*** NRA Board Election Endorsements for 2009 ***

Bitter and I are happy to endorse the following candidates for election or re-election to the Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association. There are plenty of other candidates who are worthy out there, and you get 25 votes, but we felt we needed to narrow the field for our endorsements. We’d ask the blogging and blog reading community to vote for our six candidates.

  • Scott Bach
    When most gun owners have given up on New Jersey, Scott has stayed to fight. He defends gun owners regardless of their interest – .50 caliber bans, bear hunters, collectors who want the freedom to buy more than one gun a month, and many more.Scott is the President of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, the state organization leading the fight for gun rights in the Garden State. He’s an attorney who has used his skills and network to defend both the First & Second Amendment. When a public school was caught sending home anti-gun literature, he sued to mandate that pro-gun literature be honored in the same way. When NY/NJ Port Authority police locked up a Utah man for lawfully traveling with firearms, Bach put the resources of ANJRPC to work to sue the officials who unlawfully arrested him in violation of federal protections. Through ANJRPC, Scott also works with competitive shooters and manages a large shooting range. Their member clubs have trained Olympic shooters. He is also a member of state groups in seven other states, actively supporting their efforts with what he has learned from the political and cultural fights to preserve gun rights in New Jersey.On the new media front, Scott has been very active in reaching out to bloggers and launched his own blog on the Star-Ledger’s website to counter the anti-gun Bryan Miller. He did an interview for the Blog Bash site last year to discuss his thoughts on how new media can be leveraged to advance Second Amendment rights and develop the shooting sports. He notes that the ANJRPC range may have been the first in the country to offer its members free wifi in the clubhouse.

    See Scott’s interview with Sebastian here.

  • Robert Brown
    Brown is the well-known publisher of Soldier of Fortune magazine. He has a distinguished military career, and is currently a very active member of the NRA Board. More importantly for purposes of this endorsement, he’s also a vocal advocate in the leadership for new media publishers.During the Second Amendment Blog Bash in Louisville, Brown joined The Outdoor Channel for a reception and brought along complimentary copies of the magazine for bloggers and readers alike. At the following board meeting in September, he used his position on the Legislative Policy Committee to question ILA’s Chris Cox about their work with bloggers, encouraging them to work more closely with the group and applauding their efforts thus far. He was clear that this medium of reaching out to the most outspoken of the grassroots could be an important tool for the organization, a view we clearly support.In other interesting SOF/new media news, it appears that the magazine’s website is run using WordPress.
  • Edie Reynolds
    Our political debate on gun rights will no longer be relevant if there is no shooting culture. Competitive shooting and outreach programs will make sure that Americans maintain at least a basic understanding of firearms, and give them a glimpse of how fun responsible gun ownership can be.Reynolds is an outspoken advocate of competitive shooting and walks the walk as an active coach and recruiter to the sports. She has been a certified rifle instructor for more than 30 years and served as assistant rifle coach at North Carolina State University from 1974 to 2000, as well as a rifle counselor at a girls’ summer camp in Vermont. She also serves as the Youth Development Director of the Amateur Trap Association, and her focus on the board has been on programs designed to get women and young people involved in hunting and competitive shooting. Edie started shooting competitively in 1966 and is a five-time Women’s National Champion in Smallbore Prone and holds numerous other shooting titles.The work of folks like Edie cannot be taken for granted. Edie Reynolds deserves your vote for the Board of Directors.

    See Edie’s interview with Sebastian here.

  • Steve Hornady
    This is a rather unique endorsement in that we don’t have specific new media citations or close personal experience. What we do have is the opinion of other trusted leaders who have repeatedly noted that Steve Hornady has been known to ask very good questions, and not be a rubber stamp board member when issues need to be discussed. It shouldn’t be shocking since Hornady has been involved with the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Wildlife Management Institute, Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Foundation, and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation leadership over the years. In the past, Hornady has served on the Publications Policies, Public Affairs and Membership Committees.Board members who ask intelligent and thoughtful questions, who aren’t afraid to challenge others for the good of the organization, are a valuable resource. And based on what we have heard about Steve’s experience, we believe he should remain on the board.
  • Joe DeBergalis
    Joe DeBergalis is a career law enforcement professional fighting for gun rights in New York as Vice-President of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. He’s also a competitive shooter in pistol, rifle, and shotgun sports, as well as a certified instructor.DeBergalis has put his background to good use by serving on the Education & Training Committee and Law Enforcement Assistance Committee of the Board. He’s no slacker politically, either. He’s the Election Volunteer Coordinator for 8 New York Congressional Districts and the District of Columbia. In addition to his political work for the NRA, he’s bridging gaps in the community by serving as a member of the Government Affairs Committee of Safari Club International while also being an active AR15.com participant.While his website lists dozens of memberships, it’s worth noting his work in New York, and not just because it’s a challenging state. Other pro-gun leaders in the state have heaped praise on Joe for his efforts there, and I suspect that gun owners in his home state will see him around for years to come.

    See Joe’s interview with Sebastian here.

  • Ronnie Barrett
    Barrett’s activism and rifles are known far and wide, so he is not likely in need of an endorsement to turn out votes. However, he’s worth highlighting on the ballot for several reasons. First, his strong positions against further gun control should be rewarded. Even when he could continue to make money serving law enforcement officials who buy enjoy his products, but try to ban them from civilian ownership, he very publicly refuses them. He has called on the industry to follow his lead, and it would be nice if others would.Second, his outspoken nature may prove useful for the NRA Board of Directors. He’s a bit of a renegade in the industry, and hopefully he could bring that to a board in need of a little infusion of energy every once in a while. It would appear that he would not necessarily accept the status quo at face value, which, when tempered with more senior members of the board with more institutional experience, can be a healthy mix.Oh yeah, and he’s a time traveler.