Criticizing NRA Executives is NOT “Attacking the NRA”

Opinion

NRA Contractors Money
The NRA was over $30 million in the red in 2017, and had an almost $50 million deficit in its pension fund. These deficits aren't due to lack of revenue, but rather irresponsible spending.

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Bless her heart, Marion Hammer just can't help herself. She just had to take a shot at me for exposing some of the financial corruption and poor decisions in the NRA and take some jabs at my dead father in the process. Don McDougal also wants to incorrectly frame my criticism of NRA executives as “hating on the organization.”

Let's get one thing straight. I couldn't agree more with the title of Mrs. Hammer's column. NRA absolutely needs strong, proven leadership, now more than ever. Where we differ is that Marion thinks that Wayne LaPierre represents that “proven leadership,” and I think he's at the core of the problem.

Of course, when the facts aren't on your side, go for personal attacks.

It doesn't matter whether my father had ambitions to take over the NRA or not. I happen to know that he didn't, but that's irrelevant, just as it's irrelevant whether I'm motivated by a 20-some-year old grudge, or whether Marion or Wayne or others at NRA have accomplished some things to be proud of. What matters is relevant facts. Facts that I laid out pretty clearly, and which Mrs. Hammer and Mr. McDougal didn't bother to address.

I agree with Marion and Don that the NRA has done a lot of outstanding work over the years, and I'm proud to say that my father and many close friends played significant roles in much of that good work.

I've never said that the NRA hasn't done good, and have argued consistently that it is critical that we have a strong and effective NRA with as many members as we can get.

Unlike Marion and Don though, I am willing to recognize when NRA leaders make missteps and mistakes, and when those failures demonstrate an ongoing pattern, they need to be addressed. I'm also not willing to turn a blind eye to blatant corruption and self-serving.

Let's go over some of the pertinent facts again:

According to NRA's tax filings, Wayne LaPierre is receiving annual compensation more than $1.4 million per year, and in 2015 received over $5 million dollars from NRA.
The same filings report that Chris Cox received over $1.2 million in compensation in 2017, and at least nine other NRA executives received compensation that was between $450,000 and $800,000 that year.

Josh Powell, Wayne's Chief of Staff and for a time, former acting ED of General Operations [he has been replaced by Joe DeBergalis], received almost $800,000, including over $100,000 in “taxable expense reimbursement.”

And even though the IRS form 990 reports payments to the advertising and PR firm Ackerman McQueen more than $20 million as I reported, later in that same filing document, it states that Ack-Mac actually received more than twice that much – over $40 million!

I will accept a correction from Mrs. Hammer on one point: I incorrectly reported that some NRA staff had been laid off, when in fact they were not NRA staffers, but rather Ack-Mac staffers working for NRA TV, which raises another issue. Did you know that NRA TV is operated by Ack-Mac, as is the NRA magazine America's First Freedom? Editor Mark Chestnut and familiar NRA TV personalities like Cam Edwards, Ginny Simone, Dana Loesch, etc., are Ack-Mac employees, not NRA employees. Long-time NRA Board member Robert K. Brown bragged in his last reelection bio that he had saved the association something like a half-million dollars. The bulk of that savings came from his insistence that NRA quit paying Ack-Mac over $400,000 a year for the production of the online version of America's First Freedom. As a magazine publisher himself, Brown knew NRA was paying way too much.

Marion also reiterated that Wayne and Chris had called for bump-stocks to be “regulated,” not banned. That's true, and it was a huge mistake that led directly to the ban. I predicted this result when I called them out for that idiotic statement at the time and called for the Board to repudiate the statement – but Marion jumped to their defense. As I pointed out then, if Wayne and Chris had said that the NRA was open to revisiting the regulations regarding bump-stocks, that might have been excusable as a political maneuver to help dodge negative action in Congress. Though you have to wonder why congressional action was such a concern, when our Republican “friends” held majorities in both houses and the White House. Instead, Wayne and Chris said that the “NRA believes” that bump-stocks should be more tightly regulated, and President Trump quickly agreed and gave the order to BATFE.

Wayne and Chris have taken a similarly destructive and unprincipled position on Extreme Risk Protection Orders, merely insisting that some semblance of due process be included in the laws in order to get approval from NRA. This has given a green light to Trump and numerous Republican governors to pursue ERPO legislation. Legistlation to deprive gun owners of their arms based on someone's concern that they might be dangerous, while leaving these potentially dangerous people free to roam the streets with ready access to knives, gasoline, poisons, planes, automobiles, and all manner of other dangerous and possibly deadly tools. Not only does this result in Republican “friends” doing stupid things that push GunVoters away from them, at least one person flagged by one of these ERPO's has been killed by police trying to confiscate his guns. Have any lives been saved?

It is also a fact that NRA was over $30 million in the red in 2017, and had an almost $50 million deficit in its pension fund. These deficits aren't due to lack of revenue, but rather irresponsible spending.

In short, Marion Hammer and Don McDougal are saying that since NRA has accomplished some good things during Wayne LaPierre's 30 years at the helm, the members and the Board of Directors should be unconcerned about a $30 million deficit, profligate spending, cronyism, and obscene salaries. Nor should they be concerned about the failure of NRA leadership to adhere to the core principles of the Second Amendment, or to ensure that all operations are above reproach and squeaky clean. And we shouldn't be at all worried about an outside vendor owning and controlling major segments of NRA operations, and making tens of millions of dollars in profit from our association.

I respectfully disagree.

I believe that principles matter, even when they are politically challenging. That giving our enemies ammunition by being careless about our business is inexcusable. And that the NRA should be controlled by a board of directors elected by the membership in fair and open elections, without interference from outside vendors or others with a financial stake in our leadership. I also believe that those who work for the NRA, especially in the higher echelons, should be motivated first by their dedication to the Second Amendment and the safe enjoyment of the shooting sports, not by monetary factors. That's why I believe that Wayne LaPierre, with his waffling, wheedle words, outrageous salary, and cozy relationship to Ackerman McQueen, needs to go, and that the NRA needs a strong, committed, Second Amendment purist with a solid corporate management background, to lead the organization going forward.

This isn't personal, and it's not politics. It's not about “tearing down” the NRA or building up any other organization. This is about principles, right and wrong, and what's best for the NRA, gun owners, and America.


Jeff Knox
Jeff Knox

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.

  • 99 thoughts on “Criticizing NRA Executives is NOT “Attacking the NRA”

    1. The problem is the members. As long as we let the NRA leadership send out “who to vote for” instructions (coded as “nominating committee endorsement’), and the majority of members follow these instructions without actually examining the qualifications and positions of the candidates, it will only get worse.

      It’s pretty much guaranteed that any candidate mentioning “excessive salaries” will never get a nominating committee endorsement. The leadership does not want an independent board that will set direction, priorities, and financial and salary policies but one consisting of as many celebrity names as possible while making sure all candidates will go along to get along if elected.

      One of the first things I would do if elected as a director (I know that will never happen, despite my history if arranging for federal and state level litigation in the Democratik People’s Republik of Massachusetts which is some cases have actually expanded gun rights) would be to eliminate the nominating committee, and pass a policy that the NRA and it’s employees, officers, etc. cannot publish “who to vote for” instructions with the ballot.

    2. The problem I see in all this is, it’s become a business venture more so than “good people…doing good things” in the name of Constitutional rights and freedoms! Truth is…..I don’t trust ANY of them to DO what they say because their hands are always out stretched, palms up! Why don’t they at least off stock certificates. EVERYTHING gets screwed up when PEOPLE get involved. It gets harder everyday, to know who is right minded and just and, who is “in for a paycheck”!
      It’s absolutely ludicrous that we are having to battle the ignorant for OUR Constitutional rights! But, as long as people like Ocasio Cortese get elected to serve..WE will! Ocasio Cortes…..! What the hell were them people drinkin? In-civility and arrogance, I hope will be THEIR down fall! Hopefully before THEY start the next civil war….

    3. Conservatives vote Republican and join and contribute to the National Rifle Association, all the while watching the size, scope and cost of government grow-grow-grow and their Second Amendment Rights erode.

      If insanity IS doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result, perhaps we should reclaim our sanity by supporting some new and different organizations?

    4. @Jeff Knox.

      Jeff, thank you for writing an article here. You tried to keep it from being just a personal attack.

      Having said that, Don McDougall and Marion Hammer are never going to accept it. They are coming at this issue from the position that unless you support their opinions and do what they think you should be doing the way they want it done, then you are an enemy that needs to be shouted down or destroyed. There is no evidence or concern for facts with them.

      No matter what you do, they are working to protect what they have and keep the gravy train going. Unfortunately that is what is going to destroy the NRA ultimately, but they don’t want to hear that because if they allow change it means they wont be in control any more.

      1. Search Narcissism, and Narcissistic Parent…you will find that Narcissists, attempt to garner support by playing the victim. This is a product of low self esteem. Here’s an example; Münchhausen by Proxy. They will make their kids sick enough to die to get their way. Now that’s sick, and as such, so is the NRA right now.

        Consider the NY State argument being forwarded. The NRA suggests that their cash cow Carry Guard in NY is so important to our future rights that they are overspending our dues to fight this to the bitter end. Insurance? Really? Where was all that concern when the Constitution was being blatantly and habitually, violated in the light of day? It speaks volumes…know that we are generally on same page, but it had to be said.

        1. If Andy, you are referring to the act of screaming at someone you disagree with that they must be a left wing collaborator without offering any substance or evidence to your argument, just for the sake of intimidating them into being quiet, then that would indeed be a Left wing style attack. Much like how leftists will scream racism because they don’t want to debate facts. It’s much easier to scream “You’re a white man! EVIL!!!” than it is to get into the minutia and let the people see what is really going on. Look at what happened to David Webb past week. CNN’s Areva Martin didn’t want to debate him, so she called him(A black man) guilty of having white privilege.

          Don and Marion have indeed tried to engage in these tactics. If you need proof, I can show you where, and currently it isn’t even a week old at this point.

    5. Editors at Ammoland- I’ve had it with this pissing contest “opinion” pieces. Please stop posting articles of self aggrandizement and proclaimed superiority of one group over another. All they do is open a platform for individual bias, whining and personal attacks between readers and providing a feeding frenzy for Trolls.
      There is no new information being presented and none of them do any good for supporting the 2A.

      1. Yes and No Doug,
        No, we should never oppress others right to comment, and give an opinion.
        Yes, all posting need to comment in a respectful manner, and not lodge personal attacks.
        The GWD.

        1. I didn’t say anything about oppressing anyone or suppressing their comments. Ammoland has a choice of articles to post. I say enough with the articles that illicit favor in 2A groups or favoring one group over another and these rebuttal articles.

          1. Yet instead of using that choice to keep liars like Lipsmack and Cat Lady, you repudiate likely the only man with both the will and ability to shine a light on the cronyism and malfeasance going on at the NRA?

            Nice. So we know where Ammoland stands. Instead of being possibly the only real platform the dissenters have to speak out and be heard by the membership at large, you’re content maintaining the status quo.

            Or, was that just a mistake, and surely the next Baghdad Bob-esque effort by McDougall or whomever will be rejected or publicly repudiated by Ammoland staff.

    6. You can call it “supporting the NRA” or “attacking the NRA” or “criticizing the NRA Executives” or any other name that comes to mind, bottom line what most of us are talking about is fundamentally changing the focus of the NRA.

      One thing I frequently see mentioned in discussions like this is the idea of “returning the NRA to its true purpose” — every time I have ever seen this phrase or something like it, the writer has been talking about wanting the NRA to stand up to support a strong Second Amendment and to defend the right to keep and bear arms. I have to point out that the NRA has NEVER supported the right to keep and bear arms — particularly the “bear” part of that.

      The NRA began as a competitive shooting program to encourage rifle marksmanship. Incidental to encouraging marksmanship, the NRA also encouraged gun safety. But other than members transporting rifles to and from matches, the NRA has never been interested in the right to keep and bear arms.

      Every single piece of anti-RKBA federal legislation that has passed Congress in the past eighty years, did so only with the endorsement of the NRA. Yes, I am talking about the National Firearms Act (1934), the Federal Firearms Act (1938), the Gun Control Act (1968), and everything since.

      NRA president, Karl Frederick, in 1934 congressional NFA hearings testified “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. … I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” That was the position of the NRA then and it has not changed.

      Until 1968, the NRA was basically an organization of Fudds. Then they suddenly discovered something important. No they didn’t discover the Second Amendment (they are still no more friend of the Second Amendment than the ACLU is). What the NRA discovered in 1968 was the Almighty Dollar — not money to support RKBA, but simply money to support the NRA itself. The NRA poses as a supporter of “Gun Rights” as the cornerstone of its membership and fundraising drives, but defending the Second Amendment is not, never has been, and never will be the primary or even a major role of the NRA. The NRA has plenty of members who think the organization should be defending our rights, BUT it has far more “members” who mistakenly think that the NRA is defending those rights and who mistakenly feel they have done their part by writing their dues check and maybe responding to one or two of the NRA’s constant fundraising campaigns.

      Duane Liptak is right that it takes an organization with many millions of members — and, yes, billions of dollars — to lobby effectively at the national level. Where he is wrong is his argument that the NRA is that organization. If we want our rights defended, we need to have an organization dedicated to defending those rights. Doing that takes effort and money. We do need to find an organization that we can all get behind, we need to sign our membership cards, and we need to sign some checks – big checks.

      It is just possible that the NRA could become that organization, but its history does not bode well for the NRA to be capable of turning itself around and discovering a whole new purpose.

      My own experience with a couple of national organizations that became irrelevant is that the members can very rarely change such an organization; but that when change comes about, it is initiated only by a mass exodus of those dues-paying members. The NRA as an organization is addicted to the millions of dollars that come from shouting about threats to our rights — they want and need those threats to continue. Wayne’s worst nightmare was the Republican Hat Trick of 2016 – Republicans taking the House, the Senate, and the White House. For nearly two years the NRA feared the well was going to run dry. Someone needed to keep the threat alive – even if it had to be the NRA itself. Then on 10/1/2017 the NRA got its opening, there was a cry for a ban on “bump stocks” in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting. But that cry fell on deaf ears in the US Congress — and among gun owners — “we” knew that “our” Congress wasn’t going to pass a ban on bump stocks so we weren’t worried — which meant we weren’t writing checks to the NRA to fight the ban. But Wayne had an answer to that, he told the media that Bump Stocks needed to be “regulated” then he met with President Trump and told him how to go after bump stocks without needing Congress, just let the BATFE come up with something. This looked like a safe stunt because the BATFE had already determined that they did not have authority of regulate bump stocks without new federal legislation. BUT now with the President wanting bump stocks banned and the NRA supporting it – the BATFE suddenly discovered that they had been wrong all these years and that bump stocks were magically now machine guns – and since facts didn’t matter to the President, or to the NRA, and certainly not to the ATF, not only were bump stocks magically machine guns but equally magically they were machine guns in violation of the Hughes Amendment. But, of course, banning bump stocks was fine with the NRA because no respectable marksman would ever use a bump stock anyway.

      Before the BATFE had even gotten seriously started on Wayne’s bump stock “regulation” we had the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and from then on you couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing David Hogg, so Wayne and company could sleep soundly again knowing that the checks would keep coming in. And, of course, Wayne and company now have the Democratic house and the RINO-controlled Senate to keep the threats active.

      Today we have too many organizations working to defend our rights. “Too many” because they split our focus and split our support. Several or the national “Gun Rights” organizations are poorly run, some little more than scams themselves. Bottom line we have a choice is between GOA and FPC — or, of course, we can keep pretending that the NRA is capable of change. Sure, we could all just join both — certainly many of us have joined both. But supporting both still splits the one resource that they each need – our money. Unfortunately people won’t choose without being led. Someone with national visibility needs to stand up, and lead the exodus from the NRA and make a choice that we can all get behind.

      So who will it be – I can tell you that it won’t be me (no one cares who I support) and it won’t be anyone who is still talking about fixing the NRA, but we’d better hope that someone does step up to lead American Gun Owners while we still have any right left to defend.

      1. Thank you for that post (history lesson that can guide our future decision making). I will be sharing your post with many fellow Patriots of mine. Continue to share your knowledge Sir, we appreciate it!

      2. Amen,why give money to people that just get fat off our dollars and give our rights away?
        We just ended 8 years of “CHANGE” . Enough bs time to find a true 2a suport group who will fight for us the american firearms owners

            1. @DBM

              Well its all you had for me on your article Don……

              You didn’t do too well on those arguments and ended up running away as a result. Do you really want to start that all over again here? It’s about time you grow up. You already lost your reputation here, and will probably never get it back. At this point you are doing more damage to yourself and to the NRA each time you write here.

          1. That’s real rich coming from you, but no it’s not name calling.

            But I’m still waiting for you to list or link your sources for all the claims you made in the article you wrote, which was incidentally filled with name calling, since you can’t list your sources, it does appear that name calling is all you have.

            1. @JMR

              Notice, Don(DBM) cant be bothered to reply except to yours, and then only copy and paste.

              He knows if he tries to engage on an evidence based debate with me he will lose. That’s why he stopped replying on his own article as well. What we have here is a very bitter man who is upset that neither you or I will just roll over and do what he tells us to do, and the more he comments the more damage he does to himself and the NRA.

    7. NRA, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Because they will stop feeding you. Supporting, promoting, and endorsing infringements on our right is a good way of doing just that. Also, wasteful mismanagement of funds that are donated to you by us (the working class that has to manage our funds appropriately) is another way of biting the hands that feed you.

      Maybe now that you are receiving less and less support because of YOUR actions (not ours!) You will be forced to support the 2nd Amendment unconditionally in order to get your support and funding back. You’ll also have to show that you can use our hard earned money wisely to. You wonder why we are supporting other organizations instead of you? Because they are doing a better job “investing” it through uncompromising acts.

      Also, you say that you (the NRA) are the only reason that we still have our rights? They will always be endowed by our Creator to us. We just have to fight those who try to infringe upon those rights, like our governments (Federal, State, Local) have been infringing upon since 1934 and before. I see through history that you (NRA) have assisted in some of these infringements and are continuing to do so ( machine guns, bumstocks, etc). Our Founding Fathers wrote at the beginning of the 2nd Amendment what was needed for the security of a Free State and to protect our God given rights from infringements and it wasn’t the NRA. We need well organized Militia throughout this country to be organized and ready to protect our rights from any form of government (federal, state, local) like they did back in Lexington and Concord. If you don’t have one in your area, then organize one and get ready! Because you know that the NRA isn’t stopping the infringements.

    8. My problem is that they are wasting resources on issues unrelated to gun rights, alienating potential allies in the process. It seems that Wayne and the other other executives are so enamored of Trump that they will chase down every rabbit hole he digs.

      Why is the NRA praising attacks on net neutrality? What does kneeling (or not) for the national anthem have to do with guns? Why take any position whatsoever on climate change? They are wasting their bandwidth and turning off many whose support they need.

      I am still a member, but it is a lot harder to be while they are wasting money and in some cases actively working against policies I support.

    9. Wayne LaPierre is no friend of gun owners. I guess he has never heard if you give an inch, they’ll take a mile. I really think he is interested only in invites to cocktail parties and keeping his power base(money)just like every other sellout in DC. . He needs to go.

    10. I would love to say the NRA was a true Pro-Gun organization but their approach to gun rights is to manage the “Decline: of our Rights and not the restoration of our rights.

      I remember the Debate over the FOID card in Illinois and how race was used to support the passage and support of the FOID card law. If you openly opposed the law in public you were chastised as an “N” lover. Our local sheriff literally told people opposed to the FOID card law that if the law was not passed Blacks were going to Burn down the city of Chicago.

      This claim came from and supported by our own government. Example ….

      The FBI took a coloring book idea that was rejected by the Black Panthers and created their own “Black Panther Coloring Book” under COINTELPRO. The FBI version of the book was absolutely stupid; it was sent to low level officials at the state and county level as a way to encourage the support of gun control using race.

      The FBI even sent agent provocateurs to join the Panthers to help train and even buy guns for the Black Panthers so they could create an image of Crazy Black People wanting to start a race war. All of this was done in the name of supporting gun control by our own government.

      The push for gun control by our own government has been happening for a long time and needs to stop. The NRA was not involved in the COINTELPRO nonsense i mentioned above but they are in a position to correct the problems; if they would make the effort.

    11. The NRAs deficit are the result of the State of New York’s actions and the ensuimg lawsuit. Not mismanagmemt. So Jeff..
      How about you READ the articlrs you object too? Or do the facts. Upset you because they dont support ypur anti NRA narrative?

          1. Indeed I wouldn’t care if the NRA went bye-bye.

            But no that is not the claims I was asking about, the claims in the article you wrote, all of them. Where are your sources? I want to see them, as do others.

            1. Posted In a new thread. $30+ Million. Spent 8n 11 month. After the NRA GOA and other gun rights groups will be next.

          2. No! You made the allegation, that makes it your responsibility to prove it. So unless you are going to back it up, why not just shut up.

    12. As a life member, I am ashamed of what the NRA has become. It is now an empty shell filled with empty people at the helm. Drain The Swamp of the NRA.

      1. I quit the NRA day before yesterday after years as a Life Member. No more will I provide any support for this organizations pay checks. One thing to keep in mind is a empty shell makes the loudest noise.

    13. I have thought for a long time that the NRA “leadership” was far too close to the edge of the swamp to remain unsullied. Now we learn they’re neck deep in the swamp and going deeper still.

      time for a change at the NRA Leadership. Where is Ollie North in leading the BoD for cleaning up the mess? I though he was a Marine.Does the Board work for Lord Wayne or does he work for the Board?

      I was a voting member when Neal Knox and Harlan Carter fought the good fight.

      Recently I received a solicitation to renew a gift membership for an NRA member I have never heard of. That piece got ripped up and thrown into the round file. Like nearly all large organizations the NRA has slumped into the morass and lethargy that infest them all. Sadly our vital god given civil rights are held hostage.

      I am a Benefactor Life Member. And will not donate a single penny further to the NRA until there is a change in leadership and direction. The progressives anti-liberty crowd have a “take no prisoners attitude.” Time to do the same.

    14. Jeff is Right On on this issue… I remember when Neal was booted, and that was the
      Day I left the NRA… Never to return, EVER… You tell’ed Jeff…..

    15. Oldmarine >>> Jeff Knox
      I agree wholeheartedly. Changes are required for any movement forward in this battle.
      I really get frustrated at many of the Organizations like the NRA, GOA and the SAF. They should learn something
      about Combat. It’s always the best to cut off the head of the snake, but no none of the organizations gets it.
      there seems to be a lot of bitching and pushing and going on among these units with some results but never a
      clear victory that shuts down attacks on the Constitution.

      I’ve said this over and over and it bewilders me that when it comes to a fight the existing laws can do the job
      efficiently and quickly. The democrats try to make new laws to get the guns and the pro gun outfits try to stop
      them.

      Wouldn’t it be better to just get rid of the Root sources that generate all of the ant-gun crap. The Federal and State
      governments all have existing laws against Perjury of Oath. Yet none of the Pro-Gun organizations use these laws to
      convict the Ant-gunners.Besides using Criminal law to go after them there is also Civil law but that takes money.
      There is violation of civil rights and prejudicial treatment of law abbiding citizens. Also included is breaking a contract
      with citizens amounting to fraud, a civil action.

      If just one of the Pro-Gun organizations would use the law it would scare the bejebbies out of all them the because it would put a stop to Ant-Constitution fight holding everyone to the law. The LAW is the weapon that would bring every-
      one back to the Constitution. By the way I am a Member of the NRA but not feeling good about ignoring existing laws.
      I am sure that Col. North knows about Combat and how to fight, Ask him. I know he actually has no power for decisions
      but he could at least have the powers to be consider using the law. Democrats like to make new laws and the Anti-gun people need to be stopped by using the law. .

      1. Will Flatt >>> Oldmarine

        Sadly, the NRA simply uses celebrities and major personalities, beginning with Charlton Heston, to draw and retain naive gun owners who have no clue about the larger fight going on or the internal problems going on at the NRA. At the end of the day, however, NRA still = Negotiating Rights Away.

        That’s why I quit my NRA life membership a long time ago. People like Wayne LaPierre are simply exacerbating the problems inherent in the NRA (Group of fudds, history of embracing gun control, financial improprieties, etc.)..

    16. Thirty million in the red, no wonder they are crying for more money. If they sold everything off at auction they would still have a deficit and be down the tubes. Super good management has led to this bad position. (sar) Most business would have axed the head long before they ran up thirty million in debt. Here we are, just another government entity looking to the working people to bail them out of their stupid mistakes. It is past time for changes. No more money for you high flyers until the ax swings, including Hammer.(She’s asleep at the switch.)

    17. Lifer for 66 years and I am thoroughly disgusted with the leadership currently exhibited by the org. Have read and followed Mr Knox’s columns for many years and have always found him to be on point, just as I did his father. Once again he has stepped up to share his views, which coincidentally parallel those of many, many members of NRA, as well as those of a large majority of 2A supporters in this country. Obscene salaries, corrupt or inept business practices are depleting the necessary resources needed to combat and repeal unconstitutional firearms regulations nationally and need to be re-evaluated, with leadership changes being at the forefront.

      1. Will Flatt >>> Gunny1951

        That’s precisely why NRA members, if they truly want to fight for gun rights, need to get off the pot and stop giving their money to NRA. They would be FAR better off by giving to GOA and other groups who use their proceeds far more wisely. You will NOT see obscene salaries at GOA. They throw everything including the kitchen sink into the 2A fight. That is why GOA membership is skyrocketing at the same time NRA’s income is plummeting.

        There’s a tectonic shift occuring among gun owners. Please join us, and spread the word. Also, take the time to sign the petition demanding Mr. Trump reverse the bump-stock ban! https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reverse-bump-stock-ban-against-firearm-parts

    18. The NRA via Marion Hammer has released a statement that HB 175 is not in any way sponsored by them.

      “NRA had nothing to do with that bill or any other bill that has been filed so far this session.” NRA-ILA, Marion Hammer January 14, 2019. (https://www.nraila.org/articles/20190114/florida-alert-where-do-anti-gun-legislators-get-this-stuff)

      HB 175 is a pro gun bill that would repeal the gun control passed in Florida last year. I sure hope Marion Hammer and the NRA gets behind HB 175.

      But the fact of the matter is, that Marion Hammer, Florida’s NRA Lobbyist states that they had nothing to do with drafting and supporting HB 175 shows you how uninvolved they are. The fact that between last session and now they didn’t work with a Representative or Senator to draft a similar bill is appalling.

      1. That’s because all the NRA does is Negotiating Rights Away. Anything else they’re not interested nor involved in.

        ‘Nuff said.

        Gun owners: If you are NOT a fudd, time to ‘come out of her (NRA) my people, and be not partakers of her plagues’.

    19. I agree with every word in this piece LaPierre and Cox need to step down immediately along with the board members who were okay with the Vegas statement

      1. Something else to ponder . How does Oliver North becomecome president of the NRA after Running guns into Iran and funneling the money to another country ? Called the Contra Affair .

        1. Oliver North is a “captive celebrity,” like Charlton “nobody needs an AK47” Heston was before him. If you recall, Heston was totally pulled out of a hat by Ack-Mack specifically to deny 1VP Neal Knox his turn in the top seat.

      2. The Arrogance of the N.R.A. never stops , ” You ‘ need ‘ us ” is all they say. When more gun laws were proposed in New Jersey. state level NRA people and the ” Cool Kids ” gun clubs told gun owners looking for information on bill language …. ” Let us handle it , shut up , sit down and give us money “…. a fat lot of good they did.

        Gun Owners of America will soon surpass N.R.A. membership — NO Compromise

        1. I’m sorry to say this, but NJ, NY, California, Hawaii, and a couple of other states are gone! The NRA can’t fix everything. These states are controlled by leftist anti-gun democrats and I don’t see anything changing anytime soon. I lived in one of these states for the first 50 years of my life and I can tell you that they are lost. We are outnumbered in these areas and will be forever!
          One of the reasons I left were the oppressive gun laws. I understand not everyone can leave their home state because of a job or other obligations or simply don’t want too. I understand.
          Is the NRA perfect? No! But, they are the most effective and not supporting them is self-defeating. GOA is very helpful but they will NEVER surpass the NRA in numbers or effectiveness. Get that through your heads.
          Join the NRA, vote in their Board elections, and contact your legislators constantly. By all means, join other pro-gun groups but except the fact that the NRA is the big dog on the block and we have to keep them there. They are the only group that gets invited to the table and that is just plain fact!

          1. Bruce I am a lifetime member I’ve been trying to vote the likes of Adam Kraut into the board of directors I don’t see how that man isn’t in there yet. I agree when you say the NRA isn’t perfect and I believe they’re a dull knife I’d rather that knife be sharpened than thrown away. But I wholeheartedly believe that start with people in positions of leadership within the organization who will not only not stick to principles but not call on the government to take unconstitutional actions.

          2. ” ….. but they will NEVER surpass the NRA in numbers or effectiveness. Get that through your heads. ” LOL , thanks Bruce the apologist … you just PROVED my point about the ..” You NEED us ” arrogance of NRA.
            Gun Owners of America grows because they FIGHT !
            Soon they will have more real influence than Peppy La Pue and COX sucker.

    20. I apologize for repeating myself. Read RICHOCHET by Richard Feldman. And, do not shoot the messenger. The book was a real eye-opener for me, being that I am a LIFE member, pistol instructor, and range safety officer. As far as the NRA leadership, I can only quote Oliver Cromwell’s speech to the Long Parliament: “…you have sat here far too long. Depart from here and let us be done with you. In the name of God, go!”

      1. AMEN! AND THIS GOES FOR 3/4 OF THE CONGRESS AND SENATE. JEFF, you have more info than I do, but when the NRA acts like the rinos, as in ” the sky is falling, only we can save you, send us your money!” I smell a rat. Namely 3. Whiney, kiss, and ack mac. If I were president of the NRA I would fire all 3 with cause. Gross mismanagement. Salary padding, nepotism/cronyism over charging for services, collusion to pad salaries and pensions. Go into the night, so that we shall be done with your sorry asses…. just fucking go…

        If whiney.and kiss stay on, your deficits will do what the commies couldn’t, you will destroy the NRA from within. I have talked to numerous NRA members, not one penny shall the NRA get, until reforms are done and whiney and kiss are gmf. The only thing that they stand firm on is their high salaries, pensions, and extravagant contracts.

    21. Jeff: As always a great column my friend. The hearts and minds of those who truly believe in the Second Amendment are changing direction with the ever increasing flow of information.

    22. Marion Hammer has NOT attended an NRA board meeting in at least five years–and others on the board do not attend. To many on the NRA board it simply a title/business card they like to have with them. Problem is of the couple million plus members who are eligible to vote for the board only about 55,000 ever do and many are simply sheeple and vote the same way as they have for years–and they follow the strangely unfair NRA recommendations in the magazine.

      1. Like the USA, the NRA is a perfect example of TINVOWOOT. In both cases, the election process has been “solved” by those who would benefit personally from it, and there is no longer any risk of their not contiuing in power.

    23. I have thought all along that the NRA is worth keeping, much has been accomplished,, much more needs to be done. Now our leadership has become complacent, blinded by money,and think they need more money to continue on. You don’t shoot the horse when it’s the rider who misguides the horse. We must get better more qualified leadership to continue down the right path to responsible protection of our constitutional rights. Don’t give up on the NRA, we control who gets to hold the reins of our horse. Just like our “politicians” who campaign on one thing and turn against us after the election. Look closely and carefully before voting, this pertains to our political elections as well as our NRA elections. OK, I’ve had my say and now open to all the criticism that will surely come. Have at it!

      1. I have one more thing I’d like to add. I’ve been a member for over 60 years, off and on. I am on a fixed income now and only pay dues, no contributions. I’m irritated that almost weekly I get requests for donations. I feel I give enough through my dues. They should be satisfied I’m even a member.

      2. The NRA election process is a sham, to the point where the average member has more leverage to determine the NRA’s direction by leaving it than by voting within it.

        They’ve not only squandered their mandate to protect our rights, they’ve squandered their founding mandate of firearms training* (and had to backpedal to recover… but too late).

        *Here’s one instructor’s summary of their screwup, which not only financially burdened students and instructors, but doomed the efforts of non-profits dedicated to providing free training to at-risk women. Under the “new” NRA policy, it became impossible to hold free training.

        https://www.dailyadvocate.com/news/12161/local-gun-instructor-displeased-with-nra-move-to-online-learning

        1. Having long ago ceased my affiliation with the NRA, I was not aware of this move to online learning. I believe in standardized training, having received the bulk of mine in the military and joining campus police in Indiana many moons ago.

          Indiana does not require training as a condition to obtaining a License to Carry; such requirements represent an unconstitutional prior restraint on a fundamental right. Nonetheless, it is the moral responsibility of every gun owner to be proficient in the safety and use of their firearms. Whatever you can afford to get properly trained, spend it, it’s worth its weight in gold to be taught GOOD habits.

          You’re right; this is more about the NRA trying to fill its coffers to offset their irreponsible spending than it is about promoting firearms training. If the latter were true, they wouldn’t be doing this – as you indicated, this is going to diminish the opportunities for at-risk women to get the training they need!

          NRA, a plague upon your house!!

    24. Obscene salaries, fat pensions and perks, side deals, lack of representing the will of the constituents by the “duly” elected…. Starting to sound more and more like what happens to all men (and women) that fail to keep their eyes on their oath and function. Power and position invariably corrupts!

      In this case, throwing the baby out with the bath water depends on the baby(ies). Something has to give. Crumbs from the master’s table isn’t what any of us that have continually supported the org had in mind.

    25. This country is on the brink of failing. Those that serve her faithfully are blamed for failures while those that rob her stand on others successes. The NRA has unfortunately followed suit. And I fear the lines have been drawn. Let the NRA fall like sodom. Put your time and money to the GOA.

    26. I just received my renewal notice from the NRA. I was seriously thinking of throwing it in the trash, but then I thought if I do who would speak for me. I am going to renew my membership so I can help vote these “leaders” out. Maybe we can try anyway.

      1. Yea you don’t vote for Chris Cox and Wayne.

        Also the elections are shady, and there’s no oversight
        To them.

        Why do you need someone to represent your voice to your representatives? Why can’t you do that?

    27. They wouldn’t get critisized if they just did thier job. I get paid to do a job and if I don’t do it I hear about it so why do they, and others, think they are above it?

    28. Beyond time to drain the NRAe swamp scum,return it to a members organization. I am the NRA however not one penny until the swamp is drained.

    29. I think this was a well-written article by Jeff Knox and shows his true appreciation for the NRA, a group that woulda, shoulda, coulda continued to be the voice of American gun owners, if the leadership was truly concerned about the 2nd Amendment and the Americans it was created to protect. To me, that extends to machine guns too, as the 2nd Amendment, by its very creation, is there to allow us protection against our very own government, thereby allowing for sufficient weaponry to do just that… the 2nd Amendment is a serious RIGHT, that was never intended to be infringed, and was never created for the purpose of hunting or target shooting, it is there simply to allow the ultimate protection against the government. “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” is there for a very serious reason.

      After their unbelievable support of the conspiracy theory in Las Vegas, where the NRA leadership immediately overreacted from simply seeing pics of rifles with bumpstocks, even though, to this very day, there has been NO EVIDENCE that any rifle with a bumpstock was even used in the shooting, and the ATF itself has never been able to examine the weapons that were “supposedly” used. It was with their childish overreaction that I could see the writing on the wall for the NRA. Then they furthered their assault on many of us by soliciting the support of the President to push for Red Flag Laws, which has been rightly pointed out to have not saved any lives, but has already claimed one of an innocent gun owner. More relentless focus should have been aimed at the failures of the FBI and law enforcement in Florida, but the system is broken and the NRA simply has no way to help fix it, and I sincerely feel they have too many of the wrong friends in high places and, thereby, no desire to fix it, properly, by going back to its roots and rebuilding an organization that openly fights for ALL GUN RIGHTS. If left up to their vision, we might all be led to believe that we only need bolt action .22’s and single shot shotguns for self defense (and the government would just love that to be the case). Politicians whose main objective is to garner large paychecks often miss the mark, and the NRA with its overly politically correct stance has missed theirs, totally off target.

      I’m a member of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Gun Owners of America… and still an NRA life member, although I will no longer financially support the NRA or their policies. By their lack of leadership we have been backed into a corner and many innocent gun owners will see their god-given rights to self defense stripped away, and possibly lose their lives in the process… meanwhile, the NRA will continue to issue weak, pathetic excuses for the biggest screw-ups in modern history, and continue to extend its hand for contributions to your very own demise. The NRA leadership needs to be purged, top-to-bottom, and that includes every leach celebrity, including Dana Loesch, who’s making a living off of the misrepresentations at the hands of the NRA. I say make the NRA work for its membership, not line the pockets of its leadership and their friends.

    30. I`ve been a member for 44 years. I have a right to criticize my NRA. Just like I have a right to criticize my Government (and I do). Seems to me we`ve had a “establishment” NRA for a few years now. Time to drain the swamp. 30 years is way too long to be running the NRA. Just like politicians…..they`re not suppose to have the position for life. Time for new blood. Cut the BS part of the budget, then the savings go to legislative fights, and maybe more for shooting sports. Maybe Term Limits might not be a bad idea either (didn`t we vote on something like that a few years back?).
      Just received another upgrade offer from the NRA (to Benefactor). Ha, that`s funny. I don`t believe I`ll donate anymore until I am satisfied some changes have been made, or we vote to change things.

    31. You can attack the leadership and still support the NRA. I really disliked Obama but I still loved my country. Time for some new blood in the upper echelons of the organization. They are stuck in the time of bolt action rifles and skeet shotguns.

    32. The NRA is suffering from many of the same maladies that plague the Republican Party. They are closet progressives with very few genuine Conservatives (Constitutional) allowed, they are constantly looking for the “man on the white horse” to save them and they use their donors and activists like indentured servants and then turn their backs when any of the great unwashed criticize any pronouncement from the Mount. We are supposed to be a grass roots organization with a multipurpose mission: educate, advocate and recreate. My conclusion is simple. What plagues the NRA plagues everything federal: it is the water. The water in and around DC. When people get too close to the flag pole they change. They also soon come to the conclusion that those of us who are out here on the forward edge of the battle area are uninformed and “don’t get it.” Well folks, here is a note from the FEBA. At the gun shows and events I work here in the great desert southwest your stock is in le commode. You had better get with it and get back to principles. Ask why a group like the Arizona Citizens Defense League can walk away from a small gun show with a couple dozen new members and donations and the NRA recruiters come to us for company. Something is adrift. I am a life member of both. My money is going to AZCDL. Simple fact. Semper Fi

    33. With friends like these who needs enemies? If a Republican politician of any level approves of red flag laws, or any other regulatory infringement they sure as hell do not deserve our support. In fact, we the people need to be a serious thorn in their collective butts before, and forever after they engage in this Tory type behavior. The same can be said of the current leadership at the NRA.

      I think Jeff should have the job of Executive Director myself.

    34. Man, Negotiating Rights Away is in full on danage control. Until the NRA does something truly meaningful for the 2A, they are dead to me, next they’ll try to reanimate charlton heston to be waynes personal sock puppet, 2A is clear, written in plain simple english, so start acting like it NRA. And to the fudds who spout off “you wouldn’t have any gun rights if it wasn’t for the nra!” BS, rights are transcendent, from God, nature or the flying spaghetti monster, whatever you believe in, those rights are there, forever, free of charge, Confirmed by the constitution in plain simple language and confirmed yet again ad nausium by the founders in piles of writings afterwards, ill act as directed by those great men

      1. Simply agree there Thomas J /power -money have nullified the NRA as a viable source of rights for pro second amendment :gun owners of America /GOA is in the only organization that really truly fights for you and me -not some lobbyist organization with elite donors / LapierreCox ought to be ashamed of themselvesCouldn’t believe the anti-Second Amendment rant /words coming out of Cox’s mouth that was enough for me

    35. “Marion also reiterated that Wayne and Chris had called for bump-stocks to be “regulated,” not banned. That’s true”

      No, that’s false. Absolutely and utterly false. You could call up the NRA any day after they posted that statement and confirm they did indeed mean ban. I received confirmation from half a dozen representatives that they sought a ban on new production “like machine guns”. They insisted that didn’t mean ban, but that’s a ban by any logical definiton.

      1. In either case, whether it was that they called for “regulating” or banning bumpstocks, it was the wrong answer. They had to know that it was a slippery slope either way, because either way is an argument that a piece of plastic can kill someone all by itself, and the vague language that would be required to regulate them will absolutely be twisted by future administrations in other to further put the screws to gun owners.

        We’ve seen this movie before with regard to background checks. They know better!

    36. I remember when the late Aaron Zelman spoke to the NRA board and attempted to explain to them the “Dangers” of Gun Control and what happens when Governments go bad. Aaron tried to explain the difference between Mans Laws and Gods laws and the Rights of a free people.

      Aaron told me his words fell on deaf ears. We have went from a nation that bought guns through the mail to a nation where people must jump through hoops and waiting periods to exercise a God given right that has been handed down to man from the time of Noah.

      In my opinion bump stocks are a silly waste of ammo but to claim they are the same as a machine guns is just “nuts”. We dont need all of these silly laws and we can no longer afford a group that supports such laws.

      I remember the stories of the late Neal Knox attempting to overturn the 1968 GCA and i wish the current NRA leadership had the same desire to be FREE!

    37. Sir… There are two types of people in the world… Those who build themselves up and thos who are failures and need to tear down those around you to make themselves look better. We all see now who and what you are. I think your father would be ashamed of you.

      1. Now DBM, if only people cared what you had to say it might be worth your while to continue doing it. Personally I don’t care for either type of individual you posted about. Let me guess, you would place yourself in the first category. That would make you boastful braggart. I seem to remember that “pride goeth before the fall.” Tis late, I will check back on the morn.

      2. DBM, when you have no facts, attack the person. Literally an ad homenim. How about refuting ANY of the points made in the article (with citations) instead of trying to shame the author. Ironically, this type of “argument” is exactly what the extreme left does. Don’t like your opponent’s facts? Call them a racist, ie attack the person not the facts.

        You’re no better than the Evergreen College mob or David Hogg.

        1. It’s also a hallmark of Narcissists to Project and Transfer onto others. Search Narcissistic Parent. DBM and Marion have done just those things. Super weak stand on their part.

      3. DBM, Your are a blatantly obvious shill for LaPierre and the other leaches at NRA responsible for driving away members and failing to adequately protect the 2nd Amendment rights of American citizens. Given you statement above you can add hypocrite to your resume as well.

    38. Jeff Knox – I believe you have a good vision for the future of the NRA. It’s time for an internal cleansing of the corporate officers and a ‘refocus’ on the 2nd Amendment while continuing NRA’s historic mission of competition and certification of instructors for civilians and LEO’s. It’s possible to do it all.

    Leave a Comment 99 Comments

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *