The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 3 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Alabama State GOP Lawmaker Proposes Statewide Database For Gun Permit Holders

BY Herschel Smith
4 years 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.

I’m Was An NRA Lobbyist – And I’m A Quisling And Controller

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 6 months ago


I’m a long-time gun rights proponent with pretty solid credentials. I lobbied for the NRA. I am the president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association and I even gave Ronald Reagan his first shooting lesson with a customized AR-15 when I ran the Firearm Industry’s Trade Association in 1992. I am also someone who has worked successfully on bipartisan gun control measures, specifically a child safety lock agreement supported by Bill Clinton, which explains in part why I am also a former NRA lobbyist.

So now that he’s established his creds, let’s take a look at what he’s proposing to mend the wounds that America suffers.

Today’s current gun control mantra is “universal background checks.” The Brady law passed in 1993 mandated background checks for gun purchasers at retail gun shops. These transactions are commercial in nature and generally between strangers—the firearms dealer and the buyer. Twenty years ago, the firearms industry (and even the NRA) supported these checks at gun shows as well as retail gun shops, but the original legislation extended only to federally licensed dealers, with no attempt made to extend that jurisdiction to nondealers. Today, you’ll find gun owners support background checks for all commercial transactions. That includes gun shows, flea markets and internet sales purchases. Strangers can’t possibly know the backgrounds of the buyer and these checks can prevent the unintentional transfer of a gun to a disqualified individual.

But when the word “universal” is used, gun owners rebel. Why? They don’t want to be turned into criminals for giving a firearm to their wife, their kids or their parents without a background check—which is exactly what they fear could happen if a law mandates background checks for all gun sales in the U.S.

So why not extend the Brady background check to all commercial sales, including gun shows, internet sales and flea markets, while carefully and responsibly crafting exemptions for relatives, friends and co-workers whom the seller has personally known for more than a year? And in cases where there is some doubt about the relationship, let’s encourage people to get the checks by giving them the same liability protection when crimes are committed with those guns that retail dealers have now. Compromise, that dirty word, means we both get something in the transaction that’s useful to us.

With these exemptions in place, opposition would be diminished, and legislation based on sound policy not “gotcha politics” will more easily be enacted. Most importantly, disqualified individuals would find it harder (though admittedly not impossible) to obtain guns. Isn’t that what we seek?

So right out of the gate, he proposes a compromise.  Extend the background check to all sales.  Give up person-to-person sales as long as there is an exemption for family gifts.  In other words, universal background checks.  Just don’t call it that – it’ll get everybody on my side riled up.

“Red Flag Laws” are getting a lot of attention, but I prefer the term Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs). Something about the words “red flag” reminds me of “red herring.” But there’s a good reason for them. The theory behind this initiative is that people sometimes give us useful signals that they intend to commit violence—whether it’s against themselves or others—and if we act upon those signals by removing their guns we might sometimes prevent tragedies. But gun owners have legitimate fears that the system can be abused to their detriment. In order to amplify the good and minimize the bad, we need to build safeguards against a surveillance state that, in the wake of 9/11, has proved susceptible to overreach. If the process becomes punitive, not salutary, faith in the stated objective is defeated and people loss more respect for the laws and any changes are seen as new retributions to be opposed from the get go. A detailed description of a workable and fair policy can be found in David French’s article “A Gun-Policy Measure Conservatives Should Consider” from National Review of February of last year.

So, let’s put a few things in places to keep the Leviathan state from overreaching and prevent abuses, and we’ll support these confiscatory policies.  David French says so.  And so does he.

Sheesh.  With friends like this, who needs enemies?  Is it any wonder with “Lobbyists” like this, we’ve been compromised almost to the point of no return?

More On Wayne LaPierre’s History

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 6 months ago

Via David Codrea, Nedd Scott.

This ended the NRA as it was originally envisioned as evidenced by the massive overhaul of Article I of the NRA Bylaws. This was also the year that a young lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre was hired on by the organization. Now the firearms community would go on the offensive. Carter, now EVP, created the Institute for Legislative Action or (ILA) to lobby on Capital Hill. The NRA was focused solely at the national level with its activism at this time. Carter and Knox’s efforts bore fruit with the passing of the Firearms Ownership Protection Act (FOPA) in 1986. Although it was a major win for the organization its still had its failings. Although the NRA championed its reforms of the GCAs abuses the NRA allowed for the Hughes Amendment to be attached. (The Hughes Amendment banned future machine-gun production for civilians after May 19, 1986 and set the precident for banning firearms by type.) This, and other failures like the permanent Bush import “assault weapon” ban in 1989 can be attributed to Carter leaving the organization in 1985 while the NRA’s political focus was still in its infancy. Future leadership fell back into previous levels of minimal action and this lead up to the passing of the domestic Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) in 1994. Yes, the NRA did voice opposition but in reality it exerted very little influence as the amount of money the NRA used for lobbying and election campaign contributions were a fraction of what they provide today.

Carter’s departure left a void in the organization’s leadership at a crucial time. Wayne Lapierre saw an opportunity and began his rise to power. By 1991, he had earned the position of EVP and saw a need to brand himself and rebrand the NRA. He then created the NRA Foundation, giving a third entity as a means of fund raising. An investigation of the financial dealing of the NRA will also come in a later article. By 1999, he was voice of the NRA even though it didn’t have a decisive direction. Although Lapierre called the ATF “jack-booted government thugs” after the Ruby Ridge and Wako incidents, in May of 1995 he testified before Congress supporting background checks for all firearms sales at gun shows including between private individuals. He has been economically involved with members of the established opposition including Karen F. Thomas who has ties to Hilary Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council.

It’s good to know your history.

Wayne LaPierre’s Dumpster Fire

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 6 months ago

David Codrea:

… we don’t know where any of this will lead. Perhaps LaPierre will be able to stay on the tiger’s back, although with the virtually unlimited resources at the disposal of New York State, which is out to get him, and now, Washington D.C., out to do the same, I’m not sure I’d cover that bet.

What he’s doing now is surrounding himself with a protective guard and purging any he suspects might be threats. And clutching for survival lest the twisting tiger unseats and turns on him…

Meanwhile, members keep getting those interminable fundraising solicitations, as signs are a critical mass will be holding out until Wayne is gone. As the dumpster fire continues to burn it’s fair to wonder at what point politicians, particularly in districts where the vote is close, will start to view NRA endorsements as guilt-by-association liabilities.

I think politicians already see NRA endorsement as a liability rather than an asset.  And the gun community did this to itself.  These are all self-inflicted wounds.

I suspect Wayne will be able to “ride the tiger” just so long.  Sooner or later, the lack of membership dues will dry up the organization coffers, and then the tiger will starve.  What remains to be seen is whether what shell remains of the NRA board ousts LaPierre in order to save the NRA?

National Rifle Association: The Company It Keeps

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 6 months ago

John Richardson sends this.

If you attended the Meeting of Members at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, you might remember a short Filipino lady seeking out the youngest and oldest Life Member for recognition. That was Mille Hallow who has served as Wayne LaPierre’s right hand since 1996. According to her bio with the National Foundation for Women Legislators where she serves as Secretary, she is the Managing Director, Executive Operations. Earlier according to the same bio, she served as the Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She went by Mildred Bautista then.

John goes on to fisk here history.

Mildred Bautista, former executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, yesterday was given a suspended prison sentence and placed on three years probation in connection with charges she stole more than $23,000 in commission funds.

So … she’s a convicted embezzler.  Isn’t that nice.

My dog could have done a better job of running the NRA over the past decade.  At least he would have bitten anyone who tried to mess with me, unlike Wayne and his cronies.

Three NRA Board Members Resign

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 6 months ago

The Washington Post.

Three National Rifle Association board members who have raised concerns about reports of reckless spending and mismanagement by the group’s leadership resigned Thursday, another sign of mounting dissent within the nation’s most powerful gun-rights group.

The three board members — Esther Schneider of Texas, Sean Maloney of Ohio and Timothy Knight of Tennessee — said they were stripped of their committee assignments after they asked questions about allegations of lavish spending by NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre and other financial excesses.

“While our belief in the NRA’s mission remains as strong today as ever, our confidence in the NRA’s leadership has been shattered,” they wrote in a letter to NRA officials Thursday obtained by The Washington Post.

[ … ]

Board member Marion Hammer … wrote in a text message to The Post her reaction to the departing board members: “Don’t let the door hit you in the back on your way out.”

The NRA: An organization for Fudds, run by pit vipers.

David Dell’Aquila’s Battle To Reform The NRA

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 7 months ago


David Dell’Aquila says he finally realized that his attempts to reform the National Rifle Association from within were doomed after a conversation he had with NRA President Carolyn Meadows (she hadn’t been given the top job yet at the time). It happened during a party for large donors like himself that was held before the Indianapolis annual meeting in April.

Dell’Aquila tells TTAG that he approached Meadows because he’d received information indicating that a high-ranking NRA employee was receiving payments from vendors to whom he directed business. Meadows asked where he heard that (he told her it didn’t matter). She then told him none of it was true.

Then Dell’Aquila said he asked Meadows — strictly hypothetically — if she had a problem with an NRA official collecting a salary from the Association while using a vendor with which he either had an ownership interest or received payments for business directed its way (i.e. kickbacks).

According to Dell’Aquila, Meadows told him, “That’s how it’s done in D.C. Everyone does it.”

That’s when he says he knew his year-long effort (it started following the 2018 Dallas annual meeting) to bring about change and accountability by working with NRA officers and employees was futile.

Dell’Aquila, a retired Nashville technology consultant, then set about developing a four-phase strategy to force EVP and CEO Wayne LaPierre and his supporters — both in management and on the board — out of their positions.

I like the cut of his jib.  Then there’s this (readers and I have discussed the issue of fiduciary responsibility of NRA board members and just how far that goes).

It is important for each member of the Board of Directors to completely understand his or her responsibilities. For example, current NRA officers who have stated “I don’t know anything about that,” “that is the first time I’m hearing it,” “I trust Wayne completely,” etc., are not deemed within the law as valid acceptable legal defenses. It is your responsibility to know or take the necessary actions to obtain such knowledge.

Again, we’ll see just how far that responsibility goes, but I do hope it goes all the way to actual personal legal liability.

With all of that said, I still doubt that the NRA can be reformed.  I think it’s dead.

NRA Controllers “Punishing” Dissidents

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 7 months ago

From Wayne:


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
4 years, 8 months 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
4 years, 9 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.

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