Returning to Roots Best Chance for NRA to Heal Self-Inflicted Wounds

“The Winning Team” is still in charge – for now. But will they be able to win back members who are fed up with what they see as entirely self-created problems by top management and a rubber stamp board? (National Rifle Association / Facebook)

U.S.A. – -( “Stop the NRA shutdown,” a “critical update” in the latest American Rifleman urges.”New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched an all-out crusade to destroy NRA and put us out of business forever.”

No doubt the insufferable totalitarian wannabe would like to try. But as events unfolded over the weekend, resulting for the short term with Oliver North’s ouster as association president, it appears the greatest danger comes from within.

Not that Wayne LaPierre prevailing, for now, is a “win” for membership. Nor would it be had North succeeded. This was a coup attempt by NRA’s long-term PR firm Ackerman McQueen to replace former gravy train riders with current ones. There are no clean hands here, and with the weekend battle “won” by current management, don’t expect dramatic changes in the way things are run as long as they’re in power.

That means concerns being expressed by an increasing number of woke and angry members will continue to be glossed over by Fairfax “leadership.” We’ll continue to see NRA endorsing “compromise” infringements, with carefully-crafted statements giving de facto green lights to bump stock “regulations” and “red flag” confiscations, and with just enough weasel-wording for plausible deniability damage control when things blow up. We’ll continue to see dishonest political grades and endorsements that come back and bite gun owners. We’ll continue to see deliberate indifference to holding those politicians accountable for the single greatest threat to future “legal” recognition of the right to keep and bear arms – the overwhelmingly Democrat-favoring “pathway to citizenship.”  And we’ll continue to see an organization that puts more energy into “Enforce existing Intolerable Acts” than it puts on “shall not be infringed.”

And of course, we’ll see continued appeals for money, no matter if the flacking is outsourced or increasingly done in-house. Someone’s gotta pay for the salaries and perks.

A meme that’s being increasingly parroted by the gun-grabbers as a way out is that NRA must “return to its sportsman’s roots.” Understand that this is being done by people who really do want to take your guns. Don’t think for a moment they’re saying this to be helpful, any more than Democrats urging Republicans to be more “centrist” are concerned with helping the Party regain appeal. Surrenders simply mean there will be fewer battles that the enemy (what do you think those who want to disarm you are?) will need to win.

Those calling for such a return want NRA out of politics and focused on being Fudds.  They really just want to be able to pass disarmament edicts, elect gun-grabbing politicians and appoint anti-gun judges without any significant organized opposition. Curiously, although unintended by those offering such “advice,” returning to its roots is exactly what is needed.

NRA Bylaws define (and mandate) the association’s “purposes and objectives”:

“To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially with reference to the inalienable right of the individual American citizen guaranteed by such constitution to acquire, possess, collect, exhibit, transport, carry, transfer ownership of, and enjoy the right to use firearms in order that the people may always be in a position to exercise their legitimate individual rights of self-preservation in defense of family, person and property as well as to serve effectively in the appropriate militia for the common defense of the republic and the individual liberty of its citizens.”

What the root-pullers either don’t know (or do, but have no intention of ruining a “good” meme by admitting), is that it wasn’t until after WWII that “the NRA concentrated its efforts on another much-needed arena for education and training: the hunting community.” The NRA’s real roots:

“Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871.”

There you have it. They wanted to train American citizens to become proficient in keeping and bearing “weapons of war.” Everything else, per founding intent, was to support that root goal.

We now have an NRA with member schisms running from apologists seemingly forgiving of any self-created failures from the top, and a growing number of increasingly vocal gun owners making pledges like “not one more dime.” If anything, the divisions between the two camps are getting wider and the rhetoric more heated.

What’s clear is, the danger from such internecine strife has the potential to be more destructive to NRA than anything Cuomo or Bloomberg could throw at it. Unless a thorough, top-down housecleaning and a credible effort to earn back lost trust are made, don’t expect the chasm to close, and certainly don’t expect the disillusioned to reopen their wallets.

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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Me Too

Was interesting reading comments from wannabe domestic terrorists…


I had wounds on my knee and believe me I had used these tips of yours. Thanks

nancy b saylor

I do not feel that the NRA is truly representing its members…… stop negotiating!!!!! stick to the Constitution!!!! red flag laws…..bullshit bullshit bullshit, This gives government agencies the power to take guns when ever they want WITHOUT DUE PROCESS………start representing the people that support the NRA… keep asking for more money, built that huge bldg in Virginia etc etc,,,,,,you are no longer representing those that SUPPORT you and are paying your administraors too f—ing much…..I do not want the NRA to fall apart but you must grow a pair and fight back hard!!!!! Guns dont killl, people do……And it is… Read more »


Obama got me to join the NRA. Wayne and Chris got me to quit.
No more money to NRA while they are in there. Too much money and no unaccountably – Just like the three-letter agencies.


Electing Adam Kraut would have been a step in the right direction, but NRA at the last minute endorsed Anthony Colandro who is just a Scott Bach NRA status quo guy, but with a big, NJ mouth. Don’t expect him to challenge anything and don’t expect any change from this guy or any of the other board members who would rather be seen as NRA Board members for their own egos (prime examples being Bach and Colandro) than steer the organization in the right direction.


Are you kidding us? I have been a loyal member of the N.R.A, well, just about for all of ,my life (0ver 60 years). I am an Instructor. I have urged countess people to join the N.R.A., and to contribute to it. I have never been comfortable with Wayne, how he came to power and his seemingly ruthless domination of what over the years became less, and less OUR organization. I forgave all of that so long as I believed that Wayne was dedicated to preserving the 2ed Amendment. To learn that Wayne has been taking tens of millions of… Read more »


You Know that “NOTHING IS PERFECT” . What we want and what we get is usually not the same. I am dropping my membership the end of this month. Why! Not because of any of the reasons stated here but for a different reason. The NRA is in serious trouble for stupid reasons. The two things that stand out with NRA actions is Getting money for the heads honcho’s and lobbing. They have good people trying help the cause in the field but not effecting the final out come. The reason I am dropping a failing effort is because of… Read more »

Rocky Mountain

Correct, I’m with you 100% on that. They are still of mind that they need govs approval to exersize rights while they beg gov to protect them also. Rights are like muscles in that if you don’t use em you lose em. I never call police to be my mommy when I can fill my hand. 911 is for pansies. I want nothing the state has to offer. All this whining over gun rights is working to the oppositions favor because whining now supersedes use. Has replaced it. Let the rubber gun squad come for it and see it used.… Read more »


“Every one of the Law makers that attack the 2nd have committed Federal Perjury under Oath. The Oath of Office is enforced by State and Federal laws and it seems that no one cares and we are loosing the battle . Because of that, Those that attack the 2nd are committing a traitors act and should be CHARGED as so.” As much as I’d like this to be true, it’s not. There’s no law to use here, anti-gun officials aren’t doing anything illegal. Immoral maybe, definitely anti-American, but not illegal. There is no treason here either, legally speaking. Treason is… Read more »


Well, first off you leave the NRA then you don’t have a voice in anything “we” do or say. So next month when you are no longer a member in good standing, keep your thoughts to yourself.
As to my membership, I just went from a life member to an endowment member.
What really bothered me when the leadership of the GOA makes public statements against the NRA. Have you ever heard the expression, divide and conquer, well that is what it going to happen to our 2nd Amendment.


The headline on this article shows that the writer has absolutely no knowledge of the “roots” of the NRA. The NRA was NOT formed to support the right to keep and bear arms. Historically the NRA has not been a supporter of the right to keep and bear arms. The NRA was the primary supporter of the National Firearms Act of 1934, when then NRA President testified before Congress that carrying firearms ought to be rare, strictly controlled, and only under a license. The NRA supported the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, and the Gun Control Act of 1968. These… Read more »

Greg K

While some of what you wrote is correct, you may not know that the NRA was formed during reconstruction. One of it’s core missions was to allow venue for Persons of Color to have venue and access to shooting, so as to be better able to protect themselves in the future.


If you would have waded through David’s drivel, you would have found: [The NRA’s real roots: “Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871.” There you have it. They wanted to train American citizens to become proficient in keeping and bearing “weapons of war.” Everything else, per founding intent, was to support that root goal.] David has a tendency to get lost wandering in the intellectual’s weeds. If he would write for the common man, where most firearms are found, he… Read more »

Wild Bill

, Long time, no hear from. Welcome back. Unusual perspective on our author.

Wade in PA

I think David’s piece is the most comprehensive and honest analysis of the situation that I have read about this shitstorm.


Whew! That’s quite an assortment of discontented views, folks. Must be the kitchen is getting hot and the many cooks are heading for the wide open spaces where there is cool air. It happens.

BENEFACTOR MEMBER / Golden Eagle and constant supporter of the NRA.

Bill in ILL

BENEFACTOR MEMBER / Golden Eagle and constant supporter of the NRA.

And enemy of the 2nd Amendment and all gun owners,


Who is paying attention? I get the NRA/legal updates and I get the state’s gun group updates. They are in total objection to each other. Some moron in the senate has come up with an idea to introduce another carry permit with little difference from the one we have now. In other words we would have two and the new one would require less training to get it. The NRA says “contact your rep. this is a good bill” but they don’t say why. The state gun club says it its a waste of time and money, we should go… Read more »

Rocky Mountain

Socialist authoritarian assasine teams already operating in my state. We have put up lots of security to keep them out. The right to defend ones life comes from God and when they show up at your location and you fill your hand like mine then you will be living the Constitution as the founders wrote it to be lived. The debate was over here a long time ago.


Benefactor life member. No more money to the NRA until they get their act together. La Pierre is making way too much money, when there are a lot of people who would gladly do the job for less. Same for other upper level NRA staff as well. Will be donating to GOA for now.

John Weaver


Dr. Strangelove

I still support the NRA, but not with my money. It’s the face of the gun rights community to the left and it would be a great victory for them if it went under. Ditch the wine club and all of the other extraneous crap and get back to protecting our rights.

Until they get it together, my donations are going to the SAF and GOA.

J Gibbons

Agreed, Dr. Strangelove.


The NRA annual members meeting this past Saturday was depressing. On one side there were those devoted to protecting the status quo. Their argument was, that even questioning leadership was giving aid to anti-gun extremists trying to destroy the NRA. The other side had legitimate questions about how NRA leadership was using money meant to defend the Second Amendment, the same questions that were first asked 20 years ago. They didn’t get answered Saturday either, the defenders of the status quo just said to shut up and trust leadership. There’s too much secrecy, they are depending on the fact that… Read more »

Michael T Kennedy

I have too and wonder what is going on. There are state organizations and I wonder which would be the best to clean house ?

Dave in Fairfax

I get the form letters when I write. Too bad the dog is trained and I don’t have a parrot.
To find your state organizations try searching for Whatever your state is, Citizens Defense League, mine is VCDL (VA). Also consider the Gun Owners of America and The Second Amendment Foundation, as well as the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. JFPO as well if you’re Jewish. There are many more, is your friend. DON’T give money to NAGR.

Crotalus Maxximus

You don’t have to be Jewish to join and or support the JPFO. They have a lot of interesting stuff on their web site. Check it out.

Thomas Steinke

If the NRA doesn’t want Oliver North, it doesn’t want me. The other side has become radicalized, which means we must be extremely strong, even forceful, and tactical, in how we negotiate the politics of the 2nd Amendment. Wayne LaPierre has made a vast fortune at the NRA and since his tenure began the only gains in firearm rights were at the state level, where local firarms groups prevailed, not the NRA. The NRA is silent here in Oregon where the nation’s biggest gun grab is about to pass in the legislature, and the governor’s panties are wet to sign… Read more »


With all due respect, yours is the wrong answer. Oliver North does not have clean hands in this whole mess and has been involved with and a product of Ack-Mac from the beginning. Don’t let his past reputation, good or bad, influence what’s happening right now.


Oliver North once said “if you want an assault rifle, join the Marines”.
He’s the antithesis of freedom.

And the NRA?
What have they done for gun owners?


Olly was for the assault weapon ban of Clinton fame. He also has a million dollar contract with Ackerman McQueen. Not the nra. Most of the face of the NRA doesn’t work for them, but they work for ack mc. Olly is a swamp creature with shady ties i cant go into here. You can believe that or not, your choice. The entire leadership of the nra is in deep poop because of wayne and company’s shitshow of mis handling the nra and malfeasance inmho for raising their own salaries and pensions. The statement that wayne was naive is another… Read more »

Will Flatt

The NRA, no doubt, needs to clean house. But it also needs to be more transparent, particularly to its membership. This house cleaning and transparency needs to happen RFN or else the NRA will go down in flames. LaPierre, Cox & Powell – at a minimum – need to go. Possibly more, but absent some transparency we won’t know how far the rot goes. The NRA needs to become a no-compromise gun rights group, like GOA, FPC, JPFO, and nearly all the others. People need to stop making lame excuses for NRA’s failure to perform and start demanding accountability. Needless… Read more »

och will

Returning to gun safety and marksmanship and hunting would be a good choice for the NRA however, it’s board and it’s members are dominantly right wing , conservative and frankly , angry. One look at any AmmoLand articles comments will reveal the extent to which the American gun lobby justifies the sale of deadly firearms meant to kill other human beings as efficiently as possible. Until NRA members force the group to turn away from fear and false patriotism propaganda aimed at selling more guns in a country with the worst gun violence rate per capita in the developed world?,… Read more »


“A meme that’s being increasingly parroted by the gun-grabbers as a way out is that NRA must “return to its sportsman’s roots.” Understand that this is being done by people who really do want to take your guns. Don’t think for a moment they’re saying this to be helpful, any more than Democrats urging Republicans to be more “centrist” are concerned with helping the Party regain appeal. Surrenders simply mean there will be fewer battles that the enemy (what do you think those who want to disarm you are?) will need to win.” Exhibit A: “Right wing, conservative and… angry,”… Read more »

Michael T Kennedy

This is not an honest post. You use all the leftist terminology.

“American gun lobby justifies the sale of deadly firearms meant to kill other human beings as efficiently as possible.”

This is nonsense. Firearms are deadly by design. Go back to the DNC and tell them to generate better talking points,

Get Out

USA isn’t even top ten och. Can you link your source for us?

BTW, can you tell us which AR semi-auto rifle you were issued in the Corps?


Go peddle your leftist trash somewhere else, och!


I have to agree with your post all the way down to where you say “however”. Safety and marksmanship would be a good mission for the NRA. However, it has allowed itself to be misconstrued as a gun rights organization when it actually does a very poor job of educating the public on our unalienable right to keep and bear arms. The NRA does not deserve the reputation of Second Amendment defender, of gun manufacturer lobby, of fostering a killer mentality, of so many things that are simply not true. It has become a bloated, incompetent, overreaching monster of imagined… Read more »


It’s not about hunting you idiot. It’s patriotism and there’s nothing false about it. You sound like a typical Democrat pussy.


Spoken like the anti-gun troll you’ve shown yourself to be on this site.


The NRA is destroying itself.


Correct – and the USA is committing slow suicide by not arresting and deporting the hostile civilian invaders whose only mission is to live off our taxes and from the proceeds of armed robbery. Civilian organizations like the NRA, JPFO, GOA SAF, etc. may be forced to field members to protect our nation.IIf these organizations fail, we will perish as a constitutional republic, and become a Third World s#it-hole.


And we are well down the road to sh*thole already. All societies have followed down the same, basic, 8 step(some expand it to nine) path. Slavery(usually called; bondage), to Moral Courage(since slaves haven’t much to lose, courage comes easier for them), to Liberty(which always follows since it is just not possible to enslave a man of courage with nothing to lose. He will just fight the ‘authorities’, with both fangs and claws, and everything else he can think of, forever. You might be able to kill him, at great cost, but not enslave him), to the abundance that liberty brings,… Read more »

Rocky Mountain

Can’t deport them due to the new USMCA that dissolved our borders with Mexico and Canada to create The North America Union of which The John Birch Society is throwing out the red flag on warning us what Trump just did by globalizing us into this deal. Border wall has always been a scam to create division. They would never close off their trafficking pipeline to the cost of Trillions (dope/humans) a year in profit. It’s why gov is so rich.

Mark Whiteman

I am not real sure what is going on inside the NRA. I hear a lot so-called inside information, but I can’t put a handle on what is really happening and how it potentially can affect gun owners. All myself and my friends want is the same platform and activities that brought us to the NRA many years ago. For months we heard how Oliver North was the savior of the NRA and in what less than a year he is The Devil and ousted. Members should be asking themselves and the NRA what in the hell are the Board… Read more »

Patrick Sharkey

The very organization that we trusted to protect our constitutional rights turns out to be part of the problem and just as corrupt as the swamp in Washington . Sad .

n r ringlee

I focus my giving, my time and my attention on my state level organizations: Arizona Rifle and Pistol Assn and the political wing the Arizona Citizens Defense League. AZCDL is the number one grass roots gun rights advocacy group in the country and we keep our legislature and congressional members in check. Grass roots is where the rubber meets the road. get to every gun show, sporting event and large public events and advocate. Talk with people, tell our story and do so face to face. This article is spot on as to what NRA has to do to extract… Read more »

Chris Johnson

The NRA is the gorilla we want on our side.
Keep voting for the side of freedom and truth and we will prevail.
However, donate to second amendment foundation too

och will

The NRA is a gun industry front. It’s “constitutional” arguments are all designed to sell more guns and ammo. Period

Get Out

The NRA doesn’t have to say anything och, you anti-gunners sell more guns and ammo with your ban everything gun related mantra. Click on the ammunition page up top and check out the great deals on ammo and standard size magazines.


The Constitution does not give us rights, rights are inherent. 262 million innocent men women and children were murdered by their own government in the 20th Century. Not one of those depots allowed their subjects/slaves to own firearms. Here in the US the government ran experiments on blacks, had internment camps during WW2, still has remnants of concentration camps for native Americans. NO government is immune from abusing its people. This is why the founders saw fit to put in the Bill of Rights that the government is NOT allowed to make any laws regarding rights any right! Read the… Read more »

Rocky Mountain

Spot on though you forgot to state our FEMA camps. I live by one of those old internment camps and it’s still there with people living there on site. I have Korean family members through relationships and they talk about the camps so people better get off that Koolaid and wake up to the history of facts. Hillary did not mention camps because she is stupid. She stated it because they’re real and if you don’t think so then you’re too far gone to save. Trump activated the camps with executive order about a year and a half ago. Patriot… Read more »

Dr. Strangelove

Yes, I’m a life member, but all of my donations are going to SAF and GOA lately.

Greg K

Yep, the “Bills of Attainder” (bumpstocks), “Ex Post Facto” (so numerous it’s obvious), and “Titles of Nobility” (any agency that can make up regulations to perform “Bills of Attainder on a whim) are pilling up fast. Great Article!


Good article.

Rocky Mountain

NRA needs to stop giving up our rights and assume the position that ALL gun control is illegal and 2A is every Americans right not just those who the NRA approves of that are on the cowboys asset column. 2A does not require being listed in his asset column. That 2A is the only required permit and registration being supreme as it clearly is. That self defense is derived from God that no man or gov can take it otherwise they can go down in a ball of flames while I laugh. Somebody quick, go send them a fresh copy… Read more »

Och will

Gun safety laws work. States with stricter gun safety laws have lower gun violence rates per capita. America has the worst per capita gun violence rate in the developed world AND the most guns per capita. See a correlation ? No??? How crazy are you.


you are more than welcome to move to your utopia gun law area of Chicago, in the meantime spare us your version of the so-called facts.

Greg K

Exactly Rocktop! Seattle had one of the lowest per 100,000 gun crime rates in the nation. Here in WA we are a shall issue state, but from what I’m reading “Crimes (action word; verb) with a gun (noun; in this case object without willpower) has increased significantly in the Seattle region since Fergusen and his merry minion gun controllers have done their personal evil.


Please provide us with a list of the crimes prevented by gun laws or any other law for that matter? Is not murder against the law and we know that has now ended with a law making it illegal! Criminals don’t obey laws by their nature! How many photos have you seen of criminals turning in or destroying their bump stocks? MFool that you are?


You, my non-friend, are an idiot…we have strict gun laws…the worst of them in place where MOST of the gun violence occurs…CA, NOLA, Chicago, NY, DC… you see a trend, or just spouting rhetoric? You are just a pussy lib repeating what they say…Do some research on your own and discover the real facts..


New Orleans LA (NOLA) does not have strict gun laws. With possibly a couple of exceptions, it is subject to the same Louisiana laws as everyone else in the state. Louisiana gun laws are not very restrictive. Additionally, NOLA has the typical big city, minority-run, corrupt, dysfunctional, administration one sees in Chicago, Detroit, etc. that exacerbates the violence. The NOLA violence is a societal issue, not a gun issue.


No they don’t.


You’re a lying sack of horse crap, och. We’re not even in the top 100.

Get Out

Maybe there should be more GFZ signs posted everywhere…. wait…wait…nope those signs attract POS cowards don’t they? Ever wonder what would happen if the current gun laws were enforced och instead of implementing more unenforceable knee-jerk laws?

Wow, wrong again, number 11.

Richard L

You are a LIAR

Wild Bill

L, Yes, he is a liar … a paid liar. He gets paid per response. And many of us responded. Ergo, he will be back with more outrageous lies … trolling for responses.


I hate to use the obvious, but I live outside Chicago and get the daily shooting/death totals. IL has some of the most restrictive gun laws that violate numerous rights enumerated in Bill of Rights/Constitution. People who do bad things exist and do not get their guns legally (that’s a bad/illegal thing). It’s way simpler than you continue to try and make it. Telling your lie long enough and loud enough still doesn’t make it truth.


“States with stricter gun safety laws have lower gun violence rates per capita” Um, no. The exact opposite is true. John Lott proved that decades ago. As far as “gun violence”, we rank not even in the top 25, and if you removed the 5 most crime ridden counties in the nation, which happen to all have very restrictive gun laws, if not bans in most, we don’t even make the top 200. The evidence is out there if you’re willing to look at it. gunfactsorg would be a great place for you to start searching for the truth. Best… Read more »


Where are you getting this “worst per capita gun violence rate in the developed world” information from?!?! The only, and I mean the ONLY, sources for such blatantly biased and patently false data are the liberal loonie mainstream media who still use Adam Lankfords study as their empirical evidence. His Crime Prevention Research Center studies’ “data” and sources have been verified as disingenuously massaged, added to, omitted from, and nothing more than a false propaganda narrative aimed at simpletons, to push the agenda of a gun ban. However, even after this, people like you revel in your willful cognitive dissonance,… Read more »

Rocky Mountain

“Gun violence” a lie known as Koolaid and you are a lefty anti gunner from the rubber gun squad. Probably FBISIS.
We don’t drink your Koolaid, it is toxic brew.
We support arming up to stop violence not down. Arming down creates victims as intended by gun control fake laws and lies. To use the Koolaid term gun violence is a dead giveaway to your authoritarianism lefty communist agenda. You are busted!


Och, how crazy are you? Your “facts” are all wrong.

Gary Lankford


Life Member and Benefactor, now withholding support and waiting…


Glad i quit wasting money supporting lavish lifestyles at the nra.
When they seem to support red flag laws and went to the president begging to bann bumpstocks i seen enough


David Codrea – this is spot on. Thank you for summing it all up in a concise manner.