Yes. Yes, She Is.

Gun rights attorney Kosta Moros calls out Shannon Watts for this incredibly stupid post. She didn’t even bother to edit out the bit about “child access prevention laws” as if that would have made a difference.

I don’t think anything more needs to be said.

Follow-up On Corey Mason

The new “professional opportunity” to which Corey Mason will transition is as the Executive VP for Conservation and COO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. It appears that he will remain with the Dallas Safari Club over the next month before moving on to the new position.

The Wild Sheep Foundation announced his hiring yesterday.

BOZEMAN, MT — The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) is pleased to announce that Corey Mason of Texas will join WSF as Executive Vice President of Conservation, effective August 12, 2024. In this capacity, Mason will lead WSF conservation efforts to conserve and enhance wild sheep and their habitat worldwide. He will also serve as Chief Operating Officer, supporting the foundation’s current and future programs and strategic initiatives.

“Corey has served the conservation and hunting community with distinction as CEO of Dallas Safari Club (DSC) for the past seven years and as a Regional Director, Program Leader, and biologist roles for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for sixteen years before leading DSC,” stated WSF President and CEO, Gray N. Thornton. “He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist®, and a recognized industry leader in promoting sustainable use, not only in North America but around the globe. Corey has worked extensively with state, federal, and international agencies and conservation industry NGOs. He brings talent, capacity, relationships, and additional leadership to the WSF staff  – he is a blue chip hire, a franchise player, and a force multiplier to our team. I am thrilled, and we are honored to have him join WSF.”

Mason has a BS and MS in Wildlife Management and has served as an organizational lead for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and CITES Conference of Parties and Animals Committee meetings. He also serves on the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Board and state advisory committees for bighorn sheep, mule deer, and whitetail deer and was a member of the National Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council.
 
Corey will work closely with WSF Vice President of Conservation Kevin Hurley, a 50+ year wild sheep conservation leader and veteran who on July 1st transitioned to part-time with WSF as he nears retirement. As COO, Corey will work alongside WSF President & CEO Gray N. Thornton to expand current programs as well as help launch innovative WSF initiatives.

“I could not be more excited to join WSF’s incredible team. I have admired the organization’s focus on strategic initiatives and programs, and having worked in the conservation space for decades, I have seen that WSF’s leadership is widely recognized and respected and that the professionalism and efficiency of the staff are appreciated by members and partners worldwide,” Corey Mason stated.  “I am eager to support the important mission of WSF and look forward to serving its members,” Mason added.
 
“As the world’s leading wild sheep conservation, advocacy, and hunting organization, WSF directed $9.2 Million to Grant in Aid, education and outreach programs, and our state, provincial, and tribal agency partners during our 2023-2024 fiscal year ending June 30th. This is $1.7 Million more than the $7.5 Million we directed in fiscal year 2022-23 for an incredible $16.7 Million to mission programs in just two years. Adding Corey Mason to our team will help ensure that those dollars make an impact on the resource,  and with our agency and chapter and affiliate partners, Put and Keep more Wild Sheep on the Mountain,” Thornton concluded.

From what I can gather reading comments on various forums made by long time DSC members, there has been a fight going on between those who wanted DSC to remain a “hunting club” and those who wanted it to progress into more conservation and advocacy for some time. A number of board members and the President-elect resigned over it. There was a dissident faction in 2019-2020 that floated an effort called “Save DSC” that some have called an attempted coup. The “Save DSC” group forced a vote on changing the bylaws which only got 18% in favor of it. As I have only been a member of DSC since 2022, I am somewhat ignorant of all the forces at work behind the scenes, what happened in the past, and who is who. This all could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for Mason who decided it was time to leave for greener pastures. I will say that in the couple of meetings I was in with Mason that he seemed like a breathe of fresh air after enduring some of the stuffiness of the NRA’s hierarchy.

I do hope that all goes well for him at the Wild Sheep Foundation and DSC can find a new Executive Director and CEO that can take it into the future.

Corey Mason Out As CEO Of Dallas Safari Club

Corey Mason, the CEO and Executive Director of the Dallas Safari Club since September 2017, is out according to an email sent to DSC members today. Whether he was fired or decided to step aside is not known at this time.

There was a good deal of discontent over the decision to move the annual convention from Dallas to Atlanta for the next five years. That move was due to the demolition and reconstruction of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Dallas Convention Center. Work on it was due to begin this summer but seems to have been postposed until after January 2025. Many felt that the convention should have remained in Texas and been moved to a city like San Antonio. In the meantime, the Texas Trophy Hunters Association which is now part of SCI, scooped up the open January slot and will hold their Outdoors Extravaganza there in 2025.

DSC President Ray Mulholland sent out this message today around 2:30 PM EDT:

Good afternoon DSC Members, Volunteers, Exhibitor Partners and Sponsors,

I’m writing to share an important update about the evolution of our leadership team. Our CEO, Corey Mason, will be transitioning to a new professional opportunity. Corey has been a pivotal force in driving numerous successful national and international initiatives and strengthening our organization. While we will certainly miss his leadership, we fully support his decision and recognize that this move is a testament to the high regard in which he is held within the world of wildlife conservation. We wish him nothing but the best and are deeply grateful for all he has done for DSC.
 
In light of this transition, our Board of Directors will immediately engage in the search for a new CEO who will continue to build on the strong foundation Corey has laid. During this time, our dedicated executive team will maintain focused and steady leadership, while continuing to advance the DSC mission.  Brian Fienhold, DSC’s Director of Operations and Development, will serve as Acting CEO during the search process.
 
We are eagerly anticipating our upcoming annual convention in Atlanta, which promises to be another incredible hunting and conservation gathering for all.  We look forward to seeing you there and thank you for your continued support and dedication to DSC.

I am not upset that the convention is going to Atlanta as that is an easy drive for me. However, if you have to come from Texas for an event that used to be in your own backyard, I can understand the angst.

Hopes For Reform At NRA Dashed

When the NRA Board of Directors meeting ended on the Monday after the NRA Annual Meeting many, including me, had high hopes that reform was finally coming to the organization. Reformers had won two out of three of the officer positions, the EVP, and a majority on the Nominating Committee. This was on the heels of the resounding victories of the Four for Reform. Doug Hamlin, the new CEO and EVP, started making good changes and signaled a new openness.

However, as I noted at the end of May, how newly elected NRA President Bob Barr handled committee assignments would be the key to showing the court in New York just how much the NRA had changed and embraced reform. I went on to add that Charles Cotton and David Coy must not be allowed to serve on the Audit and Finance Committees respectively.

I began to be more than a little concerned when it came out that Barr had made Cotton the new chair of the Ethics Committee. That was the harbinger of more to come as it became obvious that Barr had ignored his mother’s warning about running with the “wrong crowd”.

Yesterday, Barr’s appointments to the Audit, Finance, Ethics, Bylaws and Resolutions, and Legal Affairs Committees were announced.

NRA President Bob Barr has announced some committee assignments:

Audit

Charles Cotton – Chairman
E. Wilkinson – Vice Chairman
Charles Beers
Curtis Jenkins
Rocky Marshall

Bylaws & Resolutions

Carol Frampton – Chairman
Charles Cotton – Vice Chairman
Scott Bach
Bob Barr
Larry Craig
Joel Friedman
Jim Wallace

Ethics

Charles Cotton – Chairman
Joel Friedman – Vice Chairman
Clel Baudler
Jay Printz
Barbara Rumpel
Mark Vaughan

Finance

David Coy – Chairman
Ron Schmeits – Vice Chairman
Joe Allbaugh
Bill Bachenberg
Isaac Demarest
Patricia Clark
Allan Cors
Charles Cotton
Joel Friedman
Curtis Jenkins
Carolyn Meadows
Bill Miller
Buz Mills
Amanda Suffecool
Mark Vaughan

Legal Affairs

Sandra Froman – Chairman
Scott Bach – Vice Chairman
Bob Barr
Charles Cotton
Carol Frampton
Charles Hiltunen
Curtis Jenkins
John Sigler

The first thing you will notice is that Charles Cotton is on every single one of these important committees and retains his chairmanship of the Audit Committee to go with his newly appointed chairmanship of the Ethics Committee. The next thing you notice is that David Coy has retained his chairmanship of the Finance Committee.

The only one of the Four for Reform members to be appointed to any committee was Rocky Marshall who was appointed to the Audit Committee. I find this disappointing as their election is being used by the NRA in its court filings to assert that things have changed and no special monitor was needed. While Rocky’s appointment is good and proper, why was not Jeff Knox put on Bylaws and Resolutions as he probably knows more about the Bylaws than any member of that committee. Likewise, would not it have been wise to put Judge Phil Journey, the only jurist on the Board, on the Legal Affairs Committee.

With the exception of the Finance Committee which has has four known reformers on it (out of 15 total members), the remaining committees have one and perhaps two known reformers on them. If Barr wanted to signal to the members of the NRA and to Judge Cohen that things had changed at the NRA, this certainly was not the way to do it.

While I don’t have a crystal ball on what will happen in the remedial phase of the New York trial, I think the odds are better than even that a special monitor will now be appointed to oversee the NRA’s finances. It should be noted that this monitor will have nothing to do with functions and programs of the NRA including its political functions. While this will put me at odds with some friends on the Board who are reformers, I think that the special monitor will be a requirement if the NRA is ever to crawl out of the morass it finds itself in.

UPDATE: I can fully understand the frustration that Judge Phil Journey must have felt that caused him to file a motion to intervene in the New York trial. That was on July 3rd and he obviously saw things that are now only coming to light. It has been suggested to me that the appointment of Charles Cotton to head the Ethics Committee was specifically meant to go after Judge Journey for having the temerity to break ranks.

Stephen Gutowski has more on Journey’s motion here along with the NRA’s denials.

13th Annual Free Firearms Training Event For Women In Detroit

Registration has opened for Rick Ector’s 13th annual introduction to handguns event for women in Detroit. His goal this year is to provide 1,700 women with a free shooting lesson. When he started his goal was 50 women and it has increased over bit by bit.

The event will be held on Saturday, July 27th, and Sunday, July 28th, at the Recoil Firearms range in Taylor, Michigan. Registration for the even opened yesterday (July 8th). Interested women can register for a 90-minute time slot here.

Here are the details of the event:

  • No previous experience required
  • Ammunition and firearms will be supplied
  • All women participants from age 12 to 80 are welcome
  • All minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian
  • Please register for only one 90-minute time slot
  • Over 10,000 women have been trained over the years

The event is presented by Legally Armed in Detroit and Rick’s Firearm Academy of Detroit with the aid of a cadre of volunteer instructors from around the US.

More information is available here.

The NRA, LaPierre, And Frazer Appeal

Attorneys for the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, and John Frazer all filed appeals in People of New York v. National Rifle Association of America et al on Friday. They are appealing Judge Cohen’s decision and “order on motion” in which he denies their motions to set aside the jury’s verdict and enter a judgment for them as a matter of law. Frazer’s motion was to only set aside part of the jury’s verdict but that was also denied. Attorneys for Wilson “Woody” Phillips had filed a similar motion to set aside the verdict but are not appealing. As noted earlier, it appears he has settled with the New York Attorney General’s Office.

The appeals will go to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First
Judicial Department. That same court has denied all previous appeals made by any of the defendants and have upheld all of Judge Cohen’s rulings in this case. The Appellate Division is the intermediate appellate level in New York State with the Court of Appeals being akin to Supreme Courts in other states.

Noah Peters of Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, is arguing on behalf of the NRA. His argument centers around whether there enough evidence to find that the NRA payments for Susan LaPierre’s hair and makeup, to David Keene, and to Woody Phillips were anything other than “de minimis”. He goes on to question whether people like Phil Journey, Craig Spray, Rocky Marshall, Ollie North, and others should really be considered “whistleblowers”. Finally, he questions whether the jury had sufficient cause under New York’s Executive Law to find the NRA submitted false filings.

The attorney for Wayne, Kent Correll, is arguing that the Attorney General lacked the “power, authority, capacity or standing to seek or procure a judgment” under New York law to seek monetary damages against an officer of a not-for-profit, to seek the removal of such officer, and to bar the re-election of a person who is no longer employed by the non-for-profit. He also attacks the sufficiency of the evidence against Wayne.

John Frazer’s appeal argues that since the jury did not find grounds for either monetary damages or removal from office, it erred in finding he failed in his fiduciary responsibilities. Moreover, since no claim of false statements were made against the NRA’s accountants, they should not have found he knowingly signed off on a false filing.

Given the past history of appeals in this trial, I really don’t seeing any of these defendants winning their appeals. Moreover, with the exception of Frazer who is essentially fighting to stay employed, I think the other appeals are going through the motions because a) they will generate more billable hours and b) for the public relations aspect of it. Wayne is fighting to say he really wasn’t a grifter and the NRA is trying to assert that the jury should never have agreed with the Attorney General because, you know, she hates us and wants us gone.

Vendetta or no vendetta, the attorneys for New York had a strong case against the NRA and the individual defendants. Josh Powell and Woody Phillips have realized it and settled. That the NRA has not settled like that did with the Attorney General for the District of Columbia is a shame. I think what they will get now in terms of punishment is going to be worse than if they had settled. The only winners are the attorneys who will rake in even more fees that are being paid out of members’ dues or, at least, that is the case for sure with regard to the NRA. Who is paying the fees for Wayne and Frazer and whether it will ultimately be the NRA is up in the air.

The Mecklenburg Declaration and Resolves (Reposted)

I originally posted this on July 4th of 2010. I am reposting it as I have every year since to recognize these early North Carolina patriots from Mecklenburg County. Despite all the changes in the Queen City since then, there are still many there or from there who continue the fight for liberty and especially our Second Amendment rights.

Before there was a Declaration of Independence of 1776, there were the Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775 and the Mecklenburg Resolves of May 31, 1775. While there is significant controversy over the authenticity of the former, there is none regarding the latter. There is controversy about the Mecklenburg Declaration because the original copy is reputed to have been destroyed in a fire and mention of it then only comes to light in 1819. Nonetheless, May 20, 1775 is the date enshrined on both the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina and the State Flag. Even the state flag used during the Confederacy had those dates on it.

Both the Declaration and the Resolves were adopted in Charlotte Town in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Charlotte Town is now known as Charlotte. The area had been settled by the heavily Presbyterian immigrants from Northern Ireland and Scotland known as the Scotch-Irish. Upon hearing of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, they had been outraged and the Declaration was the result.

The Mecklenburg Declaration

  1. That whosoever directly or indirectly abetted or in any way, form or manner countenanced to unchartered & dangerous invasion of our rights as claimed by G. Britain is an enemy to this County – to America & to the inherent & inaliable rights of man.
  2. We the Citizens of Mecklenburg County do hereby desolve the political bands which have connected us to the Mother Country & hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British crown & abjure all political connection, contract or association with that nation who have wantonly trampled on our rights & liberties & inhumanely shed the innocent blood of American patriots at Lexington.
  3. We do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people – are & of right ought to be a sovereign & self-governing association, under the controul of no power other than that of our God & the general government of the congress, to the maintainence of which independence civil & religious we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual cooperation, our lives, our fortunes & our most sacred honor.
  4. As we now acknowledge the existence & controul of no law or legal officers, civil or military, within this County, we do hereby ordain & adopt as a rule of life, all, each & every of our former laws – wherein nevertheless the crown of great britain never can be considered as holding rights, privileges, immunities, or authority therein.
  5. It is also further decreed that all, each & every military officer in this County is hereby reinstated in his former command & authority, he acting conformably to these regulations. And that every member present of this delegation shall henceforth be a civil officer, viz. a Justice of the peace in the character of a ‘Committee-man’ to issue process, hear & determine all matters of controversy according to sd. adopted laws – to preserve peace, union & harmony in sd. County & to use every exertion to spread the love of country & fire of freedom throughout America until a more general & organized government be established in this province. A selection from the members present shall constitute a Committee of public safety for sd. County.
  6. That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by express to the President of the Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia, to be laid before that body.
    Ephraim Brevard
    Hezekiah J. Balch
    John Phifer
    James Harris
    William Kennon
    John Foard
    Richard Barry
    Henry Downs
    Ezra Alexander
    Charles Alexander
    Zaccheus Wilson
    Waightstill Avery
    Benjamin PattonMatthew McClure
    Neil Morrison
    Robert Irwin
    John Flennegin
    David Reese
    William Graham
    John Queary
    Hezekiah Alexander
    Adam Alexander
    John Davidson
    Richard Harris
    Thomas Polk
    Abraham AlexanderJohn McKnitt Alexander

While there still exists much controversy on the authenticity of the Declaration, none exists with regard to the Resolves adopted on May 31, 1775. Captain James Jack of Charlotte was sent with a copy of the resolves and a letter to the North Carolina delegates to the Continental Congress requesting their approval by Congress.

The Mecklenburg Resolves

This day the Committee of this County met, and passed the following Resolves:
WHEREAS by an Address presented to his Majesty by both Houses of Parliament in February last, the American Colonies are declared to be in a state of actual rebellion, we conceive that all Laws and Commissions confirmed by, or derived from the Authority of the king or Parliament, are annulled and vacated, and the former civil Constitution of these Colonies for the present wholly suspended. To provide in some Degree for the Exigencies of the County in the present alarming Period, we deem it proper and necessary to pass the following resolves, viz.
1. That all Commissions, civil and military, heretofore granted by the Crown, to be exercised in these Colonies, are null and void, and the Constitution of each particular Colony wholly suspended.
2. That the Provincial Congress of each Province, under the Direction of the Great Continental Congress, is invested with all legislative and executive Powers within their respective Provinces; and that no other 
Legislative or Executive does or can exist, at this Time, in any of these Colonies.
3. As all former Laws are now suspended in this Province, and the Congress have not yet provided others, we judge it necessary, for the better Preservation of good Order, to form certain Rules and Regulations for the internal Government of this County, until Laws shall be provided for us by the Congress.
4. That the Inhabitants of this Country do meet on a certain Day appointed by this Committee, and having formed themselves into nine Companies, to wit, eight for the County, and one for the Town of Charlotte, do choose a Colonel, and other military Officers, who shall hold and exercise their several Powers by Virtue of this Choice, and independent of Great-Britain, and former Constitution of this Province.
5. That for the better Preservation of the Peace, and Administration of Justice, each of these Companies do choose from their own Body two discreet Freeholders, who shall be impowered each by himself, and singly, to decide and determine all Matters of Controversy arising within the said Company under the Sum of Twenty Shillings, and jointly and together all Controversies under the Sum of Forty Shillings, yet so as their Decisions may admit of Appeals to the Convention of the Select Men of the whole County; and also, that any one of these shall have power to examine, and commit to Confinement , Persons accused of Petit Larceny.

6. That those two Select Men, thus chosen, do, jointly and together, choose from the Body of their particular Company two Persons, properly qualified to serve as Constables, who may assist them in the execution of their Office.
7. That upon the Complaint of any Person to either of these Select men, he do issue his Warrant, directed to the Constable, commanding him to bring the Aggressor before him or them to answer the said Complaint.
8. That these Eighteen Select Men, thus appointed, do meet every third Tuesday in January, April, and October, at the Court-House in Charlotte to hear and determine all Matters of Controversy of Sums exceeding Forty Shillings; also Appeals: And in Cases of Felony, to commit the Person or Persons convicted thereof to close Confinement, until the Provincial Congress shall provide and establish Laws and Modes of Proceeding in Such Cases.

9. That these Eighteen Select Men, thus convened, do choose a Clerk to record the Transactions of the said Convention; and that the said Clerk, upon the Application of any Person or Persons aggrieved, do issue his Warrant to one of the Constables, to summons and warn the said Offender to appear before the convention at their next sitting, to answer the aforesaid Complaint.
10. That any Person making Complaint upon Oath to the Clerk, or any Member of the Convention, that he has Reason to suspect that any Person or Persons indebted to him in a Sum above Forty Shillings, do intend clandestinely to withdraw from the County without paying such Debt; the Clerk, or such Member, shall issue his Warrant to the Constable, commanding him to take the said Person or Persons into safe Custody, until the next sitting of the Convention.

11. That when a Debtor for a Sum below Forty Shillings shall abscond and leave the County, the Warrant granted as aforesaid shall extend to any Goods or Chattels of the said Debtor as may be found, and such Goods or Chattels be seized and held in Custody by the Constable for the space of Thirty Days; in which Term if the Debtor fails to return and discharge the Debt, the Constable shall return the Warranty to one of the Select Men of the Company where the Goods and Chattels were found, who shall issue Orders to the Constable to sell such a part of the said Goods as shall amount to the Sum due; that when the Debt exceeds Forty Shillings, the Return shall be made to the Convention, who shall issue the Orders for Sale.
12. That Receivers and Collectors for Quitrents, Public and County Taxes, do pay the same into the Hands of the Chairman of this Committee, to be by them disbursed as the public Exigencies may require. And that such Receivers and Collectors proceed no farther in their Office until they be approved of by, and have given to this Committee good and sufficient Security for a faithful return of such Monies when collected.

13. That the Committee be accountable to the County for the Application of all Monies received from such Officers.
14. That all these Officers hold their Commissions during the Pleasure of their respective Constituents.
15. That this Committee will sustain all Damages that may ever hereafter accrue to all or any of these Officers thus appointed, and thus acting, on Account of their Obedience and Conformity to these Resolves.

16. That whatever Person shall hereafter receive a Commission from the Crown, or attempt to exercise any such Commission heretofore received, shall be deemed an Enemy to his Country; and upon Information being made to the Captain of the Company where he resides the said Captain shall cause him to be apprehended, and conveyed before the two Select Men of the said Company, who, upon Proof of the Fact, shall commit him the said Offender into safe Custody, until the next sitting of the Convention, who shall deal with him as Prudence may direct.
17. That any Person refusing to yield Obedience to the above Resolves shall be deemed equally criminal, and liable to the same Punishments as the Offenders above last mentioned.
18. That these Resolves be in full Force and Virtue, until Instructions from the General Congress of this Province, regulating the Jurisprudence of this Province, shall provide otherwise, or the Legislative Body of Great-Britain resign its unjust and arbitrary Pretentions with Respect to America.
19. That the several Militia Companies in this county do provide themselves with proper arms and accoutrements, and hold themselves in constant Readiness to execute the commands and Directions of the Provincial Congress, and of this committee.
20. That this committee do appoint Colonel Thomas Polk, and Doctor Joseph Kennedy, to purchase 300 lb. of Powder, 600 lb. of Lead, and 1000 Flints; and deposit the same in some safe place, hereafter to be appointed by the committee.
Eph. Brevard, Clerk of the Committee.
Singed by Order of the Committee.

This document was printed in the North Carolina Gazette on June 16, 1775, and the Cape-Fear Mercury on June 23, 1775. There was a slight variation in wording in the two newspapers.

 So on this day as we honor the Nation’s Founders and the Declaration of Independence of 1776, let us also honor these men from a provincial North Carolina backwater who recognized that our future lay in independence from Great Britain.

“In Congress, July 4, 1776”

his is a document that I think every American should read at least once a year. As I said when I first started posting in the first year of this blog, it explains why we are citizens and not subjects. I have posted this every year since this blog was founded in 2010.

This year as I re-read it I am struck by how some of the offenses listed by Jefferson could almost be said of today’s US and state governments. The phrase “sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance” could apply to everything from the IRS to BATFE to virtually any Federal agency with regulatory powers. It is hoped that the Supreme Court’s decision in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo which overturned Chevron deference will help restrain the Leviathan.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:


For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Unprofessional? Hardly

I wrote back in March about the promotion that Colleen Sterner received in the NRA’s Office of Advancement. As a refresher, she is the niece of disgraced former NRA CEO and EVP Wayne LaPierre who mere days after he retired was appointed to Director of Events for Advancement with a six-figure salary. That post stirred some angst within the NRA’s PR department.

There have been a number of filings in recent days in the bench phase of the New York Attorney General’s suit against the NRA. These filings include both witness lists and exhibits that the parties want to bring to the attention of Judge Joel Cohen. One that caught my eye was by Noah Peters of Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, on behalf of the NRA. Exhibit 38 was a string of emails involving Sterner, NRA CFO Sonya Rowling, and Bob Mensinger who at the time had not yet been named the NRA’s Chief Compliance Officer.

NRA Exhibit 38 by jpr9954 on Scribd

If you read through the string of emails starting on the last page and going to the top, you see it involves a review of a contract for an event to be held at the 2024 NRA Annual Meeting. Sterner was pushing to get a contract approved quickly by Sonya Rowling. Unfortunately for her, it appears Sterner did an incomplete job that was not in compliance with the NRA’s Procurement Policy for which Rowling called her out.

Like a spoiled child who finally gets disciplined, Sterner threw a fit and complained about the response to both then Interim EVP Andrew Arulanandam and Mensinger as head of compliance.

Andrew and Bob,
See Sonya Rowling’s unprofessional email below. I can’t believe I am being viciously retaliated against based on who my uncle is and Sonya’s disdain for him. Financial Services Division, under the leadership of Rowling, has constantly moved the goal post for NRA’s contract processes.
Colleen Sterner

I would hardly call Rowling’s email “unprofessional”. I see it as the response of someone who knows the loose ways of the past are over and is perhaps a little frustrated over having to continuously correct the errors of those who have not realized this yet. I will say that Mensinger’s response was quite diplomatic as he politely says in so many words “not my problem”.

Of course, Sterner is not satisfied with that. It ends with a huffy statement about how she is working on “12 events”, the contract review is “old and entirely vague”, and they are moving the goal posts on her.

I would say that this is a prime example of the Peter Principle in action except that Sterner’s promotion to Director of Events for Advancement happened long after she had reached her level of incompetence. That may sound harsh but members of the NRA have a right to expect that people are hired and promoted based upon their competency and not their family ties.

GOALS Comes To Knoxville In August

Gun Owners of America will be holding their first annual GOALS event in Knoxville, TN on August 17th and 18th. GOALS stands for Gun Owners Advocacy and Leadership Summit. This two-day weekend event will feature speeches from leaders in the gun rights movement, educational panels, meet and greet sessions, and musical performances from major artists. There will be special breakout sessions specifically for women and students.

The event will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center in downtown Knoxville. The Convention Center is located on the site of the 1982 Worlds Fair. It will be free to GOA members. You can obtain tickets by going here.

Unlike many other 2A events, GOALS will be emphasizing the role of 2A advocates in the media and content creators. I see many folks that I have known for years participating including Chris Dover, Jared Yaris, IraqVeteran8888, and MrGunsandgear.

You can hear more about it in this YouTube short.

I love the fact that this event is being held just over the mountains from me. Both the Complementary Spouse and I have registered for this event. If you plan to go to Dollywood, Gatlinburg, or Piegon Forge in August, why not include this in your plans as well.