Chris Cox Starts Own Consulting Firm

I’ve said for a while, most of the ILA folks can make better money somewhere else, and it’s not looking to me like Chris Cox is planning on leading any kind of revolution but rather making better money somewhere else. This is basically what James Baker did when he left ILA, and he made a lot of money doing it. Of course Baker came back, but I wouldn’t count on that here. John Richardson is covering the purges.

I understand that Jason Ouimet, Chris’ replacement, is well liked and considered a good choice to lead ILA. I’m sure I’ve probably met him but I don’t know him. He will have big shoes to fill, and I wish him luck.

I am still lacking in optimism for the future of the RKBA cause. We’re pretty much now dependent on the courts to save us long term, and I’m not sure they are really willing. Any state where Dems have a shot at control is not a safe state at this point.

18 thoughts on “Chris Cox Starts Own Consulting Firm”

  1. We may not have had 60 votes for Reciprocity, but we had more than 50 any way you slice it, and some of the Nay votes were from states that advanced the cause or held the line against Bloomberg as well. And it passed the House.

    We might be dependent on the courts, but so are they. And NY is running scared from the court right now (and so is NJ, for that matter).

  2. “I am still lacking in optimism for the future of the RKBA cause.”

    When the Clinton AWB paased, at the time I was friends with Bob Sears, formerly of the NRA Technical Staff. He told me that he saw John Dingell at Fairfax Rod and Gun Club the following weekend. Dingell was the “pro-gun” Democrat in congress who was on the NRA Board, who voted for the AWB and then resigned from the Board. According to Sears, Dingell had said to him sadly, “Bob, sometimes you need to understand there are things you just are not going to stop.” I think I hurt Bob’s feelings when I quipped “especially when you vote for them.” I think he liked Dingell personally.

    If there is a positive moral to that story, I guess it is “Don’t surrender to pessimism too early.” We outlived the Clinton AWB.

    That said, I tend to share your pessimism, and I’m inclined to think that if things don’t go totally to hell on this iteration, they will on the next, or the one after that. No one shows signs of learning anything.

    I personally blame the long-term, increasing pollution of the Gun Rights Movement by other issues, and I know I’m not alone in that. I have no end of stories about Gun Rights associates who, seemingly inexplicably, provided apologies and cover for anti-gun maneuvers by allegedly “pro-gun” legislators, then later I would learns they shared “another” agenda, for which gun rights were only a necessary front. My “pro-gun” associates may have been sincere enough, but their pro-gun zeal could be attenuated by sympathy for votes or efforts in “another” direction.

  3. 2020 I fear is going to be a big dose of damage limitation. It’s pretty clear that Wayne will bitterly cling to his 7 series and $200k suits and as long as he does, the NRA brand is going to be poisonous.

    There are no “safe states”, socialism can spread anywhere. It’s already all over. You’ve been paying the government to redistribute your wealth to others the .gov considers more deserving all of your life and it isn’t going to go away or get better. The more the .gov takes, the more control it needs over bearing arms.

    One thing about the ‘pollution’ comment; while I can appreciate the purity of a single issue voter mentality, we need to convert some of these people to our cause and the only way we can do that is to outreach to those other single issue voters. We need to be poaching some of those votes from ‘camps’ not necessarily in the gun community if we want to survive as a politically powerful demographic.

    1. “while I can appreciate the purity of a single issue voter mentality, we need to convert some of these people to our cause and the only way we can do that is to outreach to those other single issue voters.”

      A fair question is, who it is that is being converted. “Conversion” (more like, expropriation) has always flowed in only one direction. What I mean is, there is no logical philosophical reason why someone who is pro-choice should be less sympathetic to gun rights than someone who is pro-life. Yet, our movement never became polluted by pro-choice as a parallel issue. There is no logical philosophical reason why someone who is pro-union should be less sympathetic to gun rights than someone who is anti-union. Yet, our movement never became polluted by labor organizers. You could probably think of a dozen similar issues where there exists no logical correlation between the issues and either the pro- or anti-gun position. But you could tell (if you needed to) which issues correlated with the pro-gun philosophy by watching the recent digressions on NRATV. Were pro-choice votes less valuable to us than pro-life votes? Union votes?

      One of my favorite Old Stories is how following the various emergencies of the early 1990s we attempted to form something called The Keystone Firearms Coalition. By consensus we appointed as chairman a guy who had proven adept at running meetings and herding tomcats. Almost immediately he began lobbying the other principals and de facto leaders that the “FIREARMS” Coalition should expand its horizons and pursue “other issues.”

      We didn’t bite, but he really didn’t do much to pursue the guns issues as they piled up. Then after one of our statewide meetings in Juniata, PA, his wife inadvertently outed him when she blurted at dinner “If he ever brought a gun into our house I’d kill him!”

      We never saw nor heard from him again. He had been what was called in those days a “Stealth” infiltrator. All about pro-life and associated “family” issues.

      Treat that as an isolated anecdote if you care to, but I could name national names if I cared to. None of that issue-pollution was accidental, and none of it was for the purpose of advancing the RKBA,

  4. You have to remember that the NRA didn’t create the movement, they had to be dragged kicking and screaming in the 70s.

    Things aren’t as bad as the early 90s. Back then it was looking like we were going to lose everything in the next ten years. Instead it turned into a complete rout for the other side. The NRA largely sat on the sidelines during this and it was the voters that ultimate did the work in 94.

    I’m so old I remember when the 2nd amendment wasn’t even a page in my Con Law books because we had no case law besides Staples and Miller. Remember those days? NRA was absent for Heller and McDonald when they weren’t trying to sabotage it on the way up.

    1. @Jim W …. it’s as if the NRA didn’t want Gun-Control to go away since that would end their gravy train.

    2. Well that is revisionist history. The Cincinnati Revolt was an internal NRA movement, not something coming from the outside. As for the NRA involvement in ’94, don’t believe me believe Bill Clinton who credited the NRA with the sweep. I remind you that McDonald was the merger of two cases, one of which was a NRA case. And that the NRA theory of the case got 4 votes while the Gura theory only got one. Fortunately, Thomas was adept enough to merge the votes. The NRA was a late comer to Heller since they were worried and rightly so that it was a loser. Turnover on the Court fixed that problem, barely.

      None of this is to say that the NRA doesn’t need a leadership fix and soon but making stuff up damages credibility and will make it hard for the NRA to recover once the leadership problem is dealt with.

      1. “believe Bill Clinton who credited the NRA with the sweep.”

        It always makes me smile when people will scream that someone is a lying sack of shit, right up to the second that sack says something they want to believe.

        I’ve always thought every politician was grudgingly happy with the NRA filling the role is has, because everyone knew where it was coming from and how to work with it. Otherwise there would be a vacuum filled by something they might not be able to manage.

        My reading is, Bill Clinton saying the NRA was the greatest threat to the Democrats, was like B’rer Rabbit saying “Just don’ t’ro me in dat briar patch.” As a subsidiary of the Republican Party Clinton may not have liked it, but he was comfortable enough dealing with it.

        1. Eh, what about the rest of it. And you can sometimes discern the truth from what liars say.

        2. “Otherwise there would be a vacuum filled by something they might not be able to manage.”

          Go up a few comments to my reminiscence about NRA Director John Dingell voting for the Clinton AWB. Then go back to my reflections on how the NRA has been at least three different entities in the 55 years I’ve been a member.

          I’d speculate that in 1994 the NRA was making the transition to being a new, fully-integrated-into-The-System entity. That was the year they pulled out all the stops and got downright vicious here in Pennsylvania to assure the election of gun-grabbing Republican Tom Ridge, who also had voted for the Clinton AWB while in congress, and who would insist on gun control being part of his Special Session on Crime in 1995, once he was elected. After which the NRA claimed the resulting gun control legislation was one of its great legislative triumphs of the year, because it incorporated Instant Background Checks. The same things we need to defend against today.

          But the one thing True Believers are good at is Believing, no matter what actually happens.

      2. The “revisionist history” is that the “NRA theory of the case got 4 votes while the Gura theory only got one” — it is absolute nonsense and needs to die.

        Here is the question presented by the McDonald petitioners (lead by Gura): “Whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is incorporated as against the States by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities or Due Process Clauses.”

        As soon as the Court took the case the end result (incorporation) was expected. The analysis then became maximizing the win.

        There was no separate and distinct “NRA theory”. Gura rightly provided the Court with briefing on both modes of incorporation.

        Gura had 4 votes on the judicially-manufactured-but-now-standard substantive due process approach, and effectively saved and preserved Privileges or Immunities with a vote and treatise by Justice Thomas.

      3. The Cincinnati revolt was a revolt because the leadership of the NRA was a bunch of fudds who didn’t care about stopping the gun control movement. The current NRA, as awful as it has become at least isn’t openly treasonous or asleep at the wheel.

        I would argue that 94 would have been the same result without the NRA. The Democrats set themselves up for a backlash and the voters got mad. The NRA just found itself in the winning side through luck, not through any sort of leadership. At that point I would describe them as halfway traitorous on gun rights. They supported a lot of anti gun politicians back then. Only after 94 did they start to come around on the AWB and their approach to politics. But it was a reaction to angry members that had become politically active, not something that lead to it.

        1. “Only after 94 did they start to come around on the AWB.”

          Just because I’ve reached the stage where I don’t have much to contribute except first-hand reminiscences:

          Right before the Christmas recess in 1993, Republicans in the Pennsylvania House passed a state AWB, and billed it as the best thing since sliced bread, since it was “better than the Democrats’ bill because it banned fewer guns. To my recall the NRA didn’t put a lot of energy into resisting it. If they did, their resistance somehow wasn’t communicated to me, and our county group was pretty active at the time.

          However, over the Christmas season, possibly the most authentic grassroots reaction and movement developed that I have ever seen. I recall afterward a legislator quipping “when people call your office and threaten to kill you and your family — and then leave their name, address, and phone number — you tend to take their issue seriously.” (I don’t know that any such threats were actually made, but that legislator’s point was that people were really mad and prepared to stand behind their position.)

          The House Republicans went back to work in January 1994, and their first order of business was to make an embarrassing political maneuver to un-pass their own legislation. As I recall it essentially required them all to claim “we didn’t really know what we were voting for,” despite lots of testimony proving they absolutely did.

          The NRA of course claimed responsibility for that outcome, claiming they had been doing concerted behind-the-scenes lobbying over the holidays. But considering what appeared to be a low level of member recruitment to the effort (which would have entailed badmouthing Republican legislators in public) that claim appeared unfounded.

          One of the outcomes of that incident was the NRA endorsing the formation in the General Assembly of a “Committee to Study the Use of Automatic and Semi-Automatic Weapons.” The theory, that many pro-gun people and the NRA embraced, was that the study would show that auto and semi-auto weapons were not a problem at all, so everything then would be hunky-dory. Instead, the so-called final report of the study, had nothing at all to do with the committee’s charter, and instead provided the framework for gun control legislation supported by the NRA, which they dubbed “The Sportsmens Omnibus Anti-Crime Bill,” that passed with heavy bipartisan support in June 1995 — one week after my Republican state representative had assured me there would be no action on firearms legislation that year. It passed with his vote, since I believe he had foreknowledge of all the ways the NRA was going to provide cover for him and his compatriots.

          1. Yeah that is my recollection as well. The NRA pretty much sat on their asses until the voters were already in full riot mode and had turned gun control into a third rail. Then the NRA declared victory and slowly became more uncompromising over the course of several decades.

            The NRA tends to stake out very lukewarm positions relative to the current views of politicians. It usually takes several election cycles for voters to teach new values to politicians, at which point the NRA slowly follows along. Not really awe inspiring leadership.

  5. I am still lacking in optimism for the future of the RKBA cause.

    I’m the opposite. I’m still lacking in pessimism for the future of the RKBA cause.

    Things may not look too bright, but the NRA or another group will rebound. Bloomberg has been a non-factor for years, so I’m not worried about him.

    For the RKBA cause, things have been getting better in red states and worse in blue and purple states. But we have the culture with us. The culture is pro-gun. We also have the Courts. Trump has done a great job putting in great judges and justices.

    I’m more worried about the country as a whole, because the Dems are going NUTS. They wanted to get NUTS and they got NUTS. I see a civil war coming in the next 20 years.

  6. The NRA by itself is not the Gun Rights Movement, and Gun Rights do not solely belong to the NRA.

    Find your State Level organization and support them. Support the parts of the NRA you agree with. Find another national gun rights organization. Do it yourself. Call and mail your representatives, local, state, and federal.

    Keep the faith.

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