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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.