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Countersuit

NRA filed a civil rights lawsuit in the Northern District of New York yesterday. It is possible that Letitia James is a second rate tyrant who is violating the NRA’s civil rights, and that Wayne LaPierre is a hapless grifter. Both things can be true. I believe that both things are true. James does not have your best interests at heart as a gun owner and NRA member. She is trying to silence political opposition, and she should be ruined for it. I sincerely hope this suit succeeds. I’m surprised by how many gun people I see who seem fine with dissolution. James’ move here is unconscionable and naked totalitarianism. It will invite tit for tat if the courts are silent (note that SPLC is in Alabama, and probably has more skeletons in its closet than NRA does by far).

90 Responses to “Countersuit”

  1. beatbox says:

    Stop trying to make this just about WLP. The Board is certainly culpable as well.

  2. beatbox says:

    This is as good of a place as any for my NRA rant. I stopped supporting them back in pre-Heller times as a DC resident. We had an excellent opportunity to advance gun rights in DC that was basically killed by the NRA (happy to provide details). Over beers at one of my all-time favorite DC bars (with guns on the walls), an NRA lobbyist admitted to me that since new DC gun owners would not likely add greatly to the NRA membership rolls, it was better to keep DC gun free and use them as a political straw man. Boom. Eyes open. You saw the pattern repeat itself.

    The NRA has done nothing to, and has ZERO interest in advancing gun rights. Their $$ comes from playing defense and whipping up fear among members.

    They opposed the advancement of Heller, fearing it would change the status quo (before trying to insert themselves in it once it they saw it was going to succeed).

    They stopped supporting pro-gun Democrats because of their marketing strategy of chasing Tea Party money. Hey, lets give a gold rifle to Sarah Palin, who was Governer of a pro-gun state and did NOTHING to advance the cause. And screw Harry Reid…so what if he was a believer in gun rights and Senate Majority Leader).

    Their support for grass roots action, like the Colorado recalls has been anemic or non-existent.

    Even when it was a slam dunk, like Illinois implementing court ordered CCW, the NRA could only manage to support one (tireless) lobbyist (as a contractor, no less). Think of what a better piece of legislation we could have got for the price of WLPs wardrobe budget!!

    The NRA is all about playing defense. When there is an actual issue, they often do it well. But when there are no pressing threats, they chose not to use that time to advance rights, but to use bogeymen hypred thru NRATV to drive donations, and start moneymaking schemes like insurance and carry guard.

    SAF has done tons more to advance gun rights than the NRA.

    • Andy B. says:

      “(happy to provide details)”

      I’ll first admit that I’m mainly seeking to feed my confirmation bias, but I’d love to hear your details.

      My other motive is, that as I’ve frequently demonstrated here, I love people’s Old Stories, which at my age, I’ve come to realize are “oral history.”

      People may spin history on their own, but at least there are no professional spinmeisters controlling the narrative.

      • beatbox says:

        DC had an opportunity to get voting representation in the House. Dems even signaled a willingness to ease up on DCs gun laws in exchange. Instead of pushing for legislation that could, for example, eliminate registration, provide an interstate transport exemption allowing allow DC residents to purchase firearms in MD or VA without having to ship 10 miles to DC (and pay $125), do away with the stupid training requirements, etc., the NRA said they would only support legislation that totally took away the right of DC to pass ANY gun laws.

        Now, I would love to see that, however, it was a poison pill and they knew it. They like DC being anti gun. Also, they were carrying House Republican’s water by derailing the bill.

        If NRA was truly a “single issue” org., they should be of the mindset to take ANY opportunity to move the ball forward.

        • Andy B. says:

          “they should be of the mindset to take ANY opportunity to move the ball forward.”

          First, thanks.

          I’d add to the line I quoted above, “and never move the ball backward.”

          I’m of course referring to my Old Stories, of a)their enthusiastic support for R gun-grabber Tom Ridge for governor of PA, followed by b) their support for the 1995 gun control legislation Ridge demanded, and c) their later support for R Mike Fisher, who as Ridge’s AG hatchet man, had worked to block even curative amendments to that 1995 Act.

          Your phrase “carrying water for (House) Republicans” (while moving our ball backward) certainly struck a chord for me.

  3. HappyWarrior6 says:

    Well, one bullshit lawsuit deserves another I guess.

    Much ado about nothing. The NRA won’t get dissolved. If they would (LOL), it’s also clearly stated in the NYAG suit that the entirety of the funds of the dissolved organization would get dispersed to other like minded non-profits. It would be the best thing to happen GOA and SAF!

    Source: Alan Gottlieb (https://reason.com/2020/08/06/is-new-yorks-attack-on-the-nra-meant-to-punish-the-gun-rights-cause-for-executive-malfeasance/)

    If I were a true believer anti then I would rather face NRA than what gets erected in its place.

    • Sebastian says:

      Ain’t gonna be nothing left after Bill Brewer gets paid.

      • HappyWarrior6 says:

        Yes. This is a separate problem from the NYAG’s actions. Cronyism begets cronyism. If there are creditors and blood sucking lawyers wallets at play here they are probably first to the trough. And rightly so. The NRA made their bed with those executive consulting decisions even in the midst of state scrutiny. Now they get to sleep with it.

        Am I happy my roughly $2k membership investment in NRA go to attorneys? Absolutely not. I just want to see WLP and his board enablers sent packing, but there’s no way for MY money to talk in that equation. If the NYAG punishes their bad deeds in my stead then I at least get the vengeance. :)

    • Andy B. says:

      “It would be the best thing to happen GOA and SAF!”

      True, but I would prefer if somehow our gun rights would benefit, instead.

    • Steve says:

      You think those funds would go to GOA and SAF??? Are you high?

      They would go to Everytown, Mom’s Demand Action, and an anti-gun front org posing as a noble NRA replacement that I’m sure is being incorporated in New York _right now_.

      • HappyWarrior6 says:

        Thanks, Steve. You do delusional quite well. That’s fine. There’s usually a conspiracy everywhere these days, including where actual wrongdoing has taken place.

        • Andy B. says:

          “You do delusional quite well.”

          One thing that has been accomplished really well is to unmoor all of us from reality about something.

          It’s almost like that was the purpose all along. But I guess that is being “conspiratorial” too, isn’t it?

  4. Andy B. says:

    “NRA filed a civil rights lawsuit in the Northern District of New York yesterday.”

    I’ll confess to having read neither filing, but how does the NRA’s 19-page countersuit stack up against James’ ~150 pages of reportedly specific, detailed charges?

    This is probably a weak analogy, but if I recall history correctly, the Mafia originated in Sicily as an entirely justifiable resistance to a corrupt system of political economy. But that doesn’t change the fact that after a bit of evolution, it turned into a continuing criminal enterprise, independent of its political realignments from time to time.

  5. Andy B. says:

    “James’ ~150 pages of reportedly specific, detailed charges.”

    My bad. Latitia James’ complaint is 169 pages.

    I still haven’t read it.

  6. Charlie Foxtrot says:

    This lawsuit is just for show. After all the NRA is in the show business. The argument that the NRA can’t be sued by the state due to the 1st Amendment is rather ridiculous! Bill Brewer probably made a few ten thousand just by filing this lawsuit.

    For those that say the state has no right to dissolve the organization but rather has the right to fix it by replacing Officers and the Board, I say that the NRA is so corrupt and broken that it would require a total government take-over to fix it. That, I think, is illegal.

    The NRA has put itself into this position. Again, I invite everyone to read the charges: https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/final_nra_summons_complaint_08.06.20.pdf. They include:

    – Widespread Violations of Law of the NRA’s Senior Management under the Leadership
    and Direction of Wayne LaPierre
    – The NRA’s Use of Longtime Vendors and Consulting Agreements to Hide Improper Expenditures, Self-Dealing, and Related Party Transactions
    – The Individual Defendants Received Excessive Compensation that the NRA Did Not Accurately Disclose
    – The NRA’s Retaliation Against Dissidents on the Board
    – The NRA Board’s Failures Resulting in Violations of Law
    – The NRA’s Failure to Institute an Effective Compliance Program
    – The NRA’s False Regulatory Filings
    – The NRA’s Violation of its Duties under the New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act

    Where do you start fixing that from the state’s perspective? One needs to fire all Officers and some administrative staff. Then, the entire Board needs to be fired. Now what? The state of NY appointing all new Board members and the new Board appointing new Officers? Members will have no say in that!

    Other than the Board finally taking responsibility, I do not see any way that the NRA survives this. Given the personal liability Board members face, there won’t be soon any left that aren’t crooks. I expect more departures, as Wayne LaPierre & Co will be digging in.

    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

      Nobody said they can’t be sued because of the First. What we said is they can’t be dissolved.

      They state has zero rights to dissolve the organization. Only a hard core anti-gunner like James believes that. So you are agreeing with an anti-gunner who wants to destroy gun rights. GREAT JOB!

      There are plenty of ways to fix it. First, charge the members who have committed fraud criminally. Second, bar them and any current board member or lawyer from holding office, and hold new elections.

      Yes the NRA has put itself into this position. But how many of the 6 million+ members knew what was going on? You want to punish all of them for the follies of 10 people plus 70 or so who may or may not have known. Its silliness.

      The NRA will survive.

      • Charlie Foxtrot says:

        So, racketeering is now protected under the 1st Amendment. Who knew?

        As someone who has been trying to reform the NRA for years and who’s name is on several open letters, I have been accused of being an anti-gunner by those criminals running the NRA and their supporters several times. These are the same people that argued for the bump stock ban and for red flag laws. LOL

        The NRA Officers have all been involved in crimes, so has the Board. Again, read the actual complaint! The only way to fix this is to replace EVERYONE! So, is the state supposed to replace EVERYONE? This would make the NRA a state-run organization.

        There is nothing that prevents NRA members to create a new NRA organization, preferably charted in a gun-friendly state. The only difference would be that those grifters running the NRA today would be out.

        PS: The option for a settlement still exists, but that would require the NRA Board to oust the grifters.

        • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

          Ahh the old strawman argument.

          It wasn’t ‘a racketeering organization. It was an organization with a couple of fraudsters at top. But you don’t destroy a 6 million member organization for the actions of a few. You fix it.

          I don’t believe you have been trying to reform the NRA, because right now you are trying to help the anti-gunners destroy it.

          The only way to fix this is to replace EVERYONE! So, is the state supposed to replace EVERYONE?

          YES! This isn’t a hard problem! You kick out the bad and lazy actors and hold new elections. None of that says its a state-run organization, because they aren’t picking the new people.

          There is plenty that prevents the NRA members from creating a new NRA organization, considering they are not the people who have the power to do it easily.

          So the best way would be for the NY AG to criminal charge those at fault, the courts to kick out the bad and lazy actors, and hold new elections.

          REAL SIMPLE LIKE.

          • Charlie Foxtrot says:

            Well, the same NRA members who called me an anti-gunner and supported the fantastic duo, Wayne and Chris, are the same that have been saying for years that I want to destroy the NRA. In reality, it is the NRA leadership that is destroying the NRA! It always has been the NRA leadership that is destroying the NRA! Now, the day has come when the long-forecasted destruction of the NRA is here! Now what?

            The destruction of the NRA can be easily averted by the NRA Board and Officers. It is still the same solution it was years ago and that you are now supporting as well. The removal of all NRA Directors and NRA Officers. The members can’t or won’t do it. Can the state do it? I am not so sure about that given that some of the protections in the bylaws will make the NRA a defunct organization! Yes, a working solution requires the state to pick people! Will the state do it? NO, because the NRA leadership just gave the state the keys to the kingdom!

            Do I want the NRA dissolved? No, but neither the NRA leadership, the NRA membership or the state cares about my opinion anyway. So, I am watching this long-forecasted slow-motion train wreck unfold! My prediction, some NRA Board members and officers will run away while the NRA goes bankrupt within a year. Bill Brewer will absorb most of the NRA’s assets.

            • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

              If you are arguing to fix the NRA, then you aren’t support the anti-gunners. If you are arguing for dissolution than you are. Those other people were wrong if all you were doing was trying to fix it.

              Alrighty then, the solution is to remove all the NRA Directors and Officers. The state can do it. They can override the bylaws since it was written by bad actors.

              And the NRA membership either does care or hasn’t been given the information to care.

              • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                So, David Dell’Aquila is then an anti-gunner, according to your own definition: https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/dellaquila-nra-needs-to-dissolve-in-new-york-write-a-big-check-and-re-charter-in-texas/

                Again, you are asking the STATE to take over the business of the NRA. What could possibly go wrong with that?

                • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

                  No because he is looking to reform the NRA. He says the NRA should VOLUNTARILY dissolve to move, not be FORCED to dissolved. HUGE difference.

                  Again, I am NOT asking the STATE to take of the business of the NRA, only to punish those who have committed fraud and remove them from the organization. What could possibly go wrong with that? NOTHING.

                  • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                    The state could easily appoint moderate pro-gun people and moderate gun-control people to the NRA Board, who then appoint moderate pro-gun people and moderate gun-control people as NRA Officers. They could change the face of the organization before the next Board election.

                    Also, each Board election only appoints 1/3 of the Board, or are you asking the state to change this part of the bylaws too?

                    Also, punishing those who have committed fraud and removing them requires identifying them and finding replacements. That would be at least 80 people, but likely more. My personal guess would be 150-200. Yes, the NRA is that broken.

                    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

                      OR they don’t appoint anybody, and just hold new elections. Yes all 200 people if that’s what it takes.

                      This isn’t hard.

                    • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                      You are apparently unaware of the NRA’s convoluted bylaws. It requires a functioning NRA Nominating Committee to hold NRA Board elections in the first place. Now, if the court rewrites all those rules, then we will have a true Open election for the NRA’s Board, but you may not like the outcome. LOL.

                    • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

                      I am very well aware of them.

                      The courts can easily hold a full open election. Not that hard.

              • Andy B. says:

                “If you are arguing to fix the NRA, then you aren’t support the anti-gunners. If you are arguing for dissolution than you are.”

                And you are arguing that the NRA has always had gun rights as its first priority. A lot of us haven’t believed that, for a long time. And, we have become more certain of that in recent years.

          • Charlie Foxtrot says:

            Repeating and expanding on a post in the other discussion:

            Holding new elections is rather complicated due to the way the bylaws are written! Remember that the NRA leadership managed to write the bylaws in a way to benefit them. One of those election-related issues is who can be a candidate in the first place and how candidates can run by petition. The NRA leadership has put in “protections” to prevent the NRA being “infiltrated”. NRA Board approval is required for candidates to run!

            So, according to the NRA bylaws, a functioning Board is actually required to run a Board election. Board candidates need to be approved by the nominating committee in order to avoid having the NRA “infiltrated”. The NY AG would need to set up a temporary Board that rubber stamps all Board candidates, as everyone would be running by petition. That alone is already a state takeover of the NRA. It also opens the door for the NRA to get truly infiltrated or just run by Wayne LaPierre proxies.

            The next problem is that running by petition itself has been restricted in the bylaws. Some of these restrictions can be arbitrarily waived by the nominating committee, leaving room for the state to let certain infiltrators in. The nominating committee also needs to make decisions within a certain time frame (180 days) before the next Annual Meeting. In fact, the next planned Board meeting in November already violates the 180-day rule in the bylaws. The bylaws also have a 45 day rule for circulating petitions.

            You see, nothing is simple in the corrupted NRA!

            • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

              Given that leadership has been committed fraud, it seems logical the bylaws they put in place to protect themselves is invalid. So the state can invalidate them. It doesn’t take a state takeover to do this.

              So yes it is simple in the corrupted NRA. REAL SIMPLE LIKE.

              • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                As far as I understand it, the bylaws were voted on by the NRA members. You seem to have missed that, like most NRA members have missed the fact that they have voted themselves out of existence. Also, just because you think someone committed fraud, that doesn’t make the bylaws invalid. I certainly could see lawsuits flying if the state tries to rewrite the bylaws on its own.

                • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

                  It can be argued that they were mislead by fraud actors. That’s the definition of FRAUD!

                  The state (and by the state I mean a court) can easily order whatever means necessary to make an election occur. If the bylaws require a board, but the board has been removed, then the state can void that part for this election.

                  REAL EASY LIKE

                  • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                    Without answering every single redundant post you made, no it is not easy to modify the bylaws by a judge. All it means is that the members are not involved at all in this decision, just the corrupt NRA arguing against it and the state arguing in favor of it.

                    Instead of dissolving the NRA and let NRA members decide what type of new NRA they want, the state is forming the new NRA. The legitimacy of the new organization and its leadership will be questioned.

                    What’s the purpose of saving the current NRA using these rather questionable methods in the first place? Why can’t we just use David Dell’Aquila’s approach of closing down the current NRA and move on by creating a new NRA in a different state?

                    In any case, it should be clear from these discussions that the NRA is severely broken and it seems only the state can save the NRA. The State of NY has no interest in this adventure.

                    • Sebastian says:

                      Hate to tell you, but the state gets involved in non-profit governance issues all the time when non-profits effectively break. And modifying bylaws is not off the table.

                    • Charlie Foxtrot says:

                      It is certainly interesting how far we have come in this discussion over the years. We are now actively pushing for the government to fix the NRA, because the NRA can’t fix itself AND because the NRA will de dissolved by the government otherwise.

                      This is the same government that we don’t trust with our rights, but we apparently now trust it to reform the NRA? This is that same government that NRA members thought they would be keeping out of the NRA when voting for the current bylaws.

                      The point of my discussion here is not to say that it is impossible that the NRA can be saved, but to point out how bad the situation is. The reality is, we will have not much say in any of this! We may have opinions, but the time our opinions mattered has come and gone.

                      This epic battle between Wayne LaPierre and his cronies and the NY and DC AGs will continue for months and possibly even years, draining money out of the organization, making it impotent and keeping the corrupt and inept NRA leadership in pace. The NRA will become even more dysfunctional and eventually bankrupt. I do believe that bankruptcy is the actual goal of the NY and DC AGs.

                    • Sebastian says:

                      I am pushing for the government not to dissolve NRA, which is their current course of action. If the federal courts intervene and put a stop to all of this, I would consider that great news. It would be better for the members to fix this.

                    • Andy B. says:

                      I would like to introduce the not-deeply-thought-out proposal that regardless of what is going on with the NRA in New York, some of our moneybags in the pro-gun community finance the formation of a new organization, elsewhere, in a friendlier state — for now.

                      There are myriad problems with that, including how to staff it from the board room to the broom closet with pro-gun people motivated by only altruism for our RKBA. It would take money because it’s not possible to do it with volunteers.

                      If the NRA managed a comeback, it could choose to stand down if the NRA could recapture confidence. Better they not get into the “competing” mode. But that is something that could be worked out, come the time.

        • Scott in Phx says:

          No, you put it under a court appointed trustee until the entire board can be re-elected and the bylaws reformed to prevent the abuse.

          There are 4M members who are victims here too. And we don’t want the organization dissolved.

          • Charlie Foxtrot says:

            Read my reply above your post. The NRA bylaws are rather complex and have provisions against a “hostile” takeover. The NRA can become very easily a defunct organization just by accident, because of its convoluted bylaws. NRA members have very little power, as a few NRA Board committees hold all the cards.

            Note that a court-appointed Board may be actually worse than a dissolution of the NRA and recreation of the organization under a different name in a different state. Just removing the entire NRA Board and essential NRA Officers still leaves a lot of Wayne LaPierre cronies in place that have vested interests in keeping the NRA going down the same destructive path.

            If you don’t want the organization to be dissolved, then contact the current NRA Board and make that clear! The NRA is on the path to dissolution, because the Board thinks the interests of Wayne LaPierre outweigh the interests of the members. The NRA is on a path toward self-inflicted total destruction.

            Maybe attend the NRA Annual Meeting, when/if it is ever held!

            • Andy B. says:

              “The NRA can become very easily a defunct organization just by accident, because of its convoluted bylaws. NRA members have very little power, as a few NRA Board committees hold all the cards.”

              Revolutionaries in history, when successful, usually put in place protections to defend themselves from the very mechanisms they themselves took advantage of for their own revolt.

              I’m of course thinking of the ’77 “Revolt in Cincinnati”. I’ve had some bad experiences with conspiratorial thinking in my time, but lately I can’t help thinking that its motives weren’t 100 percent altruistic.

              I’ve commented elsewhere that in my experience gun owners appear as a class to be among the most gullible people in the world — or at least, in the U.S. I am not optimistic about any alternative NRA-BoD that could be recruited. E.g., if VCDL is one of the only effective state-level gun rights organizations in the country — as someone here suggested — the odds of recruiting an effective NRA Board to represent the entire country would not look too good.

            • Scott in Phx says:

              From your posts it appears you simply hate the NRA now.

              So, maybe you should just leave it up to the members to try to fix/save it using the gift the NY AG just gave us.

          • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

            Exactly Scott. The proper non-political way to solve it. Instead the NY AG choose the political way to solve it.

      • Andy B. says:

        “What we said is they can’t be dissolved.”

        The NRA is a corporation, and all corporations are creatures of the state where they are incorporated; in this case, New York. They exist by the definitions established by the state.

        I’ll be glad to be schooled on any state-specific law that applies, but corporations essentially exist at the pleasure of the state. I’m sure there are limits — very likely originating somewhere in common law — saying corporations cannot be dissolved arbitrarily, so “pleasure of the state” may not be exactly the correct term. But in this example, the corporation is looking particularly bad, with a puppet board that hasn’t watched the store for years. To a disinterested outsider, it would appear beyond hope of redemption.

        • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

          Sure, but they can’t be dissolved for political reasons. The dissolution has to be content neutral. This clearly isn’t.

          And to a disinterested outsider, it appears they are nowhere near beyond hope of redemption, given that its only a few leaders and not the 6 million members.

          To a VERY interested outsider, like yourself, of course it appears beyond hope of redemption, because you are clearly biased.

          • Andy B. says:

            “of course it appears beyond hope of redemption, because you are clearly biased.”

            My apologies. Getting stabbed in the back by anti-gunners who expected us to believe in them on pure faith will do that to a guy.

            “they can’t be dissolved for political reasons.”

            Nor does their political status grant them impunity.

  7. Heather says:

    Regardless of the details, this is an amazing get out the vote motivator for the election, if we can push it through (or past) the news media. But we need to push it. This isn’t being talked about mainstream that I’ve seen, and that’s because they realized how it might backfire.

    • Andy B. says:

      “this is an amazing get out the vote motivator for the election, if we can push it through (or past) the news media.”

      You might be surprised at how much news is missed because of the daily ration of deflecting bullshit. Personally I somewhat depend on friends giving me heads-up about other interesting news items, that fall beneath the Nightly News radar. To some extent I depend on foreign news outlets, too.

      Even so: Don’t overestimate NRA issues as a mass-motivator. To a great extent (IMO) they became last year’s news not too long after the fallout from their Russian dalliances died down. Only those of us with some kind of personal interests care what becomes of them. Most people think they are run-of-the-mill political hacks.

      More than a decade ago a local club voted on whether or not to keep their mandatory NRA membership requirement. The vote was 2 – 1 in favor of keeping it, but that still meant that one member in three would have preferred not to be an NRA member, if they had the choice. And those were “gun owners” interested enough to belong to a gun club.

      That was more than a decade ago. Recently another gun club in our region voted to drop their NRA membership requirement.

      Those are anecdotes, for sure, so make of them what you will. But I personally would not count on NRA affairs as a vote-motivator, if I were a betting man.

      • Andy B. says:

        Forgot to add, that even if the NRA still has its claimed 5 million members — which I doubt, as I don’t see that supported by reports of their membership income — that only amounts to about 1.5 percent of the U.S. population. 1.5 percent can be significant in an election, but that depends on all of the usual election variables, and assumes all are highly motivated, and none are “coerced” members per my 1-in-3 anecdote above.

  8. RAH says:

    The NY suit is not about convicting corrupt leaders of the NRA with embezzlement etc It is aimed at us , the gun owners.

    Democrats confused the NRA with gun owners The power to affect elections is not the NRA money but the fact that their membership can be be very active .
    The NRA is basically an organization that trains people in markmanship and gun handling and coordinate with gun clubs Because it so large the members can be very effective in contact political leaders.

    The NRA is very gunshy about gambling with court suits to advance gun rights That was obvious about Heller GOA and SAF is better at that action.

    Many of us do not like the NRA for different reasons. Yet this action is aimed at us.
    I am more concerned about us , the gun owners I have seen complacency from the wins in the 1990’s and their subsequent withdrawal from being active in their communities to advance the hobby of shooting and hunting . Gunnies have become moribund and their abdication of voting last election in Virginia , which turned a gun friendly state to unfriendly state.

    • Charlie Foxtrot says:

      Yes, gun owners have been complacent for decades, giving money to the NRA and thinking this is all they need to do to fight for their rights. The NRA has taken that money and spent it on themselves and on failed business adventures, like NRA Carry Guard. NRA Carry Guard alone did cost the NRA $100 million in losses, by the way.

      So, what now? The NRA leadership will continue with their corruption and mismanagement, while telling its members that this is all just a liberal conspiracy to end the NRA. That simply isn’t working anymore! The Ackerman McQueen fallout meant that there is one corrupt part of the NRA that is willing to testify in court about the other corrupt part of the NRA.

      We can post all we want about how bad the NY AG is and that they are gunning for all of us, but that doesn’t change the fact that the NRA has reached the end of the road. Either the NRA cleans up and settles with the NY AG, or the NRA continues to protect its grifters and goes down. These are the two options we have. The option of ignoring the obvious no-longer exists!

      The only hope I have is that this lawsuit serves as a wakeup call for all gun owners to get off their butts and get involved. Demand change at the NRA!

      My fear is that most NRA members are still clueless and the NRA leadership can continue the same old propaganda that protected itself from the consequences of their own actions for the past 3 decades.

      • Andy B. says:

        “My fear is that most NRA members are still clueless and the NRA leadership can continue the same old propaganda…”

        As I alluded to below, there has always been something very cult-like about NRA membership, and I say that as someone whose first expenditure with my 18th-birthday money was to apply for NRA annual membership. Once I started collecting a “professional” salary, my Life Membership came the first time I got that much money together.

        But along the way, with “activism”, I became frustrated with how gullible my fellow gun owners were. Initially I observed that only with candidacies, where any candidate who could string together a handful of rote, pro-gun phrases could inspire paroxysms of enthusiasm among gun owners. But later I started to see how that applied to the NRA itself, e.g., my Old Stories about endorsements of gun-grabbing candidates and support for gun control laws.

    • Andy B. says:

      “The NY suit is not about convicting corrupt leaders of the NRA with embezzlement etc It is aimed at us , the gun owners.”

      What has made that possible is that gun owners allowed themselves to become identified as “The NRA”, at the same time the NRA slowly, slowly evolved to being “something else.” I would say that “something else” was manifested by NRATV as an overt symptom, but whatever it was, most gun owners allowed their identities to be dragged along with it. So now that the brown material has hit the fast-rotating blade, of course “we” are the targets. Most Real Gunnies wouldn’t have wanted it any other way; if anything the NRA was their identity.

      I try to avoid “I Told You Sos” but, 25+ years ago I could tell a big part of the NRA was some kind of charade. I’m not saying I predicted the paths it would take, but I knew something bad was coming. At the same time, I found that the levels of pure faith in the NRA rivaled the religious faith of any church members. That, in the face of almost any objective evidence. If you will forgive the implied metaphor, gun rights advocates needed to be personally abused before they would believe any wrongdoing existed, and it took ever-fewer Words of Gospel to win back their hearts and minds if wrongdoing was detected.

    • Joe_in_Pitt says:

      “Gunnies have become moribund and their abdication of voting last election in Virginia , which turned a gun friendly state to unfriendly state.”

      Not to nitpick, but VA being an anti-gun state has less to do with gun owner apathy and more to do with demographics. You’ve had a solid two decades of both overwhelmingly immigrant-fueled population growth and massive federal government expansion in Northern Virginia. These are two groups of people (minorities and blue state transplants) who couldn’t care less about 2A rights. The tipping point for the state was reached most likely around the 2012 cycle and it’s not coming back.

      • Charlie Foxtrot says:

        The eventual results of the failure of the gun culture to reach out to immigrants and minorities! What Colion Noir and a few others accomplished was wiped out by Angry Dana and the NRA’s silence on questionable police shootings!

      • Andy B. says:

        “Not to nitpick, but VA being an anti-gun state has less to do with gun owner apathy and more to do with demographics.”

        I usually hate the argument I’m about to make, by what you are talking about may be a symptom that we’re shoveling shit against the tide.

        You can blame immigrants or whatever demographic you care to, but the bottom line is the culture is just changing, and the “gun culture” of 2020 bares little resemblance to the “gun culture” we Baby Boomers knew in 1960. Little of the culture does. As the borders of vestigial culture are driven back, you’ll see more Virginia-like scenarios everywhere.

        A common complaint among us Baby Boomers is that, try as we might have, our kids and grandkids just didn’t get into the contemporary gun culture the way we got into ours when we were their age. They can shoot, love it while they are doing it, be “naturals” at it, but it just doesn’t become a compulsion with them, the way it did with us.

        Take any cultural characteristic you care to, and you’ll find the same generational complaints throughout history. The kids just aren’t like they used to be.

        I often reflect that my grandparents brought no “gun culture” from Europe; but my father and uncles, as South Philly street kids, created one of their own, and later grew into the wider American gun culture of the 1940s through 1970s. I and my cousins were not able to project it into future generations.

        It sounds like I’m arguing for “surrender” but I want to believe I’m arguing for “reality”, which is usually a better place to start from if you’re seeking success.

        • RAH says:

          A lot of gun culture was based on hunting Boys were taught to to hunt and they did that a lot As we have diminished with the rural culture , hunting has dropped The new gunnies being more involved with self defense or gun clubs had been negative about hunters.

          • Andy B. says:

            “A lot of gun culture was based on hunting”

            True. My father and uncles as “street kids in South Philly” taught themselves hunting by heading “down The Neck”, to the marshy fields south of the city. I learned hunting as a kid in rural Bucks County, on the land my father had bought to pursue what he’d learned to love as a kid. Guns first had a practical use as tools for hunting, and slowly my love for the guns themselves, and their technology, grew from that.

            I have observed that in my day popular shooting games were mostly pure marksmanship, or they simulated hunting, as with trap and skeet. Pure marksmanship could apply to either military combat or hunting but most people were reinforced in it by hunting.

            It seems to me that the popular shooting games now lean toward simulating combat. That’s fine in itself, but unlike hunting, combat is not something most people get to engage in often, or want to, so there is not much “practical” reinforcement, and the total number of people involved in it is declining even if more people seem to be engaging in a particular sport at any given time. I also suspect it results in a different “culture” than what was represented by the old “hunting culture”. Without what I’ve called “practical reinforcement”, shooting games become just games, like bowling. With most games, unless people are pretty hot at them, they tend to drift away eventually. I was never a very good bowler, and I don’t think I’ve done it in 40 years.

            • Sebastian says:

              It’s also the fact that they are closer to a video game, which is how a lot of younger shooters came to the sport. Steel Shooting, for instance, hardly resembles combat. But it is more video game like.

        • Joe_in_Pitt says:

          I don’t necessarily disagree with your viewpoint on the generational differences in gun owners, we talk ad-nauseum about “Gun Culture 1.0” vs. “Gun Culture 2.0”, about how today’s generation of gun owners or “Instagram Operators” belittle “Fudds”, and all that. I’m a second generation immigrant as well, and yes, the concept of gun ownership and self defense with a firearm was quite foreign to my grandparents, until their son became a cop, gun owner, and started to enjoy going to the range.

          All I was saying in the case of VA, is that regardless of generation, if you have roughly 90% of any area’s net population growth from 2000-2020 (per the US census) come from immigrants who place no value on 2A rights due to their culture, don’t be surprised when the opposing side benefits from it electorally. I spent about 7 years in Northern VA and still own property there, and have been watching this transformation play out as counties I used to reside in which voted majority Republican just 5-10 years ago I can safely say most likely never will again.

          Charlie Foxtrot brought up the point about how while Colion Noir was accomplishing some visibility as a black gun owner, “Angry Dana” was cancelling that out with her shtick as the pissed off, gun-owning Karen. I’m not entirely sure how much any of those new generation of NRA spokespeople moved the needle in either direction, I’m willing to bet most of their audience were already NRA members or 2A types in general. I do think the point about the NRA’s lack of leadership and outreach to where it would really matter, in defending the rights of urban-dwelling minority gun owners is a very valid one. In some of the more recent high-profile cases, it was usually state-level organizations which did the heavy lifting.

          • Andy B. says:

            I just get nervous and start hearing dog-whistles when “immigrants” are blamed for “changes in the culture.” I start remembering that when my family moved to Bucks County in 1947 someone got up a petition to keep us out because we were “Polack Catholics from South Philadelphia.” We “immigrated” about 30 miles at the outside, but still were looked down on for it.

            But that said, I too regret the people who came en masse later and paved over the rural countryside that I once loved. Indirectly they were responsible for my first court/legal involvement with the RKBA, when I was arrested under an unconstitutional hunting ordinance; about a year after such ordinances were declared unconstitutional. Even though I prevailed, I got an insight into what a fraud our legal system is.

            I have no “oral history” at all from my Irish side, who came over in “Black ’47” but I know their (collective) presence was enough to inspire the formation of the “American Party”, aka the “Know-Nothings.”

            I’ve heard one gun-related story from my European grandfather; about seeing “The Wolf” and getting so excited he shot away his ramrod, and the wolf escaped. I have no gun stories at all from my Irish side, and they were outta there before the Young Islander Rebellion of 1848.

            History studied right always gives mixed emotions!

            • Joe_in_Pitt says:

              Yes, and I am not judging from afar whether the culture of any immigrant to an area (whether from a foreign country or a part of our own country with much different beliefs/values) is good or bad for that area in the long-term. Honestly that’s an issue for the people of that area to work out. I’m sure there are changes that immigrants/transplants bring to an area that are found to be enriching (say, an increase in products or services not normally found in that area). I’m just thinking out loud.

              Suburban sprawl and NIMBYism is certainly nothing new, but I feel that there has been a substantial shift in the mindsets of people who move to the exurbs of a city. In decades past, these were folks who wanted to escape the city (white flight) for less traffic, noise, and crime, and more space, etc.

              However, as in the case in Northern VA, the sheer cost of living in the inner-ring suburbs has people locating to the exurbs not because they strongly value what I mentioned above, but because it’s the only thing they can afford. These individuals want the amenities that the developed areas offer, and have the beliefs/values of your typical urban-dweller, but because they are in the more exurban areas, are in direct conflict with the longer-term residents. Very much to the points you are making.

              • Andy B. says:

                “These individuals want the amenities that the developed areas offer, and have the beliefs/values of your typical urban-dweller, but because they are in the more exurban areas, are in direct conflict with the longer-term residents.”

                I’m grinning while thinking “ain’t nuthin’ new under the sun.”

                The people “white flight” brought to Bucks County roughly 65 years ago wanted a postcard rural area, without any of the sights, smells, or sounds of a rural area. The anecdote I remember best is residents of a small development near us, combining to sue a local farmer because corn leaves from his fields blew onto their lawns. My father used to refer to them as “the mayors” — they moved in and immediately thought they were entitled to run things.

                In particular they were scared to death of gunfire. Relative to the municipal hunting ordinance which I eventually was arrested under and had overturned, I remember cops driving all over our property chasing hunters who were supposed to have permission notes from the landowners. I laid out nail traps for them, but it was a young kid’s effort that wasn’t successful that I know of.

                To go off on a bit of a tangent, the newbies also brought city policing with them, which my father testified was worse than anything he had experienced when he was actually an inner city kid in Philly, no better than a kid should be. But that’s a whole other subject, though my attitudes are still informed by it today.

              • Andy B. says:

                One thing I thought I should add — to be fair — is that the country mice were not averse to taking advantage of all the citified institutions the city mice put in place, if it seemed to be to their advantage.

                A local farmer installed one of his farm hands and his family in a house close to us, and they called the cops on us to complain about our shooting, all the time. For the record, we were properly respectful of hours and surrounding safety, always. It was just country courtesy.

                They kept calling the cops, but eventually moved away after someone put sugar in their gas tanks, several times in close succession.

  9. Richard says:

    The DoJ should have filed this suit for denial of civil rights under color of law. That is a criminal charge, not BS civil law. But that would require Bill Barr to be on our side.

    • Andy B. says:

      “The DoJ should have filed this suit for denial of civil rights under color of law.”

      I’m no lawyer, but there may be a question of “standing” there. Usually no one’s civil rights are denied until they are actually denied. So far the NY AG has only proposed what she intends to do as an extension of her suit. Once she takes the additional steps toward dissolution, would seem to be the time to file for a stay, and then possibly a countersuit as you suggest.

      • Sebastian says:

        DOJ has criminal jurisdiction under the various civil rights acts, including this one.

        • Charlie Foxtrot says:

          I am no lawyer either, but I think the question is, is merely filing a civil lawsuit by the state and going through court proceedings as part of due process on its own a criminal act or a violation of civil rights? Me thinks, NO! Is the lawsuit asking a court to violate the civil rights of NRA members? I don’t know, but the NRA organization’s counter lawsuit is putting the cart before the horse without having a verdict. Also, the NRA organization and NRA members are different entities in this case, so the NRA organization may not even have standing on its own. Hence my statement above: “The argument that the NRA can’t be sued by the state due to the 1st Amendment is rather ridiculous!”

        • Richard says:

          It is a clear attempt to chill 1A rights. The DoJ has jurisdiction.

  10. 399 says:

    Everyone appears to be assuming a Republican DOJ cares about the NRA or gun rights. Both were great campaign fundraisers for the last campaign, but that was the last campaign. Nostalgia doesn’t count for much in the world of politics.

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  12. Andy B. says:

    Did anyone here attend the “Sportsmen for Trump” kickoff rally in the Lehigh Valley yesterday?

    Two sources reported attendance of 250 and 300 people; a broadcast station and the Morning Call, respectively. I’m curious about the accuracy of the reporting.

    • 399 says:

      Some friends had an observer there and said there was nowhere near 250. Watch this MSM video that claims 250 but shows nothing that looks like it. Check out how empty the parking lot looks.

      • Andy B. says:

        Thanks. Ir’s what I suspected. The local MSM doesn’t want to piss off any locals, so in my experience exaggerates everybody’s crowds.

        Incidentally, I wish everyone wouldn’t talk at once. Look how quickly the “dissolution” issue became dead air.

    • Richard says:

      It would be the first time that the media has ever overestimated a conservative crowd. And, yes, the local media delights in pissing off their customers. They are better than us, after all.

      • Andy B. says:

        “It would be the first time that the media has ever overestimated a conservative crowd.”

        You could be right if you were talking about the national media. But, I’d submit you don’t get local media, who are more dependent on keeping as much of their community happy as they can. Over-estimating the crowd at a local political rally is something they regard as harmless and likely to win the affections of whatever faction is involved.

        For a case-in-point: Almost 30 years ago our local daily newspaper endorsed a county-level Libertarian Party candidate. Of course you may want to debate the “conservatism” of the LP, which liked to brand itself as “economically conservative and socially liberal” in those days, but the point is that while the candidate of course didn’t have the stuff to win, he was recognized as “well-liked”.

        I also can think of any number of fire-breathing “conservatives” who were total dopes, but were moneybags who could and did buy their local media’s constant attention by buying advertising space from them.

        • Richard says:

          Judging by my own very local media, they love nothing more than trashing the deplorables which are about 75% here. We elected a dead pimp to the legislature in 2018 but the local media is totally leftist.

          • Andy B. says:

            “Judging by my own very local media, they love nothing more than trashing the deplorables which are about 75% here.”

            My guess from a distance would be that your area doesn’t have many/any economic heavy-hitters among the deplorables.

            Around these parts, the MSM’s sympathies may lean leftist, but there is one moneybags owner of an athletic club, who spent $35,000 of his own money in 2016 campaigning just to be a Trump delegate to the RNC. They can’t kiss his ass enough.

            I saw the same phenomenon in the Lehigh Valley back in 2000. A total moron (coincidentally [?] also a health club owner), who would be classified “deplorable” today, but who was given boundless credibility because he threw money around. E.g., he would fly in conservative celebrities at his own expense to be guests on their local talk shows. What more could the MSM ask for?

            We used to hold meetings at his clubs, but he went bankrupt in the Crash of 2008.

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