Rifle Association was caught off guard by this.” — Oh, please. Once handguns were removed from the original version of NFA-34, the NRA endorsed it. Four years later, top NRA officials endorsed FFA-38.

“I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” — NRA President Karl T. Frederick, testifying before Congress in favor of the Federal Firearms Act of 1938

“The NRA of 1934 was not the political juggernaut that it is today.” — You mean the “political juggernaut” that did nothing to oppose the 1986 machine gun ban signed into law by Ronald Reagan? You mean the “political juggernaut” that lobbied in 1993 to make the Brady Act more onerous than Sarah Brady sought by having it apply to all firearms sold by FFLs, not just handguns? You mean the “political juggernaut” that did absolutely nothing to oppose the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment which made GCA-68 even more oppressive? You mean the “political juggernaut” which rolled over and played dead when Donald Trump banned “bump stocks”? You mean the “political juggernaut” which routinely endorses anti-RKBA politicians, just so long as they’re Republicans?

“We do not think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States.” — NRA Executive Vice President Franklin Orth, testifying before Congress in favor of a ban on the mail order sales of firearms (without bothering to explain what possible difference it made whether Lee Harvey Oswald bought his rifle by mail order or at a local sporting goods store)

“The NRA supported The National Firearms Act of 1934 which taxes and requires registration of such firearms as machine guns, sawed-off rifles and sawed-off shotguns. … NRA support of Federal gun legislation did not stop with the earlier Dodd bills. It currently backs several Senate and House bills which, through amendment, would put new teeth into the National and Federal Firearms Acts.” — American Rifleman magazine, March 1968, p. 22

“The measure as a whole [GCA-68] appears to be one that the sportsmen of America can live with.” — NRA Executive Vice President Franklin Orth, 1968

Question: “Are there any anti-gun laws which the NRA supports?”

Answer: “The NRA fully supports the Gun Control Act of 1968.” — NRA-ILA head Tanya Metaksa, speaking before the National Press Club (televised on C-SPAN2) on 16 May 1995

Question (from CNN’s Larry King): “Does the NRA want to abolish the BATF?”

Answer: “Not only does the NRA not want to abolish the BATF, the NRA doesn’t want to restrict the BATF in any way.” — NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, appearing on CNN on 18 May 1995

“We think it’s reasonable to support the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act. … We think it’s reasonable to expect full enforcement of federal firearms laws by the federal government.” — NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, Congressional testimony, 27 May 1999, hearing before 106th Congress, House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime

“I did think we ought to extend the assault weapons ban” — George W. Bush, 13 October 2004; NRA’s choice for president in 2000 and 2004

“We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them. I won’t chip away at them. I believe that they help protect us and provide for our safety.” — Mitt Romney, 2002; NRA’s choice for president in 2012

“Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts. These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.” — Mitt Romney; NRA’s choice for president in 2012

“I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. … The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions.” — Donald Trump (from his book The America We Deserve); NRA’s choice for president in 2016

That about sums it up, and also explains why Mr. West is having to do what he’s doing.

Increasing Foulness In The National Rifle Association: Allen West Drops A Bomb On The NRA Board

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Via WoG, “[a]nd if NRA  has been funneling millions into this guy, who this post claims is a major Democrat/gun-grabber donor, then what are supporters really ultimately donating to?”

Some folks have dignity, a spine and a sense of morality and decency left.  Witness Allen West.

It has become very apparent that I need to speak out about what is happening at the National Rifle Association.

I am in my second term as a Board member, and I am deeply concerned about the actions and statements being made. The recent statements by Charles Cotton and Carolyn Meadows that are appearing in the Wall Street Journal, and now other news outlets, are outright lies. I have never been told, advised, informed or consulted about any of these details mentioned in the WSJ, and who knows how much more despicable spending of members’ money.

These statements have maliciously, recklessly and purposefully put me, and uninformed Board members, in legal jeopardy.

Prior to the NRAAM in Indianapolis I sent an email to Wayne LaPierre’s managing director, Millie Hallow, expressing my sentiment that Wayne LaPierre resign immediately.

I also drafted a memo entitled “Resolution of Concerns,” both of these statements are known to the NRA Board. It is imperative that the NRA cleans its own house. If we had done so in Indianapolis, much of this could have been rectified.

I do not support Wayne LaPierre continuing as the EVP/CEO of the NRA. The vote in Indianapolis was by acclamation, not roll call vote. There is a cabal of cronyism operating within the NRA and that exists within the Board of Directors. It must cease, and I do not care if I draw their angst. My duty and responsibility is to the Members of the National Rifle Association, and my oath, since July 31, 1982, has been to the Constitution of the United States, not to any political party, person, or cabal.

The NRA Board of 76 is too large and needs to be reduced to 30 or less. We need term limits of four (4) terms on the Board. We need to focus the NRA, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization on its original charter, mission, training and education in marksmanship, shooting sports, and the defense of the Second Amendment.

I will dedicate all my efforts to the reformation of the National Rifle Association and its members, of whom I am proud to serve.

It sickens me to publicly make this statement, but I will not allow anyone to damage my honor, integrity, character, and reputation. Needless to say, there are those who have willingly done so to their own.

Steadfast and Loyal,
Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West (US Army, Retired)
Member, 112th US Congress
Patriot Life Benefactor, Board Member, National Rifle Association

If I could medically have ever been in the military (I’ve had RA and Psoriasis all of my life, although I seem to get along okay with it, and my right index finger works fine in spite of it’s gnarled knuckles), he could have led me into battle before any other man, and I wouldn’t have hesitated to send my son to fight under his leadership.  I’ve said before, I preferred a black man for President above everyone else running, this specific black man, and if he had been successful he would have been the first black man who had been President.  And I do mean black, and man.  Obama was neither.

And my bet is that he would have been a true defender of the second amendment.  I hope and pray he has success and that other, more timid and less moral directors, follow in his footsteps.

UPDATE: I see that Sebastian has linked Carolyn Medow’s response to West.

We should end this petty bickering immediately. Now is the time for the NRA to return to its core mission: representing our members and defending the conditional freedoms of America.

There’s more at the link.  So to Meadows, when someone finally stands up and does the right thing, it’s “petty bickering.”  That’s ridiculous and laughable, a discourteous indictment that could be said about any disagreement, anywhere, anytime over anything.  Sebastian has titled his post “I will not help Ack-Mac Destroy The NRA.”  This is a formal logical fallacy.  It’s a false dilemma (it’s close to a Hobson’s choice).  We don’t have to settle for keeping anyone.  All of them can be run out of town on a rail.  I’m no fan of Oliver North who supports the Hughes amendment, Ack-Mac (who shouldn’t have been so deep in the pockets of the member’s dues), or Wayne.

As for Ms. Meadows, I find it amusing that she should think it matters to me what she thinks.  She has never had to face the hard choices like Col. West, nor has she ever had to deal with life and death situations.  She isn’t fit to shine Mr. West’s shoes in my book.

Wayne LaPierre Questioned On $540,000 Worth Of Travel Expenses

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago

Fox News:

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre charged the organization’s ad agency more than $240,000 for expenses related to trips he took to Italy, Hungary, the Bahamas and other locales without providing adequate documentation, according to a letter from the ad agency given to the group’s board last week and described by people familiar with the matter.

Some of Mr. LaPierre’s expenses were charged to one of the ad firm’s credit cards, the people said, and overall costs included a 2014 stay at the Four Seasons hotel in Budapest and expenses related to trips to Palm Beach, Fla., and Reno, Nev. The ad firm, Ackerman McQueen Inc., was reimbursed over time by the gun-rights group, these people said.

[ … ]

Mr. Brewer said certain fundraising and travel expenses were routed through Ackerman McQueen for “confidentiality and security purposes,” but the practice has since been modified. Mr. LaPierre didn’t return messages left at the NRA.

[ … ]

The Journal previously reported that Mr. LaPierre received more than $200,000 in suits and other clothing paid for by a vendor—which people familiar with the matter now say was also Ackerman McQueen. NRA officials have said the spending was justified because of his numerous speaking and TV appearances.

The Ackerman McQueen letter was given to the NRA directors last week by then-NRA President Oliver North, who called for a crisis committee of the board to probe the travel costs and other allegations of financial mismanagement.

[ … ]

In a statement Thursday, NRA director Marion Hammer said the travel-expense allegations were “part of the failed coup attempt” and have been properly vetted by the board.

[ … ]

The trip to Italy, one person familiar with the matter said, was tied to a short 2015 documentary feature on the Italian gun maker Beretta posted on NRATV. Mr. LaPierre’s wife, Susan LaPierre, appears in the video talking to a Beretta family member.

Marion Hammer is a horrible person and whatever she says should be dismissed.  As for travel expenses, I actually don’t have a problem with the corporation paying for that.  Virtually no one can afford that kind of travel, and as long as it’s on corporate business, the corporation should pay for it (excepting, of course, for Wayne’s wife).  In my opinion, time spent on trying to understand every little detail of travel expenses, except insofar as it requires receipts for accounting and tax purposes, is time and effort wasted by the board or its surrogate.

But what I do have a problem with is $200,000 for clothing.  The failure of the NRA isn’t a failure to keep receipts – that’s just in the details of internal management, even if it needs correction.  The failure of the NRA is in a failure to represent the gun owners of America, in fact, in its active attempt to undermine the gun owners of America.  That goes for Marion Hammer and the rest of the BOD too.

I’ll tell you what.  I would agree to that salary with one business suit per year, and I’ll promise not to pathologically retreat, surrender, give up, and equivocate on everything that comes up.

And in the end, the NRA would be better off.  So would gun owners.

So Just How Bad Are The NRA’s Troubles?

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago


If the New York attorney general Letitia James found sufficient cause and evidence that the NRA was violating the rules and regulations governing nonprofits, she could attempt to force the dissolution of the organization. This would undoubtedly set off a massive legal fight and ironically, be one of the most galvanizing threats the NRA could ever want. You want to get a lot more donations and renewed memberships? Argue that the New York state government is attempting to destroy the organization.

A more likely scenario is that James puts the organization through the wringer, legally, exposing every bloated contract, every dubious expenditure, and every violation of state regulations. She may not dissolve the organization, but she is likely to attempt to impose a massive fine, crippling the organization’s already-shaky finances. What’s more, depending upon what the investigation found, it could dispirit many NRA members, exacerbating existing concerns among some members that their membership dues and donations are being spent on luxuries.

In other words, what the NRA is being investigated about has very little to do with gun laws.

The NRA’s board of directors is operating in extraordinarily tight-lipped manner but referred certain matters to their internal ethics committee Monday. As discussed this weekend, if they did want to remove an officer such as executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, it would take 15 days and a hearing, and three-quarters of the board’s 76 members would have to agree.

Two years ago, at the NRA convention in Atlanta, LaPierre was on top of the world. Donald Trump, once a supporter of certain gun-control proposals, had been elected president with resolutely pro–Second Amendment stance and the help of the NRA. Neil Gorsuch was on the Supreme Court, and a pro–Second Amendment majority on the nation’s highest court appeared secure. A pro-gun GOP majority controlled the House and Senate.

LaPierre has been executive vice president of the NRA — and the guy really running the show day to day — since 1991. His watch has seen the enactment of the Assault Weapons Ban and its expiration, the Columbine shootings and our chilling ongoing era of school shootings, the enormously consequential Heller decision at the Supreme Court, booming gun sales during the Obama years, and the formation of new, exceptionally well-funded gun control groups by former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. He’s seen the gradual extinction of pro-gun Democratic elected officials, particularly in Washington. After Trump won, some wondered if he would ride off into the sunset and let someone else take over the NRA.

After this past week, he may wish he had.

When a man gets power, he rarely likes to give it up.  Corrupt men desire power over others, but when they get that power, the power itself corrupts further.

As I’ve said, I suspect the Board of Directors bears a lot of financial and legal liability for what’s going on, and they may wish they had taken tighter control of things before this is all over.

Wayne LaPierre Is “Humbled”

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago


Wayne LaPierre, the longtime head of the National Rifle Association, said Monday he’s “humbled” by actions by the board Monday that kept him on as its CEO.

Hey Wayne.  Are you humbled enough to pay back that $200,000 worth of wardrobe purchases on the backs of member’s dues?

Can The National Rifle Association Be Saved?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

I doubt it, but let’s rehearse some recent events before diving too far into my assessment.

Even most NRA members, it would appear, still do not get that the issue of bump stocks (and the ban dictated by the stroke of a pen by one man) isn’t about bump stocks.

“You know what? I didn’t even know what a bump stock was,” said Patrick Callahan, 61, from Wyoming. “I have no problem with a bump stock being banned, to be honest with you. I think there’s always balances.”

Sebastian is still arguing, seemingly, that as long as we all retreat in unison, everything will be okay (or at least as good as it can ever be given that we are likely on the losing side anyway).  We just need to avoid division.  If I’ve misinterpreted Sebastian in this admittedly cursory treatment of his latest post, please feel free to correct me.  But on the previous [related] post by Sebastian which I’ve linked (and will do so again), commenter Stephen Wright lays out the following charge.

Talking no-compromise in a political battle is like Hitler not allowing his troops at Stalingrad (and other places) to retreat and maneuver intelligently like a modern army has to. It’s idiotic. But I fear that there’s enough idiots on our side buying into this that it may split our fairly large minority and keep us from being politically effective.

It’s ironic that when the pro-gun movement is actually historically the strongest we may ultimately lose the war that we had been winning until now.

Let’s leave behind the issue of whether we’re winning (there is indication that at the local and state level, there is progress in things like open carry, despite S.C.’s intransigence, while at the national level there hasn’t been a win in a very long time, Heller and McDonald are on the list of mixed-bags).  Consider the brashness and audacity of the charges.

Stephen seems to be saying, “While this can’t really be compared to WWII, or Hitler’s refusal to retreat, and while I have no plan to break the habit of retreat and actually win anything, and while we have no real leadership and a completely dysfunctional organization, I want to retreat yet again, and if you don’t retreat with me, then our ultimate loss will be on your conscience.”  It’s really a remarkable thing when the only thing upon which we can agree is that one side wants perpetual retreat, and the other does not.  And the retreatists will blame the non-retreatists for any losses.  This drips with irony.

Chris Cox seems to be absent in the debates, but since he is a Wayne LaPierre sycophant, he’s likely on Wayne’s side.  Wayne Lapierre is fighting for his life, and so far it looks like he is winning, even if he takes the NRA down with him.  Oliver North is one of the losers in all of this.

Oliver North announced Saturday that he would not serve a second term as National Rifle Association president, making it clear he had been forced out by the gun lobby’s leadership after his own failed attempt to remove the NRA’s longtime CEO in a burgeoning divide over the group’s finances and media operations.

“Please know I hoped to be with you today as NRA president endorsed for reelection. I’m now informed that will not happen,” North said in a statement that was read by Richard Childress, the NRA’s first vice president, to members at the group’s annual convention.

North, whose one-year term ends Monday, did not show up for the meeting, and his spot on the stage was left empty, his nameplate still in its place. His statement was largely met with silence. Wayne LaPierre, whom North had tried to push out, later received two standing ovations.

It was a stunning conclusion to a battle between two conservative and Second Amendment titans — North, the retired Marine lieutenant colonel with a ramrod demeanor who was at the center of the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, and LaPierre, who has been battle-tested in the decades since he took up the mantle of gun rights. He has fought back challenges that have arisen over the decades, seemingly emerging unscathed each time. In this latest effort, he pushed back against North, telling members of the NRA’s board of directors that North had threatened to release “damaging” information about him to them and saying it amounted to an “extortion” attempt.

Note well.  Apparently it wasn’t up to him, or even the board of directors.  He was “informed” of this decision.  I’ll return to that momentarily.

As for Wayne, there were some awkward goings-on this weekend.

According to someone we’ve spoken to who’s in a position to know, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre met with influential board members and fund-raisers last night and was asked for his resignation. The meeting reportedly became heated and LaPierre stormed out. He then responded to the demand with a scathing letter to those involved, refusing to step down.

So first there is the issue of exactly how an elected board of directors along with an elected president can demand the resignation of a bureaucrat, and be rejected by said bureaucrat outright and that organization continue to function.  It can’t.  I assess that the NRA is a completely dysfunctional organization and has been for a long time.

Leaving aside the issue of Ackerman McQueen, and $200,000 of wardrobe purchases by LaPierre, the bylaws, people and organizational structure aren’t sufficient to rid the group of ne’er-do-wells, whether LaPierre or the cretins who are financial liabilities and parasites to the organization.  A board of directors who doesn’t direct may as well quit and go home.  If there are too many bad apples in the mix, then it’s appropriate for the entire group to go down in flames, suffering the personal, legal and financial loss attending their malfeasance.  Membership on the board of directors means legal and fiduciary culpability, as it should on any board.

But can this situation be salvaged?  Should it be salvaged?  I said a few days ago that the NRA had supported the NFA, the GCA, the Hughes Amendment, the bump stock ban, and red flag laws.  It’s all true.  This is an incomplete list.  Via David Codrea, this list adds to my own.

The real issue with the VNRA isn’t corruption or not doing enough to push rights. The problem is what the group actively does to violate rights. NFA ’34, GCA ’68, FOPA ’86. Everyone knows those. It shows how long the rot has existed.

They tried to keep HELLER from going to SCOTUS. They actively killed constitutional carry legislation in New Hampshire. They wrote an “assault weapon” ban in Ohio. They sabotaged an RKBA/free speech case in NH.

I had forgotten how many open carry fights the NRA has sabotaged, and it’s also true that the NRA didn’t want Heller going to the SCOTUS.  I consider Heller only a partial win because of the wording Scalia put in there supporting gun control at the local and state level, and the weakness of it leading to McDonald, which still isn’t recognized by lower courts.  But Alan Gura snatched a modicum of victory from the jaws of defeat.

The point is that in almost every case where retreat was possible, the NRA has led the way.  Then oftentimes, as with Heller, they claimed credit for what small victory the SCOTUS gave us.  In every exigency in life, a man must make functional judgments.  Whom to marry, where to work, how much to save, with whom to be associated.

In this case, the analysis is quite simple.  If an organization is working against your interests, it’s an easy decision to jettison support for said organization.  It makes no sense to support people who intend harm to your liberties.  If this is considered on a tactical level (retreat might be a good option now), then it is incumbent on our detractors to explain how said retreat will be reversed and good use made of it rather than sling accusations.  I see a lot of hand-wringing, but I see no detractor channeling Sun Tzu.  If you want to be a general, then learn to lead and learn to win.

The issue of red flag laws is problematic, while the issue of bump stocks is more emblematic.  Either way, it’s a mistake to see this in terms of issues without seeing the larger aggregate as well.  I dislike harping on Sebastian, but his most recent post begins this way.

But what got us here isn’t that we didn’t shout “no” loud enough. We didn’t end up here because we’re not pure enough. That’s always what religious zealots turn to when disaster strikes. It’s a natural human reaction. But it usually leads to doing the wrong thing.

Exactly how it leads to doing the wrong thing he doesn’t explain, he just says so.  And any hint of unwillingness to make more compromises becomes “zealotry.”  Very well.  I believe that the second amendment is meaningless inasmuch as it guarantees our right to keep and bear arms.  I believe that the Almighty has not only extended that right to man, He has demanded that men defend home and hearth, as well as answer for placing and keeping tyrants in power.  The second amendment is a covenant, with blessings and consequences (or curses) for adherence and breakage.  The right to keep and bear arms without infringement is sacred.  We observed before that gun control is wicked.

The Bible does contain a few direct references to weapons control. There were many times throughout Israel’s history that it rebelled against God (in fact, it happened all the time). To mock His people back into submission to His Law, the Lord would often use wicked neighbors to punish Israel’s rebellion. Most notable were the Philistines and the Babylonians. 1 Samuel 13:19-22 relates the story: “Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles sharpened…So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in this hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon also removed all of the craftsmen from Israel during the Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 24:14). Both of these administrations were considered exceedingly wicked including their acts of weapons control.

If this makes me a zealot, then I wear that badge proudly.  And now we’re to the root of the issue.  I may be a zealot, but at least I have an epistemological basis for my statements, and my world and life view dictates my value judgments.

For those who see this through a more pedestrian lens, it will be less important until it becomes important, at which point they would have to explain their next steps because I can’t.

The NRA may survive this, but not in the same form.  It will be known as the home of the Fudds, or it will jettison the ne’er-do-wells, clean house, and begin a campaign of grading politicians truthfully and keeping those grades up-to-date.  It will include in that campaign an honest attempt to stand against the tide of control coming.

If the NRA decides not to approach it that way, it will morph back into an organization that teaches people to shoot bolt action rifles at father-son or mother-daughter events.  But they can begin sending the money back to their constituents and proceed apace with defunding themselves, because you don’t get wealthy by teaching people to shoot rifles.  You obtain some measure of power by truthfully and honestly representing your constituency.

Finally, David Codrea notes of the war between factions that “Not that “Wayne LaPierre prevailing, for now, is a “win” for membership. Nor would it be had North succeeded. This was a coup attempt by NRA’s long-term PR firm Ackerman McQueen to replace former gravy train riders with current ones. There are no clean hands here, and with the weekend battle “won” by current management, don’t expect dramatic changes in the way things are run as long as they’re in power.”

But even if they’re able to rid themselves of the rot within, the question is whether they can return to their roots.  Their tap root is one of preservation of the rights recognized in the constitution, including weapons of war.  “What the Fudds either don’t know (or do, but have no intention of ruining a “good” meme by admitting), is that it wasn’t until after WWII that “the NRA concentrated its efforts on another much-needed arena for education and training.”

The NRA Needs A Reform Movement?

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

Discussing the same subject we did a few days ago (but coming to radically different conclusions), Sabastian remarks as follows.

While the figures involved in the hardliner (Knoxers in the past) versus pragmatist (Wayne’s faction) debate have changed, the essential debate is still with us.

NRA’s parasitic relationship with its PR firm isn’t anything new. The Knoxers railed against it too back in the day. I’ve never been comfortable with it either, but I’ve always had the choice of living with it as a member, or joining the hardliners. I am of the opinion that NRA taking a no-compromise, hardline stance will ultimately result in its irrelevance. Believing we can always win by saying ‘no’ louder is not a winning strategy when you’re working as a determined minority in a republican political system.

These days the issue is bump stocks and red flag laws. NRA largely surrendered on the bump stock issue to buy time to stop the bills that would have put semi-automatic firearms in legal jeopardy. They endorsed red flag laws provided they had sufficient due process (which none of them do). I believe both these moves are unpleasant necessities that reflect the reality of the political situation post-Vegas and post-Parkland. If you want to fight and die on bump stock hill, sorry, but we’re going to lose that fight. We also risk losing a large chunk of the current transferrable machine gun stock. You’re all aware of the debates, so I won’t rehash them.

That’s just bullshit.  The NRA didn’t “largely surrender” on bump stocks, it gave Trump the idea and cover for it.  They also endorsed red flag laws (ERPOs), and gave Trump the cover to say “take them first.”

Besides, the due process requirement is a red herring and everyone with two brain cells knows it.  Due process is for after a crime has been committed.  Threats are a crime, so you don’t need red flag laws to arrest someone who has threatened someone else.  The idea behind red flag laws is allegedly to prevent crime, or in other words, sit in the seat of the Almighty and predict behavior in the future.  I suspect that the real idea behind red flag laws will eventually become manifest, i.e., to remove firearms from people whom the FedGov doesn’t like.  Do you believe in the second amendment remedy for tyranny?  Presto.  Red flag your ass.

So you can reform the NRA until you heart is content, sir.  I won’t be a part of what I’ve noted is the best, most effective, most well-connected, well-financed gun control organization on earth and in history, having been involved in and supported the NFA, the GCA, the Hughes Amendment, the bump stock ban, and now red flag laws.

Seldom has it ever actually used its money and power to properly score votes, oppose gun control, marshal people and resources, and stand in the gap.  Can you imagine an NRA that actually used its wealth and power to oppose gun control instead of enrich the pockets of the powerful?

It’s hand-wringing to say that the NRA couldn’t have stopped this or that, if in fact history is no indication of its chances of success given that it has never actually tried.

And I’ll tag this post both NRA and gun control.  The two go together hand in glove.

Is The National Rifle Association In Trouble?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

John Richardson:

In the last couple of days since the lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen I’ve spoken to a former lobbyist for the NRA and two serving NRA Board Members. The conversations were off the record and not for attribution. Then I read this article in The New Yorker thanks to a link to it posted on Facebook by Prof. David Yamane.

The article is entitled “Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A.” Mike Spies article has a subhead saying “The organization’s leadership is focussed on external threats, but the real crisis may be internal.” I hate to say this given all the attacks on the NRA from every Democrat running for President, the State of New York, and the media but from what I’ve gathered Spies is correct. Just because we don’t like the source doesn’t mean they are wrong.

Last August, the N.R.A., in desperate need of funds, raised its dues for the second time in two years. To cut costs, it has eliminated free coffee and water coolers at its headquarters and has frozen its employees’ pension plan. Carry Guard, which was meant to save the organization, has proved disastrous. According to the memos, in 2017, the year that Carry Guard was introduced, Ackerman McQueen received some six million dollars for its work on the product, which included the creation of a Web site and media productions featuring celebrity firearms trainers. The lawsuit against New York State has created an additional burden. Sources familiar with the N.R.A.’s financial commitments say that it is paying Brewer’s firm an average of a million and a half dollars a month.

An official assessment performed by Cummins last summer dryly describes the N.R.A.’s decision-making during the previous year as “management’s shift in risk appetite.” The document analyzes the organization’s executive-liability exposures and discusses insurance policies that “protect NRA directors and officers from claims by third parties that they have breached their duties, such as by mismanagement of association assets.” From 2018 to 2019, it says, insurance costs increased by three hundred and forty-one per cent. “To say this is a major increase would be an understatement,” Peter Kochenburger, the deputy director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut, told me. “This seems to be pretty direct evidence that the N.R.A.’s problems are not due to New York but rather to how the organization conducts itself.”

David Codrea links a different source, but concludes essentially the same thing: “You would be right to assume Bloomberg front The Trace will use everything it’s got to hurt NRA as much as it can.  You would be wrong to dismiss everything they have presented here because of that.”

Commenter BRVTVS links the same source as John, comments “lays out pretty well why the NRA fails to protect gun owners.”

I don’t have money to throw away, and I have not renewed my NRA membership and never will, at least, not under these circumstances.  It would be “nice” to be able to say that we’re losing the NRA (because to be able to say that would mean it has served us until now), but the truth of the matter is that we lost the NRA a very long time ago.  Since initially joining, I’ve never been happy with their work on our behalf, and given this, why would I be a member?

They should have left insurance alone and focused on applying honest grading to politicians, but they haven’t been honest for a long time.  As we’ve all discussed before, they are the most well-connected, well-financed, most powerful gun control lobby in the history of mankind and on earth.  They supported the NFA, the Gun Control Act, the Hughes Amendment, the bump stock ban, and red flag laws.

If any other organization had tried to do more harm to the rights of gun owners in America, what action would they have taken that the NRA hasn’t?

Drawing The Attention Of The Fudds

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Commenter meep:

Look at all the paid anti NRA posters. You either are with us gun owners or against us. If you cant keep your mouth shut about the NRA you are no better than the gun grabbers

Hmm … keep my mouth shut.  But wouldn’t that run contrary to having a blog in the first place?

Hey, wait.  You mean I could have been making money all of this time?  If I’m no better than a gun-grabber, at least I could get paid for it.

NRA: Your Gun Control Experts

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Via David Codrea, this dreadful statement.

“Nobody wants dangerous people to have access to firearms, which is why the NRA supports risk protection orders with adequate due process protections and ensure those adjudicated to be dangerously mentally ill receive treatment,” Jennifer Baker, a spokesperson for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said. “The NRA believes that any effort should be structured to fully protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while preventing truly dangerous individuals from accessing firearms. We will only support an [Emergency Risk Protection Order] process that strongly protects both Second Amendment rights and due process rights at the same time.”

Echoing Mack’s comments, why would bearing arms be a deterrent if folks didn’t think I was dangerous?

The NRA: the most well-funded, well-connected, effective, best-resourced gun control organization on the planet.

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