As expected, internal intrigues took a new twist today, the second day of the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting.

An old friend, Anthony Colandro, was voted onto the board.  He’s a stalwart defender of gun owners’ civil rights and I’m happy to see him there. 

I was also happy to see a new award established, the Roy Innis Award.   The first recipient, posthumously, was Otis McDonald, the lead plaintiff in 2008’s landmark McDonald v. Chicago decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. That was the decision which confirmed that the Second Amendment did, in fact, speak to individual rights and not merely state militias.  Roy Innis was the storied leader of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, and was as much a hero of gun owners civil rights as he was of civil rights for African-Americans.  I had the honor of knowing both Roy and Otis, and am delighted to see both of these champions so recognized.

Got to spend some time with old friends from the firearms training world, too.

And NRAAM 2019 has one more day to go, followed by what will undoubtedly be an epic meeting of the board of directors this coming Monday. 

Stay tuned…

Wayne LaPierre at the members’ meeting,
The posthumous naming of Otis McDonald as winner of the new Roy Innis Award was the high point of the members’ meeting for me.
Massad Ayoob, John Farnam, Ken Hackathorn
There’s lots of collective experience and institutional memory to be found at NRAAM. Here I’m with John Farnam (center) and Ken Hackathorn (right), men who have done much for the armed citizens of America.


  1. I know some of what is going on with the NRA but don’t entirely understand what is going on,etc. Would you publish a concise article on what is going with the various in and outs of the situation. I feel that I can trust your opinion on the problem as I have the feeling you have “no ax to grind” or “ox to gore” (pardon the cliches but I feel that best expresses the opinion I have of you from reading your numerous articles over the years.)
    sincerely, Malcolm

    • I’ll second that. The media coverage seems grossly exaggerated but I’m seriously concerned as to the lack of transparency involving the contracted management company, AM, Inc.???

    • Mas, I second Malcolm’s request that you weigh-in on the turmoil at NRA.

      I look at NRA as an asset to be conserved; rehabilitated if that is what is called for.

      Too many critics of NRA simply cast stones; and pointlessly. What difference does it make – TODAY – that NRA supported the NFA in 1934? What difference that it supported NICS as an alternative to waiting periods. Regardless of our disagreement – or uncertainty – about NRA’s policies of the past, the question is whether we would be better off re-habbing the organization or letting it die a horrible death.

      There are ample criticisms of NRA from within the PotG. No need to recite them here. There are criticisms from gun-controllers. Today, we also have an investigation of NRA by its chartering state: NY.

      It seems to me that we are well beyond mere organizational politics. Beyond the personalities in the hot-seats. We are ready for a bottom-up re-examination of the organization’s leadership. Whatever merits current officers and directors might have, they have failed us by allowing the laundry to have become soiled to the degree now being reported in the press – and court dockets.

      Someone – several people – in the industry who have the stature and independence of you – Mas – must step up and speak-out and call upon the directors to do their duty. That probably means removing the entrenched cabal in management. Here, I make no indictment of any particular behaviors. Instead, their behaviors have not preserved and protected NRA from finding itself in its present condition. It is THIS that is the failure that requires regime change. It probably means an overhaul of the means by which board members are elected. The boards of large organizations are vulnerable to being captured by the hired executives. This has apparently occurred in NRA’s case. This can not be permitted to continue. Some new method must be developed to ensure that board members are nominated and elected based on their constituencies among the membership; not their loyalties to the managing cabal.

      I call for no attack on the NRA, nor any particular policy. Either our PotG’s independent and respected leaders stand up and call for reform by the board or soon there will be no NRA to complain about.

    • Tom Shelton, a Co-worker, & trick shooter, who has equaled all of Bill Jordan’s trick shots, & a long time Friend of mine, went to the NRA Headquarters, back in
      the Clinton years, and after visiting around, and speaking to quite a few of the people, he came away with the opinion that most of the people were NOT the knowledgeable, Hard Core “Gun Nuts”, he had known before, & it seemed they saw the NRA as being “Just a Job”, and Left there with the thinking that they Didn’t seem “Up Too the Job of Protecting the Second Amendment”, as he hoped they would be!

      Sure enough, when it looked looked liked “Gun Control was Safely Bottled up in Committee”, our own Good Old’ MAX, “I’ll never Vote for Gun Control,”Baucus, was one of the two, out of the three, Senator’s on that Committee, that day, who voted to allow the “Clinton Gun Control Bill” to be put out on the then Democratically controlled Senate Floor, where it easily passed in LAW!!!

      I had been a LIFE NRA Member since about 1966, but that day, I also became a LIFE Member of the Gun Owner’s of America (GOA), the REAL Second Amendment “Junk Yard Dog”, who I NOW ONLY TRUST, If Anyone, TO SAVE Our Constitution, & Bill of Rights!!!


  2. It’s been very disturbing to me reading about what’s going on within the inner workings of our beloved NRA. When are we going to hear what really has been going on ?

  3. I met Roy Innis once at a GO-NH banquet where he was the featured speaker. I’m very glad his name carries this award. Roy was a pioneer for the cause in that he did so much for getting minorities to come into the fold.

  4. Thanks for the update. Let Freedom ring – go NRA!

    Clarence B., Colorado
    Benefactor Life Member (5376316)

  5. I love being able to say I was a student in classes given by Massad Ayoob and John Farnam. And always add, “I learned A LOT!”

  6. I would like to get feedback from sources such as trainers and high profile instructors who are in the know about the NRA board. As a voting member,I usually only have no other source to review before castin my ballot.

  7. Mas,
    Your idea to wait for the information to come out and be vetted sounds like the right idea. As for the picture, John Farnham and Ken Hackathorn and yourself, all in the same picture, makes for some pretty lofty company. I am surprised that someone didn’t just ask you three to up and take over the entire board of the NRA completely!
    Seriously, though, all three of you men have at various times, been instrumental in teaching me various things about guns, and self defense, and at times, just plain life. What a neat thing, to see you all in one picture.

  8. You mistook McDonald v. Chicago for D.C. v. Heller. Heller was the 2008 decision that held the 2nd Amendment protects the individual right to bear arms. McDonald was the subsequent 2010 decision that held the 2nd Amendment also applies to the states, not only the federal government.

  9. I’ve been a member long enough to remember the member revolt against the organizational deep state long ago. It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out. I dimly recall changes to the bylaws to allegedly minimize the chance of a repeat.

    Yes, they’ve done very well by us, but allegedly running that far into the red is deeply troubling. Yes, I did cut them a check the other day. Yes, every large organization has it’s internecine strife.

    I personally think they could start off by a really good & thorough audit of the books. Followed by an reassessment of mission, alignment of priorities and assets to accomplish same and possible right sizing. I’ve only caught a couple of their TV shows, and that by accident, and personally think it’s a waste of money. They could also save quite a bit of money by not junk mailing the membership with seemingly endless offers for various services. It’d be interesting to see a cost/benefit analysis of that activity.

    Having met you and Ken before, that picture is another reminder about how long ago that was.

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