I got an e-mail earlier today from an associate in south-central Texas about this breaking news, and my first reaction was to pick up the phone and accuse the e-mailer of being drunk. Since he doesn't drink, that accusation fell flat.
He was typing as we talked, then he told me to check my in-box. "The proof is in there," he assured me.
Sure as hell. . .
To briefly set this up, Tom Gresham of Gun Talk invited Wounded Warrior Project to be on his show on Veterans Day. What a great way to raise a lot of money in a short amount of time. Veterans are patriotic, and for sure gun-owners are. Gun-owners are also generous when it comes to helping out veterans.
His (Gresham's) invitation was flatly refused.
Thanks to the e-mails being shared openly and publicly with Guns.com, there is no denying where Wounded Warrior Project stands on the issue of guns and gun-owners.
Here is the e-mail exchange between Gresham and the PR chief for Wounded Warrior Project, along with an explanatory intro by one of Gresham's staffers.
Again, thank you to Tom Gresham and Gun Talk and Guns.com for sharing this.
Wounded Warrior Project Email Exchangeby Gun Talk on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 10:56am ·After Sunday's show, we've gotten many emails about Tom's remarks after WWP declined an interview request on Gun Talk Radio because it's a firearms-related show. We've also seen the forums that are suggesting many things that are not true. So, I'm going to lay it all out right here.We thought it would be great to book the WWP on the Veteran's Day show to promote the organization, so I contacted them. I was flabbergasted when their PR contact, Leslie, sent me an email saying they could not participate because our show dealt with firearms. Knowing that WWP has a booth at SHOT show and various gun shows across the US, takes wounded warriors on hunts and range days, raffles guns and accessories as fundraisers, etc., their policy didn't make much sense. I forwarded the email on to Tom to get his take.-SarahThe following is the complete email exchange:====================Hello, Leslie:Sarah forwarded me your email after I asked her to invite the Wounded Warriors Project to join me on "Tom Gresham's Gun Talk" radio show.I'm stunned at your email saying that the WWP doesn't participate in an interview or activity related to firearms. Inasmuch as there are 90 million gun owners and most of them support wounded veterans, I think they would be shocked to hear that they are, by way of their hobbies, somehow not worthy of helping with the Wounded Warriors Project.Does your policy apply also to police agencies and the military, since they are "related to firearms?"I'm hoping that we have misunderstood your email. Can you confirm that it is, in fact, an official policy of the Wounded Warriors Project to not do interviews with or participate in any activity related to firearms?Thank you.Tom Gresham============Good afternoon -While we appreciate your interest in Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) you are correct that we decline the media opportunity.Please note the following notice that appears on our website which also applies to WWP public awareness policy and inquiries from media outlets:WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.Thank you for your inquiry.LESLIE A. COLEMANpublic relations directorO: 904.405.1433M: 904.654.8138F: 904.296.7347Wounded Warrior Project4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300Jacksonville, Florida 32256====================Thanks for confirming that, Leslie. It was a simple opportunity to promote the WWP on a national program in an effort to send donations your way.I'll pass along the info that you don't want or need the help of America's gun owners.Best regards,Tom Gresham=====================Good morning --This policy is not a judgment on those who own and use firearms – clearly every member of our armed forces has been trained in the use of firearms and then called on to use them in the course of their service to this country.Our position regarding firearms and alcohol is in response to the struggles that many injured service members face with substance abuse and suicide and the roles those items often play in those issues.Thank you.LESLIE A. COLEMANpublic relations director=============================Hello, Leslie:Thank you for that explanation.I do think -- and I'm being as kind as possible -- that it's the nuttiest thing I've heard in years. Suicides are not linked to firearms. Japan has a much higher rate of suicide than does the U.S., and they have essentially no firearms. Suicide is a serious issue irrespective of the methodology used.This explanation doesn't pass even the most simple "does this make sense" test.Your policy does, in fact, brand firearms and the companies which make them as undesirables, and by association, you are saying that those who own and use firearms for recreation, hunting, self protection, and other safe and legal uses are to be avoided.It's certainly your option to ostracize the firearms industry, the 90 million gun owners in America, and the media which support firearms safety training.At this point, I feel an obligation to make sure the millions who listen to my radio show and watch my two national television series know about your policy.I cannot fully express how much I feel you are doing a disservice to our wounded veterans, and how disappointed I am to discover this bias at the Wounded Warriors Project.Sincerely,Tom Gresham
The only gifts my wife and I gave out last year were cards reading, "A generous donation has been made to Wounded Warrior Project in your name. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year, J.D. & Lois Kinman."
You can bet your last dollar we won't be sending those out this year. We're done with Wounded Warrior Project.