Scandal has plagued the National Rifle Association for months now. Plenty of folks, myself included, think the NRA’s EVP and CEO Wayne LaPierre owns much of the mess. Others believe Mr. LaPierre has saved the organization from ruin, time and time again, including now.
Even if LaPierre really has saved the organization in the past, the continuing, increasing allegations of scandal and mismanagement have gutted his effectiveness in the leadership role.
As an example of his compromised ineffectiveness, simply look at the comments in a recent TTAG post about the NRA’s statement, “Taking Guns Away From Law-Abiding Citizens Makes Us Less Safe.” The NRA’s chief narrates a slick, well-done video with a solid, powerful message following the El Paso and Dayton shootings.
Kudos, by the way, for doing that inside the NRA instead of paying a vendor millions. Or at least we hope there isn’t a new Ack-Mac that’s been hired by NRA to replace the old one.
Watching LaPierre speak, I couldn’t help but think, “So that’s what a $20,000 suit looks like.” My next thoughts: “That’s two dozen really decent AR-15s he’s wearing” and “If that suit cost twenty grand, how much did the shirt and tie cost?” and lastly, “You know, my $400 suits look almost as nice.”
Turning to the comments, it looks like the NRA’s continuing reports of scandal and mismanagement on Waples Mill Road are weighing heavily on people’s minds.
The very first comment from “Wood”: “OK Wayne. Retire already.”
The first remotely charitable comment came almost an hour after posting. Gregolas wrote:
About halfway through the comments, it looks like I wasn’t the only one thinking about those $20,000 suits from a Beverly Hills clothier. David Pratt did too.
That sure is a nice suit he’s wearing. I wonder how much it cost.
Few had good things to say about the video or its message. And I didn’t see one that thought well of its messenger.
One can’t help but think that even though those commenting on a single story here aren’t a representative sample of Americans, nevertheless they represent a decent number of gun owners and NRA members who are engaged. And people who are engaged are the ones who make things happen.
And TTAG readers aren’t the only ones. This is from a Politico post yesterday titled, ‘I’m worried’: Allies fear NRA has lost its power in Washington . . .
The NRA has a net negative rating for the first time, according to a FOX News poll released this week. Only 42 percent of voters view the NRA favorably, compared with 49 percent in 2018; 47 percent viewed the group unfavorably.
Even those who support the NRA said they are concerned. Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for Gun Owners of America, which opposes new gun restrictions, said his group contacted the NRA asking about its plan of attack on possible legislation. “What we got back was gobbledygook,” he said. “I’m worried.”
The reality is that — outside of a majority of current NRA board members — almost no one else has faith in LaPierre. That undermines his effectiveness as a leader, both publicly and privately.
That lack of confidence is corrosive and diminishes the NRA’s influence at a critical time. It’s difficult to see how even the most staunch LaPierre allies on the board can continue to argue that his presence at the top of the Association is a positive thing for the NRA or gun rights.
Really, Wayne…it’s time to go.