NRA Needs A Proven Leader, Now More Than Ever

Opinion by Marion Hammer

Wayne LaPierre
Wayne LaPierre is one of the most humble guys I know. He routinely turns down profile pieces, and he always tells people that it’s the members who are the bedrock of the NRA. Wayne doesn’t just say that. He believes that. More so than anyone else.

Florida – -(AmmoLand.com)- My name is Marion Hammer. I’ve written in AmmoLand News before…

I work as a gun rights lobbyist on gun rights for the NRA and for it’s Florida affiliate – Unified Sportsmen of Florida. I tell you this for three reasons:

  1. To give full disclosure
  2. To provide a better context
  3. And frankly, because I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished in Florida and beyond for our members and all law-abiding gun owners.

Every morning I am honored and humbled to wake up and fight for our rights here in Florida. And, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I do get a sense of satisfaction when we defeat the gun control zealots and anti-hunting fanatics.

But, my fights have not been confined to Florida. Roughly twenty years ago, I was engaged in another battle. This time it was a fight for the leadership of the NRA. Wayne LaPierre was on one side.

On the other side was Neal Knox – Jeff Knox’s late father. As some of you may remember, I was the President of the NRA at that time. Many may have been too young to remember.

Jeff is correct that Wayne won the confidence of the NRA Board of Directors during that battle. But, Jeff fails to disclose that it was his father, Neal Knox, who was trying to oust Wayne — and who engaged in an all-out, no holds barred, brutal fight in his failed attempt to take control of the NRA.

I bring this up, not to disparage the memory of a fellow Second Amendment activist who was a long time personal friend of mine but to give the truth to those who may not know the truth.

Make no mistake: The senior Knox had his own philosophy, and he had his own team of consultants and vendors that he wanted to bring in. He was an ambitious man who wished to control the NRA. BUT, it is essential for readers to have that disclosure to provide full context to the narrative that his son, Jeff Knox, now provides.

Jeff also talked about financial difficulties. What he doesn’t mention is that there is a coordinated corporate and political campaign orchestrated by Mike Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York to intimidate banks and insurance institutions into not doing business with the NRA.

Undoubtedly, many of you have read about it post-Parkland. But, I ask you to go on your computer and do some research. You’ll find that the Cuomo actions were viewed as so treacherous that even the ACLU joined with the NRA to fight this action. That’s a significant fact.

Jeff doesn’t mention that the leadership team at the NRA has worked very hard to get everything back on track and has achieved some settlements that were favorable to our cause. He also misstates that NRA employees have been laid off at Fairfax. That isn’t true. Due to budget cuts, one of our vendors laid off a number of their employees. And, frankly, that’s a sensible course of action given the circumstances.

Jeff says that NRA folks are well paid – but he doesn’t mention that all the rights we have today are because of these talented folks at NRA. Or perhaps more significantly – the gamut of gun bans and ammo bans that we DON’T have because of the NRA and its work.

We have great Right-to-Carry laws in more than 80% of our country – thanks to the NRA. I was proud to work with the folks at the NRA as Florida became the state that started a nationwide revolution for the right to carry. Make no mistake; when we started this “shall issue” Right-to-Carry battle, there were less than a handful of states that had any pro-carry laws. There was only one organization leading the way – the NRA.

We have Castle Doctrine laws because of the NRA. Preemption, hunter harassment, range protection, no gun confiscation during emergencies, more hunting lands and let’s not forget that thanks to the NRA, the American firearms industry exists today because of the NRA. And, so much more. That’s a pretty good return on an NRA membership if you ask anyone.

I know that many of you will bring up the issue of bump stocks. Yes, it is complete “heifer dust” to think that banning bump stocks will make us all safer. Bump stocks blur the line and alter the performance of a semi-auto and made it function like a full-auto.

That’s why the NRA said that it ought to be regulated – NOT banned.

Why? Because politicians [had the votes] and were building steam [in 2018 Congress] and moving toward a ban on all semi-automatic firearms. Frankly, I find it curious that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump stocks, to begin with – but that’s another debate for another day. [the call for regulation by the NRA took the wind out of this legislative effort and moved the bump stock ban, now a “rule” instead of a law, into the regulatory realm where it can now be argued against (lawsuits have been filed ) and ruled on by the courts.]

Make no mistake: every single day there are very smart and well-compensated people in NY who wake up with one mission – destroy the NRA. Why the NRA? Because they know that the only thing that stands in their way of their unbridled desire to destroy the Second Amendment is the NRA.

To be clear, it is the NRA and Wayne LaPierre. Wayne is one of the most humble guys I know. He routinely turns down profile pieces, and he always tells people that it’s the members who are the bedrock of the NRA. Wayne doesn’t just say that. He believes that. More so than anyone else.

But, behind his unassuming nature lies the soul of a shrewd and courageous fighter. Unlike some, he will fight like hell to protect your rights. He will stand up and tell the truth – as ugly as it is – in front of the whole world and take the hits. And, you know he has. He doesn’t give a rip about those DC social circles and country clubs. He’s just one heck of a freedom fighter. Wayne is who the NRA and the Second Amendment need today and in the future.

Now is not the time for auditions for Wayne LaPierre wanna-bes, particularly those who aren't fit to hold his coat. And it is indeed not the time for a son who’s carried a father’s grudge for decades to try to stoke the flames to settle the score.

It’s a time for all of us to fight. And, our best warrior is Wayne LaPierre. Our enemies know that. I hope you do too.


Marion P. Hammer
Marion P. Hammer

About Marion Hammer

Marion P. Hammer is a past president of the National Rifle Association and current executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida.

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    OldmarineBillyFrederick D HerrickDiamondbackDDS Recent comment authors
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    Billy
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    Billy

    I fully support the courageous efforts of the NRA and its leaders. My membership is set on “auto renew”.

    “Know thy enemy.” It is NOT the NRA.

    Diamondback
    Guest
    Diamondback

    Until the NRA starts standing up for the full scope of our 2A GUARANTEED Rights, they’ll get no more from me than annual membership dues so I can maintain mbrship in my local Gun Range. Supporting unconstitutional legislation such as bans of any kind, BG Checks, Red Flag Laws, etc. is NOT defending the 2nd Amendment.

    DDS
    Guest
    DDS

    In my days with the Bell System we used to say:
    Q: How many “attaboys” are wiped out by one “Ah Shit!”
    A: All of them
    Ms. Hammer has done quite a few things she can rightly be proud of in defense of 2A rights.
    OTOH there are her occasional “Ah Shit!” moments that wipe all of the credit for her good deeds away.

    Make no mistake about it, this column is an “Ah Shit!”

    DDS — NRA Endowment Member

    Anthony
    Guest
    Anthony

    Marion, thank you for all you do. For Florida, for the USA, and for the NRA. We support you!

    doesky2
    Guest
    doesky2

    I let my NRA membership lapse but I also know this…

    1) No other orgamization will be able to pick up the slack anytime soon before the Democrats will be able to do real and lasting damage.
    2) The Left is trolling every pro-2A site pretending to be compatriots and trying to do damage/kill the NRA because they know that is their primary opponent.

    There’s only one way the NRA survives this….they gotta F’n clean house and get rid of the old wood and do a mea-culpa to the membership.

    Jim
    Guest
    Jim

    I’ve been a member of the NRA for thirty nine years and I let my membership expire just last month. When the leadership is purged of these compromising Fudds and replaced with no compromise 2A absolutists, I’ll come back.

    Anthony
    Guest
    Anthony

    In today’s world, nothing gets done without compromise. Such an extreme view will make zero progress. Nice ideals, but not realistic. You think NOT being a member somehow is a better option to protect 2A?

    Frederick D Herrick
    Guest
    Frederick D Herrick

    What did we get out of the bump stock rule? We got to keep rights we already had? BS that wasn’t a compromise it was a surrender. I didn’t own a bump stock but we don’t stop marching backwards we will run out of room. We either hang together or hang separately, it was true 250 some years ago and still true today. This from a patriot life member.

    Oldmarine
    Guest
    Oldmarine

    Anthony, that is a deception on your part. A compromise is a loss and defenitly not a gain. There is a real battle going on now within the NRA. Victory in any battle goes to the winner. If you take away all the manmade interference and reduce it to a cave man existance, the problems become glaring and indefenceable. Comprimise is nothing more than a delaying tactic and the problem still exists. No matter how you cut it or ramble over it is still in your face… Failures are noticed by those who want resolution not compermise. Man can live… Read more »

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    I wish I had the closing bit on video. Just so I could put it next to Wayne LaPierre’s comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    “But, behind his unassuming nature […]” (check the article for the full quote. The comment section doesn’t like me including it)

    I wish I had this on video. Would be fun to splice it next to these comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    “But, behind his unassuming nature […]” (check the article for the full quote. The comment section doesn’t like me including it)

    I wish I had this on video. Would be fun to splice it next to these comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvJ2kHpbC1g
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXl4p02EaTk
    https://youtu.be/2pk2LqqqtDs?t=4m9s (go to 4:09).

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    “But, behind his unassuming nature lies the soul of a shrewd and courageous fighter. Unlike some, he will fight like hell to protect your rights. He will stand up and tell the truth – as ugly as it is – in front of the whole world and take the hits. “

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    Isn’t it funny how these people are so devoted to destroying the NRA never attack the leadership, even those that’s standard tactic they use against anything they try to destroy? Rule 13 is to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”, yet the NRA is never personalized. Further they ignore many obvious tactics to destroy the NRA. If just one person asks Wayne LaPierre “If full autos can be banned under the second amendment, why can’t semi-autos?” the NRA is toast. The only rational explanation for their continued survival is that for the left they are controlled… Read more »

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    Isn’t it funny how these people are so devoted to destroying the NRA never attack the leadership, even those that’s standard tactic they use against anything they try to destroy? Rule 13 is to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”, yet the NRA is never personalized. Further they ignore many obvious tactics to destroy the NRA. If just one person asks Wayne LaPierre “If full autos can be banned under the second amendment, why can’t semi-autos?” the NRA is toast. The only rational explanation for their continued survival is that for the left they are controlled… Read more »

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    “But, behind his unassuming nature lies the soul of a shrewd and courageous fighter. Unlike some, he will fight like hell to protect your rights. He will stand up and tell the truth – as ugly as it is – in front of the whole world and take the hits. ”

    I wish I had this on video. Would be fun to splice it next to these comments where he actively fights FOR universal gun registration and gun free zones, in addition to his comment stating he supports a ban on the most common firearms in the world.

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    (chopping this next bit up since something in it is blocking submission)
    “Make no mistake: every single day there are very smart and well-compensated people in NY who wake up with one mission – destroy the NRA. ”

    So they aren’t actually a threat to gun rights, just Mrs. Hammer and her cronies? Ego-centrism is a sign of all manner of psychological problems. Perhaps we should try these “red flag” laws the NRA supports on her?

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    “Make no mistake: every single day there are very smart and well-compensated people in NY who wake up with one mission – destroy the NRA. ” So they aren’t actually a threat to gun rights, just Mrs. Hammer and her cronies? Ego-centrism is a sign of all manner of psychological problems. Perhaps we should try these “red flag” laws the NRA supports on her? Isn’t it funny how these people are so devoted to destroying the NRA never attack the leadership, even those that’s standard tactic they use against anything they try to destroy? Rule 13 is to “Pick the… Read more »

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    “That’s why the NRA said that it ought to be regulated – NOT banned.” I called the NRA on multiple occasions over many months. Every spokesperson I spoke to confirmed the “regulation” sought was like full autos. Something you can’t make or buy anymore is absolutely a ban. Maybe if you’re paid 316k+ a year to do nothing like Mrs. Hammer is you can afford enough grandfathered examples it doesn’t matter. “Because politicians [had the votes] and were building steam [in 2018 Congress] and moving toward a ban on all semi-automatic firearms” And? We have a Senate majority that was… Read more »

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    “And frankly, because I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished in Florida and beyond for our members and all law-abiding gun owners.” Mrs. Hammer is proud that Constitutional Carry has been stuck in committee for a decade. She is also proud of the bill Scott signed last year. And MY generation is supposed to be the one with low expectations! “Many may have been too young to remember.” Mrs. Hammer thinks she’s being subtle in her insults, but everyone who reads this INSTANTLY notes she is using youth of LaPierre’s opponents as an attack. Marion Hammer is a decade… Read more »

    Nanashi
    Guest
    Nanashi

    “And frankly, because I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished in Florida and beyond for our members and all law-abiding gun owners.” Mrs. Hammer is proud that Constitutional Carry has been stuck in committee for a decade. She is also proud of the bill Scott signed last year. And MY generation is supposed to be the one with low expectations! “Many may have been too young to remember.” Mrs. Hammer thinks she’s being subtle in her insults, but everyone who reads this INSTANTLY notes she is using youth of LaPierre’s opponents as an attack. Marion Hammer is a decade… Read more »

    CC
    Guest
    CC

    The NRA, like Gov., needs to return to Constitutional principles, not caving to every “common sense gun law” that the lefties cook up.
    Been too long in the poisonous atmosphere of DC, it seems.

    Wgunn
    Guest
    Wgunn

    Take a hike you corrupt blight on our rights jack wagon. I’m getting sick of Ammoland giving you a place to post your tripe. You and the NRA need to burn to the ground and new leadership needs to be installed. Otherwise, go away. You’ve negotiated our rights away my entire life. Fact.

    Appeasement isn’t a strategy. Fight for once, you cowards.

    As for you, you’re a Fudd. “We were appalled the ATF ever allowed bump stocks” and “The NRA never wanted us to have machine guns.” Gun owners of Florida despise you and your endless “compromises”.

    Craig
    Guest
    Craig

    You have so much blood on your hands, nothing will wash it clean. God will judge you

    Sven79
    Guest
    Sven79

    Comments don’t seem to be posting; let’s try it again: “Bump stocks blur the line and alter the performance of a semi-auto and make it function like a full-auto.” Umm… No, they don’t. If you don’t believe me, I invite you to try this test. Get a rifle with a bump stock installed (while you still can,) then do the following: After the trifle is loaded, charged and ready to fire, place your finger directly on the trigger and hold it down as far back as the trigger will travel. Did the rifle fire repeatedly until you lifted your finger… Read more »

    Jeffersonian
    Guest
    Jeffersonian

    NRA supports bump-stock ban and “red flag” laws. One is an ex post facto taking of property without due process or compensation, under Article I, Section 9. The other is deprivation of liberty or property, also without due process or compensation, under the Fifth Amendment.

    I’m a Life Member, but if I have any activism money to spare, I send it to the Oregon Firearms Federation instead.

    RENO
    Guest
    RENO

    LET ME THINK, OREGON IS BECOMING A SOCIALIST STATE LIKE CALIFORNIA AND NEW JERSEY
    HOW IS SENDING YOUR SUPPORT TO THEM WORKING OUT FOR YOU

    Sven79
    Guest
    Sven79

    “Bump stocks blur the line and alter the performance of a semi-auto and made it function like a full-auto.” Umm… No they don’t. If you don’t believe me, just try this test: Hold down the trigger of a rifle with a bump stock installed. Did the rifle shoot repeatedly until you lifted your finger from the trigger? No? It didn’t?!? Well, then the bump stock didn’t “alter the performance of a semi-auto and made it function like a full-auto.” Shooting with a bump stock involves a stationary finger, and pulling the fore-end of the rifle so that the trigger hits… Read more »

    Graham
    Guest
    Graham

    NRA sells out over and over again… they call it compromise, negotiating the **best** deal.
    I’ve “cancelled” my life membership, already paid so i guess a moot point.
    GOA seem to stand by what they say.. we’ll see.
    Mind you if there is nothing to fight for, they all out of work. Kinda explains it…

    Kal
    Guest
    Kal

    Ok, so after reading many posts here (but not all), it would seem 11 out of 10 opinions want to ban, burn and bury the NRA. And the sooner the better. Great, I say do it! However, I have a few questions. Once the NRA is total history, who or what is going to replace them? How soon? How much political clout do they have? How good is the legal representation that will fight in federal or state courts? What about financial capital? A paltry 2-3 million will get eaten up in no time. Where will the continuous funding come… Read more »

    NRA Life Member
    Guest
    NRA Life Member

    Please inform yourself how little money the NRA spends on litigation: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/521136665

    james
    Guest
    james

    If I understand correctly the nra has been very very good to larry pratt. He started out with 190K/year, now that is north of one million.

    Kal
    Guest
    Kal

    I did check the link you posted and the numbers look a lot like the numbers my (corporate) employer post. My company does multi millions of dollars a year yet the annual report looks like they hardly do a few million worth. I’m no corporate accountant and this numbers crap is way above my understanding. But I do know thru simple common sense, it will take millions to [properly] defend the 2A. If you’re opposition is spending millions to take away your rights, would it not make sense you’ve got to spend a “few” bucks defending it?

    Kal
    Guest
    Kal

    BTW nobody has actually answered my questions. Just sayin think logically about these things. As I said burn the NRA if you want but then what??? I’m not trying to defend them, just asking questions.
    Cary on and always cary.

    justjim
    Guest
    justjim
    Anthony
    Guest
    Anthony

    Excellent info. I agree. The NRA bashers are very uninformed of what the NRA really does.

    John B
    Guest
    John B

    I am a NRA Life Member and since last year a GOA Life Member. We need to vote to clean out the NRA and direct our contributions to where they are best used. I don’t want to forget the NRA, I just need them to have a complete change in leadership and direction… We can’t give an inch.

    Matt
    Guest
    Matt

    Complacency does lead to becoming ineffective. Just asking any of our self serving politician.