An Open Letter to NRA Board Members From a Former Employee

nraam nra meeting board of directors north

Dan Z for TTAG

This letter comes courtesy Rob Pincus’s Facebook page.

April 29, 2019

An Open letter to the NRA Board of Directors.

First off, I would like to congratulate all the newly elected NRA board members, I’m sure your reason for running for the NRA Board of Directors (BOD) was driven by patriotism, pride, and selfless service to millions of law abiding gun owners. This letter is not for you. I would like to say a sincerer thank you for your willingness to sacrifice your own personal health and sanity to try and guide the NRA through its most turbulent times.

As for the incumbents who are on the NRA Board this letter is for you. I’m sorry to say that I’ve lost all faith in you as leaders. I’m also unsure if any of you actually understand what leadership is. Many of you have been on the board for many years and even decades, and continue to remain an elected member of the NRA BOD, in what appears to those of us who have worked at the NRA as nothing more than a shill or yes man/woman.

I’m not just speaking to those on the Finance Committee, or Nomination Committees, I’m speaking to all incumbents including those working on committees that have nothing to do politically and operate only in the realm of the programs side of the Association. I request that you remove highly overpaid executives particularly NRA’s Executive Vice President Mr. Wayne Lapierre, Josh Powell, along with cutting all business ties to Ackerman and McQueen (Ack Mack) and anyone that has ever worked with Ack Mack.

For some of you, it appears that you are nothing more than a paid vote to ensure the longevity of Mr. Lapierre or elected to ensure that Ack Mack can leech off the NRA thus receiving compensation from Ack Mack itself. I can only draw one of the two following conclusions, the first one is that you’re incompetent in your duties as an NRA Board member, or two you’re part of the actual problem.

I worked at the Association for over 13 years ending my time as the Training Counselor Program Coordinator. My job was to coordinate and conduct the NRA Training Counselor Workshops, or the folks who trained NRA Certified instructors. When I started in the training department in 2005 there where 42,000 NRA instructors, when I left the NRA there were over 120,000 instructors. My entire time at the NRA I worked 2-4 job at any given time to pay the bills. There are quite a few employees that still do this at the NRA to make ends meet.

That being said, I can think of no other non-profit organization that compensates their Executive Vice President the kind of salary and benefits that Mr. Lapierre gets relative to how much employees receive. I also cannot understand how a person like Mr. Lapierre treats the people that work for him like his own personal indentured servants, unless you know the secret handshake, then you’re compensated very handsomely as long as you follow along blindly providing no resistance to the people running the organization.

Those BOD’s that OBEY, are rewarded with NRATV contracts provided by Ackerman and McQueen, or are paid handsomely for speaking arrangements. The things that are taking place within the organization, I feel are things that corrupt Congressmen would be doing not the leaders of oldest civil rights organization in the country.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it is to my understanding that the BOD knew a year in advance of how NRA Employees retirements were going to be frozen and run the risk of not existing at all. Yet before employees received the letter notifying them of the possibility of having little to no retirement. Mr. Lapierre and a few other executives cashed out their retirements so they wouldn’t loose any money.

I’m not an attorney but this appears very fishy and has the appearance of what in the business world is referred to as insider trading. This is not just a moral violation but one would wonder if it would follow into the realm of possible criminal behavior?

When I started at NRA, I was still eligible to be in the NRA retirement program, I was hired in 2004 as a membership specialist at starting salary of $28,000 a year working in one the richest counties in America. The retirement was stopped, (IIRC by the BOD) in 2007 for all new employees. The letter shows exponential drops in percentages as well as 13.3 million dollar funding short fall for 2018, a 4.5 million dollar funding short fall for 2017, and $0.00 shortfall for 2016 for non NRA executives retirement funds. This letter was dated April 15, 2019 and was from Ms. Shawn Soto from NRA Human Resources.

It is interesting to note that all the short falls started around the time in which Josh Powell took over as the Executive Director of NRA General Operations. The individual or individuals that came up with the idea to put Josh Powell, a man who has had shady dealings, lawsuits, and what appears to have led multiple failed businesses, in charge of the most important organization pertaining to individual rights in this country is either pure BOD’s incompetence or are possibly somehow involved in these dealings themselves.

If you’re a board member who helped to put Mr. Powell in charge, you’re part of the problem. If you’re a board member who knew about this and did nothing to stop it you’re part of the problem. If you’re a board member and knew nothing about Mr. Powell’s shady dealings until the articles started to come out you’re part of the problem. If you’re a board member and you’re being paid by Ackerman and McQueen then you’re part of the problem. If you’re not actively seeking the removal of Mr. Lapierre you are the problem.

I have heard numerous excuses for Mr. Lapierre from board members, including speeches at the recent NRA members meeting on how Mr. Lapierre has taken the Association through the tough times and should trust him since he has been at the helm for the last 40 years. If I speed through a neighborhood for 10 years only to get pulled over with the excuse of “I’ve been doing this all along therefore you should let me continue to do so Officer” my excuse is a poor one at best.

Mr. Lapierre and his colleagues have demonstrated what appears to be a great deal of impropriety as it pertains to running what is supposed to be the brightest beacon of freedom we have left in this country. The leaders of NRA should not be lining their own pockets, creating never-ending retirements for themselves, and conducting shady under the table dealings with ad agencies that their family members work at or have financial dealings.

A perfect example of this is allowing Mr. Josh Powell to pay his father what is suggested of being in the 10’s of thousands of dollars to photograph the 2017 NRA World Shooting Championship for one single day. This is highly unusual and I don’t understand why he would have needed to hire any outside photographer, especially since NRA publications had already sent their own photographers to that event.

Despite the fact that current employees continue to be underpaid, fired, used as scape goats such as in the recent termination of Mark Richardson (a loyal employee of 10 plus years and former army veteran) in some cases are ordered to travel, only to find their NRA credit card has been canceled and have to use their own credit cards to finance their business expenditures is direct result of Mr. Lapierre’s lack of leadership. This means they must put their personal bills on hold because of NRA’s financial shortcomings. I had this happen to me personally a few times during my time at NRA. In the mean time NRA executives continue to accumulate astronomical compensations not seen in any other non profit 501(c3).

Then there is the case of the Director of NRA Competitive Shooting Division Cole McCulough who I believe is currently involved in litigation to shut down a neighboring shooting range to his family owned personal for profit shooting range. The name of the range is Shadow Hawk located in West Virginia. Shadow Hawk is privately owned and operated shooting range which is highly respected and loved by the local competitive shooters in the area.

Another riddle I have yet to answer is, how does the NRA Competitions Director get paid a handsome salary, and draw a large profit estimated in the in the 100’s of thousands of dollars from the NRA’s World Shooting Championship? The Director of Competitions is the same individual that decides where the World Shooting Championship is held every year.

Let’s not forget how Cole forgot to report the winnings from the World Shooting championship in 2016/17, only to have NRA Human resources take 2016 taxes out of 2017 pay checks two days after Christmas.

I was on vacation at the time and received a pay check of less around $300 dollars. Another employee didn’t even receive a paycheck. I also believe what the NRA did was actually a violation of IRS tax code. Then there is the issue of possible cronyism going on in the Competitive Shooting Division, yet I digress. This made me ask the question to myself, why is a current NRA Staff member trying to actively shut down a shooting range?

I always thought the NRA stood as a barrier fighting the good fight. I remember a long conversation with my late friend Pat Rogers (editor from SWAT magazine) who supported the NRA, but said, “I don’t always agree with what the NRA, then again I didn’t always agree with what my mother said, but she was right most of the time”.

I felt the same way until the motive of the NRA shifted from fighting for freedom, to fighting for money. I personally sat in on meetings in which the discussion was to put USCCA out of business because they were taking what should be ours. I’ll be honest I was a little to shocked to hear the NRA was in the business of trying to put pro gun companies out of business?

I could go on and on, but to be honest I have better things to do. Service as an employee to the NRA is behind me now. I personally have moved on to other things, yet still maintain deep friendships with people at NRA HQ. I hear their pain, I can see their suffering, and at what expense? So Wayne Lapierre, Josh Powell, and friends can make another million?

The only people that can stop this is you! The NRA’s survival is at stake, the soul of the organization, the NRA employees that sacrifices a good paying job, gets treated like dirt by folks at Ack Mack, and are forced to loose the most important thing to anyone, time away from their families, will one day come into work and find out they are working for free.

The history of the NRA is being written as we speak, I wonder will that history be a relatively short one, causing a collapse in the ability to protect the Constitution particularly the second Amendment. Thus writing your name in the history books as the last BOD’s of the National Rifle Association? Or will you do the right thing and ensure the NRA remains strong for decades to come. I pray that in the future my follow up letter to this will be thanking you for doing the right thing, rather than writing to all you, see I told you so.

Andrew Lander
NRA Life Member
NRA Senior Training Counselor
NRA Staff alumni 2004-2018

Please forgive all the misspellings and typos.

comments

  1. avatar Frank M. says:

    What’s wrong with the NRA is what’s wrong with America. There are million/billionaires rigging a system to put more money into the pockets people at the top and the rest of us have to work harder for less.

    1. avatar Frank M. says:

      I dropped a sentence fragment there (…into the pockets of the…) but I think you get what I mean.

      1. avatar A Boy Named Sue says:

        Don’t blame all rich people for the ethical and moral shortcomings of a few people at the NRA.

        1. avatar KGM says:

          A few?

        2. avatar A Boy Named Sue says:

          Yes, a few being a relative number. There are over 11M+ millionaires in the US, which is a far larger amount than the number of executives and board members of the NRA…

        3. avatar Frank M. says:

          You sound like Joe Biden.

    2. avatar Biatec says:

      Rich people are not the problem. Most people vote for authoritarians. Everyone could have voted for Rand paul or Ron paul(before my time was too young to vote). People who are restrained by the constitution don’t win elections.

      1. avatar User1 says:

        You need to speak with aggressive confidence, appear strong and sway emotion. Most people will follow along regardless of what you say. Make them feel like they need to follow you to find happiness and success. Touch on their personal issues and their identity to reach their soul. When you do it correctly, people will cry, even grown men.

    3. avatar raptor jesus says:

      This.
      Billionaires exist, yet we have overwhelming poverty and a medical system which is embarassing.

      1. avatar Biatec says:

        We have the best healthcare in the world. A big part of that is because it is not publicly funded. Move to europe if you want that.

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          Well, it is definitely embarrassing (though far from the worst) and that is largely *because* so much of it is publicly funded.

          But yeah, socialist-trollie to bring it up at random like that

      2. avatar A Boy Named Sue says:

        Your comment sounds pretty socialisty to me

      3. avatar Someone says:

        Yeah, no.
        When obesity is one of main problems of our “poor”, we don’t have anything close to overwhelming powerty. Americans living at so called “poverty level” have standard of living much higher than vast majority of other Earth inhabitants.
        Some of you guys don’t realize how good and easy life in the U. S. is. Stop listening to leftist’s communist propaganda. Ask all those Latinos, why are they risking their lifes to get here even illegally.

      4. avatar clst1 says:

        If our system, medical etc., is so bad why are people lining up at the border to enter?
        Most of the “poor” people in this country are wealthy compared to most of the rest of the world.

    4. avatar Eric R says:

      I bought al my sons a Life Membership in the NRA & regret it. The NRA cheated me out of my renewal 2 years in a row then agreed to the bump stock ban which I’m not a fan od but the ATF deemed them legal & were right in doing so. I don’t want to be in a wine club or a function, all I want is an organazation to protect my 2nd ammendment rights so I joinded the GOA which doesn’t waste anything & I feel my money is well spent. My son’s get badgered to upgrade to this & that. I must have talked to 20 different departments trying to get my membership fixed & finally gave up. I used to take sever kids to the Cabelas/NRA & pay for their 1st year. Do you know why so few gunowners belong to the NRA? It’s a top heavy overpriced, overpaid bunch of old people in on the take. Looks like you took too much this time doesn’t it. GOA is lean & mean!

      1. avatar Wil says:

        I got a life membership when I was still working. I am retired now and can not afford the annual membership fees now. I paid it then but do not send any more funds as I can not afford them any more. I still enjoy the magazine every month.

    5. avatar gary welker says:

      The board of dictators needs to be replaced, and made to answer of where the money went and why. Until that takes place this mess will be another swamp. I belong to no Party

  2. avatar A Republic, if you can keep it says:

    There will be no changes without a lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty. It would be cheaper and easier to starve them to death–and it would also save the the costs of their golden parachutes. Let GOA and SAF take over.

    1. avatar Kenneth says:

      Those are the ones I joined, after abandoning the NRA as a bunch of crooked shills. In the 1980s. I effort to follow the old advice: vote with your money, because its the only vote you have…” Every other vote is rigged.
      “Its not the votes that matter. It’s who counts the votes that matter.” -Stalin
      Everybody chanting; “NRA… NRA…NRA” is either a paid shill or a foolish dupe.

    2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      “Let GOA and SAF take over.” And accomplish what? These are organizations with noble intent but, in terms of the kinds of realpolitik lobbying NRA can do, they are clearly bush-league amateurs. As an outsider looking in, my focus is on the NRA’s political effectiveness. Like Sarah Palin’s famous “death panels” comment which did more damage to Obama Care’s than the tens of thousands of words that followed, Wayne Lapierre’s “good guy with a gun” effectively stopped a concerted and well-planned gun-control initiative that followed the San Hook school shootings. If you look at what the NRA’s role has been over the decades in protecting gun rights, it’s hard to think (using realpolitik as Occam’s razor) how another organization could have done better. But this is just a viewpoint of an outsider who just pays dues.

      I know something about the organizational dysfunctions that Andrew Lander is talking abut. A few years ago I described the NRA as the “Dowager Empress” of gun-rights organizations. This was not intended as a compliment. What has happened in the NRA is that, over the decades, an “insider culture” has developed that rewards cronies and excludes everyone else. While this is definitely something the NRA’s board should look into, we should also recognize the inherent danger in such an action.

      Within the NRA there are institutional resentments, hidden agendas, and outright jealousies that surround people like Wayne Lapierre. This is not at all uncommon when you have someone who can do what he can do. People like him tend to be difficult, tend to be arrogant, and can instantaneously set lesser beings teeth on edge. In this Lapierre is not all that much different from president Trump who upsets people for the exact same reasons. Simply put, you either get guys like Lapierre and Trump or you don’t. As an outsider looking in, I’m sympathetic to Andrew Lander’s disgust. But I would caution the NRA board, along with the NRA’s vocal critics that reforming the NRA into a “kinder and gentler” advocacy organization that looses the political skills of someone like Wayne Lapierre would be a deadly blow to our collective efforts to protect gun-rights. The only thing that separates us from New Zealand is the 2nd Amendment. And the most effective defender of the 2nd Amendment has been the NRA. And if the NRA looses the talents of Wayne Lapierre will it continue to be the organization that succeeded after Sandy Hook? I think not.

      1. avatar million says:

        the NRA retreats on significant issues and sabotages strong 2A cases.. then the NRA claims credit when super lawyers like Alan Gura pull off small miracles before SCOTUS.

        the NRA will become the home of Fudds who’ve never heard of a bump stock and couldn’t care less if it was criminalized via a “phone and pen”.

        after a million or so disgruntled ex-NRA members shift their dues to GOA, then it will become more effective.

        1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          You wish . . .

        2. avatar 16V says:

          Garrison, so, you know the history of the NRA? How they’ve sold gun owners out, time after time? How they are have officially been a pro gun-control organization? In incredibly recent memory, how they supported the bump-stock ban? How they’ve supported almost every restriction of our gun rights?

          Put down the kool-aid. JPFO does a succinct (if incomplete) job of summarizing the shit-show known as the NRA.

          Either you don’t have a clue what they’ve done, or you’re just another shill, supporting the org that would happily have us all barely-armed Fudds.

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          Amen.

      2. avatar User1 says:

        There are so many young people out there that argue better than Wayne. They also have the ears of their peers simply because they come from the same generation.

      3. avatar Someone says:

        Reforming the NRA into a “kinder and gentler” advocacy organization? HELL, NO!
        I don’t think that’s what the boat rockers have in mind. Or that’s what should happen. On the contrary- start fighting for real.
        No more compromises.
        No more retreating. Get to your offense game and some of the infringements overturned.
        No more back hand deals selling our rights and then asking for more money to try to get them back.

        Dear NRA brass, stop treating the Association as a money making scheme and start to care about our (your member’s) rights. Or get out of the way.

        And lose those huge posters with your mugshots. Someone might mistake you for Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          “No more retreating. Get to your offense game and some of the infringements overturned.”

          OMG, YES !

  3. avatar Michael says:

    Handgun Control Inc. was founded and funded by Pete Shields, CIA employee, the CIA is like the mob, once you’re in you don’t get out. Ollie North fell on his sword after Iran/Contra as ordered by the CIA. This is going to be interesting, considering the large percentage of NRA members with far ranging government/Military connections. The only viable survival option after tripping an ambush is all out attack, probably a fatal response, but better than no response at all.
    This is going to be most interesting… Foxtrot-Kilo-Alpha, baby…

  4. avatar Wil says:

    I found it interesting that Lander did not spell La Pierre right.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      Not a very important point really.

      Could be he doesn’t like the man. I know I purposefully misspelled my manager’s name because he was a thieving P.O.S. He went by “Bob”. Those of us who worked for him called him “B0b” (that’s not a capital “O” in the middle).

    2. avatar Steve says:

      If THAT is all you get out of this….

  5. avatar million says:

    lesson learned: don’t join any organization “for life”

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Yeah, I am thinking the same thing now. I always had a bad feeling about LaPierre and the board but thought they’d have gone on to better/richer places to rob by now. Oops.

      1. avatar Just Sayin says:

        So… where is Uncle Ted in all of this?
        Ted…? Ted…?

        He has an opinion about everything that he usually gives quite freely.
        Where does he stand as a board member?

        1. avatar Allen Kelton says:

          Wasn’t he one of the board members who didn’t bother to go to meetings?

  6. avatar Marcus says:

    LaPierre will never resign or give in so only the total dissolution of the NRA to be taken over in name only is the only solution.

  7. avatar Steve Eisenberg says:

    I knew a retired Army Ranger who ran demolition teams into 24 countries over 26 years. He was the toughest, most persistent, and most calm and patient person I’ve ever known.

    He couldn’t spell for $h1+.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Spelling is one thing, but loose/lose? Unforgiveable.

      1. Unfortunately, this error is visible in both the letter and in the comment section.

        I would love to have offered a free proofread for the fellow, but my only acquaintance involved is LtCol. North himself. (Who did not, incidentally, “fall on his sword for the CIA.”)

        I’ve been on the board of a smaller organization with somewhat similar problems. We made it, casting off many people and reaffirming our mission. It was painful but ultimately successful.

        The NRA can do this. There are obviously serious problems and evident malfeasances. I wish the organization well; its members deserve far better than this.

        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle (@DeHavelle)

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          Agreed completely. My worry is the NRA drags this out so long, that the gun rights movement as a whole is defamed/damaged –their loyal footsoldiers have been doing all they can to prevent any upstart reformist groups like GOA from making headway, after all– and we end up “naked in the breeze” when it all comes crashing down, and the anti-gunners are able to seize upon the transition period to make damaging progress against us. It’s a very self-serving protection racket to defend the NRA’s course at this point.

      2. avatar User1 says:

        On the battlefield I am more worried about people being able to shoot straight. America relied on uneducated slaves to win. I don’t care if a freeman is illiterate, I care foremost about him knowing his human rights.

        I don’t dismiss Mayweather nor that pull counter. I don’t think he learned it in a book.

    2. avatar napresto says:

      If you want your writing to be taken seriously, you need to edit and proofread. If you don’t, you are just giving people an excuse to dismiss you.

      1. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

        True. How long does it take to proof read your paragraph? It makes it easier for the rest of us. Reading a mangled sentence 3 times makes us quit and move on.

    3. avatar English, Learn It, Love It.. says:

      “If you want your writing to be taken seriously, you need to edit and proofread. If you don’t, you are just giving people an excuse to dismiss you.”

      This is true and it also includes not saying “most calm”, when in English we use -er, or -est. He was calmer or he was the calmest, is English. Spanish uses more (mas), and doesn’t allow for the nuance.

      Christ was the calmer of a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Not Christ was the “more calm” of a storm on the Sea of Galilee.

      1. avatar Al Bondigas says:

        And while we’re at it: what is the meaning of FKA/Foxtrot-Kilo-Alpha? I’ve seen this term a number of times on this site, but haven’t seen a definition.

  8. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    The financial mismanagement and corruption are bad enough that NY may well be able to destroy NRA. If the Board doesn’t clean house, they might as well vote to shut down. That loss could well bring us to the brink of an actual shooting Civil War. The idiot left think that without the NRA they will get the whole list of stuff they want.

    Unfortunately my vision of what the meeting of the board will look like:
    https://youtu.be/Yt3GBlVjUd0

    1. avatar User1 says:

      They will get something they want in the way they don’t want.

  9. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    Fuck Pincus. He can’t be trusted. He supports gun control. Period. And, he just happens to have a gigantic conflict of interest here in flaming the NRA while leading his own 2A group.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      You think he wrote that letter and not Lander? Picus’s site wasn’t the only place it was posted. What do you know about Lander?

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      I almost stopped reading the article when I saw Pincus; which is my usual course of action. However, I was glad that I read on as this appears unrelated to him other than where TTAG found it posted.

    3. avatar Whoopie says:

      “I can think of no other non-profit organization that compensates their Executive Vice President the kind of salary and benefits that Mr. Lapierre gets.” Says the guy who wishes his organization were big enough to do the same for him. And he’s willing to exploit the NRA’s woes to achieve that end.

      This is Pincus’ second response to the NRA’s plight, the first time he’s suggested everyone ‘defund’ the NRA. Pincus is a vulture who can’t wait to pick the bones of the unfortunate.

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        Uh, dude Pincus didn’t write that. Read the byline sometime.

      2. avatar Steve says:

        Rob Pincus did NOT write this. I know Andy, both personally and professionally, and he wrote this SOLELY out of his love of and dedication to the MISSION of the NRA.

  10. avatar Huntmaster says:

    Term Limits. How many leftists are rubbing their hands together in anticipatory excitement.

  11. avatar Huntmaster says:

    Actually, there’re probably rubbing a lot more than just their hands.

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Hmmm…I agree with most of the sentiments EXCEPT if you’re unhappy with your pay & benifits LEAVE. I’ve been self-employed for 25years-for good and for bad. You joined a non-profit. It ain’t a church. It’s a bloated autocracy…I’m not reupping until it changes.

    1. avatar Wiregrass says:

      I have a feeling Lander was content until the NRA started screwing around with the training program. Taking more than half of the training out of the hands of the Certified Instructors and going with online based training, leaving the instructors having to do remedial training at the range for the failure of the online training to properly prepare the students. Why did they do this? Because there were too many instructors out there doing the training at cost and the NRA wasn’t collecting enough money from it. Then they felt like they were losing market share to USCCA so they started this Carry Guard disaster to compete in the insurance and training business that sent a big FU to NRA Instructors and brought us to litigation and corruption scandal that we are faced with today. Things will not get better until the cancer is cut out.

      1. avatar User1 says:

        “Cutting costs” so they continue their expensive lifestyle is what a corrupt person does. Americans have learned this lesson every election, but the fear won’t allow them to make a change.

  13. avatar Marcia Mason says:

    Based on these accusations, I would always vote to keep as much out of court as possible. A carefully selected jury of members and “mock court” to air the issues could clean this up internally. The BoD has to WANT to straighten this out. They owe it to the members.
    I keep hearing an old bluegrass tune in my head “He’s been on the job too long”. It’s about a mean old sheriff shot by a bartender for interrupting a regular poker game.
    Thank you for your service, Mr. Lander.

  14. avatar Full Otto says:

    Good article. The principle of fighting for freedom is a simple one. The Supreme Court has upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms but they who oppose us will never run out of words.
    Whatever the NRA is doing is neither simple nor intuitively related to our right to keep and bear arms. Until this changes the demise of the NRA will have no relevance to those who fight for A2.

  15. avatar FortWorthColtGuy says:

    I support the mission and goals of the NRA, but as long as Wayne is there, I can not support them. It is akin to saying that you support the police but will allow a corrupt police chief to run the organization and extort money.

    If Wayne was making inroads on repealing the Hughes Amendment or getting silencers off the NFA he would be worth every penny of the 1.4 million a year. But he is not. He is sucking the organization dry, lying to it’s members and living off the NRA teet.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      How many handguns could the NRA have bought, to arm qualified teachers to protect the kids at school, with the +$200,000 spent on some suits for their meetings with politicians and public fake news appearances?

      1. avatar Huntmaster says:

        Just about a thousand.

        1. avatar User1 says:

          A thousand teachers armed or a couple of men well dressed?

        2. avatar Huntmaster says:

          About a thousand 9m Rugers. The company would probably provide them at a really good price.

  16. avatar John in Ohio says:

    If you can’t trust the NRA with your money then how can you trust it to protect the exercise of your right to keep and bear arms? The NRA has been selling out your right for years and replacing it with the exercise of government privileges. This goes all the way back to the first federal gun control. In all of that time, liberty has lost ground relative to where it started. This is not a coincidence. Society, by and large, was even less left leaning then so the trend should not have been more gun control if the NRA was doing the job it claimed. Your liberty is nothing but a bargaining chip to the NRA; a commodity to be traded off for its own gain. The NRA has been a willing, paid Judas goat since the beginning.

  17. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

    “Those BOD’s that OBEY, are rewarded with NRATV contracts provided by Ackerman and McQueen, or are paid handsomely for speaking arrangements.”

    OK, so Colin Noir and Dana Loasch (SP?) are a part of the problem and need to go?

    1. avatar Logan says:

      Considering that they both work for Ack-Mac, yes. They both need to go.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Considering they both have extracurricular axes to grind and have introduced off-topic stuff into NRA broadcasts that’s been used to discredit the supposed non-partisan message, yeah.

        1. avatar Wiregrass says:

          Yep, Angry Dana can raise hell about Thomas the Tank Engine on someone else’s dime.

        2. avatar barnbwt says:

          And Noir his take on police-violence against minorities as well. And Ollie North has done nothing whatsoever to further gun rights since his missile-smuggling days as best I can tell, but is a fixture of GOP politics & right-wing media. Off-topic fodder & innuendo that is not only controversial, but distracting from the organization’s mission…and yet there was no editorial control to reign them in. Well, at least until someone starts questioning the NRA’s leadership (Knox/North) in which case they are quickly shut down & driven out with priority.

    2. avatar Doesky2 says:

      Piincus looks like a jealous douchebag when he tars Noir.

  18. avatar FB says:

    I hope all that that is found guilty gets prison time. This is absolutely pathetic how those representing our constitutional rights engage is corruption.
    Drain the swamp!

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    During the Spanish Civil War, General Emilio Mola and his supporters attacked Madrid with four columns of troops. Mola claimed he had additional troops inside the city — he called it his “Fifth Column.”

    Now the Left is attacking the NRA. They also have a Fifth Column — traitors inside the NRA. If they win, we are all totally fvcked. Say goodbye to the NRA and say goodbye to your guns.

    And when you’re sitting around lamenting your loss of freedom and dignity, remember that you did it to yourselves.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      “And when you’re sitting around lamenting your loss of freedom and dignity, remember that you did it to yourselves.”

      Yeah, by supporting the Negotiating Right Away (since the beginning) Judas goat all along. You personally have supported gun control right here in the pages of TTAG. Look in the mirror, Ralph.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Thanks to John and others, we will always have people available to hold open the doors of the cattle cars.

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          For as long as you are around to hold those door open and trying to get others to climb aboard, Ralph. I noticed that you didn’t deny your support for gun control nor did you deny the NRA’s complicity in government infringement.

          You, sir, are the 2A equivalent of Judenrat.

    2. avatar pjo says:

      This internecine conflict comes at a very bad time and the 2A hangs in the balance. The NRA has historically been an honorable and effective advocate for all of our 2A rights but something is decidedly ‘Rotten in the State of Denmark.’ While I am not an advocate of throwing the baby out with the bathwater if the situation is not dramatically and significantly cleansed I do not see myself renewing my five year membership when it comes due in two years. It may be small potatoes but I don’t think I am at all alone is seeing things this way. Wayne, if he stays, may very well find himself captaining an NRA in the process of disappearing under the waves…which will be a disaster for all of us.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        “The NRA has historically been an honorable and effective advocate for all of our 2A rights”

        No, it really hasn’t. Without the NRA, government would never have been so successful at exchanging the exercise of a constitutionally protected unalienable individual right into a government privilege. Are you honestly aware of the NRA’s involvement and support of federal gun control since 1934? If you are, I don’t understand how you could make such an erroneous statement. Negotiating Rights Away has been slowly changing people’s opinions about their right into acceptance of government infringement. The NRA has been, and will continue to be, a dangerous Judas goat; government asset and useful bogeyman for the left.

        1. avatar User1 says:

          Good old Wayne said to the board, “Despite a political climate that maligns our founding freedoms, you elected to walk the principled path and not the popular one.” But what does the man (who brought Ackerman McQueen with him into the NRA) do on a regular basis?

        2. avatar pjo says:

          John, I see you have no compunctions about tossing babies out with the bathwater…and you indeed seem to be one of those only capable of seeing everything in absolute black and white. The perfect and the pure or nothing. Everything is about the 1934 NFA for you. You seem to want people to believe that if there were never NRA our closets would still be full of 1928A1s. Are you by any chance some DNC bot? You often sound like one.

        3. avatar John in Ohio says:

          pjo, I’ve been a rights activist for decades; on the streets, in legislators’ offices, and in supporting roles in some court cases. I know the NRA for what it is and I don’t flinch from the truth. It’s not just about 1934. Read the real work of the organization from 1934 to modern day. The NRA is and has been a Judas goat leading the nation away from the right and towards acceptance of privileges. The NRA has steadfastly supported PRIVILEGES and not the exercise of the actual RIGHT to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment.

          You can make all the cute comments you want, I’ve heard all the bullshit before in spades, but the facts are the facts.

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        Personally, I’m equally skeptical of the “there is no choice but to support the regime at all costs” people just as much as I am the “burn it all down” people. That said, I don’t really see a realistic path by which the NRA reforms itself at this time. A nasty scandal that sees legal repercussions for a handful of the bad apples might be enough to scare the others into tempering their destructive ambitions, and allow enough room for the org to recover. Like a controlled burn.

    3. avatar barnbwt says:

      What good is it if we support the NRA despite all these many issues, Ralph? What motivation is there to correct them, if there are no consequences for those in charge? LaPierre’s crew have had twenty-some-odd years of unquestioned reign since they drove out Knox’s insurgents when they began sniffing around Wayne’s financial stewardship; why are there more corruption & mismanagement scandals (supported by real evidence, regardless their nakedly political motivations) that threaten to damage the NRA than before the 1994 AWB, when the NRA was much smaller, much weaker, and gun owners much more besieged? Shouldn’t things be getting *better* with the bounty of resources, members, and political power the NRA has been showered with over the past two decades, if the management is not the problem?

      All they had to do was vote to remove LaPierre at the meeting, and –believe it or not– the vast majority of their problems would be forgiven, at least in the immediate term. I would buy a life membership, even though his departure would mean little as far as true reform. Because it would be an honest sign of the org wanting to fix its problems and improve. But instead they decided to prolong this humiliation by standing by him for no reason as you suggest. Why? Because the NRA is LaPierre’s organization now, and he would rather it be destroyed than relinquish his hold and allow it to be run by competent leadership.

  20. avatar ChanceMcCall says:

    OK. I was at the meeting. I wasn’t happy with the way it went down, but, I expected it. This is my perspective:

    – We need the NRA and whatever is tried or accomplished cannot damage the organization.
    – There is no question that the Board is guilty of poor practices and that many have entangled financial relationships with vendors that color their actions and thinking. They should step down.
    – The size of the Board is unmanageable. It should be reduced to less than 20 at the most, and all members should receive bios and contact information for individual Board Members. There also needs to be written into the bylaws qualifications for a Board seat that the entire voting membership has a chance to vote on.
    – The association management culture is unhealthy. Paid staff should be reporting to the Board and planning and directing the goals of the organization. An outside CPA firm should be retained to record and audit the finances of the organization.
    – Members should have more access to the paid leaders and staff as well as the Board. The paid leaders and staff should be mandated to respond to members when queried.
    – While I have great respect for what Wayne LaPierre has accomplished for the NRA, I have grave concerns about some of his actions. Unlike some others, I believe he needs to be well-paid, but I believe he has managed to make sure he is overpaid. I also have grave reservations about him charging $200,000 worth of custom made suits to a vendor. If he is to be retained, he needs to reimburse the NRA for the suits and other extraordinary expenses and apologize to the entire membership.
    – Members need to be more involved and more informed and to take action when it makes sense.

    All that said, the NRA needs members to stay involved, and they are going to need both more money and stronger shows of support from us. I’m planning on upping my contributions by becoming a Lifetime Ring of Freedom Member with some conditions for doing so.

    Regarding SAF. I am a Life Member and I like the organization. The problem is, when Alan is no longer able, the organization will collapse. As long as Alan is able, I will continue to give them money and attend their meetings. The money I give is not money I’m not giving to the NRA, but rather, other money to support them as well. I am also a Life Member of the Illinois State Rife Association and a Life Member of Guns Save Lives as well.

    1. avatar mnrobitaille says:

      “Members need to be more involved and more informed and to take action when it makes sense.”

      Therein lies part of the problem, how many who are members for 5+ years, or are Life Members, actually vote for the BOD?? How many members actually write to the BOD & express their thoughts/feelings??

      1. avatar User1 says:

        I heard the percentage of members that voted in the previous election was less than 8% (if I remember correctly).

        Imagine if 7% or less of the country was able to dictate most of the outcome via the election process. Democracy is not all that great…

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        This is the root cause, as is usually the case in popularly-represented groups that go awry. That said, look how many people are demanding that members NOT become involved in demanding better results. It is a very self-reinforcing problem at this point, likely so much so that only significant disruption can change it. A huge number of people only join the NRA because their local club/range requires them to; an org that expects let alone requires them to take an active role would be a huge turn-off.

        NRA-ILA & NRA-PVF need a come-to-Jesus reformation that puts them back on course, by becoming directly responsible to the membership and taking control of the organization mission, and the NRA shooting-sports/branding/fundraising division needs to become a subservient NRA-FUDD arm that does not get to call the shots any longer. By splitting up the mission & fundraising management groups into separate areas with the former accountable to members & the latter to the elected BoD, I think you’d greatly reduce the opportunity for mismanagement in the future.

        1. avatar mnrobitaille says:

          On average, there’s an attendance of about 80,000 that attends the NRA Annual Meetings, out of a membership of approx. 5.5 million.

          That’s about 2% of the membership that attends. What about the other 98%?? Sure holding the annual event in Southeastern cities (Houston, Dallas, Indianapolis, Nashville) that cater to tourism can be big draws, but move around the country more. How about holding NRAAM in Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Seattle, Boston….just show the city councils & tourism bureaus that when the NRA is in town, that tourism dollars come in & crime goes down for those few days.

        2. avatar Rocketman says:

          The big problem with that is that your not taking into account that many large cities have anti-gun mayors and city council people. Why the hell would you want to reward people like that that would take the extra tax dollars and use it against law abiding gun owning citizens? I don’t believe in rewarding my enemies if I don’t absolutely have to.

  21. avatar Mark says:

    It’s naive to think that if a different “no-compromise” 2A organization had been in NRA’s place over the last 40 years that they would have yielded a better outcome than what the NRA did. Politics is ugly and you don’t always get what what you want, no matter how strident you may be.

    All this anti-NRA vitriol would be better directed at the GOP politicians who have been taking the gun rights votes for granted while delivering little to protect and advance 2A rights in return.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      It’s possible…but we can also never know, now can we? What I do know, is that the activist groups that actually make headway on their issues, take a very hard line on their platforms. The NAACP didn’t settle for “separate but equal” (which is a compromise if there was ever a compromise), the LGBT orgs didn’t settle for “civil unions” (which is again an entirely reasonable compromise), and the gun-ban orgs haven’t settled for any of the compromises we’ve made or outright victories they’ve won. They take wins where they can get them, and adamantly resist all change that appears to damage their cause (case in point their hatred of Stand Your Ground laws, simply because they make lawful carry in self defense slightly less legally dangerous)

      The only group I can think of that has a similar record of wasting resources on counterproductive/off-topic measures or useless lobbying, is probably the NAACP…which as we all know was converted into a DNC fundraising/agitating organ decades ago.

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        I’d add the SPLC.

      2. avatar Mark says:

        Good points, well-said. Thank you.

  22. avatar Rocketman says:

    I was active in the pro-gun movement for many, many years. What I discovered about the NRA is that they are in lockstep with the Republican Party. They will blindly support Republican candidates who really rate an “F” and give them a “C” rating or better. That doesn’t help the gun supporters only the GOP. I talked to the NRA representative about this and explained that if they would fairly grade both major party candidates for a particular office and if they both deserve an “F” then support the Libertarian Party candidate who would likely rate an “A” or “B”. What this change would do is two fold. By supporting a third party candidate it tells the GOP that their support is not automatic, they have to work for it and secondly, it builds up the Libertarian Party to become a third major party. The late Lee Atwater once told a group of gun supporters that they “had no where else to go”. As long as the GOP feels like that they’re going to continue to wipe their feet on us. One more thing, Bill Weld was an aberration. The LP should never have made him the VP candidate and a lot of people in the LP are going to make sure that never happens again.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      1) You are absolutely right; the NRA has become a political organ of the GOP (case in point Ollie North)
      2) Ruthlessly objective rating systems and penalties would go a long way to restoring faith in the org as well as its political power, and probably within a single election cycle
      3) The Libertarian Party is more anti-gun than the Republican Party at this time; it’s really a case of “clean your own house first,” though of course local candidates may not conform to the poorly-defined national party platform. This is completely separate from the inherent difficulty in trying to build a competitive third party in the American system. Bill Weld was not an aberration, Johnson was likewise very weak on such a fundamental issue for someone supposedly headlining ‘the freedom party.’ He & Weld did not come out of nowhere and were not selected by a bunch of corrupt superdelegates; there’s a large faction of the LP that are simply radical Democrats, and are no friendlier to us on gun issues than the DNC.
      4) If there is any justice in the world, Atwater’s cancer continues to eat at him in the boiling bowels of hell to this very day.

      1. avatar User1 says:

        The Libertarian party was abandoned for the Republican party. That happened when Ron Paul retired.

        The younger Republicans want to fix the party like they want to fix the NRA. The older generation wants to keep it going as is.

      2. avatar Rocketman says:

        I would strongly dispute that the LP is more anti-gun than the GOP is. When I was active, everyone that I knew but one individual in my state organization (I was county chairman of the second largest city in the state at the time) was hard core pro-gun and the one that wasn’t had the opinion that everyone could keep their guns but he personally didn’t want one in his house because of his small children. The rank and file LP are 95%+ pro-gun.
        Johnson and Weld were aberrations. Neither was particularly pro-freedom and Weld who got into the Mass. governorship changed his very mildly pro-gun stance after being in office for awhile. Weld could again run for the LP presidential nomination but after making pro-Hillary and anti-assault weapon comments he’s not going to get it.
        The GOP is riddled with leftist RINO’s like the late John McCain and needs an overhaul but it’s too tightly controlled by the moneyed elite. The LP is the best hope America has that the Bill of Rights will be kept intact for future generations including the Second Amendment.

  23. avatar Mad Max says:

    So what should or can NRA members do about this situation?

    Should we all get together and march on NRA HQ? Something else?

    1. avatar mnrobitaille says:

      Only about 2% of NRA members attend the NRA Annual Meetings (NRAAM). The other 98% can get active by writing letters/e-mails to the NRA Board of Directors. Write letters/e-mails to various executive staff at NRA, state your feelings about the current state of affairs. Request that NRAAM be held in locations besides Indianapolis, Dallas, Houston, Louisville, & Nashville. The NRAAM used to be held around the US.

      Part of the problem is that only a small number of members is being heard from.

  24. avatar Made in America says:

    NRA-2019
    It was just a matter of time. Been a CCL carrier for years with three State Permits, member of 2 local gun clubs, believe in the 2A with reservations; however, never have been a member, let alone Life Member of the NRA. One could see the deterioration of this organization coming over the years. However, I do feel sorry for the active devoted employees of the NRA who worked so hard to help that organization to prosper, only to see all that the NRA stood for go tight down the tubes.

    Seems like, it’s all about Greed. A lot of it sounds like Trump, Greed, all for me. Don’t like it, get out or get fired. It’s that easy.

    Remembering the Meeting Trump had when he met with some of the kids from Parkland Florida soon after the Parkland incident. At their meeting, among other gun issues, these kids pleaded with the President to increase the age to 21 years for individuals purchasing assault weapons. The President listened and seemed to agree and that he would bring the matter up with members of his Gun Control Committee.

    At that meeting (part of which was shown on our local news), I remember that to the left of Trump was committee member Senator Feinstein and across the table was the Senator Cornyn from Texas . Trump remarked that he had a meeting with the Parkland kids about the age requirement to purchase assault weapons should be left at 21 years rather than 18 years and Trump asked if the subject came up for consideration at their recent committee meeting.

    Cornyn replied, that gun issues came up but, the subject of the age requirement consideration was not on the agenda. Trump asked why not and when no answer was given, Trump retorted, the reason the subject did not up at their meeting was because the Gun Control Committee is afraid of the NRA. (How about that!)

    Trump went on to say, that HE wasn’t afraid of the NRA and that HE would talk the NRA about the matter. That very evening Trump met with the Officials of the NRA in a private Meeting at 11:30pm, with no media in attendance (of course not) and the very next day when the subject of the age requirement was brought up by the news media, Trump said he discussed the matter with NRA Officials and agreed with the NRA that the age requirement should be left at 18 years of age to purchase assault weapons.
    Talk about a Flipper!!.

    Of course there still are States that permit purchasing assault type weapons at 18 years of age and this subject will be debatable for some time to come. Probably never come to rest. Look for the other organizations like the NRA start to dwindle. So sad.

    1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      Oh, so you “believe in the 2A with reservations”, do you? And just what might those reservations be? You also mention “assault type weapons”, which, combined with other comments you’ve made in the past, leads me to believe you’re quite the Fudd. That is if you are, in fact, a gun owner at all (which I tend to doubt.)

      Now I’m not a huge supporter of our President, more or less neutral on the subject, but it’s quite apparent that Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is strong with you… Nice move, sandwiching 5 paragraphs of Trump-hate between 2 paragraphs touching on the NRA, an organization to which you have never belonged, and therefore have no skin in the game…

  25. avatar joefoam says:

    Agree that the BOD has way too many members. Many have been on the board for decades and keep getting elected like many legislators on name recognition only. If the vote was truly 100% to retain existing leadership, that in itself raises a red flag and lends credibility to the charges made in the open letter. Money corrupts and there is a lot of cash flowing around in the NRA headquarters. I have hedged my bets by joining the SAF and the GOA and now I’m seeking local organizations to join. I would urge all to do the same, all eggs in the same basket doesn’t work hence the old saying.

  26. avatar Paladin says:

    When good people do nothing!

  27. avatar GySgt. Lew says:

    Andrew Lander’s Open Letter to NRA Board Members was the BEST I’ve ever read about how crooked the NRA Board Members are – especially LaPierre. Lt. Col. Oliver North was correct with what he said about LaPierre and the Board Members – BRING BACK NORTH…
    I think the letter should go Viral so everyone could read it. Myself and a lot of my Marine Friends (Life Members) are cancelling our memberships with the NRA.

    “Semper-Fi” Lt. Col.Oliver North….

  28. avatar Aleric says:

    I see all the same FUDDS on here talking about how much the NRA does. Could they elaborate on the gun laws the NRA has helped repeal in the last 20 years? The number of gun laws they stopped from being enacted? All I have seen is them set on their assses while Gun laws were passed and HELPED to get other put into effect. While constantly BEGGING me for more and more money for dues and donations.

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