Save The Second Meetup

Save the Second is having a pre-NRA Board Meeting meet-up in Northern Virginia tomorrow evening. I have put their notice below:

The BoD Meeting is quickly approaching. Save The Second is planning a gathering with STS followers and fellow concerned NRA members at the Washington Dulles Airport Hilton on Friday, September 13th at 6:00pm. Yes, that is the same meeting location as the NRA Board of Directors meeting. Not only will you have a chance to meet and discuss NRA issues with like minded members, but we will also be discussing the plan for Saturday morning. Hopefully, we will have the chance to converse with a few NRA Directors of the Board as well. If you plan on attending the meet up on the eve of the BoD meeting, please RSVP on the official Facebook event. This is a night you will not want to miss. 


What: Save The Second Meet-up at the Fall BoD Meeting
When: September, Friday 13, 6:00pm
Where:  Hilton Washington Dulles Airport 13869 Park Center Road Herndon, VA  20171

Remember – Save the Second is the only organization that can reliably get Marion Hammer to show up for a NRA Board meeting!

And she would have you think that they are ineffective. I think not if they can do this!

Thanks For The PR, Marion!

There is a concept in public relations called strategic silence. While normally you want to respond to critics, sometimes it is advisable to do nothing. This is especially true when you are a large organization and the critic is small and not well-known. It is counterproductive.

Marion Hammer obviously never learned this.

Yesterday, the Washington Times ran a commentary by Ms. Hammer attacking Save the Second. It also had a condescending attack by her on Alan Gottlieb of SAF and CCRKBA as well as on the late Neal Knox. Her purpose in this op-ed seems to have been to defend Wayne LaPierre as well as position the NRA as the be all and end all of the Second Amendment.

Some attackers, including some of the NRA’s own members, have created an outfit that calls itself “Save the Second.” 


The organization is most definitely not about saving the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 


It is about destroying the National Rifle Association. Save the Second has never done anything to save the Second Amendment. It was created to oust NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and take control of NRA


Save the Second maliciously encourages the harassment of NRA board members who oppose attempts to oust NRA leadership.

There are many in the Second Amendment community who have not heard of Save the Second. They have now.

Save the Second is a 501(c)(3) non-profit established for the sole purpose of reforming the NRA so that it can be a more effective advocate for the Second Amendment and gun rights.

One of the original founders – Anthony Garcia – was one of the organizers of the successful recall effort in Colorado. (Corrected – I had both Ron Carter and Anthony as organizers while it was only Anthony.) The recall was to replace prominent Democrats who passed universal background checks and a magazine ban. Those Democrats had been funded by Michael Bloomberg and the opposition to their recall was funded by his millions as well. Both Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron were recalled and a third Democrat resigned before she could be recalled.

Ms. Hammer continues:

Leaving the NRA in the hands of a bunch of novices who haven’t done 1 percent of what Wayne has helped the NRA accomplish is a pure recipe for disaster.


You may think they’re well-meaning but they likely couldn’t figure out how to run the NRA or a 50-state legislative operation, period.


From all appearances, Save the Second is just an extension of the 22-year-old failed coup attempt against Wayne by led by the late NRA board member Neal Knox, whose son is gun-rights supporter Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition.

Oh, I think they could figure out how to run a 50-state legislative operation. After all, the blueprint for the NRA’s grassroots efforts did come from former BOD members Tim Knight and Sean Maloney who just happened to work with Ron and Anthony in the Colorado recall effort.

As to the “failed coup attempt” of 1997, this is actually a rewriting of history. I have been going back and re-reading Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War. Just as now, there was a call for financial audits as well as a “management audit” ordered by the NRA Board of Directors in 1996. There were serious concerns about a decline in assets and a “failure to manage, poor internal controls, too much reliance on outside vendors, and too many multi-million dollar agreements without written contracts.” (As an aside, I really suggest buying the Kindle version of this book to learn more.)

Then, as now, the chief resistance to financial openness was Wayne LaPierre. Then, as now, his chief backer was Marion Hammer. The two have a long-term symbiotic relationship which seems to have little to do with protecting the Second Amendment and all about protecting their perks.

Ms. Hammer concludes by saying, ” Our country needs the NRA. And Wayne LaPierre is the only person who can lead us through this hate-storm. ”

She is half right. We do need the NRA. However, we need an effective NRA with an effective Board focused on the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, it seems that the most effective people such as Chris Cox, Jennifer Baker, Emily Cummins, and David Lehman are all gone having been forced out due to Wayne’s paranoia fed by William Brewer III and Josh Powell.

Now that you know about Save the Second thanks to Ms. Hammer, they plan to be at the NRA Board of Director’s meeting this Saturday morning. It is being held at the Hilton Washington Dulles. Save the Second will be presenting the member’s petition calling for a vote on mandatory attendance at NRA Board meetings. If you are in the area, I hope you will attend.

Marion Has A Worthy Adversary

Marion Hammer, current NRA Board member and former President, has (or has had) a reputation for cowing legislators in Florida. She also expects subservience from those around her including NRA staffers. I think she may have met her match.

In a recent NRA-ILA alert for Florida by Ms. Hammer, she made a direct attack David Dell’Aguila who wants reform in the NRA.

Are David Dell’Aquila’s gun rights worth $100,000?  Worth more than $100 million?  Worth whatever it takes to defeat the anti-gun agitators and enemies of the Second Amendment? You’re damned right!  Whether he donates money to NRA to fund the fight or not – NRA is fighting for his rights and yours. 

This was in response to criticism of the $100,000 lost in fees and cancellation expenses to move the NRA Board meeting from Anchorage, AK back to the DC area.

Ms. Hammer is using Mr. Dell’Aquila as a foil for her fundraising appeal. Her letter includes 3 embedded donation links and another at the bottom.

She concludes:

It’s time to stop the lies, stop the attacks, stop manufacturing fake documents, stop cutting off your nose to spite your face.  It’s time to focus on stopping the anti-gun, anti-freedom, hate-mongering enemies of our rights. 

Hey, David Dell’Aquila! you may have abandoned the only organization capable of protecting your rights — shame on you — but nonetheless, we’ve got your back.  We’re donating to the fight!

I’m of the opinion such a letter would never have gone out if Chris Cox and other NRA-ILA leadership were still there. It is too personal, too petty, and too spiteful. Indeed, it was counterproductive.

Ms. Hammer finds a worthy opponent in Mr. Dell’Aquila. Indeed, a worthy opponent that is not cowed by her reputation. He has responded with an open letter today which is embedded at the bottom of the page.

Here are a few quotes from it.

First, thank you for so prominently repeating my name in your recent fundraising appeal. I can’t tell you how many people have reached out to me, who didn’t know anything about the concerns of improper spending at the NRA that the grassroots organization has raised, or about my lawsuit and campaign to withhold donations until the NRA gets its house in order. So far donors are withholding over $162 million from the NRA until the organization adopts new management and more transparent accountability.

Had it not been for your fundraising letter about the value of my Second Amendment gun rights, these people might never have discovered the nearly 100 news articles (linked here and here) detailing the allegations of improper spending by NRA executives and the failure of the NRA Board of Directors to provide oversight and fiduciary prudence to address the situation.

Ouch!

Now he goes for the jugular.

The available records are not particularly clear. However, it is clear that NRA members have paid you something in excess of $2 million dollars. In 2018 alone, a year when NRA finances were reported to be exceptionally low, records show that you were paid $270,000. Would these payments have something to do with your current vigorous defense of Wayne LaPierre, and his open-purse spending practices at the NRA? This would appear to be a conflict of interest, regarding any Board vote concerning Mr. LaPierre’s continued stewardship of the organization.

In addition, according to Article V, Section 5 of the NRA’s bylaws, no director — such as yourself — is entitled to receive “any private benefit” from NRA unless payment is specifically authorized by a resolution of the Board of Directors or an authorized committee of the Board. I would be very curious to see whether the NRA’s board has approved these payments to you. If so, perhaps you could forward a copy of the written resolutions.

Mr. Dell’Aquila concludes by noting that Ms. Hammer has done good work over the years. He also notes that so have others on the Board and with state-level groups. The difference is that the others received no direct compensation from the NRA for their efforts.

I imagine this letter will make Ms. Hammer spitting mad. That is, if she ever reads it. Nonetheless, I’m sure fundraisers in Fairfax will read it and say, “Please God, no more alerts from Marion!”

Hammer-2019-09-03 by jpr9954 on Scribd

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.

The Old Guard Is Not Happy And Marion Wants Us To Know It

Marion Hammer, former NRA president and WLP supporter extraordinaire, sent out a public email today that was posted to Facebook. She takes the position that the purges are the prerogative of the president and that those who got purged were “not professional”. What an utter crock of bullshit.

Those purged – and especially those whose purge hasn’t been made public yet – are, on the whole, some of the most professional, most responsible, most cognizant of their fiduciary responsibility, and most serious about the Second Amendment on the whole board. That they are not toadies to Wayne and his posse says something about their dedication to the mission of the NRA which is the Second Amendment and not the preservation of Wayne’s job.

Since Ms. Hammer chooses to include bloggers as those that have suspect motives, let me tell you mine with regard to the NRA. As an Endowment Life member I want to see a stronger, more pro-active advocate for the Second Amendment. Moreover, while I am a conservative/libertarian, I want the NRA to focus exclusively on the Second Amendment and gun rights. I don’t care what your position is on abortion, I don’t care whether you approve or disapprove of the LGBTQ community, and I don’t care about hundreds of extraneous issues not related to the Second Amendment. I care about the Second Amendment. Period. Finally, as someone who has served as both an officer and on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization, I want to see a Board of Directors taking their fiduciary responsibility seriously and making the hired management subservient to them and not vice-versa. Unfortunately, it seems that the Board is subservient to Wayne and not the other way around.

Read Ms. Hammer’s entire missive and make up your own mind. I’ve reprinted it below.

—–Original Message—–
From: mphammer1
To: MPHammer1
Sent: Sun, Jul 14, 2019 12:06 pm
Subject: Committee Assignments

DATE: July 14, 2019
TO: NRA Board Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer, NRA Past President
RE: Committee Assignments

Committee assignments are the prerogative of the President of the National Rifle Association of America. The assignment process is taken very seriously with meetings in person and even more meetings over teleconferences. I don’t know of any NRA President who hasn’t consulted with other officers and leaders before making the final selections.

This year the process took longer because there were numerous discussions. To say that this year is unlike any other would be an understatement. The NRA finds itself under attack. These attacks are well funded. They are well coordinated. They come from noteworthy and powerful gun control advocates.

But, they are not the only ones attacking the NRA. We are also under attack by one of our former vendors. These attacks have been particularly nasty and have played out in the press.

And, it doesn’t stop there. Some within our ranks – members of the NRA Board of Directors – have joined in these attacks. There have been leaks of proprietary and confidential information to the front pages of newspapers, websites and social media pages.

Members of the board have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of our Association. Yet, some have chosen not to do so. When given the opportunity to speak their minds, silence was chosen. And now, after the time to be heard in an appropriate setting has passed, the agitation continues. That is truly unfortunate.

We must now move on. Those who truly care about the Second Amendment and Freedom will move on. The NRA has real work to do. We have significant challenges – the 2019 elections and of course the pivotal 2020 elections. Let’s not forget, we must get through these politically motivated witch hunts in New York and now the District of Columbia.

Some board members were, in fact, stripped of their committee assignments. I know that was a hard decision. But, we stand behind it. I went through it myself in 1997 and it was the right thing to do. Some have made reference to a “naughty” and a “nice” list. But it’s actually more of a “professional” and “not professional” list. There are 76 of us. We don’t expect all of us to march lockstep. But, we must will hold steadfast that board members must act in a professional manner. That is a non-negotiable.

To those who are seeking facts, it is recommended that you review our legal documents – including the attachments – all available in the public arena. If you have trouble accessing these documents, simply request them and they will be emailed to you. Using news stories, a blog or social media post or relying on leaks to form your judgements only means that you’re forming your opinions based on the viewpoint of the author. Who knows what their motives may be?

There are also numerous well-informed board members who have taken the time and made the effort to learn the facts rather than rely on falsehoods and gossip. Reach out to them – it is your duty and in the NRA’s best interests that you inform yourself of what the NRA is really facing and what the NRA is really doing about it.

As I said earlier, these committee assignments are – and always have been – the prerogative of the President. Those who didn’t get an assignment might want to consider whether or not they want to help us save the Second Amendment or continue on a course detrimental to NRA and our mission. The decision is ultimately theirs.”

Dont Shoot The Messenger

In the last couple of days since the lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen I’ve spoken to a former lobbyist for the NRA and two serving NRA Board Members. The conversations were off the record and not for attribution. Then I read this article in The New Yorker thanks to a link to it posted on Facebook by Prof. David Yamane.

The article is entitled “Secrecy, Self-Dealing, and Greed at the N.R.A.” Mike Spies article has a subhead saying “The organization’s leadership is focussed on external threats, but the real crisis may be internal.” I hate to say this given all the attacks on the NRA from every Democrat running for President, the State of New York, and the media but from what I’ve gathered Spies is correct. Just because we don’t like the source doesn’t mean they are wrong.

Last August, the N.R.A., in desperate need of funds, raised its dues for the second time in two years. To cut costs, it has eliminated free coffee and water coolers at its headquarters and has frozen its employees’ pension plan. Carry Guard, which was meant to save the organization, has proved disastrous. According to the memos, in 2017, the year that Carry Guard was introduced, Ackerman McQueen received some six million dollars for its work on the product, which included the creation of a Web site and media productions featuring celebrity firearms trainers. The lawsuit against New York State has created an additional burden. Sources familiar with the N.R.A.’s financial commitments say that it is paying Brewer’s firm an average of a million and a half dollars a month.


An official assessment performed by Cummins last summer dryly describes the N.R.A.’s decision-making during the previous year as “management’s shift in risk appetite.” The document analyzes the organization’s executive-liability exposures and discusses insurance policies that “protect NRA directors and officers from claims by third parties that they have breached their duties, such as by mismanagement of association assets.” From 2018 to 2019, it says, insurance costs increased by three hundred and forty-one per cent. “To say this is a major increase would be an understatement,” Peter Kochenburger, the deputy director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut, told me. “This seems to be pretty direct evidence that the N.R.A.’s problems are not due to New York but rather to how the organization conducts itself.”


The memos urged the audit committee to “step up + fulfill its duties!,” but it’s not clear what the board has done to root out malfeasance. James Fishman, a co-author of “New York Nonprofit Law and Practice: With Tax Analysis,” a leading text on nonprofit law, told me, “There is no such thing as a director who doesn’t direct. You’re responsible to make yourself aware of what’s going on. If the board doesn’t know, they’ve breached their duty of care, which is against the law in New York,” where the N.R.A. is chartered. According to Owens, the former I.R.S. official, New York State “could sanction board members, remove board members, disband the board, or close down the organization entirely.”

Read that last line again. New York State could close down the NRA entirely by moving for dissolution. You have a governor and attorney general in New York that hate the National Rifle Association. You have a Board of Directors which is too large to be effective. You have Ackerman McQueen trying to preserve its position and an outside counsel trying to take their position for himself. And then you have internal civil war going on within the organization between loyalists to one executive and friends of another leader.

The bottom line is that there are tremendous troubles within the NRA just when you need it to be steadfast in the face of outside attacks.

How bad are these troubles? A reliable source told me that Marion Hammer who hasn’t attended a Board of Directors meeting since hell froze over the last time will be in Indianapolis to attend the Board meeting. It’s that bad.

UPDATE:  Jeff Knox, son of Neal Knox, and co-head of The Firearm Coalition published an opinion piece of the issue in response to The New Yorker’s article. It is well worth a read. He makes some good points in it and calls for the resignation of Board members on the Audit, Finance, and Executive Committee for not doing their jobs.

For Those In Florida

Last year, Florida Carry got some grief from Marion Hammer and the NRA due to their stance on some bills in the Florida legislature. Notwithstanding that – and showing that they are united in their support of gun rights – they have passed on the following alert from the NRA and Marion Hammer. I think it shows class on their part.

The alert concerns a move by the anti-gun forces to diminish gun rights in Florida through putting constitutional amendments on the ballot. One need only looks at the moves by Bloomberg and Everytown to force so-called universal background checks through referenda. They succeeded in Washington and Nevada but failed in Maine.

From Florida Carry:

ALERT: Anti-gun CRC Members Want Gun Bans in the Florida Constitution

DATE: March 19, 2018
TO:      USF & NRA Member and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
            USF Executive Director
            NRA Past President
ACTION NEEDED NOW


Some
of the members of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC)
are very anti-gun and they are proposing and pushing gun ban and gun
control amendments to put in the Florida Constitution.

Commissioners will be voting on these amendment soon. Links to these amendments are listed at the bottom.

Among these amendments are:

*An
“assault weapons” ban which bans the distribution, sale, transfer, and
possession of so-called assault weapons and any detachable magazine that
has a capacity of more than 9 rounds.  (Makes possession illegal with
no compensation provided for those already possessed that must be
surrendered) 

*A
ban on any semi-automatic rifle that is able to accept a detachable
magazine or has a fixed magazine capable of holding more than10 rounds.
(that means almost all semi-automatic rifles)

*A
ban on the sale and transfer of “assault weapons” and defines
“transfer” as the conveyance “from a person or entity to another person
or entity WITHOUT any conveyance of money or other valuable
consideration.”  (Note: to “convey” between persons without compensation
could mean the simple act of handing the firearm to another person
while hunting, on the range, or anywhere)

*A 10 day waiting period (excluding weekends and legal holidays) on all firearms to facilitate a background check.

*A ban on the purchase of any firearm by a person under 21 years of age. 

*A ban on the sale, transfer and possession of bump stocks and other devises, tools, kits, etc. 

Please email CRC Commissioners and tell them to OPPOSE gun control amendments!

PLEASE DO IT NOW !!! They could be voting on these amendments at anytime


IN THE SUBJECT LINE PUT:  

VOTE AGAINST GUN CONTROL AMENDMENTS

(To send your message to all just Block and Copy All email addresses into the “Send To” box)

(Depending on you email program you may need to add commas or semicolons between each email) 

jose.armas@flcrc.gov
pam.bondi@flcrc.gov
lisa.carlton@flcrc.gov
timothy.cerio@flcrc.gov
hank.coxe@flcrc.gov
jose.diaz@flcrc.gov
erika.donalds@flcrc.gov
don.gaetz@flcrc.gov
emery.gainey@flcrc.gov
anna.gamez@flcrc.gov
brecht.heuchan@flcrc.gov
marva.johnson@flcrc.gov
darlene.jordan@flcrc.gov
arthenia.joyner@flcrc.gov
fred.karlinsky@flcrc.gov
belinda.keiser@flcrc.gov
frank.kruppenbacher@flcrc.gov
tom.lee@flcrc.gov
gary.lester@flcrc.gov
patricia.levesque@flcrc.gov
roberto.martinez@flcrc.gov
rich.newsome@flcrc.gov
chris.nocco@flcrc.gov
jeanette.nunez@flcrc.gov
jimmy.patronis@flcrc.gov
sherry.plymale@flcrc.gov
darryl.rouson@flcrc.gov
william.schifino@flcrc.gov
chris.smith@flcrc.gov
bob.solari@flcrc.gov
chris.sprowls@flcrc.gov
john.stemberger@flcrc.gov
pam.stewart@flcrc.gov
jacqui.lippisch@flcrc.gov
carolyn.timmann@flcrc.gov
nicole.washington@flcrc.gov

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS:



“The Enemy Within” Is Not Adam Kraut

In a recent commentary published at Ammoland.com, former NRA President Marion Hammer released her list of endorsements. Missing from that list were people like Julie Golob, Tim Knight, and, her obvious target, Adam Kraut. She alleged that those who were nominated by petition, that is the real grassroots, were somehow tainted or less worthy than those nominated by the exalted Nominating Committee.

However, some of the candidates on this year’s ballot were not nominated by the Nominating Committee, but rather they placed themselves on the ballot by collecting petition signatures. Petition signers had no way of knowing the real motives or qualifications of these petitioners.

As someone who signed the petitions of both Adam Kraut and Tim Knight and as someone who actually got off my ass and gathered signatures for Adam Kraut, I take great offense at her comment. I have met both Tim and Adam, I knew their qualifications, and I support them. I am most definitely a fan of Adam’s proposed bylaw changes regarding board attendance and the Nominating Committee.

Ms. Hammer also cast aspersions on those in 1997 who stood up and demanded accountability from hired staff of the NRA. Jeff Knox whom I greatly respect has a very good rebuttal to that rewriting of history.

Adam Kraut, who was the primary target of Ms. Hammer’s screed, has made a video rebuttal that is worth your time watching.

I have made my feelings known in the past about the celebrities and old hacks on the Board of Directors of the NRA. The world has changed and so has the gun culture. Frankly, most of the Board wouldn’t recognize Gun Culture v2.0 if it bit them on the ass. That is a recipe for disaster and it is one that people like Adam are challenging. He has my support. I’m unsure whether I’ll “bullet vote” Adam or add a couple of more people to my list. You can be damn sure I’m not voting for anyone of Marion Hammer’s list. While some are good, there are a lot of old hacks and celebs on it.