Jeff Knox, son of the late Neal Knox, is a person I like and respect. We’ve met at various NRA Annual Meetings and Gun Rights Policy Conferences over the years. I’ve come to appreciate his great love for the NRA and what it could be as well as his extensive institutional memory. He has been fighting a long but so-far losing battle to reform the NRA in an effort to recapture what the Cincinnati Revolt of 1977 was supposed to institutionalize. Some may have seen his efforts as quixotic as he has been a lone voice in the wilderness arguing that change was needed for lo these many years. Nonetheless, he was right and the recent revelations regarding the NRA are providing him some vindication.
Things are coming to a head. As I wrote yesterday, Everytown for Gun Safety has filed a formal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service. This shot across the bow from the gun prohibitionists may only be the first step. Moreover, Attorney General Letitia James (D-NY) could well move to dissolve the NRA for being in violation of New York’s stringent non-profit laws as the organization is chartered in the State of New York.
Jeff, in an opinion piece published late yesterday in Ammoland, posits there are now only two options going forward to save the NRA.
Option 1. A majority of the Board circles the wagons in defense of Wayne LaPierre and his pals and tries to weather the storm. (They’ll fail, and the whole ship will sink.)
Option 2. A majority of the Board fires LaPierre and other executives (or accepts their resignations) and nullifies their contracts, suspends all vendor contracts pending thorough review and renegotiation, and purges culpable members of their own body – demonstrating a commitment to safeguarding NRA assets on behalf of the membership. (Plugging the holes and possibly saving the ship.)
The days of muddling through are in the past. The enemies of the Second Amendment are seeing to that.
Jeff goes on to write:
The current NRA Board of Directors have a slim chance of saving the NRA from total ruin, but they must act swiftly and decisively.
They must expunge everyone involved in even the appearance of corruption. Including board members who failed in their oversight obligations and individuals like Josh Powell the genius behind many of the NRA’s recent disasters like Carry Guard and a known manipulator of Wayne LaPierre’s decision making. They must halt all outside contracts until they can be thoroughly reviewed and either canceled or renegotiated. As much as possible needs to be brought in-house and run under the direct oversight of the board. This action may mean the end of things like Ackerman McQueen run NRA-TV, so do not be surprised if they pack up shop one day soon.
All of the significant, life-threatening issues facing NRA revolve around just three operational areas: PR, fundraising, and political spending. Suspending operations in those three areas, and bringing them under tight, in-house control for the immediate future, would put the association back on stable ground and allow it to continue operating effectively.
There will undoubtedly be repercussions from all of this, including fines, sanctions, lawsuits, and possibly criminal indictments, but all of those repercussions are on their way, regardless of what the board does now. The difference is whether those consequences will be levied against an organization that still has the people who created those problems at the helm – people who will be using NRA resources to cover their tails – or an organization that has policed itself and taken corrective action to address its problems.
If I may use the analogy of the stages of cancer, we are well beyond Stage 1 where the cancer is small and only in one area. The only question we are facing is whether it is Stage 3 where the cancer is much larger and has spread into adjacent tissues or is it Stage 4 where the cancer has metastasized to other areas of the body and survival is in doubt. Both Stage 3 and Stage 4 are bad. Treating either stage requires strong, even radical, measures if long-term survival is to have any probability of success.
This unfortunately is what we are facing. I would love to have been writing about all the new products coming out or the seminars and presentations I anticipated attending this weekend. Events of the past week dictate otherwise.