Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

NRA Controllers “Punishing” Dissidents

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 17 hours ago

From Wayne:

Herschel,

You and I are now fighting the toughest and most consequential election battles of our lives – and I need you shoulder-to-shoulder with me like never before.

The news media is now attacking NRA 24/7, with a nonstop barrage of fake news and lies. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is pledging to spend AT LEAST $500 million electing a gun-ban extremist to the White House next year.

And we’re facing the most radical anti-gun candidates in the history of American politics – gun-hating zealots who want to LICENSE and FINGERPRINT gun owners, OUTLAW magazines holding more than 10 rounds, and BAN and CONFISCATE every semi-automatic rifle in America.

To prepare for these massive battles AND say thank you for your past support – I want to offer you some very generous membership discounts and extraordinary NRA gifts when you renew or upgrade your NRA membership by August 2nd.

Gee, that’s all too bad, Wayne.  But the gravy train had to run out of other people’s money at some point, just like socialism.

I’ll tell you what.  Let’s suppose you have honestly had a conversion.  I’ll give you this chance.  I’ll join again the day you get rid of the GCA and NFA.  How’s that?  You have a target to shoot for now.  Write me another note when that happens.

Next up, it looks like Wayne and the witch of the NRA, Marrion Hammer, are trying to punish dissidents.

Over the weekend, former NRA President Marion Hammer sent a private email to board members telling them to fall in line or face the consequences.

Hammer’s letter, previously only reported within the firearms blogosphere, is an apparent response to a number of board members who have posted publicly that they have faced retaliation for questioning alleged financial malfeasance in the organization. Hammer wrote that stripping the assignments was a punishment for ongoing “agitation” that has taken place outside of the “appropriate setting.”

“The NRA finds itself under attack,” Hammer wrote. “Some within our ranks—members of the NRA Board of Directors—have joined in these attacks. There have been leaks of proprietary and confidential information to the front pages of newspapers, websites and social media pages. Members of the board have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of our Association. Yet, some have chosen not to do so.”

“Those who didn’t get an assignment might want to consider whether or not they want to help us save the Second Amendment or continue on a course detrimental to NRA and our mission,” she concluded. “The decision is ultimately theirs.”

Just how NOT working on a committee is punishment, I cannot fathom.  I’d rather take a beating than work on a committee of pretty much any kind.  Working on a committee is like trying to herd cats.

But it appears that the witch believes she can bully good men.  There are a few good men left on the board, I take it.  The two salient questions are these: [1] How long will those good men sully their reputation by being associated with the failed NRA, with the added bonus of now being known as someone who could easily be bullied by the likes of Marrion Hammer (can you say “Coward?”), and [2] How long will the Fudds continue to fund Wayne’s and Marrion’s fat paychecks and retirements?

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.

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.

The National Rifle Association Has Marginalized Themselves

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 2 weeks ago

Reuters:

When Missouri Senate Bill 656 was introduced in 2016, it was relatively modest legislation that proposed capping the amount county sheriffs could charge for a concealed handgun permit.

By the time it passed, with both houses of the state legislature overturning the governor’s veto, it had become one of the most expansive gun-rights laws in the country.

The gun lobby fought hard to pass the bill. The group some lawmakers credited with providing crucial momentum was not so much the National Rifle Association, the powerful national lobbying organization, but rather the Missouri Firearms Coalition, an aggressive grassroots operation founded in 2015.

With major gun-rights legislation stalled in Washington, much of the action has shifted to the states, where self-described “no compromise” groups such as the Missouri Firearms Coalition have mobilized activists in favor of pro-gun laws, according to Reuters interviews with gun-rights groups in more than a dozen states, lawmakers and NRA supporters.

These groups have become increasingly active in promoting a pro-gun agenda in many states, unafraid of alienating lawmakers who waver on gun rights. In many cases, they say they would rather lose a legislative fight on principle than compromise and support a watered-down bill.

At times, this can put local groups at odds with the NRA, which some see as too willing to give ground on the most aggressive pro-gun laws in state legislatures, said Greg Pruett, president of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, which formed in 2012.

“It’s always kind of interesting when you see a lot of people in the gun control community talk about how radical the NRA is,” said Pruett, whose group organized an email and telephone campaign to pass a 2016 Idaho law allowing people to carry concealed handguns without a permit, also known as “constitutional carry.”

“There’s an entire movement on the other side of the NRA … We’re done compromising,” he said.

Missouri Firearms Coalition political advisor Aaron Dorr says the NRA fought against constitutional carry for years, considering it too much of a longshot, and only came on board once passage was certain. The Missouri law not only authorized constitutional carry, it made Missouri a “stand your ground” state, extending the right to lethal self-defense outside the home, even when retreating is an option.

“It was the Missouri Firearms Coalition that was on the ground first with this,” said Jered Taylor, a Missouri state representative. “Eventually the NRA came on board, but the Missouri Firearms Coalition was the one that pushed it.”The NRA contended that it supported Senate Bill 656 from start to finish. The NRA assesses legislation across the states and sometimes opts for incremental victories, spokesman Lars Dalseide said.

“While the all or nothing approach may sound noble, the fact is you usually end up with nothing,” Dalseide said. “The other groups may have called for the passage of these bills in the past but they are largely fundraising organizations … None of these legislative initiatives moved an inch until the NRA got involved.”

[ … ]

The most uncompromising among them say the NRA has become too timid and too willing to back measures such as removing firearms from people deemed dangerous.

“I call it pre-emptive concession,” said Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, which has helped expand concealed carry rights and a “stand your ground” law.

That the NRA would trot out a spokesman who would say something like that, making them sound like crying little girls, says more than anything the spokesman could ever do or say to harm the NRA.

The NRA has harmed not only gun rights in America (with its support for the GCA, the NFA, the connection of mental health to crime, and the bump stock ban), but they have marginalized themselves in the process, becoming nothing more than a money grabbing organization.  It’s a shame, really, as it could have been different.

But it’s nice to see people waking to this reality and working at the state and local level.  As they do that, it can always be expected that the NRA will claim the credit for it.  As I’ve said before, I consider the NRA to be the largest, most well funded and well connected gun control organization on earth.

War In The National Rifle Association

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

David Codrea links this Ammoland piece by Jeff Knox.  Boy is this some disturbing reading.  I cannot possibly rehearse all of the dirty laundry there, but there is this titillating little fact that may catch your interest.

Heston won that election by four votes, and immediately left the meeting to jet back to LA and appear on a radio talk show, during which he repeatedly stated that it was inappropriate or civilians to own AK47 type rifles. He eventually learned his script better, and the following year stepped up to become President of the NRA.

Embarrassingly, I didn’t know that.  Well then, Charlton Heston was a traitor, clear and simple.  I need no other evidence.  Jeff also discusses Adam Kraut, whom he supports for the board, and after reading his response to Marrion Hammer, I do too.

As for me, you could easily guess my own position.  Marrion Hammer can go traffic in her lies and misdirection somewhere else.  I’m not impressed in the least.

There is a deep, dark problem within the NRA.  Their history is a divided one, and their traitorous actions (e.g., the Hughes amendment) have harmed the firearms community, and I might also point out something I have before.  By outlawing the manufacture of machineguns after 1968, which the NRA didn’t fight, and also by the existence of the National Firearms Act, the engineering and design of open bolt firearms essentially ceased within the United States.  This has weakened the U.S. military and possibly lead to deaths of service members on the field of battle.

I cannot cipher the NRA willingness to hop in bed with traitors unless they are in fact traitorous themselves.  Let’s assume for a moment that the NRA actually chose to wield their power on Capital Hill.  Let’s assume for a moment that the this forthcoming bump stock ban wasn’t the NRA’s idea.  Let’s assume for a moment that they informed every Congressman and Senator that they expected a vote on this, and that the vote would be tallied and scored, with NRA money behind their efforts to primary enemies of the second amendment.

In other words, let’s assume that the NRA was doing its job.  Wayne Lapierre could be literally one of the most powerful men in Washington.  The red carpet would be rolled out for him everywhere he goes.  Who wouldn’t want that?  But instead of this, we see that the board is so discombobulated that it cannot accomplish anything of value or worth, and Wayne and Chris continue their deconstruction of the second amendment unabated.  Note this comment on Adam’s piece by Rob Pincus.

The Board of Directors is far too large and almost completely powerless, but voting out the Status Quo Old and voting in the new is what it needs.

Creating a large board and hamstringing their efforts with rules is the surest way to render them powerless.  What happens if the NRA sells us out over bump stock bans and other future gun control laws (I also suspect Marrion Hammer is the reason we don’t have open carry in Florida)?  Well, the gist of various comments from TTAG sums it up nicely for me.  If the NRA doesn’t do an about-face, and that, very soon and very quickly, and without any more of our money, they need to be destroyed.

They need to be finished as an organization.  They can turn their board over to the Fudds for gun control, or some other such nonsense group, and go broke for all I care.  But if they don’t do a U-turn, they will have no more of my money or attention.  This war needs to get ugly, and fast.  I realize that many of my readers have already come to the same conclusion long ago.

The National Rifle Association Caves On Bump Fire Stocks

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

NYT:

The National Rifle Association on Thursday endorsed tighter restrictions on devices that allow a rifle to fire bullets as fast as a machine gun — a rare, if small, step for a group that for years has vehemently opposed any new gun controls.

Twelve of the rifles the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, had in a high-rise hotel suite when he opened fire on a crowd on Sunday were outfitted with “bump stocks,” devices that allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, which may explain how he was able to shoot so quickly, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds of others. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has ruled that bump stocks do not violate laws that tightly limit ownership of machine guns, and some lawmakers have called for them to be banned.

The bureau should revisit the issue and “immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” the N.R.A. said in a statement released Thursday. “The N.R.A. believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

Ignoring the small issues of “shall not be infringed,” the NRA caves on bump fire stocks, as surely as most of the senators and congresscritters will cave, many of whom will have high marks from the NRA.

The NRA is still conflicted as to whether it wants to be a hunter and sportsman organization of a second amendment and gun rights organization.  As I mentioned, I don’t have one, and consider them to be mostly a novelty and range toy.  I would never put one on a personal defense weapon, accuracy and control being too important for such things for me to consider a high rate of fire as more important, especially near or around other people.

That said, I cannot be convinced that the shooter who landed all of this crap in our lap would have been less effective if he had aimed and fired in a controlled manner than with the bump fire stock, if in fact such a device was used.

The point to be taken here is not that of the bump fire stocks (the senate and congress is always looking for ways to further regulate your rights, even if not constitutionally allowed).  Bump fire stocks are merely the latest incarnation of the boogeyman.  Tomorrow it will be something else.  The point is that there is a world of difference between knowing that you’ll lose a fight, and actually going on record stating that you agree with your enemy.

The NRA.  Always squishy, never completely fulfilling their stated purpose, and always disappointing.

Alan Gottlieb Endorses Grover Norquist, Another Testimony To His Deep Character Flaws

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

I have discussed what I assess to be deep, troubling and dangerous character flaws in Alan Gottlieb before.  In what is yet another manifestation of these character flaws, Gottlieb has endorsed Grover Norquist for the NRA board of directors.  As reported by David Codrea:

The Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb sent out a March 3 email notice to members and supporters in which he endorsed the candidacy of Grover Norquist for director in this year’s National Rifle Association board election.

“My good friend Grover Norquist who is also on the NRA Board and up for reelection this year had an excellent interview with Newsmax that I want to call your attention to,” Gottlieb announced, directing readers to an interview on concealed carry decreasing crime. “He got my vote for the NRA Board and if you haven’t cast your vote yet I highly recommend that you also vote for him. A strong NRA helps us all.”

The problem with Gottlieb’s endorsement is that Norquist is what even “progressive” MSNBC acknowledges to be an “amnesty-loving immigration activist.”

As a stand-alone issue, this is enough to dismiss his candidacy outright, and it proves that Grover Norquist is a progressive collectivist who is merely looking for another board membership (presumably because his calendar is empty during the board meeting days and he wants something to do, or we can only guess – if Mr. Norquist would grace us with his presence here and tell us why he wants to be reelected as a member of the board we would know more than we do now).

Let’s again deal with where we are concerning Hispanic and Latino voters.  “As to whether the GOP will ever be able to rely on votes from the Hispanics, that is a non-starter.  “Hispanics are not historically and ideologically aligned with what the GOP is supposed to be.  To point to Roman Catholicism and claim that Hispanics will vote GOP because of socially conservative viewpoints misses the bigger picture of the state of Catholicism in South and Central America.  It is a synthesis, or a hybrid mixture, of Catholicism, superstition, Marxism, and in some cases evil “patron saints” for the cartel criminals.”  They will not vote conservative or liberatarian, no matter what you’re being told by the elitists and chamber of commerce.

In order to understand why the state of Roman Catholicism in Mexico and Central America is what it is, one has to understand its roots.

“For historical reasons to do with the nationalisation of the land under Lázaro Cárdenas and the predominant form of peasant land tenure, which was “village cooperative” rather than based on individual plots, the demand for “land to the tiller” in Mexico does not imply an individual plot for every peasant or rural worker or family. In Mexico, collectivism among the peasantry is a strong tradition … one consequence of these factors is that the radical political forces among the rural population are on the whole explicitly anti-capitalist and socialist in their ideology. Sometimes this outlook is expressed in support for guerilla organisations; but struggle movements of the rural population are widespread, and they spontaneously ally with the most militant city-based leftist organisations.”

One of the reasons for this reflexive alignment with leftism has to do with the the mid-twentieth century and what the Sovient Union and allied ideologies accomplished.  South and Central America was the recipient or receptacle for socialism draped in religious clothing, or in other words, liberation theology.  Its purveyors were Roman Catholic priests who had been trained in Marxism, and they were very successful in giving the leftists a moral platform upon which to build.  This ideology spread North from South and Central America into Mexico, and thus the common folk in Mexico are quite steeped in collectivist ideology from battles that were fought decades ago.

Hispanics and Latinos will be among the most progressive and socialistic voters in the history of the country, which is why the progressives want amnesty for them.  And there will indeed be a very large burden to shoulder for the presence of immigrants in America.  “It helps the corporate bottom line by forcing the middle class to pick up the tab for medical care, which burden happens largely on the backs of nurses in emergency rooms (my daughter is a nurse in an ER), with medical insurance premiums escalating in order to pay for the service.  Food stamps (so called SNAP) also factor into the calculus, as well as driver’s insurance (for uninsured motorists coverage).

It isn’t that there is no cost for low paid workers.  It’s that the cost is borne by the middle class as welfare to corporations and the wealthy.  The GOP is connected at the hip to such interests in terms of money, while the Democrats are connected in terms of future voters.

This all has to do with the middle class shouldering the cost for immigrants in general, but it does indeed go to show that pro-immigration candidates and politicians are progressive in their world view.  But more specifically as it relates to gun rights, Hispanics and Latinos favor gun control rather than gun rights, and not just by a trivial fraction.  Grover Norquist is a liar playing a game with NRA members.  He favors immigration, including amnesty, but says he favors concealed firearm rights.  Both cannot be true.

But just as disturbing about Grover Norquist is that he keeps company with terrorists and jihadists as we discussed before.

On September 11, 2001, Grover Norquist met in his office with a group of terrorists – “jihadis” if you prefer – to determine how to mend relations between Muslim leaders and American government officials, while the smoke was still rising after the attacks in which 3,000 of our citizens where murdered.

That alone should have put Mr. Norquist outside of the circle of trust among discerning and patriotic American leaders in the conservative movement, but it did not.

Mr. Norquist creating the Islamic Free Market Institute with money from Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi should be a red flag to rational thinking people in “conservative” circles, and should ostracize Mr. Norquist from any participation among patriots in matters of import – nope.

Grover Norquist – the founder of Americans for Tax Reform – continues to move within conservative circles with ease. and has support from some prominent Republicans.  Not only are many leaders in the American conservative movement failing to raise serious questions about Norquist’s defense of easily identifiable terrorists, they defend him and call those who lay facts on the table “bigots” or other similarly absurd names.

Now, he is again up for election as one of the members of the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association (NRA).  Will the NRA allow a man who promotes and defends terrorists to be re-elected to their Board?

In February 2014, a group of prominent Americans prepared a report entitled “The Islamists and their Enablers Assault on the Right – The Case Against Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan.”  The report contains facts surrounding Mr. Norquist’s history with and support for terrorists.  Among those who signed the report were:  the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey, 81st Attorney General of the United States; and the Honorable R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence.

The facts detailed in this report include:  Grover Norquist provided access to the White House for a number of terrorists during the Bush administration; Norquist is the registered agent for the Islamic Free Market Institute in Washington, D.C. which received money directly from terrorist/jihadi organizations including convicted Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi and the SAFA Trust;  Alamoudi’s deputy at the American Muslim Council (AMC), Khalid Saffuri, was made the Director of the Islamic Institute with Norquist’s approval; Norquist promotes, works closely with, and defends a Muslim Brother/Jihadi named Suhail Khan, whose father, Mahboob Khan, was one of the most prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the world prior to his death; and Suhail Khan served under two successive Secretaries of Transportation with a security clearance, and continues to be promoted and given access to positions of trust inside conservative circles by Grover Norquist.

Grover Norquist is a quisling and traitor, but as we return to Alan Gottlieb, he is a collaborator with quislings and traitors.  What does this make Alan?  NRA members should vote ‘no’ to Grover Norquist for NRA board, and smart men should stay as far away from Alan Gottlieb as they can get.

NRA Board Of Directors: Hangout Of Communist Sympathizers And Terrorist Enablers

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 5 months ago

I was once a member of a Presbyterian church (and ostensibly, a conservative one at that).  I came to believe that next to the communist party in Russia, the session of elders in Presbyterian churches was the most corrupt, self serving, loathesome group of men on the planet, and the Presbyterian process the worst ever invented by sinful man.  Perhaps I was wrong.

First, Mike Vanderboegh penned an article explaining how NRA Board of Directors candidate John K. Brown is an ATF snitch.

As I noted here back in September, ATF snitch John Brown is running for the national board of the NRA. That he IS a snitch is indisputable (see here and here for starters).

Colonel Robert K. Brown of Soldier of Fortune magazine pointedly does not endorse this wholly-owned ATF minion, saying in large letters and italics, “SOF is NOT endorsing John Brown, who is no relation of mine.”

Brown does endorse the following folks:

“SOF endorses the following current BOD members for reelection: Scott Bach, Ronnie Barrett, David Coy, Joseph DeBergalis, Antonio Hernandez, David Keene, Wayne Anthony Ross, Don Saba, William Satterfield, Ronald Schmeits, Robert Unkovic and Robert Viden.SOF is also endorsing Sean Mahoney and Timothy Knight, who are running by petition. “

There are many questions raised by the John Brown candidacy, not the least of which is WHO on the current board backed him enough to get his name on the ballot? What is Wayne LaPierre’s role in this? Chris Cox’s? The more important question is why is a militarized federal police agency — entrusted with enforcing our firearm laws — trying to penetrate the highest levels of a group as powerful as the NRA?

I have just now gotten around to reading my February edition of American Rifleman.  In it is an insert from the nominating committee and a ballot, the nominating committe headed by none other than Tom King.  I’ve had my run-ins with Tom King, saying that he was “as emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the NRA as I’ve ever seen.  It’s the perfect example of how not to think about our rights.”

It’s not okay with me that Tom King is head of the NRA nominating committe.  It’s even more not okay with me that the nominating committe would have the audacity to nominate someone like Grover Norquist (number 19 on Tom’s list).  John Guandolo, with Understanding the Threat (whom I have heard speak with with whom I have exchanged mail and spoken), sends this along.

On September 11, 2001, Grover Norquist met in his office with a group of terrorists – “jihadis” if you prefer – to determine how to mend relations between Muslim leaders and American government officials, while the smoke was still rising after the attacks in which 3,000 of our citizens where murdered.

That alone should have put Mr. Norquist outside of the circle of trust among discerning and patriotic American leaders in the conservative movement, but it did not.

Mr. Norquist creating the Islamic Free Market Institute with money from Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi should be a red flag to rational thinking people in “conservative” circles, and should ostracize Mr. Norquist from any participation among patriots in matters of import – nope.

Grover Norquist – the founder of Americans for Tax Reform – continues to move within conservative circles with ease. and has support from some prominent Republicans.  Not only are many leaders in the American conservative movement failing to raise serious questions about Norquist’s defense of easily identifiable terrorists, they defend him and call those who lay facts on the table “bigots” or other similarly absurd names.

Now, he is again up for election as one of the members of the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association (NRA).  Will the NRA allow a man who promotes and defends terrorists to be re-elected to their Board?

In February 2014, a group of prominent Americans prepared a report entitled “The Islamists and their Enablers Assault on the Right – The Case Against Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan.”  The report contains facts surrounding Mr. Norquist’s history with and support for terrorists.  Among those who signed the report were:  the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey, 81st Attorney General of the United States; and the Honorable R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence.

The facts detailed in this report include:  Grover Norquist provided access to the White House for a number of terrorists during the Bush administration; Norquist is the registered agent for the Islamic Free Market Institute in Washington, D.C. which received money directly from terrorist/jihadi organizations including convicted Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi and the SAFA Trust;  Alamoudi’s deputy at the American Muslim Council (AMC), Khalid Saffuri, was made the Director of the Islamic Institute with Norquist’s approval; Norquist promotes, works closely with, and defends a Muslim Brother/Jihadi named Suhail Khan, whose father, Mahboob Khan, was one of the most prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the world prior to his death; and Suhail Khan served under two successive Secretaries of Transportation with a security clearance, and continues to be promoted and given access to positions of trust inside conservative circles by Grover Norquist.

I’m sorry to lift so much out of John’s article, but I know he won’t mind.  Go read his entire piece.  It’s just that important.  The NRA has on its ballot for board of directors a terrorist enabler.

So let’s say that you are Mr. Steve Hornady or Mr. Ronnie Barrett on the same ballot and you are offended by being placed in the same category as these two men (or Tom King).  Let’s say you don’t like sweeping judgments or a broad brush. Let’s say you’re offended by all of this.

Very well.  It was written to offend, so I have been successful.  I’m delighted you are offended, and that I was the one to do it.  If you don’t like the company you keep, if you want the NRA to straighten up, then get yourself some clorox, some rags, and a wire bristle brush.  Go to work and clean out your damn nasty-ass house.  Then we won’t have to have words like this.  We can be friends.

NRA Board Member Tom King Laments Rhetoric At Pro-Gun Rallies

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 months ago

NY Daily News:

In my “Albany Insider” column today, I wrote how Tom King, the head of the state Rifle & Pistol Association, was critical of the increasingly angry and inflammatory rhetoric at pro-gun rallies. King said he fears that the ugliness that has popped up at the rallies is actually hurting the pro-gun cause. He also said it’s time to stop the rallies, arguing that they won’t result in a repeal of the SAFE Act. He wants to instead focus on trying to get the law struck down in the court …

I won’t post his silly letter, but I thought it would be appropriate to highlight this paragraph.

Fellow gun owners I submit this to you for your consideration. We will never convert the 22% rabid anti-gunners, we don’t have to convert the 32% avid pro gunners but we must convert a sizable portion of the 46% of those somewhere in between if we want to retain our 2nd Amendment Rights long term. These are the soccer moms, the guys who say I’ve never shot a gun but would like to try it and the people worried about their safety. How do we do that? Not by standing on stage screaming obscenities at Cuomo and certainly at large rallies where people stand on stage, pound their chest and tell the attendees to prepare for war. That frightens the very people we want to attract to our side, the people who will insure (sic) 2nd Amendment Rights for our grandchildren.

As a sidebar comment, the people he wants to attract will not insure (sic) 2nd amendment rights for our grandchildren.  But second, this letter is as  emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the NRA as I’ve ever seen.  It’s the perfect example of how not to think about our rights.

The strategy he advocates is why we’re where we are, among other reasons like loss of our national moral conscience.  He wants first to turn to the black robes, and failing that (as it certainly will fail and has already failed), he wants to turn to popular opinion.

Like so many other NRA board members, he wants to be oh-so-respectable and loved by the people.  Don’t appear extreme and scary, says he.  Never mind the warnings that should be issued to the collectivists should they continue with their pursuit of confiscation and onerous laws and harassment.  Never mind that they could be declaring war as an unintended consequence of their lust for power.  Don’t be scary to the people we want to persuade.

I rarely cite polls or popular opinion because while they may matter to the exigencies of my life, they don’t matter to my rights.  I have weapons because God gives me the right to own weapons, not the second amendment.  The opinions of the people are as subject to the vicissitudes of ideology as the times in which they live, and the mind of man cannot be entrusted with the rights of mankind.  If Mr. King is placing his trust in the people, he is building his house on sand.

My rights are what they are by divine pronouncement.  It is righteous to own guns because it reflects the character of the Almighty.  Without this I’m no different than the statist thugs and collectivists who want to disarm me, except we happen to be on different sides of an issue.  It means everything … everything … to be right and righteous.

Until the NRA board of directors is as convinced of the foundations of their rights as I am, they will be a weak and neutered organization, fit for nothing much except a good magazine once a month.

UPDATE. David Codrea links some history on this.  Jacob is a real piece of work.  Come on into my house, Jacob, and let’s throw down.  I’ll call you out for being the sorry, pathetic, collectivist piss ant you are.  Or did I already just do that?


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