National Rifle Association Disrespect…

By Jeff Knox : Opinion

NRA Disrespect Respect
National Rifle Association Disrespect
Firearms Coalition
Firearms Coalition

Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- At the NRA’s Annual Meeting of Members in Atlanta last weekend, NRA leaders doubled-down on their strategy of treating the membership like children or mushrooms.

As a concerned and involved NRA Endowment member, I submitted a resolution that was critical of NRA leadership for their handling of the recent bylaw election. The main focus of the resolution was that the NRA leadership displayed a serious lack of respect for the membership by not giving members an opportunity to hear dissenting opinions and debate the amendments on their merits prior to being asked to vote on them. Then they repeatedly told members how they wanted them to vote.

My objective was to foster debate about this issue and allow the membership to act as the owners of their Association. But rather than allow that discussion, the leadership silenced dissent by claiming that there were “technical flaws” in the resolution, and declaring it “out of order.”

Allan D. Cors
Allan D. Cors

The “technical flaws” were bogus, based on a distorted reading of Robert’s Rules of Order, and an intentional mischaracterization of a clause of the resolution. Even if they they were valid, the proper course under Robert’s Rules should have been either to bring the issues to my attention as the maker of the motion, and give me an opportunity to correct them, exactly as they did with another, less controversial resolution I submitted, or allow the resolution onto the floor where any flaws could be amended using the normal deliberative process.

Instead, they simply declared the whole resolution out of order and went on to the next item of business.

The only resolution actually voted on by the members, was one I submitted calling for commemoration of 2017 as the 40th anniversary of the 1977 Cincinnati Revolt. It called for members to express their desire that the association recognize and celebrate this important milestone in the organization's history by publishing feature articles and other media presentations commemorating the event as a way to educate younger NRA members about our history.

Even with this relatively uncontroversial resolution, President Cors moved quickly, going straight to the vote without offering opportunity for debate or discussion. Under Robert’s Rules, the maker of a motion or resolution always has the right to speak about it before a vote is taken, and technically, should read the resolution to the body, but that’s not the way it happened. It could be argued that President Cors is not a parliamentarian, and simply made a few mistakes in his conduct of the meeting, but it seemed that the mistakes always tended to the benefit of the establishment, and the detriment of the members. But ignorance is a lame excuse since a professional parliamentarian sits at the President’s elbow during the meeting.

Some other members offered a pair of resolutions, and in both cases, a member of the Board of Directors immediately rose to move that the resolution be referred to a committee of the Board, rather than allowing the members to discuss and vote on it. In the first instance, that motion to refer passed without discussion, and in the other, the member who submitted the resolution requested permission to withdraw it.

As soon as that resolution had been dealt with, the same member of the Board who had risen on the other issues rose again, this time to move that the meeting be adjourned. President Cors noted that he had been informed that a member of the Executive Council, former President David Keene, had expressed a desire to raise a point of personal privilege, and asked that the motion to adjourn be held briefly to allow Mr. Keene to raise his point of privilege. There was no objection, and Mr. Keene was given the floor.

David A. Keene
David A. Keene

Former President Keene expressed his feeling that he had been personally insulted – along with the rest of the Board – by the suggestion that NRA leadership does not respect the members. He pointed out that he and the current leadership of the organization frequently remark on the fact that the power of the association is derived from the membership, and give credit to the membership for the achievements the association makes in the political and legislative arenas. He concluded by declaring that they all have the deepest respect for the members, and reiterating that it was insulting to suggest otherwise.

While I could have tried to respond with a personal privilege point of my own, I was quite sure that the attempt would be met with a ruling that I was out of order, and the attempt would have served no purpose. Instead, I approached Mr. Keene directly and apologized for causing offense, assuring him that it was not my intent, but I pointed out that declaring respect, and demonstrating respect are two very different things.

Regardless of how thoroughly the bylaw amendments might have been discussed and debated within the Board, not giving the members the courtesy of full disclosure of the facts, and not allowing any expressions of dissent from the leadership position, is not a demonstration of respect. Further, filling the magazine with repeated arguments supporting and encouraging a “Yes” vote, without providing any opportunity for any other opinion to be expressed, also failed to demonstrate respect for the members. I got the distinct impression that he was not convinced.

The National Rifle Association is a wonderful organization with incredible power, and even greater potential.  I believe that every gun owner and lover of liberty should be a member.

Having dedicated the better part of my life to working for a strong, effective, member-driven NRA, I’m deeply disappointed that the leadership – both past and current – insists on “unity” and “conformity” over full disclosure and debate. Rather than providing the membership with the information they need to make informed decisions, and trusting them to come to the best conclusions, they treat them like mushrooms – kept in the dark and buried in BS – giving them only the information they choose, and holding their hands as they guide them across the street.

A loving dictator is still a dictator, and that's not respect.

Neal Knox - The Gun Rights War
Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • 23 thoughts on “National Rifle Association Disrespect…

    1. First let me say I’ve been a Life Member since 71 and within the last couple of years an Endowment Life Member. The NRA like so many massive (membership wise) organizations has so little time to deal with actual business at their annual conventions. Most business is done long before the annual meetings.

      I was appalled to hear that USCCA had been dis-invited at the last minute. I also understand that several other organizations were dis-invited.

      While I support the legislative functions to some extent, I have seen nothing about the NRA supporting the National Reciprocity Concealed Carry Act.

      In closing I believe, We The People (Membership) need to hold a special election to clean house!

    2. Wayne and crew should be subject to term limits. While much good work is done, they do act entitled and do talk down to the membership, expecting their rings to be kissed ! I’m a Benefactor Member and have watched all the Cincinnatti reforms be tossed . The NRA is still the 800 lb. gorilla, but the leadership is too isolated from the membership. Their treatment of USCCA was abhorent. I just signed up with the USCCA precisely because of that.
      I certainly won’t quit – nobody changes anything from outside. I only vote for a very few Board wannabes each time – if ALL the eligible NRA voters would vote in the Board elections, we couyld change the leadership gradually. The % of members doing so was very low (I’ve read).
      Time I sent Jeff/et al a few more bucks that the NRA WON’T be receiving !

    3. I have belonged to the NRA for more years than many of their so-called leadership. I am sad to see that they have become a group of know it all good old boys that are enjoying our funds but not our participation in the process like the democrats & so-called republicans. They have been a fancy life style on our dime. Just when we need them the most they seem to have drifted away. Kind of like taxation without representation. Wake up NRA.

    4. While the NRA does have some problems and I don’t always agree with their stand. They are the largest Pro-gun organization in the world and they do more good for firearm freedom than against. I am a Benefactor Life Member plus a Golden Eagle, I also am a life member of GOA and Citizens Committee for the Right to keep and bear arms. I support most pro-gun causes. I feel every gun owner should support some pro-gun organization of your choice. Thanks for reading.

    5. The NRA should be ashamed of not allowing USCAA to sponsor a booth at its convention. I’m done with the NRA until you wake up and respect your supporters. Turning on us and them is so wrong on so many levels I can’t even understand why you can’t see it. I’m done with you until you appolize to USCAA and correct that stupidity

      1. If Mr. Keene felt “personally insulted”, perhaps he should look inward to the disrespect paid to the USCCA and the other company who were “dis-invited” two weeks prior to the NRA gathering AFTER paying for a booth, travel, staging, etc. These were corporate supporters of the NRA! What a gutless, bush-league, rookie move to kick the competition out because they want to roll out similar NRA insurance. Keep in mind, it must be a p-poor product if it can’t stand side-by-side scrutiny by members!

    6. I’ve been a life member for 20 years, and during my time with the organization I’ve seen them step up and defend our rights when it was the only organization around at the time. I agree that there are those (including me) that feel that all they’re about is trying to make more money. They’ve done so much for our rights, and every member should thank them for their efforts, but I do believe they have lost their way lately. Their power is because of the membership not because of who they are. There are several other gun rights organizations around now, but none carry the clout of the NRA. Let’s not forget that the only way we have been able to keep our rights is because of the 2nd amendment. Without that one amendment we would be at the mercy of our government. I don’t like everthing the NRA has done, but I’m damn happy they were here. There’s always ways to fix the problems within the organization. We the members have the power to fix it, but we should never let the far-left even think we have problems within the organization, because if they see a Crack they’ll attack it. So my fellow members let’s show support for the one organization that actually works. There’s not another organization who has the clout to get things done in Washington as the NRA.

    7. Glad to see this malcontent brought out for all to see. They call it a free raffle but ask for money ! Six months after I paid my dues they are asking for my renewal. WE are nice guys when THEY want money. Will have to think very hard before I add another years dues!

    8. It saddens me to see and hear about all this discontent. I have been a endowment-life-member of the NRA for many years. I am now old and on a fixed income but still try to continue to give to the NRA-PVF and NRA-ILA. I hate to think that my few dollars are going to such an honorable organization’s slow demise because of the lack of respect among its top leaders. Perhaps it is time for an intervention and some real introspective thinking by our current leaders.

    9. The NRA has been arrogant and lying directly to me when contacted by phone. I cannot deal with anyone who treats their membership that way. They interfered in our state grass root efforts to pass a state bill and it caused us repercussions with other states. The NRA is just like the AARP, they do as they wish, not as their members want. They know better whats best for us! I won’t pay dues to anyone who does us that way. GOA, SAF, etc is where my money goes. To hell with the NRA.

    10. It FRUSTRATES me to no end when it is time to vote. A ONE-SIDED view does not help me at all. When I see this, I think of the DemocRAT-ICK COMMUNIST Party. Where they say we cooperate with the Republicans. While the entire time they are bulking at EVERY idea that is brought forward. This is why I have REFUSED TO VOTE FOR ANY DemocRAT. I DESPISE double faced people, no matter where they are, or who they are.

    11. As a Life Member of the NRA, I will always support them for their legislative work, but like many org’s, there are some disagreements, which is why I also spread my gun rights support to other organizations like GOA, SAF, Florida Carry, and now, The Firearms Coalition. Good work Jeff, freedom loving Americans need many voices.

    12. A PERFeCT example of the low life slime now ruling the NRA is their “decision” to BAN the USCAA from the convention because the NRA has buddied up with some insurance company to offer the same type of coverage and didn’t want anyone to be able to compare the two. THIS after YEARS of the USCAA at the conventions; I understand they pulled the same crap on another company offering such insurance.
      It makes me wonder if I have wasted my money becoming a life member when they are going lefty liberal on us.

    13. I see the concerns expressed about how the Association’s business was conducted at the annual meeting as being the same as the concerns I expressed about how a number of pro-gun organizations were ‘dis-invited’ from providing booths at the national meeting for their efforts and/or products that may have provided alternatives to the NRA’s own products.

      To me it showed a significant disconnect between the membership and the administration of our Association.

      I believe Mr. Knox is expressing much the same disappointment as I was feeling.

      Thank you, Sir.

    14. I have spent many years getting folks to join the NRA. Have even paid for the first year for many just to show my commitment and serve as an example. This truth about respect of members being missing has driven out more than a few of us. It has been felt at the very rank and file. The NRA has little or no problem finding us by mail or phone for money matters but seems IMPOSSIBLE to get answers on issues we may have. It becomes a swamp of financial and political interests rather than an organism of Association. If I have no voice what reason do I have for membership? There are several Pro firearms rights groups who a not even credited by the NRA who hear feedback and rush to respond to members. They are well dug in to fight for rights and seem to put their goals and members at the point of their mission. so say I with my own arrogant opinion

      1. The NRA is no longer a good representation for gun rights, they are as corrupt as many other political agendas. My Father was a life long member but I dropped my membership several years back and think they probably lost quit a few members in Nebraska this year due to their incumbent friendly policy, endorsing someone because they say they support the second amendment without checking their legislative record is just unacceptable and irresponsible.

    15. It’s time for a new sheriff, new organization, a new mission. The NRA has lost it’s compass direction of moral decisions. It has become a third party of clowns, draining the membership and lining their pockets while they can. I gave up on the NRA after the election, and will never again support such a corrupted organization until they prove they have restored the original mission statement, and live by the code a member does. The Bloombergs, Clintons, Soros are watching the steady downfall of the NRA and will be laughing all the way to the bank, and won’t have to spend a dime of the anit-gun movements. The NRA will do it for them in 2018, 2020, 2024…enjoy the temporary victories for pro gun…it will not last long at the juncture.

    16. Jeff,
      This is ONCE AGAIN, a demonstration of the sell out(s) that have occurred in times past. The management has turned into another stinking “swamp” that dearly needs draining. From the head down. When I get a “fund” raising letter, I write all over the contribution slip WHY my wallet is CLOSED with RED sharpie. And then send it back in that freebie post paid envelope. Good Riddance!
      Probably doesn’t get my point across very well but it gives me MUCH satisfaction.
      But if enough of those contributions dried up, THAT would get this top heavy managements attention.
      President cors deserves a swift kick in the crotch just for good measure. And I’d like to do it again with a steel toed Redwing to make sure that all those members that got sold OUT didn’t miss any.
      Just like they did your dad back then.
      So here is my Attaboy!!! Jeff, stay the Faith!
      Some of us have very long memories.

    17. Jeff, if you think NRA is unresponsive to you, you should try writing a letter to them as a rank and file member; e.g., why was this or that member elected to the board when he/she has consistently worked against our interests – you’ll never get a response. As critically needed as NRA’s efforts are to protect our rights, I’m left with a feeling that the organization has morphed into another vast bureaucracy that no longer has time for its constituents. NRA certainly deserves our support, but we must find a way to make it more responsive to membership.

      1. Unfortunately NRA has restructured and reorganized so that another Cincinnati revolt can never occur. Wayne et al have purposely done this to ensure that they and they alone control the reigns of power. If you look at the shift in direction of NRA/ILA and how they approach things, since the days of Knox/Carter, you’ll quite literally just shake your head in amazement and not because it’s all for the good.

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