Historically, we have reserved our newsletter, The Hard Corps Report, to only our paid subscribers, but this issue covers important NRA news and plans, that are critical for every NRA member to see.
Feel free to share this among your fellow NRA members as we prepare for the NRA Annual Meeting of Members in Houston, Texas, May 28.
Frank is the only person on the ballot who has consistently called for and worked toward, full accountability on the part of the executives, staff, and Board. He introduced a resolution at the 2019 Members’ Meeting, calling for a vote of “No Confidence” in Wayne La’Pierre and his enablers on the Board, and he has introduced a similar resolution at each Members’ Meeting since.
While there are a few other candidates on the ballot that I like and think might do the right thing, given the right circumstances, Frank Tait is the only one that I’m sure will take a leading role in working for reform.
Bullet Vote Frank Tait
By casting a ballot with only Frank Tait’s name marked, it leverages that vote, improving the odds of Frank’s election, and reducing the chances that any votes I might cast for other candidates might help push Frank down in the overall rankings, costing him a seat.
Realistically, all but 2 of the candidates on the ballot this year will get seats. There are 30 candidates for 25 seats, but two additional seats have opened up recently, with the passing of long-time Director John Cushman of New York, and the resignation of Todd Rathner. Both of those seats will be filled from this slate of candidates, based on vote totals. Then at the Members’ Meeting in Houston in May, there will be an election for the 76th Director, from among the three candidates remaining.
The 25 regular seats being filled, are for 3-year terms. Cushman’s seat has, I believe, 2 years remaining on it, and Rathner’s seat comes back up next year. The 76th Director seat is a 1-year term, so it too will be up again next year.
Of course, all of this assumes that there will still be an NRA to have Board of Director elections after this year, which is not guaranteed by any means. New York Attorney General Letitia James has put together a very strong case against Wayne LaPierre and the Board that keeps reelecting him. She is pushing for the total dissolution of the Association, and that outcome is a real possibility. The case will be heard in a New York court, with a New York judge, because NRA was originally incorporated in New York, and despite some Directors over the years, pushing for the Association to move its charter to a more gun-friendly state, that has never been done.
The trial has been delayed, but is expected to take place toward the end of this year.
Some members of the Board of Directors have publicly declared that there’s “nothing to” the AG’s claims. They say this is just a politically-motivated hatchet job, by a gun-hating, NRA-hating political extremist, and that the NRA is going to skate through the trial with no trouble at all.
That’s a flat-out lie.
While it’s true that AG James is an NRA-hating, political extremist, and it is her hatred of guns and the NRA that motivated this suit, it’s also true that there have been serious problems at the top of the NRA.
Wayne LaPierre and his closest allies and advisors have been engaging in very shady and self-serving business practices, lining their own pockets at the expense of the NRA, its members, and its associated organizations, particularly the NRA Foundation.
Wayne LaPierre has admitted under oath, to at least a half-dozen actions that should have cost him his job, yet not only has the Board renewed his contract over and over again, in spite of full knowledge of these transgressions, the Executive Compensation Committee (comprised of the President and the two Board vice presidents) has increased his base salary and compensation package, and given him bonuses of $300,000 to $500,000 each year, for the past several years. And they’ve done this while major NRA programs have folded, NRA revenue has collapsed, and the majority of NRA staff has been laid off, while the remaining staff has had their pay cut drastically.
Anyone who tells you that there’s nothing to the allegations is either woefully misinformed and extremely gullible, or they’re intentionally lying to you. Those are the only two possibilities.
There are a much higher number of new candidates on the ballot this year. Typically there are at least 23 or 24 incumbents running for the 25 seats, but so many Directors have resigned, declined to run again, or were not renominated by the Nominating Committee, that this year, only 19 of the 30 candidates appear to be incumbents, and several of those are people who initially failed to be elected, but were later appointed to a seat as other Directors resigned from the Board. In fact, of the 25 Directors who were elected to 3-year seats in 2019, with terms expiring in 2022, only 15 are on the ballot this year, while 10 of 25 either resigned or were not renominated.
It’s unlikely that Frank Tait will be able to affect real change on the Board, but better to have him there fighting on the inside, along with Judge Phil Journey, the only current member of the Board willing to publicly criticize LaPierre and the current regime.
There is supposed to be a Members’ Meeting in Houston on May 28, 2022, so we’re gearing up to get as many angry and frustrated members there as possible, to try and wake the majority of this Board from their current comatose state. I hope to see you there – if they don’t figure out a way to cancel and reschedule it again, as they did in ‘20 and ‘21.
Until then, please vote for Frank Tait, and urge your friends to do likewise.
And whatever you do, don’t give any votes to the LaPierre loyalists who keep defending him, especially past Presidents and current officers like Willes Lee, Marion Hammer, Ron Schmeits, Sandy Froman, and Jim Porter. They’re all almost certainly going to win seats, but having them come out low in the polling might send a message.
Tombstone, AZ -(Ammoland.com)- The police killing of Amir Locke while executing a warrant in Minneapolis, has once again drawn attention to the dangerous and often deadly use of violent surprise tactics in the service of search and arrest warrants. While the common refrain is a call-to-end use of “no-knock” warrants, those are not the only warrants that are a problem. Some warrants authorize police to breach the door directly after knocking or announcing. Too often a warrant that authorizes “dynamic entry” creates more problems than it solves – for both police and the public.
Few details are available in the case of Amir Locke beyond the badge cam videos, but the basics are clear. Using a key from management, police quietly entered the apartment of Locke’s cousin to serve a warrant in a homicide case. The cousin was absent, but Locke, who was visiting, was asleep on the couch.
As officers entered, they began yelling their typical litany of contradictory commands:
“Police – Warrant!”
“Get on the Ground!”
“Show your hands!”
…and so on, and kicked the couch where Locke was sleeping, the 22-year old emerged from beneath a blanket with a pistol in his right hand. At this point, an officer fired several shots, killing him.
The shooting was probably justifiable from the officer’s viewpoint, as he perceived the threat of a gun, but Locke was probably startled and confused, and also justified in grabbing a gun at the violent invasion.
Had Locke been in a less helpless position and somehow been able to fire at masked men coming into the apartment and rousting him from his sleep, there is ample precedent for a finding of self-defense. A dynamic entry puts the rights of the officers and the right of occupants of a home in direct conflict resulting in a situation where both sides can claim a justifiable use of deadly force.
In other words, a raid can create a free-fire zone. Also, for the record, it is not at all uncommon for criminal home invaders and drug rip-off crews to impersonate police as they are assaulting a home.
As mentioned, Locke was not a resident of the apartment, nor was he named in the warrant. Conflicting statements have come out regarding his possession of the pistol, but the consensus is that it was legally owned by Locke and that he might have had a concealed carry permit. Regardless of other details, unless Locke was a “prohibited person” under federal or state law – which it appears he was not – then his possession of a handgun in a home would be completely legal.
The police request for a “no-knock” warrant has not been published, and the reasoning for the alleged demand for one has not been made clear. A 17-year old cousin, brother to the tenant of the apartment where Locke was killed, was later arrested in connection with a January 10 homicide. That cousin lived in a different apartment in the same building but was known to frequent his older brother’s apartment, so police had warrants for both apartments.
The teen cousin is on probation for a previous shooting, raising questions about the efficacy of the Minneapolis justice system?
Protests calling for a ban on the use of “no-knock” warrants, erupted in Minneapolis as news of the killing spread. Of course, Minneapolis was the epicenter of the 2020 protests and riots after the death of George Floyd. During those protests, which went international, another name was frequently mentioned, that of Breonna Taylor, who, like Amir Locke, was killed by police serving a warrant regarding someone else.
Locke and Taylor are just the most prominent, recent examples among many around the country, several of which I have written about in the past. At about the same time that Breonna Taylor was killed, a 21-year old man named Duncan Lemp was also killed by police executing a “no-knock” warrant in Maryland. Lemp was the target of the warrant, based on suspicion that he might possess an illegal rifle. Not that there was any indication that he had, or intended to use the rifle in a crime, just that he was thought to be in possession of one that has been banned in Maryland.
Unlike the Amir Locke case, there is no body-cam footage of the incident, apparently because the police union demanded exemption from body-cam requirements during SWAT raids. Officials said this policy would be revised. They have also never released the name or record of the officer who actually pulled the trigger. A subsequent investigation (by the police) cleared the police of any wrongdoing.
The main difference between the killing of Breonna Taylor and Duncan Lemp, is that Lemp was a Caucasian from an upper-middle-class family, and an outspoken constitutionalist, while Taylor was Black and working class. Police killing a “rich White kid” did not feed the current narrative, so coverage of Lemp’s case never gained traction outside of “right-wing” circles. Had Duncan Lemp been a Black man, you can bet that his killing would have been headline news, and protests would have ensued. But that’s a discussion for a different time.
The key takeaway right now from these tragedies is not about race. It’s about critically flawed police procedures, and the lack of accountability, both for police who carry out the flawed raids, and the judges who authorize them.
It needs to be said that my default position is to support the police. Members of my family and several close friends have served and currently serve in law enforcement ranging from patrol officer to county sheriff to federal agent. No small part of my opposition to reckless warrant service stems from a concern for officer safety. As pointed out above, under Castle Doctrine rules, an officer serving a warrant in a dynamic entry can face an armed homeowner who can justify use of deadly force. Until a homeowner can verify that the people attacking him are law enforcement officers with a duly sworn warrant, he is under no obligation to allow them entry into his home.
Unfortunately, the number of “dynamic entries” is rising. According to Professor Peter Kraska, of Eastern Kentucky University, the number of “no-knock” and “quick-knock,” SWAT-style raids for serving warrants nationwide, soared from around 3,000 per year in 1981, to over 60,000 per year today.
While I believe there are some very limited circumstances where a “no-knock” or “announce and enter,” or similar “dynamic entry” type of warrant can be justified, those circumstances should be limited to situations where speed is essential because innocent lives are at risk. The risk of destruction of evidence is a specious argument. Commercial quantities of drugs or other contraband won’t flush, and smaller quantities aren’t worth the trouble or the risk.
Tightening rules around dynamic entry warrants is not the best solution. History shows that police can be very creative at working around such restrictions, while still obeying the letter – if not the spirit – of the law. I believe that a better solution is to inject a healthy helping of accountability into the mix. Those requesting, authorizing, and executing warrants in a high-risk manner need to take on a share of the civil risk.
The police officer who swears out the warrant, the senior officer who signs off on it, the judge who issues the warrant, and the officers who execute it, all need to lose some or all of their qualified immunity if the raid goes sideways. Everyone in the legal chain trail of a warrant authorizing high-risk tactics should bear personal, legal liability for anything that goes wrong. If an innocent or a police officer is killed or injured, if the wrong house is hit, the wrong door kicked, or a dog killed unnecessarily, there must be a personal price to pay by everyone involved. If each individual involved has his own skin in the game it might focus minds more on the possible dangers and risks involved in kicking in doors in the middle of the night.
This isn’t a Black thing, a White thing, or a Blue thing. It’s a right and wrong thing. It’s also a Constitution thing.
The Fourth Amendment states:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
While an argument can be made that these warrants are issued “upon probable cause, supported by Oath,” it’s a safe bet that the framers wouldn’t consider battering rams and flash-bang grenades as “reasonable.” The vast majority of the time, there’s a better way, and police, judges, and prosecutors need to be motivated to find that better way, and stop these tragedies. The time has come for less adrenaline-charged tactics. What’s so urgent? Set a perimeter. Order pizza.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Over the past several years, there has been much reporting and speculation over the lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Leticia James calling for the dissolution of the National Rifle Association.
The New York suit is just one in a blizzard of lawsuits filed by or against the nation’s largest firearms organization. It has been perceived as the most significant, posing the greatest threat to the Association, but when all the cards are laid out, it may not be the most significant.
Concurrent with the NYAG’s suit against NRA and four of its former and current officers, the Attorney General of Washington, DC filed suit against the NRA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation created by the NRA to raise money and fund various educational projects and programs.
The suit claims that the Foundation’s board of directors – which consists primarily of members of the NRA Board of Directors – has been too subservient to NRA leadership, allowing funds from the Foundation to be inappropriately diverted from qualified, charitable purposes, into the general coffers of the NRA and the NRA’s political activities. Unlike the NY suit, the DC suit does not call for the dissolution of the Foundation, but rather calls for the Foundation’s board to be revamped and supervised to ensure monies are used only for qualified purposes, and that improperly disbursed funds be recouped.
Reading the DC suit, it doesn’t seem to be nearly as outrageous or unreasonable as the New York suit, but there’s a really big catch in that call for funds to be recouped. The DC suit claims that something in excess of $400 million dollars has been diverted from the Foundation to the NRA in recent years. If the DC suit is successful, and the court agrees with the DC AG’s assessment as to how much money has been improperly diverted to the NRA, it is quite likely that the Foundation would be forced to sue the NRA to recoup those funds.
If that happens, a win for the Foundation would bankrupt the NRA. And we’re not talking about a bogus, “We’re financially sound, but want to move to Texas” sort of bankruptcy, but a full-blown dissolution – empty the bank accounts, sell the building, auction off the furniture and fixtures, bankruptcy.
Perhaps the Foundation would be able to take over the building and the museum, then, over time, re-create the NRA and NRA-ILA as new organizations under the Foundation’s umbrella, but there are a lot of complications that would come into play, and the whole mess would take years, if not decades, to resolve.
There’s no telling how this might end up, but the potential clearly exists for the NRA Foundation to be forced to sue the NRA out of existence.
Both the New York suit and the DC suit have been delayed, and they’re both likely to be delayed even further in the coming months. The New York suit was supposed to enter the Discovery phase beginning next month, with a trial expected by May, but the judge recently granted NY a 90-day delay in prepping for discovery, so instead of that happening in February, March, and April, it is now scheduled for April, May, and June. The trial isn’t likely to start until November or December, and if it’s that late, might be pushed back to next year.
That’s assuming it happens at all. Some legal analysts we’ve spoken to suggest that, if NRA’s attorney, Bill Brewer, sticks with his standard game plan, the trial will be delayed as long as possible, while Brewer collects huge payments, and then he’ll tell them that they must try to negotiate a settlement. Given Letitia James’ visceral hatred of the NRA, the terms of a settlement are too scary to even contemplate.
Meanwhile, the DC suit has been muddling forward, with NRA winning a minor victory in December when the judge, in that case, dismissed two counts that specifically named the NRA as a co-defendant in the suit. How that impacts the overall case remains to be seen, and the victory could be short-lived since DC is fighting that ruling and a new judge has since been assigned to the case. The original judge was a G.H.W. Bush appointee who seemed relatively reasonable, but the new judge is a Barack Obama appointee who came up through the “social justice” ranks and is much more likely to have a chip on her shoulder regarding the NRA.
This case is also facing delays in the discovery phase, with the latest argument being over the protection of “proprietary” information that might come out in discovery. It appears that NRA and Foundation attorneys might have screwed up and failed to get an agreement to shield and protect the identities and personal information of Foundation donors. DC has filed a motion to have the agreement certified, which they and the NRA attorneys worked out, without the inclusion of a last-minute “donor protection” footnote that NRA attorneys tacked on after the negotiations were closed. If that doesn’t get settled in NRA’s favor, there could be some upset donors soon.
At this moment, the DC suit looks like it’s running about two months ahead of the New York suit. All of that could easily change as the cases move forward, but it creates the potential for the NRA Foundation to be filing suit against the NRA, right before the NRA goes to trial in the NY case. At best, that would be pretty poor optics for the Association, and at worst, it could potentially pull the financial rug right out from under the mother organization, just before the trial.
It’s all a complicated mess that is difficult to unravel, but the potential for total disaster is abundantly clear, even to a layman such as myself. And, of course, the saddest part of the whole mess is that it could have been completely avoided, had it not been for the greed and arrogance of NRA’s “leaders,” and the blind obedience of its docile Board.
Tombstone, Arizona – -(AmmoLand.com)- Kyle Rittenhouse, the young man who was attacked by rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and fought back, has been found Not Guilty on 5 counts of Murder and Attempted Murder. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that he was charged at all, and, most importantly, that so few people understand the significance of the case.
Most don’t understand why virtually all of the corporate media and all of the Twitter “blue check-mark” people continue to lie about the case and push a narrative that has already been proven to be patently false.
Many, including Kyle himself, have said that it wasn’t just Kyle Rittenhouse that was on trial, but the whole concept of self-defense. While that might be right to a degree, it falls far short of explaining why so many have gone so far in their efforts to paint Kyle as a “white supremacist vigilante bent on killing BLM protesters”, in spite of the overwhelming video and eyewitness evidence that he was the victim of an attack by multiple assailants, who was forced to defend himself, and who showed remarkable control and situational awareness as he did so.
The big reason for the continuing barrage of attacks and lies against Kyle Rittenhouse is that Kyle stepped out of the safe place, and challenged the officially-sanctioned chaos around him. By stepping up, he set an example of what is right, and what is worth doing.
Kyle’s example is directly opposed to the message that Kyle’s critics want to spread. They want it to be known in no uncertain terms, that anyone who stands up against their mobs or their agenda will be trampled underfoot and destroyed, whether by the mob, the “justice” system or by the media pundits and the court of “popular opinion.” Their hope was to manipulate or intimidate a jury into returning the verdict that they and their mobs demanded, but falling short of that, [although they came close] they will continue declaring lies about Kyle and his actions. In a continued effort to make his life as miserable as possible, and make others think again before stepping into the fray.
We’re in the midst of a revolution, and we’re losing.
We are at war. Leftist, socialist/communist operatives have taken control of trade and employee unions, the education system, the administrative state, the Democratic Party, and virtually all of corporate media.
The overriding message is that the U.S. is vile, corrupt, and beyond redemption, and anyone who does not agree with that assessment is a racist, sexist, homophobe, transphobe, neanderthal moron who deserves to be destroyed in every earthly dimension – legally, physically, emotionally, and financially. An important part of their message is that those who stand in support of their agenda, can act with virtual impunity to smash, destroy, burn, loot, and generally cause mayhem and destruction in the name of “social justice,” but anyone who dares oppose them, even a little, must be made to pay a heavy toll for their sins.
The reason I say that we’re losing, is because too many Americans have given in and been cowed by threats and social repercussions. We’ve learned to “keep our heads down,” “mind our own business,” and not to “stick our necks out.” In short, we’ve let our good manners, be used against us and allowed political correctness to nullify our basic rights.
Wake Up America!
The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse wasn’t about him, nor was it about self-defense. It was about not breaking the new social norms of allowing rioters to riot, allowing looters to loot, and standing idly by as a violent revolution unfolds around us – all while being told and meekly accepting that we’re the problem.
The prosecution and persecution of January 6th rioters and participants in the invasion of the Capitol, is another example. Kamala Harris and her staff, along with numerous members of the establishment media, politicians, and “woke,” urban “liberals,” donated bail money and moral support to rioters and looters who were arrested for violent acts during the “George Floyd Summer of Love,” and few of those rioters and looters faced any serious charges or jail time – this despite billions of dollars worth of property damage and more than 25 lives lost in those riots.
Compare that to the treatment of the people arrested in the wake of the January 6 invasion of the Capitol. There are people who were arrested in that bit of stupidity, who are still being held in jail, in solitary confinement, and in horrible conditions that are still awaiting trial. Political prisoners! Most of the charges against them are misdemeanor trespass and/or interfering with government operations, yet there these American citizens sit, in some of the worst conditions imaginable, denied bail as they one by one are allowed to offer contrite apologies along with their guilty pleas, and pay minor fines.
The point isn’t the violation of the law. The point is the refusal to go along with the establishment’s agenda. Refusal to obey the unwritten laws that have been adopted by the elitists in academia, politics, and most importantly, the establishment media.
A young man volunteering to help guard community businesses from destructive vandals, naively offering first-aide assistance to anyone who needed it, and putting out fires as they popped up, was painted as a white supremacist, a domestic terrorist, a racist murderer, etc. Not because any of that was true, but because he stood up and said “No” to the chaos and carnage, and when he was attacked, he fought back.
The new establishment will not tolerate that kind of resistance. Those who stand against the approved narrative must be punished to send a warning to anyone else who might dare to get in the way.
And this strategy is effective, at least initially, because there are only a limited number of people who are inclined to jump up and run into the conflict. Just as the most effective method for reducing violent crime, is to lock up those who are caught engaging in those types of crimes, the most effective way to reduce resistance to the regime, is to take out the people who actively resist. But this only works for a time, and only if the regime doesn’t push too hard.
When violent rioters under the banner of “Antifa” or “BLM”, began trashing college campuses and attacking conservatives – while the police were ordered to sit on their hands – it served as an invitation for angry conservatives to turn out to meet violence with violence. Those opposition forces were immediately painted as white supremacists and “right-wing extremists,” and undoubtedly some of them fit those labels. But most of the people who showed up at free speech rallies – designed and intended to invite counter-protests from Antifa-types – were just good Americans, tired of seeing thuggery and brutality excused and tolerated by politicians, police, and the establishment media.
As the protests and counter-protests became more violent, and racist and anti-American groups became more prominent in those events, (or so it appeared in the reporting of the establishment media), fewer regular Americans participated. They didn’t want to be associated with racists and anti-government groups, leaving the protests, and the participating organizations, to be more dominated by the more extreme members, eventually making the accusations of the media, less false than they were initially.
This is not an accident or a coincidence. This is intentional and coordinated.
A reporter can stand in front of a burning building, with gunshots going off all around him, and earnestly declare that the riot surrounding him is a “mostly peaceful protest,” with just a few people getting carried away or taking advantage of the situation to engage in violent or criminal behavior. Then a few months later, that same reporter and his fellow talking heads can just as earnestly declare that every one of the tens of thousands of people who attended the Trump rally or the protest at the Capitol on January 6th, is a rioter and violent insurrectionist.
There is not just a two-tiered legal system, where a Navy officer who inadvertently carries classified materials out of a secure building, is sentenced to prison and loses his job and pension, while Hillary Clinton diverts boatloads of classified materials to an unsecured, private email server and faces no legal sanctions at all. Or the acting President’s son lying on a firearm purchase form, but isn’t prosecuted.
There’s also a “Right Side – Wrong Side” aspect to the legal system. People on the right side of the political spectrum, with the “right side” being the far left, face little likelihood of prosecution, and minimal penalties, for heinous crimes, while persons on the wrong side of the political spectrum can expect to be hounded by the system, with the heaviest possible charges leveled against them, and the harshest possible penalties imposed.
This is part of the “shadow government” that aims to destroy our country. It’s not necessarily a vast, coordinated conspiracy. It’s more likely to just be a bunch of ideologues “living their truth” and believing that their noble ends justify any means necessary.
Don’t let them shut you down or back you up, because that’s their objective. The more people who publicly refuse to play their game, refuse to kowtow to their demands, refuse to remain silent to their abuses, the less control they have, and the more freedom we share.
They’ve been winning this secret fight for decades. Donald Trump disrupted it for 4 years, but also inadvertently accelerated it. Today it’s operating in full swing, but the leftists are overplaying their hand, and conservatives and constitutionalists are catching on and fighting back.
To be clear I am NOT advocating violence, [violence is what they want us to resort too] but I am calling out all digital warriors and truely peacfully protestors. Now is the time to rally.
Be part of the solution. Call out the double-standard. Point out the lies and distortions. Don’t be on any “side” except the side of liberty. And stand behind anyone who is persecuted for speaking the truth or standing up for what’s right.
We’re in the midst of a revolution, and we’ve been losing. Now is the time to turn that around.
Join with The Firearms Coalition as we fight to educate the public and our elected servants about their rights and their responsibilities. Subscribe to our newsletter, “The Hard Corps Report,” and share our articles and other media. Join us as we fight the lies and disinformation that’s destroying our nation. We can’t promise we’ll win, but we can promise that we’ll keep fighting, as we’ve been doing for almost 40 years.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- In his final, answering brief submitted to the US Supreme Court (embedded below, must-read) in the case of NY State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, attorney for the NYSRPA, Paul Clement makes a statement which I believe undermines his position and perpetuates the problematic attitudes that keep us fighting for our rights decade after decade.
It all boils down to the improper application of the word “allow.”
Regular readers of my columns already know what comes next, as this is a pet peeve of mine, which I come back to fairly frequently. Some will say I’m just arguing semantics or being too nit-picky, but words matter, and if we, defenders of rights, use the terminology of our opponents, the invaders of rights, we are ceding ground in advance of the fight.
In his scathing brief, [some say thorough takedown of New York] Clement answers the arguments put forward by New York State and the various “friends of the court” who have weighed in on New York’s behalf. He very effectively and systematically takes apart their arguments, exposing the hypocrisy, double-speak, and evasion of history and legal precedents in those arguments and the laws they defend.
But then Clement says this: “The state takes its revisionism so far as to claim there is no example in all Anglo American history of the carry rights petitioners seek. In fact, at least 43 states allow just that, while, as in Heller, only a few jurisdictions follow New York’s lead of presumptively denying a right that the Constitution guarantees to all…”
My complaint is that, if indeed “the Constitution guarantees to all,” this right, (which should be acknowledged to preexist the Constitution), then exercise of the right is not something which any state does, or can, “allow.” Those 43 states do not “allow” the exercise of the right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense. They recognize the right. They honor the right. They have laws that specifically avoid infringing on the right. But they most certainly don’t “allow” the exercise of the right.
Rights are not something that states “allow.” Rights are either recognized and respected, or they are infringed, suppressed, and violated.
Saying that states “allow” the exercise of the right to arms, is like saying that states “allow” the free exercise of religion, or that they “allow” citizens to read books of their choice. Taking the argument farther, it’s like saying that 43 states “allow” their citizens to breathe.
The word “allow” simply has no place in any discussion of rights, except as described below. Using the word as Clement did, is inaccurate, lazy, and undermines our position. By using the word “allow,” Clement, along with a broad swath of rights advocates and our media, is making a huge and false concession.
No one – no person or entity of government can “allow” something over which they have no legal authority.
I can’t “allow” my neighbors to watch TV or change their furniture. The city government can’t “allow” me to vote. And no one, not my neighbor, the city, county, state, or federal government, can “allow” me to exercise my God-given rights, including the right to protect myself and my family, and my right to the means to effectively do so.
Suggesting that anyone does have the authority to “allow” the exercise of our rights, also suggests that they have the authority to disallow the exercise of those same rights.
Rights are rights. If the government has the authority to forbid or “allow” an activity, then that activity is not a right, it’s a privilege. And any time anyone uses language that shifts activities from being rights to being privileges, they are diminishing those rights and offering support to the extremists who want to infringe on them. The only place the word “allow” has in any discussion of rights, is in the context of what the Constitution and we, the people, will allow the government to do that might interfere with or encroach upon our rights.
With all due respect to Mr. Clement, who many readers might recognize as the former Solicitor General who represented the government in their unsuccessful defense of DC’s unconstitutional gun bans in the Heller case, using the word “allow” in the context he did in his brief, is simply inexcusable.
Since leaving the office of Solicitor General, Clement has been the go-to attorney for the National Rifle Association in Supreme Court cases. That makes sense, as there’s no question that Mr. Clement knows his way around the law and the Court. As any good attorney will tell you, the attorney’s job is to represent the client to the best of their ability, regardless of their own feelings or interpretations of the law. As attorney for the government, Clement argued for the preservation of DC’s repressive and unconstitutional laws. Just two years later, as attorney for the NRA, Clement argued successfully for the application of the Heller decision to all states, under the “incorporation doctrine” of the Court, under the Fourteenth Amendment, in the case McDonald v. Chicago.
I believe Clement received more credit in that case than was really due him though, as the case was built and brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, and argued by Alan Gura, who was also the lead attorney for Heller. In the eleventh hour, the NRA petitioned for and received permission to join the McDonald case, and the 30 minutes for oral arguments was divided down the middle. With Gura first arguing that the Court should apply the Second Amendment to the states under a proper reading of the 13th Amendment, correcting over a century of bad precedents going back to the post-Civil War Court. Clement, in his turn, argued the more conservative line, calling for the Court to apply the Second Amendment as a fundamental right under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Because the Court chose to go with Clement’s remedy, rather than Gura’s, Clement was the one who got much of the credit, with some claiming that he “rescued” the case from Gura. I think that’s too generous to Clement, and far too dismissive of Gura. McDonald, like Heller, was Gura’s case. He put it together, led it through the courts, and convinced the Supreme Court to grant certiorari and hear the case. His push for the Court to reverse precedents, which virtually all constitutional scholars agree are erroneous and flawed, was worth trying. Gura knew that it was a long shot, so he had always taken a dual-pronged approach, arguing that the Court could either apply the Second Amendment to the states via a correct reading of the Thirteenth Amendment. Or they could take the less drastic route of accomplishing the same thing via the “incorporation doctrine” and the Fourteenth Amendment. Had the NRA and Clement not joined the case, Gura would certainly have argued both options during oral arguments – as he did in his briefs – and the Court would have reached the same conclusion they eventually did, via the “incorporation doctrine.”
Soon, the Court will deliver a ruling on New York’s oppressive rules regarding the issuance of concealed carry permits. Of course, the whole idea of requiring a permit to exercise a right is ludicrous on its face, but the legislative and judicial systems, along with a majority of the populous, have been living in a state of cognitive dissonance for decades. And for decades, those of us who understand the difference between a right and a privilege, have been trying to shine a light on the glaring inconsistencies and pushing for actual adherence to the Constitution and the natural laws recognized by the founders.
Attorney Clement is clearly a smart guy, and good at what he does. I fully expect him to be victorious in NYSRPA v. Bruen (New York), though it will be interesting to see just how far backward some of the Justices will bend, trying to avoid a declaration that the Second Amendment actually means what it says. I believe it is worth noting that, smart as he is, Mr. Clement could be more effective, if he would avoid using language that cedes ground without even putting up a fight.
Let’s stop allowing our language to support false assumptions about the nature of our rights.
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., v. Kevin P. Bruen, Reply Brief For Petitioners
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- As I watched my 7-year old grandson and his teammates fighting their way to another win in their “Coach Pitch” baseball league, my wife poked me for repeatedly yelling “The play’s at First,” or “Third,” or “Home,” depending on the loading of the bases at the moment. I guess this league has a strict rule against spectators “coaching” from the sidelines, and my wife was worried that I was going to be ejected from the game – again…
Well, there are no rules against coaching from the sidelines in US politics, so listen up GunVoters: The Play’s at First – Virginia!
I call it “First” because Virginia is one of only two states holding major elections this November, and the other state is New Jersey, where GunVoters are unlikely to have a significant impact. In Virginia, however, GunVoters could make all the difference. Virginia has a lot of gun owners, and gun owner rights have been under extreme assault in recent years, under Democratic Party control. This year, Governor Ralph “Black-Face” Northam is term-limited out, but former Governor Terry McAuliffe is back vying for another turn in the gubernatorial barrel, running against Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin has not said or done a lot to excite GunVoters and get them to the polls. He made some pro-rights comments during the primary, but hasn’t talked much about guns or gun laws since, and he’s refused to fill out candidate questionnaires from the National Rifle Association or the Virginia Citizens Defense League, resulting in neither group offering him an endorsement. That lack of endorsements from gun groups, has been used as a talking point by McAuliffe supporters hoping to dampen enthusiasm for Youngkin in rural Virginia.
We’ve seen this sort of stupidity from Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidates before.
It seems that their high-dollar, campaign consultants think guns are a “divisive” issue that should be steered away from. This losing strategy has helped defeat at least three Republican gubernatorial candidates over the past 15 years or so, and in one case, offending GunVoters almost certainly cost Republicans the seat. Meanwhile, GunVoters need to remember that McAullife received over $1 million in support from Mike Bloomberg during his last campaign, and was a champion of gun control, blocked only by pro-rights majorities in the State Assembly.
But Youngkin vs. McAuliffe is just the tip of the Virginia electoral iceberg. Lt. Governor candidate Winsome Sears, who happens to be an African American woman, has embraced gun rights as a key issue and is working hard for GunVoter support. A photo of her holding an AR-15-style rifle is being widely used by her opponents to try and paint her as some sort of radical.
Meanwhile, her Democratic opponent, Hala Ayala, is an avid supporter of the most extreme gun control laws. Ayala advocates for a total ban on private possession of modern sporting rifles, wants to ban the sale of firearm parts and things that firearm parts can be made from, such as blocks of aluminum and supports laws that would make it illegal for anyone in a household to possess a firearm, if anyone else in the household is a prohibited person.
The position of Lt. Governor is critically important right now because, like the US Senate, the Virginia Senate – which is not up for election this cycle – is almost evenly divided, and just as the US Senate breaks ties by getting a vote from the Vice President, the Virginia Senate breaks ties by getting a vote from the Lt. Governor. So, the Lt. Governor could be the deciding vote on critical legislation in the coming year.
Also on the ballot is Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, going for a third term in that office, against Republican challenger Jason Miyares. Herring has been active in his support for gun control, and other expansions of government power over the people. Miyares is a former prosecutor and member of the Virginia House of Delegates, with a solid record of support for gun owner rights. He’s received the endorsement of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
The AG’s office has a significant impact on Virginia gun owners. During his two terms in that office, Herring has offered new and unfavorable interpretations of Virginia gun laws and has chosen to aggressively prosecute gun owners who have inadvertently gotten tangled in gun control red tape. At the same time, Herring has been more sympathetic to actual criminals, refusing to prosecute, opposing federal assistance, and offering liberal plea deals. While he’s not gone full-woke crazy, like some AG’s in super-woke areas, he has demonstrated a willingness to use his office as a cudgel to promote his personal political ideology.
Along with these high-profile offices, every seat in the Virginia House of Delegates is up for election this cycle. In the previous cycle, Democrats got a free ride in over 100 races, with no Republican candidate to challenge them. That’s not happening this year, as Republicans have fielded candidates for every seat. Now it’s up to GunVoters to wake up, get their friends and neighbors involved, and get to the polls (or Post Office, as the case may be).
Anti-rights Democrats hold a slim majority in the Virginia House, so flipping just a few seats could make a huge difference in the state going forward. GunVoters must get involved though, and they could use help from their friends and neighbors in other states. If you don’t live in Virginia, but want to help, there are several ways you can do so.
You can donate to the VCDL PAC, or directly to candidates, and just as important, you can reach out to friends and family in Virginia and urge them to get involved and vote. Share this article with them and let them know that their vote matters.
Turnout for off-year elections is always much lower than it is in presidential election years. This means that the key to victory is a matter of just getting people to the polls.
Virginians should remember the outrageous raft of radical gun control legislation that Governor Northam and his slim Democratic majority tried to ram through at their first opportunity. The worst of their proposals were blocked by a few members of their own party who weren’t willing to go quite that far, but they still managed to get some significant restrictions passed, and they’ve never paid a price for those betrayals.
Now is the time to declare loud and clear that gun rights are human rights, and any politician who doesn’t understand that, needs to be retired.
Your vote, your dollars, your encouragement, your involvement… You can make a difference!
Take a moment right now to share this article with Virginia friends and friends who might have Virginia friends. Go to the VCDL PAC website or to a particular candidate’s website, and make a contribution. Do what you can do to send Joe Biden-supporting, gun control-advocating politicians packing. Time’s running out. Do it Now!
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The “leadership” of the National Rifle Association, are either thoroughly corrupt, delusional, or both. They held their Annual Meeting of Members on October 2nd, 2021, of this year, and the event was described by the new President of the Board of Directors, Charles Cotton as follows:
“The proceedings in Charlotte were an amazing celebration of NRA fellowship and freedom. Under the direction of Wayne LaPierre, the NRA is strong and secure – well-positioned to chart its course for the future.”
An “amazing celebration of NRA fellowship…”?
Cotton and LaPierre conspired to keep the meeting as sparsely attended as possible, moving the scheduled meeting from Houston to Charlotte, then not promoting it at all, and finally, setting up a ticketing service that reported the event as “sold out” almost as soon as the “tickets” were made available. Nothing about the meeting ever appeared in any of the NRA’s magazines, but they did, in a minimal nod toward technical compliance with New York law, publish two or three small notices in a local Fairfax, Virginia weekly newspaper. Information was belatedly added to the official website, in such a way as to be hard to find, then a few emails were sent out, but apparently only to relatively new Annual Members, who would be the least likely to be concerned about all of the accusations of financial chicanery in the Association, and who can’t even vote on most matters at a meeting.
In the end, the meeting room was only set up for between about 400 and 500 people, but counts by multiple attendees came in at between 120 and 140 people. That’s barely enough to comprise the 100-member quorum needed for a legal meeting. And almost half of those attendees were NRA Directors, many of whom were accompanied by their spouses, easily accounting for close to two-thirds of all attendees. Directors also got advance notice of the meeting and registration requirements, along with encouragement to bring friends and supporters.
With all of that, it was not at all surprising when a complex resolution from the floor by Director candidate Frank Tait, calling for a vote of “no confidence” against Wayne La’Pierre and others, and calling for their resignations, was blocked by a parliamentary move by Director Joel Friedman of California, with the support of 75% of the members present.
The meeting was an opportunity for NRA officers to pat themselves on the back and loudly proclaim that all is well, while the Association crashes down around them.
“Under the direction of Wayne LaPierre, the NRA is strong and secure – well-positioned to chart its course for the future.”
Seriously, what’s this guy smoking? Revenues are down dramatically. Membership is down dramatically. Influence on the Hill has all but disappeared. The headquarters building is mortgaged to the hilt and reported to be suffering from serious structural problems, particularly with the roof, which is reportedly leaking so badly that ceilings on the top floors have collapsed, forcing some offices to be relocated. Even Lloyds of London has refused to extend their liability insurance coverage for officers and directors. And the trial phase of the New York Attorney General’s suit against the NRA and its top executives is scheduled to begin in just a few more months.
Looting the National Firearms Museum’s Collection, True or False?
On top of all of that, there are now serious concerns about the state of the National Firearms Museum’s collection, and much of the concern is coming from the long-time Senior Curator of that museum, Doug Wicklund. I raised these concerns with several NRA Directors a couple of months ago, but unfortunately, those Directors who haven’t completely blocked me are on the outs with the “leadership,” and thus were unable to get any additional information. That means that rumors and speculation about the Museum and its vast collection of rare and unusual – not to mention extremely valuable – firearms remain just rumors and speculation. The fact that the former Senior Curator has been blocked from even setting foot in the museum he helped to design and build, even for a farewell photo, has him concerned about what they might be afraid he’ll see – or won’t see – among the exhibits. His concerns lend significant gravity to the rumors and speculation.
There have also been rumors and anonymous reports of NRA Directors and other “insiders,” cherry-picking through firearms that are donated to the NRA, prior to Museum staff having access to them, and before they go out to auction for benefit of the Association.
Obviously, not every firearm donated to the Museum is worthy of being retained in the collection, and many are auctioned off as a regular course of business. This is always explained to donors prior to the consummation of any gift agreement. But the objective is always supposed to be to honor the wishes of the donor and raise funds for the Museum and the Association at large. If NRA insiders are able to acquire items at discount prices prior to auctions, the Museum and the NRA lose out.
With their “secret” meeting in Charlotte, and their overwhelming reelection of Wayne LaPierre and election of Charles Cotton President and David Coy 2nd Vice President, the Board has made it abundantly clear that they are fully committed to the current course, regardless of the desires of the members, or the laws that they’re supposed to operate under. Both Cotton and Coy testified in the failed bankruptcy trial, to their own failures and abuse of the Audit Committee. They both admitted that they’ve not bothered to hold Wayne LaPierre accountable for his multiple, self-confessed breaches of the Bylaws and policies of the NRA, and instructed the outside auditors to ignore LaPierre’s activities as well. These were the two “leaders” primarily responsible for making sure the NRA and its employees stayed on the straight and narrow, and they have confessed under oath to abdicating that responsibility, with no justification for that failure other than to say that they “trust Wayne.” And the response of the Board of Directors to this dereliction of duty was to elect them to the highest offices of the Board.
I now believe that the NRA is a lost cause. The “leadership” has effectively shut out dissenting voices, ignored valid, serious concerns, promoted corruption and incompetence, and stifled member participation. They’ve blown off documented and self-admitted breaches of NRA policies and basic business practices, as well as clearly criminal activities, yet they continue to claim that they are stronger, healthier, and moving in the right direction, like never before.
It’s a tragic farce and it’s all going to come crashing down very soon.
At some point in the very near future, NRA’s $2 million-a-month attorney, Bill Brewer, will decide that there’s no more money for him to suck out of the Association, so he’ll call a special meeting to inform the Executive Committee that the evidence compiled by the NY AG is too strong and overwhelming and that the Association’s best course will be to try and settle the case. He’ll convince them to pay their last pennies to the state of New York to try and keep their “leaders” out of jail, and maintain some shadowy semblance of the great organization they once were. They might even have to agree to give up their tax-exempt status or be forced to refrain from any lobbying or political activity.
Or perhaps they’ll keep on their present course until the judge declares the organization to be totally corrupt and either dissolves it completely, as Attorney General James is demanding, or puts it into receivership pending a total reorganization.
Whatever the end result, you can be sure that the NRA as we’ve known it for the past 150 years, is gone, and it will be many more years – if ever – before it will again be a serious player in US politics.
The emperor and all of his courtiers are glibly marching into a New York courtroom stark naked. What’s worse, they know they’re naked, but their answer to their nakedness is to clamp their eyes tightly shut. Perhaps if the leaders of the various state associations were to work together to have a coherent voice, they could help prevent the coming collapse or at least be able to pick up some of the pieces, but most of them appear to have their eyes firmly shut as well.
What a sad state of affairs.
Even so, there is good news in the midst of the tragic demise of an organization that once changed history and saved the Second Amendment. The enemies of freedom will probably soon lose their biggest fundraising bugaboo. And yet, the Second Amendment itself is as healthy and as strongly defended as ever. Other smaller, more nimble, and scrappier groups have stepped into the breach. Namely the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Gun Owners of America (GOA). But those smaller teams will need support, both financially and from you, the greater Gun Lobby. Stormy days are coming. Be ready to do your part.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- You probably heard about the NRA’s big Annual Meeting and Exhibits scheduled for Houston, Texas on September 3-5 of this year. And you probably heard that those events were canceled just over a week before they were scheduled to begin!
All this was supposedly because exhibitors were afraid of COVID-19 Delta. But did you hear about the rescheduled NRA Annual Meeting of Members on October 2nd 2021, in Charlotte, North Carolina? If you did, congratulations! You’re paying attention! Unfortunately, most of the rest of the NRA membership isn’t really paying attention, and they either don’t know that the meeting is about to happen or don’t know that attendance will be limited, requiring preregistration, which I’ve been told was already maxed out over a week ago.
The October 2 2021 meeting date was only announced to NRA Directors on September 12, just 3 weeks before the event. According to “Wayback Machine” which tracks changes across the web, the NRAAM.org page announcing the cancellation appeared on August 25. On September 15 the Wayback Machine shows that the page changed to an announcement that “THE 2021 NRA ANNUAL MEETINGS & EXHIBITS HAS BEEN CANCELLED (sic) AND WILL NOT BE RESCHEDULED.”
That statement makes the following headline announcing that registration for the 2021 Annual Meeting is open, seem incongruent, and probably an artifact left over from the original Houston announcement. Only when you read the smaller print under that headline do you see mention of Charlotte and October 2.
Finally, on Wednesday, September 22, the website was changed so that it automatically forwarded visitors to a ticketing site offering registration for the Charlotte event. On Thursday, September 23, people were reporting that the event was “sold out,” with no more tickets available. Apparently, the room the NRA reserved for their Members’ Meeting, has a maximum capacity under COVID restrictions, of only a few hundred, and the lions share of the tickets were doled out in advance to Directors and their families and friends, just as happened with the Tucson meeting in 2020. Since it only requires 100 NRA members to constitute a quorum at a Members’ Meeting, that requirement can easily be met with just Directors and their spouses.
Of course, there was never any announcement about the Charlotte Meeting in any of the NRA magazines, but a few members have reported that they received an email letting them know about the meeting. Every one of the members who reported to me about receiving that email was an Annual Member who has not yet reached the 5 consecutive years of membership required to be vested with voting rights in the Association. Maybe that was just a coincidence?
Until just a few months ago, the NRA Bylaws required that information about the where and when of the Annual Meeting of Members – a business meeting that is required by law – must be published in at least two consecutive issues of the Official Journal of the NRA (the three or four pages of inside NRA information published toward the back of each of NRA’s magazines). That Bylaw fell by the wayside after the Association failed to meet that standard last year. After rescheduling and canceling the 2020 Annual Meeting several times, they finally settled on a short-notice, shoestring meeting at a hotel in Tucson. At a subsequent Board meeting, the Board changed the Bylaws, creating exceptions for the meeting requirement in extreme circumstances such as hurricanes or pandemics, and changing the meeting notice requirements.
Under the new Bylaws, the Association is just required to meet the minimum announcement requirements of the state in which the Association is incorporated – New York – which offers several options for alerting members to a meeting. The easiest and cheapest of those options is for the Association to publish an announcement at least once per week for three weeks prior to the scheduled meeting, in a newspaper in the local area of the Association’s primary business location. So the NRA, with some five million members nationwide, is only legally obligated to let those five million members know about their Annual Meeting of Members, by publishing a classified ad once per week for three weeks, in some local Fairfax, Virginia newspaper. But all indications are that they didn’t even bother to do that.
What can members do about the lack of notice of the meeting and the limited capacity of the meeting room? Sue? That would be just another opportunity for the current “leadership” to funnel even more member money into the pocket of the NRA’s $2 million per month attorney, Bill Brewer.
The obvious first question is, why was the original meeting canceled?
Even if exhibitors were uncomfortable with the idea of attending a huge trade show during a Delta variant surge in Texas, the Association could have canceled the exhibits and other ancillary events, retaining only the already planned Annual Meeting of Members and the subsequent Board of Directors’ meeting. That would have been the easiest option and one that would have avoided confusion while providing the best opportunity for NRA members to participate in their Association’s business. Not to mention guaranteeing that they were in compliance with the laws and their own Bylaws.
But of course, the NRA brass is not interested in members interfering – err excuse me – participating in the Association’s business, nor is there much evidence that they are worried to any great degree about adhering to the Bylaws, or the laws of the state of New York.
Instead, they canceled everything, then at the last minute quietly rolled out plans for the meeting to be held in Charlotte, leaving most members in the dark. On top of that, the location and venue they have selected are under masking and social-distancing mandates. Everyone who attends will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination or prior infection with COVID-19, and the number of attendees that will be allowed into the meeting room will be further limited by capacity restrictions. At last year’s Tucson meeting, Directors and their families and friends, comprised at least half, if not two-thirds, of the attendees in the main room. Some additional people were able to participate from overflow seating on a patio just outside the meeting room, with closed-circuit TV feeds, but few of those people stayed long in the Arizona sun.
I had hoped to see NRA members make a solid, loud, angry showing at the Members’ Meeting in Houston. After all, Houston NRA members formed the core of the Federation for NRA, which was the group behind the Cincinnati Revolt in 1977. Our plan was for the members to raise such a ruckus that they would wake up their derelict Directors to the destructive choices they’ve been making, and convince them to take major steps toward protecting the NRA. Major steps like replacing Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and Secretary Jon Frazer, both named defendants in the lawsuit filed by the state of New York, and reorganizing the leadership of the Board of Directors, taking power away from “leaders” who have blatantly lied to the Board and NRA members, and who have been complicit in allowing LaPierre and company to rape the Association while neglecting their core responsibilities.
At this point, I see no chance of the Board doing anything at all to mitigate the coming disaster. For the NRA “the worst is yet to come.”
The New York Attorney General’s Office has made it abundantly clear that they intend to push for nothing less than the complete dissolution of the NRA, and they have built a devastating case to support that objective. The judge in the case has made it clear that dissolution of the Association is absolutely on the table, and he’s signaled that some of the claims NRA’s “leadership” and high-priced attorneys have made about their “strong legal position,” amount to tissue paper shields.
In short, the NRA is in serious trouble.
The Houston meeting might have been the last flickering hope of mitigating the devastating outcome we all see looming. With the cancellation of the Houston meeting and the subsequent scheduling of a limited, masked, distanced, and no doubt sparsely-attended (not to mention, tightly controlled) meeting in Charlotte, I honestly believe the battle to save the NRA has been lost. NRA Director Phil Journey will be virtually alone as a voice of reason on the Board, after the Charlotte Members’ Meeting, and I expect another wave of resignations from the Board within days of the close of that meeting.
If you are an NRA Voting Member (Life or at least 5-years consecutive membership), and you live within reasonable driving distance of Charlotte, I encourage you to attend and do your best to make your NRA Directors see the cultish mindset that has consumed the Board. Demand answers to simple questions like; “Why was Wayne given a $500k bonus while donations were down, membership was stagnant, Carry Guard was crashing, budgets were being cut across all NRA programs, there were growing accusations of impropriety, and Wayne admitted to having received over $300k in excess compensation,” and “Why are we paying Bill Brewer millions of dollars each month?”
I encourage your attendance knowing full well that there will be little opportunity to accomplish anything meaningful or worthwhile at the Members’ Meeting in Charlotte, but I know that a few stalwarts will be there to wave the flag for a rational approach. Your participation would be appreciated. If you can’t get a “ticket,” don’t be deterred. I believe there will be a whole bunch of no-shows, providing an opportunity for others to attend.
I expect the meeting in Charlotte to go very much like the meeting in Tucson did, beginning with a video message from outgoing President Meadows, apologizing for her inability to attend, and praising the amazing accomplishments of our Dear Leader, Wayne LaPierre. Then First Vice President Charles Cotton will take charge of the meeting, praising Wayne, and declaring that nothing that touches on anything involved in any of the various lawsuits can be discussed during the meeting, even though virtually all of it is a public record already, through depositions and testimony in the various suits and the bankruptcy trial.
At that moment the members should rise up and demand that Cotton relinquish the gavel as being biased and having serious conflicts of interest, and have the Parliamentarian chair the meeting. That won’t happen, but it should. Of course, the Parliamentarian was hired by and is paid by the current “leadership,” but he has his public reputation, certifications, and career to consider.
From there, the meeting will go into reports of the officers, where they’ll tell you what a great job everyone is doing, and what great accomplishments are just around the corner. Then they’ll finally get to Resolutions, where a few “disgruntled members” will try to express their frustration with poorly worded and confusing resolutions calling for various unspecified actions, and other resolutions calling for “No Confidence” votes against LaPierre and other “leaders.” Each of these will be met by a phalanx of Directors rising to say that the whole thing is silly, that everything’s great, and Wayne’s the only one who can lead the Association out of the bottom of this deep well that Wayne and this Board have dug us into.
Then someone will call for adjournment and the meeting will close.
Later that same day, the Board will hold their meeting. The officers will again tell everyone how great everything is, the Nominating Committee will offer a slate of candidates for officer positions, led by Wayne LaPierre for Executive Vice President and Charles Cotton for President. Hopefully, Phil Journey will then rise to nominate alternate candidates. There will probably be some argument about the nominating process, and the Board might even go into Executive Session to try to hide the appearance of any dissent within the Board. There will then be some argument about the voting process, trying to avoid secret ballots, and finally, a vote will be taken, Wayne and company will be reelected, there will be an effort made to have the record reflect the vote as “unanimous,” and the meeting will quickly be wrapped up.
That’s my prediction. I’ll let you know how close I came, shortly after the meeting.
If you’re thinking of attending the Members’ Meeting in Charlotte, be sure to go to NRAAM.org and try to reserve your seat in the meeting. If you can’t get a “ticket,” go anyway. For the Tucson meeting, they told many people they couldn’t register because all of the tickets had been reserved, then when ticket-holders failed to show up, those people who had been turned away weren’t around to claim the open seats, leaving lots of empty chairs.
When it comes to Second Amendment advocacy groups, the NRA isn’t just the 300-pound gorilla, they are an aircraft carrier with all other groups being PT boats and dinghies. While the rest of the fleet is agile and quick, and sometimes able to lay down some serious, concentrated fire, none of them can do what the NRA can do, and not one of them is in a position to grow into that role. The NRA’s membership list alone is more valuable than all other 2A groups combined. We’ve seen how such a powerful organization is a two-edged sword, but not having them would be very difficult, so we need to try to save the Association, in spite of the foolish actions of the Board of Directors.
I think our last, meager hope will be a letter-writing campaign to the judge. I’ll keep you posted on that idea as things develop. Meanwhile, keep your powder dry, support your local grassroots organizations, and keep reading AmmoLand News.