Archive for the 'National Rifle Association' Category



In Defense Of The NRA?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Ammoland.

The fact is, life can be far more complicated than many of us want to admit. On Wayne LaPierre’s watch, the NRA has greatly expanded concealed carry, largely thwarted federal legislation that would have infringed on our Second Amendment rights, and he also secured the election of politicians who put pro-Second Amendment justices on the Supreme Court. On the political and legislative front, a substantial share of the credit for the undeniable improvement in the overall situation over the last 35 years has to go to the NRA and LaPierre.

But wait.  Is Wayne a saint?

That being said, LaPierre also has made some serious strategic errors. On his watch, the NRA got lax with Ackerman-McQueen, and while they appear to be winning legal battles with their former PR firm, the entire situation didn’t have to happen. Better oversight – or better yet, having multiple vendors to create competition – would have been better.

LaPierre also failed to anticipate the possibility that Andrew Cuomo and Letitia James would launch politically motivated abuses against the NRA. Cuomo in particular, gave an ominous warning in 2014 that should have prompted a move (and housecleaning) long before James would have had the power to abuse the NRA.

The NRA has also failed to get involved in the cultural arena, and it has left votes on the table by not hiring translators or engaging in outreach – which proved crucial for Glenn Youngkin in Virginia. Both of these failures also took place on LaPierre’s watch. The NRA needs to get started on rectifying those failures yesterday. And by the way, the threat posed to the entire Second Amendment community should James succeed in her politically-motivated hit on the NRA also exists.

Then comes this weird paragraph that I simply cannot explain.

But the NRA is not the only part of defending the Second Amendment that gets complicated. We rightly object when anti-Second Amendment extremists try to punish us for crimes and acts of madness – some of them horrific – that we did not commit. However, that doesn’t make the misuse of firearms to commit crimes and acts of madness – some of them horrific (Sandy Hook, Parkland, Las Vegas) something to ignore, or worse, brush off.

In 2020, FBI stats noted that 8,209 homicides were carried out with handguns, 455 with rifles, 203 with shotguns, and 4,283 were of “firearms, type not stated.” In addition, can any Second Amendment supporter deny that anti-Second Amendment extremists use those instances where firearms are misused as fodder for their unjust agenda? How many times have family members who lose loved ones in a tragedy sought to take their grief out against, especially when we are defending ourselves from having our rights infringed?

Second Amendment supporters need to have something to offer on this front. People might not like Project Exile and may have reservations about supporting legislation like the Restoring the Armed Career Criminal Act and the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act, but the fact remains these bills can hold off much worse.

First, I don’t buy that any modicum of success the 2A has seen has been due to Wayne or the NRA.  There is no evidence to support that assertion.  They failed to score important votes, they allowed their rating of pols to suffer and lag behind, they backed awful people, in history they backed the NFA and GCA, the AWB, the bump stock ban and supported universal background checks.  This all runs directly contrary to the 2A.  The writer is clearly sucked up some very bad information – or simple propaganda.

When he wasn’t spending money on suits or his little booby girl in the swimming pool, he was jetting around the globe on NRA money.  Wayne is a terrible man.

Second, that this is a sinful world has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with whether I submit my God-given rights to the whims of a few.  God is no respecter of persons.  Furthermore, the role of the law isn’t rehabilitative or preventative.  It is punitive.  The role of the family and church fulfils all of the goals the writer is discussing, and to press the state into the service in the void left by family and church has always, throughout history, made matters worse.

God is judging America.  Trying to stop this judgment is a fool’s errand, and no amount of legislation will change the heart of men.  America needs revival and reformation, not more laws.

What an awful, awful commentary.  Just awful.  Not a single sentiment is worthy of consideration.

Do they still have editors over at Ammoland?

The NRA Thinks Of You As Hillbillies, Idiots, Fruitcakes And Nuts

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Newsweek.

Leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA) expressed concern that the organization’s more radical members—who were described as “hillbillies” and “fruitcakes”—would embarrass the gun rights organization in the days following the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, according to tapes obtained by NPR and revealed on Tuesday.

In the wake of what had been one the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, the NRA’s senior leaders—including lobbyist Marion Hammer and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre—held a conference call to discuss whether they would still hold the organization’s annual convention in Denver.

Recordings of those private meetings revealed Hammer and LaPierre mocking some of the NRA’s more activist members, who the organization worried would be the only ones showing up in the aftermath of the shooting.

“If you pull down the exhibit hall, that’s not going to leave anything for the media except the members meeting, and you’re going to have the wackos… with all kinds of crazy resolutions, with all kinds of, of dressing like a bunch of hillbillies and idiots. And, and it’s gonna, it’s gonna be the worst thing you can imagine,” Hammer is heard saying on the tapes.

LaPierre says: “The people you are most likely to get in that member meeting without an exhibit hall are the nuts.”

“I agree, the fruitcakes are going to show up,” consultant Tony Makris adds.

Tapes of the call show that several of the organization’s lobbyists were worried that the Columbine shooting would create a massive crisis for the NRA and its agenda, especially given the convention was scheduled to take place just days after the tragedy.

“At that same period where they’re going to be burying these children, we’re going to be having media… trying to run through the exhibit hall, looking at kids fondling firearms, which is going to be a horrible, horrible, horrible juxtaposition,” lobbyist Jim Baker can be heard saying.

You see, the NRA leadership has always thought of you and treated you just as the democratic and republican parties have always treated their own – with disdainful and patronizing sneer.

That’s why they supported the NFA, the GCA, the bump stock ban, the assault weapons ban, and universal background checks.

They don’t care about you or your concerns.  They only care about themselves, Wayne LaPierre’s suits, his little blond cohort in the swimming pool, their junkets and trips across the globe, and at the moment their scavenging of the NRA firearms museum for the loyalists (those firearms being donated in good faith by men who worked hard for a living).

Because they see you as goobers.  And maybe men who support the largest, most effective, most influential gun control organization on earth are just that.

Why Would Anyone (Re)Join The NRA?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

At WoG, David posts an anecdote of “nobody home” when a reader tried to renew his NRA membership.

Why, I wondered, would anyone do that?  I was reminded of the answer when I read the comments.

NRA certification as a trainer still means something and is required by a lot of ranges if you apply for work.  It also still matters on your resume / CV for folks who weren’t military.

We need to change this.  With the NRA sponsorship of gun control, their waste of membership dues, and the total corruption of the board of directors, we need another body that respects and will fight for the second amendment, as well as publish good content and develop certifications for trainers.

NRA Circling The Drain

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Jeff Knox at Ammoland.

Cotton and LaPierre conspired to keep the meeting as sparsely attended as possible, moving the scheduled meeting from Houston to Charlotte, then not promoting it at all, and finally, setting up a ticketing service that reported the event as “sold out” almost as soon as the “tickets” were made available. Nothing about the meeting ever appeared in any of the NRA’s magazines, but they did, in a minimal nod toward technical compliance with New York law, publish two or three small notices in a local Fairfax, Virginia weekly newspaper. Information was belatedly added to the official website, in such a way as to be hard to find, then a few emails were sent out, but apparently only to relatively new Annual Members, who would be the least likely to be concerned about all of the accusations of financial chicanery in the Association, and who can’t even vote on most matters at a meeting.

In the end, the meeting room was only set up for between about 400 and 500 people, but counts by multiple attendees came in at between 120 and 140 people. That’s barely enough to comprise the 100-member quorum needed for a legal meeting. And almost half of those attendees were NRA Directors, many of whom were accompanied by their spouses, easily accounting for close to two-thirds of all attendees. Directors also got advance notice of the meeting and registration requirements, along with encouragement to bring friends and supporters.

With all of that, it was not at all surprising when a complex resolution from the floor by Director candidate Frank Tait, calling for a vote of “no confidence” against Wayne La’Pierre and others, and calling for their resignations, was blocked by a parliamentary move by Director Joel Friedman of California, with the support of 75% of the members present.

Seriously, what’s this guy smoking? Revenues are down dramatically. Membership is down dramatically. Influence on the Hill has all but disappeared. The headquarters building is mortgaged to the hilt and reported to be suffering from serious structural problems, particularly with the roof, which is reportedly leaking so badly that ceilings on the top floors have collapsed, forcing some offices to be relocated. Even Lloyds of London has refused to extend their liability insurance coverage for officers and directors. And the trial phase of the New York Attorney General’s suit against the NRA and its top executives is scheduled to begin in just a few more months.

[ … ]

I now believe that the NRA is a lost cause. The “leadership” has effectively shut out dissenting voices, ignored valid, serious concerns, promoted corruption and incompetence, and stifled member participation. They’ve blown off documented and self-admitted breaches of NRA policies and basic business practices, as well as clearly criminal activities, yet they continue to claim that they are stronger, healthier, and moving in the right direction, like never before.

Moving deck chairs on the Titanic.

We’ve known that for a long time now, those of use who pay attention to things.

Honestly, the sooner the entire thing collapses, the better off we’ll be.  The NRA has done nothing to help gun rights in America, and has done an awful lot to harm them.

Good riddance to the corruption and lies.  Be gone.

A Painful Lesson On The History Of The NRA And Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Ammoland.

Now, let me just preface this by saying that I am a proud NRA member, a benefactor member, and have helped do many things for NRA. I am not anti-NRA at all. But what I’m going to tell you is, in effect, a painful history of things that occurred early on in the NRA. As the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue, removing this painful history is not a good idea. We need to know and understand it. It is generally not known out there, but by recognizing it, we can look at the mistakes that were made, and mistakes were made. I am not talking about the modern situation now with the attack by the New York State Attorney General and all the politics going on here. Questions about whether Wayne LaPierre should stay in leadership or not. None of that. I am not going to get into that, and it is not about that. I want to look at the actual history of the NRA when it comes to gun control and gun laws.

You may be surprised to know that back in the 1920s and into the 30s, NRA was a proponent of gun control, and actually aggressively pursued the enactment of gun control laws. Laws that to this day, we are fighting. Laws to this day that the NRA is now fighting and has been fighting for many years to repeal and get rid of. But we need to know and understand what mistakes NRA made, and it was really done out of those folks being naive. If you want to read more about this, there is a really interesting article, believe it or not, in The Atlantic, which is a magazine that is generally considered, you know, left-wing, liberal without a doubt. But they had an article called The Secret History of Guns by Adam Winkler in the September 2011 issue.

It is a very interesting article to read. As much as I do not care for the politics of The Atlantic, and there, of course, is an agenda behind everything they do, this article does have many things in it that are factually true and surprising about guns and the history of guns. The fact that is put out by a liberal, left-wing magazine, and there is an agenda to it, does not mean that the history there is necessarily untrue or that we should reject it, want to close our eyes to it, and remove the statue. No, no, not a good idea. Instead, we should embrace it, understand it, and learn from it.

So, let me tell you that in the 1920s, NRA was actually a champion of enacting gun control. Because at that time, it had come over from England where there was gun control being pushed, and it came across the pond. It was after World War One, and there was this kind of a naive concept that gun laws could maybe work and go at crime and other concerns. The President of the NRA at the time was Karl T. Frederick. Karl Frederick was a Princeton and Harvard-educated lawyer. He was known as the best shot in America because he won three gold medals in handgun shooting at the 1920 Summer Olympics. So, he was a good shooter, obviously, a skilled shooter, and he was President of the NRA at the time. He was made a special consultant to the National Conference of Commissioners on uniform state laws.

In this role and during his NRA presidency, Frederick drafted what was called the Uniform Firearm Act. The Uniform Firearm Act was model legislation that was pushed in the States at the time throughout America with the NRA and Frederick pushing these uniform firearm laws because they wanted to see gun laws in all the states. It is shocking even say it, but what did these gun laws, these model firearm laws, what did they promote? Back in the 20s? I will tell you what they did. Number one, they required anyone that wanted to carry a concealed handgun in public must have a permit from the local police. Advocating permits. When what we had prior to that was constitutional carry. We had constitutional carry, and the NRA under Frederick pushed to not have constitutional carry and in fact have permits.

And he goes on but leaves the list woefully incomplete.  There’s support for the NFA (and Hughes Amendment) and GCA, support for the original assault weapons ban, support for universal background checks, and the idea for the bump stock ban, and Trump was too stupid to be able to figure out that the NRA doesn’t have the support of modern gun owners but instead represents gun controllers.

A commenter posts this about the NRA National Firearms Museum.

“I’m the former senior curator for the NRA National Firearms Museum. Forced to retire after more than a year on furlough. Most NRA furloughed employees received no information on what was happening to the association.  The designated staff chosen to “operate” various NRA functions were pretty much ones pledged to LaPierre. No matter what happens – I fear the NRA National Firearms Museum is toast.  Believe they may have already sent part of the collection off for auction.  When I went in to pick up my personal belongings (which was one heck of a process) – they would not let me, our museum registrar, or our FFL person into the galleries for even a goodbye photo.  Interesting that they wouldn’t let an employee of 35 years (and the individual entrusted with the keys to every vault in the HQ) enter the galleries, but had allowed some VIP tours through previously.

“Millions of dollars are represented in the collection – just the Petersen Gallery held over $30 million and that was just the first gallery as you entered. The state of the HQ building is very bad presently – roof falling apart – they had to move the legal library from the 6th floor to another building next door because the roof collapsed in that area. Heard they believe it may take three more months to fully repair.”

That’s not from some outsider, but from the Senior Curator of the National Firearms Museum. And what will the board do? The board that has a legal obligation to protect the NRA as an organization? To protect the donations of those who support it? We can watch them re-elect the CEO LaPierre, continue his $1 million-plus salary, and give his cronies another year to complete their looting. This organization has endured 150 years. Founded by Civil War veterans, had 3-4 presidents who earned the Medal of Honor. It is now being ruined by a board too frightened of nasty words to do their duty.

This post is updated.

Update — a person affiliated with headquarters in the 1990s said there were many rumors back then that, while the museum itself was honest, some of the others who dealt with it were not. It would regularly receive collections, sometimes very big and fine ones, but not of museum-display quality. These would be given to an auction house to sell. There were rumors of insiders getting “first pick.” Also the possibility of kickbacks from the auction house to insiders who steered it business. At one point a staffer stumbled across a different firearm auction house that would offer NRA a better deal, and suggested that to Treasurer Woody Phillips’ staff. The person to whom he made the suggestion responded by going frantic and screaming at him until he left.

So even now they can’t stop their thievery.  They (I assume LaPierre and his cronies) are looting the NRA National Firearms Museum for personal gain and financial protection.

Wayne LaPierre, Marion Hammer, Tom King and the rest of that ilk are terrible, horrible, no good, very bad people.  But most readers, I think, see this piece for what it is.

Yes, go ahead and admit that the old NRA made mistakes.  I’m a proud NRA member, and we can all learn from this and move forward to make the new NRA.  In other words, please send us your hard earned money and we can make it all better.

Here’s a one word answer: NO.

Not Even Lloyd’s Of London Will Insure Wayne LaPierre And The NRA Board

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

John Richardson.

So to answer the question posed in the headline, I think you could say that Wayne is the peril and his continuing presence at the top of the NRA is the hazard. Dumping the Gang of Four of Wayne, Carolyn, Charles, and Willes won’t cure the NRA’s problems but it would be a step in the right direction.

I don’t mean to sound sour, but it’s too late for that.  The NRA could have focused on the largest and most wicked battle of the 21st century, and instead they chose to take junkets, outfit Wayne in expensive suits, and give Wayne a cute girl in a swimsuit to paddle around in his pool.

Too bad.  They will answer to God for their misuse of hard earned money.

Brief Thoughts On The NRA

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Wasted opportunity.

I haven’t received begs for money lately from the NRA.  Maybe they just gave up on me.  Maybe I’ll start hearing from then again.

But Wayne wanted to pay for pretty girls to float in the swimming pool he rented, buy nice suits, pay for trips around the world for him and his wife, and buddy up with important people while he suggested new infringements on God-given rights.

The NRA rating system can’t be trusted to mean anything at all, they haven’t won a real fight in God knows how long, they’re in court defending themselves, the best and brightest hopes have left the board of directors, they jettisoned the ones who didn’t (like Lt. Col. Allen West), and they’re eaten up with bitterness and internal politics and squabbles.

They were completely absent this last national election (did you hear anything from them?), and they’re trying at the moment just to survive.

What a wasted opportunity.  And all of this – every bit of it – was self inflicted.

War: New York Versus The NRA

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

David Codrea.

Many, including gun owners and NRA members like myself, will note that in many ways NRA has brought this down upon itself. It also shows why I’ve maintained LaPierre is hanging on for dear life in spite of calls for his resignation before members will donate any more money. There’s no way he can front the legal bills he’ll be incurring on his own.

We’ll now get a chance to see for ourselves how high-powered the NRA’s top lawyer, William Brewer, a Democrat, really is.

It happens everywhere there is money, power, lack of accountability, and free rein on power brokers.  It happens in state, churches and business.

The NRA ha aided and abetted the enemy for far too long, and their ratings system is meaningless for pols.  The bylaws have made the board powerless to stop it, and Wayne spends NRA money on big homes, suits and pretty girls.

Could we just wish for a scoreless time at the end, humiliating to both parties?

The NRA Has Laid Off More Than Sixty Employees

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

Politico.

The National Rifle Association has laid off more than 60 employees in recent weeks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Unless that number includes Wayne, the number will continue to grow.

Wayne, do the right thing and step down.  Only then can the NRA recast itself as a true gun rights organization designed to protect and defend the God-given rights of Americans.

As opposed to what the NRA is today, one which supported the NFA, the Hughes Amendment, the GCA, the bump stock ban, universal background checks, and red flag laws.

And if you’re an honorable man or woman still on the board of directors of the NRA, we have to question why?  Or we have to question if you’re really an honorable man or woman.  Take your pick.

Alabama State GOP Lawmaker Proposes Statewide Database For Gun Permit Holders

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

News from Alabama (via David Codrea).

An Alabama state lawmaker has introduced legislation that would create a statewide database for Alabamians with concealed carry permits.

The process that the state implements currently isn’t secure enough, according to state Rep. Proncey Robertson (R). Currently, the application process for a concealed carry permit is overseen by each county’s sheriff’s office.

“When you go in there and you give them your personal information, addresses, Social Security numbers, date of birth, all this sort of stuff to put on that, it’s sitting there in a very nonsecure location,” Robertson told an Alabama Fox affiliate.

The bill would also allow Alabama residents to be issued lifetime concealed carry permits.

BamaCarry, a pro-gun group in the state, is against the proposed bill.

“They need to back off of trying to regulate people who lawfully carry weapons,” Eddie Fulmer, a member of BamaCarry, told the network.

He couches it in such protectionist terms, doesn’t he?  Lifetime permits.  Nonsecure.  All an excuse for more regulation.

Sometimes I seriously wonder what’s wrong with Alabama.  I know Mike Vanderboegh had problems with Boss Hogg, and even more problems.  But there’s more you should know from David Codrea.

So what the hell is this?

And how are the excuses being made for it any different from arguing for national records consolidation?

Anybody else getting a little tired of Fairfax giving green lights and promoting existing Intolerable Acts?

So your NRA supported this?  You don’t say?  Some astute reader should make a list of the gun control the NRA has supported, for example, AWB, the NFA, the Hughes Amendment, the GCA, the bump stock ban, red flag laws, UBCs, etc., etc., with URLs to prove it all.

Any takers?  Fill up the comments with URLs of NRA gun control.  Have at it.  Let’s have the full list of crap they have supported.


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