Unnamed NRA Writer Pulls a Zumbo

By Dean Weingarten

NRA Foot in Mouth
NRA Foot in Mouth
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)-On May 30th, in a 1400+ word essay, an unnamed NRA-ILA writer ignited a firestorm against Second Amendment supporters in the opposition media.

In a few badly chosen words near the end of the essay, the unnamed staffer gave the opposition priceless ammunition to smear open carriers.  

This should be a lesson to everyone to choose their words carefully.   I do not know if editorial control was exercised.   It is clear that the word choices were emotionally loaded and welcomed by those who desire a disarmed population.

In other words, the unnamed writer pulled a Zumbo.

Here are the offending sentences:

Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary.

The writer simply ignores the positive effect that the open carry demonstrations have had in Texas, where the open carry of modern handguns is effectively banned.   Because of the demonstrations, both governor candidates have pledged to support the open carry of handguns if elected.

It was only because of successful disinformation campaigns by those opposed to the Second Amendment that the restaurant chains issued their mild half-rebukes, while still refusing to ban open carry in their restaurants.  The NRA cites the Jack in the Box case, based on what amounts to a hoax.

The original story that those opposed to an armed citizenry published was that the restaurant workers were so scared that they locked themselves into the cooler/freezer.   Except it never happened.

I do not know about the Chipotle incident.   I was not there, nor have I read reports of the people who were there or have I seen video of it.   But Second Amendment opponents seldom have to worry about exaggeration or outright falsehoods.   Their old media allies cover for them.

The NRA-ILA writer then points a finger at open carriers, not realizing that three of his own fingers are pointing back at him:

 But when people act without thinking, or without consideration for others – especially when it comes to firearms – they set the stage for further restrictions on our rights. Firearm owners face enough challenges these days; we don’t need to be victims of friendly fire.

Unfortunately, the writer did exactly what he preached against.   His words have become a classic case of “friendly fire” directed at one’s own troops.  Using words such as “weird“, “dubious“, and “scary” to describe a political movement that has gained a multitude of grassroots supporters and seen significant success in Texas, is particularly unwise.   He could have warned about Second Amendment opponents predilection to exaggerate and use emotion.   Instead, he seems to buy into his opposition’s disinformation campaign.

I suspect that the writer, unnamed, will escape the Zumbo label.   They ought to reflect on their near miss, and exercise better judgment in the future.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch
Update: NRA says criticism of open carriers was a mistake:

Posting the criticism “was a mistake,” he said. “It shouldn’t have happened. I’ve had a discussion with the staffer who wrote that piece and expressed his personal opinion. Our job is not to criticize the lawful behavior of fellow gun owners. Our job is to effectuate policy changes that expands and protects our members’ right to self-defense.”

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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The NRA statement could have been much better worded. However: [The writer simply ignores the positive effect that the open carry demonstrations have had in Texas, where the open carry of modern handguns is effectively banned. Because of the demonstrations, both governor candidates have pledged to support the open carry of handguns if elected.] Um, no. The candidates are supporting open carry in spite of the OC “demonstrations.” Open Carry has never succeeded in passing any pro-gun law in Texas, or as far as I know anywhere else. In California they did get an anti-gun law passed. They have succeeded… Read more »


Some of the comments here are good, BUT, most show just how little understanding, knowledge, and reasons for the Second Amendment that they have. DB is correct! The NRA plays political games with our Rights for the advancement of their personal agenda and power. I withdrew from the NRA in 1984 because of this. I signed up again last year because of Glenn Beck and others, thinking the NRA must have changed – THEY HAVE NOT! I am sick and sorry I signed up! But, I intend to use my life membership to speak my mind about and to the… Read more »


‘Open Carry’ or ‘Concealed Carry’, make a choice that’s appropriate for the situation you find yourself in. In some locales government actually lets you make that choice. Now that’s real Freedom!


To begin with, are we so sure the comments were a mistake that slipped through? When I worked at the NRA, in PR, every single piece that was written, even by division heads, was reviewed by at least two editors before it went out. I’m not buying this. HOWEVER, even if it did occur as stated, why would a person with this viewpoint be retained? It should have been immediately stated that they were terminated. That would have gone a very long way in defusing the issue. Final call: BS


VT,one last thing.You were talking about “united we stand,divided we fall” ? I agree 100% ! Tell it to the NRA !


Vt,when did these Patriots have any weapons in anyones face ? You been hanging out with the gun-grabbers too much.Just lies and more bullshit !y


VT Patriot, if it makes you sick that OTC is “legally” open carrying those weapons, then go to a doctor.Either you’re pro 2A or you ain’t ! These people are “legally”trying to draw attention to their cause,our cause ! If what they are doing frightens the douche bag gungrabbers on the left, that’s just all the better !!!

VT Patriot

Great job mic. Let’s see if we can’t get all the 2A groups fighting by calling each other names. I have always supported ($$) all of the 2A groups, and intend to continue. There’s an old saying that goes “united we stand, divided we fall”. I carry, I enjoy my right to do so, but watching this OCT group going after hamburger chains with their macho “Look at me, I got an AR and I’m in your face” makes me sick. What kind of response do you expect from ‘normal’ people??


May I suggest The Second Amendment Foundation.

They’re primarily responsible for the wins in Heller v. D.C. and McDonald v. Chicago anyway.

I only give the NRA my annual dues, nothing else, because, otherwise, I’d lose my gun range membership and it’s just too convenient.


NRA is back peddling like crazy. This is there true feelings coming out.. donate to the GOA. GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA. They are the only no compromise gun lobby that actually cares for the individual getting worked over my a overzealous government at local, state or federal level. You will not get offers from them for life insurance, health or prescription coverage or any of the other crap the NRA send out to you to join so the can get kick backs. All the GOA Does is fight for 2nd amendment rights. Hay NRA, you getting the message yet. Get… Read more »

Charles Nichols

“[A] right to carry arms openly: “This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations.”” District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 – Supreme Court (2008) at 2809. “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon… Read more »


I cut up my membership card and mailed it back too ! To hell with the NRA ! Now they are trying to back peddle and put it on a staffer !


Meh. I cut up and mailed back my NRA card in 1968.