The Letter Part 2: Can You Hear Me Now?

Rickey spells his name with an “e” in there. I don’t know why. Never met him. But it’s one of those quirky things that makes him an individual. Some of you are medical doctors. Others are chiropractors, attorneys, or military service members. Still others are part-time or full-time firearms trainers, NRA instructors, or training counselors, including a few fancy names like Massad Ayoob, Tom Givens, John Farnam, and Klint Macro. Some have advanced degrees and write like Shakespeare. Others might have misspelled a word or two and skipped the punctuation altogether. And yet, you all sang in unison.

That “Sr.” behind your name tells me you’re a proud father. The asterisk with the “formerly known as” or the side note about the name on your NRA membership card being outdated — it tells me you’re still on your journey, still tweaking yourself every day, as we all should be. Some of you are wealthy Ring of Freedom donors. Others are working hard to make those $25 quarterly installments towards a life membership on the Easy Pay Plan. Some have said you’d like to add your name to my letter, but you recently resigned your NRA membership in protest over the very kinds of issues the letter seeks to address. And yet, you all sang in unison.

Some of you were eager to hit the ground running after only just having finalized a life membership within the last few months, while others had been loyal life members since the 1970s or earlier. A few of you were concise, even terse in your expressions of support. Others seemed to have been suppressing pinned-up frustrations for quite some time; and boy, did you let the floodgates swing open.

Some of you appended your notes to me with kind words of blessing or quotes from the Bible. Others are just plain pissed, declaring with a thud that the NRA “won’t be seeing any more of my money until this is resolved.” And yet, you all sang in unison.

To see how this all began, please check out my two previous posts, NRA In the Mirror and The Letter (part 1). We started this letter in a crowded, bustling restaurant at NRAAM with six or seven names. The next day, there were 60. We’re now approaching 250, and three more have come in since I started typing this blog post. Many of you I’ve never known before now. And yet, with nothing more than your name and membership level to go by, it occurs to me just how assorted and sundry we all really are, as we sing in unison, asking our NRA Board of Directors to do what really shouldn’t even need to be requested: Be fair. Be honest. Be ethical. Be transparent. You can read the entire letter here, but this is the crux:

I have a humble suggestion to help avoid public airing of private business while also quelling
further cries of impropriety. When the Board addresses this resolution, I request that any Board
member, officer, or staff member who has a personal, financial, or fiduciary interest in, or
fidelity to, Ackerman McQueen (or its subsidiary and affiliate companies) — as an employee,
contractor, paid consultant, vendor, client, etc. — be required to recuse himself/herself from
discussing and voting on this resolution. That way, regardless of how the Board ultimately
disposes of the resolution, at least the result will be less vulnerable to accusations of ethically
dubious entanglements.

This morning, I am sending an updated letter to the Board with more names added. I plan to continue re-sending the letter as long as people keep asking me to add their names. If you’d like your name added, please fill out the form below. I’ve gotten so many requests across so many different platforms and threads and outlets that I’m starting to lose track, and I don’t want a single person left out. It’s been overwhelming, and exciting, and scary, and gratifying. But since I can’t afford to hire a secretary, this form is my best effort at getting a bit more organized and streamlining this process. If your name is already on the letter, no need to resubmit.

Once again, I reiterate that I am not — repeat, I am NOT — hostile to the NRA. Its very reason for existence is to defend my Second Amendment rights, and for that I am grateful. But this Board of Directors is a representative body, duly elected by the dues-paying members. Each Director serves in a fiduciary capacity that is subject to statutory and regulatory mandates, not to mention moral ones. And the members — the people who elected this Board — they deserve to be heard.

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