Adam Kraut has released a letter explaining why he is not taking the opportunity to sit on the NRA Board of Directors… and I don’t blame him. I worked hard to support Adam’s attempts to get on the BoD in 2017 and 2018 when he ran for the 76th Seat at the NRA Annual Meeting. By 2019, having gotten onto the ballot and still not been successful, it started to become apparent that Adam’s interest in trying to help the NRA from within had wained. Even during the election cycle itself, it appeared that Adam’s passion for the seat had been stifled, as can be read between the lines of this January 19th Statement.
Meanwhile, his hat was still in the ring, as the NRA replaces any vacated seats between elections with those who had run in the previous election. With the resignation of Pete Brownell in May, Adam became the next in line for a seat on the Board. After the resignation of 3 Directors last week, Adam’s potential opportunity became reality. Here is his letter declining the opportunity:
August 2, 2019
In 2016, I began a campaign to run for the NRA Board of Directors by petition of the members.
The idea to run for the Board started with a conversation between myself and two Board Members at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg that February. Those two Board Members were amongst those who recently resigned. After many phone calls, questions, and a
lot of thought, I decided the pursue a seat, in the hopes that I would be able to lend some new ideas and a different take on issues of the Organization. Much to my surprise, my well-documented (and freely available) ideas and proposals met severe institutional resistance. In spite of that, this past year, I hesitantly pursued a seat again, for a third
time, at the encouragement of friends and many NRA members who believed that I could add value to the Organization. Once I received the results of the mail ballot, I opted to not pursue the 76th Seat at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, as I had done the two years prior. While I gave my best efforts over the past three years’ election cycles, I respect and have accepted the choice of the voting members.
After the learning that I was not elected to the Board during this year’s election and coming to understand that my role would have been reduced to simply ‘filling a chair’ even were I to have been elected, I began to focus my time and energy on other exciting opportunities to accomplish my genuine personal desire and goal to advance the Second Amendment, individual liberty generally, and continuing to help educate and inform gun owners about important issues and challenges.
Between the time I began to collect petition signatures in 2018 and the election results being returned this year, news about the NRA began to emerge from a variety of sources. Since these claims and allegations have been the focus of much discussion within the firearms and Second
Amendment community for the past several months, I need not recount them here.
Based on my review and understanding of the by-laws, the recent resignations of the three directors would potentially allow me to serve until the adjournment of the next Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Just prior to the release of this statement, I was contacted by the NRA and informed that there was a vacancy on the Board which I would be able to fill. Prior to receiving the phone call, I devoted time to consider the possibility of accepting the position, based on the news that three directors had resigned and my understanding of the by-laws.
After careful thought and consideration, and because of the magnitude of time, work, and attention these exciting and important new endeavors that I am currently involved in require, it would not be possible for me to provide the NRA Board of Directors, the Organization, and the Members with the significant time, work, and attention a board of directors role – especially in the current climate – would require. Further, I am not willing to put the NRA into a position where my new position and role in our community could even potentially create a conflict, or even a bad optical light that could be leveraged against it by the media and its enemies. Thus, I cannot in good conscience accept a position as an NRA director.
It has been my honor to have your support these past few years. It is humbling to know that so many share my passion for liberty and supported my proposals to improve our NRA. And I sincerely hope that the Board and the Executive staff of the NRA will do what is right and necessary to create a healthy, strong, and positive force for our rights.
I am excited to support the NRA’s good work, and that of many others, from my new position through coalition building, hard work, thoughtful strategy, and undertaking those efforts that will, I hope, result in a more free America and restored Republic. I am eager to continue promoting the advancement of liberty and hope that you’ll continue to join me in doing do.
NRA Open Letter , Adam Kraut 8/2/2019
Yours in Liberty,
I believe that Adam is making the right choice right now. The NRA is in crisis. It has become apparent to just about everyone that the organization is not capable of fixing itself from within. The Leadership has made it clear that they are not interested in change for the better. After decades of manipulation, insulation, cronyism and lack of oversight from the Board and Members, the Wayne LaPierre Regime has a stranglehold on the largest and most important Pro Gun Rights Entity on The Earth. And, the “old guard” is circling the wagons even tighter while driving the organizing into the ground.
Wayne LaPierre’s Stranglehold during Crisis
Wayne LaPierre has kept a low profile since the NRA Annual Meeting, but he did surface a few weeks ago to announce that he has created a new division and several new positions at the NRA. These positions all deal with Public Relations, Media & Messaging and, not shockingly, they all answer directly to him.
The President, Carolyn Meadows, is calling Directors who dare to question the status quo unprofessional and recently set the stage for kicking those Directors who openly calling for independent Audit of the NRA off of the Board. Her statements have mostly been a hollow attempt to convince NRA Members that everything is fine and under control at HQ. Her words have been supported and parroted by the NRA Vice Presidents Charles Cotton and Willes Lee.
Past President Marion Hammer, a contentious and controversial mouthpiece for the regime, has made several public statements affirming the fact that there is no shame in the Leadership nor a concern over the obvious disregard for the concerns of The Members of the NRA, much less the efforts of Directors to do the right thing. We shouldn’t forget that it was Hammer who ironically posted the infamous “Enemy Within” Article that became a rallying point for Adam’s 2018 Campaign for the 76th Seat.
A small group of other Directors have supplicated themselves as apologists for the Status Quo and demonstrated their support for Wayne publicly in articles or interviews, including Anthony Colandro, Joel Friedman, Scott Bach and Carrie Lightfoot.
A few Directors (including Tom King & Todd Rathner) have defended Wayne against Concerned NRA Members in the comment sections and, for the most part, quickly retreated. Only Willes Lee seems to have a Marion-Hammeresque willingness to continually get pummeled on social media by obtusely crying “#fakenews!” at every opportunity.
Meanwhile, the New York State Attorney General’s Office is in the midst of a well publicized investigation into the NRA’s Operations, Washington, DC has initiated its own actions against the NRA & The NRA Foundation, Congress is making inquiries and the Gun Control Movement is salivating as they watch all the drama play out.
Would you want to wade into the middle of this disaster? Would you expect to be able to do any good from the inside? By my count, there are only five Directors left on the Board who have openly spoken critically about the Status Quo and The Leadership: Oliver North, Allen West, Robert Brown, Duane Liptak and Buz Mills. The Truth About Guns (and others) have speculated that Ted Nugent signaled an interest in change when he shared one of our STS Videos, but no clear public statement has been made to that effect. North has been formally asked to resign (he refused through his lawyers) and we know that Liptak & Brown have lost important Committee Positions in the well documented purges. Most people paying attention believe that the Executive Committee of the NRA Board is maneuvering to have these and other other troublemakers removed from The Board as the first order of business at their September Meeting.
We Can Still Fix The NRA
At the same time, many more leaders & influencers in the Firearms Community, High Value Donors (lead & represented in many cases by David Dell’Aquila) and American Gun Owners are stepping up to demand change at the NRA. The tide has been clearly turning in regard to the attitude most people have towards the NRA. For many years, I’ve pointed out that the NRA’s own claimed membership numbers represent significantly less than 10% of American Gun Owners. Jeff Knox witnessed the treacherous establishment of Wayne LaPierre’s Regime in the 1990’s and has been sounding the alarm about the dysfunction at the NRA for decades. He continues to ask the important questions while pointing out important facts. There are rumors that the NRA Board Members can’t get straight answers from their assigned counsel, that they’ve lost their liability insurance, that a former NRA Exec has agreed to cooperate with the NY State investigation in exchange for immunity and that the NRA has defaulted on a loan it took from it’s own Foundation.
I don’t blame Adam Kraut for not taking the seat. The NRA is not going to get fixed from the inside. That has become clear. The question now is Who will change it from the outside?
Will it be Government Agencies through regulatory action or criminal indictments, possibly spurred on by proponents of gun control or anti-gun influencers?
Or, will it be proud American Gun Owners who rally to save the NRA from itself?
I hope it will be the latter… and, I’m proud to part of the one organization that has been formed specifically to be part of the solution and help the NRA Reform.
Join us as Savethe2a.org.
-Rob Pincus, Board Member of Save The Second