Is Anyone Running NRA?

Chris Cox is suspended. I thought he was hired by the Board, so who is suspending him?

The palace intrigue at the National Rifle Association deepened on Thursday as the gun group suspended its second-in-command and top lobbyist, accusing him of complicity in the recent failed coup against its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre.

This isn’t a good thing to be happening out in the New York Times. Up until now ILA seemed relatively un-embroiled in the struggle with Ackerman-McQueen.

We’re going to pay a price for this, without a doubt.

38 thoughts on “Is Anyone Running NRA?”

  1. What is happening to my organization? What is happening to my fathers organization, my children’s organization? The confidence, faith, and soul, of my support of the NRA is in question. What once was the enforcer of the RTKBA is now becoming the dinner discussion of where will we go from here after bankruptcy? Every company has issues and you can not win every fight, but this, this is all very painful. The very foundation of which we stand and fight is cracking and no one knows how far, the cause, or how to stop it.

  2. Maybe Mr. Cox will shed some light on the matter. Or maybe not, and that’s why he’s only been suspended.

    1. Other than denying all allegations, I am pretty sure he will stay quiet. Otherwise, he may get personally sued by the NRA or at least subpoenaed. Many NRA Board members are currently quiet our of fear of being sued by the same organization they are supposed to oversee.

  3. I try not to be foilhat, but have to wonder if the dead hand of Soros, or JournoList is in this somewhere. Who owns Ack-Mac? Are there coordinated media stories shading things a certain way? “Palace Coup”–does that seem like an accurate characterization to those in the know? You never see stories like this about Everytown or their fellow travelers, but they must have internal drama just like any organization.

    1. This “palace coup” crap is really starting to annoy me. The NRA is a corporation. Boards of Directors of corporations fire employees like LaPierre all the time – that’s their job.

    2. The way conservatives talk about Soros you’d think he was some omnipresent boogeyman, secretly responsible for all that ails the right.

      1. The way conservatives talk about Soros you’d think he was some omnipresent boogeyman, secretly responsible for all that ails the right.

        He’s not, but it isn’t for lack of trying.

      2. We all know that’s really Bloomberg, who crows about it!

        (I kid, and I’m not on “The Right”, as such.

        Though equally, last I checked Soros does, in truth, have a gigantic pile of foundation money, and it sure does seem to end up funding a lot of stuff…?

        You don’t need to be the sole cause to be seen, quite openly – if not with publicity – to be contributing to something, after all.)

  4. I posted this earlier on my limited Twitter presence:

    I’m not privy to any inside information at all. Just making that clear.

    I’m pretty sure that 90% of semi-competent, literate, and engaged NRA members have had some kind of conversation with other activists about the need to plan for Wayne’s time to leave the organization.

    Embarrassing public appearances aside (he’s visibly awkward and can’t go beyond memorized talking points in anything other than a 100% friendly media environment), he’s 69 years old. It’s a reasonable discussion for anyone who cares about the future of NRA.

    I have more in-depth thoughts on the whole thing, but I don’t think it matters at all. I’m not sure there are mature adults willing to put aside personal gain in charge these days at NRA.

    My advice to engaged gun rights activists in this: Remember that our power comes from our passion & drive to organize locally. Focus on your gun clubs. Introduce new shooters. Connect with local activists in real life. Build regional networks that matter and make a difference.

    Keep us – a community – strong while NRA works its shit out (hopefully) and hopefully we can come together more powerful, more cooperative, and more organized in a meaningful way than ever before.

    1. The NRA’s just been embarassing lately, and I mean that in a general non-media sense.

      “Rah rah the President” mails? No, thanks.

      Sending me – a life member – renewal notices and fearmongering mails about my membership “expiring”?

      All the ads in just the emails for my publications?

      It’s been goddamn amateur hour incompetence for years, eroding my trust in the general abilities of the organization.

      1. Got the same notice. If you read it beyond the big letters, then you would have realized that they want you to upgrade your membership by August 2. F*** that!

      2. Yeah, I’ve been getting those “your membership is expiring” emails recently. My *life* membership

        You know when I *didn’t* get them (or at least not in that volume)? in 2012 when my annual membership was up. (I probably got one or two. Total. Not one or two a month).

  5. I think what you are seeing is the fine hand of the NRA’s outside counsel William Brewer who I’m told is feeding Wayne’s paranoia. From what one insider told me, Brewer is on a campaign to convince WLP that he, Brewer, is the only one who can be trusted and everyone else is out to get Wayne. It sounds like he is succeeding.

    1. The dude is 70 years old in November. He’s earned a lot of money. His job has to be pretty miserable most days of the week. Why not retire? My dad is the same age as Wayne and with a lot less money, and he’s been retired for 7 years.

      1. For the same reason that Strom Thurmond stayed in the Senate until age 100. Power is a hard thing for politicians to give up.

        I agree that retirement would increase his quality of life. I’m awaiting mine in less than 3 years.

      2. One potential reason people in his situation won’t let go of the levers of power is to continue to keep the skeletons in the closet, and out of sight of those who can hurt him with the disclosures.

  6. “Is Anyone Running NRA?” – The same guy who has been running the NRA for decades, Wayne LaPierre. Isn’t that clear by now? If you cross him, you get axed, shunned, blackballed and called names.

    The NRA seems to be in a full self destruct mode. Suspending Chris Cox will kill even more donations, especially from the industry. Remember that Chris Cox is the supposed “black rifle guy” among the NRA officers and was groomed to take over for Wayne LaPierre if he ever decides to leave his position.

    1. It’s pretty clear LaPierre’s message is that he’s willing to burn the NRA to ground rather than cede control. It’s also pretty clear the board isn’t going to remove him. Short of LaPierre suffering a providential brain hemorrhage, I don’t see any way the NRA survives this.

    1. I think Cox would be a huge improvement, to be honest. Most of the staff at ILA always seemed to be in good spirits. Morale in ILA seemed a good bit higher than the rest of NRA. I’ve been waiting for him to get dragged in to this struggle, because one way you ensure you don’t get ousted is to eliminate any potential replacement.

      Conversation I was having with Bitter today, who’s had to deal with relatives that have suffered dementia: “If Wayne were in the early stages of mental decline while still on the job, what would that look like?”

      Not saying that’s the case, but neither of us thought it would look all that different than what we’re seeing. I hope that’s not the case, but it’s kind of scary to think about.

      1. Cox put out a statement saying the allegations were untrue. Source was another lawsuit filed by the NRA last night. No idea what is true or not. Except that NRA really needs a better communications strategy.

        1. edit
          I have no information but John Richardson’s speculation about the lawyer running the show is consistent with what I saw lawyers do many times during my career. Courts are always the go to place and while things are under litigation or settlement negotiations, they or their clients won’t say anything.

    2. A choice between Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox resembles the choice in the Communist Party. Why does it have to be a choice between the, apparently senile, Chairman and his groomed successor? Cue Marion Hammer as the long-time apparatchik taking over. LOL.

      The NRA needs a temporary CEO that oversees a transition and not a new benevolent Dictator. Chris Cox has lost all of his credibility with the gun culture 2.0 by backing the bump stock ban and red flag laws. Chris Cox may potentially serve as the last Chairman that starts reforms and hands over the business to someone the members actually trust. (Yes, this was another communism reference.)

  7. I say again – the NRA is a corporation with a dysfunctional senior management team. The Board’s duty is to clean house and fix it.

    1. The board is unable and unwilling to do this.

      You need 3/4 of the executive board to agree to “clean house.” Good luck with that.

      NYS and the IRS will drive the timeline for NRA’s demise. My guess is the NY state AG will drag it out to prolong the death throes, negative press and financial hemorrhage.

      1. If I remember correctly, 2/3rds are required, i.e., 51 of the 76 Board members. Having said that, the NRA’s current version of the bylaws seems to be unavailable to the members.

        The investigation of NYS will take some time and the investigation of the IRS will likely take even longer. There likely won’t be any news about that until there are fines levied and indictments issued.

        My prediction, the NRA is going bankrupt pretty soon. The NRA’s overall financials do already look really bad (e.g., taking a line of credit out against the Virginia HQ). Add to that the reported drop in donations from the Friends of the NRA and the increase in outright boycotts by “influencers”, the NRA will soon have a significant cash flow problem in addition to a gigantic PR problem.

        When Hickok45 suspends his support of the NRA, you know that things have gotten really bad.

      2. It seems that the board members consider their positions to be merely a figurehead sort of situation. A paper title that gives them a playground to have fun in and look good. I expect NY and the IRS to disabuse them of this foolishness eventually.

        A bit like watching a crash in slow motion and seeing the person at the controls frozen, instead of working to avoid the smash.

  8. What is happening to my fathers organization, my children’s organization?

    While “my father’s organization” makes a swell rhetorical flourish, the fact is that the NRA is no more your father’s organization than your father’s Oldsmobile is your car. Nor will your children’s organization be your organization, after enough time goes by.

    I became an NRA member almost sixty years ago, on the first day I was old enough. As a first superficial example of “change,” when I became a member, a new member had to be endorsed by a LEO or military officer. I think endorsement by an NRA Life Member was also acceptable, but they weren’t as thick on the ground as they are today.

    About ten years later I became an NRA Life Member, not long after I collected my first “professional” paycheck.

    Twenty-five years after I first joined, for better or worse, the NRA was no longer the outfit I had joined. Twenty-five years after that, it became yet another organization – and again I’ll say, “for better or worse.” The point is it became something different.

    I have advised my children and grandchildren never to become life members of anything, especially political organizations, because if you live long enough most organizations will break your heart or maybe even embarrass you. It’s a normal evolution. Neither of our political parties are the same entities they were when I was a kid. For better or worse.

  9. I suspect J. Richardson is on the correct track. Brewer’s compadre in orchestrating the chaos is Josh Powell. The date of Powell’s hiring marked the beginning of decline and has lead to the current situation. He rushed and mis-managed CarryGaurd, among other failures he oversaw, which opened the door for the NY problems.

  10. Time for a clean sweep, including (especially) Wayne…

    And for the record, I am a life (Patron) member.

  11. fyi. If it isn’t Google harassing you because guns, your security certificate has expired.

    1. It’s valid now – looks like it just re-issued (Valid from 6/24/2019)

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