nra wayne lapierre
Dan Z for TTAG
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By Carl “Bear” Bussjaeger

Dear Ms. Hammer,
I see you have launched yet another attack on critics of the Vichy National Rifle Association.

I am one of those people. I have been for decades; long before it became trendy to notice the financial mismanagement (to be kind). So you are attacking me.

If I had done “1 percent of what Wayne has helped the NRA accomplish,” I would expect The Zelman Partisans to ban me from the site, cancel all my login credentials, and apologize to its members for allowing me to work there.

Let us speak of what the VNRA has done. It is a long list, but I will merely touch upon a few things, without going back too many decades.

Gun-Free School Zone Act: Perhaps you forgot that the VNRA supported that, putting honest firearm owners at risk of becoming felons simply by driving too close to a school. I consider that support to make the VNRA accomplices in every school shooting since.

NICS: That was another multidimensional chess “compromise” proposed by the VNRA. Sure, it sunsetted waiting periods… at the cost of forcing honest folk to preemptively prove their innocence in order to exercise basic human/civil rights.

Since I was around at the time, I — unlike you, it seems — recall warnings that with the background check system established, it could lead to universal background checks… of exactly the sort we’re facing today. (And let me tell you how much I appreciated your “compromise”: when I bought my first post-NICS firearm. I, an honorably discharged military veteran and former peace officer had to get the government’s permission to purchase a Marlin .22LR plinker. Thank you so very effing much.)

Assault Weapon Ban: Not so much the ’94 federal ban, but others. Imagine my surprise when I moved to a midwestern city and saw an NRA press release claiming credit for writing that city’s AWB banning my deer rifle. The VNRA’s excuse: It would have been worse if we didn’t write it. Worse?! You banned a deer rifle by specific model.

Constitutional Carry: Do you recall how the VNRA was against before it was for it? I do. I remember how we (i.e. not the VNRA) worked for years to get it passed in New Hampshire. We had it all lined up… and the effing NRA showed up on the last day of the legislative session and told reluctant a-holes that it was okay to ITL it because the NRA didn’t support it.

(Your excuse was that you only wanted it amended to duplicate some US Code language. But you did that after-hours, when you knew damned well it was too late to amend, and that you were working behind our backs.)

Old news, you say? How about some… newer news?

Bump-fire Ban: Stop pretending the VNRA simply meant to derail legislation by administratively “regulating bump-fire stocks under the NFA. We told you that the only way to do that administratively was to call them machineguns, and that, due to the VNRA’s earlier FOPA “compromise” (which gave firearms owners nothing), they would be post-’86 “machineguns” and thus banned completely, no grandfathering allowed.

And we warned that it opened the door to ruling that all semi-autos are “easily converted” to machineguns. Since you probably weren’t paying attention, take note that federal suits have been filed to ban all semi-autos for precisely that reason, using the new rule as the basis.

Not recent enough for you?

Ex parte firearm confiscation orders: Yes, the VNRA endorsed that constitutional abomination. Sure, once again you pretended that you meant ex parte-with-due-process.

No, that is an oxymoron making “military intelligence” pale in comparison. Look up TRUAX, and explain how “due process” after the fact works. (Hint: “poorly”)

The VNRA is endorsing legalized SWATting of the sort that has already gotten someone killed, and firearms confiscated from innocent people who weren’t even the subjects of the orders.

A man is dead, Hammer; that is on your conscience and LaPierre’s. If either of you are so equipped, which seems doubtful.

The damage VNRA, under LaPierre’s “leadership,” has done to supposedly constitutionally protected human/civil rights is why I criticize it. I wouldn’t give a damn about LaPierre’s busty-intern budget, hoped-for mansion, hundred-thousand dollar wardrobe, or the rest of his compensation package if he was earning it. Instead, he’s being pampered and paid to screw over the NRA membership specifically, and the nation in general. Without lubricant.

As I said, I have criticized the VNRA for more than two decades. And yes, I tried reaching out to the NRA with my concerns and specific suggestions (by phone, postal mail, and email; I may have even faxed back in the day). All I ever got back was mass-mailing membership solicitations.

A couple of year ago, I came to the conclusion that the VNRA was no longer salvageable and, as an active danger to Americans’ rights, needed to go the way of the dodo.

I came to that conclusion before the VNRA’s bump-fire fiasco. Before its endorsement of lethal SWATting.

And here is Marion Hammer reinforcing that conclusion.

The Vichy National Rifle Association delenda effing est.


Carl “Bear” Bussjaeger is a longtime RKBA activist, writer, veteran, and former peace officer. He’s a contributor to The Zelman Partisans blog. 

This letter was originally published at Random Acts of Gibberish and is reprinted here with permission. 

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  1. I’m sick of this meme that FOPA gave us nothing. Let me ask, have you ever sold a gun to a non-licensed person and you weren’t arrested for doing so? You can thank FOPA for that. Remember, ATF used to charge people who sold one gun at a gun show for dealing without a license before FOPA.

    • Agreed, not even sure what mental contortions it takes to literally claim that gun people got nothing. This guy can’t be serious.

    • Mike Hawkizard,

      FOPA in and of itself is not a loss as far as I know. The problem is that the Hughes Amendment came with it and now the populace (no matter how squeaky clean their criminal record is) cannot purchase full-auto firearms manufactured after 1986.

      And the alleged benefits of FOPA are questionable. First of all, New York is notorious for violating FOPA and arresting/prosecuting people travelling THROUGH (not TO) New York State. And fervor has reached a fevered pitch for universal background checks which, wait for it, interfere with the private sale of handguns between two individuals, such as would happen at a gun show.

      That is the problem with gun-grabber “compromises”. We never actually get anything. And gun-grabbers eventually come back to take more of whatever fraction we had left after the previous “compromise”.

      • FOPA was no compromise, it was a unilateral reinforcement of firearms freedom at the federal level. That’s why they hung the Hughes amendment on to try to torpedo it.

        Of course that sucks, and you can still blame NRA for encouraging Reagan to sign anyway and then never challenging it afterward.

    • Mike Hawkizard and Eric in Oregon,

      And now I will make it crystal clear for both of you.

      Gun-grabbers will tell us that they want to outlaw all private firearm sales. However, they are willing to “compromise” and allow private sales if we agree to universal background checks.

      That previous example is not a “compromise” at all because we get nothing in return for what we give up (interference-free private sales) — while gun-grabbers give up nothing and get something (universal background checks which interfere with private sales).

      An actual compromise would be along the lines of:
      (1) We give up interference-free private sales and agree to universal background checks
      (2) Gun-grabbers give up the National Firearms Act of 1934 and agree that people who pass a universal background check can purchase short-barreled rifles, shotguns, and suppressors without paying a $200 tax and waiting 12 months for a tax stamp.

      Thus, we get cash-and-carry (immediate possession of) short barreled rifles, shotguns, and suppressors (which we did not previously have for the last 85 years) and gun-grabbers get universal background checks (which we did not have for the last 243 years).

      • That’s not a good idea. UBC = national registration = confiscation.

        NFA needs to go but it’s not worth giving up *everything else* to make it happen.

        • Universal background checks could quite easily be done without registration.

          Many people have posted here about how it would work. If we could get someone with serious clout to propose UBCs that check the people only (not the products) and are accessible to literally everyone (not just dealers), we’d be entering true win/win compromise territory.

          And it would put the anti-gun Democrats in a terrible bind, too. The death of their ill-kept secret registration/confiscation dream vs. getting something they’ve publicly clamored for and that the public (including most gun owners) would love.

        • “quite easily be done without registration”

          I just don’t agree. It can’t be enforced without a registration, and IMO an unenforceable law isn’t worth even talking about.

        • Eric in Oregon,

          I do not support such a compromise. I was merely illustrating what a real compromise is.

        • uncommon_sense, my point was that the particular example you cited would not in fact be a compromise, just another “give up this part of the cake to maybe get this other part *back*” step down the path to losing 2A entirely.

      • This guy gets it; FOPA is meaningless in areas where authorities want it to be meaningless, and the reason the feds relented a little bit in recent decades is because Bush/Bubba screwed the pooch (sorry, Monica) and got gun owners riled up politically & legally; now that there area litany of groups just waiting to pounce on something as ridiculous as prosecution of a single sale at a gunshow as proof of conducting unlicensed business, they’ve been forced to back off or risk losing the whole damn statute. Not because of FOPA. The same Bureau running guns to Mexican cartels to commit murders with in order to further gun control; somehow I doubt they give a shit what the law says, only what judges allow them to do when they get caught.

  2. You missed a very important one: The Hughes Amendment, an effective ban on the most common firearms in the world. Here’s LaPierre saying he supported it (go to 4:09)
    This is a direct contradiction of his claims, made in official NRA publications, and the claims of other senior NRA officials in 1986 that repealing the Hughes would be a “high priority” and that the NRA supported the right to own full auto.

    • A quibble, but

      “ban on the most common firearms in the world”

      refers to machine guns, right? I’m curious how those would be considered the most common.

      • Since when was the most common firearm in the world is NOT the fun switch equipped AK-47? Plenty of other machine guns in the top 25 as well.

      • Every military & practically all armed police forces use select fire guns today. We all know damn well that select fire M4’s would be ubiquitous today among American civilians as well, were it not for the Hughes Amendment. I always say to people who doubt this; “why don’t we try a six-week MG amnesty then, to see what the demand is really like?” –LOL, ATF would be crushed into a crater by the weight of a billion applications.

  3. Ehh, she’s old and will be dead soon. Same for WLP. As long as our civil rights can Outlast them, we should be fine. The next generation will have far fewer boomers.

  4. Mr Bussjaeger – WTF are you. Anyone know that this isn’t just one more prog trolling?

    In any case Marion Hammer (and the NRA) have been fighting the good fight since most to the whiners here (the paid for trolls) were in diapers. Any of THEM actually done diddly squat. This included Nitwit Nanashi.

    The progs apparently are winning this little battle for the “hearts and minds”. The fold the tents crowd’s performance doesn’t portend much good when things actually get tough. Soros spend a few K to tear down the NRA, seeds a few trolls here and at other gun sites and the POTG go all Quisling.

    • I think they were Quisling surrender-monkeys until after the 2013/Newtown cash grab, but at this point the signs are pointing more strongly to them actively working against the interests of their members at the behest of ‘outside’ influence (be it Bloomberg buck or be it simple graft, it hardly matters at this point) so I think Vichy is a more fitting description.

      The Vichy French government had a shitload of supporters among the French people, btw; Le Resistance was a tiny fraction of a minority of disaffected Frenchmen (who mostly hated the Nazis because they weren’t communists). I think there are also parallels to draw between such a group and much of the remaining complicit NRA membership.

  5. Mike Hawkizard: “Remember, ATF used to charge people who sold one gun at a gun show for dealing without a license before FOPA.”

    And they continued doing so for years after. “Spot the fed” was a regular game at gun shows in Georgia in the ’90s, and I had an ATF CI try to sting me in 2003.

    You might even recall when Clinton began purging FFLs, to make it easier to bust sellers… in the ’90s.

    “Agreed, not even sure what mental contortions it takes to literally claim that gun people got nothing. This guy can’t be serious.”

    “We” got:

    1. Limits on FFL inspections, with a loophole the ATF still exploits.

    2. “Safe passage,” which NYS and NJ were still violating at least up to a year ago, when a federal judge finally enforced it. Last time I had to drive through MA, I disassembled my firearms, tie- wrapped individual parts, locked them in a metal case, and chained the case to the truck frame, because MA cops routinely busted travelers for anything less; that was 2014, 28 years after FOPA.

    3. Registry ban, which the ATF complies with by photocopying 4473s during inspections and scanning into an indexed image collection. All that data is collected, ready to be OCR’d into a searchable database as soon as a bill — such as already filed in the House — passes.

    We lost machineguns, and later bump-fire stocks, thanks to the Hughes amendment. And, as mentioned, there are federal lawsuit in progress intended to extend that loss to semi-autos.

  6. Preach it brother!

    Not one penny until Wayne and the Hammer are gone!

    Even if they are clean as the wind driven snow, the fact they know they are toxic in the public eye and member’s eye should be enough for them to resign in the best interests of the 2A and the NRA. But of course they care only about milking the NRA teet dry.


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