Fairfax, Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- Enough is enough. The National Rifle Association’s Board of Directors needs to act to get things under control and to focus the organization’s energy and activities against major threats to our right to keep and bear arms instead of internal squabbles. The current legal fight and internal chaos have to be resolved immediately.
Just in the next few weeks, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is already pushing for a special session on gun control – and he intends to punish tens of thousands of people who had nothing to do with the Virginia Beach mass shooting. In four months, there will be new elections for the House of Delegates and State Senate, and those will come with new maps drawn up by an academic from California.
If Northam doesn’t get his anti-Second Amendment now, he could get it in 2020 if the 2019 legislative elections go badly for Second Amendment supporters. This would be a disaster. This is no time for internal squabbles. This is no time to settle scores or beefs from long ago, and if people bring more drama than results, then let’s get people who can end the drama.
I have already been on record as suggesting that Wayne LaPierre leaves as Executive Vice President after the 2020 election. But recent developments, including the suspension of NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox, now make some changes more necessary than ever. While LaPierre and Cox have past successes, the current drama, and the failure to see the new threats from corporations and social stigmatization that were part of the other side’s long game, including Andrew Cuomo's abuses of power rank as significant failures on their part, and in combination with the internal drama, and Wayne's lack of proper basic business management all warrant their replacement.
Who should replace Cox, who obviously no longer has the complete confidence of his superiors at NRA? Whoever it is should not be a lobbyist, but instead should probably have close ties to grassroots activists. With Cuomo's attacks tying up financial resources, having the activists on the ground will be more important than ever.
LaPierre’s replacement will also need to come sooner, rather than later.
At this point, this replacement should come from outside the NRA so as to have no connection with the current drama.
One very good choice would be former Interior Secretary and Representative Ryan Zinke. Zinke brings wide experience as a SEAL, a solid pro-Second Amendment record in Congress, and was very supportive of sportsmen as Secretary of the Interior. Given the propensity of anti-Second Amendment politicians and extremists to label the NRA as “domestic terrorists,” his service as a SEAL could help immunize against that.
One thing that should also change: Both the Executive Vice President and Executive Director of NRA-ILA are positions that require people who can immediately step in on an interim basis should there be a resignation, incapacitation, or removal. They can not be so personality driven/dependant.
Think about this: The NRA has for decades helped promote the safe and responsible exercise of our Second Amendment rights. There are some who like to deride the NRA as too eager to compromise, or as a bunch of “Fudds,” or even over its maintenance of museums and involvement in firearms instruction. That could not be further from the truth – those activities also help defend the Second Amendment.
The NRA's technical knowledge of today’s firearms helps Second Amendment supporters highlight the ignorance and fear-mongering from the likes of Bloomberg, Feinstein, Schumer, and Swalwell. The NRA's instruction in the safe and responsible exercise of our Second Amendment rights has greatly reduced the number of fatal firearms accidents, rendering a popular anti-gun talking point far less potent than it was. The museums help preserve the history of firearms development – again to show just how anti-Second Amendment extremists lie, especially about items like the puckle gun. Even the law enforcement training helps protect our rights, by showing cops that Second Amendment supporters support them and that the NRA is not the demon that the media, politicians, and some police executives claim it is.
The NRA must survive if the Second Amendment is to be preserved. Most other pro-Second Amendment organizations are very useful, but the NRA is singularly effective, both in drawing fire away from other groups and in using its power to hold the line in a number of crises. We have enough battles with the likes of Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Cuomo, Bloomberg, Feinstein, and Swalwell. Fighting among ourselves doesn’t help the Second Amendment; it only helps those who would take our rights away.
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.