REFORMING THE NRA: WHY & HOW?

REFORMING THE NRA: WHY & HOW?

STS Board Member Rob Pincus joined John Patton on The Gun Collective last week to discuss why Reforming the NRA is important and what our Five Points of Reform are all about.

By Ron Carter
July 20, 2019

STS Board Member Rob Pincus joined John Patton on The Gun Collective last week to discuss why Reforming the NRA is important and what our Five Points of Reform are all about. 

AN ANTEDOTE FOR THE NRA’S POISONING, PART I

AN ANTEDOTE FOR THE NRA’S POISONING, PART I

We need to withstand a LOT to push the fight and ensure the future of a better, stronger, and more honest NRA. Some of the things we hear are kind of bitter. Some of our heroes are showing a darker side.

By STS Staff
July 20, 2019

Mithridate, also known as mithridatium, mithridatum, or mithridaticum, is a semi-mythical remedy with as many as 65 ingredients, used as an antidote for poisoning, and said to be created by Mithridates VI Eupator of Pontus in the 1st century BC. Mithridates VI 

Mithridates , also known as Mithradates the Great, was the king of Pontus (modern-day northeastern Turkey) who was regarded by his people as their savior from the oppression of Rome and by the Romans as their most formidable – and hated – enemy since Hannibal. Like Hannibal, Mithridates proved himself an unstoppable force, defeating Roman armies, manipulating neighboring governments, and even organizing a mass slaughter of Romans and Italians throughout Asia Minor to advance his cause in liberating the region from Roman control. His story is told almost entirely through the lens of Roman writers such as Plutarch (c. 50 – c. 120 CE) and Appian (c. 95 – c. 165 CE) who were naturally hostile toward him and his cause. Even so, their admiration for his persistence and resolve is clear throughout their narratives, whose focus is not even Mithridates but rather the Romans who fought against him. To the people of his kingdom, as well as those of neighboring regions, he was a great liberator and defender of freedom who refused to submit to what he viewed as the injustice of Roman domination and encouraged others to do likewise.

Why bring up an ancient ruler and his mythical elixir? First off, because he is one of the original warrior kings, and one who proved nearly unbeatable by the Romans. But more importantly, the stories of his taking Mithridate as a defense against those who would try to do him harm is relevant regarding the current situation at our National Rifle Association. Those who do not believe that things are amiss at NRA, for whatever reason, are wrong. Those who trust the current leadership with the task of guiding our ASSOCIATION forward, whether Members or Directors on the Board, are not only wrong, they are dangerous. 

What I plan on doing over the next few days, are to offer little nuggets of information and questions about some of the information that has been uncovered from the lead-up to NRA Annual Meeting 2019 through today, and I’ll ask a question about each. Where possible, I’ll link to both the issue and the NRA response.

We need to withstand a LOT to push the fight and ensure the future of a better, stronger, and more honest NRA. Some of the things we hear are kind of bitter. Some of our heroes are showing a darker side. But if we just accept the status quo, we allow this poison to continue to slowly kill the NRA. But, if we take in the little, bitter pills, small doses at a time, we’ll emerge stronger, as will our Association.

On a lighter note, if you’re interested in where an old, fat, bald guy found out about the King of Pontus, read A. E. Housman’s “A Shropshire Lad”, LXII. Terence, this is stupid stuff ( https://www.bartleby.com/123/62.html ).

If you have made it through this far, what follows is what the future installments will look more like (I can hear your collective sigh and “thank GOD that long winded SOB finally shut up).

So…here is our first ingredient in our modern day, NRA-saving Mithridate:

There is no doubt that Wayne LaPierre has done much for the NRA, but light has been shown on many at least questionable practices and spending by him. One of the first things uncovered was $274,695.03 worth of clothing purchases at the Zegna store in Beverly Hills, CA, from 2004 to 2017 that LaPierre charged to his Ackerman McQueen issued American Express. One of the things that LaPierre has steadfastly refused to do is show receipts for ALL purchases he made.

If, as some long term and LaPierre lap dogs…oops…loyalists say, that LaPierre was directed by Ackerman McQueen to make these purchases and they were therefore more like “costumes” for NRA related events, are they being kept in a newly created NRA Costume Department? Or are they kept by LaPierre, who, of course, would only use them for the events for which they were purchased?

#76IN76, HAMMER AND YOU

#76IN76, HAMMER AND YOU

I am afraid that the destruction of the NRA would give us no other choice but to move on, to other organizations which fight for our second amendment rights. Loads already have, unfortunately.

By Ron Carter
July 19, 2019

Save the Second started the #76in76 campaign on our Facebook page on June 26th. The goal of the #76in76 is that you, members of the National Rifle Association (NRA), contact all 76 of your NRA Board of Directors (BoD) in the days leading up to the next BoD’s meeting in Anchorage, AK on September 10th. Your voice as an NRA member has never before been needed as much as it is right now. 

The NRA BoD’s job is to hold the NRA executive leadership accountable and provide the direction, integrity and oversight for the future of our nonprofit organization. As the recent removal/resignations of Oliver North, Pete Brownell, Jennifer Baker and Chris Cox, plus the recent De Facto Purge of directors from their committee assignments, has shown us the organization is in disrepair. The problems are further exacerbated by the New York and District of Columbia’s investigations into violations (potentially criminal) of the nonprofit status of the NRA. Many believe that these investigations will result in the loss of the NRA’s nonprofit status and as a result will ultimately cripple the NRA beyond repair. That is a very real result of the malfeasance with which our NRA executive leadership has allowed and perhaps fostered. 

Directors such as Marion Hammer do not seem to care. It seems that to her these are trivial attacks from some outside force and anyone demanding accountability is apart of that attack. On the afternoon of Sunday, June 14th Hammer sent out an email condoning the removal of directors from committees. In it she specifically chastises Duane Liptak, NRA Director and the CEO of Magpul, explaining that those directors removed from committees are not on a “naughty list” but actually on a “non-professional list.” I am unable to envision any of the directors stripped of their committee assignments as unprofessional. Just the opposite, anyone who attempts to coverup, condone or commit malfeasance is unprofessional and an enemy of our NRA. Thus far Marion Hammer’s only actions have been to defend a failed NRA leader and label any who demands accountability an anti-gun agent or non-professional director. 

Marion Hammer urges us all to look on to a future election and ignore the present. Moving forward might be possible if integrity existed in the NRA BoD to fight the failed leadership and have those responsible held accountable for these multitude of failures. Those directors who are on the “non-professional list” might be our best hope in fixing the NRA. We must fix the NRA today so that tomorrow’s fight can even be possible. Mrs Hammer continues in he email, “We must now move on. Those who truly care about the Second Amendment and Freedom will move on.” 

I am afraid that the destruction of the NRA would give us no other choice but to move on, to other organizations which fight for our second amendment rights. Loads already have, unfortunately. Nice to see Hammer try to unify those disenfranchised members, right? The destruction of the NRA is something none of us at Save the Second wish to happen. Just the opposite, Save the Second’s very creation on June 2nd, 2019 was meant to correct and strengthen our NRA. Ultimately, Save the Second has no final say. We can only identify problems, work towards solutions and educate NRA members on what is truly occurring inside their NRA. Which is why we need you to participate in the #76in76, desperately. 

Marion Hammer, Tom King and more on the BoD continue to demonize and ignore the NRA members. They also continue silence directors who raise concerns and defend the largest enemy to the NRA: the internal lack of accountability for those at the top. Actions prove who someone is, words prove who someone wants to be. The path to reform is desperately needed and reform starts with integrity, accountability and transparency. There are NRA BoD who are working towards these reformations. Timothy Knight seems to have done just that in calling for an independent audit.

Hammer mentions in her letter that there are “numerous well-informed board members who have taken the time and made an effort to learn the facts.” That is interesting to me. Perhaps she doesn’t want all directors to be well-informed. Especially since Allen West specifically mentioned having not been made aware of the facts in his article in May, despite Carolyn Meadows saying the board had. Even more unsettling is the fact that Tom King threatened myself with legal action after I confronted him on a $40,000 airfare to the Bahamas for Wayne LaPierre paid for by Ackerman McQueen. While those leaked documents which provide that information do not tell the whole story Marion Hammer, Tom King and more certainly won’t even mention or comment on such things. Perhaps they cannot comment because these documents are a part of ongoing lawsuits between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen. That shouldn’t stop them from taking action. 

Whatever the case may be, the BoD allowed these problems to flourish. Still, the BoD can fix it but they need to fix it now, not in 2021. We desperately need you to tell your NRA BoD that they must fix the problem before it is too late. The fate of our NRA is at stake. Please, get motivated and get focused. Write some letters to directors and write a lot of them. Together we can be apart of the solution to make our NRA accountable, effective, relevant and amazing. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Veritas Aequitas,

Ron Carter

THREATS AND INTIMIDATION FROM NRA LEADERSHIP

THREATS AND INTIMIDATION FROM NRA LEADERSHIP

These issues involving threats and intimidation are running rampant there, according to sources on the inside. It has paralyzed many and kept them from acting publicly. It’s time the NRA members know this, and can act accordingly themselves.

By STS Staff
July 17, 2019

We have been talking with a number of NRA directors to help create a path forward for reform. Some of these directors have come out publicly with statements of support for Save The Second, some have shared our links and our petition in social media. Some are signing on to sponsor proposals for NRA bylaw changes to be discussed and possibly voted on at the next Board Meeting in September.

There are a handful of Directors who are helping to make things better who have not spoken out publicly. There are a variety of specific reasons for their request for secrecy at this point. We as an organization have honored their requests to not be publicly acknowledged. We understand that some Directors are under immense pressure.

Some of this pressure is only social – straining friendships or forcing uncomfortable conversations. In other cases, some directors have expressed specific concerns over threats and intimidation. These threats are to more than just their political standing in a group of elites. Some of them feel that their livelihoods, jobs, businesses, or that of their friends might be jeopardized if they come out publicly. We have heard this from a majority of the directors we’ve spoken to. Obviously, the Old Guard at the NRA has been blatant about their willingness and ability to affect someone’s life, career, and family. 

To try to put this into perspective, imagine that you worked for a company that took great pride in your service as a respected NRA Board Member. Perhaps you served on a couple of important committees, giving you even more social capital and influence that your employer valued. You try to do the right thing in response to the allegations against the leadership of the NRA, perhaps just suggesting that things do need to be audited or discussed publicly… and a few weeks later, you find yourself off those committees and Persona Non Grata with the NRA Inner Circle. Sadly, that Inner Circle still holds the purse strings on millions of dollars in contracts and financial opportunities inside of our community and you are no longer a valued employee. 

These issues involving threats and intimidation are running rampant there, according to sources on the inside. It has paralyzed many and kept them from acting publicly. It’s time the NRA members know this, and can act accordingly themselves.

We are sharing this for two reasons:

Firstly, current, former, and potential NRA members need to know that Save The Second isn’t giving a “free pass” to any Director. We are pushing back against the elites and Old Guard who would have you believe that any criticism of the NRA is done at the behest of “Bloomberg” or that anyone working to reform the NRA is on the payroll of “Soros.” We are pushing those directors who are trying to remain silent on these issues to choose a side, but we won’t betray their confidence. We are supporting the most vocal opponents of the status quo. We are also talking to a number of board members who have personally convinced us that they are working towards real improvement. In most cases they have agreed to vote in favor of bylaw changes that are aligned with the Five Points of Reform.

Secondly, NRA directors that are working for the kind of change that we need at the organization who have not spoken to us need to know that we are willing to hear them out and respect their request for secrecy at this time. We understand the pressure you are under and appreciate that it best helps our cause to keep your intentions to support real reform under the radar until the right time. Please reach out to us.

Contact us personally – through social media (just message our Facebook page), email us at contact@savethe2a.org, or arrange contact through any of the directors already speaking with us. We have become aware of some surprising allies over the past few weeks and have adjusted some of our communications because of it. People that we did not believe are on our side actually are. There is more dissent in that building than we realized. There is a lot that we don’t yet know, and we’d love your input. We understand that not everyone is fighting this fight the same way, but we need to know that we are on the same side. 

Any board member, employee, or volunteer for the organization that wants to reach out to us can request this secrecy, and it will be honored without question.

Respectfully,

Save The Second Board of Directors

WHY AM I WITH SAVE THE SECOND

WHY AM I WITH SAVE THE SECOND

I am totally angered and disgusted at the direction that OUR Association’s executive “leadership” has gone, and I both value and respect the too few Board Members who have stood with integrity and courage to speak out against the current LaPierre regime and their utter contempt for the call for transparency and truthfulness.

By Steve Hoback
 July 15, 2019

from Steve Hoback, Save the Second Board Member:

I was the Senior Training Program Coordinator at NRA’s Education and Training Division from early 2008 to late early 2013. During my time there I was part of a team that rabidly defended the integrity of the NRA training programs and worked hard to keep them current and relevant. NRA Training was the sole source of revenue that allowed the other departments – Youth Programs, women’s Programs, National coaching, etc – to continue to operate. I was honored to be part of that Team and train and train with many fantastic individuals, and saw saw the majority of NRA employees to be hard working and dedicated to the cause of Second Amendment advocacy.

I started to see changes 2012. First, there began to be discussions regarding offering training online as an increased source of revenue for the Association. This was a shock, as we had vigilantly and mercilessly gone after any Certified Instructors who mentioned their NRA credentials in any association with online training. We all understood that it was impossible to verify the transfer of knowledge or solidly evaluate a student’s knowledge, skills, and attitude in an online forum. Total Participant Involvement (TPI) was a cornerstone of NRA training, and online training completely disregards this. I also became frustrated at the compensation at NRA. My peers and I were totally dedicated to and worked very hard for the Association, and our pay was drastically below the national and area averages for like positions. After I had been there and my responsibilities increased, I had to fight for a pay increase from around $28k per year to just over $30k. No Association employees had received even cost of living raises, let alone performance based increases, in the previous 5 years or more. At this time I learned of Kayne Robinson’s – former Board president and then Executive Director of General Operations – high six-figure/low 7 figure BONUS, paid to him when rumors of his retirement were getting stronger. I finally got frustrated at a lot of the executive excess and the shift from program integrity to profitability, and began looking for other opportunities. I was recruited for a corporate training job in the civilian sector for more than double my NRA salary, and took the opportunity. I gave NRA four weeks notice, which initially was appreciated, or so I thought. Later that day, I was told that they would prefer my leaving immediately, but that they would pay me through the four week period. I basically was given a “no show” job to – in my mind – not talk about executive largess in HQ. I never signed an NDA, as became common practice after I left, because I’m sure that they know I would have laughed at it and not signed: no one was going to keep me quiet about speaking the truth.

After I left, it seemed that the shift at the Association as a whole and the Training Department in particular was changing at an alarmingly fast pace. The Blended Learning debacle was announced with a secrecy and arrogance that completely disregarded valued Trainers’ input, questions, and disagreement. Many were concerned with their cash flow; these I disregarded, as during my time conducting Training Counselor Development Workshops and dealing with trainers on a daily basis, I made it clear that I stood completely behind the principle that NRA credentials were not and were never intended to be a revenue stream. Still, there were Trainers across the country who shared my belief that the lack of TPI and immersion with the student would devalue and decrease the integrity of the NRA Training programs. 

The staffing changes were equally disturbing and destructive. Kayne Robinson retired and was replaced by Josh Powell, a man whose only claim to fame was a string of failed businesses, lost lawsuits, and apparent Ackerman McQueen or LaPierre personal connection, and Bill Poole retired as Managing Director of E&T, replaced by Eric Frohardt, whose biggest claim was the Training Director of CarryGuard, the utter disaster created by Ackerman McQueen and approved of at the Executive level for what I can only believe was pure greed. Powell instituted Deputy Director positions, increasing the top-heavy executive structure, addressing neither short-staffing at the worker level nor substandard pay that was beginning to cause an exodus of valued, long-term employees. Frohardt telecommuted at least two to three days out of the week. I’m sure his attention was much more needed attending to the highly successful CarryGuard training program (please read my sarcasm in the last sentence). And Powell’s continued employment as an adviser to LaPierre on legal matters is a farce: again, unless one counts all of the legal proceedings against him as a valued part of his curriculum vitae.

Another staff question that has gone completely unanswered is the issue of Cole McCulloch, Managing Director of Competitions. Shortly before I left, McCulloch began reaching out to the Training Department fo hype his as-yet uncompleted training facility, Peacemaker, in West Virginia. I remember him being considered an arrogant, pushy con man. Not long after I left, he became the head of Competitions, and not long after that, Peacemaker became the home of the NRA World Shooting Championship. This obvious conflict – his profiting personally from an event that HE oversaw as NRA staff – has NEVER been addressed.

I am totally angered and disgusted at the direction that OUR Association’s executive “leadership” has gone, and I both value and respect the too few Board Members who have stood with integrity and courage to speak out against the current LaPierre regime and their utter contempt for the call for transparency and truthfulness. I am neither an “anti-gunner” nor a “Bloomberg shill”, as any who are part of the current Lapie-reign of Terror or their tinfoil hat-wearing cronies call any who stand against them. As I stated in my open letter to the Board just after the 2019 NRAAM, I’m just another Bozo on the bus full of concerned NRA Members and American gun owners who are tired of executive leadership using OUR Association – and the associated dues and donations – as their personal spending accounts and who continue to operate with a total arrogance about and contempt of any who say that the emperor is naked, in spite of the designer suits that WE bought him.

Steve Hoback  NRA Life Member Board Member of Save the Second. 

THE FIVE POINTS OF REFORM ON AAR!

THE FIVE POINTS OF REFORM ON AAR!

Mark Walters invited STS Board Member Rob Pincus onto his daily radio show a few weeks ago to discuss our Five Points of Reform and why reform is needed at the National Rifle Association in General. 

By Ron Carter
July 8, 2019

Mark Walters invited STS Board Member Rob Pincus onto his daily radio show a few weeks ago to discuss our Five Points of Reform and why reform is needed at the National Rifle Association in General. You can now listen to the entire discussion (40+ Minutes!) through Mark’s Youtube Channel.

WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON IN THE NRA?!

WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON IN THE NRA?!

The NRA cannot be accountable by being unaccountable. 

By Ron Carter
July 8, 2019

On Saturday evening (July 6th, 2019) the Save the Second Facebook Page had a new commenter, NRA Board of Director Tom King, who proceeded to start and engage in an exceptionally heated conversation. His initial comment was on our July 1st post asking why so many in the firearms industry are afraid of Wayne LaPierre and his cronies. It is an observation that we have clearly seen. The majority of large Second Amendment publications and journals steer so clear of NRA drama that they did not even report on the Oliver North resignation during the Annual Meeting nor Chris Cox having been removed/replaced

Of the publications we listed in the original post, only Breach-Bang-Clear had made a relevant mention to the drama that is paralyzing the NRA, but even then, Breach-Bang-Clear shared that on January 11th and it was only Duane Liptak’s Op-Ed via David Reeder which Liptak had also shared on Ammonland and elsewhere. Hardly anything has been shared in regards to the current drama by these Second Amendment publications. The TraceWallstreet JournalNPR and more haven’t been so slow or abstinent. Just the opposite, they have been detailed, direct and inquisitive. I very much wish our NRA was as transparent. On May 22nd, President Carolyn Meadows penned An Important Message From Your NRA Leadership & Past Presidents 2019. The letter in hindsight was an attempted coverup as the very next day Ackerman McQueen filed the first lawsuit in a series of multimillion dollar lawsuits. Ironically, two past presidents refused to sign Meadows letter: Oliver North and Pete Brownell.

This reminds me of the 2006 scandal of Pastor Ted Haggard. When allegation that the New Life Church’s pastor had been involved in drugs and homosexual prostitution, few believed it. Many publications wouldn’t even publish such a thing. It wasn’t until Haggard’s half-hearted confession was published that his followers and supports were faced with the reality that they had willfully ignored prior facts based on their discounting news sources as merely attacks. The allegations were so unpleasant that many people simply refused to believe the facts, regardless of what source the reports came from, until it came from Haggard’s mouth directly. During that time even I discounted the reports until they came from Haggard’s lips.

Enter NRA BoD Tom King, who has had some controversy of his own. He initiated the conversation Saturday evening posting, “The Trace is owned by Bloomberg.” A dialog of 67 comments followed from his comment on Save the Second’s post. King’s response to Wayne LaPierre’s travel itemization in which he charged $39,947.50 merely in airfare to go to the Bahamas was, “Didn’t I read that in Bloomberg’s rag The Trace?” Tom King later threatened myself with a requirement to give a deposition in New York from his lawyer, that would come on Monday. How and why that will come is a mystery to me, but this conversation begs a much larger question: What on Earth is going on!? 

Regardless of the criminal investigation launched by the New York Attorney General and comparisons to the removal of CEOs, what companies have ever dug in their heels against their customers? When United Airlines suffered their PR nightmare, did they say that their customer was wrong? No. They settled out of court and reformed the way they dealt with these sort of situations. They listened to their customers. When Tesla received a request via twitter to move the seat back and raise the steering wheel did Elon Musk threaten legal action against the customer? No! Elon Musk himself responded in a surprising way. When Best Buy survived the similar death of Circuit City and the competition from Amazon do you think a Best Buy Board of Director would have condoned their CEO paying more for a ticket than the cost of an entire aircraft for the purpose of taking a vacation?! All the while charging it all to the ad agency’s credit card? You would be off your rocker if you said yes. The NRA is fighting its own members at this point instead of playing damage control like any other corporation world.

The bottom line is that the NRA cannot be accountable by being unaccountable. Those that would insult us as either being “Bloomberg” or playing into the hands of Bloomberg, such as Tom King did, are sitting on the sideline with their heads in the sand while our NRA is being destroyed. It isn’t being destroyed from Bloomberg. It isn’t being destroyed by Everytown of Gun Safety. It is being destroy by the executive leadership’s negligence and directors who condone its potentially criminal malfeasance. Each day the NRA dies a little more due to the BoD inaction. What on Earth is going on in the NRA?!

THE DE FACTO PURGE

THE DE FACTO PURGE

“To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust.”

By Ron Carter
July 6, 2019

June 30th, 2019 NRA Director Timothy Knight announced that he had been removed from all standing NRA committees as a result of his “publicly express[ing] concern over the current NRA leadership and spurious spending.” On July 5th, Director Allen West announced he too was removed from all committees. West’s article is titled, “NRA: National Retaliation Association.” Shortly after West released his article, Esther Quisenberry Schneider announced that she has also been removed from all committees. There is a purge occurring inside the NRA Board of Directors, albeit quietly, and it is being done by those who hold the power against those who have little power.

Allen West, Timothy Knight and Esther Q. Schneider all expressed concern for the direction the leadership was taking the association. West and Knight both expressed concern and did so publicly in May while Schneider expressed her concern privately (until now). They all claim that that is why they were targeted and purged from all standing committees. The ship’s Captain threw them in the brig and demoted them for their concern. My questions is what type of leadership would ever do such a thing? 

To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust.” 

-John F Kennedy

These three directors are not alone in this purge, I am sure. This isn’t a few people being punished, this is a De Facto Purge. This is the silencing of people who understand their duty to their constituents as in evidence by this recent polland repeated articles calling for Wayne LaPierre’s resignation. It isn’t the first time that those who have expressed concern had the air-conditioning turned off on them. If you know any other directors that have been removed from their committees, please encourage them to speak up.

There are thirty-six standing committees in Article XI of the NRA Bylaws. That is enough committees to assign two directors to each committee. The board’s officers are responsible for assigning committees. Obviously, the board’s officers care little for the efficient use of directors and instead use these committee assignments as a political tool. It is easy to see that the NRA Board Officers are at the heart of the problems and failures plaguing our NRA. Ironically, there had been a special committee created by then NRA President Oliver North, “the Crisis Committee,” but apparently it was dismissed faster than Chris Cox was. Let’s take a look at the Board Officers.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” 

-Abraham Lincoln.

President Carolyn Meadows – Meadows was placed as the NRA President after Oliver North’s vacancy in NRAAM ‘19. If you are like me you’ll be surprised that Oliver North was only removed from his officer position (President). He is still on the Board of Directors. He has not been removed like Chris Cox was, though North is much more the lightning rod and the sole plaintiff in NRA v. North. Do you know why Oliver North hasn’t been removed from the Board of Directors even while this lawsuit is nearly a month old? You’ll be shocked. Pete Brownell resigned from the Board of Directors. As last year’s Director election went, David Butz was the runner up and has accepted Brownell’s vacancy. If any other director dies, resigns, or it removed the next runner-up to fill that Board vacancy is Mr. “Enemy Within” himself, Adam Kraut. They are willing to keep someone involved in a current, massive lawsuit, and the supposed leader of an attempted “coup”, on the BoD just so Adam Kraut will not be a factor in the NRA leadership.

With the wheels falling off the wagon Carolyn Meadows penned the letter with her past Presidents (minus North and Brownell) to “set the record straight” that everything is fine. I can unfortunately assure Mrs Meadows that with a plethora of mulit-million dollar lawsuits and the New York Attorney General investigatingpotentially criminal dealings within our NRA that her May 22nd letter was about a big a lie as there has ever been. She recently shrugged off a donor’s announcement of withholding $134 million by saying

We are disappointed whenever donors choose to suspend their support of the N.R.A., but we hope to win them back.” She added: “People may resist change, but they embrace progress. We’re experiencing that right now at the N.R.A. There’s an energy within the N.R.A. that is hard to describe — and we continue to earn the support of millions of loyal members.” 

-NRA President Carolyn Meadows

I fail to see the progress that Mrs Meadows is talking about. Granted, there was a legislative win in Deerfield Illinois in June that was heartwarming for all second amendment lovers, but it didn’t even have the NRA’s name on the lawsuit. Daniel Easterday, the Illinois State Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation were all to thank specifically for that cases’ success. Regardless of the level of the NRA’s involvement, this comes as too little, too late for many disenfranchised NRA members (see comments below article).

Carolyn Meadows’ first public statements following her induction as President of the NRA was a commentary on a U.S. House of Representatives election in Georgia, in which a “minority female” won. It would be nice if President Meadows focused on Second Amendment rights instead of the physical features of a representative elected to congress. Here’s a challenge for you, find a picture of Carolyn Meadows holding, looking at, or touching a firearm. I haven’t been able to find one in all my searching. That’s right: this President of the NRA has not a single picture of her with a firearm. The first of her kind, I suspect she doesn’t care much about a looming silencer ban.

1st Vice President Charles Cotton – Cotton specifically said that the NRA had to “clean its own house” with regards to Wayne LaPierre’s tumultuous time during the Members Meeting and closed “executive session” where LaPierre nearly lost power. I suppose that removing anyone who opposed the establishment, or merely had concerns, is how we’re seeing him “clean house.” The Nominating Committee’s selection of candidates will be the other means of that. It appears that many directors are seeking reelection via petition such as Sean Maloney. Cotton is one of a few directors who requested we redact his email and any other contact information in our effort to create a current NRA BoD contact spreadsheet. Cotton ironically converses with those who see eye-to-eye with him only as is evident in his forum which he runs where he is able to censor anyone that isn’t his strict supporter.

2nd Vice President Willes Lee – Lee is the attack dog. Which makes a stark contrast from the decades old standard operating policy of “not engaging.” Lee takes it much further by engaging and later censoring persons with whom he disagrees. He enjoys attacking, regardless of the validity of concern. He hurls insults such as being “trolls, bloomberg, snark, etc” he even has a catchphrase for blocking NRA members, “Poof.”  Lee achieved an officer appointment to the board faster than any other director has. In 2018-2019 Lee and Allen West served as co-Chairmen of the Outreach Committee. I believe this raises more questions on why Allen West was removed, and Lee’s authority in assigning committees. 

Willes Lee is a board member of the American Conservative Union Foundation which should put him at odds with Article X Section 6 of the NRA Bylaws. That leaves me curious as to how that discrepancy was addressed (or if it has been addressed). Furthermore, that same NRA Bylaw (Article X Section 6) should make Brewer and Associates ineligible to represent the NRA as their agent due to their contributions to anti-gun politicians. I am very curious how that hypocritical conundrum is allowed to continue.

We need our NRA to be reformed now more than ever. We need it to have strong integrity, be strong, efficient, accountable and to do that we need more directors to display bold integrity, now! This De Facto Purge should be the line in the sand for everyone concerned for the integrity of our NRA, specifically these directors who had previously attempted to ride the fence between the leadership and those voicing concerns. One cannot be accountable by being unaccountable. The time has come for these directors to do what is right instead of what what is easy.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS SURVEY!

BOARD OF DIRECTORS SURVEY!

“In the shadow of our Nation’s 243rd Birthday, are YOU willing to stand up and call for reforms at our National Rifle Association? Or, are you content to sit back idly while American Gun Owners lose faith in the NRA?”

By Ron Carter
July 5, 2019

Denver, CO – July 5th, 2019 – Save the Second (STS) is sending out surveys to all 76 National Rifle Association Board Members today. These surveys present 10 questions that are of keen interest and importance to NRA Members. There are also important to the vast majority of American Gun Owners, many of whom are concerned about the current state of the NRA, it’s future and the role it should play in defending Second Amendment Rights.  Nine of the questions ask for “Yes” or “No” answers and are intended to determine clearly where an individual Board Member stands on a variety of issues. “There will come a time that Board Members will need to choose between what is right and what is easy,” said Andy Lander, former NRA employee and STS Board Member.  

The Surveys are being sent in several ways, including traditional and electronic mail, in order to ensure that all Board Members receive at least one copy along with the instructions for completing and returning the survey. STS will be sharing the responses publicly before the end of the month. Board Members are being asked to return the surveys within two weeks of receiving them. “I’m concerned that many of the Directors may refuse to respond,” said STS President Anthony Garcia, “but I think that would speak every bit as much as if they had actually returned the survey.”

Many current and former NRA Members feel that most Board Members are out of touch with American Gun Owners and not representing them or their concerns responsibly. In April, at the Annual NRA Members’ Meeting, several Board Members took time on the microphones to chastise NRA Members who were expressing concerns about the current state of the organization & its leadership. Ron Carter, STS Board Member and one of the concerned NRA Members who stood up to challenge the status quo in Indianapolis said, “ We must have accountability and transparency from the Board. This survey can help with both.” 

Another former NRA Employee and STS Board Member, Steve Hoback, who did much of the work crafting the questions in the Survey offered this challenge to the NRA Directors:

“In the shadow of our Nation’s 243rd Birthday, are YOU willing to stand up and call for reforms at our National Rifle Association? Or, are you content to sit back idly while American Gun Owners lose faith in the NRA?”

Save the Second, a non-profit organization,  was formed in June of 2019 to represent the concerns of NRA Members, as well as former and potential NRA Members, who believe that the leadership and strategies of the NRA have failed and that the organization needs to be reformed in order to effectively represent American Gun Owners and their concerns.  STS has proposed Five Points of Reform at their website savethe2a.org for consideration to improve the NRA. 

For more information about Save the Second, The BoD Survey, The Five Points of Reform or other related issues, visit savethe2a.org or contact STS Board Member and Media Relations Representative, Rob Pincus at robpincus@savethe2a.org.

THE BOD TERMS ENDING THIS YEAR

THE BOD TERMS ENDING THIS YEAR

You still have a voice even if you aren’t currently a voting eligible member!

By Ron Carter
July 2, 2019

This year many people will be headed to the ballot box in November. It will be the gubernatorial elections for Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi as well as thousands of citizen initiatives, mayoral races and other local elections. You may be familiar with these elections; if you aren’t I am confident you will soon see the TV ads and other advertisements. Elections spur loads of attention, but that isn’t the case of our NRA Director elections. Can you tell me the names of the directors seeking reelection this year? 

Each year Twenty-five NRA directors are elected by ballot. One additional director is elected at the Annual Meeting which serves as the seventy-sixth. Anthony Colandro won that 76th seat at Indianapolis this year. While we won’t know who will even make the ballot for a few more months now (thanks to the nomination committee who picks and chooses who they want on the ballot) I do expect to see several more candidates run by petition which prevents them from simply hoping that the nomination committee selects them. Last years’ voting turn out was just pathetic. There were over 2 million ballots sent to voting eligible NRA members and only a small fraction completed their ballots.

To be eligible to vote you must either be a Life Member or have five years of consecutive annual memberships (minimum). I am, personally, a mere annual member. I have been so, consecutively, for four years running. I did let my membership lapse a few years back and that reset the clock for me to be eligible. I will hit my five years just before Annual Meeting 2020 in Nashville, but it will be too late for me to vote in this election. My wife is an annual NRA member, with less than five consecutive years, as well. As members who are not voting eligible we can only vote for the annual 76th seat at the Annual Meeting. If either of us wanted to vote for the 25 candidates on the ballot in November we would need to purchase a Life Membership immediately. 

You still have a voice even if you aren’t currently a voting eligible member! Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t voting eligible, contact your directors! Perhaps you should consider helping the candidates you want to see elected. If they’re running by petition they will definitely need your help. A very common question that is asked is should you consider purchasing a Life Membership so as to vote for the 25 candidates this year? That is a difficult question for me to answer. With so many failures and a lack of accountability, it goes against my conscience to do so. Now, that is reason I haven’t upgraded to a Life membership and why I continue to merely renew my annual membership each year. I encourage you to make that decision for yourself. 

Below is a list of the current directors whose terms end this year. It is not yet clear who all will seek reelection, but there are a few like Todd J. Rathner who are beginning their reelection campaigns. Regardless, we need good, educated, voting-eligible NRA members to elect stalwart candidates with bold integrity who will answer to the members and address the gluttonous transgressions that our association has experienced. Our NRA needs accountability now and this election is absolutely crucial to seeing that come to fruition.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SAVE THE SECOND BOARD MEMBER

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SAVE THE SECOND BOARD MEMBER

Whatever reason the NRA’s legal counsel had for and were authorized by NRA’s leadership the conduct of this deposition, one can only guess. 

By Rob Pincus
June 30, 2019

Save the Second board member, Rob Pincus, was subpoenaed to appear on June 28th, before legal representation of the NRA – both staff lawyers and Brewer and Associate Representatives. Ackerman McQueen were represented by their attorneys via video teleconference. The subpoena was part of the NRA’s case against Ackerman McQueen, and Rob’s subpoena centered on how he came into possession of what The NRA has deemed “leaked” Insider information, before they were made public, regarding several practices by and allegations toward the NRA.  

Rob was cautioned by several colleagues and mentors that it would be foolish – at best -for him to appear without legal representation, but after looking over all of the documents that he was aware and a part of and all of his actions from the time of the 2019 NRA Annual Meeting through today (actually, since the early 2000s, when he began a period as a vendor for the Association, providing training videos), he felt that all he had to do was show up and tell the truth. It would be apparent and obvious that he was neither a source of the leak nor had he come into possession of any documents or information through any nefarious or illegal process on his part. The deposition was held in Colorado. A New Jersey native (more on THAT in a bit), Rob is a resident of Florida, but he maintains a residence in Colorado. He was in Colorado on the requested date due to obligations to the County that week as part of his service as a Reserve Deputy. 

Once the proceedings began and Rob was sworn in, he was asked how he had learned of the subpoena. Rob replied, “Via a text message from my mom.” Once the laughter had subsided and the question, asked again received the same answer, Rob said that the subpoena had been sent to his current NRA address, explaining, “It was the address my NRA Membership is attached to… I’ve never bothered to update it.” He then was asked to sign a waiver of proper serving of that subpoena, which he chose not to sign. He did however say that he was aware of the subpoena, and he showed up not through coercion of a court but because of his sense of wanting to do what was right.  

Let’s take a moment here…at this point, Rob could have legally and in good conscience called EndEx, and walked out. He was under NO obligation, legal or contractual, to remain. He CHOSE to continue, confident that the truth would be revealed and the insanity of this part of the witch hunt being conducted by the NRA and Brewer’s agency would, like most, be proven pointless. Also, let’s look at the logistics here and what the NRA was paying for: rental of the building; travel for NRA staff and Brewer’s Virginia representation (interesting that the Brewer Agency, a legal vendor of the Association, cannot practice in Virginia, the Association’s physical home); secure, bonded video conferencing legal specialists; a second audio and video recording vendor sent in from Durango for redundancy of documentation; and a court reporter who travelled five hours to serve as stenographer. As the proceeding went on for 5 (FIVE!!!) hours, it would be fair to estimate that all told this cost the Association – NOT any one individual affected by the “leaked documents” – between $10,000 – $20,000. Keep that in mind…

Five hours (including Rob’s uncompensated time) and untold dollars resulted in this: Rob presented all documents that he was aware of and part regarding the information in question and answered every question regarding how and when he had found that information. It was clearly evident that, first, as a non-NRA staff or current NRA contracted vendor, he neither had access to any of the information nor was he bound in any way to not disseminate any information that he was given or discovered. Also, as he was initially informed of the information by someone, like him was not current NRA staff or any former staff or vendor bound by a nondisclosure agreement or any other legal device, he in no way felt that the information was nothing more and nothing less than the truth, though troubling to the NRA’s current leadership. 

Whatever reason the NRA’s legal counsel had for and were authorized by NRA’s leadership the conduct of this deposition, one can only guess. Did they think that the threat of a crack legal agency like Brewer’s – you know, the ones that sent the deposition to his Mother’s house – would be enough to silence this Bloomberg shill malcontent? Did they think that the deposed would prove himself part of a vast conspiracy to bring down the NRA from within, in spite of the sterling efforts and spotless reputation of faithful service and fiscal responsibility of Lapierre and the Original Gangsters that this information was so harmful toward? Or, was it another example of the fiscal malfeasance so rampant in the current NRA’s spending their Members’ dues and donations, not their own money. But, one can’t help but be reminded of the Democratic National Committee near the end of the 2016 Presidential campaign. 

Wikileaks unveiled a series of damning information: the systematic shutdown of support to the Saunders’ campaign and the providing of debate questions to Clinton beforehand to name a few. 

None of the information was discredited nor shown to be “fake news”. 

The DNC took the line of “how dare WikiLeaks expose this information so close to the election” rather than defending themselves against these apparent truths.

Remember how we laughed at and scorned the DNC for this? Do ya….

Rob Pincus

THE POWER YOU WIELD

THE POWER YOU WIELD

This is our opportunity to wield the power you have. We can change our NRA. 76 in 76.

By Ron Carter
June 27, 2019

When Hi Point launched their “Name the 9” contest on June 6th, 2019 no one anticipated what would happen. A large amount of entries were entered in jest during the first phase of the contest with companies such as Student of the Gun and We Like Shooting having submissions in their likeness while other entries such as “Problem Solver” were just plain humorous. The start of the second phase, however, eliminated several of the popular entries. That elimination sparked an amazing flurry of engagement, reach and attention, and that’s an understatement!

Omitted, to the surprise of many, was the overwhelmingly popular entry “Yeet Cannon.” That particular elimination set the internet on fire. By noon of that Wednesday every social media page and group had commented in some form or fashion on the ensuing “Yeet-gate.” Hi Point’s Facebook page had 1.5k comments on their post announcing the second round of voting in just four hours. Soon, commenters were sharing the customer service phone numbers and rallying any and every person that they could to make Hi Point reconsider. H&K, Palmetto State Armory, Aero Precision, Beretta, SCCY and more firearms manufactures soon joined in with some mocking and some genuinely offering new products with the word “Yeet” on them. The fire-storm continued into that evening. “At one point I was… getting four to five messages a minute,” said Kara Boesenberg who at the head of the marketing for MKS Supply LLC (contracted by Hi Point) had an entire team behind her doing the same. 

Early the next morning Hi Point released a statement telling their customer that they had been heard and that the Yeet Cannon entry would be added to a final showdown with the winner of the second round. The calls, emails, messages, reviews and overwhelming outcry had worked. The Hi Point company relented. Currently, Yeet Cannon is destroying its final competitor, CTAC9, by a staggering majority (over 316,000 votes, or 95%, as of right now). Regardless of your opinions on the matter the engagement was absolutely incredible. 

Image from Hi Point’s Name the 9 Contest

What does that mean to us? It means that we need to take notes. That level of engagement has loads of power. It is the power that you can wield to effectively tell your directors your thoughts and by doing so change your NRA. Imagine where the NRA would be right now if its members would have called, emailed, messaged and otherwise demanded our directors do something with the same ferocity as a bunch of jokesters who merely want “Yeet Cannon” on the side of a $200 handgun. Imagine if instead of re-electing a professional basketball player to a second term (when he still hasn’t shown up to be sworn in for his first) what the NRA would look like now as a result. Imagine if all the people saying “let it burn” or “go join XZY organization instead” had tenaciously hounded their NRA directors. You might be tempted to think that that would have been fruitless. I wholeheartedly disagree and Hi Point is the example. If nothing else that level of engagement would have at least yielded some other result instead of the apathetic indifference that got us here. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not suggesting you are to blame and neither am I suggesting that we need to petition our directors to name the next CEO of the NRA Yeet Cannon. I am suggesting that you can be the solution. If we are half as passionate as those persons who wanted a handgun named something so ridiculous, I am certain that we can fix the NRA before it is too late.

Here is what I propose you do. Join me in going through the list. Write a single letter, email, or message a day. If you can afford all three, do it! In your messages, instead of pointing out the flaws and failures (and what we already know) be direct and be simple. Tell your directors you want them to fix the NRA and how to do it. There are 76 NRA Board of Directors and today (June 27, 2019) there are 76 days until the September NRA Board of Directors meeting. Let’s go straight down the list. Take the lessons learned from that Hi Point contest: share it with your friends, share it with your families, share it with your neighbors, share it with your coworkers, share it with your USPSAs, share it with your clubs, share it in your groups, share it with your YouTubers, share it in your podcasts, share it on your AR15coms, share it in your chans, share it with your meme pages, tell every single NRA member that you possibly can to contact their NRA directors. This is our opportunity to wield the power you have. We can change our NRA. 76 in 76. 

Going by first name alphabetical order Alan Cors is up. If you a hard time writing what you’d like to, I suggest the Five Points of Reform being put forth by www.savethe2A.org. Simply tell the directors that you agree with Save the Second in your message and provide the website so that they can clearly see that we aren’t merely criticizing, we are trying to help! Either way, the NRA is our organization and the fastest way we change it is through members contacting the Board of Directors. 

-Ron Carter