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Lobby Day Logistics for Virginians

VCDL is getting the word out. I really hope my concern about this is severely misplaced. A strong rally can help stave off the worst. But it has to be an epic showing, and nothing can go wrong.

The January 20 Protest

I’m very sorry to say that I can’t find much to argue with here.

But hey, maybe I’m all wrong, and it will be a Kumbaya love-fest between pro-gun 2A boomers arriving with their CCW pistols, Antifas from Redneck Revolt and The John Brown Gun Club with their shields and clubs (and guns?), actual neo-Nazi “accelerationist” idiots, lefty trolls dressed as Nazis, the Bloomberg “Everytown” gun grabbers, climate change activists, pro-life and pro-choice groups, the Richmond Police, the VSP, the FBI, the ATF, and all the other Lobby Day participants. What could possibly go wrong? (Not to mention that FBI and VSP super-high-res crowd scanning cameras will capture every face and cell phone interaction for social network analysis and future use.)

Except he’s a lot more optimistic about the Courts fixing things for us than I am. I’m hoping to be proved wrong. The crowd in Richmond on the 13th was peaceful. So has the sanctuary movement been. But there’s going to be a lot of assholes who will show up to cause trouble, and he’s right that VCDL isn’t going to stop them from showing up.

Why Would Young People Join?

The Trace is reporting a startling statistic about people who are donating to NRA-PVF. NRA is lead by a septuagenarian (Wayne turns 70 today! Happy Birthday Wayne! My dad is 70 too, but unlike you, he retired 8 years ago) who hasn’t done a damned thing to appeal to younger shooters. “OK Boomer” is a meme absolutely made for the NRA under Wayne.

NRA needs to update its image. Really, they needed to do it a decade ago. Time is running out. I suspect NRA is facing the same demographic cliff my club is looking at in a decade, and for the same reason: nothing was done to cater to younger shooters for years. The Angry Dana Strategy was a waste of time. They would have done better to flush all that money down the toilet. Anger does not appeal to younger people. Anger appeals to old farts with nothing better to do than get themselves worked up on social media.

For years NRA has not at all played to their strengths. They trashed their own training programs for the Carry Guard debacle. They’ve deemphasized outreach to shooting communities and don’t focus on growing them. That should be NRA’s bread and butter. Political power will follow from that. But instead we’re bleeding NRA dry to cover for Wayne’s past sins.

San Francisco Backs Down

This isn’t the huge victory NRA is making it out to be. Precedent is well-established, and San Francisco City Council has already achieved their primary objective:

Win a Second Amendment case, or the case against Cuomo, and make him pay personally, I’ll be a lot more impressed. Speaking of the Supreme Court, it was always my impression that the person who had the relationship with Paul Clement was Chris. Are we going to use Clement in any upcoming case? I hope NRA still has access to him. But in this day of Bill Brewer being NRA’s everything attorney, I won’t be surprised if it’s not Clement up there arguing for us.

This is a Good Thing

Apparently the National African American Gun Association is thriving. Wayne is out of touch with younger shooters (and by younger, at this point, I mean anyone under 50), and he’s bitterly clinging to his EVP role despite the fact that he’s a few months away from becoming a septuagenarian. So I’m going to be a lot more supportive of groups that are reaching gun owners the NRA has no ability or even interest in reaching. Like African American shooters, or, you know, younger shooters.

Speaking of younger shooters…. I feel like Chris Cox and his inner circle got the typical Gen X treatment. It’s the curse of our generation. Gen Xers are utterly powerless: sandwiched between the much larger Boomer and Millennial cohorts. We’ll never be in charge of anything. The Boomers are going to pass that shit right to the Millennials, then spend their twilight years posting memes on Facebook about how they’re ruining the country.

So good on NAAGA. I hope they continue to grow.

Brain Drain

The brain drain continues, with news that David Lehman is out.

Lobbying is a very personal thing, and I believe it’s a talent, like sales, since it’s really a species of sales. Not everyone is going to be good at it. I wouldn’t be good at it.

These folks are not easily replaced. I’ve spent enough time around Wayne, even in closed off events, to think he always looks awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe he’s better at being a lobbyist than he is at being a public figure. I certainly hope so. But I’m really not encouraged by this article that indicates LaPierre signaled to NRA members he had the White House under control and the White House balked at it.

This is not good. I can’t really adequately express how effed I think we are.

Losing Ground Among Gun Owners

Latest Fox News poll, which is being touted by The Trace and no doubt being put in front of lawmakers too, shows NRA has lost ground in approval among gun owners. That’s going to be spun as gun owners coming around to gun control. That’s a lie, but that’s how it’s going to be spun, and the FAANG corporations will do their level best to make sure we can’t get our message out. We all know the reason for this drop is the utter chaos reigning at NRA.

NRA’s high favorables have always been one of its strongest assets. Wayne is pissing that away as we speak. I don’t know how, at this point, any member of the NRA Board can argue with credibility that Wayne can be allowed to remain EVP. He’s got to go. You have to restore confidence.

The time for that was yesterday. Wayne should have retired in 2016 when Trump was elected, we had the House, and things were looking about as good as they were going to get.

People who knew NRA well knew there were a lot of problems like this for a long time, but we also knew the NRA was still working pretty effectively and that fixing the problem would be more painful than letting it continue. We’re all complicit. It’s not just Wayne. But it has to be fixed now. The person primarily responsible for this mess is still running the show. That can’t stand.

I Wish My Employer Would Buy Me a House

I’d even settle for a measly $400k house. I was willing to look past the suits and the travel. That was a nothing burger. But this isn’t. I get that the EVP of NRA is going to have security concerns, and that work is the primary driver of those concerns. So I’d be OK with a housing allotment to deal with security issues at any home the EVP owns. But our membership dollars should not be buying the EVP a house outright. Also, why Dallas?

I’ll be completely honest with you, if NRA buying Wayne a $6MM house in Dallas would convince him to retire, I’d say it’s a deal.

Perceived Weakness

He’s right, you know. I should just note that my beef is with Wayne, not the NRA, it’s mission, or it’s position against banning private transfers. If Trump wants to be a one termer, cross us. Absent guns, I have no reason to show up to the polls to vote for Republicans. None.

Need More Coffee…

Today’s starting out with a bang. A little too much bang before coffee was made, in my opinion.

Google has shut down John Richardson’s blog for the time being, claiming that he sells a regulated product. He doesn’t. He simply offers commentary on political issues that Google doesn’t support. Here’s his Twitter account for those interested in keeping up while he’s down.

More drama comes out of the NRA & AckMac lawsuits with accusations about Wayne supposedly wanting a $6 million mansion in the Dallas area funded by AckMac who would then bill NRA, according to WaPo. NRA says it was all AckMac’s idea. Honestly, I don’t trust either one and can easily see either party (or both!) being responsible for proposing for this kind of crap when the organization was already struggling financially.

I’m seriously considering offering some very sarcastic commentary on the house they were considering for Wayne & Susan. I really can’t stand fake old houses – those done in the style of older homes, but that are brand new and ridiculously furnished so far removed from what they were supposed to be inspired by. (There’s seating for 6-8 people surrounding the master bathtub. Questions, I have them.) Between my efforts to focus on positive things and lack of time, I’m going to resist for now. For now; I have screenshots in case I change my mind.

And then there’s the news that NRA and its Foundation are being sued by one of their big donors today. And that gets more interesting coming not long after the rumor that the board and other leaders lost their insurance to cover such situations. They are still indemnified, so NRA is picking up the tab no matter what the insurance situation is today. But since the Board has decided to fight indemnification for Oliver North, it’s pretty easy to understand why the best move for some was to resign since chances are good with that the board would make the same moves against anyone outside of the inner circle.

So, yeah, I think it’s time for more coffee. Or just maybe move straight to whiskey today. Either way, it’s a better way to get through the afternoon.

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