4 Thoughts on the NRA Controversy

Opinion

NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits In Indianapolis, Indiana 2019
NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits In Indianapolis, Indiana 2019

Indianapolis, IN/United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The controversial exit of Oliver North as NRA president and the accusations flying around could not have come at a worse time. At the time of this writing, the NRA’s Board of Directors will be meeting on April 29, 2019, so part of this may be overtaken by events.

As you all know, the Cuomo regime in New York has been targeting the NRA illegally via pressure on banks and insurance companies. That state’s attorney general, who is defending these abusive practices that we’d expect from the likes of Recip Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, or Nicolas Maduro, is on record as calling the NRA as a terrorist organization.

And this infighting may give Letitia James the opening she needs to launch another investigation. The NRA may beat it in court, but this targeted governmental harassment of a group over political differences is doing immense damage. According to Breitbart News, the NRA has already had to tighten its belt because of the attacks.

Now, let’s be honest about some realities: Since the NRA is headquartered in the DC area (and has to be, given the vast importance of having access to Senators, Representatives, the White House, and federal agencies to the defense of our Second Amendment rights), staff have to be paid enough to live there. The DC area isn’t exactly known for cheap housing, nor is it known for being cheap in other facets of life, either.

Let’s make one other thing clear: Anyone who decides to work full-time at the NRA has a much greater commitment to the defense of our Second Amendment rights than the average Second Amendment supporter. They help defend the rights of millions of law-abiding Americans who never shot up a school, place of worship, or other public venue and who are horrified when those acts happen.

Those who work at NRA, from entry level positions to the top executives and even the members of the Board of Directors and those who have held offices like President, are making tremendous sacrifices to do so, especially in today’s climate where mobs can be generated by media outlets and social media to destroy a person’s professional life in a matter of hours or days. How many average citizens would be willing to make those same sacrifices?

That being said, while we should hope the illegal actions of the Cuomo regime can be halted, the changes being made to survive these unconstitutional assaults are probably a good idea for the future of the NRA. If nothing else, moving forward, it can be one less bone of contention. But there are some other things that should be done going forward.

  1. Eventually, replace Wayne LaPierre

The bitter infighting amongst Second Amendment supporters is a huge problem. Maybe there have been some mistakes in the past, but Breitbart noted that those were addressed years ago. There are some indisputable facts: On Wayne LaPierre’s watch as Executive Director of NRA-ILA and as Executive Vice President of the NRA, the Supreme Court ruled against handgun bans in DC and Chicago on Second Amendment grounds. Concealed carry laws have become far more in tune with the Second Amendment. We also have seen the Supreme Court tilt almost decisively to a 5-4 pro-Second Amendment direction. Wayne LaPierre will always be a hero in AmmoLand's book for the pioneering work protecting and advancing the Second Amendment and success in size and influence he has to lead the NRA organization to achieve.

That said, it may be time for LaPierre to retire. Not immediately, but perhaps in 2021, after 20 years as Executive Vice President. Right or wrong, he has become a lightning rod for criticism, and it may be time for a new EVP to take the reins, especially as the threat has shifted to come as much from corporate boardrooms as it does from politicians.

  1. Ackerman-McQueen must serve more than the NRA

Ackerman-McQueen is another lightning rod and has been the target of criticism. Despite the controversies, the existence of Ackerman-McQueen may be of crucial importance to Second Amendment supporters in the coming years and decades. This is because the last 25 years have seen a “brainwashing” campaign that has come from the media, Hollywood, anti-Second Amendment politicians, and anti-Second Amendment extremists like Michael Bloomberg – who has spent a fortune to destroy our rights.

The blacklisting campaigns coming from Bloomberg’s minions and from the likes of Andrew Cuomo in government are not going to stop at the financial sector of the economy. It will grow to other sectors of the economy, including advertising and PR firms. Firearms manufacturers, instructors, federally licensed dealers, and even pro-Second Amendment candidates for office will need access to an advertising and PR firm that gets the Second Amendment and has expertise on Second Amendment issues.

  1. A more active NRA Board of Directors must emerge but must avoid micro-managing

The Board of Directors of the NRA are in a tough spot. Yes, there is a need to maintain oversight of the professional staff at NRA. That said, these same professionals are in the trenches supporting either the defense of our Second Amendment rights or in helping people know how to exercise those same rights responsibly.

The Board of Directors must become more active and visible, both in their oversight, but also in their support of these efforts. More of them need to be active across the country, talking not to national media, but local media, to help get the word out and to counter the stigmatization of the Second Amendment. AmmoLand's editors confirmed to me that every one of them is welcome to publish on AmmoLand News and communicate directly with our readership.

  1. Address the social stigmatization of the Second Amendment

The social stigmatization of the Second Amendment is tied with complacency as the greatest long-term threat facing our Second Amendment rights. Complacency is obvious, and there are ways to deal with, but the social stigmatization is harder to handle.

Here is something a lot of critics of NRA staffers aren’t going to like to hear: For the short and medium term, a lot of NRA staffers and lobbyists will need to be well paid and pay may need to go higher. The fact is that a Bloomberg-media-Hollywood triangle of propaganda and brainwashing has successfully created a situation where people with the NRA on their resumes will probably not be hired. So, in some way, those who elect to devote their professional talents to the defense of the Second Amendment need to be looked after.

The NRA Board of Directors, though, needs to start on a long-term campaign of its own to defeat this blacklist. If for no other reason than to ensure that there is a National Rifle Association in the future.

In the end, we all are united by a desire to see our Second Amendment rights – and our other constitutional rights – protected now and into the future.


Harold Hu, chison

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics, and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

  • 26 thoughts on “4 Thoughts on the NRA Controversy

    1. I’ll support removing LaPierre, just as soon as I see a replacement who will keep it out of the hands of neocon scum like Oliver North and the Tribe they serve (let’s just call them European Style Socialists for now).

      2A supporters need to stop being cowards and call out the 800 lb gorilla: the campaign against the Second Amendment is, more than anything else, an attack on white people, our communities and our families. That’s why the NRA is public enemy no. 1. For all of it’s many faults, the NRA is still a well funded and influential organization comprised overwhelmingly of, and representing the interests of, white middle America, the demographic most virulently hated ESSes and global elites (but I repeat myself). It’s outside the Kosher sandwich, and they can’t allow that.

      No, the NRA is not an explicitly racial advocacy, and it’s very true that peaceful, civilized people of all creeds and colors will benefit from firearm ownership for self defense. But don’t kid yourself. We all know and repeat ad nauseam how none of the gun control pushed by our enemies will have any effect on the criminal element. But they will absolutely render law abiding white communities defenseless when these same elements, as well as third world savages, are shipped into their towns en masse. We’re already seeing the fruits if this all over the world, in places like England, Sweden, France and Germany. Also Minneapolis and Lewiston.

      Don’t like LaPierre? Fine. But let the likes of North or (((Kraut))) take the reigns, and watch how fast the biggest hammer in the pro 2A world becomes a gelded, fully controlled “opposition” serving the globo-homo internationalist agenda, just like CATO and National Review and the Republican Party. We’ll pine for the halcyon days when the biggest problem was an EVP who bought some clothes and had a big salary.

    2. My wife and I are both Life Members and Certified NRA instructors. We are Canadian. We support the NRA because we believe that if Americans lose their Second Amendment Rights, Citizens of countries all over the world will lose the inspiration to fight for their own Rights.
      Unfortunately, when my wife and I tried to renew our Instructor certifications we were told the State Department no longer allows the NRA to teach “foreigners” how to use firearms. I was appalled, and wrote to the NRA about the matter and received nothing but silence.
      I was also a Charter Member of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, although I am not Jewish. I had great admiration and respect for Aaron Zelman and what he was doing with 2ndf Amendment education, especially for children and youth.
      I became a Life Member and Benefactor of the Canadian National Firearms Association while it was still under the stewardship of its founder, David Tomlinson.
      The NRA needs to get its house in order. It needs to encourage, not serve as a roadblock, to those “Foreign Nationals” who wish to support the NRA and teach NRA courses. To sum up, the NRA needs to regain the moral high ground, and I am not certain at this point that the NRA even knows where the moral high ground is.

    3. Mr. Hutchison, if you don’t stop apologizing for the very real problems at the NRA, you will be complicit in their downfall and the resultant hit to our 2A rights. We are WAY beyond “we must present a united front and band together”. If we say that while ignoring the elephant in the room that the NRA is fundamentally broken, we are doing ourselves way more harm than good.

      1. @Jim

        its all Hutchison does. He’s a left wing sympathizer who wants Gun Control Compromises, and tries to sell it to us as “Tactics and Strategy”.

        He’s been bent over taking it from behind from so many people, for such a long time, that he is beyond saving.

    4. I’m sorry Mr. Hutchinson, but your list and pathetic prescriptions are as over-ready for retirement, as are Wayne LaPierre and his sycophants on the Board. Your 1-4 list of things the NRA should now do, reflect 1950’s-era chamber-of-commerce thinking and thus, would be impotent in dealing with future … and even present, challenges. For well over forty years, I’ve been a NRA member and have watched as the NRA made blunder after blunder, both politically and sociologically. The latter, actually being the most critical. If even 20 years ago, the NRA had quit doggedly pandering to it’s credulous “bubba” base and instead, gone all-out to recruit women, minorities, LGBT and urban professionals into the shooting sports, we would not have even a fraction of the gun control nonsense we now have to deal with! Sure, sure, Bloomberg and the media … but they would be much less of a problem had the NRA not had it’s head in the sand, more focused upon perpetuating their increasingly politicized organization, than on actively propagating the shooting sports and on protecting the 2nd Amendment.

    5. @ 1990’s Board member…..seems you could be referencing our postulated dc swamp. Just an opinion, and at this point n time, we should all be greatly concerned with what we members are seeing within the NRA. Granted, large org’s eventually have issues, but the detrimental effect that could emanate from major problems here will be detrimental and catastrophic to us, our Constitutional rights to own weapons, and our FREEDOMS!

    6. Would like to have seen Mr. Hutchinson directly address the need to reform the board of directors. Most corporations have boards that are 7 to 12 members. They don’t “micromanage” the officers, but with 76 board members how do you get ANYTHING done? Need ti downsize the board and get it to a reasonable size.

      1. A 75-76 member cannot act decidively. By design. NRA’s in completely non-functional except as a rubber stamp.

    7. I was on the NRA Board for 9 years. Some facts.

      1. Wayne is a mediocure executive who vociforiciously punishes anyone who disagrees with him. Tanya Metaska, former ILA Director, could tell you if she wasn’t bound to silence by an NDA.

      2. Wayne basks in the adulation that is cast upon him (initiated by AckMac) by uninformed members.

      3. By the early 1990s, Wayne had OUTSOURCED his thinking to AckMac (an organization devoted to money and power but certsinly NOT devoted to the RKBA)..

      4. A 75 member “Board pf Directors” cannot manage anything, much less the archaine byzantine empire that is the presend-day NRA. Do not look to it for salvation.

      1. @ 1990’s Board member…..seems you could be referencing our postulated dc swamp. Just an opinion, and at this point n time, we should all be greatly concerned with what we members are seeing within the NRA. Granted, large org’s eventually have issues, but the detrimental effect that could emanate from major problems here will be detrimental and catastrophic to us, our Constitutional rights to own weapons, and our FREEDOMS!

      1. The NRA is not what it used to be, now as corrupt as the old mob . Switching my support to the GOA that is doing more than the NRA.. ” Power Corrupts”. The NRA has turned into a Ineffective club of money grabbers that is duping most of the membership and anyone who can’t open their eyes can be counted as part of the corruption, Any member that stays deserves all the crap they get. ASSUMING THAT THE NRA HAS YOUR BEST INTEREST AT HEART IS BLIND TO THE FACTS. Ask questions and see if your are being lead down the path. It’s all about the money!

    8. Harold falsely states: “Now, let’s be honest about some realities: Since the NRA is headquartered in the DC area (and has to be, given the vast importance of having access to Senators, Representatives, the White House, and federal agencies to the defense of our Second Amendment rights), staff have to be paid enough to live there.” WRONG. Have an office in DC have the headquarters in Oklahoma or any other pro 2A State. That is what most big business lobbyist do. Charter in NY? Crazy. Why not get out?

      I’m out of the NRA. Not a penny more. GOA, SAF actually get results without giving away my God given rights to a corrupt government.

    9. With well over a hundred million gun owners in the country the NRA has nothing to boast about for all the years they have been around and only having around give million members? The current business plan needs to change as many have caught on to the current stir up gun control issues to extract funds from members approach. Unfortunately, this approach fails to not only promote growth, but also fails to promote a future interest of the badly needed younger generations to come! Have you ever wondered why after all these decades the NRA does not have a profitable shooting range up and running in ever state and now be working at having more in some states? Would not this both provide organizational support as well as promote future interest in the shooting sports by younger generations? One my only ask, what is now NRA’s solid business plan for the future?

    10. Nice job blowing up WLPs skirt. So to live in the DC area he needs to make 1.4m and his wife needs to make how much again?

      That info will likely come as a big surprise to a lot of FBI and Secret Service agents…among others.

      Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I am a Life Member. Not another penny till this leadership is gone.

    11. “the members of the Board of Directors and those who have held offices like President, are making tremendous sacrifices to do so”
      Really? Do you mean the million+ per/year “sacrifice” that Col North, (ret) that he accepts from Ackermann-Mcqueen? Or are you perhaps referring to the multimillion dollar golden parachute that WLP enjoys? Or are these just facts that you would like forgotten?
      And to answer the rhetorical question; “who would serve under those circumstances?”, almost everybody. Give the average guy a million a year in payoff graft, and almost anybody would sell both themselves and their mother, and throw in their soul as a bonus.
      Certainly Ollie North never had a problem going to the federal gray bar hotel to protect GHWBush, in return for the many payoffs that followed, not the least of which was his huge campaign loss in Virginia that netted him millions, or the FOXNEWS spot that followed after he was soundly rejected by the voters in Virginia.
      Yeah, at least I remember all that stuff, although I often seem to be the only one that does.

    12. Justice delayed is justice denied.
      Remember Trent Lott’s attitude expressed toward the TEA Party. “We’ll corrupt them when they get here.”
      This mess didn’t occur over 1 year. Ollie North saw it and maybe even took part, (or not, who knows at this point). I assure you, however, Norths’ scalp on the wall in the board room isn’t gonna do anything except give ineffective cover for waste, fraud and abuse to continue, unabated.
      Wayne is where the Buck stops, not where it starts. Mark it here. Chris Cox. Has as much “corrupt” going on as anybody in the building. (I have no more evidence than I do for North or LaPierre. Just my own instincts.)
      I’m not a lawyer but it seems to me that a good start would be to unincorporate in NY and incorporate in Alabama or Oklahoma, or somewhere where people still recognize the importance of the NRA.
      Fix this. Fix it now. Don’t act like the Republicrats, who sacrifice their lamb and call it good. (Read Al Frankin/Alan West here.) A fig leaf won’t cover this. Potomac Fever has no cure.
      Tell me something. How readily available is information on approved candidates for the Board, beyond a well crafted paragraph in your February 1st Freedom? Only places like this, few and far between.
      The reason we don’t know what has happened is because nobody in power in the building wants it fixed.
      The reason the GOP and Government as a whole hasn’t built the wall or reined in unconstitutional/communist revolution crap actions from unelected actors from the Government at large is because if all are involved, nobody wants the truth known. Show up, vote for me, send money and don’t ask questions.
      Ent of abbreviated, disjointed rant.
      Fire away.

    13. Let’s get the history of Heller and McDonald accurate. The NRA wanted nothing to do with the Heller case from the beginning. It was brought by libertarians affiliated with the Cato Foundation. The NRA takes credit for it but Alan Gura won it.

      Second, McDonald v. Chicago was a Second Amendment Foundation case. They recruited the plaintiffs, filed the lawsuit, funded it, and brought it all the way to the Supreme Court. Alan Gura again was the attorney of record. The NRA had a secondary case that allowed them to argue at the Supreme Court but it was SAF’s case from the start.

      The NRA has consistently tried to take credit for both wins but had marginal association with both cases. The NRA is good at lobbying but the SAF is much better winning in court..

      1. So then, you’re saying that without the NRA’s case, it doesn’t make it to the SCOTUS at all. Much credit to 2AF for their good work, but they clearly didn’t have the juice to take it all the way on their own. Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

    14. If just HALF of current / former N.R.A. members join G.O.A. – Gun Owners of America , we will have a 5 Million member strong NO COMPROMISE organization.
      Lean – Mean – and willing to FIGHT.

      1. Finally got fed-up to my eyeballs with NRA BS, I dropped my membership and gave my ardent support to the GOA. Ex-NRA members should do the same and quit hanging on to futile hopes that the organization will somehow straighten out, but it ain’t gonna happen because their deception has gone on for way too many years and has sadly become indelibly ingrained into its overall purpose & character

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