Can NRA Be Saved Without Being Destroyed?

Miguel asks a poignant question: “Can LaPierre be removed without destrying the NRA from the inside? Apparently nobody cares.”

For me pushing out Chris Cox and the committee purges that seem to be reaching well beyond the supposed Ack-Mac lead conspiracy is were where I part ways with the Wayne supporting crowd. But I do not think Wayne is a dictator, and I think change is possible from within if enough people can be convinced. I also do back Wayne to the extent that he’s really committed to righting the ship and not just covering up past misdeeds. But I do not view the late actions to be of righting the ship but instead vengeance.

We were told Ack-Mac lead an attempt to take over NRA. But how many of the Board members being removed from key committees have ties to Ack-Mac? Why is Julie Golob, who apparently does have ties to Ack-Mac, still retaining her committee assignments? We’ve also heard in Ollie North’s response to NRA’s lawsuit the allegation that Wayne not only knew about North’s contract with Ack-Mac, but helped arrange it.

LaPierre helped negotiate that contract and signed off on the contract in May 2018. Indeed, it was LaPierre who encouraged and authorized North to be hired by Ackerman McQueen to work on the NRATV show “American Heroes,” and it was LaPierre who at the same time urged North to accept the role as President of the NRA. LaPierre urged and convinced North to leave his job at Fox News to take on these assignments for the NRA.

Also denied is that there was ever any ultimatum. That’s a bombshell if true. This is going to be the lawsuit to keep an eye on for NRA watchers. It’s where all the dirty laundry is going to come out.

I get being on a non-profit Board because I’ve done it a few times. I get having to deal with keeping a ship sailing in a productive direction while everyone is at each other’s throats. But to me, retaliating against other Board members in the way Wayne is doing has to have a pretty dire justification. Preserving your own hide is not one of them. In my view, a board has several overriding priorities, but I would argue two are of top importance:

  • Keep thieves away from money.
  • Compliance with the rules and regulations that govern the industry in which you operate. I’m not talking about the arcane stuff here like installing the wrong kind of light bulb, or redoing a cafeteria without the right permit, but the major stuff where everyone knows and understands violations can cost the organization gravely and risk its mission.

So show me that the Board members being retaliated against are OK with robbing the Association or flagrantly ignoring the law. Maybe you can justify some. But maybe it’s also that they just didn’t pass the test of being sufficiently loyal to the regime.

And what pisses me off is we’re just getting fluff from Wayne boosters. As I’ve said numerous times, no matter what you think about Wayne, he is 70 years old. He is not the future of the NRA, because generously, he has maybe a 5-10 of working life left in him before he’s either spent from old age or kicks it. This looks to me like something struggling to hold on to power and destroying the future to accomplish that. And for what? That’s the question I can’t seem to find answers for.

14 thoughts on “Can NRA Be Saved Without Being Destroyed?”

  1. Well said. I think a NRA without Wayne can still succeed. In fact, it could prosper.

    Few would leave if Wayne goes and many would return.

    Insofar as caretaker CEOs, a person like Steve Sanetti who retired from NSSF or Mike Fifer who retired from Ruger have experience running large organizations and are definitely pro-2A. Sanetti was CEO of Ruger before Fifer.

  2. I spent my entire professional career working for one board or another, the last 20 years of it in senior positions, so I am familiar with that world.

    I still don’t know if there was a “coup attempt” or what triggered the whole mess. What I do know is that when an organization descends into this kind of chaos, the CEO has got to go, regardless of what happened in the past. It is the only way to restore confidence.

    1. What triggered this whole mess is more clear to me. The NRA Carry Guard Insurance disaster in NY snowballed into a fight between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen. It was initially about who should be legally and financially liable for the NRA Carry Guard Insurance disaster.

      Both sides engaged in a scorched earth strategy, resulting in the NRA eventually suing Ackerman McQueen. It is my personal opinion that Oliver North took the initiative only after he was named in the NRA’s lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen. The rest of this is well-documented history.

      1. That may be a piece of it, but I think it’s important to see this as a whole host of varied chickens coming home to roost.

        In particular, I see many of the various dueling editorials between the likes of Knox and Hammer, combined with the various articles about the strife within the NRA published in Bloomberg-funded outlets, as being particularly noteworthy among these chickens.

        As far as I’m concerned, it’s to the point where pretty much all of the mouthpieces of the LaPierre faction need to go, along with LaPierre himself, in order to restore my confidence in the organization.

        1. I agree, there have been a lot of conflicts brewing for a while in the NRA. The NRA vs. Ackerman McQueen chaos just lighted the fuse on all of these conflicts.

          Note that the Knox vs. NRA articles on Ammoland have been going on for quite a while. What was unknown to many is how much NRA employees and Directors were disgusted with the actions of the leadership for a while now. This is only coming to light now.

        1. As far as I’m concerned, his biggest defenders on the board also need to go.

          Hammer, Lee, and Meadows chief among them.

        2. I agree that Wayne LaPierre has to go, but the NRA has systemic problems that go far beyond a single person. One can easily see a maneuver, where Wayne LaPierre “retires” and leaves one of his cronies in charge.

          We also have to get away from the cult of personality! I see comments all over the Internet about who should replace Wayne LaPierre and they mostly include people that are completely unqualified and would just further the cult of personality: Ted Nugent, Dana Loesch, Colion Noir, etc. What experience do these people have in running a large organization with hundreds of employees, thousands of volunteers, broken finances, and significant legal exposure?

          There are only a small amount of people on the current Board that I would trust with any role in the new NRA. The rest of the Board and the NRA Officers are incompetent or complacent and would need to go. This is rather hard to accomplish, given how entrenched this organization is and given all the safeguards that exist against exactly this kind of change.

          My fear is that the NRA has to crash out (similar to the UK potentially crashing out of the EU) to fix it. Many long-time NRA members simply will not agree with this and will try to prevent this even if this means that changes will be rather cosmetic.

          As I said in another post, the next Board meeting will probably decide the fate of the NRA. Will there be enough Board members that simply had enough of this nonsense and vote for a change, or will the current NRA leadership enact further cosmetic changes and continue to oust NRA reformers?

          PS: Jennifer Baker’s departure from the NRA-ILA yesterday is another sign of things getting worse:

          1. NRA bylaws require a supermajority of the handpicked executive board to remove the EVP IIRC. Good luck with that. NRA will muddle along until the NY AG or IRS (under a democratic president) burns it to the ground.

            You might get a few directors to care about governance, maybe even a majority, but getting a supermajority to act? LOL.

            1. Hence the push to get people to resign!!! Resign now and retire with some dignity, or continue with no dignity at all and being responsible for the end of the NRA.

              The NRA is currently in the process of getting burned to the ground by the scorched earth strategy of its current leadership. At the rate they are firing, suing, blackballing, threatening and alienating people, not a lot of supporters will be left, except for a few Baghdad Bobs.

  3. Is there any realistic hope of LaPierre getting forced out by the membership at the next member’s meeting?

    1. If you had asked me in July of 1989, a month after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, if the Berlin Wall would fall by November 1989, I would have told you: No! Yet, it did and the Communist Eastern European bloc collapsed.

      My hope is that Wayne LaPierre and many others are voluntarily stepping down by the next Board meeting in September due to public and private pressure. Is that hope realistic? How can anyone judge the term realistic given the circumstances?

      Another, more pessimistic, view is that Wayne LaPierre will solidify his power and die in 15 years, after which a huge power struggle will ensue about who will be Wayne’s successor. There won’t be any reforms in the NRA for the next 40 years, just like there were none for the past 40 years. Is that view realistic?

      The fact is that the members have only three methods of influencing this: (1) vote in the NRA Board elections, (2) voice your opinion, and (3) withhold donations until change is happening. Everything else is just a guessing game!

      PS: Note that the NRA bylaws have specific mechanisms for changes. The members themselves are not directly part of this. The NRA member’s meeting can not force out Wayne LaPierre, however it can create the environment that forces the Board or Wayne LaPierre to take action. After all, a leader without followers is just a single guy!

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