Tuesday, August 20, 2019

CNN Reports That Craig Morgan Is Resigning From NRA Board


If what has been reported by CNN is correct, country music star Craig Morgan becomes the seventh NRA Director to resign since the 2018 NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas and the sixth  seventh this year . In addition, David Lehman, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel of the NRA-ILA, is reported to have left.

From CNN:
Country music singer and NRA board member Craig Morgan has resigned, sources with knowledge of the matter tell CNN, and NASCAR team owner Richard Childress stepped down on Monday. David Lehman, the deputy executive director and general counsel at the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, also is leaving the organization, the sources tell CNN.
I predicted a while ago that I would not be surprised to see more of the celebrities resigning from the NRA Board of Directors. Craig Morgan fits this category if the report by CNN is accurate.

According to the story, the NRA has not responded to requests for comment and CNN has not heard back on their request for comment to either Morgan or Lehman. I'm sure more will become known in the next few days.

Richard Childress Resigns From NRA Board


NASCAR legend and NRA Board member Richard Childress has resigned from the NRA Board of Directors effective yesterday. He served as First VP until late April of this year. He along with Oliver North were asking the difficult questions about finance and the Brewer law firm. His resignation is the sixth this year if you count Pete Brownell.

His letter below says he needs to fully focus on his businesses which include his race team and a winery in North Carolina. His business acumen and his fund raising abilities will be missed by the NRA. It is my understanding that he is the reason Bass Pro Shops and their Cabelas subsidiary are such large sponsors especially at the Annual Meetings.



Monday, August 19, 2019

A Good Way To See Gun Bans On A Monday Morning


My friend Kerry Slone of We the Female posted this tweet from Caleb Howe on Facebook yesterday. It is a brutal yet accurate skewering of those who promote gun bans.





That is right up there with Shannon Watts discouraging active shooter drills because it might scare the children.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

How Not To Win Friends And Influence Justices


Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) considers himself worthy of authoring an amicus brief for a case before the Supreme Court. He should think again. Despite a long legal career before being elected to the Senate which culminated with him serving as both the Attorney General of Rhode Island for one term and before that as the Clinton-appointed US Attorney for Rhode Island, his brief in NY State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York is a polemic and not an argument.

Moreover, as the son and grandson of diplomats, you would have thought somewhere along the line it would have rubbed off on him how to be diplomatic towards those that matter. Daddy served as deputy ambassador to the Republic of Vietnam followed up as the ambassador to Laos and then Thailand. Granddad was ambassador to Guatemala and Colombia and served earlier on the commission that wrote the Treaty of Versailles.

Whitehouse was joined in this polemic, I mean amicus brief, by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) who are all lawyers by training. They begin the brief arguing that the NYSRPA, the petitioners, are asking the Court to be their allies in " a “project” to expand the Second Amendment and thwart gun-safety (sic) regulations." They continue that it is no wonder polls show the Supreme Court is "motivated mainly by politics." It goes downhill from here.

They then argue that it was the National Rifle Association, the Federalist Society, and other conservative groups fought to make sure that Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would be on the Court to "break the tie" in favor of the Second Amendment. It goes on to say about the Federalist Society:
The Society counts over eighty-six percent of Trump administration nominees to the circuit courts of appeal and to this Court as active members. It is not yet clear who the powerful funders are behind Leonard Leo and the Federalist Society judicial selection effort, nor what took place as the Federalist Society was “insourced” into the Trump administration’s judicial selection process.5 But massive political spending and secrecy are rarely a salubrious combination.
In other words, these fine senators are pissed off that President Trump has nominated active members of an organization dedicated to an interpretation of the Constitution that preserves the original meaning. They would much prefer those of the Living Constitution stripe.

This brief then goes on to attack the amicus briefs in favor of the NY State Rifle and Pistol Association implying that they are stooges of the NRA. Eight of the amici are affiliated with the NRA. However, most of those are from only one amicus brief - that of the National Sheriffs Association. Then, heaven forbid, a number of amici are 503(c)(4) social welfare organization who are not required to disclose their donors. As the secretary of the Maryland Democratic Party might note, this makes them harder to dox. Of course much of this is ludicrous. Accusing groups like the Pink Pistols and GOA of being stooges of the NRA is laughable.

Whitehouse ends Section I of the brief with this.
Out in the real world, Americans are murdered each day with firearms in classrooms or movie theaters or churches or city streets, and a generation of preschoolers is being trained in active-shooter survival drills. In the cloistered confines of this Court, and notwithstanding the public imperatives of these massacres, the NRA and its allies brashly presume, in word and deed, that they have a friendly audience for their “project.”
You might think Whitehouse might now try to curry favor with the justices in Section II and you'd be wrong. After a few paragraphs saying how the Court shouldn't be answering moot questions and legislating from the bench, he then accuses the Court's majority of being the tools of big business, the GOP, and fat cats.
Recent patterns raise legitimate questions about whether these limits remain. From October Term 2005 through October Term 2017, this Court issued 78 5-4 (or 5-3) opinions in which justices appointed by Republican presidents provided all five votes in the majority. In 73 of these 5-4 decisions, the cases concerned interests important to the big funders, corporate influencers, and political base of the Republican Party. And in each of these 73 cases, those partisan interests prevailed.
Then he accuses the petitioners of engaging in strategic "faux litigation". What he is speaking of is strategic civil rights litigation with carefully chosen plaintiffs and with the purpose of building precedent. The interesting historical aspect of this is that the model for this strategic litigation was none other than the NAACP Legal Defense Fund run at the time by future Justice Thurgood Marshall.
For example, we have seen flocks of “freedom-based public interest law” organizations that exist only to change public policy through litigation, and which often do not disclose their funders. We have seen behavioral signals, like litigants who rush to lose cases in lower courts “as quickly as practicable and without argument, so that [they] can expeditiously take their claims to the Supreme Court” (ordinarily, in litigation, litigants seek to win). Almost invariably, and as we have seen in this case, such plaintiffs are accompanied by throngs of professional amici, whose common funding sources and connections to the organizations behind the supposed party-in-interest are obscured by ineffective disclosure rules.
Instead of being flattered, Whitehouse seems to say how dare these dirty, low down conservatives imitate the tactics and strategies of the Left!

He then ends the brief with a threat.
The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be “restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.” Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.
Whitehouse is no FDR but he thinks his threat of packing the Court is going to sway it. His demeaning attitude should irritate even the most ardent liberals on the Court. Whether this case is ultimately dismissed as moot or not, there will be more cases that have even more impact for Second Amendment rights that are now or soon will be in the pipeline.


UPDATE: I'm not the only one who found Whitehouse's brief to be a polemic and not a real argument. Prof. William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection covered it as well. Note the comments. I agree with the person who said " The Court should strike the brief without a right to refile an amended brief, and impose sanctions."

Monday, August 12, 2019

Julie Golob Makes Four


Competitive shooter and NRA Board of Directors member Julie Golob announced today that she had resigned from the Board. She said the decision was the best "for me and my family." Other than that, she did not go into any specifics.

Dear NRA Members,

I gave my notice to NRA President Carolyn Meadows, Secretary John Frazer, and Directors that I have resigned my position on the National Rifle Association Board of Directors.

My intentions in running as well as serving in this volunteer position are directly aligned with the purposes and objectives of the organization. I am proud to have had the opportunity to represent the members of the National Rifle Association but I can no longer commit to fulfilling the duties of a director.

This was not a decision I made lightly. I apologize to those members who have supported me that I will not be completing the full 3-year term. I also feel this is the best decision for me and my family.

I wish the director who fills my vacancy and the rest of the board nothing but success. I will absolutely continue to support the NRA’s programs and sports as a proud benefactor member and active participant in the preservation of freedom.

Sincerely yours,
Julie Golo
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 Julie was only one of three people I endorsed in 2018 for the Board of Directors. The other two were Tim Knight and Adam Kraut. As covered already, Tim has resigned from the Board and Adam declined the chance to fill one of the open positions. I'm not sure what this says about the power of my endorsements.

We may never know Julie's motivations for leaving the Board and it is her choice to make them known if she so wishes. I do foresee further resignations from the Board especially given the most recent subpoena from Attorney General Letitia James to 90 current and former Board members. If I were an attorney - and I'm not - giving risk management advice to one of the deep-pocketed members of the Board, I'd say you must protect what you've earned and it is time to go. You can still support the organization in other ways but you need to get the heck out of there.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Technology, The Second Amendment, And Hong Kong


The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong should be instructive for everyone in this country. You have a territory that was once a colony of Britain and is now essentially a vassal state of Red China. The people there have never been entirely free. While freer as a British colony, they were still ruled by edicts from London. Now as part of China with the "one country, two systems" policy, they are still ruled from afar. What they want is what we take for granted in the US - human rights, freedom, and democracy.

These protesters understand something that all the Democrats running for president, much of the media, and even too many Republicans don't. That is the real purpose of the Second Amendment.

Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images
They don't plan to go duck hunting or deer hunting in Hong Kong. They fully understand the Second Amendment is what gives the people the power to change or overthrow a tyrannical government. While former presidential candidate Rep. Eric "Nuke'em" Swalwell is incredulous that people armed with mere small arms could take on a world power, one need only look to Afghanistan or to our former adversaries in Vietnam.

Modern technology gives the pro-democracy protesters a communication advantage that is hard to stop. They have found that Tinder can be used for more than hookups and that Poke'man Go isn't just for my son-in-law to drive my daughter crazy.
Posting information about protests on Tinder is just one of several creative ways Hongkongers are using technology to mobilize people. For more than eight weeks now, technology has been at the center of organizing demonstrations against a controversial extradition bill.

People primarily communicated through Telegram groups and streamed their actions on gaming platform Twitch. As violence has escalated in recent weeks, though, police have been cracking down harder. So now protesters are resorting to more unorthodox methods of organizing and communicating online.

One of those methods, besides Tinder, is Pokémon Go.

When the Hong Kong police denied protesters permission to march in one of the city’s suburban neighborhoods on safety grounds, the protesters decided to say that they weren’t going for a march -- they were just showing up for a game of Pokémon Go.
Rather than sneaking out messages like dissidents did using samizdat in the old Soviet Union, protesters are using Apple's peer-to-peer AirDrop to pass on information to visitors from the rest of China. These visitors normally would only hear what the government allowed them to hear in China.
What makes AirDrop the ideal communication tool in this case is that it bypasses Chinese censors; news of protests in Hong Kong against the extradition bill have been blocked on popular social media platforms in China such as Weibo, WeChat and Baidu
I don't know what will eventually happen in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, we in the United States should be paying attention. This is true especially now that you have media and technology giants controlling some much of what we see and hear. When you combine that with the statist nature of most politicians, right or left, it becomes an imperative that alternate voices are heard. You know like ones that ask the hard questions about the efficacy of background checks or red flag laws.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Every Local TV Story Should Feature Billy


City workers in Huntington, WV cut down a tree that was a hazard due to limbs breaking off. Unfortunately, the tree didn't fall where they wanted it to go. The full story is here at WSAZ.

That was sad for the young lady whose Fiat 500 was destroyed. However, out of this comes a new hero of local TV news. That hero is Billy Tatum. You can hear why is the excerpt that has gone viral on Twitter.





Don't you just know every local TV reporter who wants to make it to the big time wishes they had Billy Tatum in their highlight reel.

In case you have trouble with West Virginia accents, here is what Billy had to say.
"It sounded like a beer can getting flattened," Tatum said. "It just was 'crunch.' I hate to say it, but it was kind of cool, you know? What guy doesn't like destruction. That's why we go to demolition derbies, but hey, the bottom line is that's that girl's new car, and she can't get to school now."

Friday, August 9, 2019

A Better Suggestion For The "NRA Mansion"


A couple of days ago the Washington Post broke a story that there had been talk about the NRA buying a $6 million mansion in Dallas for EVP Wayne LaPierre post-Parkland. The NRA is saying that it was Ackerman McQueen's idea and AckMac is saying it was Wayne's idea.
The origins of the idea to buy the mansion, its proposed purpose and the reason the deal never went through are now being fiercely disputed by the NRA and Ackerman McQueen, which are locked in a bitter legal fight.

In a statement late Tuesday night, Ackerman McQueen said LaPierre had sought the ad firm’s assistance with the real estate transaction, a proposal it said alarmed company officials. “Actions in this regard led to Ackerman McQueen’s loss of faith in Mr. LaPierre’s decision-making,” the firm said.

For their part, NRA officials said that the real estate purchase was suggested in early 2018 by Ackerman McQueen as an investment that would be managed by the ad firm’s top executives — and that it was ultimately rejected by top NRA leaders.

“The agency introduced Mr. LaPierre to its preferred local real estate agent, directed a tour of multiple homes, and established a company to manage the investment,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in a statement late Wednesday. “No matter, Mr. LaPierre ultimately rejected the opportunity and not one dime of the NRA’s money was spent on this venture.” The LaPierres did not respond to requests for comment.

The New York attorney general’s office is now examining the plan for an NRA-financed mansion as part of its ongoing investigation into the gun lobby’s tax-exempt status, in which it has subpoenaed the group’s financial records, the people said.
According to the Zillow listing, the mansion has 4 bedroom and 9 bathrooms. It overlooks a lake.

Now the idea of an organization have a residence in which to entertain rich donors and to house an executive is not unheard of. Indeed, universities and colleges around the nation do it all the time. If the NRA still wants to think about such a residence, I have a much better suggestion.

The Internal Revenue Service contracts with a company called CWS Marketing to sell seized properties. These properties are often seized due to tax fraud or due to being bought with illegal proceeds from drug or other transactions. As luck would have it CWS is holding an auction next week for a slightly smaller mansion that still has a lake view and is just made for entertaining.


The stately house is located in Mason, Ohio which is a suburb of Cincinnati. How ideal would it be to have the NRA Mansion be located in the same town as the Cincinnati Revolt of 1977. Just think how the location might remind NRA executives that if they didn't stand up and fly straight they could go the way of Maxwell Rich.

It has a beautiful bar in the basement which is ideal for entertaining.


It also has a media room and a billiards room in the basement.

Moreover, it has some large closets that would fit most, if not all, of Wayne's custom suits.



The house has a beautiful entry way which would be ideal for welcoming well-heeled donors.


It has a large patio and deck area on the rear of the home overlooking the lake. I think this would be ideal for cocktail parties and other gatherings where the touch is put on donors.


You can see many more pictures as well as the floor plans here.

The Zillow estimate of the value of the home is $1.8. However, with some artful bidding, I'm sure it could be had for much less than that.

A little bit of paint, some new carpeting, and it would be ready to go! Now doesn't this make more sense than some house in Dallas. By the way the temperature in Dallas right now is 101 deg. while it is a balmy 84 deg. in Mason.

I'm Back On The Road Again


If you tried to reach this blog starting on early Wednesday morning you would have gotten an error message. Something along the lines that this blog was locked and not available for future use or some such verbiage. I was alerted to this by SAF's Dave Workman who asked me around 7am what was going on.

Checking my email I saw this from 3am:
Hello, Your blog at http://onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com/ has been reviewed and confirmed as in violation of our Terms of Service for: REGULATED. In accordance to these terms, we've removed the blog and the URL is no longer accessible. For more information, please review the following resources: Terms of Service: https://www.blogger.com/go/terms Blogger Content Policy: https://blogger.com/go/contentpolicy -The Blogger Team
Checking the terms of service for "regulated" I find that it is defined as this:
Do not use Blogger to promote or sell regulated goods and services, such as alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals and unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons, or health/medical devices.
I immediately appealed the locking of the blog as I knew I never sold any firearms. All I could think was that it was the www.Luckygunner.com banner ad. They were gracious enough to check and let me know that I was the only Blogger based blog that had this happen to them.

The worst part about all of this was that I could not even access my own content from over nine years. I will never, ever be slack about backups again.

This morning I got this message from the Blogger team:
Hello, We have received your appeal regarding your blog http://onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com/. Upon further review we have determined that your blog was mistakenly marked as a TOS violator by our automated system and, as such, we have reinstated your blog. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused in the meantime and thank you for your patience as we completed our review process. Thank you for understanding. Sincerely, The Blogger Team
In other words, I was out of jail.

I credit this to the publicity that the blocking of my blog has gotten on Facebook, Twitter, and in the online press. I especially want to thank Dave Workman for his article here and Tom Knighton of Bearingarms.com for his article on it.

I also want to thank Erin Palette of Operation Blazing Swords/Pink Pistols who put me in touch with attorneys in California and offered to help subsidize the legal bills if need be. I have had offers to help host the blog from a number of sources including Miggy at Gun Free Zone, Brandon Combs of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Bill Chachkes and his friend Kyle plus others. Then there are all the tech gurus out there like Sebastian, Tiffany Johnson, David Yamane, Harold Ancell, Baron B., Jacqui Janes, and many more. If I omitted your name, I do apologize. Please just know I appreciate all the support I've received as it really shows that we in the gun culture are a community.

In the past two days I have registered the domain www.onlygunsandmoney.com and have registered an account with WordPress. I have looked at dozens of WordPress themes. I will be revamping the look and feel of my blog and it will be migrated to WordPress. Where I actually host it is up in the air for the moment. There is nothing like a near tragedy to spur one into action!

So in closing, to everyone who asked what was going on, to everyone who reposted my Facebook or Twitter messages, to everyone who gave helpful advice, and especially to everyone who just cared, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate more than you can imagine.

I'll let Willie have the last word here.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

More Subpoenas Served On The NRA


Danny Hakim in the New York Times is reporting that New York Attorney General Letitia James and her office have served a subpoena on the NRA seeking financial records from over 90 current and former members of the Board of Directors. The subpoena was served yesterday evening.
The subpoena is an escalation of a continuing investigation into the tax-exempt status of the N.R.A., which is chartered in New York, and engulfs the organization’s board of directors in the inquiry. The subpoena seeks financial records and other documents that would shed light on spending decisions made by the board.
While James' office is not commenting on the subpoena, the NRA's outside counsel William Brewer III had this to say.
William A. Brewer III, the N.R.A.’s outside counsel, said in a statement: “As we understand it, counsel to the N.R.A. board accepted service of a subpoena to the board that relates to the production of documents and information.”

He added: “Such a request was expected and, as we have said many times, the N.R.A. will cooperate with any reasonable, good faith request for information given the organization’s commitment to good governance.”
This is making the decision by Tim Knight, Sean Maloney, and Esther Schneider to resign from the board and the decision by Adam Kraut to turn down an appointment to the board seem all that much more wiser.

I've heard numerous reports that the NRA's Directors and Officers liability insurance was either dropped by their current carrier due to its issues or that the premium was so high that it was decided it wasn't economically feasible. This has been denied. I tend to agree with what Dan Zimmerman of TTAG had to say about it.
The Times report says the NRA denied that their D&O coverage has been cancelled. That’s what the NRA’s Andrew Arulanandam told TTAG over the weekend, too. With the latest news of the NY AG’s widening fishing expedition, that coverage is more important than ever.
I would not be surprised to see a number of resignations by the celebrities - singers, actors, former athletes - from the board on the advice of their personal attorneys. They have deep pockets and if there is any suggestion of the absence of D&O liability insurance it would be risk management 101 to head for the doors.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Adam Kraut's "Other Exciting Opportunities"


Adam Kraut in his open letter explaining why he was declining the opportunity to serve on the NRA Board of Directors said he wouldn't have time to adequately devote to the position. This was "because of the magnitude of time, work, and attention these exciting and important new endeavors that I am currently involved in require." We now know what those endeavors entail. Adam will be the new Director of Legal Strategy for the Firearms Policy Coalition.

The announcement from the FPC is below. Also joining Adam will be attorney Joseph Greenlee as Director of Research and attorney Matthew Larosiere as Director of Legal Policy.

August 5, 2019 – Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced today the addition of three constitutional law attorneys with significant research, briefing, litigation, and scholarly experience to the FPC legal team.

“Recent news and presidential debates make clear that those who oppose freedom and the Constitution’s Second Amendment are gearing up to further infringe on fundamental human rights today and in the years to come, so building a unique, mission-focused team of scholars and experienced advocates is important to the future of our rights and liberties,” said FPC President Brandon Combs.

Joseph Greenlee, an attorney, researcher, and Second Amendment scholar, has joined the FPC Family’s legal programs team as its Director of Research. Mr. Greenlee, who formally joined the FPC Family two months ago in June, has already developed groundbreaking new research that has been central in three recent legal briefs filed in a federal appeals court, and other important briefs in state supreme courts and the United States Supreme Court, including one brief in support of the right to carry filed at the United States Supreme Court last week.

Matthew Larosiere, an attorney, scholar, and constitutional policy expert with a background in both firearms and taxation, has joined the FPC Family’s legal programs team as its Director of Legal Policy. Larosiere comes to FPC from the Cato Institute, where he conducted research, authored important legal briefs, and produced scholarship as a member of Cato’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies. He has written extensively on the subject of firearms and taxation both in print and online in outlets including National Review, Forbes, The Federalist, the Wall Street Journal, and The Truth About Guns.

Adam Kraut, an attorney, Second Amendment litigator, and educator, has joined the FPC Family as its Director of Legal Strategy. Mr. Kraut has a long track record of successfully litigating and representing clients in important firearm-related issues in both state and federal matters. In addition to his litigation background, Kraut, who once managed a licensed firearm retailer, has written for firearm-related publications including Recoil, a firearms lifestyle magazine, and writes and hosts the popular “The Legal Brief” video program.

“Each of these extraordinary attorneys has a deep commitment to individual liberty, freedom, and first principles. They are already hard at work in many areas of our key programs, including strong research, policy efforts, and legal action. Especially in light of recent demands for gun control, we look forward to their contributions and forming strategic coalitions with other liberty-promoting organizations,” concluded Combs.

As retired law professor and former NRA Board member Joe Olson commented on Facebook, "Beats a position (1 of 76) on the NRA Board. Been there, done that, still have a flat spot on my head from bashing Marion."

Red Flag Laws Are Getting Trump's Support


In his remarks today on the mass murders in El Paso and Dayton, President Trump called for the passage of red flag laws.
Fourth, we must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.
If a person is such a danger, they need to be confined. Mentally disturbed individuals as well as terrorists have used many other instruments besides firearms to kill large numbers of innocent people. Little more than two weeks ago, an disturbed individual killed 33 people in an anime studio in Japan by setting it in fire. This followed an earlier stabbing rampage in May that left one schoolgirl dead and 16 more injured. Islamofascists in Europe have used cars and trucks to run down people attending street fairs. They have attacked and killed people in New York City using rented trucks. So why just guns when flammables, knives, and vehicles have all been used in mass attacks in recent times?

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned brings up an interesting point. Now that Chris Cox has left or been ousted from the NRA, it is left to Wayne LaPierre to try and control Trump's worst impulses regarding firearms. I doubt Wayne is up to the task.

You can be sure that the gun prohibitionists will laugh in Trump's face as they rush to pass more gun control without the quid pro quo that he thinks supporting it will get.

The Firearms Policy Coalition released a statement which I will quote in part below. I think they have a very good understanding of what these calls for more restrictions on our freedoms and liberties mean for us as individuals and as a nation.
It is disingenuous and immoral to ratify and incent evil acts of the very few by responding in kind with broad restrictions on the fundamental human rights of the People that pre-exist government itself. We will not accept this as a means of affecting change in a free society. The loss of human lives will always affect and change us, but they must never be allowed to alter our fundamental principles, freedoms, and commitment to individual liberty.

To be sure, our Constitution and society are at an unprecedented crossroads. Politicians and presidential candidates now openly call for a fundamental transformation of our system of laws: from a constitutional republic of free men and women founded in federalism and individual liberty, to a nation-state of subjects ruled with an iron fist from ivory towers and Washington, D.C.

Protecting the People and their human rights and property from the tyranny of mob rule and capricious political winds is a unique feature of our Republic—one that we fiercely defend even when doing so may be unpopular.

Stabbed In The Back Again


Eight years of Obama brought no new gun control at the federal level. Three years of President Trump has brought an unconstitutional ban on bumpstocks, no Hearing Protection Act, no national reciprocity, and now a call for more gun control in the wake of the murders in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.




If he thinks that Democrats will trade gun control for funding a "the wall", he is sadly mistaken. They will do a bait and switch saying they will support "the wall" after passing red flag laws and universal background checks (and other gun control) but then do nothing about funding the wall.

Right now I don't give a big rat's ass about a wall along the border that would have marginal effectiveness. I do care about any denigration of the Second Amendment and gun rights.

By the way, all indications are that virtually every mass murderer in the last 10 years has gone through a NICS check. These bills would do nothing to have prevented them from obtaining the firearm in question.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Not Even 24 Hours


Do we have all the facts - the real facts and not just suppositions - on the murders in El Paso or Dayton yesterday?

Of course the answer is no.

But does that stop the gun prohibitionists from dancing in the blood of the victims and from raising money?

Again, a big no.

This email was received less than 24 hours before the murderer started his rampage in El Paso.


Our chapters are the heart and soul of our efforts and the ‘boots on the ground’ in this battle against the epidemic of gun violence. If you’re already involved, please forward this to a friend and ask them to join.



I am reminded of the response that attorney Joseph Welch gave to Sen. Joe McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings.

Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

The answer for the Brady Campaign and others of their ilk is a resounding NO!

Friday, August 2, 2019

No Adam Kraut On The NRA Board


When I reported that Tim Knight, Sean Maloney, and Esther Schneider resigned from the Board of Directors I mentioned that it would put Adam Kraut in line to fill their positions. I also reported a comment from Rob Pincus to the effect that Adam wouldn't take the seat under the current circumstances.

From an open letter posted by Adam it looks like the NRA did follow procedure and reached out to him about serving. He declined. I have posted his letter below.

Another issue that surfaced today is that the NRA will no longer have Directors and Officers liability insurance for the Board of Directors. I have heard it from four different sources. As I understand it, the new premium given all the turmoil and the multiple investigations was so high that the decision was to go without insurance. I am going to speculate that you may start to see more resignations from the board due to this. I know if I was the attorney for one of the well-heeled celebrities or well-to-do business people on the board that I'd advise to give it strong consideration as a matter of risk management.

The letter from Adam explaining his decision is below:

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.

Yours in Liberty,

/s/Adam Kraut

He's Right, You Know


Colion Noir is now on his own again. He put up a YouTube video yesterday correctly asserting that the Second Amendment is bigger than identity politics. I agree with him and thinks he makes excellent points in this video.

However, I do want to know what is a Pina Colada gender. LOL!



What A Classy Broad


In reading the various stories that covered the resignation of NRA Directors Tim Knight, Sean Maloney, and Esther Schneider, I missed this little tidbit in the Washington Post until just a few minutes ago.


Board member Marion Hammer, who lobbies on behalf of the NRA in Florida, on Thursday wrote in a text message to The Post her reaction to the departing board members: “Don’t let the door hit you in the back on your way out.

She said the trio “made a treacherous attempt to overthrow leadership and lost, now they’re unhappy nobody trusts them and doesn’t want them on committees where they can continue to disrupt the organization.”

What Marion the Cat Lady really means when she says "treacherous attempt to overthrow leadership" is that their call for an independent investigation into the finances of the NRA was a threat to her quarter million dollar annual payment for "consulting and lobbying services." According to the report submitted by NRA Secretary John Frazer at the 2019 NRA Meeting of Members, the amount for 2018 was $270,000. This was in addition to the $110,000 she was paid by the Unified Sportsmen of Florida to serve as their executive director.


"Don't worry Fluffy. Mama Marion will protect your catnip money"

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Three NRA Directors Resign Effective Immediately


Three members of the NRA Board of Directors resigned today effective immediately. They are Tim Knight, Sean Maloney, and Esther Schneider. The leadership had made it so that they could not effectively serve as members of the board. Tim Knight told me yesterday he couldn't even get the Board of Directors' counsel to return emails from him.

I don't know Esther that well but she has raised large amounts of money for the NRA. However, I do know Tim and Sean. They were stalwarts of the grass roots and had devoted immense amounts of time before and after being elected to the board to grass roots efforts. Both Tim and Sean packed their bags and headed to Colorado to help with the recall movement which succeeded in removing Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron from office.

In normal times, the next three people who were not elected in April would be appointed to fill those empty Director slots. The three would be Dave Butz, Adam Kraut, and Richard Figueroa.  However, these are not normal times. Rob Pincus reports on Facebook that Adam Kraut has "said that he will not take a seat under the current circumstances." That would move Paul Babaz, President of the Safari Club International, into the third spot.

I know their resignation from the Board of Directors won't stop their activism on behalf of the Second Amendment and gun rights. Expect them to remain in the forefront of the fight. It just won't be as directors of the NRA Board.

The resignation letter is reprinted below:

August 1, 2019

President Carolyn Meadows
The National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Secretary John Frazier
The National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

The National Rifle Association of America Board of Directors
The National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is with profound disappointment that each of us hereby tenders our resignation from the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association, effective immediately.

We proudly agreed to serve as board members of the NRA because of our steadfast belief in the Association’s core mission of protecting the Second Amendment and its leadership’s commitment to serving its members with honesty, integrity and transparency. While our belief in the NRA’s mission remains as strong today as ever, our confidence in the NRA’s leadership has been shattered.

As Board members, we are duty bound to act with care and in the best interests of the NRA and its mission. Proper discharge of that duty compels us to speak up and take action when we become aware of matters within the Association that run counter to its mission, governing principles, policies, or the law. Over the past several months, there have been numerous, highly-publicized allegations of impropriety leveled against the Association and certain members of its executive leadership team. In exercising our oversight responsibilities as Board Members, we have sought information and requested certain actions be taken with respect to these allegations, only to be rebuffed at every turn. We had expected – or at least hoped— that the executive leadership team would recognize the seriousness of these allegations and work with us in a constructive and transparent manner to address our concerns and minimize any further harm to the Association. Instead, we have been stonewalled, accused of disloyalty, stripped of committee assignments and denied effective counsel necessary to properly discharge our responsibilities as Board members.

As a result of the foregoing, we are left with no other choice but to resign as members of the Board of Directors. In doing so, however, we hope that our action will serve as a catalyst for much needed reform within the NRA so that it can return its focus to the mission which we remain unwaveringly committed -- protecting the Constitution of the United States and especially, the Second Amendment.

Sincerely,

Esther Schneider
Sean Maloney
Timothy Knight

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Interesting Times


David Codrea published the following tweet earlier today. As he was out of town and wouldn't be available to respond, he said he wouldn't name names. If it turns out to be false, he said it would be on him. That said, remember he was one of the people who broke open Project Gunwalker aka Operation Fast and Furious.




This will be very interesting so I plan to keep checking Twitter and doing Google searches over the next few days.

Does Anyone In Fairfax Believe In Due Diligence?


I swear this was not meant to be "Dump on the NRA Day". It really wasn't but I just got sent some stuff that needs to be out there as questions must be raised.

If you attended the Meeting of Members at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, you might remember a short Filipino lady seeking out the youngest and oldest Life Member for recognition. That was Mille Hallow who has served as Wayne LaPierre's right hand since 1996. According to her bio with the National Foundation for Women Legislators where she serves as Secretary, she is the Managing Director, Executive Operations. Earlier according to the same bio, she served as the Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She went by Mildred Bautista then.

Here is where it gets interesting and, frankly, a bit disturbing.

From the Washington Post, March 24, 1984:
THE D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities is facing its toughest test. Eight weeks ago, the city's corporation counsel, followed by the U.S. attorney; began investigating possible misuse of $16,00: in commission funds by its executive director, Mildred Bautista.

When the probe began, the arts community in Washington was shocked. Then it was learned that Bautista, a $45,000-a-year appointee who also served as the mayor's cultural adviser, had left another job in Michigan 12 years ago after officials there discovered she had falsified a resume'.

Bautista resigned her post here, saying: "I have done wrong. I have misused public funds and betrayed the public trust. I feel regret and sadness about my sins, particularly to the many people, friends and associates who have placed their faith in me."
If only it had just been padding the resume. You can read more about the resume issue in Ann Arbor, Michigan here.

From the Washington Post, August 18, 1984:
Mildred Bautista, former executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, yesterday was given a suspended prison sentence and placed on three years probation in connection with charges she stole more than $23,000 in commission funds.

In handing down the sentence, D.C. Superior Court Judge Joseph M. Ryan delivered a stinging commentary, blaming the city's government for not adequately monitoring the use of the District's money.

Bautista, 37, a $45,000-a-year mayoral appointee, pleaded guilty in June to a single charge of first-degree theft, for which she could have been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

While suspending a prison term of 20 months to five years for Bautista and placing her on unsupervised probation, Ryan also ordered her to reimburse $23,691 to the city.
A couple of years later, the then-Ms. Bautista was removed from an arts commission in Fairfield, California when it was discovered she had pleaded guilty to "felony theft in connection with the embezzlement charges."

Coming on the heels of the revelation that the previous CFO of the NRA, Wilson "Woody" Phillips, had embezzled funds in a prior job, you have to ask yourself who the hell is doing anything about due diligence in Fairfax. The answer is obviously no one.

The other question that should be asked is why a prohibited person is in a position of authority with a gun rights organization. While I believe in redemption for our sins, at the very least it is bad optics.

Given her past it is reasonable to assume that she may have been beholden to anyone who knew the details and kept quiet about it. People like her boss Wayne LaPierre and the NRA's outside counsel William Brewer who reportedly kept "burn books" on key NRA staff.

Now think back to Wayne LaPierre's letter to the Board of Directors of April 25th. The letter said that Oliver North had relayed to Millie Hallow what Wayne described as an extortion attempt by AckMac. If Wayne went quietly then nothing would be released. It was on the basis of this letter that Col. North was bounced as NRA President, a slate of new officers loyal to Wayne were installed, and the whole myth about a "coup" began. After serving Wayne for 23 years and having a blemished past, don't you think Ms. Hallow's notes might have been edited after the fact to say whatever her boss wanted it to say?

As they say in the military when a commander is removed from his or her post, the person was removed "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead and command." I have long lost confidence that Wayne LaPierre has the ability to lead and effectively manage (command) the NRA.




The NRA's Outside Counsel - Ethical And Billing Concerns


An article concerning William Brewer III, the NRA's outside counsel, written by Mike Spies appeared yesterday in the New Yorker and was contemporaneously published in ProPublica, and The Trace. I had been told a few weeks ago that rumors about such an article had been swirling amongst the lobbyists on "K Street". After reading the article, the rumors were true that it would report on his questionable ethics and tactics within the NRA.

Brewer has been the NRA's outside counsel for approximately the last year and a half. In that time, his firm has billed in the neighborhood of $24 million. He was hired initially to sue Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Department of Financial Services head Maria Vullo, and the NY Department of Financial Services over their warnings to financial services companies on the "reputational risk" of having dealings with the NRA. It was alleged that their actions had cost the NRA millions of dollars in damages. In May, US District Court Judge Thomas McAvoy dismissed the moneydamages  part of the lawsuit against DFS and against Cuomo and Vullo in their official capacities. He did allow the First Amendment part of the case to continue.

Brewer and his firm have recently represented the NRA in their lawsuit against Ollie North and are involved in the cases in Virginia dealing with Ackerman McQueen.

According to the article, senior accountants at the NRA were raising red flags regarding questionable expenditures including payments to Brewer's firm.
In 2018, accountants for the National Rifle Association began cataloguing for its board of directors questionable financial arrangements that had led to millions of dollars in payments to a group of the organization’s top executives and consultants. The N.R.A. was experiencing cash-flow problems, and the accountants were trying to address what they believed to be serious financial mismanagement.

For a year and a half, the N.R.A. has employed an outside counsel, William A. Brewer III, who represents the organization in high-profile legal disputes and is also deeply involved in its internal decision-making. The accountants believed that the financial dealings they had found could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit standing with regulators. Yet, according to a former senior official in the N.R.A.’s treasurer’s office, Brewer tried to thwart their efforts to draw attention to the problematic payments.

The former senior employee, Emily Cummins, who worked for twelve years in the N.R.A.’s treasurer’s office, quietly resigned, in November, as the group’s internal strife escalated. Cummins, in a written statement that began circulating this month among N.R.A. leaders, including at least one board member, alleges that Brewer obstructed the work of N.R.A. accountants and vastly exacerbated the organization’s financial woes as he charged it hefty legal fees. Cummins confirmed that she had produced the statement, which was obtained by ProPublica, but declined to provide any additional comments. Brewer’s firm said its work was justified and of the highest quality.

The statement lays out a list of allegations regarding Brewer’s legal work and his treatment of N.R.A. staff as questions surfaced about his law firm’s billings, which totalled twenty-four million dollars in a thirteen month period. In the first quarter of 2019, Brewer’s firm charged over ninety-seven thousand dollars per day, according to internal N.R.A. documents posted anonymously online.
You may remember that then-NRA President Oliver North and 1st VP Richard Childress raised questions regarding the billings of Brewer's firm in a letter dated April 18th. They referenced advice from then NRA Board Counsel Steve Hart that it was part of their fiduciary duty to ensure the billings were accurate and reasonable. Prior to the Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Mr. Hart was summarily dismissed by Wayne LaPierre even though he was the Board's counsel and not the NRA's counsel.

Here is where it gets really interesting. Brewer sought to intimidate NRA staff that questioned his billings, arranged to have his bills paid first, and reportedly threatened to ruin the professional reputations of those accountants using "burn books" or dossiers containing private information.
Cummins accuses Brewer of trying to intimidate, deceive, and silence N.R.A. staff who were processing his bills while growing increasingly troubled by the organization’s mismanagement, exorbitant spending, and questionable deals involving conflicts of interest. Former colleagues of Brewer’s, as well as written correspondence obtained by ProPublica, broadly supported her claims.

Cummins writes in her statement that Brewer “intimidated NRA staff and threatened our professional livelihoods.” She alleges that he used pressure tactics with staffers “to keep them acquiescent,” compiling what she called “burn books” filled with personal information that he could use against individuals.

“I witnessed what appeared to be unrealistic and duplicative billing from Bill Brewer,” Cummins writes. “I witnessed that Bill Brewer himself created a 2018 cash flow crunch by interfering with accounts payable to prioritize paying himself immediately versus other NRA vendors that had been providing goods or services for months without payment, also jeopardizing the NRA’s biweekly staff payroll.”
Ms. Cummins, I was told by a prominent Second Amendment attorney who is personal friends with her, was a true believer in the Second Amendment and gave up a lucrative position with what was then Wachovia Bank. Ms. Cummins is a Certfied Public Accountant, a Certified Internal Auditor, and holds advanced degrees from both George Washington University and George Mason University. She served the NRA as Manager of Tax and Risk Management and then Managing Director of Tax and Risk Management for over 11 years. This is not the type of person who would make unfounded and inaccurate charges. She impresses me as a sober individual who cared deeply about the organization and its mission.

As you can imagine, Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, have denied compiling burn books as well as any improper or excessive billing on their part. They have built a reputation on being very aggressive in their tactics which also resulted in significant billings. A Dallas publication back in the 1990s referred to Brewer and his previous partner John Bickel as "high-priced, high-profile Rambo lawyers".
“Bill’s representation of the N.R.A. is a classic example of ‘servicing the client to death,’ ” Hal Marshall, a former Bickel & Brewer partner, told ProPublica. “We tried to leave no stone unturned in our cases, and it often yielded great results. On the other hand, the bills were hefty.”
Brewer and his firm bring with it ethical issues. Currently, Brewer is appealing a fine of $177,000 for attempting to influence potential jurors and witnesses by using a push poll in Lubbock. This fine and admonishment was affirmed by the Texas 7th Court of Appeals in 2018. They concluded that the trial court judge acted appropriately.
If the right to a civil jury trial, enshrined in both the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I of the Texas Constitution, is going to signify anything at all, it must denote the right to trial by a fair and impartial jury. Any conduct that erodes that fundamental core principle erodes public confidence in the entire judicial process. Judges, attorneys, and litigants must never condone practices that undermine that principle if the right to a jury trial is to remain “inviolate.”

Here, the trial judge was faced with serious allegations that attorneys for one party had consciously attempted to preemptively tip the balance of a fair and impartial jury in favor of their clients. After diligently hearing testimony for several days, the Honorable Ruben G. Reyes reached the conclusion that counsel’s conduct was committed in bad faith, that it affected a core function of the court, and that it was sanctionable. He then set the monetary amount of those sanctions in a rational manner based on competent evidence before him. Under the record before this court, we cannot say the trial judge abused his discretion in imposing those sanctions. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
Brewer has since appealed this decision to the Texas Supreme Court. The case appears to have been fully briefed and now awaits either an oral hearing or an order dismissing the appeal. However, his ethical problems in Texas did preclude him from representing the NRA in Virginia where he had applied for pro hac vice participation. US District Court Judge Liam O'Grady was none too pleased by Brewer's failure to mention that in his motion to appear.

If this were the only ethical case involving Brewer it would be one thing. However, as Spies points out, a number of former associates of Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, were fired for raising questions about either billing or ethical issues.
In addition to Cummins’s statement, ProPublica obtained text messages and an e-mail composed by former Brewer employees in March, 2018, that alleged unethical behavior by the firm. Four former colleagues of Brewer’s—three of whom, like many firm employees, were abruptly fired during the past two years—described a pattern of disregard for ethical billing and conduct. The texts and e-mail were sent just before the N.R.A. began to heavily invest its dwindling resources in litigation by the firm.

In early March, an attorney who had worked as a Brewer associate sent an e-mail to another New York City-based law firm. The firm worked for a hedge fund that was locked in a legal fight against Eco-Bat, a lead-production company represented by Brewer’s firm. The e-mail warned, “A number of attorneys have recently left Brewer, concerned about the firm’s ethics violations.”

It went on to say that a Brewer attorney believed that he had been fired “for refusal to violate ethical rules.” The attorney thought that he had identified a disqualifiable conflict of interest involving an attorney on his team, the e-mail said. When the Brewer lawyer “confirmed his initial analysis,” the e-mail said, “he was told to drop the matter and terminated the following Monday.”
These allegations were denied by Brewer's firm. They went on to win the case for Eco-Bat referenced above and the client praised Brewer's work.

So where was the Board of Directors in this whole affair of questionable and excessive billing and threats to NRA staff. Even more importantly, where was the Audit Committee which was given a report with these concerns? I'll let Ms. Cummins have the final word on that.
According to Cummins’s statement, Brewer misled the N.R.A.’s board and “used information gathered by NRA staff to fit different purposes and to frame a different story to the board of directors.” It also says that Brewer “effectively silenced NRA staff who uncovered issues needing board of directors attention” and “influenced members of the board” by “selectively withholding information relevant to their decision making.”

Rogers, the Brewer partner, dismissed Cummins’s statement and said that it “may reflect a radical misunderstanding of certain work my firm performed.” Cotton, the N.R.A.’s first vice-president, said, “I am not aware of any concerns that would preclude the firm from representing the N.R.A., period.”

Cummins concludes her statement by saying that, while still an N.R.A. employee, she had tried to sound an alarm regarding the N.R.A.’s legal representation, writing, “I raised concerns about Bill Brewer internally and with the board audit committee.” According to Cummins, she was ignored.
The best you can say is that the Board of Directors was hoodwinked by Brewer and chose to believe him rather than a long-term loyal employee who was raising issues and asking difficult questions.

Monday, July 29, 2019

A New Cam & Co.


As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Cam Edwards became the new editor of BearingArms.com. Today he announced he was getting back behind the microphone with the debut of the new BearingArms Cam & Co. The new show is a one man show coming from Cam's farm in Virginia.

He says about the show:
That means it’s time to add in a new component to what I’ll be doing here at BA, and to get back to doing what has been my passion for well over a decade now: a daily show focusing on the latest 2A news and information from around the country. Armed citizen stories, the latest on legislation, litigation, and regulations that impact our 2nd Amendment rights, interviews with newsmakers and experts, trips to the range, and maybe even a baby goat or two every now and then.
Cam & Co. was the one really decent thing on NRATV. It wasn't shrill like Dana and it wasn't angry like Stichfield. I'm glad he has found a way to do this again. However, though, I guess at next year's NRA Annual Meeting in Nashville, he won't be coming from a big stage in the middle of the convention center. And you know, that's OK too.




Welcome back, Cam!

Forgotten Weapons - A Virtual Tour Of The Renovated Cody Firearms Museum


When my family took our great Western trip during the Bicentennial, one place we visited was Cody, Wyoming. We took in the nightly rodeo and other sights. However, the highlight was the visit to what was then called the Winchester Museum and the Buffalo Bill Museum. They have since been renamed to the Cody Firearms Museum within the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

The Cody Firearms Museum has just undergone an extensive (and expensive) renovation. Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons visits and gives us a virtual tour. He notes in his description of the video that it is now, in his opinion, the best firearms museum in the US.



Sunday, July 28, 2019

Save The Second's Petition Drive


For those that haven't heard Save the Second is a grass roots organization calling for reforms in the National Rifle Association. They most certainly are not anti-NRA and their proposed reforms would, in my opinion, help shore up the organization and return the focus to fighting for the Second Amendment.

The Five Goals

  1. Smaller board of directors 
  2. Term limits
  3. Minimum attendance requirements
  4. Member engagement
  5. Return the focus to the 2A exclusively (training, advocacy, safety, hunting, etc.)

The first goal that they are working on is attendance requirements for directors. To that end, they are collecting signatures from voting members on a petition to bring that up at the next Board of Directors meeting in September. It seeks to change the bylaws to impose an attendance requirement. If a board member misses two out of three meetings in a given year without good cause, they cannot be nominated by the Nominating Committee. They could run by petition. If they miss three consecutive meetings, they would be permanently disqualified from service on the Board of Directors at the end of their current term.

I have groused about this in the past and now it is it is time to act. If you are going to put your name up for election to the Board, it should be incumbent upon you to actually show up for the meetings. While the celebrities seem to be the worst offenders, they aren't the only ones.

Rob Pincus, one of the organizers and board members of Save the Second, explains more about it in the YouTube video below. I have downloaded, signed, and returned the petition myself. They need 250 signatures by the end of the week.


Buz Mills' Open Letter


I was out of town visiting the granddaughters from Thursday night on so didn't get a chance to put this up until tonight. On Friday, Buz Mills, owner of Gunsite and a NRA Director, released an open letter to NRA members and directors. In the letter, Mills says that much of the NRA's money issues are of its own making and that the only way to clear things up is through a thorough, independent audit. He goes further saying that he and fellow Board of Directors members have failed to provide the proper oversight and direction to staff and hired executives.

Mills' letter makes him the fifth director to openly call for an outside audit of the NRA. Tim Knight, Sean Maloney, Esther Schneider, and Robert Brown issued a call for it on July 22nd.

Mills' letter is below:

Owen Buz Mills
Gunsite Ranch, Arizona
26 July 2019

NRA Members / NRA Directors

I address this first to our NRA members; you are the reason for our existence. It is your money we are spending. Believe me; I know this. It is NOT our money; it is yours. Next, I address this to the Board of Directors; this is a call to action. You have a duty to act.

I have spent more than five decades as a supporting member of our organization as a life member. I have invested ten years serving as a member of your Board of Directors. I love Our NRA as I love my country. To me, Our NRA is synonymous with America, and I firmly believe that only Our NRA stands between America and the doom presented by the socialist progressives.

I can no longer bite my tongue and pray for the best to be done for me. I must now as I have done before for my country, take up the sword and the shield to ensure the continuance of our country, for if there is no NRA, there is no America.

As I testified on the floor of the Board of Directors in Indianapolis: Our current situation is the result of our own irresponsibility in not providing our staff and employees with adequate oversight and direction. While we have committees responsible for providing oversight, the reality is, they have not. I presented evidence of this abdication as demonstrated in previous Board of Directors meetings. There can be no doubt, the truth of the matter is spelled out in the minutes of these board and committee meetings.

Now we are the target of adventurous political opponents. All intent on securing their place in history as the one who took down Our NRA. The long knives are out, and we are the target. Our tender underbelly is exposed. How long can we last?

The quickest way to clear up all this superfluous innuendo, venom and invective clouding our lives is a professional, thorough and independent audit.

Surely one of the major firms involved daily in this science can accomplish this task and present to your Board the results in a timely fashion. Cost should always be a consideration, and since I am aware of costs we are currently incurring for legal work, this would be a pittance. President Oliver North recommended a similar course of action. I wholeheartedly agreed then and still believe this to be our only course to survival.

The results of this audit will be trusted and relied upon and set the standards for all not for profit membership organizations as Our NRA again leads the nation in setting the example all others only wish they could emulate.

Many board members have business dealings with our organization. I have been doing business with Our NRA for decades, my books are open, and I am proud of all the interactions Gunsite has had with Our NRA. I can not imagine any board member doing business with Our NRA not being willing to set the record straight. Why are we fighting this? It makes no sense.

It is incomprehensible to me that any member of our organization, from Mrs. Meadows, to past presidents, current officers, and board members cannot join me in demanding this action be taken immediately.

Yours for God, America and Our NRA

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Apples To Associations


A friend sent me this today. It is a take-off on probably the most famous Super Bowl advertisement of all time. If you've never seen it, you can see the original on YouTube.

1984



Today, we celebrate the first glorious manifestation of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure greed—where any Officer, Director, Vendor, Consultant or other Snout-in-the-Trough may profit, secure from the vermin purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one Official Family, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. The Cult of the Personality shall prevail!


2019



BRING ON THE GIRL WITH THE SLEDGEHAMMER!



h/t Nathan K.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Nuns Meddling Again


You may remember that last year that a group of Catholic nuns sponsored shareholder resolutions at both Ruger and American Outdoor Brands (S&W). The resolutions passed and both companies were forced to issue reports on "gun violence" (sic). According to a letter sent out today by American Outdoor Brands Corporation, they are back again with a new resolution. This new proposal, couched in terms of a UN Human Rights policy, "seeks to impose an obligation for the company to assume liability for undefined “societal impacts” of violence committed with firearms."

Think about that: American Outdoor Brands would be liable for the criminal misuse of Smith & Wesson firearms. No company in its right mind would voluntarily assume such liability. It is as if Ford, GM, Toyota, etc. would now assume the liability for people driving their cars while drunk and injuring or killing someone. It's ludicrous!

Here is the proposal:
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors of American Outdoor Brands adopt a comprehensive policy articulating our company’s commitment to respect human rights, and which includes a description of proposed due diligence processes to identify, assess, prevent and mitigate actual and potential adverse human rights impacts.

WHEREAS,

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (hereinafter UNGPs) state:

The responsibility to respect human rights requires that business enterprises: (a) Avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through their own activities, and address such impacts when they occur; [and] (b) Seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to their operations, products or services by their business relationships, even if they have not contributed to those impacts.

In order to meet their responsibility to respect human rights, business enterprises should have in place policies and processes appropriate to their size and circumstances, including . . . [a] policy commitment to meet their responsibility to respect human rights.

As investors, we seek to identify and assess human rights risks and impacts in portfolio companies as they have direct implications for shareholder value and, depending on whether and how they are managed, are a bellwether for a company’s long-term viability.

Given the lethality of firearms products and the potential for their misuse, in direct contradiction with the company’s stated objective of providing “next-generation guns for sport, recreation, protection and personal use”, the risk of adverse human rights impacts is especially elevated for all gun manufacturers, including American Outdoor Brands.

Companies exposed to human rights risks may incur significant legal, reputational and financial costs that are material to investors. A public-facing human rights policy that includes a human rights due diligence process is essential to managing these risks. For this reason, hundreds of global corporations have adopted human rights policies, including British American Tobacco, Exxon and Walmart.

The Board of Directors are not amused by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, U.S.-Ontario.
Proponent’s Resolution and supporting statement cites the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and uses vague terms that do not alert shareholders to the specific obligations the Resolution, if adopted, would impose on our company. The Proponent discusses a “human rights policy” and “human rights risks” but nowhere are those terms explained. Given that the Proponent is a signatory to a statement seeking the regulation of the private ownership of firearms, their failure to explain the specific application of their proposal to our company is, by itself, a significant deficiency in the proposal and reason for rejection. But even worse is that the Resolution requires our company to address all of what Proponent would claim are the societal impacts of violence committed with firearms, beyond any legal obligation to do so. Simply put, the Resolution if adopted could potentially hold our company responsible for the illegal misuse of firearms and the violence associated with such misuse.

Similarly, Proponent insists on “due diligence processes to identify, assess, prevent and mitigate actual and potential human rights impacts.” Again, not a single one of these terms is defined or explained by Proponent. The Proponent’s failure to explain and define their request makes it quite literally impossible for anyone to understand not only what Proponent would claim is the scope of the obligation, but also its costs.
The full letter and proposal can be found here.

While many investment companies voted with the nuns last year, I would hope that they have the good sense to realize the implications of the passage of such a dangerous proposal. It is nothing less than a call for the destruction of a company founded more than a century and a half ago. Though raised and still nominally a Catholic, I am having less than pious thoughts about this group of nuns and those that would vote with them.