American Rifle and Pistol Association Responds

It looks like Peter Vogt has chosen to respond to Bitter’s article the other day, exposing the problems with American Rifle and Pistol Association. Go read the whole, sad thing. I didn’t really understand why anyone would want to join a group like this before they published this “interview.” Now, understanding they are actually a for-profit corporation, and don’t really seem to have any real mission or vision for what they want to stand for, I really don’t understand it.

Is the purpose just to make money? Trying to help along this national conversation the other side wants to pretend hasn’t happened because of the big-bad NRA? What these ARPA folks don’t seem to get is that they have approached this issue from an astounding ignorance. The gun rights movement is already hyper-connected on the Internet, as I’m sure these guys are now beginning to discover. Perhaps I might suggest they read Brian Anse Patrick’s “Rise of the Anti-Media” before proceeding further. And that’s just a start. There has been a national conversation on gun control, and it’s been raging for decades. The anti-gun folks want no part of it because they keep losing the arguments.

52 thoughts on “American Rifle and Pistol Association Responds”

  1. And why does the address registered for the domain mane ends up in the middle of nowhere in Texas, home to three oil companies?


    Aztec Oil & Gas Inc‎
    Spicewood Energy Management, LLC‎
    Texas Energy Group LLC‎

    [Edited by Bitter to fix formatting on page.]

    1. Comments in Bitter’s piece outed the corporate oil connections.
      You will, not, be totally surprised when the company with no stated purpose, to which you just sent your “membership”, becomes bankrupt with all of the assets in a dry hole the partner organizations drilled.

      The corporate leaders, probably, looked at the pool of money being invested in defending gun rights, and, decided they needed to tap that potential investment block.

      1. Bingo! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.

        Aztec is a penny stock. Waylan Johnson’s 1,482,518 shares are worth a whopping $170,489 at today’s closing price of 0.115/share. You would have done better to invest in Enron as it was going down the tubes.

        Spicewood is seeking qualified investors (either you have assets over $1 million or make $200K a year)

        Likewise, Texas Energy Group LLC is also seeking qualified investors.

        I think this is nothing but a money making scheme for these guys.

      2. Klyde wrote: “The corporate leaders, probably, looked at the pool of money being invested in defending gun rights, and, decided they needed to tap that potential investment block.”

        He might be on to something.

        Either that or it’s just an ego-exercise, like restoring an old mansion for your home, but with less social value.

  2. Keep up all the hard work you put in. You know you’ve got them on the ropes when they have to go out of their way to respond to us pointing out their flaws, especially with language like “conspiracy theories” and all. Astroturfing is harder than they thought.

  3. You know…. if *I* were a former supporter of MAIG-turned-2nd-Amendment Activist and I were Chairing my own Gun Rights group, my past views would be the *first* thing I’d mention.

    I mean come on the script writes itself. “I used to beleive these folks had America’s best interst at heart, that they proposed mere sensible gun control. They were wrong. I was wrong. I know now the truth and want to help other people avoid falling for their cheap tricks and lies.”

    Either these goobers thought they could conceal their past views, or they didn’t realize that it would be useful.

    At *best* we have a bunch of clueless clods who just don’t get guns or the gun rights community, but sure do think they can lecture us about it.

    1. Oh, yes. Clueless clods who almost in the very same sentence call you an extremist idiot and then ask for your money. What a fabulous sales pitch!

    2. Reading that BS “interview” I came to a similar conclusion, They “might” be gun owners, but not very well educated about gun issues, gun rights, or pretty much anything else about guns, but they feel it’s their job to educate us about guns…..


  4. Most of the board/management team are neighbors in the same gated community. Corporate filings give that gem away.

  5. Crap like this makes me increase my cash flow to the NRA.

    Like the Giffords, just looking for free money. Idiot.

  6. So, Peter writes up a “interview” where he espouses his stance that his organization welcomes everyone, has no real stance on the rights issue, other than being against “illegal guns”, whatever that is. But he is perfectly happy to accept money from anyone, regardless of their political views, to support, what exactly?

    Look, Peter, you ignorant slut, in order to be a rights organization, you actually have to, oh, I don’t know, maybe support the right you are accepting money for? Not just accept money for some wishy washy cant we all just get along idiocy?

    But I guess he is banking on the stupidity of the American public, which, quite honestly, is a pretty good bet.

  7. Do they have any members yet? Outside of the board? He says members will determine their positions on certain topics. So maybe we get half a dozen of us to become members and set the primary goal to be the repeal of the NFA (because the NRA hasn’t been SANE(tm) on this issue). I’m against illegal guns too- so let’s make them legal!

    1. That’s not exactly a safe idea since they also come out and say that there isn’t any kind of leadership accountability for members. There’s not voting and no mechanism to force change that the “members” may want. It’s just a corporation that is meant to serve the board, not the supposed members. They can take the money given to them and donate it all to VPC or CSGV if they wanted to do so. (Since VPC is very anti-concealed carry and their Chairman supports a group that is running a campaign to get businesses to ban concealed carry, it’s not an impossible scenario to imagine.)

    2. I have often wondered how easy it would be to do the same with the Brady Campaign.

      Of course, it would be even funnier if, rather than infiltrate the Brady Campaign, it would be possible to get the Brady Campaign to do this voluntarily, if given a large enough donation. Just imagine Japete suddenly supporting machine guns! :-)

  8. ARPA not very successful on roll out. Aside from a couple of clueless news outfits which do nothing more than regurgitate the ARPA press release, the vast majority of top result google hits show critics hitting ARPA as bogus, astroturf or false flag.

  9. That “interview” is easily the most retarded thing I’ve ever read.

    And I went to public school.

  10. “There has been a national conversation on gun control, and it’s been raging for decades. The anti-gun folks want no part of it because they keep losing the arguments.”

    Exactly right.

    So to the clueless hacks of ARPA I say, welcome to the party pal!

  11. Color me quite skeptical of this new “gun” group. And if Peter Vogt actually wrote that confessions piece…color me critical as well.

  12. The format in which his response was written was to annoying. Did ‘t waste my time

  13. The best part about these guys spending their own money on this nonsense, is that they wasted their own money on this nonsense. It’s just a shame they threw up a basic WordPress template instead of blowing real money on an actual website with actual content instead of a bunch of YouTube links and Very Annoying Capitalization.

    The website is laughable, the concept is weak, and the “interview with Mr. Peter Vogt” is actually pathetic. I was actually embarrassed for him as I was reading it.

    How sad and naive. On the plus side, I don’t think gun owners have much to worry about, regardless of whether they’re pro or anti-gun. This group is already irrelevant.

  14. My reaction to that was that, being in satirical format, it was totally useless for communicating any information at all, because you can’t count on what is strictly true and what may just be there for “cute.” A total waste of my time, but OK, because I enough of it.

    It does sound like nothing to worry about, though.

  15. A serious group would have offered to sit-down (or at least Skype_ with Bitter or Sebastian for an actual interview. The proof that the gun-rights “conversation” was settled years ago is that there are no serious advocacy groups for the gun-ban side.

    Look at all the other major controversial subjects of our day: abortion, gay rights, global warming, immigration, and so forth… No matter what side you, personally, happen to be on (and no matter how lunatic the lunatic fringe for these subjects can be) you will find sober, serious, dedicated advocates for the position. That’s the sign of an active, healthy debate in a free society.

    The gun-rights conversation consists of those of us who support gun-rights, and astroturd Ponzi schemes that prey on the few socially isolated “grass-eaters” that are scared of their own shadow and hope donated money to the newest Brady Mom March Against Illegal Boogeymen will make the voices stop…

    1. That’s not a bad idea. Actually, just sending him 10 or 20 questions should do the trick. Heck, 5 would be more than enough. “What is an illegal gun?”, or “Why should someone who is so easily duped by anti-gun organizations be trusted to fight for gun rights?” might be good ones, if not a little confrontational.

      1. Five simple, non-confrontational, questions that I would like to see answered:

        1) “What is an illegal gun?”
        2) “What are the primary sources of funding for your organization?”
        3) “Why is you organization organized as a for-profit instead of a not-for-profit/non-profit group?”
        4) “What direct experience or professional training do you (or your board) have in constitutional law?”
        5) “What qualification(s) or professional training do you (or your board) have with firearms?”

        The first is solely to clarify the oft-repeated mission of the group. Any legitimate advocacy campaign should be willing and ready to explain their purpose in layman’s terms.

        The second and third are pretty basic questions one should ask of any charity, advocacy group, or political campaign. Any legitimate group should be willing to disclose such information when asked.

        The fourth and fifth are simple inquiries into the credibility of the group’s leadership. (I have no personal quibble with an advocacy group’s CEO being, well, a professional CEO… so long as senior members of the organization ARE subject-matter experts. You’d want doctors on the board of your local hospital, even if the guy running it was just an MBA, right?)

        1. All except No. 1 might well be asked of our “own” groups.

          One problem: Everybody lies. Everybody.

          That’s why the majority of groups are (C)(4)s. They don’t think their supporters would necessarily like the answer to No. 2.

          1. The disappointing thing is, using the non-profit as a basis to fuel for-profit enterprises has already been done, by someone considerably more shrewd than these clowns. I’m generally more willing to tolerate arrogance in those who have, to some degree, earned it. If the goal of this new outfit is to extract money from gun owners, these guys have shown themselves to be pikers. They have lessons they could learn from those already doing it quite successfully.

            And it’s not just guns. Hell, in some of the other causes I’ve been involved in over the years, to be honest, the gun issue is positively honest compared to some operations on behalf of other causes.

            1. “the gun issue is positively honest compared to some operations. . .”

              Taken as a whole movement you may be right. But I would also suggest that part of that network that uses the gun issue as both a decoy/front issue, and as a fundraising cow, is extremely stealthy, compared to those pikers whose connections are easily unearthed. In other words, you may have had no means to detect the fundamental dishonesty, e.g., that they were routing funds raised from gun owners to other causes, and/or promoting political personalities who were committed to other causes while giving only token support and lip-service to the RKBA.

              1. This is why I pretty much stick with NRA. I don’t always agree with their picks but they don’t sneak around about ’em.

                1. Well. keep your ear to the ground to keep it that way!

                  I’ll have been an NRA Member for fifty years come the end of this year, and a Life Member for about forty. For nearly those last forty I have been aware of factional fights within the NRA. Some, such as Cincinnati ’77, I understood. Others, such as when personal friends of mine on the NRA Tech Staff (not political positions) were fired in a factional shakeup, I could not. I was only very peripherally involved in a factional contest at the end of the ’90s, when I supported a dissident NRA BoD member’s dissident faction against “The Winning Team.” That was of course unsuccessful, because dissidents don’t get access to the NRA media.

                  But the point isn’t whether anyone was right or wrong in those NRA factional contests; it was that factional contests occur. At present I am seeing some evidence of what I classify as “infiltration” by a national faction whose influence reaches the pinnacles of political power, and that makes the success of their infiltration likely, if not probable. That may sound like a good thing, but if you listen to me long enough, you will hear my constant theme that the gun rights movement needs to be “pure,” and not a “that too” issue that serves other Issues “A”, “B” and “C”. If an NRA faction takes hold that (for example) promotes political candidates in proportion to their positions on other issues, while requiring only tacit support for gun rights — well, other organizations do that, and it is something to be watched for. That it won’t happen, or that it will be obvious if it happens, cannot be assumed.

          2. I agree with you, and brought that concern up in the version of these questions I sent to R+P via Facebook Message (screenshot linked in my Tweet about it in a comment below). The clear difference between a “legit” advocacy group and a scam is not their status as for-profit/nonprofit, IMHO. The true test is in their willingness to DISCLOSE that status when asked.

            I have no doubts that, if asked directly, any official from the NRA would supply answers to all of these questions (well, #1 wouldn’t apply and #2 would need rephrasing, but you know what I mean). Hell, odds are good that the average NRA member could answer them with a reasonable degree of accuracy on the fly… and an hour or two of research on the NRA’s official site would answer all of them.

            Heck, last year, during the Kilted to Kick Cancer fundraiser when I as running around in a kilt for a month I specifically made myself learn this sort of information about the Prostate Cancer Foundation. I was looking to solicit donations for an advocacy group, even though I had no official connection to it at all, it seemed dishonest not to be able to present this information to potential donors.

            Oh, sure, I would expect ANY advocacy group to try to put a positive spin on it and present it in the most favorable light possible. That’s just savvy salesmanship. I mean, I’m described on most dating sites as “About Average” or “A Few Extra Pounds” because that sounds more appealing than “20 pounds overweight and a little flabby `round the biceps, but I could lose that real quick if I cut down on the colas, got off the sofa, and made an effort to jog more than once a month.”

  16. And I’ve been blocked for asking about their previous support. A bunch of other comments around the time I posted have been deleted too. Mostly ones w/ links to here and TTAG.

  17. Peter can say what he wants, but I’m calling fraud. In a couple of years or so they will disintegrate and be reconstituted as yet another astroturf group.

  18. Hmm – his site has a “social” page. Peter’s photo is of a dog.
    Not willing to use a real photo on your corporate website is sketchy.

  19. You are unable to even quote the Second Amendment correctly. The Bill of Rights was written by the representatives of the 7 states present, with the direct intent of preventing the government from becoming too powerful, a la King George III. The efforts of this sight to redefine the first 10 amendments is, to say the least repugnant, and possibly treason.

    1. Who is unable to quote the Second Amendment? If you’re making the accusation against this blog and its contributors, then I suggest you take a moment to educate yourself on the history of state protections for the right to bear arms. If you took even a moment to read the page about the name, then you would see that this is the language from the Pennsylvania state constitution.

    2. Wow “Paul”, way to show yourself to be completely stupid. Are you an ARPA employee like I suspect the other defender on their FB page is? Did you write some of that commentary that everyone is making fun of?

    3. Oh, and BTW skippy, I’ve been denounced as a ‘traitor’ in front of a US Senate Committee. For some reason that word just doesn’t strike terror in my like you think it should.

          1. Awww, I hoping for a “they dragged me kicking and screaming into the senate chambers” type of story……


    4. Tell me more about your brilliant sales pitch!

      Because, I’m eager to give money to an organization chock full of ignorant, arrogant, angry shills!

      But hey, I guess you guys are too busy to be bothered with reading why a blog is named what it is (what are links too Web 2.0 for you?) before trying to call someone a traitor.

      And hmmm…. arrogant, censorious, nitwits calling those that try to “reinterpret” the 2nd amendment traitors. Familiar that.

  20. From their ‘About’ page on FB

    Responsible gun owners desperately need an advocate who speaks from a position of informed reason and practical common sense whose voice is credible, respected and trustworthy. Some gun advocacy organizations also represent the interests of the firearms industry more than the interests of responsible gun owners – even where there might exist a conflict of interest. The American Rifle and Pistol Association only represents its members.

    This coming from a guy who didn’t even know Bloomberg was anti-gun a few months ago? Really? “informed reason and practical common sense”? You gotta be joking…..

    Respected and trustworthy?????? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaha…….

    So, an organization that is answerable only to it’s UN-named board of directors is somehow more representative of gun owners than the NRA, who has it’s board elected by dues paying members? Who polls it’s membership?

    Do they even HAVE any real ‘members’?

    All sounds way too fishy for my liking….

    1. “R+P exists to give voice to the voiceless, representing a truly member-centric organization”

      How, exactly, does an organization that is set up as a for profit business, that answers only to it’s Board, that does not allow members to vote or otherwise direct the organization in any way, think it is able to claim it’s self to be “member-centric”???

      1. While deleting anyone who criticizes or even asks a question and sends out multiple posts insulting thousands of internet connected firearm owners.

      1. That part of the site isn’t even restricted to paying members either.
        Just need to register for free to use it…..

    2. When there was a conflict of interest between gun owners and the industry, like a bill that stifles the reselling of used guns on the private market by adding cost, restrictions, and life-altering felony penalties- the NRA naturally supported the bill in order to bolster the industry. Wait… that’s not what happened.

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