2nd Amend. Action Committee Warns Against Current NRA Leadership

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2nd Amend. Action Committee
Warns Against Current NRA Leadership

From: "Weldon Clark" Save Address Block Sender
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Subject: NRA Election to Determine Your Gun Rights
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 19:30:19 -0500

NRA Election to Determine Your Gun Rights

Neal Knox, Chairman
Bill Davis, Secretary-Treasurer

465 Riverhill Drive, N.W.,
Atlanta, Georgia 30328-3718
Phone:(404)256-2334 FAX: (404)250-1446
February 14, 2000

e-mail Neal@NealKnox.com

Dear NRA Voting Member,

While Bill Clinton and Al Gore were making a frontal attack on gun rights, a subtle, equally dangerous infringement of the Second Amendment was being proposed from an unexpected quarter:

"First, we believe in absolutely gun- free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America's schools, period ... with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel.

"We believe America's schools should be as safe as America's airports. You can't talk about, much less take, bombs and guns onto airplanes. Such behavior in our schools should be prosecuted...."

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne R. LaPierre, Jr., made those damaging statements during his nationally televised speech at the Denver NRA Members Meeting May 1.

All across the country, school boards and state legislators are doing precisely what LaPierre suggested: shutting down school riflery programs, prohibiting historical firearms displays, forbidding hunter safety training with unloaded guns, and banning gun possession by teachers and other adults with carry licenses.

LaPierre said NRA "believes in no unsupervised youth access to guns, period. We have always supported holding adults responsible for willfully and recklessly allowing access to firearms."

By his standards, our parents were reckless for deciding we could be trusted to "access" the family guns - or hunt or shoot alone with our own guns. We don't need laws prohibiting parents from allowing responsible teenagers to possess firearms.

LaPierre also blessed gun show background checks by saying: "We will consider instant checks at gun shows when, and only when, this Administration stops (charging for NICS checks) and stops illegally compiling the records of millions of lawful gun buyers."

The next day President Charlton Heston flatly said on ABC "This Week" that he was "in favor" of gun show background checks.

Within six weeks, gun show background checks and "youth gun access" bans - had been approved by both houses of Congress!

When the NRA Board met two days after LaPierre's speech, I challenged his description of "NRA policies" and was told his speech could be considered only in secret "executive session."

It was a secret session, so I can't tell you what was said. However, the minutes show the Board took no action -- making them NRA policies by default.

I'll guarantee you one thing: Had it not been for the defeat of Second Amendment Action Directors in the last three elections -- engineered by LaPierre and his supporters -- he would not have been allowed to make such statements or establish such NRA policies.

It isn't pleasant to tell you these things. As NRA-ILA Director in 1980, I put LaPierre in charge of NRA Congressional lobbying, and helped elect him EVP when I was elected to the Board in 1991. I made a terrible mistake.

Under the NRA Bylaws, the Board of Directors -- not the Executive Vice President -- sets NRA policies. And NRA policies and actions will determine the future of our gun rights.

That's why it is critical that you elect Directors who are both dedicated and knowledgeable, and who will not only talk about your Second Amendment rights but will stalwartly defend them.

Other organizations may boast of their defense of the Second Amendment, but all put together are no more than an irritating gnat to Congress and state legislatures.

Where NRA goes, we all go. When NRA goes in the wrong direction, we all go in the wrong direction. That's why it is sheer foolishness for members to resign their memberships. That's why you should vote in NRA Board elections.

Who sits on the NRA Board is important if they don't just sit.

We're in the middle of the biggest fight in Congress since the 1968 Gun Control Act. NRA has already conceded in principle -- and both Houses have accepted -- virtually everything in the Senate-passed Juvenile Justice bill.

Despite the boasts of "The NRA Winning Team," the only reason no gun bill passed in 1999 was because Bill Clinton didn't want one. Clinton wanted to keep it alive for the 2000 campaign.

Knowing that most of what he wants is in the bag, in his State of the Union Address Jan. 27 Clinton upped the ante -- demanding a license to purchase any handgun, with a "safety" test.

Clinton has moved so far, so fast, because LaPierre's compromising policies -- and his pleading in Chairman Henry Hyde's Judiciary Committee May 27 to "Be reasonable" -- gave Republicans a green light to join anti-gun Democrats pushing for more gun laws.

That has happened only because in January 1997 LaPierre successfully mutinied against the Board majority which had challenged his violations of board-set financial policies.

In violation of published election rules he arranged for an illegally late political ad near the 1997 ballots telling members "Do Not Vote For" the two Vice Presidents, the Finance Committee chairman, and others who threatened his highly paid position.

With the assistance -- and money -- of NRA vendors whose multi-million dollar no-bid contracts depended on LaPierre staying in office, his supporters won a narrow majority in 1997's election.

That thin majority elected Nominating Committees which ruthlessly removed Directors who had challenged LaPierre -- Second Amendment stalwarts like Bob Hodgdon, Donna Bianchi, Ken Oehler, G. Sitton, Leroy Pyle, Albert Ross and many others. With many more well-funded "Vote Against" ads, the Board has almost totally changed.

Many of the new Directors are outstanding people, but they can be manipulated because they haven't yet figured out how the NRA is being run. I have no doubt that some will begin to question LaPierre's leadership -- and some already have.

Directors are being kept fat, dumb and happy by shrewd tactics such as the last-minute switch of the winter Board meeting to warm, fun-filled Las Vegas. After a most unusual one-day Board meeting, Jan. 16, Directors were treated to two days seeing the latest guns and accessories at the SHOT show while staying at the luxurious Flamingo Hilton -- all at the expense of NRA members.

At the lavish NRA President's Reception Past President Jim Reinke, figurehead co- chairman of "Committee To Get Rid Of Anyone Who Questions LaPierre" (or whatever their name) told me, "Old friend, I'm opposing your re-election to the Board."

That was no surprise. I asked Reinke who paid for his pro-LaPierre ads and mailings -- since many of his Director candidates were never asked for contributions, nor were prior contributors.

I suspect -- and told Reinke -- that most of that (at minimum) $50,000-$60,000 or more per year came from NRA contractors. Jim argued there's nothing wrong with a contractor who has a Life Membership also contributing to LaPierre's supporters. But there's plenty wrong if contractors must contribute to keep their contracts.

Jim's group also has run ads against, and killed, proposed Bylaws and charter amendments to require full reporting by directors and staff of beneficial relationships with NRA vendors -- or flatly prohibiting such potentially corrupt dealing.

But far more important than a few million misappropriated dollars is what LaPierre and his friends have done to our gun rights. His outrageous speech at Denver, and the way his statements have been acted on by Congress, should strike fear in the heart of every NRA member.

The Board that existed just three years ago would probably have fired him on the spot. Now the last of those Directors is targeted for defeat. That's why I am asking you to cast your ballot to restore enough of those Directors to question LaPierre's policies and help educate all those new NRA Directors.

Please use the ballot in your March NRA magazines, and urge your friends and fellow voting NRA members to double the power of their ballots, by voting only for these 13 stalwarts:

Sally Brodbeck
Weldon Clark
William Dominguez
David Gross
Fred Gustafson
Michael Kindberg
Joe Olson
Frank Sawberger
Tom Seefeldt
John Trentes
Miles Ugarkovich
Glen Voorhees
Neal Knox

The biographies of our candidates can be seen on:

Our gun rights depend on who is at the helm of NRA.

Yours for the Second Amendment,

NEAL (s)

Neal Knox

P.S. For a copy of LaPierre's Denver speech, or other corroborating information, send a self-addressed stamped envelope. And please, if you can, send a few dollars to print and mail more copies of this letter.
From The 2ndAmendmentNews Team

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