Where NRA’s Next Executive Vice President Should Come From

Opinion by Virginia's Bob Sadtler
Editors Note: This op-ed now overlaps with breaking news that Chris Cox today resigned from the NRA-ILA.

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Where NRA's Next Executive Vice President Should Come From

Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- It has been very popular to vilify the NRA's Wayne LaPierre these days. I'm not a fan myself. However, it is not entirely fair to lay all wrongs at NRA at LaPierre's feet. A bit of history is helpful here.

On Wednesday, May 7th, 1986, then Executive Vice President Ray Arnett (Harlon Carter's single greatest mistake) summoned Public Education Director John Aquilino into his office. Arnett fired all 17 members of the Public Ed Division and gave them until noon to clear out. He then brought in Ackerman/McQueen, without bidding the work, and gave them the keys to the candy store.

(LaPierre was, at the time, “only” head of Federal)

Arnett let in more scandal later that year. LaPierre's boss at ILA, Warren Cassidy, succeeded Arnett. Cassidy “served” as EVP from 1986-1991, at which point, LaPierre took the top job…28 years ago! Talk about a need for term limits!

LaPierre is not the source of NRA's corruption, Arnett was. However, it is entirely fair to say that LaPierre is the greatest, ugliest SYMPTOM of that corruption. A swollen, ulcerated, pussing symptom, some might say. Ack/Mac has been enriching him since day one.

Many suggestions have been put forth to fix the NRA. So far, I like them all: Shrinking the Board, term limits, narrowing organizational focus, etc. However, I would like to see one additional protection: THE HEAD OF ILA SHOULD BE BARRED FROM TAKING THE TOP SLOT!

A lobbyist running the organization is a recipe for inaction and a conflict of interest. Think of it this way: Would you go to your boss and say, “Hey, I know how you can make my position totally irrelevant!” Of course, you wouldn't. Well, the lobbyists at ILA won't, either. The last thing that they ever want is to win the day for gun owners. They need a boogeyman, or better boogeymen, to “justify” their suckling at your teats.

The last two EVPs were both promoted from ILA. The results have been self-defeating and duplicitous. Let LaPierre be the last! Let the next (and all future) EVP come from Education or Conservation!


About Bob Sadtler

Bob Sadtler has been a Gun Owners' Lobbyist at the Virginia General Assembly since 2010. He has not yet bothered to renounce his Life Membership at NRA, but the day is young.

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    The RevelatorKurtRobert LypkaJamesn r ringlee Recent comment authors
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    Robert Lypka
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    Robert Lypka

    The NRA needs to be at the forefront of gun legislation as it has the numbers to get the attention of Congress. But it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have every other pro-gun group, range owner, gun shop owner standing shoulder to shoulder with us in every fight. Gun groups seem to be like many evangelical religious organizations. They have a limited budget but instead of telling another group who has been doing an outstanding job in a certain task, for ego reasons, has to have their name at the top of the page. For God’s sake, if another group has… Read more »

    The Revelator
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    The Revelator

    This Comment is for both you and James. The reason the NRA does not have more members is because it has spent a lot of time and perseverance on driving members away. It had nothing to do with the cost of dues or how “Friendly” the face of the headpiece was. The real root of the problem outside of the corruption has been the betrayals made by the NRA, betrayals like counseling Trump that a bump stock ban was ok(It’s unconstitutional), supporting Red Flag laws(Unconstitutional), the Fix NICS fiasco, attempts to dissuade and prevent Dick Heller from filing his suit,… Read more »

    James
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    James

    Several points need to be addressed. First, the NRA needs to be at the front of the gun control- gun banning push by politicians. I’ve read several posts saying “just write letters”, but most of the politicians won’t listen to you or me (or even meet with us in person), but will meet with and listen to the NRA. What we need is a friendly face for President of the NRA. How about Tom Selleck or Chuck Norris? Everybody likes them, Oliver North was not a good choice. Also, we need 10 or 20 million members in the NRA. Get… Read more »

    n r ringlee
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    n r ringlee

    Refocus the organization on education and shooing programs and leave the litigation to the people who do it best: 2AF, GOA, FPC. Get the focus back on training and education, focus on getting as many people to ranges under competent coaches and instructors as possible. Quadruple down on things like Women on Target and youth programs. That is the bread and butter for NRA. At the same time split the state affiliates. Here in Arizona we have both the Arizona Rifle and Pistol Association, NRA state affiliate and their focus is entirely on education and events. We have Arizona Citizens… Read more »

    Kurt
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    Kurt

    Absolutely I can’t agree more with you I have been trying to get that point across in N.Y. but a lot of egos get in the way one reason nys has such a anti problem is nys rifle and pistol wants complete control as an affiliate of the nra they feel superior and don’t have to seek other groups help I feel that the only way to defeat the antis is to band together taking help from all of like minded people’s and groups divide and conquer is their agenda and we can’t let them do that it’s how Cuomo… Read more »