By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Voting members of the National Rifle Association (those who have been continuous members for at least five years and/or those who are life members or higher) will have until May 1 to return their 2016 ballots for Board of Directors candidates.
The ballot, voting instructions and Nominating Committee recommendations have been included in the association’s official journal magazines for March, which, if not yet received by eligible members, should be in the mail.
And this year, despite a unique and emotionally-charged recall measure against a high-profile director, don’t expect to see any significant changes in the makeup of the board.
Those won’t happen unless and until a critical mass of eligible members demands them. That's not likely to happen.
The recall is against Grover Norquist, perhaps most notable for his role as founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. In Norquist’s corner is the NRA’s Hearing Board, which “recommends that NRA Members vote NO on the Recall Petition.” Bolstering that view is a plea from director Todd Rathner presenting a list of high-power insider names supporting Norquist, as well as a mass email from Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation and former NRA President Sandra Froman, that’s long on ad hominem and name-dropping, and short on actually refuting any allegations.
Those charges, as documented by the petitioners, center on Norquist’s involvement advancing the interests of various Islamic groups and individuals. They’re certainly interesting, and they certainly bear an independent-minded assessment. But those aren’t the reasons I oppose Norquist on the Board and urge readers to vote YES on his recall.
Simply put, Norquist’s alliance with Michael Bloomberg in supporting “amnesty” for millions of illegal aliens plays into the hands of those like Hillary Clinton calling for an accelerated “pathway to citizenship.”
No one thinks Bloomberg needs cheap labor for his high tech publishing empire, do they?
The Democrats do this because they know all credible data shows an overwhelming preference for the Democrat party and its agenda, including and especially “gun control.” If (when?) they succeed, unchallengeable supermajorities in state and federal legislatures will be able to pass all kinds of anti-gun edicts and confirm judges to the Supreme and federal courts who will uphold those edicts and reverse gains made to date. The unexpected sudden passing of Justice Scalia, and the precarious balances of the Heller and McDonald decisions, ought to drive home for all how dangerously critical that is.
Arguing that guarding the Second Amendment on this front is not part of NRA’s “single issue” focus is demonstrably disingenuous, and ignores the fact that NRA (quite properly) involves itself in tangentially-related issues all the time. Nor does offering anecdotes, platitudes and wishful thinking do anything but enable the continued “fundamental transformation of America.”
The burden is on those arguing otherwise to produce credible data – something that can be independently validated – that “amnesty” and a “pathway to citizenship” for MILLIONS of foreign nationals in this country illegally (and even legally, with current culturally suicidal policies) WILL NOT overwhelmingly favor Democrats and anti-gunners, as we see in the political transformation of California.
None of them, not the NRA, not Norquist, nor any of his enabling apologists has given a compelling, numbers-based rebuttal to that concern because they can’t. So they won’t.
All that said, most gun owners aren’t NRA members, and of the members eligible to vote, The Firearms Coalition estimates only something like 7% even bother. Those who do are going to listen to the leadership.
So then what’s the point of all this?
Perhaps it’s nothing more than to create a record that multiple warnings have been issued and ignored, and by whom. That and if you know a freight train is coming, you do what you can to urge people to get out of the way.
There are reforms that could help, marginally, stuff like posting the current approved bylaws online so we have a standard by which NRA actions and officials can be assessed and understand the processes for member involvement to resolve concerns. I’d also like to learn more details about board candidates and their core beliefs than is posted in the boilerplate descriptions included with the ballot, along with a way to contact them individually and collectively. Realistically, I don’t expect any of this to happen, and that’s too bad. Insulation from feedback only hurts the members.
I can’t tell you who I’m going to vote for. If any candidates would like to fill out my for-the-record director candidate questionnaire, and if they get the answers right, that could change, and those people will be the only ones I endorse. Based on years past, I’m not holding my breath.
What I can tell you is who I will NOT vote for, and this list may expand the more I learn about the nominees. I won’t be voting for Sandra Froman due to her support of Grover Norquist. The same goes for why I won’t vote for Joe M. Allbaugh. Ditto for Bob Barr, who merits the additional disqualifier of having supported the Lautenberg and Kohl gun bans and a so-called “terror bill” with anti-gun provisions. [UPDATE: I'm also not voting for Ted Nugent and Larry Craig because they oppose the recall.]
At this point the only thing I’ll definitely be voting FOR will be to vote YES to the question:
Shall Grover Norquist be removed from membership on the Board of Directors?
I expect him to retain his seat by a landslide. That and getting a lot of Fairfax “loyalists” mad at me.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.