Newsmax is out with a listicle of their 100 Most Influential Pro-Gun Rights Advocates. These things are always arbitrary (and designed to provoke outrage). Lots of those who made the cut are no-brainers for inclusion: Wayne LaPierre, Larry Pratt, David Keene, Dudley Brown. Some on the list are more than a little questionable: Donald Trump (at number 3)? Tom Brokaw? Whoopi Goldberg? George Zimmerman? And how the hell do you put together a list of the most influential RKBA defenders that doesn’t include the Second Amendment Foundation’s head honcho, Alan Gottlieb? Or attorney Alan Gura? Who do you think was most egregiously left off the list? Who shouldn’t be there at all?

74 Responses to Question of the Day: Who’s On Your Gun Rights Top 100 List?

  1. Daniel – I too was saddened to see the list did not include the Alan’s. And what about our Robert? How dare they? But, O should get an honorary mention. No one in recent memory, that I can think of, has motivated so many, to work so hard, and buy so much.

    • “Buy so much” really cool tools of freedom.

      Amen Brother. The ringing bell of freedom has not gone completely silent in the kind of land of the free and home of some of the brave.

  2. Given that this is the most popular gun site I know of, I should think everyone who runs it should be on the list. That’s right, enjoy that ego massage…

    • Yeah, really great spokesman we have in Ice-T. Former drug dealer, car stereo thief and pimp who wrote the song “Cop Killer”.

      As he puts it: “I’m not really into the Second Amendment,” Ice explains. “I’m not really truly into the Constitution if you really want to know. On the same piece of paper that says you have the right to bear arms, it also says you have the right to own black people…There were insane people signing that piece of paper so the whole damn thing should be void.”

      “If you’ve got a gun, I want a gun,” Ice believes. “Considering the fact this country is infested with them, I want one too. Whether it’s the right wing, the left wing, the crazy cult members, the criminals, the bad guys, the good guys, I don’t see why I shouldn’t have a pistol in my dresser just in case somebody comes kicking in my door. I’m not going to attack them with a butter knife.”

      http://thegrio.com/2013/07/10/ice-t-reflects-on-past-as-pimp-and-gun-control-i-want-a-gun/

      • Despite his ignorance on the Constitution isn’t his justification of owning a gun the same as ours. So he skips the whole bill of rights or the rights justified by nature philosophy and goes straight to the self defense argument that someone else has one why not me.

  3. Larry Pratt biggest accomplishment in the gun rights arena is complaining about the NRA.

    I am not aware of a single law, or issue that GOA can brand is they got passed.

    Missing from the list are leaders from SAF, and Cal Guns.

  4. That list is a touch wonky. George Zimmerman?
    For all that Emily Miller went through she should be in the top ten. Not 96.
    And last I knew Glenn Beck was a Fudd of the first order with his irrational fear of Constitutional carry.

  5. Some people are on that list for no more reason than they happen to own guns and enjoy shooting them. Some may even have made a stray comment favoring firearms at some point. That’s not advocacy, let alone top 100 advocacy. Even O in his Mom jeans was takes the occasional shotgun photo op.

    I can name a minimum twenty regular contributors to TTAG, plus the TTAG team itself, who are more influential and consequential in the firearms freedom movement than some of those on this list. That said, the list did include a lot of the majors.

    Still, it seems to me to have been compiled by a summer intern doing a perfunctory LexisNexis search, than by a real journalist well familiar with the subject.

    • Amen to that! He’s also good a bullying CO congress into not accepting 2A compromises. 30rnds is better than 15, it’s just common sense. Take it back one step at a time

    • If you’re going to brown-nose, Dan Z. is ‘The Man’ to nose…

      Hey, Dan Z. – Thanks for the Henry hat!

      Why do you use Amazon for shipping?

  6. Sounds like a challenge for TTAG:

    What is this site’s top 100 (EXTERNAL) most influential for gun rights – individual and orgs? Might become a good annual list…

  7. How about we publish our own list and submit it to a conservative new source to counter the Libtard press version ?

  8. Don’t forget Don B. Kates. You could say that he started the modern 2nd Amendment movement in the courts and law schools.

  9. I smelt clickbait at Brokaw and Spielberg, both of whom are guns-for-me-not-for-thee types, with Brokaw being a Fudd, and if it s true Spielberg owns machine guns, then he’s just plain elitist.

    My nomination for first: Anyone and everyone who’s taken time to teach others how to shoot, taken them shooting, or become a certified instructor. For every lawyer or intellectual who has bee important in securing our gun-rights future, there is someone spreading the good word who is just as important.

    Also, Clayton Cramer. He is a boss.

    • Clayton’s take-down of Bellesiles’s Arming America was a thing of beauty. Rarely do you see an academic taken down so thoroughly and completely. Clayton’s take down came with attending consequences for future gun rights/law discussion with academics spelled out for future frauds: “We have some rather smart people among our ranks, and we will root out your academic fraud and take you down.”

      Until that point, there were papers heaped upon papers with statistical and factual fraud being published on gun rights and gun use every year, racking up cites and stats on their side. Now the academic fraud has slacked off quite a bit from what we saw in the 90’s on this topic – mostly because of the consequences of Clayton’s take-down of Bellesiles.

      • +1. The more I read the history of the gun rights movement, the more grateful I am to the guys like Cramer, and the other legal scholars working in the wilderness, some hosted at places like CATO or elsewhere patiently growing talent like Gura, Michel, and Kilmer.

        Remember also others who self-support their platform for ideas, like Volokh and partners, Prof Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, Power line, and of course Prof Reynolds at PJ Media.

  10. The late Aaron Zelman, founder of JPFO (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership).
    Author of
    Gun Control: Gateway to Tyranny
    Death by Gun Control: The Human Cost of Victim Disarmament
    Gran’pa Jack series including
    Gran’pa Jack exposes – Gun Control is Racist

  11. Ultimately, the work Alan Gura has done is having the widest and deepest impact. There’s no doubt in my mind that Mr. Gura has changed the argument over gun rights rather than just gun laws more than anyone else on that list, and since the list is about gun rights, I’m putting Alan Gura at the very top.

    Somewhere in the top 10 there needs to be mention of such people as Don Kates, Sanford Levinson, Joyce Lee Malcom, Dave Kopel and others who were engaged in the intellectual fight in law journals before it was as fashionable as it is now. Sanford Levinson’s article “The Embarrassing Second Amendment” in the Yale Law Journal had an impact in that day which is very difficult for people who have come later to the issue to appreciate. Don Kates’ work in the field also dates back to the time when he was sticking his neck out in academic circles for his opinions.

    All of these people I’ve mentioned help lay the groundwork for Alan Gura’s case, and in fact Mr. Gura set up and executed the Heller case exactly as Don Kates had recommended back in the early 90’s.

    • Thank you, Dys. I am an OFWG noob to guns, trying to learn, and deeply appreciate your words of wisdom, as others have noted, here at TTAG. I am reminded of the saying, we stand on the shoulders of giants, who have gone before us.

      I see TTAG as one of those handful of sites where a respectful (if rambunctious) community learns together, and concur the next generation, the Millenial POTG is smart and savvy, and learning fast if they want to make a difference to retain their individual civil rights.

      Three books that have filled in some of my gaps, in understanding references like yours, are:

      OverRuled, by Damon Root.
      Gun Fight, by Adam Winkler
      The Rise of the AntiMedia, by Prof Patrick.

      All available on Amazon as ebooks, total less than $30, and worth the time.

      Any others?

    • Made me almost want to hold back my dues . Whoopi ed dup ed do . If I ever look down on you , I’ll pull out my gun , and not just for fun , to blow out my brains , boohoo .

  12. Charleston MF-ing Heston. What a man, an American.

    Fighting for civil rights (all of ’em, for everyone) before it was cool.

  13. Mary Hayes Founder of The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network deserves a spot on the list near the top.

  14. Kind of one off logic but Father Greg Boyle and his Homeboy Industries and the mantra ‘Nothing stops a bullet like a Job.’

    • Just curious. Has Michulek done any gun rights activism? He’s an awesome shooter (and I nominate myself for understatement of the year award), but this is a list of top activists.

      If he has done something I don’t know about, I’d like to know.

  15. Robert Crook of CTSportsmen. One of the more effective 2A representatives in my hopefully-soon-to-be-former state of residence.

    He isn’t excessively partisan on non-outdoors related things, doesn’t oversimplify bills in congress and whatnot but provides helpful explanations, and isn’t a nuisance in his newsletter.

    • Also, forgot to mention Dave Kopel and Eugene Volokh on the Volokh Conspiracy. Give great legal analysis of firearms law-related news incidents.

  16. Trump is actually very very pro 2a, as is his son Don Jr.
    I think you’ll be surprised if he makes it to debates when the topic of gun control pops up.

  17. You guys have a short memory when it comes to Trump. He wrote in a book that he was for the AWB, etc. and he backpedaled recently. It was written up here in TTAG.

    Anybody?

    • I guess I should read all the comments before I make a comment , yours was only two down , mega dido’s ,
      I believe you are absolutely correct .
      He really needs to clarify this one . I wouldn’t vote for him anyway , the presidency has too much power now for someone like Trump . We need a president that will roll back power to congress . Crews or Paul . I like Walker but the same goes for him , I really favor a constitutional candidate . Ted Crews stands above all the rest in this category .

  18. I say this every time this comes up. Alan Gura is a modern day superhero to the world of gun rights.

    That man has advanced our cause 50 years and saved our collective butts on more than one occation.

    Listening to him banter with the justices in the Heller decision was almost magic in my book.

  19. TOP 10

    I know Alan Gura and Clark Neily, III and know of Bob Levy of the Cato Institute (a non-gun owner). They should all three be in the top 10 influential gun rights people of all time.

    They had to fight Washington, D.C., the N.R.A. that tried to talk them out of filing the Heller Case them filed a competing case in order to try to get Heller kicked out. When Heller was accept by SCOTUS, the N.R.A. tried to get Bob Levy to get rid of the legal team (who had been doing all the heaving lifting for two years) and move in the NRA.’s team. But Bob Levy believes in dancing with the one that brought you, so he stuck with his legal team. Had Alan Gura’s strategy not been followed before SCOTUS in Heller, our side would not have prevailed.

    Then came McDonald v. Chicago and we had a home run . The 2nd Amendment was incorporated against the states That is the Holy Grail. Alan had the vision to understand that the law was shifting and we wanted the case law made by a decent, hard working grandfather like Otis McDonald and not by a crack head convenience store robber.

    I am a NRA Life Member and an NRA Firearms Instructor. They are good lobbyist. Stay away from the litigation.

    Add to the top 10 list Alan Gottlieb with the 2nd Amendment Foundation who helps fund many of Alan’s cases. Also, add the late Otis McDonald and Dick Heller. I am sure they suffered some adversity for being the lead plaintiff’s in these cases. The these case are IT was the past 25 maybe 50 years.

    Add Dr. John Lott to the list, he gives many of us, like myself who debate left wing Constitutional Law professors to “ammunition” to kill them with facts.

    I will put David Kopel and Clayton Cramer there for churning out law reviews the past 20 years that set the stage for Heller and McDonald.

    I will also put Tom Gresham there for GunTalk, his gun radio talk show that brought information to the masses.

    People like Larry Pratt and Ted Nugent are fun to watch but really don’t accomplish much, but a hell of a lot more that Donald Trump and Whophi Goldberg

    I would have to put President Obama on the list for galvanizing the gun rights movement.

    In the hall of shame still are many of the hunter sportsman types. They see no need for whatever kind of gun you have even though I see no need for their $22,000 shotgun But I say if they have the bucks to buy it, go ahead. They say, our guns have no sporting use and are used by wackos, why not ban them.

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