Desiderata for the NRA’s Executive Vice President

Desiderata for the NRA’s Executive Vice President
Desiderata for the NRA’s Executive Vice President

USA – -( The executive vice president of the National Rifle Association is the person who runs the organization at the pleasure of the board, someone like a prime minister who wields power under the figurehead king. Since 1991, that office has been filled by Wayne LaPierre, for good and for ill. There is talk that he is considering stepping down, and it’s worth considering what kind of person should succeed him.

I am not a member of the NRA, and LaPierre is a part of the reason why—more about that in a moment. My purpose in this article is to offer some friendly advice from a supporter of gun rights who ideally would like to join, but at the very least wants success for the goals that we share.

First off, a new executive vice president needs to be able to devise strategy and tactics that will achieve victories. Being right is important, but so is winning. This would mean not being for something before turning against it, as LaPierre did on the question of universal background checks, for example. It also means leading the charge, rather than grousing from the sidelines. If things had been left to the NRA, the Heller case wouldn’t have been fought. Especially given the direction of the courts, we should see a lot more cases challenging state and federal infringements on gun rights, and the NRA needs a leader who will ask the director of the Institute for Legislative Action daily what the group’s lawyers are doing to make that happen.

It is right to say that the NRA has won a lot of battles in elections on the state and federal levels. And while gains such as the expansion of shall-issue carry licensing and constitutional carry are important, we also have to acknowledge that the evidence of Russian attempts to infiltrate the organization and more generally the mounting opposition to the flood of cash that is used to buy politicians suggest that the NRA is going to have to come up with new approaches. Whatever the actual effect of campaign donations is, the public perception of them is less and less favorable.

The problem is more than just a question of money in politics. The NRA at present is seen by roughly half of Americans as bad for the country. For decades, Wayne LaPierre has been the consistent public figure of the organization. Association Presidents come and go, while the executive vice president remains, and that person has to be someone who can draw in new people to the cause of gun rights. As I have said before, the NRA already has made a divisive choice of presidents, making someone who appeals to those who are not traditional—or stereotypical—gun owners is that much more important.

As I indicated above, I’m not an NRA member, and that gets at what I’m talking about here. Under LaPierre’s leadership, the NRA has consistently identified with the elements of the Republican Party that drive people on the left away. I am precisely the kind of person who the NRA needs, a liberal and a progressive who values gun rights. Yes, support for those is far stronger among Republicans, but in a nation that is divided often fifty-fifty plus or minus one, winning over the percentage of Democrats who are on the side of gun rights is essential if we want the law to protect them.

As if all this isn’t enough, the executive vice president also has to be a good manager and has to be someone who can handle a budget. Is all of this too much to ask? Perhaps. Institutions have inertia, and shifting them takes a lot of work. And genius is hard to pull off the shelf. But if we aim low, we inevitably hit the ground not too far from our own feet.

What leadership change at the NRA would inspire you to join or rejoin?

About Greg CampGreg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Revelator

@Greg Camp Still hoping to hear back from you after I responded to your Initial response. I’m sorry if it got lost in everyone else wanting to dogpile onto you but I wanted to get my point across to you. The only way forward is by the constitution. Unless that becomes the starting point of any conversation between Right and Left then this country will descend into another civil war, of which we are already trading opening jabs. The idea that All men are created equal and should have protection against the desires of others is something that was lost… Read more »

The Revelator

Since my opening comment received a lot of attention for questioning Mr Camp, I’d like to clarify some things in light of some other comments that have popped up in response. I am not a Member of the NRA. I left the NRA half a dozen years ago because of their malfeasance in negotiating certain aspects of our rights away. As another commenter here on ammoland tried to tell me “Giving away some red meat to shut the anti’s up.” He was ok with that, I am not. I do what I can to support gun rights groups like the… Read more »

Silence Dogood

No question it’s long past the time that Wayne LaPierre leave the NRA. However, “a liberal and a progressive” as the NRA Executive Vice President would be a disaster. No to Mr. Greg Camp, the NRA is better off without this “liberal and a progressive.”

Douglas G

LOLOL. Seems you can’t be bothered to engage in any process but are willing to critique them. So, LOL.

Clark Kent

‘If you don’t vote don’t crab’ – Lucy Van Pelt (from the Peanuts cartoon strip).

The Revelator

@Clark Kent

How about this one?

“One shouldn’t complain about their coffee after they decided to dig their latrines upstream.”


Revelator That’s a good one and one for a phone booth comic!

The Revelator

@Douglas G No, I engaged. I voted in the primary of 2016. I also was a member of the NRA until I saw they were not willing to stand up and defend my rights(which is what the falsely claimed to be doing with my membership fees). I just have principles which I will not violate or simply roll over just to placate the whiners. I understand that is very intimidating to some who just want everyone beside them to go along to get along, to sit down and be silent as they march in lock step over the edge of… Read more »

Douglas G

You confirmed my point with your response. You didn’t like what Trump said or did, so you stayed home and didn’t vote in the election. You didn’t like one or two things the NRA did, so you took your money and walked away. That means you’re just crabbing on the sidelines. You had to know that a non-vote was a benefit to Hillary while not helping Trump and though your $35 isn’t much in the scheme of things, taking your ball and going home is not the best way to change the game. It’s far better and more effective to… Read more »

The Revelator

@Douglas G First, I would like to point out that I asked a question that you are trying to avoid answering. Since you are going with the flow, are you willing to accept responsibility each time our Constitutionally protected liberty is eroded because you settled and voted for someone just because they were not as crazy as the other guy even though both are in the Insane asylum. Yes or no. Either you answer yes and I can respect the fact that you are putting your money where your mouth is, or you can answer no and show everyone here… Read more »

Douglas G

You want an answer? Yes, I voted for and now I support our President. I did so because he had some basic qualifications, like being an outsider and having business experience, that I wanted in a president and what little harm he could do to the country, his commitment on SCOTUS picks is what carried my support. I didn’t have to bend over but I did have to do anything I could to stop Hillary. As for the NRA, Yes, I’m a life member. I support their overall mission of protecting the 2nd A and increasing knowledge and safety of… Read more »

The Revelator

@Douglas G First, You did not answer the question I posed. The question was do you accept responsibility for the ramifications of the choices you make. I already knew who you voted for and why. Second, the entire reason for my snarky and insulting phrasing was intentional for a very particular reason. You chose to comment on a stance you disagreed with because you wanted to shame me into acquiescence, you wanted me to get in line because if I didn’t you wanted me to know you considered that the same as helping/voting for Hilary Clinton. Because you chose to… Read more »

The Revelator

@Douglas G As a side note to my other comment, I’m always here if you want to have a civil Discussion. Just don’t start from the aforementioned position you took of trying to tell me what was permissible for me to believe in and when. You want to label what you can’t argue against as a troll, so I honestly don’t expect you to take the time to read what I just wrote because I saw you for what you were from the moment you replied to my original comment. However, perhaps you will learn, perhaps you will ask why… Read more »



The Revelator

@Douglas G

Yep. That’s about the only response you could offer which wont dig the hole you are in further down. However, it also shows you still can’t answer the question I asked, so thank you for demonstrating that.

Heed the Call-up

The Revelator, you are 100% correct – we cannot “compromise” on our constitutional rights and Trump and the NRA are not our friends. Based on Trump’s bump stock ban, he is also no friend of the 2A. As you pointed out, the NRA is in the business of making money, not standing up for our rights when it is important. The 1934, 1968, 1986, 1994, and current issues all point to the reality of the NRA. They pay us lip service while undercutting us when it counts.


Unless Lapierre has some terminal illness, they’ll have to pry the Executive Vice President’s desk from his “cold dead hands”, as Charly Hesston like to say. . Mr. Lapierre spent decades stripping the Board Of Directors of any power over the N.R.A. They are a Board Of Directors now in name only. He is a “Vice President” as King Henry the 8th was just a member of the Royal Court. And in what direction did he take the N.R.A.? It’s all about money, money,… Money!, and about His personal prestige What has the N.R.A. really accomplished in the past 20… Read more »


So we need “progressive” leadership in the NRA? How far left would the NRA have to go that progressives would want to join? What specifically would need to be changed in the way the NRA defends the 2a to make itself more attractive to progressives? Lastly Mr. Camp, the NRA has an very impressive track record helping to preserve our freedom. Overall, should their thought process be that of obama “ we live in the greatest nation on earth, vote for me so we can change it “. I don’t know where you were at when obama was making those… Read more »


Polls! Ha! A recent poll I saw showed 60% of Americans favor the NRA. And, we need no smelly Eng Comp teacher telling us what the NRA NEEDS! And I’m the NRA! Go back to ANTIFA and tell stories of “great revolutions” to your comrades, comrade.


Sad thing is the democrats are the ones wanting to take your guns, why would you still be a democrat if they want to keep taking your rights away?


We know Hitler was a Mad Murdering Sociopathic Nut Job that murdered 6 to 20 million people! Don’t forget Stalin may have been guilty of more than 60+ million people! If there are 100 million gun owners in America, That’s how many of us that will be executed because we own guns! Think it can’t happen! Think about Ruby Ridge! Sanctioned MURDER by our Government! G.H.W. Bush was president! A RepubliPUKE! Think about WACO! Again Sanctioned MURDER by our Government! W.J. Clinton was president! A DemoTARD! Will the SHEEPLE wake up in time to save America, from becoming ameriKa! Gud… Read more »


I read this and my impression is that he is like the snake in the Garden….beguiling and full of lies. Beware of this man…he is like the silver tongued obama. I think Wayne has done a super job. No compromise is a winning strategy for me.


Wayne has done a whole lot of compromising. I don’t see a progressive willing to give up less than what Wayne has already abandoned.

Steve Gregory

The problem is that progressives would willingly give up way more.


I am an NRA member and instructor. I wont renew my membership until whiney lets- pee-in- the-air and his lapdog kiss cocks are gone and someone that can and will remove their stain on the organization is in their place. Fancy talk and fancy contracts do not mean they are good for the NRA or gun rights. Whiney is a surrender monkey and need to gtfo now. Give them a golden sabre bullet of their favorite caliber and kick their asses the fuck out. I am so tired of illegal and unconstitutional “laws”steealing our civil rights with the help of… Read more »

Jack Mac

I believe that the word “liberal” is inappropriate to describe Progressive snobs. Has any self described progressive liberal given hint to where we are to progress to? Their opinion on armed citizens suggest that we should regress to the stone age. I wonder how their beliefs in being liberal would function then. Democratic is another term that is miss assigned in describing these people. Individuals that believes in and supports the 2A as an individual’s right instead of for collective militia would be great in the Democrat Party. If any such people exist they should be helped to disband that… Read more »

Larry Gould

Mr Camp. You say you’re a “Liberal & Progressive “ who supports gun rights. I say that’s an oxymoron. You in my mind are nothing more than a communist. People like you are infiltrating into the American society & slowly destroying our way of life from the inside out. That is how communism works. Read quotes from Lenin & Stalin. I’m a proud NRA member. Get lost!!


Every gun control initiative in California is introduced by a liberal democrat. Every gun control law in California is passed by the democratic controlled Legislature.

Steve Gregory

If someone identifies and votes with the Democrat party, that person is not someone whose influence I want deciding the next Executive Vice President of the NRA. The Democrat’s desire to strip constitutional guarantees from creator endowed rights of American citizens is a suspect position intimating that holders of that position lean toward political philosophies that are inclined to empower the government against the greater good of the people. Liberal progressive positions against living beings in the womb, while being disingenuous in their labeling that stance ‘womens healthcare’, put them totally outside of the acceptable behavior category in my world.… Read more »


These Bolshevik weasels are the spawn of Satan: useful idiots, fellow travelers, and true believers.
A pack of lies camouflaging a Trojan horse.
Been a life member since 73, with NO regrets.


I haven’t been a member as long as you, but I have noticed the large amount of inertia that combines with occasional progress, and I have to agree that, for the membership and funding that the NRA has, it should accomplish MUCH more.

Jim Macklin

The NRA is not Congress and despite what the media says, the NRA has not bought or own Congress.
HR 38 has been sitting in the Senate about a year. If it isn’t passed within two weeks it will be dead and National Reciprocity will be dead for at least 2 years and possibly forever.
A bunch of gun owners don’t want even “good” gun laws passed because they are afraid that will just lead to gun confiscation.
So Congress gets mixed signals.

Michael Ellis

This article written by an admitted progressive is little more than a thinly veiled attempt to cause division among the NRA membership. As a Patron member, I’m no fan of the $1million salary the VP gets but that aside, the answer to improving membership is definitely not by diluting support for the 2nd or the “Shall Not be Infringed” position under any circumstances. Molon Labe!


The author is a bit full of it. The reason it appears the NRA sides with the Republican Party is that the republicans understand the Constitution, want to follow it and want to protect the Bill of Rights and Second Amendment by definition. The NRA supported Nevada’s Democrat Party wiesel Senator Harry Reid because he supported the Second Amendment–it is just that simple. The NRA will support anyone who supports the Second Amendment–that is what they do and why we join (which the author says he is not a member). In the past 50 years the Second Amendment has been… Read more »


Mr. Camp’s politics aside, his overall point is valid: The NRA is wasting opportunities by only appealing to white Republican men (and occasionally women). Our demographic is dying and being replaced for better or worse by new races, creeds and backgrounds. You either grow a gun culture within “new” Americans or we perish, Constitution or no Constitution (because the 2nd CAN be amended away).

To welcome all who cherish the right, or who can be developed into our gun culture, you need to revisit leadership bringing in new blood that can resonate with a broader swath of America.

Wild Bill

@Greg Camp, as you are not a member, you have no standing to complain. Camp writes, “… the mounting opposition to the flood of cash that is used to buy politicians suggest that the NRA is going to have to come up with new approaches. Whatever the actual effect of campaign donations is, the public perception of them is less and less favorable.” Politicians and the lobbyists for big business, for foreign nations, and for domestic libtards do not care about “public perception” after the election so why should the NRA abandon its best technique. There can be but one… Read more »

Douglas G

What he’s talking about here is COMPROMISE. If the NRA were to compromise with liberals to get more liberals on board, then I would be the one quitting. You cannot compromise with liberals. Period. Full Stop. They always, almost religiously (if they believed in God), ask for more and more compromise. Anything we did would never be enough. If his $35 is that important to him that he can’t find enough good already in the NRA, then he will never be satisfied, in typical liberal fashion. I appreciate his personal concerns and difference of opinion but he has outed himself… Read more »

Irish Bird Dog

Mr Camp identified himself as a former teacher which makes him suspect right off…..many, many (not all) teachers are anti gun and strong liberals/progressives. Beware of any like Mr. Camp who would offer advise regarding the 2nd Amendment. I am a Life/Endowment member of the NRA and joined back around 1961. Yes, over the years I have sometimes been less than happy with the NRA but overall they are good for gun owners and the 2A. They should be supported by gun owners and all Americans who believe in the U.S. Constitution.


“. . . a liberal and a progressive who values gun rights?”
There is so much “wrong” in this statement, I hardly know where to start. Liberals wants to “interpret” the Constitution.
Let’s just re-read the Founding Documents and follow the Founder’s “original intent” – word for word.
A “progressive” in a position of power within the NRA? That’s back to the “fox and the hen house” – Not!
The battle is between Socialism (liberal, progressive leftist) and our Free Republic. Choose wisely.

Green Mtn. Boy

“I am precisely the kind of person who the NRA needs, a liberal and a progressive who values gun rights. Yes, support for those is far stronger among Republicans, but in a nation that is divided often fifty-fifty plus or minus one, winning over the percentage of Democrats who are on the side of gun rights is essential if we want the law to protect them.” Progressive is the politically correct term for Communist,when a person defines themselves as a “Progressive or Socialist Democrat or the combination of Progressive Democrat” they are indeed stating that they are against everything the… Read more »


Mr. Camp, what is YOUR stance on sporting rifles? What those on the left call “assault rifles”; I.E. AR-15’s, AK’s, SCAR’s, ACR’s, etc?

Steve Gregory

Your party disagrees with you and pushes banning far more restrictive guidekines.

Michael R Stuhr

Just think if it were the other way around and the NRA was made up of liberal gun owners at the expense of it’s current make up? It would be much smaller, poorly funded and more apt to sacrifice American’s second amendment right in the name of feel good but ineffective legislation I would much rather have a Wayne LaPierre than .a Greg Camp at the helm. If you think the NRA Gives too much now just think if a Michael Moore like Character was given control. No thanks Mr. Camp, we would like to have your help but the… Read more »

Wild Bill

@MRS, Good points!


Agitation propaganda done well. But, agitprop just the same. No doubt Mr. Camp could sell some ice to Eskimos, but his logic is bound by leftist ideologies that weep through his soft words. The tactic here is to divide, to anger, to create a mob that storms the gates. The goal is to subvert an organization that actually has successfully combatted leftist ideologies for decades and to convert it into a lap dog for his socialist allies. No thank you. I prefer what we have, good and bad, over the mind numbing drone of soft spoken progressive excretions.


Mr. Camp: This is certainly a passionate composition on your perspective of the NRA. Truly, the NRA is not perfect. There is definitely room for improvement. However, your tactic of not supporting the NRA at all cost, is identical to a conservative refusing to vote in an election because the Republican candidate is not perfect, or worse, voting for Democrats, in order to emphasize your disdain. Yes, subversives can, and do, infiltrate and influence organizations, which is all the more reason for supporters to do the same.


I am pretty sure the NRA exists because of people like Mr. Camp, who see gun ownership as a privilege which should be heavily regulated, and not a right. Taking some “friendly advice” from this guy on how the NRA should be run, is akin to asking a vegan how to cook a steak. Is he serious? Why are those on the left continuously demanding that we compromise on this right? Are any of the others in the bill of rights attacked so regularly? In a nutshell, Mr. Camp is not an NRA member because of its leadership, I am… Read more »

Wild Bill

Camp, I am not sure how you differentiate between a Right and a privilege. Maybe you could help me out and elaborate.


Artful pros for sure. GREG CAMP mirrors progressives ideology. Not unlike Obama’s. He even posts a picture of himself shooting, just like Obama. Oh and on Twitter he is against the wall, go figure.


Progress is a Russian Communist phrase – used, overused and abused for decades !
Just empty slogan.
Same Progressive Democrats are …

Jim Macklin

The news, carefully crafted and organized by hillary had an employee of hillary’s, a Russian, contacting the NRA,
hillary and bill blame the NRA for loss of the Congress in 1994 and her defeat in 2016.
The whole Russian story of collusion, and voter fraud is from hillary’s evil mind.
There may be somebody better at the moment to run the NRA, but tearing up the entire NRA is hillary’s plan.

Bob Kellogg

Typical liberal babble from an anti Constitution writer. This country was founded upon the principle of rights of the individual are more important than the government. The US Constitution say what it means. The Federal Courts have perverted the “plain words” into what is good for the Government. Perhaps it is time for Mr. LaPierre to retire but certainly not because he’s failed. He has been very successful. It is now time to change the walk but not in an accommodating way. The liberal billionaires and their minions in the Liberal cabal including the main media are coming after the… Read more »


The NRA has a negative perception among leftists. It’s not the job of the NRA to appease those who want to remove our Constitution because they think it’s a living document. Rather, their job is to protect our Second Amendment.

Will Flatt

Democrats and Leftists cannot be a member of the Demonrat Party and be 2A. The party’s position on firearms is inherently hostile to RKBA. There are already enough fudds out there that think being liberal and being a gunowner are somehow not mutually exclusive. The fact of the matter is, liberals believe in a ‘living Constitution’ that is subject to the whims of the day, malleable and open to re-interpretation. Conservatives believe in the Constitution as it was written, and understand that “shall not be infringed” means just that. The problems with the NRA do not revolve around being standoffish… Read more »


When a person has the label “Progressive, Democrat or the combination of Progressive Democrat” attached to his or her name. That’s a red flag for me period.


I Agree. Having “liberal, progressive, and Gun Owner” in the same sentence is an oxymoron. Gun ownership is in the Constitution. Liberals want to change and “improve” the Founding documents. I’m not sure liberal and gun owner can fit within the same document. What’s next from Mr. Camp? Perhaps “sensible gun laws”.
Keep raising “Red Flags”!


That USAToday article is completely disingenuous. They say LaPierre flip flopped on background checks they don’t tell the whole story. He supported NICS checks at gunshows and pawn shops, and closing the ‘Hinkley loophole’ (getting mental health records into NICS). Now when they say universal background checks they mean private sales too. That’s unacceptable.

They even use the sophomoric argument ‘If criminals don’t obey laws then there’s no point in having any laws.’


Well. You either are for the Second or you are not. I don’t care what Democrats or anyone thinks about it. Run the NRA on constitutional principles or lose memberships and money. I paid my life membership but am not paying another dime until I see actual change in attitude towards the Second. It is not a second class right and needs NO compromise.


Your reply Mr. Camp, to the Revelator’s question?

Doug McElwain

I agree with the other comments that we should not compromise. Each little victory for the Leftists/Democrats slowly erodes our rights. I used to belong to the NRA but now don’t. I want them to stand up and fight against any infringement as the Constitution says. As Mr. Camp said we need convince every gun owner to be involved. I also want the NRA and other organizations to start filing numerous lawsuits against all these unconstitutional laws and flood the courts. We need to take backs the rights we have lost. I want the Supreme Court to grow a pair… Read more »


Mr. Camp is using his Composition skills to talk out out of both sides of his processor. His article is written very cleverly but is IMHO anti Second Amendment at heart. Read carefully, could have been a press release from the DNC.


Agreed, artfully crafted, falsehoods.


My sentiments exactly!

E Martin, PhD

Horse hickey from the oldest play in the book …,infiltrate, disrupt, destroy!

Look at the ATC , look at the mainstream churches. Marxism is nothing but stealth parasitism.

I do not countenance infiltration and propaganda by these trained mouthpieces.

The Revelator

@Greg Camp The Problem with the NRA is not that it does not appeal to Liberal Democrats. The Problem with the NRA is that THEY DON”T STAND FOR PRINCIPLES. The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental pre-existing right that is tied to the Right to Life, and the Right of Liberty. The standard set forward in the constitution was that of NO INFRINGEMENT IS PERMISSABLE. Unfortunately, this is not how the majority on the left view firearms ownership or the second amendment. Instead they carve out little caveats that they feel are “acceptable” based on their opinions… Read more »

Don Razskazoff

Thank you for your challenging reply “Revelator”. Mr. Camp had me with his logic until his self identity as a Liberal Progressive, and then of course the defense shield went up. I am willing to listen to any discussion, until it becomes clear that maybe, just maybe the participant is probably willing to alter the 2nd Amendment as it is written. Your comments coincide with, and better define my thought better than I can myself.


Revelator Good thought and a good question. I will be very interested in Mr. Camp’s response.


Lots of blather for a ” coherent system of thinking about rights.” Too funny. Yes. Please let us over intellectualize it and point to this followed by pointing to that. Yuk.

The Revelator

@Greg Cam Yes, I do want to see more on the subject, but would like you to give me a straight up answer here as well. I read the article you linked to in full, and I am still left with questions about some points in it that concern me greatly. I’ll offer a quote of your own words for example. “If my actions involve you, you get a say in what’s going on. If what I’m doing affects “society,” I’ll ask for details, but that can mean that I am bringing someone into my choices. But if I’m minding… Read more »