Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Yesterday, the New York Times had this story on some of the NRA Board questioning what the Times referred to as “Incendiary Videos” that are produced by the ad company used by NRA and posted on the NRATV streaming web site.  At the heart of the piece is the ongoing saga of the financial position NRA finds itself in the Trump era, and what role NRATV has played in it.

Fifteen years ago, NRA created NRANews, a response to the McCain/Feingold campaign finance law that prohibited certain paid political speech, but gave a monopoly to media outlets through an exemption in the law.   Portions of the law were later ruled unconstitutional.

NRA rolled out the web based talk program called Cam and Company, featuring Cam Edwards, at it’s 2004 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh and for three hours a day, they streamed the program on the web as well as aired live on satellite radio.  Over the course of the 15 years, the program aired at different times, originally from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, moving to 9:00 PM to midnight to accommodate satellite radio, then back to the 2:00 – 5:00 pm time slot when Sirius XM decided to air the program on tape delay.  During this time they also started making the program available by podcast and also made it available on ITunes and later IHeart Radio.  This meant that fans could listen to the program at their convenience and did not have to be near a computer to hear it live.

The program featured a mix of all things gun news and also covered conservative politics, as elected supporters of gun rights became more Republican and supporters among Democratic elected officials, at least at the national level, continued to dwindle.  It was also a vehicle to bring events like the Shot Show, NRA Annual Meetings, and the new Great American Outdoor show to people that may not have the ability to intend in person.

As the politics of gun rights changed, so too did the NRANews web site.  Besides airing Cam and Company, it also started to produce programing like Noir featuring YouTube gun aficionado Colion Noir, Love at First Shot – a program aimed at the growing number of women shooters, and promotional videos aimed at increasing membership.  While no one could accuse Edwards of being “incendiary” – he’s one of the nicest people you could meet – the mainstream media and gun ban supporters more and more began to criticize the “promotional videos” that way.  Late last year, amid reporting of cut backs at NRA, NRATV abruptly stopped airing Cam and Company and let some longtime staff go.  A revamped Cam and Company began airing again in January 2019 – a 30 minute program at 5:30 that leads into Dana Loesch’s 6:00 PM program.

The Times article notes that NRA provided the critiques from two prominent board members, including former NRA President Marion Hammer:

Since the founding of NRATV, some, including myself and other board members, have questioned the value of it,” Marion Hammer, the group’s most formidable lobbyist and a key adviser to its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, said in a statement. “Wayne has told me and others that NRATV is being constantly evaluated — to make sure it works in the best interest of the organization and provides an appropriate return on investment.

Another Board Member,  Willes Lee of Virginia, said this:

It is clear to me that NRATV is an experiment and Wayne is evaluating the future of the enterprise,” Willes K. Lee, a board member who leads the N.R.A. Outreach Committee, said in a statement to The Times.

When NRANews transformed and first launched as NRATV, it could be viewed as the NRA entering the streaming arena, making it’s broader television programming – reruns of hunting and gun shows that had aired on Outdoor Channel – more readily available, in addition to the Cam and Company program.   It also became a vehicle to push out more political programming.

This observer believes there is some value to NRATV – the continued airing of Cam and Company as well as programming like Love at First Shots which features World Champion Shooter  Julie Golob.  It will be up to the Board to determine if NRATV can continue in a cost effective manner.

 

The Richmond Times Dispatch had this Op/Ed by Lori Haas, the Virginia director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and mother of a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech Shooting.  In the opinion piece, she says that Virginia Republicans have lost every state wide election since 2009 because they refuse to consider gun control, and that the NRA isn’t the legislative force that it used to be:

I’ve watched year after year as members of the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee have routinely ignored the pleas of gun violence survivors and prevention advocates by defeating popular, commonsense gun reform proposals.

It has become a disgusting and ludicrous ritual: the public pleads for change, subcommittee chairman Tommy Wright holds a moment of silence, and then the bill is defeated without further debate.

But the political landscape is changing. It’s been a long while since a National Rifle Association (NRA)-endorsed candidate has won a statewide election in Virginia.

In fact, by the time the commonwealth’s Senate and House of Delegates elections are held next year, it will have been a decade since an NRA-backed statewide candidate in Virginia has given a victory speech.

This is a dramatic shift — especially in the NRA’s home state. But it’s not necessarily surprising; Virginians are sick and tired of daily gun violence in their communities. The majority of Americans — including most gun owners — support stronger gun laws. It’s the people versus the NRA, and the people are winning.

While the gun lobby’s influence is withering, the gun violence prevention (GVP) movement in Virginia is stronger than it has ever been.

 

She goes on to detail that three pro-gun U.S. Representatives were defeated by women who were loud gun control supporters.  While I only saw the ads in one of the districts (VA 7th), other than Jennifer Wexton in the 10th, who had a long history of supporting gun control in the General Assembly, I don’t know that simply talking about it on your web site qualifies as being loud supporters.  Yes, they were all supported by the gun control groups but there were no gun control ads run for or by Abigail Spanberger in the 7th District and believe me, and I saw a lot of Spanberger ads during the campaign.

Yes, the demographics of Virginia are changing.  That just means that pro-rights supporters need to be proactive in our efforts to reach out to those folks and be smarter about our advocacy.  It doesn’t mean that we abandon the most effective pro-rights organization in the country.

Townhall.com reports that a group of 11 Catholic groups have come together to purchase stock in Smith & Wesson. The group purchased 200 shares, the minimum number required to for shareholders to demand reports from the company.  Now, they want the gun manufacturer to provide a report that details what the company is doing to promote “gun safety measures” and “produce safer gun and gun products” like they did at a Ruger stockholders meeting earlier this year at a company stockholder meeting.

James Debney, the President and CEO of American Outdoor Brands Corporation, the parent company of Smith & Wesson responded:

“Unlike a bonafide investor, this proponent purchased just 200 shares, the bare minimum needed under SEC rules to place an item on the proxy with the sole objective to push an anti-firearms agenda, designed to harm our company, disrupt the local sale of our products and destroy stockholder value,” Debney said Thursday during a conference call with investors, Guns.com reported. “This proponent will gladly sacrifice its investments and yours to achieve its political objectives.”

Last night, Second Amendment Attorney Guy Relford talked with NRATV’s Dana Loesch about this latest move by the gun ban lobby to attack our rights.

 

In the category of stupid gun ban advocates we have Chuck Schumer bloviating about the dangers of guns from 3D printers in the aftermath of the Department of Justice’s settlement with Defense Distributed.  NRA-ILA has the story about Schumer here:

Everybody knows you never go full semiautomatic. That is, except Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his anti-gun comrades.

On July 22, the Senate minority leader decided to fear-monger about homemade 3D-printed firearms following a Justice Department settlement that will permit firearm schematics to be more readily shared online. Wailing that “America is going to get a lot less safe,” Schumer claimed that such firearms “are not only scary, they’re outright dangerous in the way they can mimic the look and the capacity of a hardened, fully semiautomatic weapon.”

Of course, as NRA-ILA pointed out, there is no such thing as “fully semi-automatic weapon”.  What an idiot!

Well at least Bank of America and Citi Bank.  Bank of America has announced they will no longer provide funding to companies that manufacture so-called “assault rifles.”  Citi Bank made a similar statement.  Wells Fargo for their part has not buckled under to the protests of the gun ban crowd.

Congressman Rob Wittman represents Virginia’s 1st District. He attended the 2017 Congressional Shoot-Out, presented each year by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. He is proud of the fantastic shooting, hunting and fishing opportunities in his district.  He talks about the importance of getting young people outdoors to expose them to hunting and the shooting sports. Preserving those and Second Amendment rights require that people exercise them, and have a great time while they are doing so. Originally aired on Cam & Co 05/17/17.

Apparently, gone are the days when Democrat candidates for Governor in Virginia try to appeal to gun owners to get elected.  Remember when then candidate Mark Warner had outdoor enthusiast Sherry Crumley and strategist Mudcat Sanders help him build “Sportsmen for Warner”?  He successfully ran away from his past of strong support for three-day waiting periods for the purchase of firearms, opposition to shall issue concealed carry, support for the Clinton gun ban, and successfully kept the NRA from openly endorsing his Republican opponent.  He went on to sign 17 substantive pro-rights bills while Governor, had no vetoes, and earned an “A” rating from the NRA in his 2008 U.S. Senate Race.

Even Tim Kaine, who used taxpayer money to send buses of supporters to the 2000 “Million Mom March” as Mayor of Richmond, tried to reach out to gun owners and reassure them he was not supportive of new gun control.  His term for Governor was not as friendly to gun owners as Warner’s as he vetoed several good bills that gun owners would have to wait for Governor Bob McDonnell to sign.

Terry McAuliffe, began the move away from appealing to gun owners, though seemed to think touting his purchase of a shotgun early in the 2013 campaign meant he supported firearm freedom.

This year, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam and former Congressman Tom Perriello are falling all over themselves to be the most anti-rights candidate.  Perriello has completely flip flopped on his position related to firearm freedom where he was endorsed by the NRA in 2010, only to now call them a  “nut-job extremist organization.”  UVA political scientist Larry Sabato told NBC News recently that Northam may actually be to the left of Perriello on guns and other issues.

This election is vitally important to Virginia gun owners.  The individual elected this November will sign into law the next legislative redistricting maps.  If the next Governor is anti-rights, you can be sure he will demand a redistricting map that will help elect more candidates that are supportive of his position on key issues.  Those maps will be law for 10 years.  Virginia gun owners must get involved now to elect pro-rights candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and the House of Delegates.  In the case of the Governor’s race, that most assuredly will not be a Democrat.

Remember back in 2014 when Bloomberg promised to spend $25 million in the mid-term elections to defeat pro-rights candidates and push gun bans?  The NRA responded with a campaign of its own:

2014juliegolab

Well, Bloomberg is back again with another promise to spend $25 million to defeat National Concealed Carry Reciprocity.  Politico has the story here:

Everytown for Gun Safety, founded and funded by the billionaire former New York City mayor, is hiring several new top staffers and turning much of its attention to state legislatures, while moving to a defensive posture in Washington as it tries to stop what’s known as “concealed carry reciprocity” from becoming law. That will include starting to score Congressional votes, like the NRA does, to guide spending decisions more directly.

Don’t be surprised to see Bloomberg get involved in Virginia’s state-wide elections this year.  In 2015, Bloomberg spent over $3 million on two state senate races, winning one and losing the other, trying to switch the Virginia Senate to an anti-rights majority.  With current Governor Terry McAuliffe having vetoed every substantive piece of pro-rights legislation over the last four years, Bloomberg is likely to spend heavily to keep the Virginia Governor’s office in the hands of an anti-rights occupant.

Urban folks, feed on constant recitations of fears, out number and out vote us by many millions.  We cannot buy a mail order firearm because we were told, and almost everyone believes, that JFK was killed by a $20 mail order war surplus M39 Carano infantry rifle.  So sellers ship to licensed dealers who comply with BATF requirements.  You can still purchase a long gun in your and an adjacent state over the counter but firearms that look like the military M-14 (like Armalite Rifle model 15s) are further regulated.  Mine is a CMP program rifle, H-bar, no flash suppressor or bayonet lug, so it’s OK.

Below is where Maryland is along the path to registration and disarmament.  Handguns, that can’t be bought out of state, are seen as an important street crime problem.  To promote public safety a state issued Handgun Qualification License (HQL) has been legislated into being.  Without an HQL dealers don’t spend much time with you.  To get one you need to:

  • Log into the Maryland State Police licensing portal (website) and create an account.
  • From your driver’s license, tell them everything you know they already know about you.
  • Have a document that shows you have received firearms training or shows that you have served in the armed forces and been honorably discharged (DD214) or an ID showing that you are on active duty. Scan and upload these documents to your MSP account.
  • Pass the many question (OMB 1140-0020 part 1) test… have you murdered anyone or been indicted for same, are you a drug attic, are you under a court order concerning chasing women at night?
  • Get finger printed. Take $60 (paper money) to Maryland State Police; U of M campus police works but call to find a proper time for them.  Gun shops have a list of finger printers.  This includes the FBI background check.
  • Keep checking the MSP web site. When all the wickets have been checked off it will ask for $50.
  • Wait a few weeks for them to make the little laminated card the size of your driver’s license.
  • You now need a 10 digit number and a 4 digit PIN so log on again and fill in a 77R, the same BATF questions to which the state has added questions about your sanity. The numbers get e-mailed to you and posted to your MSP account that the dealer will access.  They allow you to purchase one handgun.  In 30 days you can apply for another set.  I’ve been told (hearsay) that five’s the limit.
  • Go buy your hand gun. In a week they’ll send you an e-mail telling you that you can take it
  • And, yes, there’s still a $10 fee for something.

Clearly, this is a model that other states’ gun banners will wish to imitate, but as it discriminates against citizens with limited access to computers, needed skills, or our language, might we get the ACLU to join us in attempting to recover our obstructed right to participate in a militia?  Don’t wait up!

The night I took my PT1911 home robbers smashed into a Maryland shop and took 24 handguns and 7 rifles.  A much more efficient process.  Of course there is a solution to that process: only sell firearms in state police armories (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tue-Sat) manned by cheap (no state benefits) contract clerks.  Profits to be used to support public safety programs.

I’m not going to like the future.  Have a nice day.

F. J. Wiley, III

(Editors note: The author, F.J. Wiley, III, resides in Catonsville, Maryland and owns a farm in Madison County, Virginia.  The original submission has been edited for length and content.  The views expressed are those of the author)

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Does the Second Amendment mean something different today than it did when our great nation was born? In the premiere episode of The DL, “The Truth About the Second Amendment,” Dana Loesch introduces her new NRATV series and is joined by NRA personalities and gun rights advocates to examine the enduring and fundamental meaning of the Second Amendment, despite what you might hear from the mainstream media.