Thursday, September 12, 2019
It is kind of hard to consistently do duplicate posts and I've been a little slack about it.
Here are my most recent posts from the new blog website.
Thanks for the PR, Marion!
Examines Marion Hammer's latest published at the Washington Times. She violates that rule of PR that says sometimes saying nothing is the best policy.
9-11 Plus 18
It is hard to believe it has been 18 years since a group of Islamofascists hijacked four planes and used them as guided missiles.
Dear Larry R. Merlo
An open letter to the CEO of CVS pharmacies on their decision to request shoppers not carry in their stores, open or concealed, because they want to create a "safe environment."
Another Illegal Mayor
What is with the mayors belonging to Bloomberg's Illegal Mayors. They just can't stay out of trouble. The latest is the mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts who is under Federal indictment for extortion.
Victimhood Does Not Convey Policy Expertise
CBS Sunday Morning ran a commentary from Odessa resident Shauna Saxton. It has now since disappeared from both YouTube and the CBS News website. She was calling for compromise on gun control. You know what that means - we give up even more of our rights.
Perceptive Comment on Walmart Ammo Decision
Pete Brownell had a very apt comment on the decision by Walmart to stop selling handgun and "short barrel rifle" ammo.
Tweet of the Day
Justin Maloney had a great tweet about gun buybacks.
Only in San Francisco
My take on the SF Board of Supervisors' resolution calling the NRA a "domestic terrorist organization". The sponsor of the bill is a leader of the Demanding Mommies. Go figure.
Might I Make A Suggestion
Given that Walmart has decided to stop selling handgun ammo, I suggest you use my affiliate links to purchase your handgun ammo from Luckygunner.com. They have the good stuff and I make a little money.
That about wraps it up. If you landed here and are reading this post from another site's blogroll, let me know. I'll send them an updated link to the new website. That is onlygunsandmoney.com. I think you'll like the new look.
Monday, September 2, 2019
Grass Roots North Carolina reminds us that not one but two special elections are now under way here in North Carolina. The first is in the 3rd District to replace the late Rep. Walter Jones Jr. who passed away in February. The second is in the 9th District which includes parts of Charlotte and was a result of the Board of Elections ordering a new election. The first was tainted by vote harvesting which is illegal in North Carolina - though not in California it seems.
The GRNC-PVF has these recommendations:
US HOUSE 3 & US HOUSE 9
US HOUSE DISTRICT 3
GRNC Political Victory Fund recommends you vote for GREG MURPHY in this Special Election, which is fast approaching. Below, under 'Voting Information,' you'll find information about early voting, which by the way, is already underway! Election Day is September 10.
US HOUSE DISTRICT 9
GRNC Political Victory Fund recommends you vote for DAN BISHOP in this Special Election, which is fast approaching. Below, under 'Voting Information,' you'll find information about early voting, which by the way, is already underway! Election Day is September 10.
"One of these crazy white nationalist guys could just roll up into a gun show right here in North Carolina and buy all the assault weapons they want."
– Dan McCready
To Dan McCready, as a gun owner you are a “crazy white nationalist” and he is trying to tell people that one can buy guns from dealers at gun shows without a background check. McCready WILL attack your rights if elected.
Read more here: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/article234460552.html#storylink=cpy
Your Vote is Critical
Bishop's and Murphy's opponents are far left-wingers who can be counted on to support gun control. If victorious, they will surely be hanging with the likes of declared socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other anti-gun, power-hungry leftists. If the anti-gun candidates win, you can be sure they will be coming for your guns, which is bad enough, but ultimately, you can count on them coming for ALL of your rights. In short, vote like your rights depend on it---because they do. And, if you've kept up with the news, you know that these statements are not hyperbole.Contact Other Gun Rights Voters
Please remember to call friends and family who live* in the 3rd or 9th District and remind them that GRNC Political Victory Fund recommends a vote for GREG MURPHY in the 3rd and DAN BISHOP in the 9th on or before September 10. If you're receiving this message, and don't live in one of these districts, please remind anyone you know who does live in one of them to vote.
* The 3rd District consists of the following counties: Beaufort, Camden, Carteret,
Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Greene, Hyde, Lenoir, Jones, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank,
Perquimans, part of Pitt (Pitt is split between District 3 and District 1) and Tyrrell.*The 9th District covers all or parts of: Mecklenburg, Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson, Bladen, and Cumberland counties.
Special Election One-Stop Early Voting is underway right now and ends on September 6. Check your county's one-stop site information for specific times and locations. Election Day is Tuesday, September 10 from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Click here to find your polling place on election day, or click here to find your One-Stop Early Voting location(s). Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (September 10) and received by 5 PM three days after Election Day (if by mail). Click here to check your voter registration.
Same-day voter registration: One-stop absentee voting (commonly known as "early voting") allows any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in person on select days prior to Election Day. In 2019, Special Election one-stop voting is happening right now, and it ends on Friday, September 6.Unlike on Election Day, when registered voters can only vote at their specific precinct location, one-stop voting allows registered voters to vote at any one-stop absentee voting site in their county, but only during the early voting dates. One-stop sites will have all the ballot styles for a given election at each site.
Friday, August 23, 2019
As I continue to make the move to WordPress, I will be posting what you see here at the new location at WordPress. In time, all new material will be at onlygunsandmoney.com and this site will remain as an archive.
If you have subscribed to the blog here, please resubscribe there.
The ascendancy of William Brewer and his law firm at the NRA is almost complete. Danny Hakim of the New York Times reported that Charles Cooper of Cooper and Kirk had been dismissed as an outside counsel to the NRA. Cooper and his firm had handled much of the NRA's lawsuits in the past number of years.
Now Mr. LaPierre is continuing to purge opponents. On Thursday, the N.R.A. dismissed its longtime outside counsel, Charles J. Cooper, the chairman of the Washington law firm Cooper & Kirk, people with knowledge of the decision said. A second outside counsel and a top in-house counsel resigned. The departures come after an internal inquiry showed that the lawyers were involved in an effort to undermine Mr. LaPierre.From what I have gathered from multiple sources, the "internal inquiry" consists of Josh Powell and William Brewer dragging people into a room and interrogating them for hours on end. If your inquiry team consists of a business failure and an attorney under an ethical cloud the results will be whatever is most likely to feed Wayne LaPierre's paranoid fantasy of the day.
But as the informercial says, wait! It gets better.
The N.R.A. is also considering halting payments to its former second in command, Christopher Cox, who left in June but is still on the payroll, said the people, who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal matters.The article continues with the assertion that Cooper, Cox, and others were secretly working with AckMac as part of the supposed coup to depose Wayne. Hakim in his story says he is working with documents that have come to light as a result of the NRA's lawsuit against Oliver North. If I had to hazzard a guess, I'd say the documents came from Brewer and his firm as they seem to have Hakim on speed dial.
Hakim concludes his story by writing (and including a link to my blog's namesake):
The unraveling of lawyers, guns and money coincides with the departures of half a dozen board members in recent weeks. But Mr. LaPierre remains center stage, as polarizing as ever.Given the White House's backtracking from what Wayne reported of his conversation with President Trump, I'd question Rathner's last statement. He might have the juice to purge his supposed enemies within the NRA but I sincerely doubt his political effectiveness on the national scene anymore.
“Donald Trump and Wayne LaPierre are made for each other,” said Peter Ambler, executive director of Giffords, the gun control group started by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords. He called them “mirror images” engulfed in “allegations of corruption and mismanagement.”
But Todd Rathner, a member of the N.R.A.’s board, said, “Wayne is leading and proving that he has the political juice to get the job done.”
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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|
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.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.
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.
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 BaiduI 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
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 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.According to the Zillow listing, the mansion has 4 bedroom and 9 bathrooms. It overlooks a lake.
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.
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.
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 TeamChecking 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 TeamIn 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
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.”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.
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.”
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 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."
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.
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.
We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them. Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
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
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.
Two deadly mass shootings have occurred within 24 hours of one another. The total death toll has now surpassed 29 people. Families grieve. Communities are at a loss. Our hearts are with Dayton and El Paso as they deal with this enormous tragedy.
John, this is ENOUGH. The time to act is NOW.
We’re asking you to take two important actions today to help combat this senseless violence.
Join a Brady ChapterOur 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.
Fund the FightWe need your financial help to stand up to the NRA, the cowardly politicians, the hateful rhetoric, the gun manufacturers, the reckless dealers, and everyone else who puts money and special interest before our loved ones. Help fund the fight today. Congress could end this in an hour—let’s demand they do so!
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
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,
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!
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 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.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
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.
I am away from internet and unable to verify but this is important if it pans out. A credible Source says a highly placed NRA exec has been offered immunity by the New York AG. @aarmark— dcodrea (@dcodrea) July 31, 2019
This will be very interesting so I plan to keep checking Twitter and doing Google searches over the next few days.
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.If only it had just been padding the resume. You can read more about the resume issue in Ann Arbor, Michigan here.
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."
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.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."
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.
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.