On my way home this afternoon from visiting my granddaughters, I chanced across The New Yorker Radio Hour. The lead story was on the NRA and Mike Spies article that ran this past week. It goes over much of what was written in the article but it also had excerpts from Spies’s interview with Aaron Davis who formerly worked in the NRA’s major gifts fundraising unit.
Bearing in mind that any interview that is broadcast is made up of excerpts and that those excerpts are chosen to make a point or enhance the story, the interview with Davis seems to illustrate how the aims of Ackerman McQueen and the aims of preserving and protecting the Second Amendment are at odds. Davis notes that many of those he worked with at Ack-Mac were, as he put it, “New York or Austin types” who were PR professionals first, foremost, and always. Unlike Davis, they were not believers in the NRA or the Second Amendment.
The other thing this audio broadcast illustrated is that Spies’ reporting depended on a lot of inside information from presumably disgruntled staff at the NRA including handwritten memos and other documents. I am not disappointed in the staff for spilling the beans. Rather, I’m disappointed that it took an article from an outsider with an anti-NRA agenda to illustrate the major internal problems that can and may put the organization itself at risk. By extension, it also puts the battle for the Second Amendment and gun rights at risk. Bloomberg himself couldn’t have done more damage than those tasked with supposedly advancing gun rights have done through their own avarice and self-dealing.
The New Yorker Radio Hour broadcasts on many public radio stations. Rather than have you have to search for a rebroadcast of it, I have embedded it here. The NRA portion of the episode runs approximately 20 minutes.