Friday, August 23, 2019

I love my country, but hate my government.

How many times have we heard this? Or even proclaimed it ourselves?

I am an American and a Texan. I love my country. I served it in the military and then at home in law enforcement. I registered and began voting over forty years ago and have not missed a presidential or mid-term election ever. I write my elected weasels and raise hell with them. I send donations and contributions to candidates whose platforms I support.

I have traveled to virtually every state in the nation. We fly our airplane all across this great nation east of I-25. It doesn't do quite as well in the high elevations west of I-25, but the newly completed RV9 will have no such restrictions. We prefer to land and refuel at small country airports and borrow a car to venture into town to local diners and curios to ply our commerce.

Being a native Texan, I fiercely love my state and our independence and mystique and "if you don't like it get the hell out" attitude.

But as much as I love America, I loathe Washington DC and what it has become and worse, what it stands for. As much as I love Texas, I am not a fan of Austin or its ever-increasing looniness.

Everyone I talk to understands my position clearly.

But when I tell people I love the National Rifle Association but loathe it's leadership, they look at me like I've just finished stomping on newborn kittens.

I used to work for the NRA in the early 90's, via their advertising agency, Ackerman McQueen. I wrote ads, commercials, articles, columns, videos and speeches--the latter for Wayne LaPierre, James Jay Baker and Charlton Heston, among other notable names and figures within or supporting the NRA.

After leaving AMc for another agency on the east coast, I continued to freelance and contribute for the NRA. I enjoyed the work and was blessed to have met and interacted with some great people during those years. After retiring from the ad agency world, I gave up all marketing, advertising and consulting work, going so far as to even studiously avoid it. One day I got a call from Ackerman McQueen gauging my interest in participating in a project for their NRA-TV. Long story short, I traveled to Oklahoma City, renewed some old contacts, exchanged pleasantries, sat in the boardroom and listened to the proposal, promised an answer, and on the way back home to Dallas, made up my mind to decline any further participation.

I am not going to pull out a poison pen and denigrate Ackerman McQueen. They were good to me. In fact, they gave me a job out of graduate school when nobody else would. My boss, mentor and to this day, good friend, taught me everything he knew and nobody was happier to see my subsequent rise and success in the world of Madison Avenue than him. I wrote of this in Above Reproach as it pertained to the fictional character of Dillon Cole, but the inspiration was for damned sure real life.

However, in those days I was just a writer, not an insider. Certainly not a vice president or managing director. Just a writer. I had no knowledge of any on-goings with the inner-workings of the NRA or its relationship with AMc.

Then came the day this year in April when I learned of the impending ugly divorce between the National Rifle Association and Ackerman McQueen. Then Oliver North's dismissal. Then the Board of Director's unanimous vote of confidence in Wayne LaPierre. Then the whispers that became mumblings that became normal toned conversations that became loud that became top-of-the-lungs yelling about the financial abuses, mismanagement and arrogance of LaPierre and his lavish lifestyle at the expense of the Members.

Next, Col. Allen West (ret), an NRA board members spoke up and was harshly and publicly rebuked by Carolyn Meadows (president) and Charles Cotton (first vice president). Another board member spoke up and was slapped down. Then another. And another. And another.

And the whispers that had escalated into shouting from the rooftops became even louder. Worse, actual evidence by way of bills and invoices attesting to LaPierre's lavish spending began surfacing. Rumors of an audit by the New York state attorney's office became reality.

To date, seven Board members have jumped the sinking ship. Advertisers and sponsors are jumping as well. One of the highest drawing YouTube pro-gun/gun-equipment channels in existence publicly distanced themselves from the NRA until the Association's leadership becomes forthright and begins providing either explanations or resignations. The leading gun talk radio show has done the same. Life Members are publicly pledging no more donations. Annual Members are refusing to renew their memberships.

Then the latest bombshell falls when we're informed that LaPierre was finagling to have the NRA purchase him this six-million dollar mansion in north Texas so he "could feel safe." Even the hard-to-shock enemies of the NRA and those in the big media world were shocked.

And when you think nothing more could be discovered. . .  evidence of Susan LaPierre, Wayne's wife, and her lavish spending on fashion, hair and makeup to the point of chartering five-figure planes and four-figure luxury hotel rooms for her hairstylists surfaced.

The spending, cronyism and arrogance of justification was becoming more and more obvious.

Worst of all, there was strong innuendo that this was all simply the tip of a tremendous and ever-growing iceberg.

Peripheral media publications did some serious digging and began unearthing more troubling facts. Then the mainstream came in with their bulldozers.

The dam hasn't burst. Yet. But it's sure as hell leaking--and leaking so bad and so fast that not even four-million faithful NRA members with ten fingers each have enough to keep the leaks from spilling out for all to see.

Members began demanding explanations from LaPierre and his cronies and what we got were crickets. In this month's issue of The American Rifleman, I read the drivel of Carolyn Meadows who did the journalistic equivalent of a Monica Lewinsky for Wayne LaPierre while making all the questions about the factual evidence of his five and six-figure spending on luxurious hotels, wardrobes, travel, food, entertainment and bombshell intern sound as though it was nothing more than a petty grievance originated from "enemies of the Second Amendment."

News for you lady (Meadows): We are not enemies of the Second Amendment. It's our hard-earned money and dues that keep your pocketbook fat and in return, if we ask for answers and explanations, you damned well owe us those explanations.

To date, we've received none. Many are convinced that LaPierre, Meadows, Cotton and many on the Board of Directors will ride this flaming dumpster fire all the way to the ground and take the entire Association with it.

Not me. Not my wife. Not our family and friends. For the first time in decades, I have chosen not to renew my annual membership in the National Rifle Association. So has my wife. So has my family. So have our friends.

Some have accused me of trying to tear down the NRA. Nothing could be further from the truth. I do not support crooked politicians by sending them money and excusing their behavior. I contribute to their opponents and work to vote their asses out of office.

Why? Because I love my country.

I refuse to send any more money or lend my name and membership to the NRA until the leadership is vanquished, all members can vote (not just Life Members and members with five or more continuous years of membership) and the Board is reduced by at least half, if not more.

Why? Because I love the Second Amendment and the NRA, but I hate it's leadership and refuse to support it.

Wayne LaPierre, Carolyn Meadows and Charles Cotton are not the NRA.

We are.

1 comment:

Bigus Macus said...

I agree with you whole hardly. Stand Fast, Stand Firm. It's time for Wayne to leave.

Domari Nolo "I Refuse to be Subjugated."

Tim McCann



Navy Veteran, Son and Grandson of Veterans