Rotary International Treats Gun Owners Like Sex Offenders

Rotary International must have too many members, doing too much good for their communities. And they’re apparently bringing in far too much money. Why? Because RI’s leadership has decided that gun owners’ tainted money is no longer welcome in connection with Rotary Club activities.

Headquartered in Illinois, Rotary International’s board recently ruled that local chapters may not partner with gun companies. Nor may the locals work with civic-minded local gun shops to raise money. They’ve also prohibited gun raffles or gun store sponsorships for any local Rotary club events. As Larry Keane writes at the NSSF’s blog:

(I)t came as an unpleasant surprise to learn this week that the 18-member Rotary International (RI) board, which is responsible for setting policy governing all clubs and more than a million members worldwide, decided at its January meeting to address a “… lack of clarity around RI’s policy governing Rotary Clubs, districts, and other Rotary entities when participating in activities involving guns, weapons, and other armaments, and when interacting with gun companies, including for sponsorship purposes.”

The result was board adoption of “revisions to the Code of Policies” that will prevent local clubs from: transferring ownership of “weapons,” conducting or sponsoring gun shows, “accepting sponsorships from gun/weapons companies or stores,” allowing depiction of the Rotary logo in any visual that includes “weapons.”  There’s a bit more, but you get the picture.

The new ban will certainly limit the ability of the local clubs to raise funds to better their communities. Rotary International’s board apparently doesn’t care.

It’s not just the money, either. In today’s world, most service and civic organizations desperately need to expand their roster of active members. The new anti-gun policy will no doubt alienate a significant segment of law-abiding Americans who might otherwise participate or join.

Gun owners make up an ideal demographic that Rotary’s board should be courting. Gun owners tend to be wealthier and more productive, and certainly more law-abiding than the average citizen. Instead of welcoming gun owners with open arms, Rotary’s board has decided to treat us like registered sex offenders. That’s not exactly a recipe for growth or success. In fact, it’s a formula for decline and failure.

Time will tell. The Daily Caller has the release from the NSSF:

Rotary International Tells Clubs To Drop Their Guns

by Larry Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation

You see the signs as you drive into countless towns and smaller cities across the country. Sometimes as a single, stand-alone sign and sometimes as part of an assembly of the service organizations serving the community, the Rotary International logo is instantly recognizable. When you travel internationally, it is not unusual to see that logo signage in hotels where the local chapter meets with the day and time of the meeting posted for the benefit of traveling Rotarians.

Keeping our discussion to the United States, there is no question that the Rotary Clubs are part of the fabric of our civic life. The membership is made up of largely of business owners and executives of banks and local companies. Rotarians are part and parcel of their communities. They live there. They work there. They seek to make them better.

So, it came as an unpleasant surprise to learn this week that the 18-member Rotary International (RI) board, which is responsible for setting policy governing all clubs and more than a million members worldwide, decided at its January meeting to address a “… lack of clarity around RI’s policy governing Rotary Clubs, districts, and other Rotary entities when participating in activities involving guns, weapons, and other armaments, and when interacting with gun companies, including for sponsorship purposes.”

The result was board adoption of “revisions to the Code of Policies” that will prevent local clubs from: transferring ownership of “weapons,” conducting or sponsoring gun shows, “accepting sponsorships from gun/weapons companies or stores,” allowing depiction of the Rotary logo in any visual that includes “weapons.”  There’s a bit more, but you get the picture.

Clubs will still be allowed to conduct “sporting events that include guns,” such as turkey shoots, skeet shooting, and similar activities.  We can only imagine that the three Americans on the RI Board had to fight to preserve even that and who knows for how long.

The language from RI International reads like a UN resolution written by bureaucrats who really don’t know much about firearms and certainly not how Americans lawfully use them. Since we are not aware of any gun-running, “armaments” trafficking or the general promotion of weapons-related mayhem by the respectable membership of Rotary Clubs across the country, we can only surmise that the misinformed international leadership of RI must feel the need to correct what they see as abherent misbehavior by those unruly Americans.

Well, we have a different view of firearms here and are proud of our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms and to participate in the various shooting sports. And while we are certain that firearms retailers and ranges and some of our manufacturing companies or distributors have worked with Rotary Clubs on fundraising projects and community events, we are not aware of any problems ever arising.

Rotary Clubs know their communities and what is welcome, customary and acceptable within them. Some NSSF members are Rotarians. We are also part and parcel of our communities. We don’t see the need for an international governance board to get between American Rotary Clubs and the businesses and organizations with which they want to partner on various community activities. They don’t live here. We do.

comments

  1. avatar Vhyrus says:

    I feel like I should know or care about the rotary club and it’s functions… alas, I do not.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I was going to say pretty much the same thing.

      I see their little gear logo sometimes and wonder what they do but I never wonder enough to actually find out.

  2. avatar Bob McMahan says:

    I was briefly a member. Rotary depends on its members abroad to identify needs and to implement appropriate helpful measures. I was always confident that any contributions would be used effectively and honestly. Since there seem to be only three Americans on the board, we can expect this kind of idiocy. Unfortunately, America is almost alone in embracing gun ownership by ordinary folks.

    1. avatar DaveW says:

      “a million members worldwide”

      Doesn’t seem like a big deal when the NRA alone, among so many pro-gun organizations, claims several million members.

      Actually, there are other nations where the people are in support of gun ownership. Unfortunately, their governments are progressive/repressive. Included are Australia, Canada, UK, France, Germany, etc.

      1. avatar Bosko says:

        “one million worldwide” = 1/7,000
        Not even a blip on the radar.
        Rotary has become like the UN………overrun by the Third World and Utterly Useless.

        1. avatar Matthew Edquist says:

          Well you just got a laugh out of me. So granted the world is a big variety, but once again we don’t need Olympian edicts from on on high. Let the locals govern our own.

  3. avatar Brian says:

    The national board obviously never heard of what happened to other businesses that doubled down on different Progressive politics: Starbucks, Kellogg’s, Target… Wish them well on their new self-chosen journey to irrelevance, obscurity, and extinction!

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      I genuinely don’t mean to be an ass but last time I checked all three of those companies are still very much in business. Also, I have open carried into both starbucks and target, so those particular companies’ anti gun bias is greatly overstated.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Aren’t those the biggest brands in their respective markets?

    3. avatar binder says:

      OK, you all have tin foil hats. Ii is the INTERNATIONAL board, not the national one. They need to operate in countries outside of America. I don’t think they have issues with the Right to Keep and Bear Arm so much as to make sure that they are cannot be in the business of transferring arms or receiving money from arms manufactures. I sure this can cause legal issues in other countries.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        Their rather wordy “clarification” of policy could have simply stated, “Don’t do anything illegal.” That would have ensured compliance with whatever firearms laws happen to be in place wherever the fundraising was taking place.

        Instead, they had to stick their middle finger at the U.S., where most of their funding probably comes from, to specifically mention firearms-related fundraising efforts.

        1. avatar binder says:

          Here is the issue. A lot of governments treat NGO differently if they sell or deal in arms even in other countries. I think it is telling that they don’t want firearms under their ownership, nor so they want themselves tied directly to firearm companies. They don’t have a issue with firearm activities. Hell, go have a skeet shoot as a fund raiser. No issue with that. But the fact that they need to operate outside out the united states as a charitable organization (the world is NOT the US), being tied directly with firearms manufactures and dealers is probably not the best idea.

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          That’s what I was going to say to Binder.
          The Rotary leadership, instead of injecting bias, could have simply said, “Make sure you follow all relevant laws.” That would have covered it very well, IF that was what they had in mind.
          Obviously, that wasn’t what they had in mind.

        3. avatar Big Bill says:

          ” But the fact that they need to operate outside out the united states as a charitable organization (the world is NOT the US), being tied directly with firearms manufactures and dealers is probably not the best idea.”

          Beggars can’t be choosers.
          Oh, wait, evidently they can.
          When we have money to give away, and we have it because of the generosity of individuals who have different philosophies (including different opinions on firearms), why do we (the givers, in this case Rotarians) need to make ourselves look like we agree with the governments who haven’t helped those in need? And I have never (I repeat: Never) seen the leadership of those nations living in hovels, eating table scraps. They may see the problems their people have, but they never feel those problems.
          If our freedoms offend those who want our money, there are plenty of others who aren’t so picky about who they get their help from.
          Yeah, I just said that.

  4. avatar Geoff PR says:

    This is just the beginning of this crap.

    If you think it’s bad now, as the polarization between Left and Right gets stark, we may be at the beginning of some really ugly shit.

    Check out this article from ‘Zero Hedge’ on militia membership growth and how it’s now a lot different than in past times:

    “So why is this militia’s membership growing so drastically during the early stages of a Republican administration? What’s different this time? The answer may lie in how the Left has responded to Trump being elected. According to Hill:

    “The level of violence I see coming from these protests is alarming, I think that creates more of a need for people like us to be there,” Hill said.”

    “So radical leftists and conservative militias are experiencing explosive growth at the same time, and neither of them are afraid to present themselves in the streets of America. While I do support the rights of militias, I have to say that this probably won’t end well.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-26/citizen-militia-experiences-explosive-growth-following-last-election

  5. avatar Bosko says:

    Boycott their fundraisers.
    Rotary has always been somewhat “elite”, as years ago they only allowed one person of each business/profession to be a member and that member was always declared to be ” The Best-in-Town”.
    In the past 20 years, they have been taken over by women and special interest groups who are pursuing their own agendas.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Interestingly, this brand of bigotry isn’t exclusive to the elite class, but transcends all classes and income levels. The only effective cure I can see os for all of us – from ranking Second Amendment-friendly politicians to poor single mothers owning only a single cheap pistol to call these bigots out for what they are : the word is Bigot, as defined as someone who assumes the worst of a perfect stranger who has done them no harm and wants to infringe on their civil rights because that person belongs to a certain demographic. Ergo: a bigot. Let them wear that label for a bit and see if they like it.
      And one more thing; NO PIZZA FOR THEM!

    2. avatar NEIOWA says:

      Rotary has ALWAYS been a very pro UN and sickly sweet PC organization in pursuit of it’s projects. Does a lot of good philanthropic projects in the US and around. Not aware of them doing anything that actually DAMAGES US gun rights but haven’t paid attention in this millennia

      1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

        Simply normalizing these sorts of anti-gun policies is harmful to the cause of gun rights.

  6. avatar rc says:

    The long march through the institutions continues apace.

  7. avatar binder says:

    OK, you all have tin foil hats. They need to operate in countries outside of America. I don’t think they have issues with the Right to Keep and Bear Arm so much as they cannot be in the business of transferring arms or receiving money from arms manufactures. I sure this can cause legal issues in other countries.

    1. avatar Jim Bullock says:

      So, the national board decides to exclude a class of businesses — way broader than “manufacturers” — and activities — way broader than “taking money” — in keeping with the social preferences of the world-wide organization, and the people just excluded are being tin-foil hat?

      The argument that this is OK goes: The U S branch needs to comply to the preferences of the international(ist?) group, because those folks just won’t play with people who are different in these ways. The virtue (signaling) of your business or hobbies trumps the virtue of doing good in your community. That is, if you want to be Rotary.

      So, who’s being world-govt, conspiracy theory, here? I’m thinking a lead-lined tuque; a tinfoil hat isn’t going to cut it.

      Iowahawk put it better here: https://twitter.com/iowahawkblog/status/664089892599631872

      David Burge
      ‏@iowahawkblog

      1. Identify a respected institution.
      2. kill it.
      3. gut it.
      4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      “They need to operate in countries outside of America.”
      No, they don’t.
      They CHOOSE to do so, a difference that seems to be lost on some.
      And why does that choice mean they have to renounce firearms? That’s a serious question, do you have an answer?

    3. avatar oldshooter says:

      The change to their policies prohibits ANYTHING to do with guns or “weapons” even just having sponsorship by a gun range or showing the Rotary logo in conjunction with a gun club event. Binder’s idea won’t fly – you couldn’t just have a fund-raising skeet shoot under the new policy. If they are going to be anti-guns, which I equate3 with anti-civil rights (since the right to self-defense is the most fundamental civil right), I will boycott anything they do henceforth. I have also been asked to speak before their local group in the past as well, and will no longer do so – and I’ll make sure they understand exactly WHY I won’t if I am invited again!

  8. avatar pg2 says:

    A familiar story line….to my knowledge in Massachusetts there are only 2 classes of people who have to register with the local police if they move to a different town in the state….sex offenders, and gun owners(legal).

  9. avatar John thomas says:

    Did I miss something? Where’s the connection to sex offenders?

  10. avatar HP says:

    Interesting move. I live in a quasi-rural village, things are very red here and we routinely have guns shows and there are lots of gun owners. I know a few of the local Rotarians, I can’t imagine they are all that happy about this.

  11. avatar former water walker says:

    Alrighty then. No I’ve never had a yen to be a Rotary tool((too subtle?)but it’s good to know who to avoid. I belonged to Lions years ago and my dad was a grand poobah in Kiwanis…anything evil about those groups?!?

    1. avatar binder says:

      Unless they actually have a FFL, according to TAG they are evil. However if they have a FFL are still evil as the whole FFL thing is a violation of the Constituion. In addition any a international service organization dosn’t want to be tied to the business of firearms, must think all gun owners are lower then pedophiles.

  12. avatar Shire-man says:

    Because of my profession I’ve been invited to speak at rotary a handful of times. Its a requirement that members present or find a presenter every so many days or something.

    Anyway, from what I gather rotary is made up of young first time businesses owners trying to make connections who cease participation as soon as they do or realise they won’t then once those people turn 80 they come back to the group for something to do or to not die alone.

  13. avatar bob says:

    I feel the era of “secret” clubs is coming to an end.
    Younger generation of today don’t have the time nor desire to sit and hang out at monthly meetings and organize events.
    Hanging in bars.
    Clubs.
    Pool halls.
    etc.
    Its all fading, sure you’ll find some nostalgia seekers and hipsters trying to keep them going, but for the masses, its just doesn’t happen any more.

    I don’t think I’d get too hung up about it.

  14. avatar Buzz Word says:

    I dunno.. the State of Wisconsin just moved a sex offender next to my house. Sex offenders in Wisconsin never had it so good.

  15. avatar RCC says:

    My parents were both life members of Rotary and during that time the club built local driver education centre for children and bought the cars Plus numerous other civic items including a entire wing of nursing home.

    Internationally Rotary also did more to eradicate polio in the world than most governments. So many good things but their board seems to be out of touch with reality.

    My parents were also both hunters so I can’t imagine they would have liked this idea in the slightest.

  16. avatar Ralph Jensen says:

    As a long time member of Rotary I am sadden by this dumb decision.

    1. avatar binder says:

      Would be nice to see these actual bylaws that have them treating firearm owners like sex offenders.

  17. avatar Ralph Jensen says:

    As a long time member of Rotary I am sadden by this sums decision.

  18. avatar fteter says:

    Just one more club I won’t be joining…

    1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

      Who invited you? No, really. If you haven’t been invited, you can’t join.

      But I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me as a member. I pay my NRA dues but don’t wear hats or put stickers on my car.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        “Who invited you? No, really. If you haven’t been invited, you can’t join.”

        Like many other organizations with such rules, all someone need do is show up at the door, and say,”I would like to join, Would anyone like to sponsor me?”
        It’s not nearly as exclusive as you make it out to be.

  19. avatar Bob says:

    I see their old, worn out signs occassionally. Are they still relevant in today’s world, or are they in rapid decline like similar organizations? It is good to know where they stand on the 2nd amendment.

  20. avatar Ken Jaskot says:

    As an active Rotarian, this post gave me great concern. I have heard, albeit third hand, but reportedly from two RI Directors that this was not an RI Board discussion, but a “regional” one not affecting the US, and that the Board was fully aware of the political implications and would not make such a decision because of them. I hope that an official clarification will be released to confirm this.

    1. avatar Ken Jaskot says:

      Folks, After posting this comment, I received 2 official documents which confirm the accuracy of the Larry Keane story. The policies will be implemented July 1. The reasons given are liability issues and the Board’s consideration of “the best interests of Rotary.” I am pretty sure that there will be much more discussion in Rotary USA to come. Thank you Larry for breaking this, and a hat tip to The Daily Caller for further broadcasting it. Ken

  21. avatar Special Ed says:

    Let me guess. They fully support the Clintons, then treat citizens that exercise their Constitutional rights as sex offenders. What’s wrong with this picture.

  22. avatar Jim Macklin says:

    Most gun stores and manufacturers will appreciate not having to deal with charities demanding time and money. They will make donations to those who care and aren’t just trying to get Cook County brownie points.

  23. avatar Lhstr says:

    I was a Elk member, and was a 20-30 member and a couple other clubs. Never Roto guy. Who cares, I LOVE my weapons and pray they protect me. “Blessed be God my rock who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle” Amen.

  24. avatar Carl says:

    As a 52 y/o 21 year member of Rotary, officer of the club, officer of our Rotary district, and business owner, I’m actually shocked with this news. I give about $3K-$10K annually in donations and or travel to far away places to help the poor. I’m the incoming president for my club next year and I will do the following. 1. Raise awareness at the club level so that we can take a poll and see how many Rotarians are going to quit over this, then run the numbers up the Rotary flag poll to see if anything can/will be done about it. If nothing is done, I will take a leave of absence/resign when this takes effect in July. I will only come back if/when the order is reversed or amended such that it is not anti-gun/anti-2nd amendment. Shame on Rotary for taking a political stand. Rotary is not supposed to be political, and this will only get worse if we don’t nip it in the bud.

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