The NRA has a lot of problems on its hands these days. There are the investigations of its leadership, including Wayne LaPierre, the bankruptcy filing, and personnel purges and pay cuts for remaining staff. Now comes a New Jersey newspaper reporting on how current NRA Board Member Anthony Colandro is working to promote an Everytown for Gun Safety anti-gun “safety” program.
Everytown, as you know, is funded by gun-grabber extraordinaire Michael Bloomberg. Unlike the National Rifle Association’s own extensive, well-known gun safety program, Everytown has no certified instructors or proven curricula that have helped bring America’s accident gun death rates to historic lows. And the gun control org’s idea of “gun safety” involves locking up your guns before you eventually surrender them to police.
Last year, anti-gun financier Bloomberg thought so much of the gun control issue that he made it his primary platform in his run for the Democrat nomination for president. Former Mayor Mike spent about $1.2B on his short, spectacular failure of a campaign. All that cash and his famously charming charisma bought him a total of 40 delegates (of 3979 total).
Clearly gun control isn’t a winning issue with America’s voters.
So when NRA Board Member Anthony Colandro (above center), who was elected to the NRA board last year, was pictured in a New Jersey dead tree publication showing off educational materials provided by Blooomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, it raised questions.
Colandro was displaying Everytown’s “gun safety” brochures that his shop planned to distribute to every individual who files for a gun permit.
From Tap Into Passaic County:
The Woodland Park Police Department, in partnership with the Woodland Park Stigma Free Task Force and Passaic County Moms Demand Action, announced a new initiative in which they will provide a Be SMART Gun Safety brochure to each individual who files for a gun permit in town. Woodland Park is the first municipality in Passaic County to take this step.
In addition, Gun for Hire owner Anthony Colandro, who is a Stigma Free Task Force member, also supports the Be SMART gun safety initiative, and will provide this vital information to range patrons.
The Be SMART campaign to raise awareness that secure gun storage — storing guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition — can save children’s lives. Be SMART emphasizes that it’s an adult responsibility to keep kids from accessing guns, and that every adult can play a role in keeping kids and communities safer.
We reached out to Mr. Colandro to ask if he also offers NRA materials to his customers in addition to the Everytown-produced “Be SMART” materials.
As Mr. Colandr wrote . . .
As a gun range owner we have NSSF suicide prevention literature at the range in addition to free gun locks from NSSF project child safe. We also have NRA memberships and I am an NRA recruiter as well as other employees. We also give every student a copy of the ANJRPC.org newsletter which is the State NRA affiliate and every student gets a NRA membership brochure.
I was approached by two members the Woodland Park Stigma Free Task force of which I am a member of and asked if I would display the Be Smart post card as well as the brochure. I inspected the literature and observed that its main focus was on storage and securing firearms so I agreed to place them with the other literature I discussed above. Full disclosure, I did not read the fine print that they were supplied by Everytown.
To his credit, Mr. Colandro said he would take another look at the “Be SMART” materials and re-evaluate whether he’ll continue to offer them.
He also kindly invited us for a cigar in his FU Mike Bloomberg lounge.
In a 2016 feature story at the NRA’s blog, Colandro was described this way:
Anthony wanted to learn everything he could about firearms and how he could help others who shared a similar passion. “I was informally teaching people for years at the ranges I went to and I finally decided to go legit,” he laughs. He became an NRA Certified Instructor, Regional Training Counselor, and NRA Master Training Counselor – enabling him to teach every NRA course including Refuse To Be A Victim.
In the end, we have an NRA Master Training Counselor and Board Member featured in a local newspaper handing out not only apolitical NRA gun safety materials, of which there are plenty, but also Everytown-produced propaganda.
We recently ran a piece about how gun shops must implement “gun owner to gun voter” programs to help educate the millions of new gun owners across America.
The gun industry needs to acknowledge and act on a simple fact of life: if you are involved with guns, you are unavoidably involved in politics…whether you like it or not.
Turning new gun owners into new gun voters starts with educating and engaging them regularly. Range owners and FFLs need to open up a new front on the war to preserve the Second Amendment or look for other lines of work…
How can the NSSF and NRA work together most effectively? One way is to expand an underutilized NRA program: Second Amendment Activist Centers. If you haven’t heard of SAACs, you’re not alone and you’ve proven my point that the program needs promotion.
A Shift at the NSSF
SAACs require a cooperative industry and dedicated 2A activists to be effective. You can’t just become a SAAC and then say “we’re done” without doing the activist work on the ground they require tobe effective.
To that end, the NSSF should task its range team to get FFLs and commercial ranges on board while NRA grassroots field coordinators supply the educational materials, enlist volunteers and engage customers. This approach will make SAACs a prime distribution channel for educational materials on gun control to new and existing gun owners.
The NSSF should also include “Gun Owner to Gun Voter” programs in its range rating criteria and mandate participation in a SAAC for any range to get a 4 or 5 star rating. NSSF must urge FFLs and ranges to educate their customers on gun control and the gun policies espoused by their elected representatives.
Many if not most of these first-time gun buyers are from non-traditional backgrounds when it comes to owning firearms. And frankly, most of them likely never really considered the downside to voting for candidates who advocate for gun control and civilian disarmament measures.
With that in mind, if America’s gun shops hand out “gun safety” materials generated by gun control organizations like Everytown, they aren’t doing The People of The Gun any favors. In fact, one might even say they are helping to craft the noose with which to hang us all.