Letter Response: The Real World

Okay. I have to be honest. I’m losing patience with NRA leaders talking to me like I’m stupid. Maybe I haven’t been a member of the NRA since Moses brought the tablets down. And maybe I didn’t personally witness the NRA’s charter being signed in 1871. But damn it, I’m a loyal, dues-paying, card-carrying life member. And while I’m glad Board Member Wayne Anthony Ross took the time to respond to our letter, I don’t appreciate him — or anyone else besides Andrea “Cookie” Johnson and Judge C. Anthony Johnson (R.I.P.) — speaking to me like I’m his f*cking child.

I asked Col. Ross for permission to publish his letter, as I’ve done with the others. I’m still waiting for his response. If he grants permission, I’ll post it here. Meanwhile, here is my response to him. And if you want to add your name to the original letter, you can do so here.

Dear Col. Ross:

Please accept my sincere thanks for your letter. I know your time is valuable, and I appreciate hearing back from you. You mentioned that your “response [was] somewhat difficult” because you had no way to reach me. I do regret that you invested so much effort in searching the Internet for my contact information. All my correspondence to you has been through email, so you were more than welcome to retrieve my email address from any of my previous emails to you.

If you had trouble finding me online, perhaps some of the difficulty arose because my name is “Johnson” — not “Johnston,” as it is twice spelled in your letter. Also, my email to Mr. Frazer dated May 15, 2019 (which I copied to you directly) included my cell phone number. You were welcome to use it then, and you’re welcome to use it any time. Again, my apologies if you had trouble finding a way to reach me.

I really hate to take up even more of your time, but if you would grant me just another moment or two, there are a few points from your letter that deserve attention.

First, I can assure you that I am not the “Nashville Lawyer [who] Introduce[d] A Russian Operative to the NRA.” In the article you’re referencing, the male attorney at issue is identified as G. Kline Preston, IV of Nashville, TN (not Tiffany Johnson of Memphis, TN).

Second, there’s no need to defend Mr. LaPierre for my benefit. My April 28 letter simply asked Board Members to abstain from voting on a resolution if they have a conflict of interest. Nothing more.

My May 15 letter expressed an additional concern that flying 76 Board Members to Alaska might be perceived as indulgent and might be spun in a negative light by our opponents. In other words, the primary issue was optics, not any personal aversion to the great State of Alaska. You have urged me not to believe the negative stories in the press. Perhaps an even better strategy would be to stop affording the press so many easy opportunities to write negative stories.

Moreover, it is troubling to see the NRA so often and so incessantly place the blame for all of its woes exclusively at the feet of others — specifically, “people who hate us” and “seek to destroy our organization.” Your letter insisted that contrary to recent media reports, the NRA enjoys complete freedom from any “serious” mismanagement. Even if every single media story were false, the NRA’s recent civil complaints against its own vendors would seem to belie the rose-colored notion that all is perfectly well in Fairfax.

Incidentally, as I’m posting this, word is just now breaking that past NRA President Pete Brownell — yes, that Pete Brownellhas just resigned his seat on the NRA Board of Directors. Nothing to see here…

Anywho, back to my response to Col. Ross.

I never meant to offend any Alaskan, least of all you or Congressman Young; and for that, I sincerely apologize. I agree with you that the Board should meet in Alaska “at least once in a while,” as our Alaskan NRA members deserve ready access to their Board as much as any other member. My point instead was about the timing. Right now, the NRA is under such a vicious assault that we cannot afford to cede any ground whatsoever. I hope every Alaskan who supports the NRA would agree that preventing yet another nationwide public relations nightmare is just as important for the NRA’s survival as honoring any individual Board Member’s hometown. The reality of NRA Board expenditures is very important, but the perception of fiscal responsibility is important, too. I’m sure that you — as a trial lawyer with so many decades of experience in the art of persuasion — can appreciate the importance of perception better than most.

You mentioned that “[t]hose of us who participate in the real world recognize what our we owe [sic] our officers like Wayne” LaPierre. You lauded those NRA members who reach out to you daily, noting that “[a]ll of them love what NRA is doing under Wayne’s leadership.” My May 15 letter included direct quotes from dozens of members who expressed sentiments other than “love” for the NRA’s present condition. Are you suggesting that they and the other 300 members who appended their names to my letter are not “participat[ing] in the real world”?

I do not agree with all of those members’ sentiments, and I am not asking you to agree with them either. However, I do think it’s dangerous for our leadership to dismiss those sentiments as somehow only existing outside of “the real world.” It’s even more dangerous to assume that any member who dissents or disagrees with NRA leadership must surely be working with Bloomberg or otherwise “assisting our enemies.”

Your letter closed with a plea: “Tiffany… I hope you will join us in our efforts.” Sir, that depends on what your efforts are.

Will I follow your efforts blindly, slavishly, without question, just because many of the NRA’s leaders have held their positions of power for longer than I’ve been alive? No, I will not. Will I join your efforts if they appear to be fueling rather than quelling the current assault on the NRA by the media and by those who wish to restrict or abolish the Second Amendment? No, I will not. Will I join your efforts if they result in waning morale among the membership and dire financial straits that force the NRA to repeatedly increase membership dues and to send desperate fundraising emails claiming the NRA “may be forced to shut down forever”? No, I will not.

But if your efforts include urgent actions to preserve the Second Amendment, to reinvigorate the NRA, and to expand our membership and public support with new blood, new energy, new ideas, and 21st Century perspectives in keeping with modern times, then yes, I am absolutely on board, one hundred percent. Your letter urged me to “decide whose side you are on.” I appreciate the advice, but I am not on the side of any individual person, no matter how long they’ve held their NRA leadership title. Only in autocratic monarchies do subjects pledge absolute allegiance to human beings. As for me, I choose instead to side with the Second Amendment itself — and all the priceless freedoms it enshrines.

Again, I thank you for your response — and for your service to the NRA and to the nation. If you ever need to reach me, please don’t hesitate to write, email, call, text, or send a message on social media.


Tiffany Johnson

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