Mau-Mauing the NRA

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Perhaps I spent too much time in my formative years listening to conversations between my father and his various friends in the CIA, absorbing a thin layer of information about the intricate web-spinning that is the world of intelligence. One of the things I learned, albeit perhaps not expressed in precisely these words, was: always look beyond the obvious.

I am proud to say I am and have been a life member of the National Rifle Association for close to forty years. I am also a member of the more radical Gun Owners of America and I send money to other pro-Second Amendment organizations as well.

Doubtless you have heard about the internal brouhaha that has disrupted the National Rifle Association just as it has its annual convention. There have been accusations and counter-accusations, threats and counter-threats, ultimatums and ugly rumors, and a lot of negative publicity. All of it comes at a time when the NRA is especially needed. The progressive socialist left is becoming more and more the aggressive anti-gun socialist left, fighting for a disarmed America. Unconstitutional legislation is being proposed on both coasts, so unconstitutional that even the anti-gun American Civil Liberties Union has sided with the NRA in its lawsuit against New York Mobster-in-Chief Andrew Cuomo.

And all this brouhaha comes on the heels of the recently convicted redheaded Russian spy who apparently tried to cozy up to the NRA (as well as many other conservative groups and individuals in Washington), leading to gleefully inaccurate media reports accusing the NRA of “colluding with Russia,” reports that were even less honest and less accurate than those about President Trump colluding with Russia.

Always look beyond the obvious. My first reaction to all this was to think that if I were on the Board of Directors at the NRA, or if I were one of the higher-up employees there, I would quietly and discreetly institute an internal intelligence-study, because all of this smacks very much of dirty tricks. I’m talking about the kinds of dirty tricks national intelligence agencies routinely play on each other, the kinds of dirty tricks the Russians successfully did play on us during the 2016 election: fomenting discord, sowing seeds of distrust, spreading misinformation, planting outrageous-but-plausible lies in the media, hinting at bigger and darker things yet to be revealed. “If you only knew what I know, what I heard, what I saw. It’s so terrible I can’t even bring myself to tell you, but…” Doing all those things that can cause a company or a country to self-destruct.

I would also ask myself who stands to benefit from all this infighting. Is there money to be made? Who stands to benefit internally? Who stand to benefit outside the NRA? Has one of the anti-gun organizations planted a mole to pass on information and disrupt when and where possible?

Perhaps I’m overly paranoid, but I remember the conversations around my childhood dining table, and I can’t help but think that what works at the international level can work just as well at the corporate level. If it should turn out to be nothing more than internal squabbling for personal reasons, then shame on the NRA, shame on Wayne LaPierre and shame on Oliver North.

I shall continue to support the NRA in any case.

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8 thoughts on “Mau-Mauing the NRA”

    1. I had missed that. Thank you for sending it. There is another excellent breakdown on “Ammoland” called “Four thoughts on the NRA Controversy, by Harold Hutchinson. I recommend it.

  1. …Herr Parker, eine kleine Frage habe ich (bitte verweisen Sie mich nicht auf die Suche im Internet) …nun zu meiner Frage …was sind die Vorteile und Nachteile einer Mitgliedschaft in der NRA , was sind die Unterschiede zwischen der “NRA” und der radikaleren “Gun Owners of America” ? Wieviele verschiedene Organisationen gibt es in dieser Rubrik ? … ich entschuldige mich für meine “naiven” Fragen, aber ich habe leider keinen Einblick/Durchblick in diese Organisationen…ich wünsche allen einen angenehmen Tag … viele Grüße Manuela

  2. Dear JP,
    You know much more about this issue than I do and so I have a few questions.
    1. Does it make any sense that the NRA is headquartered in New York and not a state like Texas that might provide a more friendly environment or, for that matter, Virginia where they would have better access to DC which is where most of their attention is focused anyway?
    2. Since Iran/Contra I have always looked upon North as Reagan’s G. Gordon Liddy. Does it strike you as odd that after Oliver North enters the fray that he is followed by the “kinds of dirty tricks national intelligence agencies routinely play on each other”? Does it really?
    3. Why stick with Ackerman-McQueen whose expertise is clearly in marketing to people that are already pro 2nd amendment? And if they are so good at PR then why do so many people on both sides of the gun issue have such low opinions of them? In the corporate world I liken PR firms to a head of HR or Sales, their number one job is for everyone in the organization to like them. Wouldn’t it be better to find some new blood that might help the NRA move beyond its current circle of influence?
    PS The person who handles your website might look to move the check box for ” Yes, add me to your mailing list” as it in the middle of the page and I have missed it several times.

    1. The NRA was founded (in 1871) in New York and after all these years, the legal ramifications of changing the state of incorporation would be daunting, to say the least. Their physical headquarters is in Virginia, just outside the nation’s capital, to facilitate their doing (in the words of a friend of mine who used to work for the NRA) “the Lord’s work in the devil’s town.)
      I have, and have always had, reservations about Mr. North. What really happened, and who is the good guy and who the bad, or if there is even a good guy and/or a bad guy, I have no idea and will probably never know. And perhaps such shakeups are inevitable, even positive, every few years. Let’s hope so.
      As for “marketing to people who are already pro-2nd Amendment”: The problem–and why there is so much virulent anti-gun sentiment in our country today–is that America’s demographics have changed radically since WWII, even since the sixties/seventies. It used to be a kid could bicycle to school with his shotgun or rifle across the handlebars and hand the gun to the principal to keep until he could hunt his way home after school. A kid walking along a road with a gun over his shoulder was presumed to be hunting. Today, such things would bring a SWAT team into play. The mass migration from rural to urban has created several generations of people who have no firsthand knowledge of firearms, and for whom firearms are scary, threatening things. We always fear that which we do not know. So if you have an entire segment of the population who are ignorant and fearful in the presence of guns, how do you change that? The only effective way I know of is to invite someone to try their hand at the range with you. Ninety-nine percent of non-gunners who go out with an experienced shooter end up having the time of their lives. Some of them take up the sport, but almost all of them begin to realize the truth of shooting and shooting sports. How does an ad agency or marketing firm target those anti-gunners who never even cross paths with a shooter, and who believe whatever the NY Times or the Washington Post tell them? I haven’t figure that one out. Did Ackerman-McQueen do good? I presume so, but I don’t know the ins and outs of that.

      1. I think the NRA is fighting the wrong battle, even when the members are not fighting each other. People in large cities see little sense in the right to bear arms, and most people live in large cities, so fighting all efforts to restrict this right anywhere in USA will fail in the long run – that’s how democracy works. Instead, the fight should be to modify laws to keep the restrictions in major cities only – for example, try to make a restrictive gun law in New York State cover New York City and suburbs only, but leave the rural counties in upstate New York alone.

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