The Purge Continues At The NRA

The ascendancy of William Brewer and his law firm at the NRA is almost complete. Danny Hakim of the New York Times reported that Charles Cooper of Cooper and Kirk had been dismissed as an outside counsel to the NRA. Cooper and his firm had handled much of the NRA’s lawsuits in the past number of years.

Now Mr. LaPierre is continuing to purge opponents. On Thursday, the N.R.A. dismissed its longtime outside counsel, Charles J. Cooper, the chairman of the Washington law firm Cooper & Kirk, people with knowledge of the decision said. A second outside counsel and a top in-house counsel resigned. The departures come after an internal inquiry showed that the lawyers were involved in an effort to undermine Mr. LaPierre.

From what I have gathered from multiple sources, the “internal inquiry” consists of Josh Powell and William Brewer dragging people into a room and interrogating them for hours on end. If your inquiry team consists of a business failure and an attorney under an ethical cloud the results will be whatever is most likely to feed Wayne LaPierre’s paranoid fantasy of the day.

But as the informercial says, wait! It gets better.

The N.R.A. is also considering halting payments to its former second in command, Christopher Cox, who left in June but is still on the payroll, said the people, who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal matters.

The article continues with the assertion that Cooper, Cox, and others were secretly working with AckMac as part of the supposed coup to depose Wayne. Hakim in his story says he is working with documents that have come to light as a result of the NRA’s lawsuit against Oliver North. If I had to hazzard a guess, I’d say the documents came from Brewer and his firm as they seem to have Hakim on speed dial.

Hakim concludes his story by writing (and including a link to my blog’s namesake):

The unraveling of lawyers, guns and money coincides with the departures of half a dozen board members in recent weeks. But Mr. LaPierre remains center stage, as polarizing as ever.

“Donald Trump and Wayne LaPierre are made for each other,” said Peter Ambler, executive director of Giffords, the gun control group started by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords. He called them “mirror images” engulfed in “allegations of corruption and mismanagement.”

But Todd Rathner, a member of the N.R.A.’s board, said, “Wayne is leading and proving that he has the political juice to get the job done.”

 Given the White House’s backtracking from what Wayne reported of his conversation with President Trump, I’d question Rathner’s last statement. He might have the juice to purge his supposed enemies within the NRA but I sincerely doubt his political effectiveness on the national scene anymore.

San Jose Mayor Proposes “Gun Liability Insurance”

Sam Liccardo is the mayor of San Jose, California. He proposed that gun owners living in the city must buy gun liability insurance or pay a fee “to cover the emergency response and medical care for victims of ‘gun violence’ (sic).” San Jose would be the first city in the United States to require such insurance for the exercise of an enumerated civil right.

https://www.richardmeier.com/?projects=san-jose-city-hall-2

As reported by Insurance Business Magazine:

He likened his proposed mandatory gun liability insurance to state-enforced auto insurance requirements, stating: “We see in the context, for example, of auto insurance, how insurance can provide a motivator for safe conduct […] Similarly, we could do the same with gun ownership — how you might reduce your premium, for example, by taking a gun safety course or by having a gun safe or by ensuring that you only have guns with child-safe locks.” …

In the interview with FOX Business, Liccardo said the insurance is not intended to “seek [out and] identify all the gun owners” in the city. Rather, he hopes it will address the significant cost of gun violence to California taxpayers.


He said: “All public costs for everything from emergency response to emergency room treatment — all the costs that result from the human harm of gun violence. It seems to me that those costs should be properly allocated and distributed. Insurance is one way of doing that.”

In essence, what Mayor Liccardo is seeking to do is impose a tax on the right of self-defense paid for by the law-abiding. This becomes much clearer when you read the actual key elements of his plan from the city’s website.

These include:

  1. Liability insurance to cover negligent discharges and “for the intentional acts of third parties who steal, borrow, or otherwise acquire the gun.
  2. If insurance is not available, then it would be a per-household fee for gun owners to participate in a public compensation pool.
  3. A gun and ammunition tax which he hopes becomes a regional tax.
  4. A “consent to search” plan in conjunction with the SJPD involving parental permission to search homes and confiscate firearms owned by dependents.
  5. A bounty program for anonymous tipsters who identify “unlawful possessors” of firearms.
  6. Legislative advocacy to promote his liability insurance plan for state-wide adoption.

For perspective on this from the insurance industry I went to the Insurance Information Institute to see what they had to say about “gun liability insurance”. They note first that insurers rarely offer separate “gun liability insurance”. A person would have some coverage for non-intentional acts from their homeowner’s insurance as well as from any supplemental or umbrella liability policies. This would cover negligence but might not cover acts of self-defense. Coverage for Mayor Liccardo’s “intentional acts of third parties” would most certainly not be covered.

Coverage for firearms is usually mentioned only in the property section of a homeowner’s policy. Since firearms are not mentioned in the liability section, it is implied that since it is not excluded that it would be covered.

There are exclusions:

Not all accidents are covered, per the terms of the policy. For example, if a relative living at the same home were accidentally shot, the accident would not appear to be covered.


The policy explicitly says it will not cover “expected or intended injury.” The policy is designed to cover accidents, not intentional, criminal actions, such as a homicide or an attempted homicide. A mass shooting would not appear to be covered. A critical point is that covering an intentional, illegal act like armed assault would violate standard underwriting principles.


Although acts that are intended or expected to cause harm are generally excluded, some policies restore coverage in cases where bodily injury or property damage results from the use of “reasonable force” by an insured to protect persons or property.

The Insurance Information Institute goes on to say you might get coverage through a group personal coverage policy with someone like, you know, the National Rifle Association. The unintended consequence of Mayor Liccardo’s attempt to kill gun ownership and, by extension, the gun culture could be an exponential growth in the number of NRA members in his community. I’ll bet you he didn’t consider that when he made this proposal!

Remember, They Have To Lie To Win

Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon alerted readers to this on Twitter. Shannon Watts, the head Demanding Mommie, intentionally misquoted Marion Hammer who was testifying on the proposed constitutional amendment in Florida that would effectively ban all semiautomatic firearms.

At a Tallahassee hearing on prohibiting assault weapons, @NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said: “How do you tell a 10-year-old girl that the rifle she got for Christmas is an assault weapon and she has to give it up or risk arrest on felony charges?” #flapol https://t.co/aPVGTNYbx1— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 16, 2019

Marion Hammer is not my favorite person as anyone who has read this blog knows. However, I happen to believe that you really should quote what the person says accurately regardless of whether you agree with her or not.

In this case, what Marion really said is much more innocuous. Indeed, I think only the true believer gun prohibitionists would object to it.

From the Tampa Bay Times with the actual quote:

“How do you tell a 10-year-old little girl who got a Ruger 10/22 with a pink stock for her birthday that her rifle is an assault weapon and she has to turn it over to government or be arrested for felony possession?”

Shannon Watts knows how to play to an audience. If she has to lie as she plays the audience, so be it. Case in point -she was in Charlotte this past week for an event at Johnson C. Smith University billed as a “community conversation” on “gun violence” (sic). My friend Josette from Grass Roots North Carolina was in the audience and heard Watts say, ” there is NO background check to purchase an AR.” I’m sure some in the audience might believe that but it is an out and out lie. If called out on it by you or me, we’d be accused of bullying the “stay-at-home mom of five” which, by the way, is another of her inaccuracies.

Richard Childress Resigns From NRA Board

NASCAR legend and NRA Board member Richard Childress has resigned from the NRA Board of Directors effective yesterday. He served as First VP until late April of this year. He along with Oliver North were asking the difficult questions about finance and the Brewer law firm. His resignation is the fifth this year and the sixth since the 2018 NRA Annual Meeting if you count Pete Brownell.

Richard Childress at the 2019 Annual Meeting – from CNN

His letter below says he needs to fully focus on his businesses which include his race team and a winery in North Carolina. His business acumen and his fund raising abilities will be missed by the NRA. It is my understanding that he is the reason Bass Pro Shops and their Cabelas subsidiary are such large sponsors especially at the Annual Meetings.

How Not To Win Friends And Influence Justices

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) considers himself worthy of authoring an amicus brief for a case before the Supreme Court. He should think again. Despite a long legal career before being elected to the Senate which culminated with him serving as both the Attorney General of Rhode Island for one term and before that as the Clinton-appointed US Attorney for Rhode Island, his brief in NY State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York is a polemic and not an argument.

Moreover, as the son and grandson of diplomats, you would have thought somewhere along the line it would have rubbed off on him how to be diplomatic towards those that matter. Daddy served as deputy ambassador to the Republic of Vietnam followed up as the ambassador to Laos and then Thailand. Granddad was ambassador to Guatemala and Colombia and served earlier on the commission that wrote the Treaty of Versailles.

Whitehouse was joined in this polemic, I mean amicus brief, by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) who are all lawyers by training. They begin the brief arguing that the NYSRPA, the petitioners, are asking the Court to be their allies in ” a “project”
to expand the Second Amendment and thwart gun-safety (sic) regulations.” They continue that it is no wonder polls show the Supreme Court is “motivated mainly by politics.” It goes downhill from here.

They then argue that it was the National Rifle Association, the Federalist Society, and other conservative groups fought to make sure that Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would be on the Court to “break the tie” in favor of the Second Amendment. It goes on to say about the Federalist Society:

The Society counts over eighty-six percent of
Trump administration nominees to the circuit courts
of appeal and to this Court as active members. It is
not yet clear who the powerful funders are behind
Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society judicial
selection effort, nor what took place as the Federalist
Society was “insourced” into the Trump
administration’s judicial selection process.5 But
massive political spending and secrecy are rarely a
salubrious combination.

In other words, these fine senators are pissed off that President Trump has nominated active members of an organization dedicated to an interpretation of the Constitution that preserves the original meaning. They would much prefer those of the Living Constitution stripe.

This brief then goes on to attack the amicus briefs in favor of the NY State Rifle and Pistol Association implying that they are stooges of the NRA. Eight of the amici are affiliated with the NRA. However, most of those are from only one amicus brief – that of the National Sheriffs Association. Then, heaven forbid, a number of amici are 503(c)(4) social welfare organization who are not required to disclose their donors. As the secretary of the Maryland Democratic Party might note, this makes them harder to dox. Of course much of this is ludicrous. Accusing groups like the Pink Pistols and GOA of being stooges of the NRA is laughable.

Whitehouse ends Section I of the brief with this.

Out in the real world, Americans are murdered
each day with firearms in classrooms or movie
theaters or churches or city streets, and a generation
of preschoolers is being trained in active-shooter
survival drills. In the cloistered confines of this
Court, and notwithstanding the public imperatives of
these massacres, the NRA and its allies brashly
presume, in word and deed, that they have a friendly
audience for their “project.”

You might think Whitehouse might now try to curry favor with the justices in Section II and you’d be wrong. After a few paragraphs saying how the Court shouldn’t be answering moot questions and legislating from the bench, he then accuses the Court’s majority of being the tools of big business, the GOP, and fat cats.

Recent patterns raise legitimate questions about
whether these limits remain. From October Term
2005 through October Term 2017, this Court issued
78 5-4 (or 5-3) opinions in which justices appointed by
Republican presidents provided all five votes in the
majority. In 73 of these 5-4 decisions, the cases
concerned interests important to the big funders,
corporate influencers, and political base of the
Republican Party. And in each of these 73 cases,
those partisan interests prevailed.

Then he accuses the petitioners of engaging in strategic “faux litigation”. What he is speaking of is strategic civil rights litigation with carefully chosen plaintiffs and with the purpose of building precedent. The interesting historical aspect of this is that the model for this strategic litigation was none other than the NAACP Legal Defense Fund run at the time by future Justice Thurgood Marshall.

For example, we have seen flocks of
“freedom-based public interest law” organizations
that exist only to change public policy through
litigation, and which often do not disclose their
funders. We have seen behavioral signals, like
litigants who rush to lose cases in lower courts “as
quickly as practicable and without argument, so that
[they] can expeditiously take their claims to the
Supreme Court” (ordinarily, in litigation, litigants
seek to win).
Almost invariably, and as we have seen in this case, such plaintiffs are accompanied by
throngs of professional amici, whose common funding
sources and connections to the organizations behind
the supposed party-in-interest are obscured by
ineffective disclosure rules.

Instead of being flattered, Whitehouse seems to say how dare these dirty, low down conservatives imitate the tactics and strategies of the Left!

He then ends the brief with a threat.

The Supreme Court is not well. And the people
know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the
public demands it be “restructured in order to reduce
the influence of politics.” Particularly on the urgent
issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to
heal.

Whitehouse is no FDR but he thinks his threat of packing the Court is going to sway it. His demeaning attitude should irritate even the most ardent liberals on the Court. Whether this case is ultimately dismissed as moot or not, there will be more cases that have even more impact for Second Amendment rights that are now or soon will be in the pipeline.

UPDATE: I’m not the only one who found Whitehouse’s brief to be a polemic and not a real argument. Prof. William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection covered it as well. Note the comments. I agree with the person who said ” The Court should strike the brief without a right to refile an amended brief, and impose sanctions.”

Julie Golob Makes Four

Competitive shooter and NRA Board of Directors member Julie Golob announced today that she had resigned from the Board. She said the decision was the best “for me and my family.” Other than that, she did not go into any specifics.

Dear NRA Members,

I gave my notice to NRA President Carolyn Meadows, Secretary John Frazer, and Directors that I have resigned my position on the National Rifle Association Board of Directors.

My intentions in running as well as serving in this volunteer position are directly aligned with the purposes and objectives of the organization. I am proud to have had the opportunity to represent the members of the National Rifle Association but I can no longer commit to fulfilling the duties of a director.

This was not a decision I made lightly. I apologize to those members who have supported me that I will not be completing the full 3-year term. I also feel this is the best decision for me and my family.

I wish the director who fills my vacancy and the rest of the board nothing but success. I will absolutely continue to support the NRA’s programs and sports as a proud benefactor member and active participant in the preservation of freedom.

Sincerely yours,
Julie Golo
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 Julie was only one of three people I endorsed in 2018 for the Board of Directors. The other two were Tim Knight and Adam Kraut. As covered already, Tim has resigned from the Board and Adam declined the chance to fill one of the open positions. I’m not sure what this says about the power of my endorsements.

We may never know Julie’s motivations for leaving the Board and it is her choice to make them known if she so wishes. I do foresee further resignations from the Board especially given the most recent subpoena from Attorney General Letitia James to 90 current and former Board members. If I were an attorney – and I’m not – giving risk management advice to one of the deep-pocketed members of the Board, I’d say you must protect what you’ve earned and it is time to go. You can still support the organization in other ways but you need to get the heck out of there.

Technology, The Second Amendment, And Hong Kong

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong should be instructive for everyone in this country. You have a territory that was once a colony of Britain and is now essentially a vassal state of Red China. The people there have never been entirely free. While freer as a British colony, they were still ruled by edicts from London. Now as part of China with the “one country, two systems” policy, they are still ruled from afar. What they want is what we take for granted in the US – human rights, freedom, and democracy.

These protesters understand something that all the Democrats running for president, much of the media, and even too many Republicans don’t. That is the real purpose of the Second Amendment.

Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

They don’t plan to go duck hunting or deer hunting in Hong Kong. They fully understand the Second Amendment is what gives the people the power to change or overthrow a tyrannical government. While former presidential candidate Rep. Eric “Nuke’em” Swalwell is incredulous that people armed with mere small arms could take on a world power, one need only look to Afghanistan or to our former adversaries in Vietnam.

Modern technology gives the pro-democracy protesters a communication advantage that is hard to stop. They have found that Tinder can be used for more than hookups and that Poke’man Go isn’t just for my son-in-law to drive my daughter crazy.

Posting information about protests on Tinder is just one of several creative ways Hongkongers are using technology to mobilize people. For more than eight weeks now, technology has been at the center of organizing demonstrations against a controversial extradition bill.

People primarily communicated through Telegram groups and streamed their actions on gaming platform Twitch. As violence has escalated in recent weeks, though, police have been cracking down harder. So now protesters are resorting to more unorthodox methods of organizing and communicating online.

One of those methods, besides Tinder, is Pokémon Go.

When the Hong Kong police denied protesters permission to march in one of the city’s suburban neighborhoods on safety grounds, the protesters decided to say that they weren’t going for a march — they were just showing up for a game of Pokémon Go.

Rather than sneaking out messages like dissidents did using samizdat in the old Soviet Union, protesters are using Apple’s peer-to-peer AirDrop to pass on information to visitors from the rest of China. These visitors normally would only hear what the government allowed them to hear in China.

What makes AirDrop the ideal communication tool in this case is that it bypasses Chinese censors; news of protests in Hong Kong against the extradition bill have been blocked on popular social media platforms in China such as Weibo, WeChat and Baidu

I don’t know what will eventually happen in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, we in the United States should be paying attention. This is true especially now that you have media and technology giants controlling some much of what we see and hear. When you combine that with the statist nature of most politicians, right or left, it becomes an imperative that alternate voices are heard. You know like ones that ask the hard questions about the efficacy of background checks or red flag laws.

Every Local TV Story Should Feature Billy

City workers in Huntington, WV cut down a tree that was a hazard due to limbs breaking off. Unfortunately, the tree didn’t fall where they wanted it to go. The full story is here at WSAZ.

That was sad for the young lady whose Fiat 500 was destroyed. However, out of this comes a new hero of local TV news. That hero is Billy Tatum. You can hear why is the excerpt that has gone viral on Twitter.

Don’t you just know every local TV reporter who wants to make it to the big time wishes they had Billy Tatum in their highlight reel.

In case you have trouble with West Virginia accents, here is what Billy had to say.

“It sounded like a beer can getting flattened,” Tatum said. “It just was ‘crunch.’ I hate to say it, but it was kind of cool, you know? What guy doesn’t like destruction. That’s why we go to demolition derbies, but hey, the bottom line is that’s that girl’s new car, and she can’t get to school now.”

A Better Suggestion For The “NRA Mansion”

A couple of days ago the Washington Post broke a story that there had been talk about the NRA buying a $6 million mansion in Dallas for EVP Wayne LaPierre post-Parkland. The NRA is saying that it was Ackerman McQueen’s idea and AckMac is saying it was Wayne’s idea.

The origins of the idea to buy the mansion, its proposed purpose and the reason the deal never went through are now being fiercely disputed by the NRA and Ackerman McQueen, which are locked in a bitter legal fight.

In a statement late Tuesday night, Ackerman McQueen said LaPierre had sought the ad firm’s assistance with the real estate transaction, a proposal it said alarmed company officials. “Actions in this regard led to Ackerman McQueen’s loss of faith in Mr. LaPierre’s decision-making,” the firm said.

For their part, NRA officials said that the real estate purchase was suggested in early 2018 by Ackerman McQueen as an investment that would be managed by the ad firm’s top executives — and that it was ultimately rejected by top NRA leaders.

“The agency introduced Mr. LaPierre to its preferred local real estate agent, directed a tour of multiple homes, and established a company to manage the investment,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in a statement late Wednesday. “No matter, Mr. LaPierre ultimately rejected the opportunity and not one dime of the NRA’s money was spent on this venture.” The LaPierres did not respond to requests for comment.

The New York attorney general’s office is now examining the plan for an NRA-financed mansion as part of its ongoing investigation into the gun lobby’s tax-exempt status, in which it has subpoenaed the group’s financial records, the people said.

According to the Zillow listing, the mansion has 4 bedroom and 9 bathrooms. It overlooks a lake.

Now the idea of an organization have a residence in which to entertain rich donors and to house an executive is not unheard of. Indeed, universities and colleges around the nation do it all the time. If the NRA still wants to think about such a residence, I have a much better suggestion.

The Internal Revenue Service contracts with a company called CWS Marketing to sell seized properties. These properties are often seized due to tax fraud or due to being bought with illegal proceeds from drug or other transactions. As luck would have it CWS is holding an auction next week for a slightly smaller mansion that still has a lake view and is just made for entertaining.

The stately house is located in Mason, Ohio which is a suburb of Cincinnati. How ideal would it be to have the NRA Mansion be located in the same town as the Cincinnati Revolt of 1977. Just think how the location might remind NRA executives that if they didn’t stand up and fly straight they could go the way of Maxwell Rich.

It has a beautiful bar in the basement which is ideal for entertaining.

It also has a media room and a billiards room in the basement.

Moreover, it has some large closets that would fit most, if not all, of Wayne’s custom suits.

The house has a beautiful entry way which would be ideal for welcoming well-heeled donors.

It has a large patio and deck area on the rear of the home overlooking the lake. I think this would be ideal for cocktail parties and other gatherings where the touch is put on donors.

You can see many more pictures as well as the floor plans here.

The Zillow estimate of the value of the home is $1.8. However, with some artful bidding, I’m sure it could be had for much less than that.

A little bit of paint, some new carpeting, and it would be ready to go! Now doesn’t this make more sense than some house in Dallas. By the way the temperature in Dallas right now is 101 deg. while it is a balmy 84 deg. in Mason.