NRA Drops Lawsuit Against San Francisco

The NRA officially dropped their lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco yesterday. The lawsuit was brought due to a resolution approved by the Board of Supervisors branding the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization”.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(i), Plaintiff the National Rifle Association of America voluntarily dismisses without prejudice the above-entitled action against all Defendants. This notice of dismissal is being filed with the Court before service by Defendants of either an answer or a motion for summary judgment.

San Francisco, in their reply to the original complaint, contended their resolution was a “statement of policy” and “non-binding”.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Mayor London Breed had already told city staff that the measure did not limit the city’s dealings with any vendors doing business with the NRA. Stefani said her resolution was a legitimate public denunciation with no binding consequences.

At the time Mayor Breed made her statement that the resolution would not impact dealings with vendors, NRA outside counsel William Brewer III indicated that the lawsuit would continue until the the resolution was formally revoked. As of yesterday, the resolution had not been revoked but nonetheless the case was dismissed.

Both sides are now claiming victory in the lawsuit.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera issues a short statement that said:

“We’re pleased the NRA backed down on its frivolous lawsuit. This was a baseless attempt to silence San Francisco’s valid criticisms of the NRA and distract from the gun violence epidemic facing our country. San Francisco will never be intimidated by the NRA. If the NRA doesn’t want to be publicly condemned for its actions, it should stop sabotaging common sense gun safety regulations that would protect untold numbers of Americans every year, like universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and restrictions on high-capacity magazines.” 

The NRA and its attorney proclaimed victory in a multipart Twitter post:

Today the NRA withdrew its lawsuit in SF – and now celebrates the important victory it obtained on behalf of its members. As has been widely reported, after the Association challenged the unconstitutional resolution, the City beat a hasty retreat and backed down from its wildly illegal blacklisting scheme. The censors are on notice. The NRA will always fight for the Constitution, and will re-file if the City tries anything like this in the future.

So it appears that each side got a participation trophy allowing both sides to claim victory. The NRA got San Francisco to declare that the resolution was non-binding and San Francisco got the lawsuit dismissed without officially revoking the resolution.

I don’t think anyone can question that the NRA had to sue San Francisco in this case. However, I did find it interesting that the NRA didn’t use attorney Chuck Michel and his firm to handle the lawsuit. Michel and Associates has traditionally been the NRA’s go-to law firm for California related cases. Instead they used Las Vegas based Garman Turner Gordon as their attorney on the ground and Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, as “of counsel”.

Boycotts Versus Buycotts

Ed Stack, the anti-gun CEO of Dick’s, said the buycott of his chain really didn’t help his company’s bottom line. However, the boycott of Dick’s by Second Amendment supporters did hurt the company’s finances.

This comes from an interview Stack did with Business Insider.

Dick’s Sporting Goods contended with both boycotts and “buycotts” in the wake of its decision to draw back from the gun business.

But according to CEO Ed Stack, the consumers who gave the company the cold shoulder had a far greater effect on business than any newfound supporters.

The word “boycott” originated with a protest by the Irish Land League against the actions of Captain Charles Boycott 1880. It means withholding your services or financial support as a means of political protest.

“Buycott” is of more recent vintage and means just the opposite. You go out of your way to buy the product or services of a company as a show of support for their political position.

Stack noted that while he appreciated all the support for stopping sales of modern sporting rifles, it was short lived.

“The buycotts were really nice and we appreciated it, but they were kind of short-lived,” Stack told Business Insider.


Stack said that alienated consumers included both hunters and non-hunters who felt “angry” over Dick’s decision to back away from the gun business. All in all, striking guns from the stores ended up costing the company.


“By the time we got done, it was about a quarter of a billion dollars,” Stack said.

It is one of the tenets of sales that it costs more to gain a customer than to keep one. Moreover, the lifetime value of an existing customer far outweighs that of a one-time purchaser. The person who spends $750 on an AR and comes back to you to buy ammo on regular basis is worth more to your company than the mom who drops in once in a blue moon to buy running togs.

Stack should have read Joe Girard’s book How to Sell Anything to Anybody. Joe Girard was the world’s greatest car salesman. He found that the average person has about 250 friends and acquaintances who will show up to your funeral. If you make that person angry by your service or attitude, he or she is likely to influence 250 other people. Unfortunately for Stack, people are more likely to complain than to give kudos and his bottom line proved it.

The Most Surprising Speaker At The 2A Rally

If you had told me that a former president of the Brady Campaign was going to speak at the 2A Rally Saturday, I would have wondered what substances you had ingested.

Dan Gross, former president of the Brady Campaign, was an unannounced speaker at the 2A Rally. What he said took a lot of people by surprise including me. You can listen to his short speech below:

Since then he has done a few interviews. The first probably was with John Crump who writes for Ammoland. His full candid interview is here. One thing Gross said really stood out in my opinion.

I think there are people on the “gun control or gun safety” side that have too loud of voice that really believe that there’s no place for guns in our country. Those are the people that lead to a lot of exhaustion that leads me to where I am now.

While Gross believes in background checks, he said he had no problem with someone selling a firearm to a friend without such a check. He also said it was wrong to focus on an assault weapons ban.

Given the tweets from Brady today, I can see why Gross has moved on. What they are calling for in the way of “gun violence prevention” will really have no impact. It is the mag bans, the “assault weapon” (sic) bans, and other such “gun safety” (sic) proposals.

Dave Workman of the Second Amendment Foundation also interviewed Gross for Liberty Park Press. As he notes in his piece on it, they had a 50-minute phone conversation. Gross stressed that there is a common ground and government doesn’t have to be involved.

Gross acknowledged his apprehensions about appearing at the rally and speaking to a crowd of Second Amendment activists. His fears dissipated when it became evident that people who attended are interested in the same things he’s interested in, which boil down to safer homes and safer families.


“We still disagree on some things I am sure,” he emphasized, “but we can’t let that get in the way of a real opportunity to accomplish some things.”

Some of those things are keeping firearms secured from young children and getting more training. I can agree with that.

Gross said that he and Rob Pincus have been working together for the past year on creating a Center for Gun Rights and Responsibilities. It will be interesting to see what comes of that.

2019 GRPC Presentation

Thanks to Paul Lathrop of the Polite Society Podcast, I have a YouTube of my GRPC presentation. I posted the text of it earlier but this lets you hear it warts and all.

I am not a public speaker. I do much better one on one. However, at the risk of tooting my own horn, I think I did OK.

Dan Boren Makes Eight

There are times in life when you say, “I’m tired of taking this shit.” Dan Boren had to be there when he resigned from the NRA and NRA Board of Directors yesterday.

Leadership portrait of Dan Boren Date taken: August 8, 2013 Photographer: Marcy Gray

Boren’s resignation makes the eighth director to resign from the NRA Board of Directors since the beginning of the year.

Tom King, president of the NY State Rifle and Pistol Association and a NRA Board member, reportedly had filed an ethics complaint against Boren. Taken with a grain of salt given he is a LaPierre loyalist, he told Newsweek:

“Mr. Boren resigned in the face of an ethics complaint, which I filed, that cites troubling communications and serious allegations linking him to suspected extortion against the NRA and billing fraud by the NRA’s former vendor, Ackerman McQueen,” NRA board member Tom King told Newsweek in a written statement. “Under these circumstances, this news is not surprising.”

That was just the latest in actions aimed at Boren. In the case aimed at avoiding paying Oliver North’s legal bills, the NRA contended that Boren had somehow conspired with Col. North in the supposed “coup attempt”.

Then, in the NRA’s Federal case against Ackerman McQueen, they named him a “non-party co-conspirator” along with Col. North.

Mr. Boren entered into an agreement, combination, and/or conspiracy with the Defendants for the purpose of carrying out the fraudulent behavior, the attempt to de-railing the resulting NRA investigation, and the attempt to extort Mr. LaPierre and the NRA alleged herein. In addition, there exists a small group comprising former vendors, professionals, and consultants of the NRA whose economic incentives, like AMc’s, were challenged by the NRA investigation and, like Mr. Boren, joined the agreement, combination, and/or conspiracy.

My sources told me after the NRA Annual Meeting, that in their opinion, Boren had hoped to act as an intermediary to try and salvage the multi-decades relationship between the NRA and AckMac. There was nothing unsavory about his actions.

Boren was named Oklahoma president and Chief Banking Officer of First United Bank on October 10th. From The Oklahoman:

Boren, 46, who has spent nearly seven years as president of corporate development for the Chickasaw Nation, will begin work in early January at First United. The bank is based in Durant and has locations in Oklahoma and Texas.


First United CEO Greg Massey said, “I am excited to have Dan join our team. His passion for serving Oklahoma aligns perfectly with our purpose at First United.”

Boren, a Blue Dog Democrat, served four terms in Congress representing a district in eastern Oklahoma from 2005 until 2013. According to The Oklahoman, he had been considering a run for governor of Oklahoma last year. They note he hasn’t ruled out running for office in the future.

Taken on the whole, I’d say the NRA really needed a man like Boren more than he needed them. As a Democrat, he gave them at least some semblance of being bi-partisan. As a Congressman, even though it is now former Congressman, he gave them a strong influence on Capitol Hill. When you add that to his role with a large Indian tribe and his new job in banking, he brought a lot to the table.

What did he get in return for what he gave the NRA? A pile of paranoid crap. I’m surprised he didn’t resign earlier. I sure as hell would have and done so with a clear conscience.

Fountain Pen Day 2019

The first Friday in November is celebrated as Fountain Pen Day. It is a day to celebrate, embrace, promote, and share the use of fountain pens.

This year I’m going international. The two pens I have currently inked are from China and Pakistan respectively.

The former is a Kaco Edge made in Shanghai. It is a smooth writer, feels good in the hand, and remind me of a Lamy 2000. The only downside is that the clip is so tight that it is hard to fit in your shirt pocket. It is available on Amazon for $17.50 and does come with a converter.

The latter is a Dollar i717 demonstrator (clear) pen made in Pakistan. I picked up a dozen of them for about $15 on EBay. It is a piston filler that starts right away. Fountain pens often are hard to get the ink flowing if they’ve sat for a day or two. I have given away a number of these pens to fellow fountain pen geeks. You can read a review of it here.

Jim’s Take On NRA v. AckMac

Jim Shepherd of The Outdoor Wires is one of the more astute observers of the firearms world. It doesn’t hurt that he helped Ted Turner found CNN. He, of course, doesn’t take credit for what CNN has become in the years since he left!

He devoted some of his column this morning to the Federal court battle between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen. Continuing the divorce theme, he said it would drive a divorce attorney to drink.

Jim’s take:

Actually, it’s more like the Borgia family chronicles than litigation between two groups of adults. Replace the “he said-she said” with “the defendant alleges” and you get the picture. Up is down, black is white, right is wrong, and inside is outside-depending on which document you’re reading.


Central to all this, as he apparently insists on being in virtually every matter, is Wayne LaPierre. The NRA characterizes him as the ceaselessly crusading reformer, out to save the National Rifle Association from the Oklahoma hordes determined to loot the treasury, burn the building and at least savage the five million members. Ackerman McQueen draws a somewhat different picture: that of a man obsessed with absolute control of everyone and everything around him except his spending habits. There, he’s more like a drunken sailor on a short shore leave.


It’s ugly, it’s personal, and it’s likely going to get worse before it resolves itself. No one on either side looks good in this situation, and that’s about as positive a face as anyone can put on it. It’s also about all I can tell you without either speculating or presenting gossip as fact.

Jim’s correct: it’s ugly, it’s personal, and none of the participants looks good.

Who Is The Real Enemy?

When you are in a war you always have to keep the end objective in mind. Is it merely to win the battle or ultimately to win the war? That seems to be the issue right now for the National Rifle Association.

The question for the NRA is who is the real enemy. Is it Ackerman McQueen or anti-rights groups like Brady United Against Gun Violence? It seems that this focus has eluded the outside attorneys for the NRA in their efforts to win the Federal lawsuit against AckMc.

The reply by the NRA filed with the US District Court in Dallas has given the anti-rights forces such as Brady, Media Matters, and others plenty of ammunition.

For example from a Brady email sent out night:

In more bad news for the NRA, newly uncovered court filings show that NRA executives themselves thought NRATV was blatantly racist. Yet they continued to let it air.

The timing is convenient: It’s been unearthed that the NRA opposed its own racist content only now that it’s in court against its longtime PR firm, Ackerman McQueen. 

This proves what we have long known: that the NRA will peddle any lie in order to protect its own interest — which is to sell more guns, no matter what the cost. But we’re calling them out. We won’t let them pretend they didn’t condone outright racism. They knew what they were selling.

And there is this from Media Matters:

The National Rifle Associated admitted in a legal filing that its former media operation NRATV was viewed by NRA leadership as racist and that the project’s programming “often became viewed as a dystopian cultural rant.” That is true, but the messaging at NRATV was largely indistinguishable from the racist paranoid rantings of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.

Michael Collins of Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, may have thought including that inflammatory condemnation of NRATV in his court filings was wise. His goal after all is to savage AckMac so as to win this case.

I disagree.

Our blood enemies are those who would deprive us of our God-given rights to an armed self-defense. They will use anything and everything against us. Since much of their strategy involves using propaganda, the use of ill-chosen words that can come back to haunt us is self-defeating. We need to be smarter and we should demand that attorneys for Second Amendment organizations likewise be smarter.

The NRA and outside counsel Michael Collins should have remembered Napoleon’s advice – “when the enemy is making a false movement we must take good care not to interrupt him.” They have just given our blood enemies that “false movement”.