Archive for the 'National Rifle Association' Category

NRA Suspends Chris Cox

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Yahoo News.

The National Rifle Association suspended its top lobbyist and one of his deputies, adding further turmoil to the gun-rights group’s leadership ranks as it wages legal battles on multiple fronts and prepares for a bruising 2020 election cycle.

The NRA confirmed Thursday that it had suspended Chris Cox, the lobbying chief who was viewed widely as a future leader of the group, and his deputy chief of staff, Scott Christman.

David Codrea has this bit of wisdom.  “Never f*** with a guy who got to where he is by eliminating his superior.”

The link he supplies has this interesting (and to me, previously unknown) bit of history.

The core issue was how the NRA’s PR company, Ackerman McQueen, was drawing millions of dollars a year from the organization and improperly controlling NRA staff. The Board directed Wayne to sever ties with Ack-Mac, and Wayne promised to do so, then claimed to have done so, by bringing in a new PR company called Mercury Group. The “new” PR company turned out to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Ack-Mac, with all of the same players in all of the same positions, still bleeding the association of the same millions of dollars.

So it would appear that NRA politics is as dirty and ugly as American politics, and that chasing the money is the name of the game.

It’s too bad for Chris, really.  I know very little of him, and were I to know more, I might hate him as much as I do Wayne LaPierre.

But I maintain that Wayne is trash.  He’s an unmitigated scoundrel, a ne’er-do-well, a rapscallion, a wretch.  As long as he is at the helm of the NRA, I won’t be connected with it again.

Some Texas Gun Rights Groups Oppose A State-Funded Gun Storage Safety Campaign, But Not The NRA

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Texas Tribune.

After several of their priority bills failed to gain traction, some gun rights advocates said House and Senate leadership failed them. Now they’re calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to veto a line item in the state budget they say would add insult to an injurious legislative session.

But that same line in the state’s $251 billion budget is being viewed differently by other firearms enthusiasts.

While some smaller, homegrown groups view the item — $1 million for a public awareness campaign to promote responsible gun storage among firearms owners — as an affront to the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association says it is unopposed to, though not thrilled by, the public awareness campaign.

Their attention now turns to what Abbott does during the period when he can veto line items in the budget.

Abbott touted the need to promote safe gun storage as part of his school safety proposals in the aftermath of the May 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 people dead and 13 wounded. And with a June 16 deadline to make vetoes, the governor is in a delicate position of trying not to alienate Texas gun-rights activists, while advancing a net of school safety reforms that the Legislature passed.

Texas budget writers authorized the $1 million for the Department of Public Safety to promote gun storage so long as it does “not convey a message that it is unlawful under state law to keep or store a firearm that is loaded or that is readily accessible for self-defense.” The campaign, unless vetoed by Abbott, could include online and printed materials, public service announcements or other advertising. House lawmakers first proposed the idea in a draft of the two-year budget in March, and it was approved by both chambers in May.

“It’s certainly fine and lawful to have a weapon for your own protection,” state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, the House’s lead budget writer, told The Texas Tribune. “But I think we also need to be aware that it’s not uncommon for a child to access a loaded weapon and inadvertently and accidentally hurt themselves.”

But as some gun rights groups criticize the state’s Republican leadership for not stopping the public awareness campaign — “Speaker [Dennis] Bonnen slipped a $1 million spending spree for the promotion of “safe” gun storage,” reads a news release from Texas Gun Rights. “The House and Senate failed to stop this budget rider,” says another one from Gun Owners of America — others have stayed neutral and say the line-item is small and noncontroversial.

“No ‘mandatory storage’ bill passed,” NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter said. “What passed was a safe gun storage campaign rider that was just several lines in a nearly 1,000 page budget and NRA didn’t oppose it, not that anyone bothered to ask about our position.”

We’re not sure why $1 million of taxpayers’ dollars need to be used for such a campaign,” Hunter said. “The state can go ahead and do their thing, while we will continue leading the discussion with our own firearms safety training and accident prevention programs — again, at no cost to taxpayers.”

Well then allow me to explain it to you.  This is the first step.  What appears in education first appears in societal pressure next, and then in financial pressure in the way of things like insurance, and then finally in law.  This is the first of several steps the controllers intend to take.

So readers, is that what the NRA should be working on?  “We will continue leading the discussion with our own firearms safety training and accident prevention programs.”  Do you need them to do that for you?

One Man’s Perspective On Wayne LaPierre

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

From a reader, The Firearms Patent Attorney:

Poor Wayne.  No one complained that he earns over a million dollars a year leading the NRA ($5M according to Wikipedia).  No one paid attention to whether or not he flies in private jets to NRA events – I don’t know but I assume so.  Questionable but tolerable.  I try to fly first class to industry events and amortizing a $1000 ticket over a hundred meetings at the SHOT Show or NRA Annual Meeting makes it a good investment in reduced stress when every bit of positive energy helps.  If Dallas-area attendees ever want to link up to share a private jet I’m happy to make arrangements.

Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered.  Leaked documents show that Wayne received hundreds of thousands of dollars in private overseas jet travel, including the Bahamas and Italy (where I understand there was a brief appearance in an NRA video).  A $4000/month apartment for a stunningly blonde “summer intern.”  But what got me was the clothing.  The Wall Street Journal reported:

“Wayne LaPierre billed the group’s ad agency $39,000 for one day of shopping at a Beverly Hills clothing boutique, $18,300 for a car and driver in Europe, and had the agency cover $13,800 in rent for a summer intern, according to newly revealed NRA internal documents.”

I got curious about the clothing and learned both to my pride and my horror that Wayne and I wear the same brand of suits, the unpronounceable Ermenegildo Zegna (“ZAY-nyah”).  The only difference is that I paid for mine (actually, it was an extravagant Christmas gift from Karmen) for about the cost of a fine custom 1911 from a top maker.  You’ll see me in it essentially every day of SHOT, NRA, and NASGW for the next ten years (and probably for ten more years with patched elbows!)  I can afford to change my shirt and tie every day, but not the suit.

So, I was irritated to think that all the regular “end users” that populate the aisles of the NRA show, and who buy the products that keep our industry alive, are paying for the million-dollar exec’s luxury clothing.  Buy your own clothes, dude!  I don’t care if you have to look good on TV – Buy your own damn clothes from your own salary!

As an aside, I did rather well in my taxation classes in law school and recall vividly that under no circumstances is clothing considered a deductible business expense (safety gear and otherwise unusable uniforms aside).  Which makes me idly wonder if Wayne’s accountants are scurrying to file amended returns including the value of as taxable income as I presume one must – my “Zegna” was paid for with after-tax savings just like all your own clothes.

But it gets worse, much worse.

[ … ]

It turns out that blood is thicker than water.  Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors was founded by William A. Brewer III in 1984 and has just 15 attorneys listed on their website.  Doing the math, a $1.5 million monthly bill averages out to $100,000 per attorney, but of course we know that’s not how things work.

Then I learned from a cranky NRA member on Facebook why this small firm might have had an inside track to land the NRA’s plum case: Brewer’s father-in-law is CEO of Ack-Mack, the NRA’s high-dollar PR agency!  Again, I don’t fault the law firm for taking advantage of family ties, and they might well be the best choice for the case whose issues I haven’t even looked into and don’t yet have an opinion on.

But, I’m more worried if the NRA is making BIG decisions in the right way for the right reasons.  Did Wayne himself make the call to steer the eight-figure plum case to the kin of the company that jets him around the world and fills his closet with the finest suits?  Or did the Board make this call, fully informed of all the relationships and possible personal interests?  I hope the latter – maybe one of the 76 Directors can let me know.  Were other firms considered or was it just a remarkable coincidence that the best law firm in the nation to handle the matter was so closely related to the PR firm that received $40,000,000 from the NRA in 2017?  It may be that the law firm is handling more than the legal dispute – they tout PR capabilities so maybe are handling some of Ack-Mack’s duties – I’m only speculating and have no idea.

Sidebar: When the NRA gets its act together again can we please have it stop with the embarrassing and exploitative marketing tactics?  I have to assume that Carry Guard is a terrible insurance choice that exploits the fears of ignorant consumers, and that no sensible business person would opt for.  Same for the cozy relationship between the gold -hawkers on the NRA Magazine cover and taking up precious display space at the NRA Annual meeting exhibition hall – no investment advisor would dream of suggesting investing in rare gold coins.  Precious metals may have a place in a portfolio, but those guys in gold jackets make my skin crawl when I think of how naïve customers think they are making a good “investment.”

And it goes on, and on, and on, including donations to Hillary, and “last year to Beto O’Rourke in his race against stalwart Second Amendment supporter Ted Cruz (my Senator).   And maximum donations (over $10k) to Hillary in 2008 and before, and even to Al Franken.”

We all knew that it was bad with the NRA becoming so festering that the pimple simply needed to burst its puss before it could ever heal.  This analysis takes a deep dive into the puss.

But I do have one comment.  I’d rather have a good 1911 than a stitch of clothing any day.

Pete Brownell Stepping Down From NRA Board Of Directors

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago


In the coming weeks, my company will be making exciting announcements about new opportunities that are important to the future success of our business. We look forward to sharing that news soon as possible. Given the hard work and full-time attention that will be needed as our brands continue to grow, I’ve decided to step down from my position on the NRA’s Board of Directors. It’s been an honor to serve the five million members of the NRA and I will continue standing side-by-side with the millions of Americans who care deeply about defending the Second Amendment.

That’s a rather innocuous statement.  I wonder if this is as presented, or if there is more afoot than he let on in the statement?  Is there some fiduciary responsibility or financial or legal liability associated with being a member of the board from which he is escaping?

I know my readers and I have discussed that before.  The other alternative is that this is a move of protest.

Fearing Supreme Court Loss, New York Tries to Make Gun Case Vanish

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

The New York Times:

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Police Department held an unusual public hearing. Its purpose was to make a Supreme Court case disappear.

In January, the court agreed to hear a Second Amendment challenge to a New York City gun regulation. The city, fearing a loss that would endanger gun control laws across the nation, responded by moving to change the regulation. The idea was to make the case moot.

The move required seeking comments from the public, in writing and at the hearing. Gun rights advocates were not happy.

“This law should not be changed,” Hallet Bruestle wrote in a comment submitted before the hearing. “Not because it is a good law; it is blatantly unconstitutional. No, it should not be changed since this is a clear tactic to try to moot the Scotus case that is specifically looking into this law.”

David Enlow made a similar point. “This is a very transparent attempt,” he wrote, “to move the goal post in the recent Supreme Court case.”

The regulation allows residents with so-called premises licenses to take their guns to one of seven shooting ranges in the city. But it prohibits them from taking their guns to second homes and shooting ranges outside the city, even when the guns are unloaded and locked in containers separate from ammunition.

The city’s proposed changes, likely to take effect in a month or so, would remove those restrictions. Whether they would also end the case is another matter.

Until the Supreme Court agreed to hear the dispute, the city had defended the regulation vigorously and successfully, winning in two lower courts. In inviting public comments on the proposed changes, the Police Department said it continued to believe the regulation “furthers an important public-safety interest.”

Still, the city seems determined to give the plaintiffs — three city residents and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association — everything they had sued for. The plaintiffs, in turn, do not seem to want to take yes for an answer.

Move the goal posts, make it moot, and avoid an even bigger loss.  At least that’s what the controllers in New York are thinking.  Never allowing the free exercise of God-given rights is apparently their duty as they see it, regardless of their oath upon swearing in.  But the NYT writer, Adam Liptak, expands the discussion in history to one that is near and dear to our hearts.

There is a precedent for the city’s strategy, from a surprising source. The National Rifle Association tried a similar tactic in connection with the 2008 Supreme Court case that ended up revolutionizing Second Amendment law, District of Columbia v. Heller.

The N.R.A. was initially skittish about the case, which was brought by a scrappy group of libertarian lawyers led by Robert A. Levy.

“The N.R.A.’s interference in this process set us back and almost killed the case,” Mr. Levy said in 2007. “It was a very acrimonious relationship.”

As Mr. Levy and his colleagues were persuading a federal appeals court to strike down part of Washington’s tough gun control law, the N.R.A. tried to short-circuit the case.

“The N.R.A.’s next step was to renew its lobbying effort in Congress to repeal the D.C. gun ban,” Mr. Levy wrote in 2008 in a Federalist Society publication. “Ordinarily that would have been a good thing, but not this time.”

“Repealing D.C.’s ban would have rendered the Heller litigation moot,” he wrote. “After all, no one can challenge a law that no longer exists.”

Only an intensive countereffort kept the case alive, Mr. Levy wrote.

“After expending considerable time and energy in the halls of Congress, we were able, with help, to frustrate congressional consideration of the N.R.A.-sponsored bill,” he wrote.

The N.R.A. came around in the end. In the Supreme Court, it supported the suit, working closely with the lawyers who had brought it.

The NRA only “came around” because they couldn’t stop what was happening despite their best efforts.  Now this is interesting, yes?  The hand-wringers will claim that losing Heller would have been more harmful than any potential gain from a win.  Thus, the best strategy to avoid losing is never to enter the field of battle in the first place.

To some extent this has proven to be correct, only in that Heller hasn’t brought much in terms of recognition of the free exercise of gun rights.  There are still “may issue” states, and the notion of getting a carry permit in Hawaii is absurd.  Heller was so weak that the Supreme Court needed yet another similar to it (i.e., McDonald) that has also been simply ignored by the city of Chicago.

While every Podunk, no-name judge in America seems to think s/he can boss the federal executive around concerning immigration, and the administration kowtows to their demands, the rest of America seems to ignore the courts when it doesn’t like the outcome (e.g., Heller, McDonald).

On the other hand, losing Heller wouldn’t have been that big of a deal in my estimation, first of all because it has been mostly ignored by the lower and appeals courts, and second because states could still decide to honor our God-given RKBA regardless of whether the FedGov saw it the same way.  Open carry was allowed in North Carolina before Heller, and South Carolina was a shall issue state before either Heller or McDonald.

The hand-wringers might also claim that the NYT is only reporting this way to aid and assist the downfall of the NRA.  The more controversy that can be generated, it might be claimed, the more financial trouble the NRA will have.  Or so goes the thinking.

But when the smoke dissipates and you think about this clearly, the writer is only reporting the facts.  They are all out there for everyone to see.  The NRA either [a] didn’t actually want Heller to be argued before the Supreme Court, or [b] was so afraid of a loss that they took the strategy to stay off of the field of battle – retreat and give up before the battle even starts.

Is this the kind of organization that deserves your money?

Fortunately, it might not be that easy for New York.

The question of whether the changes to the city’s gun regulation will make the case moot is a hard one. The city lost an initial skirmish at the court last month when the justices turned down its request to suspend the filing of briefs while changes to the regulation were considered.

The plaintiffs opposed that request. “To state the obvious, a proposed amendment is not law,” they wrote.

The changes to the regulations will happen soon enough, though, and the Supreme Court will then have to consider whether there is anything left to decide.

The court has said the “voluntary cessation” of government policies does not make cases moot if the government remains free to reinstate them after the cases are dismissed. But formal changes in laws may be a different matter.

To hear the plaintiffs tell it, the court should not reward cynical gamesmanship.

“The proposed rule making,” they wrote, “appears to be the product not of a change of heart, but rather of a carefully calculated effort to frustrate this court’s review.”

This is actually good reporting.  I’ve come to expect far less from the NYT.

We Need A Strong, Focused And Reformed National Rifle Association

BY Herschel Smith
2 months 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
2 months, 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 months, 2 weeks 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 months, 2 weeks 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
2 months, 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?

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