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The following is a list of controversial statements and actions of NRA leaders regarding their ties to . NRA leaders are listed alphabetically by last name.

Joe Allbaugh (Board Member)

In a June 2012 email to POLITICO, Allbaugh wrote about President Barack Obama, “Our leader is more pomp than circumstance. Again, no leadership. Hell, I could do better than he is doing. All hat, no cattle.”

On October 24, 2011, Republican Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign announced that Allbaugh, who served as campaign manger for George W. Bush successful 2000 presidential campaign, would serve as a “senior adviser” to Perry.

Between 1999 and 2010, Allbaugh donated over $39,000 to political candidates and PACs. The only politician to receive money from Allbaugh who is not a Republican was Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

In 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Shaw Group—represented by Allbaugh’s lobbying firm—was awarded $200 million in no-bid federal government contracts to repair damage done by the hurricane. Allbaugh’s hand-selected replacement as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael Brown, was leading the agency at the time. When criticized for lobbying and consulting with an agency he used to head, Allbaugh responded, “I don't buy the 'revolving door' argument. This is America. We all have a right to make a living."

Allbaugh lobbied for tax perks for the River Birch Landfill company in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2010, the FBI raided River Birch’s offices as part of a criminal investigation into allegations of “pay-to-play” politics between River Birch and local government officials in Jefferson Parish.

In 2003, shortly after Allbaugh became FEMA director, FEMA awarded a large emergency water supply contract to Lipsey Mountain Water. The move was unusual because Lipsey had no production capacity and only 15 employees—they had to purchase their water directly from Nestle Waters North America, the former holder of the contract. The Lipsey family is also is also one of the nation’s largest gun wholesalers. Like Allbaugh International Group, Lipsey’s Inc. is an NRA corporate donor.

In May 2001, Allbaugh was called to testify before a Senate committee while serving as the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program and a disincentive to effective state and local risk management,” he told the committee. “Expectations of when the federal government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level.” Four years later, FEMA received widespread criticism for their inadequate response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. At that time, FEMA was headed by the man Allbaugh handpicked to be his replacement: Michael Brown.

In 2001, during Allbaugh’s FEMA director confirmation process, he indicated in a disclosure that he had never been a party to an administrative or civil proceeding. In fact, in 1990, Allbaugh participated in bankruptcy proceedings, listing liabilities of nearly $300,000.

Allbaugh was involved in “Funeralgate,” a controversy in Texas during the late 1990s. Eliza May, director of Texas Funeral Service Commission, was forced out of her job after she launched an investigation into the business practices of Service Corporation International (SCI), the nation’s largest end-of-life services provider. SCI founder Roger Waltrip was a personal friend of the Bush family and made large contributions to Bush’s political campaign and his father’s presidential library. SCI officials met with Allbaugh, then Texas Governor George W. Bush’s chief-of-staff, a number of times prior to May’s dismissal to complain about her investigation. May’s filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against SCI and the State of Texas, eventually settling for over $200,000.

Scott Bach (Board Member)

On December 11, 2013, in an interview with NRA News, Bach spoke about Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, stating, “It seems like it's a requirement if you're going to be a Jersey City mayor you have to by default be anti-gun. And here is the interesting thing about this guy, Cam. He's an ex-Marine. Well, what I should say is, he worked for Goldman Sachs in the financial industry and was close to 9-11 when it happened and he was motivated to join the Marines for a few years, which he did. His grandparents were Holocaust survivors according to Wikipedia. So you've got to wonder why he is not getting [the gun issue].” Bach took specific exception with Fulop’s plan to ask companies who wish to supply firearms for Jersey City law enforcement a specific set of questions about steps they are taking to reducing illegal gun trafficking by controlling their marketing and distribution networks. The Anti-Defamation League, an international non-governmental organization founded in 1913 "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all," was “outraged” by Bach’s comments. In a December 16, 2013 statement, ADL wrote, “No matter how strong one's objections are to a policy, or how committed an organization is to its mission, invoking the Holocaust to score political points is offensive and has no place in civil discourse. It is especially disturbing that in the debate over gun control in America, Holocaust analogies and references to Nazi Germany flow so freely off the lips of critics of gun control. There is absolutely no comparison of the issue of gun control in the U.S. to the genocidal actions of the Nazi regime. Scott Bach's critique of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop's gun control measures undermines and trivializes the historical truth of the Holocaust as a singular event in human history that led to the murder of six million Jews and millions of others. That he did so by invoking Mayor Fulop's family history makes it all the more offensive.”

In a July 3 interview with Adam Toxin, the interim communications manager of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFPO), Bach asked, “Are we trending towards more individual freedom, which, of course this country was founded on, or less?” Referring to a recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, he answered, “And what I see, and which is, um, echoed and amplified by the recent, um, health care decision is, my conclusion is it’s less … The Obamacare decision is, to me, it’s the final nail in the coffin … It is the ultimate attack on the Republic. The last vestige of freedom that’s left.” Toxin, referring to the King of Britain at the time of the Revolution, stated, “King George wasn’t anywhere near this tyrannical. The Stamp Act was nothing like Obamacare.” Bach replied, “I agree with that … This is a…case of public officials who have an agenda, who have exceeded their mandate, who have violated their trust and Constitution and the principles on which the country was founded … You know what? The system is not self-enforcing. It requires human beings with the will to preserve it and somewhere along the line, um, those with the will to destroy it have taken over the majority.” Turning to the topic of civilian militias, Bach stated, “Let me substitute the word ‘militia’ for ‘armed populace.’ You know, ironically, and JPFO members know this, Hitler was pro-gun control. Ironically, Mahatma Gandhi understood the need for a people to be armed … He understands the importance of being armed, not necessarily using arms, but having them as a check.” Finally, he made reference to the November 2012 elections and warned, “It is the most important elections, presidential and congressional, of our lives.”

In a January 4, 2009 interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bach commented on an anti-trafficking bill that sought to limit civilians' handgun purchases to one per month, saying "This legislation makes it a crime to exercise a constitutional right to obtain handguns any more often than Big Brother dictates. It's overkill in the extreme." The legislation was signed into law by then-Governor Jon Corzine on August 6, 2009.

Commenting on an anti-trafficking bill that sought to limit New Jersey residents' handgun purchases to one per month, Bach asked the New York Times, "Can you imagine a golfer having only one club?" The legislation was signed into law by then-Governor Jon Corzine on August 6, 2009.

In June 2008, Bach testified before the New Jersey State Assembly Judiciary Committee on A2116, a bill that sought to ban private ownership of firearms of .50 caliber or greater, like the Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle, a weapon that can take out armored targets up to a mile away. Nonetheless, Bach claimed that the effect of the legislation would be to be prohibit New Jersey residents from possessing “popular rifles used by sportsmen,” “flintlocks and muskets,” and “family heirlooms.” Addressing the members of the committee directly, Bach then told them, “At this point, it's hard not to conclude that a sweeping gun ban is precisely what you intend.”

In an editorial regarding S2431, a state bill that sought to increase criminal penalties for unlawful possession of a handgun, Bach accused New Jersey legislators of “knowingly and intentionally opting to pass legislation that will send law abiding citizens to jail.”

In an October 10, 2007 editorial in the Star-Ledger, Bach addressed New Jersey state legislation that sought to ban private ownership of firearms of .50 caliber or greater, like the Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle, a weapon that can take out armored targets up to a mile away. Claiming that the legislation would ban “hundreds of common hunting and historical firearms, including the flintlocks and muskets that won the American Revolution and the Civil War,” Bach mocked the legislation as “a clear solution to the urban problem of drive-by musketeering, no doubt...

Bach called the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance (now known as the Animal Protection League of New Jersey) an “extremist group“ in a 2003 opinion piece due to its opposition to recreational bear hunting in New Jersey. Bach claimed that the bear hunts were necessary due to the danger to posed to humans. A spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, however, called aggressive bear attacks in the state “infrequent.” Bach also blamed animal rights activists for unsolved vandalism of State Fish & Wildlife vehicles.

In an unpublished editorial entitled “2002 Elections May Signal National Conservative Trend,” Bach discussed the findings of a panel at an event sponsored by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. He quoted one panelist, the leader of a “tax reform organization,” who described “six demographic trends among likely [future] voters that indicate a general movement toward conservatism ... A growing investor class, a growing class of conservative youth, declining union membership, increased gun ownership and concealed carry permitting, increased home schooling, and a decrease in the number of government workers.” Making reference to his home state of New Jersey, Bach then concluded: “In parts of New Jersey, the 2002 elections held out signs of the start of conservative trending as well. The strong victory of [Republican] Congressman Scott Garrett over [Democrat] Anne Summers in the 5th Congressional District race—particularly in traditionally liberal Bergen County—shook up the liberal establishment throughout the state. If that trend continues, [Democratic New Jersey Senator Frank] Lautenberg and many others like him may indeed have something to fear come election days of the future.”

In 2003, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified the Center for the Study of Popular Culture (now the David Horowitz Freedom Center) as a "hard right" organization that has “helped spread bigoted ideas into American life.”

Bach embraced an insurrectionist interpretation of the Second Amendment in an undated, unpublished editorial, writing: “Collective firearms ownership by a population is an insurance policy against government oppression and extreme abuses of power. If you don't think that governments oppress and commit atrocities against their own people, think again. During the 20th century, while Americans were building cars, factories, and shopping malls, at least seven major genocides occurred throughout the world, in which more than 50 million people were exterminated by their own governments (Germany, USSR, Communist China, Cambodia, Uganda, Guatemala, and the Ottoman Empire). Each of these state-run atrocities was preceded by ‘common sense’ gun control, registration, and eventual confiscation by the government, all under the pretext of advancing public safety.”

In contrast, the author of the Second Amendment, James Madison, made it clear in his writings that advancing public safety is one of the highest priorities of government. He also made it clear that any armed opposition to the federal government would only be legitimate if conducted under the authority of state governments. In Federalist No. 46, Madison chastened fears of potential tyranny in the federal government, saying such a government would be opposed by "a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by [state] governments possessing their affections and confidence." Furthermore, the U.S. Constitution (in Article 1, Section 8) states that one of the purposes of the state Militia is to "suppress Insurrections," not to foment them.

Buster Bachhuber (Board Member)

Opposing a piece of proposed legislation which would require guns to be licensed, Bachhuber said, "We need to remind ourselves that whether a gun bill reduces crime or not is not the object of the game. In the mind of Thomas Jefferson, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or so-called sporting purposes, but all about maintaining freedom in the face of tyranny. We tend to overlook such reasons and get caught up in just sporting purposes."

Carol Bambery (Board Member)

The website of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership (MCRGO), the organization which Bambery founded, features an article written by the radical gun rights group Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership in which the author speculates that proponents of gun control have thoughts like, “I'd rather be raped than have some redneck militia type try to rescue me.” The article goes on to claim that all people have homicidal influences, but proponents of gun control are unable to consciously admit that they have a desire to kill. Turning to the subject of race and religion, the article states: “Consider for a moment that the largest and most hysterical anti-gun groups include disproportionately large numbers of women, African- Americans and Jews. And virtually all of the organizations that claim to speak for these ‘oppressed people’ are stridently anti-gun. Not coincidentally, among Jews, Blacks and women there are many ‘professional victims’ who have little sense of identity outside of their victimhoodThus the concept of ‘identity as victim’ is essential. How and why do members of some groups choose to identify themselves as victims and teach their children to do the same? While it's true that women, Jews, and African- Americans have historically been victimized, they now participate in American society on an equal basis. And other groups, most notably Asian-Americans, have been equally victimized, and yet have transcended the ‘eternal victim’ mentality. Why, for example, would a 6'10" NBA player who makes $10 million a year see himself as a ‘victim’? Why would a successful, respected, wealthy, Jewish physician regard himself as a ‘victim’? Conversely, why might a wheelchair bound woman who lives on government disability NOT regard herself as a victim? I would argue it's because the basketball player and the physician believe that their identities are dependent on being victims – not because they have actually been victimized, but because they're members of groups that claim victim status. Conversely, the disabled woman was probably raised to believe that she is responsible for her own success or failure.” The article also suggests that anti-gun individuals can be converted by a trip to the shooting range stating, “This is a good time to offer some reading material on the benefits of firearms ownership. But be careful not to provide so much information that it's overwhelming. And remember this is not the time to launch into anti-government rants, the New World Order, conspiracy theories, or any kind of political talk!

Bob Barr (Board Member)

On November 19, 2013, Barr spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C. which called for a “Second American Revolution,” involving a coup to oust President [Barack] Obama. The rally was organized by Larry Klayman, a conservative attorney and outspoken Birther. Barr stated, “Be it remembered that it started here today, November 19, 2013, that Americans for generations to come will look back and say, ‘Yes, good and faithful servants, you did your duty. We thank you and we will carry that torch forever into the future.’”

In a July 9, 2012 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Barr wrote about a January 2012 report issued by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) entitled “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008.” Barr claimed that the report provides “an insidious analysis of Americans who happen to hold certain philosophical or political views,” stating, “Americans who ‘believe that one’s personal and/or national way of life is under attack’ or who are ‘nationalists, anti-global, [or] suspicious of centralized federal authority, [and] reverent of individual liberty,’ are painted in a negative light.” He complained, “And though the report is meant to document acts of terrorism inside the United States, there is only a passing mention of 9/11 and Islamic extremism … It is deeply disturbing that the executive branch of our federal government continues to demonize and delegitimize political beliefs, particularly those challenging the ‘conventional wisdom’ or the status quo. It is even more distressing that neither the U.S. House of Representatives nor the Senate has moved to put a stop to such efforts, which they could if their members possessed the understanding and the backbone to do so.” START asserts that the report qualifies individuals and groups as terrorists because they have actually carried out or attempted to carry out violent attacks in the United States, not based on their ideological orientation. The report breaks violent perpetrators into ideological categories, including extreme left-wing, extreme right-wing, religious, ethnonationalist/separatist, and single issue. START asserts that “descriptions of these categories in the report do not suggest that an individual or group with one or more of these characteristics is likely to be a terrorist.”

In a June 20, 2012 op-ed for the Marietta Daily Journal, Barr wrote, “I am a real fan of handguns manufactured by Glock. And, for many years I have known Paul Jannuzzo.” Paul Jannuzzo, former CEO of Glock, Inc., a firearms manufacturer, fled the country first to Mexico, and then Amsterdam amid allegations of embezzlement. He was arrested in Amsterdam and extradited to the United States. In March 2012, Jannuzzo was convicted for racketeering and theft. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and thirteen on probation. Barr also stated that he wrote a letter of support for Jannuzzo prior to his sentencing.

In a May 28, 2012 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Barr wrote about what he called the “demonization of George Zimmerman and the deification of Trayvon Martin.” Barr was referring to the February 26, 2012 shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Barr stated, “Much like the Queen of Hearts in Lewis Carroll’s fable, Alice in Wonderland, many would just as soon sentence Zimmerman first and try him later, if at all.” Barr also criticized the Florida prosecutor, Angela Corey, who brought charges against Zimmerman, stating that she “based her decision on some of the flimsiest evidence and legal analysis I have ever seen.” The “latest absurd development,” wrote Barr, occurred at Malcom X Elementary School in the District of Columbia which hosted “Trayvon Martin Day.” He referred to the program as dealing with “some manufactured problem about an already highly politicized legal case in Florida … Perhaps the program honoring Trayvon Martin was accompanied by a chorus of ‘Kumbaya’ to help foster a ‘happy spirit.’”

In a November 2, 2011 op-ed for The Daily Caller, Barr defended GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain against allegations of sexual harassment, asking, “What exactly does ‘sexual harassment’ mean, anyway?” Barr also complained that, “During a 2004 bid for the U.S. Senate, then-Rep. Jack Ryan (R-IL) had his campaign completely derailed by salacious claims made by his ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan.” Jeri Ryan has alleged in child custody proceedings that on multiple occasions her then-husband took her to “sex clubs” and attempted to make her perform sex acts on him in front of other people.

In a September 12, 2011 op-ed for The Daily Caller entitled “Get Off Mike Vick’s Ass,” Barr defended Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick—who served nearly two years in federal prison for his involvement with a dog fighting ring—against continued criticism. He also said of Vick, who signed a $100 million contract with the Eagles in 2011, “It is not as if Vick is on Easy Street. In addition to being on the NFL commissioner’s watch list, Vick’s financial situation is not exactly assured, and he continues to pay heavily for his past legal transgressions. He reportedly still owes creditors $19 million.”

Barr expressed his belief that bullying is “a natural rite of passage” for schoolchildren and worried that anti-bullying initiatives in schools would encourage to students to “snitch on each other” in a September 2, 2011 op-ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He also complained about the impetus for anti-bullying measures by writing, “Much like ‘hate crimes’ laws long-favored by liberals, New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights was passed as a reactionary measure nearly a year after a gay college student tragically committed suicide.”

In an August 26, 2011 op-ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Barr wrote that, “We can only hope Obama resists the urge to send in American ‘peace-keeping’ forces to help rebuild the country; Afghanistan and Iraq provide clear examples of why such a policy invariably becomes an expensive tar baby.” The phrase “tar baby” is considered by many to be a racial epithet, and earlier that month a Republican Congressman sent President Obama a letter of apology after using the phrase while discussing the president’s policies.

On February 2, 2011, Barr weighed into a controversy concerning for-profit schools accused of using deceptive marketing techniques in a Politico editorial. Barr opined that, “Judging by the level of vitriol being directed against for-profit schools, one would be justified in concluding critics suspect them of harboring terrorist cells and offering instruction in improvised explosive devices.” Barr failed to mention his employment with John Marshall Law School, a for-profit institution.

In January 2011, Barr began serving as an advisor to former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. Barr was consulted by Duvalier as he attempted to recover $5.7 million in assets frozen by the Swiss government. The assets were frozen following charges that Duvalier had embezzled $300 million from the Haitian government during his 15-year rule. Duvalier was also accused of widespread human rights abuses, including torture and murder. Human Rights Watch claims that Duvalier’s Tonton Macoutes Militia was responsible for up to 30,000 civilian deaths. Barr dismissed these allegations against Duvalier, saying, “I deal with allegations all the time. They are the cheapest commodity on the market.” Previously, Barr had visited Haiti to help Duvalier’s brother-in-law fight drug smuggling charges.

In July 2008, Barr called former Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC)—who famously and fiercely opposed the creation of a national Martin Luther King Jr. Day—“one of the finest, most courageous and deeply principled men to ever serve in the United States Congress.”

Barr’s immigration platform during his 2008 presidential run included support for eliminating the guarantee of birthright citizenship. While the Fourteenth Amendment currently confers citizenship upon any individual born in the United States, Barr proposed that children of illegal immigrants, even if they are born in the United States, should not automatically qualify for citizenship.

Barr authored a March 7, 2007 op-ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution lauding proposed legislation to prevent employers from prohibiting guns on company property as “extremely modest.” Both the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Newnan-Peachtree City Area Employer Committee criticized the legislation as “dangerous.”

Barr accidentally discharged a pistol that was handed to him by a supporter at a campaign event in 2002. The bullet struck a glass door—no one was injured in the incident. One of Barr’s sons later attacked a man dressed as Yosemite Sam who showed up at a campaign event to mock the then-Congressman over the incident.

In 2001, three airport security guards filed a complaint against Barr, alleging that he used racial slurs against them during a dispute over access to a private parking lot. Barr reportedly asked the supervising guard, “When are you going to open the gate you stupid black idiot?”

In August 1999, Barr paid a $28,000 fine to settle charges by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that he accepted nearly $100,000 in illegal contributions during the 1994 and 1996 elections.

On July 29, 1999, Barr voted in favor of an amendment to the yearly District of Columbia appropriations bill that would have banned adoption by gay parents in the District. The amendment failed 215-213.

In June 1999, Barr attempted to attach an amendment to a defense spending authorization bill to ban the practice of the Wiccan religion. Barr described his opposition to active duty soldiers being allowed to practice the Wiccan religion as follows: “I think it brings disrepute to the military and ought not to be allowed as something on par with the Judeo-Christian beliefs on which our country was founded.”

In March 1999, Barr opposed expanding the federal definition of a hate crime to include crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, calling proposed legislation “a backdoor way to obtain protected status for sexual orientation and sexual deviancy.”

In January 1999, Barr’s second wife, Gail, swore in an affidavit that she was convinced that Barr had an affair with a woman who would become his third wife while he was still married to her. Barr did not deny the affair when asked about it repeatedly during divorce proceedings. The affidavit was released to the public while Barr served as a manager during impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton. Impeachment managers were Congressmen on the House Judiciary Committee who functioned as prosecutors during the proceedings. Clinton was impeached after he was accused of lying about an extra-marital affair.

Barr gave the keynote speech at a white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) national convention in 1998. The event featured fellow speakers Jared Taylor, publisher of the racist American Renaissance magazine (“when blacks are left entirely to their own devices…civilization disappears”) and Brent Nelson, author of the anti-immigrant book America Balkanized. CCC has claimed that blacks are genetically inferior to whites and has also advocated homophobic, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic ideas. The organization frequently publishes racial commentary on current events, and once blamed journalist Daniel Pearl for his own murder due to his choice to enter into an interracial marriage. When confronted with the overtly racist nature of the organization, Barr claimed he had “no idea” what CCC advocated. According to CCC chief executive Gordon Lee Baum, however, Barr “knew what we were all about before he spoke to us. We don't invite people and let them walk into the dark on us.”

In 1996, Barr was the author and sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Under DOMA, states are not obligated to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages performed in other states. Furthermore, the bill prohibited the federal government from providing benefits received by married couples to individuals in same-sex partnerships. During floor debate, Barr said the bill was needed because “the flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the very foundations of our society, the family unit.

In 1996, Bob Barr voted in favor of legislation that would allow states to ban children of illegal immigrants from attending public schools.

Ronnie Barrett (Board Member)

In a July 26, 2012 appearance on NRA news, Barrett commented on a July 17, 2012 speech in which President Barack Obama stated, “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me—because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t – look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hard working people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business–you didn’t build that.” Barrett replied to these remarks, stating, “What Obama had said here with the ‘you didn’t do this’—this is not new stuff. You know, the world has heard socialist people try to sell this game for decades. You know, it’s the same thing that was said in Europe in the 30s. I went back and listened to his whole talk on that and the whole thing is that ‘you’re not going to be able to do it by yourself and you’re only going to be able to do it if we share and your problems of you not having any money is really this rich man over here and we’re going to take from that rich man and give it to you.’ And of course that identifying a problem thing, we’ve seen that in history, too. You always have to identify some sort of group that is the problem for you and you can go back and like I said look in Europe in the 30s and how their groups were identified … The original government that our Founding Fathers set up loves [entrepreneurship] because that’s what they wanted you to be. What they wanted you to be [is] self-sufficient, hardworking, get out there, you keep what you’ve earned. But that flies in the face of socialism. So entrepreneurship and things like that is gotta be the enemy of the socialists, of the Obama folks and things like that. You can’t have those guys walking around. The Obama people, or the socialist people, they have to have people solely dependent on the government and sucking on its tit … It blew me away to hear the people applauding what [Obama] was saying. I thought, ‘did you never pay attention to history? Don’t you know we have heard this before?’ And it always ends up in collapse or millions of people dead.”

In a July 26, 2012 appearance on NRA news, Barrett commented on a July 17, 2012 speech in which President Barack Obama stated, “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me—because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t – look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hard working people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business–you didn’t build that.” Barrett replied to these remarks, stating, “What Obama had said here with the ‘you didn’t do this’—this is not new stuff. You know, the world has heard socialist people try to sell this game for decades. You know, it’s the same thing that was said in Europe in the 30s. I went back and listened to his whole talk on that and the whole thing is that ‘you’re not going to be able to do it by yourself and you’re only going to be able to do it if we share and your problems of you not having any money is really this rich man over here and we’re going to take from that rich man and give it to you.’ And of course that identifying a problem thing, we’ve seen that in history, too. You always have to identify some sort of group that is the problem for you and you can go back and like I said look in Europe in the 30s and how their groups were identified … The original government that our Founding Fathers set up loves [entrepreneurship] because that’s what they wanted you to be. What they wanted you to be [is] self-sufficient, hardworking, get out there, you keep what you’ve earned. But that flies in the face of socialism. So entrepreneurship and things like that is gotta be the enemy of the socialists, of the Obama folks and things like that. You can’t have those guys walking around. The Obama people, or the socialist people, they have to have people solely dependent on the government and sucking on its tit … It blew me away to hear the people applauding what [Obama] was saying. I thought, ‘did you never pay attention to history? Don’t you know we have heard this before?’ And it always ends up in collapse or millions of people dead.”

Ronnie Barrett personally designed the first .50 caliber sniper rifle after observing a Browning machine gun mounted on a gunboat. This high-powered sniper rifle—available for sale on the civilian market—has an effective range of over a mile and can pierce armor. John C. Killorin, a former special agent in charge of the Atlanta field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), called Barrett’s rifle "a devastatingly powerful weapon against which most troops, most law enforcement, no civilians, have any means of defense.” Barrett, on the other hand, has described his invention as “a toy for a big boy.” In 2004, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) banned civilian ownership of the rifle. In 2005, U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) and 28 cosponsors introduced legislation that would have placed stricter regulations on .50 caliber sniper rifles by placing them in the same federal regulatory class as machine guns. The 50 Caliber Sniper Rifle Reduction Act found that “the intended use of these long-range firearms…is the taking of human life and the destruction of materiel, including armored vehicles and such components of the national critical infrastructure as radars and microwave transmission devices, in addition 50 caliber sniper weapons pose a significant threat to civil aviation in that they are capable of destroying or disabling jet aircraft … The virtually unrestricted availability of these firearms and ammunition, given the uses intended in their design and manufacture, present a serious and substantial threat to the national security.”

In fact, a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle was used by the Branch Davidians during the 1993 Waco siege, forcing the FBI to use armored
Bradley fighting vehicles
before having to upgrade to even heavier armor. Smalls arms proliferation led to the acquisition of Barrett .50 sniper rifles by other terrorist organizations and extremist groups. Essam al-Ridi, a government witness during the trial of terrorists involved in the 1998 bombing of United States embassies in Africa, testified that he sold Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terrorist organization 25 Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles in 1988 or 1989. The sale would have represented at least 15% of the total production of .50 caliber rifles for either of the two years in question. The Barrett .50 rifle was also used by IRA snipers to kill British police officers and Irish constables during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Barrett raises funds for the NRA Foundation by offering tours of the Barrett factory in exchange for a $1,000 donation.

Clel Baudler (Board Member)

In the wake of the February 26, 2012 killing of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, Baudler voiced support Iowa’s version of Florida's controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. The “Stand Your Ground” law, known by critics as “Kill At Will” or “Shoot First,” was harshly criticized after the Martin killing by opponents who contended that the law condones vigilantism and unjustifiable murder. In defense of “Stand Your Ground,” Baudler pointed to an Iowa case where a man used a handgun to defend himself from an unprovoked attack by two individuals. He was charged with intimidation with a dangerous weapon and going armed with intent, but acquitted of all charges. Baudler vowed to bring back Iowa’s “Stand Your Ground” bill each legislative session until it is passed. “I think when everything cools down [concerning the killing of Trayvon Martin], we will get it through some day, some year,” he said. “If we don’t, I trust the voters to put the right people in office to do the right thing for Iowans, not Floridians or Californians, but the right thing for Iowa.”

Responding to plans by Occupy Wall Street protestors to hold non-violent demonstrations in conjunction with the January 3, 2011 Iowa presidential caucuses, Baudler, who is a Republican member of Iowa’s state legislature, told protesters to expect a response that “will be swift and it will be sure.” He went on to add, “Since I'm not a state trooper anymore, they probably won't be handcuffed - but I have friends. If an officer asks for help, I will help, believe me. We're just not going to tolerate in rural Iowa what's going on in the big metropolitan areas. A little thump therapy never hurt anybody.”

Between 2007 and 2009, Baudler was a sponsor of a proposed amendment to the Iowa Constitution that called for recognition by the state of only marriages between a man and a woman. It failed to pass.

In 2008, Baudler sponsored HF 2476, “A bill for an act prohibiting local legislation that prevents local government officials or employees from cooperating with federal officials with regard to the immigration status of persons within the state.” The legislation would have made local law enforcement officers and local government officials personally liable to civil actions if their jurisdictions enacted legislation that prevented local law enforcement from working with federal law enforcement on immigrant matters.

In 2007, Baudler co-authored legislation that sought to prevent Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles locations from offering information in any language other than English. The bill failed to pass.

Baudler is a Republican member of the Iowa House of Representatives.

In February 2008, Baudler authored and introduced HF 2187, “A bill for an act relating to bail restrictions imposed against a person who is an unauthorized alien.” The bill, which died in subcommittee, sought to require law enforcement to hold “unauthorized aliens” without bail if they were charged with any criminal offense. Such a law would be unconstitutional as applied to a person charged with a federal crime as the Eight Amendment provides, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Most U.S. states also have provisions barring excessive bail.

Clel Baudler (Board Member)

A September 5, 2011 article in the Des Moines Register indicated that Baudler supports the use of profiling at airports for “select passengers.”

Baudler once traveled to California and lied about a medical condition to obtain a prescription for medical marijuana in an apparent attempt to demonstrate that medical marijuana laws can be abused. In California it is illegal to lie about a medical condition to receive a prescription. Baudler claimed that he didn’t break any laws because he doubted the man he talked to (who he referred to as an “oriental”) was a real doctor, saying, “I wouldn't want to bet that guy had anymore than a high school degree in some other country.”

Ken Blackwell (NRA Board Member)

In a February 5, 2014 op-ed for The Patriot Post, Blackwell claimed the Obama Administration is waging a “War on Faith”through “an all-out intimidation campaign to drive the free exercise of faith from everyday life and the marketplace of ideas and into the confines of churches, mosques and synagogues for one day a week.” Blackwell added, “The Washington ruling class understands that the exercise of religion as a living, breathing 24/7 reality—as opposed to once-a-week worship—is perhaps the most significant threat to the expansion of government and its spreading control over our lives. Government's intimidation of competing institutions therefore necessitates an assault on their values as well.” Blackwell makes specific reference to the contraceptive mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which applies to religious and non-religious businesses alike. His editorial was published the day prior to the annual National Prayer Breakfast, an event President Obama has attended and spoke at during each year of his Presidency.

Ken Blackwell (Board Member)

In a January 19, 2013 interview with Breitbart News, Blackwell discussed the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 first-grade students and six adults were killed. Blackwell stated, “A gun is a tool. The challenge we face instead is the culture … More and more people reject the whole notion of right and wrong. It’s becoming fashionable to deny the existence of God, and claim the right to determine for yourself what you will live for and how you will live. Some embrace the worldview that life is ultimately meaningless, so what’s the point? We come from nothing and we become nothing. Others embrace a worldview that all that matters is going for the thrill and whatever feels good.” Blackwell also addressed President Barack Obama’s proposals to combat gun violence, stating, “If we stop this gun control legislation, what kinds of executive orders and regulations will this president come out with to achieve the same result. We can take him to court on all that, but he’s trying to remake the courts as well. We’re only a single vote away from the Supreme Court erasing the Second Amendment … Nobody wants to talk about 2016 yet, but the reality is this is likely a four-year fight over the Second Amendment to our Constitution. Whoever wins the White House in 2016 will likely determine whether the right to keep and bear arms a decade from now is embraced as a constitutional right, or as a government-granted privilege that a president or governor can revoke on a whim.”

In a January 15, 2013 open letter to former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, Blackwell wrote, “I was disappointed with the clear implication in your Meet The Press interveiw [sic] that those of us, in the GOP who defend life, protect traditional marriage and advance religious liberty are intolerent [sic]. The Democratic [National] Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina… came out against marriage. They say they only want to add to the number of happily married couples by allowing men to marry men and women to marry women. But we know that wherever these counterfeit marriages have been recognized, true marriage declines … Just as counterfeit money drives out true money, same sex marriage drives out true marriage. … President Obama has refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act and pledges to repeal it. He has openly joined the Marriage Enders. They're not changing marriage. They are ending it. If two men can marry, why not three? If gays and lesbians can marry, what about bi-sexual persons and persons who have sought to change their sex? Why can't they have one spouse of either sex? After slavery, after Jim Crow, after the KKK, it is fair to say that among the worst things visited upon black Americans have been the targeting of our families by abortionists and the effort to end marriage. That is why we are in a crisis. This is what happens when a major party rejects God.” Blackwell was referring to Powell’s January 13, 2013 interview on “Meet the Press,” in which he stated that the Republican party is suffering from a “dark vein of intolerance” and that some in the party seem to “look down on minorities.” Blackwell was also referring to the platform at the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) which originally did not include the word “God.” On September 5, 2012, Los Angeles Mayor and Chairman of the DNC Antonio Villaraigosa made a motion on the floor of the DNC to revise the platform to include the word “God.” Some delegates and journalists on the convention floor claimed that one could not audibly hear two-thirds of the delegates say ‘Aye.’ Villaraigosa nonetheless declared the amendment had been approved.

On October 12, 2012, the Tea Party Victory Fund, a PAC headed by Blackwell, released a political TV ad in which Blackwell asks, “Have Barack Obama's policies empowered or enslaved Americans?" The ad features an unidentified African-American woman at an Obama rally. She says, “He gave us a phone. Keep Obama in president.” When asked how she received the phone, the woman replied, “You sign up if you are in food stamps, you are in Social Security, you've got low income. Keep Obama in president. He gave us a phone." In a fundraising email, Blackwell wrote, “This commercial is a microcosm of the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans want to create an environment where free people make their own choices and pursue their dreams. President Obama and the Democrats want to create a dependency on government that ensures that Americans rely on Washington from cradle to grave … What this lady said is so offensive because it's so blatant–she finally comes out and says what we all know that the Democrats really think.” Free phones are given to eligible individuals as part of a Federal Communications Commission program called Lifeline that provides low-cost or free phone service so they are “able to connect to jobs, family, and 911 services.”

In an October 8, 2012 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell wrote, “The Obama Mandate will force us to violate our consciences. President Obama famously said he doesn't know when human life begins, but he's willing to force us to collaborate in the destruction of innocent human lives … President Obama doesn't care what you think, so long as you join him in helping to destroy the unborn on demand. And help him by paying for it … We are putting at risk America's unique contribution to the world: religious freedom.” Blackwell was referring to a January 2012 Obama Administration announcement that the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” requires employers to provide health insurance that covers contraception for women free of charge. The rule does not apply to church organizations themselves, but instead to affiliated nonprofit corporations, like hospitals, that do not rely primarily on members of the faith as employees. Additionally, the Act did not in any way alter existing, strict federal restrictions on the funding of abortion.

In a September 21, 2021 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell wrote, “The Democratic Party has officially committed itself to ending traditional marriage. For what else can happen to marriage when two persons of the same sex can marry and the rest of us are forced to recognize these counterfeits as true? If two, why not three? There is no compelling reason why not … Historian Michael Knox Beran found this nugget in Mr. Obama's second autobiography, The Audacity of Hope: ‘[I] came to appreciate how the earth rotated around the sun and the seasons came and went without any particular exertions on my part.’ What becoming modesty: earth, sun, seasons. Wait! Did he say the earth rotates around the sun? Yes, he did. Where is our ready-to-pounce press corps on this one? I don't know how they taught in fifth grade science in Jakarta, but here in America I learned that the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. This is no small point … President Obama has similarly mixed up the social science on family. His administration has given us ‘Julia.’ She is the Every Woman fictional figure who spends her entire life looking to government for assistance, from Head Start through Social Security. The only man in Julia's life is Barack Obama. Social science unambiguously reports that children thrive with mothers and fathers who are married and who worship regularly. President Obama's administration is not about that at all.” A Department of Health and Human Services report stated that children in nuclear families were “generally healthier, more likely to have access to health care, and less likely to have definite or severe emotional or behavioral difficulties than children living in nonnuclear families.” The study defines “nuclear family” as one that “consists of one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents to all children in the family.”

In a September 19, 2012 interview with WND Radio, Blackwell spoke about the August 15, 2012 shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters in Washington, D.C. According to the criminal complaint, shooter Floyd Lee Corkins II entered the building and encountered the building manager, Leo Johnson. Corkins "stated words to the effect of, 'I don't like your politics,'" a witness told FBI agents. Corkins then pulled a firearm from his backpack and shot Johnson in the arm. Johnson, though injured, wrestled the firearm away from Corkins and subdued him. Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the FRC. In the interview, Blackwell was asked if he knew of any connection between the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the shooter, Floyd Corkins. Blackwell replied, “Well [Corkins] mentioned that he was not attacking Leo [Johnson] personally but he was attacking us because we were a hate group. And the Southern Poverty Law Center has mislabeled the FRC a hate group because of our stance on traditional marriage and our strong defense of the pro-life ethic in this country … We are asking [the SPLC] to cease and desist. Look, religious liberty is the most profound of our human rights. Without religious freedom people exist only as political or economic entities not as free human beings. Religious liberty, in our view, is the first of all human rights for it implies the dignity of the human conscious. So, one’s faith is one’s most profound level of personhood. And so we think not only FRC but all those who believe in American exceptionalism, because we understand that our rights come from God not from the state, should rally behind this call for the Southern Poverty Law Center to cease and desist for mislabeling people as being haters because they stand for biblical truth … Look, President Obama…is determined to transform our family-centered society into a government-centered society … But I think the transformation [President Obama] is most wedded to is that he wants to transform our national philosophy founded upon the primacy of the individual and the supremacy of God to one founded upon the primacy of the collective good and the supremacy of central government. That’s why every day of his presidency he has done whatever it takes to undermine the Constitution and to empower a strong central or federal government which, by definition, has to be predicated on the weakening and destruction of the family and chasing God and faith out of the public square or, at minimum, silencing the church.” The SPLC stated in a September 13, 2012 press release that it does not list FRC as a hate group because of its opposition to gay marriage or its religious beliefs, but, “instead, we list the FRC because it engages in baseless, incendiary name-calling and spreads demonizing lies about the LGBT community. The FRC portrays gay people as sick, evil, perverted, incestuous and a danger to the nation. It insists that gay people are ‘fundamentally incapable’ of providing good homes for children–a myth that has been rejected by all relevant scientific authorities. One of its key leaders has actually said that homosexual behavior should be criminalized. Perhaps the FRC’s most dangerous lie is its claim that pedophilia is a ‘homosexual problem.’"

In a September 13, 2012 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell wrote, “In the dreary years of Depression and drift leading up to World War II, there was always a difference of perception between Britain and France about the Hitler threat. France wanted to strike Hitler when he marched into the Rhineland in 1936. This was a direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles [which ended World War I and imposed sanctions on Germany] and France felt its very life was threatened by a re-militarized Rhineland on her border. The French premier was invited to London by Prime Minister Baldwin—for talks. Four years later, France fell under the Nazi boot. Britain always had the advantage of distance from Germany. Britain had a 22-mile anti-tank trench called the English Channel. France naturally resented Britain's talking, talking, talking while Hitler moved. This is useful history as we view the situation in Israel today. The Iranian mullahs are motivated by the same anti-Jewish hatred that poisoned Hitler. They are developing a nuclear weapon, while claiming only to want nuclear energy for ‘peaceful purposes’ … [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton has responded to the latest increase of Mideast tensions with soothing bromides … [President Barack] Obama administration's Iran policy has been all hope and no change. The U.S. has bunker buster bombs that reportedly could destroy Iran's nuclear facilities as they take them deep underground. But would a re-elected Peace Prize winner ever use those bunker busters? Or, would he rely, as he is being daily urged to rely, on deterrence … When we permit [President of Iran, Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad…to visit New York and spew anti-Semitic hatred from the podium of the UN General Assembly, we may think we are showing admirable patience and forbearance; we may think we are demonstrating our liberal values to these dictatorial regimes. But they view this as a sign of our weakness. They are not deterred by weak-willed acquiescence. Hitler was genuinely surprised when Britain and France declared war on him in 1939 following his invasion of Poland. He had met Prime Minister Chamberlain and Premier Daladier at Munich and had taken their measure. He thought they would never carry out their threats. Nothing in the conduct of this administration's policy toward Iran has given the mullahs the slightest indication that President Obama and Sec. Clinton will actually use overwhelming force to stop their nuclear arms race.”

In a September 5, 2012 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Blackwell wrote, “The [Democratic] party was clearly embarrassed because its platform [at the Democratic National Convention] failed to mention God and overlooked the party’s historic support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel … So now, the Democratic platform has been changed. Are we satisfied? Does anyone think that a party that has to be arm-wrestled into acknowledging God is sincere? What we saw on the convention floor in Charlotte was the real Democratic Party. It was hostile to religion.” The platform at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) originally did not include the words “God” or “Jerusalem.” On September 5, Los Angeles Mayor and Chairman of the DNC Antonio Villaraigosa made a motion on the floor of the DNC to revise the platform to include the word “God” and affirm Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Such action requires a two-thirds vote by convention delegates. Some delegates and journalists on the convention floor claimed that one could not audibly hear two-thirds of the delegates say “aye.” Villaraigosa nonetheless declared the amendment had been approved. Any delegate who objected to the process could have made a formal challenge within ten minutes of the vote. No formal challenge was made.

In an August 30, 2012 interview with MRCTV, a division of the Media Research Center, Blackwell stated, “President Obama and now the Democratic Party has embraced a national philosophy founded upon the primacy of the collective good and the supremacy of the national government as opposed to our national philosophy held by most Americans founded upon the primacy of the individual and the centrality and the supremacy of God.” The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution explicitly prohibited the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.”

In an August 28, 2012 interview with The Hill, Blackwell made references to controversial remarks made by U.S. Representative Todd Akin (R-MO). On August 19, 2012, Akin commented on the issue of pregnancy induced by rape, stating, “It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” Later, Akin publicly stated that Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan had personally asked him to end his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also announced that even if Akin, who was trailing Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill in two recent polls, managed to pull even with her, "We're not going to send him a penny." Commenting on this imbroglio, Blackwell stated, "I think it was a mistake not to get the leaders in Missouri lined up before [GOP national leadership] went up and looked overly heavy-handed in the way they were pushing [Akin] … I've encouraged people at the Senatorial Committee to wait about five days and do a poll and see if things have stabilized. If things have, they might want to readjust. Senatorial committees can do anything. It is not as if some of the damage they've done can be papered over but they can reverse themselves on it."

In an August 27, 2012 interview with Fox News Radio, Blackwell spoke about Voter ID laws. He stated, “Over the past 40 years, most of case law in elections have been focused on the franchise, making it easier for folks to cast their ballots. In the last four to six years, there’s been a focus on the other voting right and that is the right to be protected against a fraudulent vote cancelling out your legal vote … I do a lot of work with Judicial Watch, and Judicial Watch’s studies show that of the 1.3 million voter registrations gathered by Project Vote and ACORN, over 400,000 of those were fraudulent.” Radio host Bob Davis asked Blackwell why Democrats argue there is no fraud in elections. Blackwell replied, “They try to cast it as a voter suppression effort. Again, the facts will fly in the face of those misdirected concerns … In 2004, Georgia, a Southern state that had a history in terms of slavery and the black codes, etc … They implemented a voter ID law in the state of Georgia, everyone said this was voter suppression, this was geared to suppress the black and Latino vote in particular. Well, in 2008, the Latino vote went up from 18,000 to 19,000 … More importantly, there was an increase in the black vote of 42% … In American culture, in American life, having an ID is nothing that’s burdensome. We have an ID for a driver’s license. If you wanna get a library book, if you wanna receive a medical license … We must understand that what the Democrats and the left, in particular, are doing is using this notion of voter suppression to [drum] up anxiety in their base. They’re trying to convert this legitimate effort to protect the integrity of the ballot box into a way to mobilize their base by mischaracterizing as an attempt to throw us back into Jim Crow era.” Blackwell referred to ACORN, a community activist organization and its affiliate, Project Vote. After the 2008 election, the John McCain (R-AZ) campaign accused the group of perpetrating “massive voter fraud.” Neither ACORN nor its employees have ever been found guilty of—or even charged with—casting fraudulent votes. Several ACORN canvassers have been found guilty of faking registration forms. The evidence shows that the canvassers faked the forms to get paid for work they didn’t do, not to stuff ballot boxes. A report by the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan public policy research arm of the U.S. Congress, stated that there were no instances of individuals who were allegedly registered to vote improperly by ACORN or its employees and who were reported "attempting to vote at the polls." Blackwell also referred to the effect of a voter ID law on voting in Georgia in the 2008 election. In the 2008 election, more than 50,000 residents were purged from the Georgia voter rolls because of a computer mismatch in their personal identification information. Furthermore, voter ID laws in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida have been challenged in court by the Department of Justice over allegations that they disenfranchise minorities. In July of 2012, the DOJ began investigating Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law to determine whether it discriminates against minorities.

In an August 24, 2012 interview on "Washington Watch Weekly", Blackwell stated, “President [Barack] Obama and his party want to transform our market economy into a government-controlled economy but most importantly, they are dead set on making sure that they transform our national philosophy founded upon the primacy of the individual and the supremacy of God to one founded on the primacy of the collective good and the supremacy of the central government. Our document, the GOP document, is a direct contrast; it provides the American people with a choice, not an echo. That is so important because there are two paths that we can go down: we can reinforce our fundamental belief that when we are God-centered, free men and free women and free markets can accomplish much and overcome most hurdles thrown in our way or do we want to go down the path of being a government-controlled economy, destroying families, replacing it with bureaucrat decision makers that would run afoul of what the founders of this nation envisioned 237 years ago … In our 237th year as being an exceptional nation we are at risk of losing it all. We just can’t afford to have four more years of a President that one, doesn’t understand the nature of our exceptionalism, and two, has a worldview and a set of guiding principles that are in direct contradiction with what has made us an exceptional nation. I’ve always enjoyed the push and pull of the whole process, I think it’s now incumbent upon us to make sure that this is not a document that is put on the shelf and our candidates across the country can just let collect dust and ignore. There is a fault line from the Pacific to the Atlantic and one side are those who believe in big government and who believe that the family and God can be replaced by a supreme state government, and that’s a problem.” The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution explicitly prohibited the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.”

In an August 24, 2012 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell wrote, “Determined to do [sic] follow what is ‘inevitable,’ very liberal delegates [at the Democratic National Convention] will embrace platform proposals that will spell the end of marriage. Do they fully realize what they are doing? If your only requirement for a marriage is that people love each other, have a committed relationship to each other, and that they give their consent, then you cannot bar twins from marrying. Once you've permitted identical twins to marry, how can you bar twin brother and sister from marrying? They love each other. They have a committed relationship. None of us has had such a biological bond since before birth with our own spouses. Vice President Biden voted for the Defense of Marriage Act as a U.S. Senator. Now, of course, he says that he is not influenced by his many years as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Instead, he takes his guidance on marriage from Hollywood, specifically from the comedy series, Will and Grace. If Hollywood producers are to set the standard for constitutional law in our country, then marriage will be ended, to be sure. For Hollywood has given us another series, Big Love. It's an HBO production about polygamy. It's pretty favorable toward polygamy, they tell me … Is this really where Democrats want to go? Do their very progressive delegates think the voters at the grassroots will approve their lurch to the progressive extremes?” Blackwell continued, stating, “Minorities give strong support to true marriage. In North Carolina, black and Hispanic voters provided the winning margin for marriage … Marriage is not a wedge issue, it's a bridge issue. It's the way Republicans can embrace minorities and immigrants.”

In an August 24, 2012 op-ed for World Magazine, Blackwell wrote, “Happily, the Republican Platform Committee this week sidestepped the issue of civil unions. Committee members reaffirmed the party's historic support for true marriage. That's a good thing because, from the government's perspective, all our marriages are civil unions. And government has a duty to protect the civil institution of marriage. What some call a civil union-as a softer way to grant same-sex couples all the rights of marriage without the name of marriage-is merely a slow-motion surrender on the critical issue of marriage. Governments cannot sanctify marriage, but governments can and should protect the civil institution of marriage. True marriage … We have seen many examples of the ways in which defenders of marriage will lose their civil rights if marriage itself is abolished. If 61 percent of North Carolina voters last May had voted to end true marriage in that state instead of affirming it, we could have been sure that the very next semester schoolchildren in the Tar Heel State would have been proselytized in the early grades for the new definition of marriage. This is what happened in Massachusetts. When parents of public schoolchildren object, they will be the ones singled out for threats, ridicule, and possibly even government sanctions … Those who want to end marriage as we know it often cite the famed U.S. Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia (1967). In that case, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote for a unanimous court when he struck down a state law that barred men and women from different races from legally marrying. We agree with that opinion. We, too, believe that marriage is a fundamental civil right of Americans. And we also agree with Earl Warren's view that true marriage is necessary for the survival of society. Chief Justice Warren did not have to say true marriage-between one man and one woman. It was understood. It must still be so understood. The civil rights of all Americans must be defended … Keeping marriage alive requires hard work. And it needs government support. What we are saying is that true marriage must survive for America to survive. We are saying preserve Americans' civil right of marriage if we want America to climb back from the abyss of economic decline and social decay.” On the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, Mildred Loving, one of the plaintiffs in the case, stated, “I believe all Americans, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry … I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

In a July 23, 2012 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Blackwell wrote about President Barack Obama’s “’covert zeal’ for abortion.” He stated, “Abraham Lincoln faced a similar problem in 1854 when he spoke of the ‘covert zeal’ of President Franklin Pierce and Sen. Stephen A. Douglas for the spread of slavery. These leading Democrats never said they were in favor of slavery. They simply viewed the right of whites to choose slavery for blacks as a ‘sacred principle of self-government’ … President Obama doesn’t talk about abortion much … President Obama has been the most pro-abortion president in history … From his first public office, he has been an advocate for abortion-on-demand. He led the fight in the Illinois State Senate to deny protection for newborn children who survive abortion attempts. These children are U.S. citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment. And just as too many states denied ‘equal protection of the laws’ to black Americans under a century of unjust Jim Crow laws, Barack Obama denied protection of Illinois laws to newborns in the Land of Lincoln because they had been targeted for abortion.” Then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama voted against the state’s “Born Alive Infant Protection Act” in 2001, 2002, and 2004, because in his words, “Whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a… nine-month-old…child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place.” Blackwell wrote, “From his first day in office until now, President Obama has quietly but vigorously pushed the abortion agenda. He records promotional videos for Planned Parenthood. This group kills 340,000 of the more than1,200,000 unborn children killed each year by abortion. Under Obamacare, they will be able to kill millions more.” Blackwell was referring to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which did not in any way alter existing, strict federal restrictions on the funding of abortion.

In a July 2012 article for Loop 21 on the pros and cons of “Stand Your Ground” laws, Blackwell was asked why he thought the Commission on Civil Rights was investigating them for racial bias. “Stand Your Ground” laws generated national controversy when unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was killed by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012. The National Rifle Association helped to author the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida and promoted it aggressively there and in many other states. Blackwell stated, “Michael Yaki is a member of the commission. Mr. Yaki is an anti-Second Amendment lawyer, who has been pushing for the investigation ... If anything, [the law] benefits racial minorities more.” In June 2012, the Tampa Bay Times identified nearly 200 “Stand Your Ground” cases in Florida and determined that 73 percent of those who killed a black person faced no punishment, compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white person. When asked why he thought “Stand Your Ground” was being challenged, Blackwell responded, “I have no idea why anyone would challenge this point of view, unless they foolishly think we can grow a government big enough to protect all of us, all of the time.” He replied to a question about the cons of the law, stating, “There are none.”

On June 25, 2012, Herman Cain, former 2012 Republican presidential candidate, released an advertisement in which he and Ken Blackwell defended a Florida’s Voter ID law. Blackwell asked, “Why is [U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder demanding that Florida stop removing illegal voters from their rolls/a>?” Blackwell was making reference to a Department of Justice lawsuit which challenged the Florida law because of allegations that it disenfranchises minorities. Blackwell further boasted, “As Secretary of State of Ohio, I was responsible for the integrity of the vote.” In 2004, while serving as the Secretary of State of Ohio and co-chair of the “Committee to Re-Elect George W. Bush,” Blackwell was the defendant in 16 lawsuits that alleged he disenfranchised Ohio voters.

In a June 15, 2012 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell wrote “Recognizing same-sex couplings as marriages will mean the end of marriage. That's because saying yes to two men or two women marrying opens the door to polygamy … With same-sex couplings and polygamous arrangements recognized, where would that leave marriage? Ended, that's where. When everyone can marry, no one can marry. There is no marriage left. Advocates for same-sex couplings have never agreed to bar polygamous groups being granted marriage rights. After all, if ‘marriage equality’ is the real goal, then three or four marital partners are even more equal than two.” Blackwell continued, stating, “Much media talk about how young people support same-sex couplings does not translate into votes. There is a silenced minority here. Young people are constantly told it's not cool to be against same-sex demands. With Americans waiting longer to get married, it should not surprise us that the youth cohort is the least supportive of true marriage. They're not married yet.” He urged, “Defenders of true marriage need to be equally bold in speaking with younger audiences. Candidates need to tell the young the truth: that if they support marriage rights for same-sex couplings, they will be voting to end marriage … The young, according to all polls, are disproportionately pro-life … We need to share with the young this hopeful message: Marriage is the best protector for unborn children that we have. Four out of five unborn children who are killed in abortion are the children of single parents. If you really care about unborn children, protect the institution that best protects them.”

In a May 9, 2012 op-ed for World Community, Blackwell accused President Barack Obama of being a “full-blown advocate of abolishing marriage.” He referred to efforts at the state to level to ban same-sex marriage as evidence that “Americans overwhelmingly do not agree that marriage should be ended.” According to Blackwell, that would be the result if same-sex couples were allowed to marry. “Three men marrying?” Blackwell wrote. “Two men and a woman? If everyone can marry, then no one can marry, thus ending marriage as we know it.”

In an April 26, 2012 op-ed for The Daily Caller, Blackwell wrote about “the secularization of Martin Luther King Jr,” stating, “So, since Rev. King and religion are inseparable, why are some people so quick to hide Dr. King’s religiosity? We would expect this type of careful ideological manipulation of history in the tyrannical states of the former Soviet Union or North Korea, but how does this happen in America? Sadly, I believe this is another example of how the secular left is winning the culture war. By driving religion out of the public square and re-writing the history books, they are erasing the invaluable role religion has played in our country’s history.” He continued, “By eliminating religion, the secular left is using the force of law to build its own type of warped, unholy church which is highly dogmatic and mandates participation under the threat of force … With the Obama administration’s openly hostile approach to religion, we have a government forcing members of religious institutions to participate in acts that violate their consciences, such as providing contraception and abortion services. All churches in Obama’s America are subservient to the whims of government bureaucrats, who are exercising power far outside the limits of our Constitution.” Blackwell was referring to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to provide health insurance which covers contraception for women free of charge. The Act did not in any way alter existing, strict federal restrictions on the funding of abortion.

In a February 26, 2012 web appearance on The Daily Caller, Blackwell said of Democratic President Barack Obama, “What you see is a president that ignores the Constitution, an administration that ignores the Constitution. And he wants to build a federal court system in his own philosophy and in his own image, and thereby give him, and his administration, unbridled power.” Blackwell was then asked why some polls were indicating that African-American support was down for President Obama. He responded, “I remember being in graduate school and I read a work of a psychiatrist in the late 1800s and he was talking about the Antebellum south and slavery. And he said, ‘What people don’t understand is that you have a slave, and you have to worry about that slave running and bolting towards freedom. So your guarding and you put him in chains. And what you have is not a slave, you have a captive.’ He said, ‘When you can take off the chains and you can do away with the guards and that captive will not walk and walk outside of the area of prescription of slavery, you then have converted that captive to a slave.’ And he said, ‘There is a fear of freedom, that slaves, unlike captives, wont take the risk of bolting because all of us, slave and master alike, like homeostasis or equilibrium.’ And so one of the things that I’ve started to notice is that more and more young black people are willing to take the risk of being free, the risk of being not dependent on the government, and that is something, that’s a force that the pill of dependency, you know, cannot overtake by the Obama administration.”

In a February 22, 2012 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell wrote, “The term ‘Southern Strategy’ was invented by liberals in 1968 to attack their partisan opponents in the Republican Party, then led by Richard Nixon.” In fact, it was Republican President Richard Nixon’s political strategist, Kevin Phillips, who popularized the practice. The “Southern Strategy” involved exploiting white racism against African-Americans to drum up Republican votes, and was first used by Nixon during the 1968 presidential campaign. Blackwell added, “We who defend true [heterosexual] marriage are equally committed to civil rights. We strongly believe that marriage is a civil right—and that overturning true marriage will cause grave harm to all Americans, not the least to the poor and to minorities.”

In a February 7, 2012 op-ed for the Patriot Post where Blackwell urged Israel to immediately launch a military attack against Iran, he also claimed that the administration of President Barack Obama “is outraged by the sight of too many Jews in Jerusalem.”

In a February 2, 2012 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell lamented that complaints by civil rights organizations led retired General Jerry Boykin to withdraw from speaking at the West Point military academy’s annual prayer breakfast. Blackwell wrote, “The Obama administration's hostility toward religion—and especially Christians—continues even to the detriment of our men and women in uniform.” Boykin is an anti-Muslim hardliner who has described the War on Terror as a “Christian battle against Satan” (a statement that was repudiated by President George W. Bush). He has also called Islam “a totalitarian way of life” and has argued that the First Amendment, which protects the free practice of religion, does not apply to Islam. A statement by VoteVets.org alleged that Boykin’s presence at the prayer breakfast would “put our troops in danger.” Blackwell called Boykin “an ideal choice” to speak at a prayer event held at a military academy. He went on to write, “This sad episode is yet another example of the Obama administration's ongoing hostility to people of faith,” despite the fact that the Obama administration played no role in the controversy.

In a December 9, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell called the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act—a piece of legislation that allowed the residents of those states to determine whether slavery would be allowed inside their borders—“the original ‘pro-choice’ legislation.” He also added, “A year before his acceptance speech at Denver. Mr. Obama went before Planned Barrenhood and shackled himself to their sterile ideology of abortion-on-demand.”

In a December 8, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell wrote, “Mr. Obama and his administration keep Planned Barrenhood in business—shoveling billions to their lethal efforts. Because of them, six in ten pregnancies in Harlem end in abortion. There is no hope in that dread change.” In reality, only three percent of services provided by Planned Parenthood are related to abortion, with 90% of services aimed at preventing unwanted pregnancy

Due to ongoing tensions between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falklands Islands, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated in March 2010 that the United States will “facilitate them talking to each other.” “We’re not interested and have no real role in determining what they decide between the two of them, but we want them talking and we want them trying to resolve the outstanding issues between them,” she added. In response to Clinton’s statement, Blackwell authored a November 11, 2011 op-ed for the Huffington Post in which he stated, “By raising the subject of ‘talks’ about the Falklands, Mrs. Clinton is threatening a renewed war. We know Bill Clinton has lamented he did not have a war to assure his presidential greatness. Is Hillary hoping to be called upon to negotiate the Falklands matter so she, too, can cop a Nobel Prize? If she wins one for this, let's make it tin.” Blackwell also compared the Argentine military dictatorship that ordered the invasion of the Falklands to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests addressing income inequality in the United States by writing, “Think ‘Occupy Buenos Aires.’

In a November 4, 2011 op-ed for World Magazine, Blackwell claimed that the “Respect Marriage Act,” which would repeal the “Defense of Marriage Act,” would “abolish marriage.” He also said of the bill, “While calling for ‘respect’ in the Orwellian sense, it would offer true marriage the same ‘respect’ President Obama showed to the body of Osama bin Laden—a hasty burial at sea after summarily being put to death.” Blackwell also claimed that legalizing gay marriage would lead to polygamy.

In a November 4, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell made a number of unverified claims about President Barack Obama’s policy towards Iran and claimed that the President “even sent Persian New Year greetings to the Iranian people and their dictatorial rulers.” In fact, President Obama sent a greeting only to the people of Iran. In that greeting, he compared the political situation in Iran to populist uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and stated, “Just as the people of the region have insisted that they have a choice in how they are governed, so do the governments of the region have a choice in their response. So far, the Iranian government has responded by demonstrating that it cares far more about preserving its own power than respecting the rights of the Iranian people.”

On October 27, 2011, Blackwell appeared on MSNBC host Chris Matthew’s Hardball show to express support for a Mississippi ballot initiative that would confer “personhood” at conception, a designation that would outlaw all abortion. In defense of the measure, Blackwell said, “I am not a doctor and I am not a lawyer, but I am one who believes in the human dignity of the human life no different than the Pope, no different then—God bless him—Jerry Falwell.” Falwell was a controversial televangelist who once noted, “As a Christian who has a theological perspective, I do not feel that rape and incest are moral grounds for abortion. I do not think that two wrongs make a right.”

On October 26, 2011, Blackwell endorsed Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry for president in the 2012 elections.

In an October 20, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell claimed that the United States government’s support of the ouster of Egyptian dictator Honsi Mubarak meant that, “American taxpayers [are] aiding the slaughter of Egypt's Christians.” He went on to call President Obama “the most anti-Israel president in our history and also, de facto, the most anti-Christian.” Blackwell’s claim was based on a tragic October 2011 event where Coptic Christian protesters threw molotov cocktails and fired weapons at the Egyptian military, which retaliated with deadly force. In the wake of the violence, Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf addressed the nation, saying, “I call on Egyptian people—Muslims and Christians, women and children, young men and elders—to hold their unity.” Blackwell also claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood—an organization that was a key component of the nonviolent uprising against Mubarak—“is known to use terror against its opponents.”

On September 22, 2011 it was announced that Blackwell, along with former Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle, would serve as the two vice presidents for the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA). Commenting on his selection, Blackwell said, “The NFRA is the flagship of constitutionalist conservatism within the Republican Party. It is intent on making sure the federal government has limited powers and the states have an independent sovereign place in our system of government. If we, the people, are to arrest the Obama march to collectivism, social democracy and an imperial presidency, we must swell the ranks of the NFRA and maintain its status as a principled defender of liberty.” One month later, the NFRA endorsed former Republican Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum for president in the 2012 election.

In an op-ed for the Patriot Post published on September 15, 2011, Blackwell called Palestine “Terroristan” and challenged science that supports the conclusion that climate change is a man-made phenomenon. Blackwell praised a Danish scientist who found a connection between solar activity and the earth’s temperature, adding, “It's worth noting that the Danes stood up to China on human rights, even when the Communists in Beijing threatened to crush Denmark ‘like a little bird.’ The Danes published those cartoons of you know who [Muhammad] that set off riots throughout the world by followers of the religion of peace.”

In a September 8, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell claimed that Congressman John Lewis (D-GA)—who spoke at the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech—intended to incite violence within the crowd with his original planned speech. In the actual speech Lewis delivered that day, he called for the crowd to nonviolently support the civil rights movement by “march[ing] with the spirit of love and with the spirit of dignity that we have shown here today.” Blackwell’s editorial portrayed a nonviolent, pro-union rally on Labor Day 2011 as “an incitement to riot.”

In a September 1, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell commented on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s reaction to the foreign policy of President Barack Obama by writing, “She had to smile a forced smile and pretend there was nothing amiss. That's not a role that comes naturally to a miss like Hillary. Correction: A Ms.

In 2011, Blackwell appeared “Online with Terry Jeffrey.” Of President Barack Obama, he said, “I think the President is one who believes in collectivism. I think his preferred path is European-style socialism.” He also said, “The foundation [of the United States government] started with Moses receiving the Decalogue.” Blackwell added, “Tell me, in all of human history, tell me of any authoritarian government or regime, totalitarian government or regime, big welfare state government or regime, that hasn’t run God and faith out of the public square and hasn’t destroyed the family. When you destroy the family and when you and silence the church you create a void that is filled by the authority and totalitarianism of Big Government.” Speaking on his opposition to gay marriage, Blackwell said, “It goes back to one, not only our moral and biblical foundation of this country, it goes back to common sense economics and sociology. What we know, whether it was Patrick Daniel Moynihan or modern day economists like Walter Williams, the fact of the matter is that when you have strong families and you have role models of men and women in that marriage for young children [then] young children do better educationally, they do better economically, as does the family.” When asked whether it is wrong for married same-sex couples to have children, Blackwell said, “I think so. Do I think that having children experience the well-being and love of an adult community is better than having kids abandoned? Yeah. But I don’t think that should be mistaken for what is, one, the preferred, and two, the Biblically-sanctioned family. [Pope John Paul II] understood that equating any other coupling [other than man and woman] was wrong, and counterproductive, and ultimately destructive of a culture and a society. Even the Ancient Greeks, where they celebrated homosexuality, were not so stupid as to attack the bedrock of culture: the union between one man and one woman in holy matrimony.”

Blackwell authored an August 19, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, criticizing President Barack Obama’s role in the death of Osama bin Laden. He wrote that what was missing from the raid (ordered by President Obama) was “presidential leadership.” Blackwell further opined that, “The real reason why President Obama has hurriedly put the bin Laden raid behind him is the same reason why George McGovern could not point to his wonderful combat record, or even let others point to it: The Democratic Party houses a large and influential pacifist element.”

Blackwell believes that the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review process, which produces reports assessing human rights conditions in all member countries, is being used by European countries to diminish United States sovereignty in the Western Hemisphere by imposing human rights conditions on Latin American countries. In an August 6, 20011 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Blackwell said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “has done nothing to uphold the Monroe Doctrine and nothing to defend our Latin American allies from this new form of European imperialism … Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are on the side of the European imperialists.”

On August 2, 2011, Blackwell commented on the resolution of the debt ceiling crisis, writing, “The only thing being terrorized by tea partiers is the tyranny of the status quo.”

On July 12, 2011 Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted requested $332,000 in taxpayer money to pay for attorney’s fees for plaintiffs who sued then-Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell over his conduct during the 2004 presidential elections. The plaintiffs, who alleged that Blackwell violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, settled the lawsuit with the state in 2009.

In a June 12, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell claimed—without any evidence—that “San Francisco gay activists” were behind a local ballot initiative to ban infant circumcision.

In April 2011, Blackwell expressed support for a piece of Ohio legislation that would have banned abortion—for any reason—as early as 18 days after conception. Ohio Right to Life, the state’s leading anti-abortion group, opposed the bill in the face of criticism that the legislation was clearly unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade.

In a March 23, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell, upset that a book about the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan focused too little on Reagan’s policies as president, wrote, “Just imagine if Hinckley had so grievously wounded Jimmy Carter. Can anyone believe that that would have made 18% mortgage rates go away, forget ‘America held hostage’ in Iran, chill out while lining up for gasoline, or learn to enjoy the era of limits and malaise?” The book in question, “Rawhide Down,” was critically acclaimed and well received by reviewers with diverse viewpoints, including Bill O’Reilly and Bob Woodward.

Blackwell tweeted “I am disappointed with ACU's decision to team up with GOProud” and re-tweeted “homosexuality is not conservative” in response to news that the American Conservative Union (ACU) would allow the GOProud organization to participate in the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

In a January 19, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell claimed that the U.N. Population Fund “aids and abets China's government as it brutally enforces its one-child policy.” Claims that the Population Fund encourages women to have abortions have been thoroughly debunked.

In a January 11, 2011 op-ed for the Patriot Post entitled “The Constitution Did Not Condone Slavery,” Blackwell claimed, “There was no mention of slavery in the Constitution. The framers were unwilling to admit in the federal charter there could be property in men.” To the contrary, the Constitution contained the three-fifths compromise that counted slaves as three-fifths of a person for representation and tax purposes. Additionally, Article 1, Section 9 and Article 5 allowed the continued importation of slaves and prohibited the Congress from banning slavery until twenty years after ratification of the Constitution. Finally, Article 4, Section 2 prohibited citizens from providing assistance to escaped slaves (before being superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery).

After actor Liam Neeson said that the Aslan lion character from the “Chronicles of Narnia” series could serve as an allegory for both Jesus Christ and other religious figures, Blackwell wrote a December 21, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post entitled “A Fatwa on Liam Neeson?” In it, he suggested: “Liam Neeson is certainly not stupid. He is, unfortunately, a dhimmicrat. A dhimmicrat is one who uses his social, cultural, or political position to smooth the path of sharia, the law they have in Saudi Arabia … Liam Neeson's fawning attempts may prove dangerous. He did, after all, publicly compare Mohammed to an animal. No matter that it's an allegory. It can still be taken up by Muslim rioters as ‘blasphemy.’

In a December 17, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell urged the Senate to not ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, because “President Obama has never disavowed his socialist convictions. Even the Washington Post refers to him as a socialist. Isn't it time we had a full airing of all of this before we ratify a treaty with the rulers of the Kremlin?”

In an op-ed for the Patriot Post entitled “Obama’s Mosque at Ground Zero” published on August 20, 2010, Blackwell wrote, “Only their [Muslim] beliefs are respected by President Obama … To allow a mosque within spitting distance of Ground Zero is to allow a triumphal arch for our jihadist enemies. It will be a recruiting poster for jihadists worldwide…Do we want sharia law here? That’s the law they have in Saudi Arabia. [Community center proponent] Imam Rauf is all out for sharia. If he succeeds in his life quest, Americans will lose every liberty—starting with our religious liberty.” Rauf actually has said the following about the center: “There's going to be a dedicated prayer space for Muslim, which we do need. And we want to have prayer space for Christians and for Jews. As I said, we have to build on our common platform.” Additionally, Rauf indicated the project will disclose all donors and reject any money offered by organizations that advocate violence.

In a July 28, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell claimed that the Obama administration promotes abortion in Third
World countries because the administration “wants fewer of them.”

Commenting on his belief that the United States promotes abortion in Kenya in an April 16, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post,
Blackwell flirted with “Birther” rhetoric by writing, “The Obama administration doesn't want to raise any questions about why it's pushing for fewer birth certificates in Kenya.”

In a March 24, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell called President Barack Obama, “The Abortion President.”

In a March 9, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell suggested that remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could incite a second Falklands War. Blackwell was incensed that Secretary Clinton referred to the Falkland Islands by their Spanish name. “But
now, we face another possible crisis over the Falklands. And all because of Hillary Clinton’s clumsy attempt at “even-handedness”—which is in fact ham-handedness
,” wrote Blackwell. “Think we’re having trouble with Latin Americans now? Try to imagine U.S. Naval vessels called in at the last minute to block an Argentine invasion of the Falklands.”

In a February 26, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell claimed “If it is passed, ObamaCare will greatly increase abortions in this country by making them free.” In reality, in conjunction with the health care reform bill, President Obama issued an Executive Order preserving the restriction on the use of federal government funds to pay for abortions.

In a February 23, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell claimed that homosexuals “created” the AIDs epidemic and worried “Do the American people want to bring this health crisis into the ranks of our volunteer military?” Regarding the potential repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, Blackwell wondered, “What would the gay quota be? Would it be the widely discredited 10% figure that gay activists like Obama’s Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings always cite? Or would it be the more realistic ‘less than 3% figure?’”

In a January 19, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell suggested that TWA Flight 800, which crashed in 1996 killing all 230 persons aboard, was downed by a terrorist attack. A FBI investigation revealed no evidence of terrorist involvement.

In a January 7, 2010 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell wrote, “In the 1960s, many developing nation’s had nearly wiped out malaria, but it came back after DDT was banned. It did not matter that DDT was harmless to humans—and actually saved lives—the Left attacked it, ultimately causing 50 million preventable deaths.” Medical research has linked human exposure to DDT to diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and reproductive problems, including miscarriages, developmental disabilities, and premature births. DDT is also a “probable human carcinogen,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Family Research Council (FRC), where Blackwell works as a Senior Fellow, has made a number of controversial statements about homosexuality, leading it to be designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Comparing the Department of Justice’s decision to prosecute 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court to the role of then-Attorney General Janet Reno during the Waco siege, Blackwell wrote a December 5, 2009 op-ed for the Patriot Post, stating, “Attorney General Janet Reno thought she might have to prove her toughness by transferring dozens of women and children from a Waco cult headquarters to eternity. Really bad idea.” Blackwell also wrote, “Eric Holder’s decision to try the terrorists in Manhattan may not be simply the worst decision of this administration, it bids fair to stand with Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade as being among the three worst decisions in American history.”

Blackwell compared the presidency of Jimmy Carter to the slave trade in a November 25, 2009 op-ed for the Patriot Post, writing, “More Africans lost their freedom during Jimmy Carter’s four years than at any other time in history.”

In a November 20, 2009 op-ed for the Patriot Post, Blackwell claimed “more than 90 percent” of Democrats “never go to church.”

Blackwell called President Barack Obama “the world’s Number One enabler of China’s forced abortion policy” in a November 14, 2009 op-ed for the Patriot Post.

In a October 30, 2009 opinion piece, Blackwell attacked the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin, by writing, “Would you rather not have a receptionist or customer service representative of your company who has tattooed his or her face with fierce Maori markings? You could be forced by the EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] to make that hire.” Blackwell also worried about the EEOC’s effect on “employers who would prefer not to hire or promote employees who dress as members of the opposite sex.

Expressing his belief that homosexuality is a choice at the 2009 Republican National Convention, Blackwell said, “I've never had to make the choice because I've never had the urge to be other than a heterosexual, but if in fact I had the urge to be something else, I could have in fact suppressed that urge.” Blackwell further stated that the only two sexual orientations are “male” and “female.”

In a May 27, 2008 op-ed for Townhall, Blackwell wrote about the decision of the Philadelphia City Council to increase the Boy Scouts of America’s lease of a city owned building from $1 per year to $200,000 per year because of their discriminatory policy barring homosexual members. Blackwell stated, “Ever since 1910, Scouting has taught that part of being a committed Scout is a traditional understanding of sexuality. Though Scouting respects adherents of various faiths, it has always had a Bible-based morality as the foundation of its values. The Boy Scouts of America believes expressed homosexuality is inconsistent with its credo. They believe their ‘duty to God’ and promise to be ‘reverent’ requires fidelity to that traditional faith. As a result, the Scouts do not allow openly homosexual individuals in their adult leadership ranks. But the Philadelphia City Council has bought into a radical homosexual agenda lock, stock, and barrel. Not only does the Council provide full recognition of special homosexual rights, they also will obviously attack any organization that does not adopt its newfound agenda. The Council is utterly intolerant of any person or organization that does not embrace its new ‘tolerance,’ and is seeking to drive the Scouts from the city. One consequence of democracy is if elected leaders, in a city, state, or nation, choose to embody a radical agenda and attack traditional values, they can usually get away with it. There is nothing to stop government from enacting wrong policy.” Philadelphia officials explained that city law does not permit government subsidies of groups that discriminate.

While serving as Ohio Secretary of State, a state audit revealed that Blackwell illegally paid out over $80,000 in bonuses to staff in December 2006 just before the switch from a Republican to a Democratic administration.

During the 2006 Ohio gubernatorial election, Blackwell was accused by his Democratic opponent, Ted Strickland, of using innuendo to imply that Strickland had a homosexual relationship with a former aide. During a debate, Blackwell also made the shocking accusation that Strickland was associated with the pro-pedophile North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). Strickland defeated Blackwell by a large margin.

Blackwell compared homosexuality to arson and kleptomania in 2006, describing homosexuality as “a transgression against God’s law.”

In 2006, Blackwell said that he favors legislation that would outlaw abortion in the case of rape, incest, and even to save the life of the mother.

On two separate occasions, Blackwell was blamed for the release of the social security numbers of millions of Ohio residents. In 2006, while serving as Ohio’s Secretary of State, Blackwell’s office sent CDs to 20 political parties that contained records of 7.7 million registered voters in Ohio. This followed an earlier incident in which a lawsuit was filed against Blackwell for publishing the social security numbers of thousands of Ohio residents on state websites.

In 2006, Blackwell co-wrote a book with Jerome Corsi, who is well known for his role in the “Swift Boat” campaign against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and the “Birther” accusations against President Barack Obama. Blackwell and Corsi’s book called for eliminating all federal welfare benefits.

While overseeing the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, Blackwell was accused by the Democratic Party and others of implementing policies that disenfranchised minority and young voters. Numerous lawsuits were filed against Blackwell, who was at the time an Honorary Co-Chair of President George W. Bush’s Ohio campaign. One lawsuit filed by the Ohio Democratic Party alleged that Blackwell’s policies violated the Help America Vote Act, passed in the wake of the 2000 presidential election fiasco.

In October 2004, prior to the presidential elections, Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell sent a letter to conservatives to encourage them to vote on a gay marriage ballot issue. Democrats contended that it was inappropriate for the person in charge of overseeing the election to rally voters to vote a specific cause. Marion County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Slagle compared Blackwell’s conduct to “allowing the manager of the New York Yankees to also serve as the chief umpire in the World Series.”

Blackwell owned shares of Diebold, a voting machine manufacturer, while he was responsible for overseeing the 2004 presidential election in Ohio as Secretary of State. While Secretary of State, Blackwell also directed Ohio to purchase Diebold voting machines. Walden O’Dell, chief executive of Diebold and a fundraiser for George W. Bush, famously sent a letter to Ohio Republicans stating that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president [George W. Bush in 2004].

Blackwell received the John M. Ashbrook Award at the CPAC convention in 2004. The award is named after one of the founders of the ACU who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 21 years as a Republican from Ohio.

Blackwell called himself “the lead spokesman” for a 2004 ballot measure that sought to ban gay marriage in Ohio.

Matt Blunt (Board Member)

In 2003, Gregg Hartley stepped down as Chief of Staff for then-U.S. Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO) and began working as a lobbyist for Cassidy & Associates, where he lobbies his former boss and other Republican legislators. In 2006, Cassidy & Associates was hired by the Missouri Association of Realtors to lobby then-Missouri Governor Matt Blunt to oppose a veto recommendation of the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission for a piece of realty legislation. The Department of Justice’s antitrust division and Federal Trade Commission warned that the legislation in question would raise costs for individuals buying homes. Blunt did not follow the recommendation and signed the bill—which benefitted realtors—into law. Cassidy & Associates and their clients then made thousands of dollars in political donations to Matt Blunt. Matt Blunt joined Cassidy & Associates as a senior consultant in February 2009, less than one month after his last day as governor of Missouri.

In September 2007, controversy arose when the Blunt administration refused to release emails between Blunt’s chief of staff and anti-abortion groups. The emails, obtained from an outside source, indicated that the Blunt administration was encouraging anti-abortion groups to make political attacks against Blunt’s political opponents. Scott Eckersley, an attorney in the Blunt administration, was fired and claimed it was because he pointed out that the failure to release the emails could violate Missouri’s Sunshine law. Missouri later settled Eckersley’s wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit for $500,000. The Blunt administration falsely told media that Eckersley visited a “group sex Internet site” while on the job.

In August 2007, then-Governor Blunt issued a directive compelling members of state law enforcement to verify the immigration status of anyone they arrested. Immigration statuses were even checked for minor traffic violations. Jorge Riopedre, secretary of the St. Louis-area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, called the plan, “an open door to racial profiling.” Blunt claimed that the Missouri State Highway Patrol would only check the status of individuals incarcerated by the police, but in at least one instance patrol officers checked the immigration status of a number of workers on a construction project on the basis of a tip from an unidentified local legislator. A representative for the construction company said that he was “puzzled” by the investigation because the site was routinely inspected by federal officials and the project itself did not receive state money.

John Bolton (Chairman of International Affairs Subcommittee)

On April 13, 2012, in a speech at the NRA Convention in St. Louis, Bolton stated, “You’ll remember, Jimmy Carter told us that we were suffering—we the American people—were suffering from a malaise. It turned out the only malaise we were suffering from was Jimmy Carter. And Ronald Reagan took care of that. I think we’re gonna take care of another malaise this November.” Bolton then compared President Barack Obama’s foreign policy to that of Ronald Reagan, stating, “Ronald Reagan was proud to be an American. How ‘bout that in a president for a change? We’ve got instead today, we’ve got our first post-American president in Barack Obama. He’s above all that patriotism stuff. He doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. He says he does, but he doesn’t … Ronald Reagan believed deeply in American sovereignty. In his administration, U.S. foreign policy was not made at the United Nations. That’s not the approach of President Obama or today’s left in America. They’re constantly talking about giving up our sovereignty ... They do it almost expressly to undercut our Constitution … You know as well as I do, that once Obama is reelected, if that happens, and never has to face the voters again, it’s gonna be Katie-bar-the-door on his efforts to undermine our sovereignty and key constitutional freedoms.” Finally, Bolton expressed concerns about U.S. missile defense, stating, “The problem with Obama is that he sees American strength as provocative. When in fact it’s the exact opposite. It’s American weakness that’s provocative. And we have an American president who specializes in it.”

In September 2011, National Rifle Association President David Keene announced the creation of an International Affairs Subcommittee under the NRA’s Legislative Policy Committee and appointed Bolton as chairman. Explaining why he picked Bolton to lead the committee, Keene said, “He may not be in the State Department anymore, but he’s as dedicated to preserving the Second Amendment as any NRA member and will be advising us on strategy as we confront our opponents in this newly dangerous forum.” The forum Keene was referring to is the United Nations. Keene has theorized that a small arms treaty being considered by the UN is designed to “destroy private gun ownership” in the United States. Bolton himself has suggested that the Obama administration is seeking to “use an international agreement as an excuse to get domestically what they couldn’t otherwise.”

During a speech at the 2011 annual National Rifle Association convention, Bolton said that President Barack Obama has “disdain for the American people.” He also said that the President is “using [the drug war] in Mexico, and the use of drugs in our own country, not to combat the illicit narcotic, but to use it as a foundation to argue for stricter gun controls at the federal level.”

In January 2011, Bolton called for the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) to be removed from the Department of State’s list of Foreign Terror Organizations at a conference hosted by MEK in Brussels, Belgium. According to the Department of State, “During the 1970s the MEK staged terrorist attacks inside Iran and killed several US military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Tehran. Supported the takeover in 1979 of the US Embassy in Tehran. In April 1992 conducted attacks on Iranian embassies in 13 different countries, demonstrating the group's ability to mount large-scale operations overseas.” MEK has also been accused of committing atrocities against Iraqi and Kurdish civilians while the group was allied with Saddam Hussein, and some Iranians refer to the organization’s leader, Masoud Rajavi, as “the Pol Pot of Iran.” When MEK attempted to ally itself with the populist 2009 Green Movement to remove Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office, Green Movement leadership rejected their overture, writing, “Countless first-rate analysts, scholars and human rights organizations—including Human Rights Watch—have determined that the MEK is an undemocratic, cultlike organization whose modus operandi vitiates its claim to be a vehicle for democratic change.” The Department of Justice has argued that challenging an organization’s designation as a terrorist group amounts to criminal material support of terrorism under the Supreme Court decision Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project.

When asked what he would have done differently as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Bolton said, “We don't know if, logistically, it would have been possible to do anything differently at the time.” Then-Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) called Bolton’s answer, “amazingly passive.”

During 2005 confirmation hearings regarding Bolton’s nomination for United States Ambassador to the United Nations by President George W. Bush, Members of Congress alleged that Bolton had distorted intelligence for political purposes a number of times while serving as Undersecretary of State from 2001-2005. In once instance, Bolton was accused of exaggerating Cuba’s weapons capability while trying to terminate the position of an intelligence officer who corrected Bolton’s misstatements. Government officials told TIME that Bolton frequently pressured the CIA to produce reports confirming his own views. One CIA official stated, “Whenever his staff sent testimony, speeches over for clearance, often it was full of stuff which was not based on anything we could find.” This type of behavior led then-Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) to call Bolton “the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be.” Fifty-nine former American diplomats (who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations) sent a letter to U.S. Senators opposing Bolton’s nomination. Senate Democrats filibustered the nomination and Bolton ended up receiving a recess appointment to the position by President Bush.

A line in President George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address that made the case for war against Iraq pointed to a supposed attempt by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to acquire nuclear material from Nigeria. This now-discredited intelligence was promoted by Bolton in his position as Undersecretary of State. Days before Bush’s speech, the Department of State branded the intelligence (which had also been rejected by the CIA) as “dubious.” While Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction was a key justification for the War in Iraq, no such weapons were ever found.

In 1988, then-Congresswoman Pat Schroeder (D-CO) said, “Mr. Bolton's approach to maternity leave is: get pregnant, get interrogated, get fired,” after an incident in which Bolton denied a subordinate at the Department of Justice extended doctor-recommended leave after a difficult pregnancy. Bolton also threatened the woman with dismissal and legal action.

Lynne Finney, a former legal adviser to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), alleged that in 1982 or 1983, fellow USAID employee Bolton screamed that she was fired after she refused to lobby to loosen restrictions on the sale of baby formula in Third World countries. Finney refused, citing studies that demonstrated that formula was killing babies in Africa because it was often mixed with unclean water. Bolton reportedly told Finney “that Nestlé [a maker of formula] was an important company and that [Bolton] was giving [Finney] a direct order from President [Ronald] Reagan.” Finney discovered that Bolton did not have the authority to fire her, but blamed him for her reassignment to a basement office.

Rep. Dan Boren (Board Member)

On October 13, 1011, Boren voted in favor of H.R. 2250, “The EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned that the bill, which proposes to loosen regulations on mercury levels in incinerators, will lead to 20,000 premature deaths due to pollution if enacted.

On October 13, 2011, Boren voted in favor of H.R. 358. The bill—labeled by pro-choice groups as the “Let Women Die Act of 2011”—proposes to effectively prohibit private insurance plans from covering abortion. It would also allow hospitals to deny treatment to women seeking abortions—even in circumstances where an abortion would be necessary to save the life of the mother. U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slammed the bill, stating, “When the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor of health care providers ... It's just appalling. I can't even describe to you the logic of what they are doing today.”

In 2011, Boren was a co-sponsor of the controversial No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act in the House of Representatives. Prior to the bill’s introduction, it was already illegal for federal funds to be used for abortion except for in cases of rape and incest where the life of the mother is in danger. The legislation was widely criticized because it sought to further restrict federal funding to cases involving “forcible” rape.

According to DirtySecrets.org, Boren has accepted $836,664 in contributions from polluters during his congressional career and has voted for legislation that could put as many as 187,250 lives at risk. No other legislator is considered by DirtySecrets.org to put more lives at risk through his/her votes on environmental bills than Boren.

Boren voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2009 and was one of only three Democrats to vote to repeal the legislation in 2011. Commenting on the bill, Boren said, “They can break my arms. They can do whatever they want to. They'll never get my vote—ever. They'll have to walk across my dead body if they want my vote on this issue.”

Bob Brown (Board Member)

In 2011, Brown supported the campaign of far-right gun lobbyist and Firearms Coalition of Colorado president Steve Schreiner for the National Rifle Association Board of Directors. Schreiner was not endorsed by the NRA’s Nominating Committee. “NRA will not endorse him 'cause they think he's 'too much of a zealot’" Brown told gun rights activist/blogger David Codrea. "My response is that we could use a few more zealots on the BOD [board of directors].”

In 2003, Soldier of Fortune published a two-part article applauding the activities of “Ranch Rescue,” a Texas vigilante border patrol organization. Ranch Rescue leader Jack Foote has referred to Mexicans as “dog turds.” Two members of Ranch Rescue were later arrested for assaulting two individuals they suspected of being illegal immigrants during a vigilante raid.

Soldier of Fortune distributed copies of a newsletter called The Resister during the 1990s. The Resister was published by Steven Barry, then a member of the Army’s Special Forces and leader of the unsanctioned Special Forces Underground organization. The newsletter initially drew inspiration from the controversial siege at Ruby Ridge. The content of the newsletter evidenced a “white Christian militia mentality,” according to Michael Reynolds from the Southern Poverty Law Center, containing racist and anti-Semitic content while also exploring “New World Order” conspiracy theories. When Timothy McVeigh was arrested for the Oklahoma City Bombing, in his possession was a Soldier of Fortune-distributed copy of The Resister.

In September 1996, the U.S. Army initiated an investigation into Steven Barry, who was a member of both the Army’s Special Forces and the unsanctioned Special Forces Underground organization. Concerned that Barry was leaking sensitive information, the Army provided him with false intelligence. That intelligence later appeared in a Soldier of Fortune article written by national affairs editor James Pate. Pate has publicly downplayed his association to Barry in spite of clear evidence to the contrary.

During a 10-year span covering the early 1980s to the early 1990s, “more than a half-dozen” contract murders were linked to Soldier of Fortune:

In 1986, Brown wrote in a Soldier of Fortune op-ed, “For the last decade, I’ve hunted terrorists with the Rhodesian African rifles and fired up a Russian fort in Afghanistan with the mujahideen.” The Rhodesian African rifles were a regiment that fought under the rule of white supremacist Ian Smith in Rhodesia from 1965 to 1979. The Rhodesian Army fought rebel forces that opposed Smith's white minority rule and apartheid policies. The conclusion of the war led to universal suffrage and the eventual creation of Zimbabwe as a country. The mujahideen that Brown fought with opposed the Soviet Union during their war in Afghanistan, which lasted from 1978 to 1989. The mujahideen received significant financial backing from deceased Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who used his family fortune to establish training camps and pay for foreign fighters to travel to Afghanistan.

A Chicago Tribune reporter doing a story on Brown’s involvement in the civil war in El Salvador in March 1984 witnessed Brown become the victim of an accidental shooting when one of Brown’s friends pulled the trigger of a gun he thought was unloaded. The friend shot himself through the hand and the bullet struck Brown in the calf. “You stupid son a bitch, you shot me,” Brown said. “And now I can’t go to El Salvador.”

In September 1984, Brown claimed to have sent over 100 men and $4 million in supplies to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, who engaged in widespread human rights abuses, including the rape and murder of civilians. Brown justified expending these resources by saying, “Those cretins in Congress won’t do anything about [toppling the ruling, left-wing Sandinista FSLN party in Nicaragua].”

In 1983, Brown accompanied a team of mercenaries to El Salvador. The purpose of the trip was to provide training to the forces of fascist leader Roberto D'Aubuisson. Brown tried to strike a deal with D'Aubuisson where his own mercenaries would replace U.S. Army advisors in El Salvador. The offer was accepted, but never came to fruition. Brown, however, went as far as engaging in combat missions alongside D’Aubuisson’s death squads. These paramilitary units assassinated D’Aubuisson’s political enemies and “talked of the need to kill 200,000 to 300,000 people to restore peace to El Salvador.” Known as “Blowtorch Bob” for his torture techniques, D’Aubuisson’s most high-profile victim was Bishop Óscar Romero, who was assassinated in 1980 after speaking out about human rights abuses in El Salvador.

Brown sold enlistment materials for the Rhodesian National Army through other magazines in order to finance the creation of Soldier of Fortune in 1975. During that time, the Rhodesian National Army fought under the leadership of white supremacist Ian Smith, the Prime Minister of the apartheid regime in Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. Soldier of Fortune magazine itself prominently featured recruitment material for the Rhodesian National Army during the Rhodesian Bush War, in which Smith's army targeted those who advocated for universal suffrage.

Soldier of Fortune magazine has been used by advertisers to sell Nazi memorabilia.

Pete Brownell (Board Member)

Pete Brownell is the grandson of Brownells founder Bob Brownell and currently serves as the company’s president. Brownells is the world's largest supplier of firearm parts, gunsmithing tools, equipment and accessories. The company is part of the NRA’s corporate giving program and has donated enough money to be included in “The Ring of Freedom,” a designation reserved for NRA’s largest corporate donors. Brownells contributed between $500,000 and $999,999 to the NRA between 2005 and 2010. During his campaign to join the NRA board, Brownell highlighted his company’s close ties with the organization, saying, “Having directors who
intimately understand and work in leadership positions within the firearms industry ensures the NRA's focus is honed on the overall mission of the organization.
” Brownell, however, has claimed that he has no financial interest in the positions of the NRA.

At the 2011 NRA annual meeting, Brownell criticized President Obama’s position on gun rights but was unable to indicate anything that Obama has done to make gun laws more rigorous. He also claimed unnamed members of Congress are attempting to ban firearms.

John Burtt (Board Member)

Harlon Carter (Former NRA Executive Vice President)

On March 3, 1931, in Laredo, Texas, Carter, who was 17, shot and killed 15-year-old Ramón Casiano. After returning home from school that day, Carter was told by his mother that there were three Hispanic youths loitering near their family’s property. Carter left his house, shotgun in tow, to confront the alleged loiterers. After finding Casiano and his two companions, Carter pointed his shotgun at them and ordered them to come with him. Casiano refused and pulled out a knife and asked Carter if he would like to fight. Carter then pointed the shotgun at Casiano’s chest. Casiano pushed the gun aside and asked Carter not to shoot while taking a step back. He was then shot and killed. Carter claimed self-defense, but the presiding judge instructed the jury, “There is no evidence that defendant had any lawful authority to require deceased to go to his house for questioning, and if defendant was trying to make deceased go there for that purpose at the time of the killing, he was acting without authority of law, and the law of self-defense does not apply.” Carter was convicted of murder without malice aforethought (a crime similar to second-degree murder) and sentenced to three years in prison. Subsequently, Carter successfully appealed his conviction with the appeals court, holding that the trial court failed “to submit to the jury appropriate instructions upon the law of self-defense.” When the shooting incident was reported in media in 1981, Carter initially denied that he had killed Casiano before falsely claiming that the shooting took place on his property.

In 1975, Carter was asked if he would “rather allow those convicted violent felons, mentally deranged people, violently addicted to narcotics people to have guns, rather than to have the screening process?” An opponent of the 1968 Gun Control Act—which created categories of prohibited firearms purchasers—Carter responded that arming dangerous individuals was “a price we pay for freedom.”

In 1973, federal agents investigated Carter concerning his former employment with the Immigration and Naturalization Service after 40,000 to 50,000 rounds of government ammunition were reported missing. He was called before a grand jury to testify about the matter, but charges were never filed.

Richard Childress (Board Member)

In June 2011, Childress confronted Kyle Busch, a NASCAR driver for a rival racing team, by placing him in a headlock and punching him several times. NASCAR fined Childress $150,000 and put him on probation through the end of the year. Childress accepted the fine without apologizing to Busch.

During multiple hunting trips in Africa, Childress completed the “The Dangerous Seven,” shooting a lion, leopard, cape buffalo, rhinoceros, elephant, crocodile and hippopotamus as trophies. Childress has also participated in polar bear hunting.

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

In Vol. 13, No. 7 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 2005, Cooper wrote, “For those who are thinking of equipping your own private army, the Socom 16 appears to be the best thing now available.” The “Socom 16” is a nickname Cooper gave to an automatic rifle produced by Springfield Armory.

In Vol. 13, No. 7 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 2005, Cooper made reference to the war in Iraq, describing it as “this Holy War.” Referring to the religious traditions of Muslims, Cooper said that Americans should “resort to pig−like pollution of these murderers and their survivors” because “tradition has it that the Ay−rab is horrified by anything swine−like.”

In Vol. 12, No. 12 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in November 2004, Cooper wrote about the recent presidential election won by President George W. Bush, stating, “And [close] it was, but not so much as the left−leaning media would have us expect. The important thing is that we did win, and now we have the chance to do something about this evil religious conflict that threatens to engulf the world … We may give thanks as Thanksgiving approaches in the realization that most Americans prefer to face up to a violent challenge rather than to cut and run. Hurray for our side!” Cooper added, “At school long ago I was told of one of the early church fathers, Telemachus by name, who taught that one of the delights of the blessed in heaven would be looking over the ramparts and relishing the torments of the damned below. This struck us as a bit rough for a true Christian, but after our recent election I can see how it might apply to our current domestic scene.” Cooper then turned to the topic of the war in Iraq, stating, “We continue to reflect upon the need to identify our objective in this Holy War. We certainly have the ability to destroy our enemies; but first, of course, we must be able to point out who they are. The fanatics cannot be intimidated, since tactical suicide is in their minds the pathway to paradise. Therefore they must be personally destroyed. The policy was set forth at the notorious Siege of Beziers. 'Omnes moritatem. Deus suos cognoscet.'" Cooper is referring to a quote attributed to the Abbot of Citeaux Arnaud Amalric during the Siege of Béziers: “Kill them all, God will know His own.” Finally, Cooper shared an observation from a Marine, “Consider the following: ‘And I know you don't have much use for female Marines (neither do I, but let's keep that quiet) but there is one out here who is pulling more than her weight and is doing things no one else could do. She is an educated Syrian−born Lance Corporal, an absolutely delightful and fascinating person. Because of her particular abilities, she can go with units on a variety of missions and help calm a situation by speaking to the women and children, which is something no male Marine can do effectively. She has also done yeoman's work as a translator for the interrogators. All of that is even more impressive when you hear what career she walked away from to enlist in the Marine Corps: she was a practicing physician. I wouldn't have believed it unless I saw it myself.’”

In Vol. 12, No. 9 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 2004, Cooper wrote about an “Arab who signed up for the US military and then proceeded to murder his comrades−in−arms in Iraq.” Cooper was likely referring to a March 2003 incident in which Hasan Karim Akbar, a U.S. soldier and Muslim convert, threw grenades and fired his weapon into tents where his fellow soldiers were sleeping. Cooper wrote, “There are various ways of disposing of a sociopath, but in this case whatever action is taken should be both quick and exemplary. In situations like this it might be nice to have a king in charge.”

In Vol. 12, No. 2 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in February 2004, Cooper discussed technological advancements in China and stated, “The Chinese communists seem determined to join the human race.”He also added, “The fact is that some people are better than other people, on any point worth discussing, from shining shoes to making money. Equality is not only impossible, but also undesirable.” Cooper then turned to the topic of vigilantism and Muslims in the United States military, writing, “’If I were ‘king’ I would give serious thought to the institution of exemplary punishment. This goblin who murdered the little girl in Florida should be disposed of publically in some horrifying manner. This would not bring back the child, but it just might give pause to certain kinds of social degenerates. As for capital punishment, it has not been announced what we have done or will do to that Arab soldier who joined the American Army and then took it upon himself to murder his comrades in arms. Is it possible for a devout Moslem to take oath to serve in a non−Moslem army? As I understand it, his first duty must be to Allah, as revealed in some version of the Koran, but not to the United States.” He then addressed the culture of native Africans, writing, “It appears that life insurance is an unpromising enterprise in Bantu Africa. When a friend of ours suggested to his employee that he might take out a policy to provide for his dependents upon his demise, the man pointed out that as soon as such an act had become known he would be poisoned at his next meal. This is called cultural diversification.”

In Vol. 12, No. 1 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in January 2004, Cooper wrote, “If the year 2003 showed us the flowering of the Holy War of Islam upon the West, it also established the United States of America as the world's sole super power, and thus charged us with the responsibility of setting forth on the 21st century with the capacity of altering the world for the better. The Moslems will do their best to frustrate this, and for that we must prepare, but it is a struggle well worth fighting. Christianity is not just one among several equivalent religious faiths, but rather the champion and exemplar of the western way of life. The Moslems would prefer to see us all dead, as far as can be made out from their rather obscure language. So be it. Let us buckle on the sword and prove worthy of the challenge. God's will be done!” He also wrote, “This unisex thing can be pretty silly. At the winter meeting we learned of a case in which a girl insisted upon qualifying for the wrestling team. When a match came up, her prospective male opponent quite properly refused to compete. We may assume that any girl who chose to compete in interscholastic wrestling would not be much of a choice damsel, but this sort of thing may come up again, from time to time, as the feminists flaunt their foolish flag.” Turning to the meaning of the Second Amendment, Cooper stated, “You can only push people around if they submit to being pushed, and this is impossible if they are personally armed. Thus the Second Amendment of the US Constitution has nothing to do with hunting. It has rather to do with the security of a free state against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

In Vol. 11, No. 11 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in September 2003, Cooper wrote, “Some of our pundits choose to make a political virtue of diversity. The point is not necessarily well taken. The goal of good government is the optimum balance of liberty and order. Social diversity does not pull in that direction. Liberty is what we seek over the centuries, but if we grant it to too diverse a population, order disappears … We have unsegregated schools in which the children segregate themselves by choice. Our military establishment does surprisingly well in this regard, but of course, the military is and must be a tightly disciplined organization. It seems to me that diversity, rather than being a goal to be sought, should be an obstacle to be circumvented.” He also wrote, “Walter Nowotny was a distinguished fighter pilot of World War II, killed in action just before its close. Born and raised in Vienna, Major Nowotny's remains were buried at Vienna's Central Cemetery. Now it appears that there is a movement afoot to disinter Nowotny's remains and toss them on the municipal ash heap—because he fought for the wrong side … I do not think that we can castigate Nowotny for fighting for the Germans when we recall that David was, according to Scripture, a thoroughgoing scoundrel. You do not have to be a nice guy to be a hero—it is not even much of a help—but you cannot dishonor a hero by spurning his mortal remains.” Nowotny was a Nazi pilot credited with 258 aerial victories.

In Vol. 11, No. 10 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in September 2003, Cooper wrote, “Tolerance means that you don't really give a damn.” He also shared this anecdote: “Reports from the front indicate that the Arabs cut down all their power lines in order to steal the copper, and then complain bitterly that power is out.”

In Vol. 11, No. 9 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in August 2003, Cooper wrote, “So what are we going to do with this ragheaded US trooper who took it upon himself to murder his brothers−at−arms? The act of killing the man who fights alongside you is so atrocious as to merit special attention. If our Constitution did not forbid ‘cruel and unusual punishment,’ we would resurrect the exemplary British act of ‘hanging in irons,’ in which the subject is hoisted aloft in a snug−fitting network of iron straps and permitted to perish of thirst or exposure, whatever comes first.” Turning to the topic of slavery, Cooper wrote, “This foolish talk about reparations for slavery would be funny if it were not evidence of disastrous historical ignorance. Slavery is a natural course of human events from as far back as we have any record. If you are not going to kill all the losers on the spot, you put them to work. Somebody has got to chop the wood and draw the water, and that is generally what losers do. If we suggest that somebody today should pay somebody else for something that other people did in times long past, we might suggest that the Romans pay the Algerians, the Aztec pay the Maya, the Arabs pay the Berbers, the English pay the Irish, the Norwegians pay the Russians, the Russians pay the Cossacks, the Mohawks pay the Pequots, and so on and on and on. American Negro chattel slavery, which was just one form of the ‘peculiar institution,’ was abolished a century and a half ago, in case Al Sharpton has not heard. It would not be surprising to learn that some of Al Sharpton's ancestors did a bit of buying and selling on their own.” Then addressing the topic of race relations, Cooper added, “It may be that there is such a thing as racial memory, and it is supported by the undeniable observation that the goblins will get you if you don't watch out.”

In Vol. 11, No. 1 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in February 2003, Cooper wrote, “’Political correctness is the oppression of the majority by the minority.’ Who said that?

In Vol. 10, No. 11 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in October 2002, Cooper wrote, “The Moslem objective seems to be simply to destroy the infidel. I cannot believe that any Moslem feels that by killing Christians or Jews or agnostics at random he will win any sort of tangible objective … the ragheads still insist that we infidels are the accursed of God, and they seek to flaunt this without any prospect for amelioration. We see these people complaining when they are ‘profiled’ while making every effort to make such profiling obvious. If a raghead does not wish to be identified as a raghead, there would seem to be no reason for him to speak like a raghead, act like a raghead, and dress like a raghead. The best way for him to avoid being identified as a raghead would be to stay back where he came from.” Turning to public schools, Cooper added, “The attempt by the education establishment to castrate American youth has produced some very peculiar attitudes. One is an announced ‘hatred of violence.’ It seems to me that people who hate violence as an abstraction are living in the wrong country. This nation we live in, still the last best hope of Earth, was born in violence, and if there is any such thing as a typical American man, he is certainly a violent man.” Addressing Islam again, Cooper wrote, “By examination we may conclude that a good Moslem earns one point for killing another Moslem of a different sect, two points for killing a European Christian, three points for killing an American, and four points for killing a Jew. I may have this wrong, but then I cannot speak Arabic.” He then took up the topic of political correctness writing, “This political correctness foolishness is so silly that it is hard to take seriously, but there it is. It is even miscalled, for it is neither political nor correct. It is social censorship, the rule of the polypragmatoi (read ‘busybodies’). Mr. Jefferson is quoted around the inside of his monument at Washington as standing foursquare and forever against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. As he declaimed, and as I hope we all agree, the State may justifiably control our actions—but never our thoughts. Sorry, Mr. Jefferson, but all men are not created equal. (‘All ya gotta do is look.’)” Turning to the topic of slavery, Cooper wrote, “This foolishness about reparations for slavery has got to take some sort of prize for inanity. Human slavery has been with us since the beginning of time. It is the natural course of social order. Without it we would probably still be living in the Bronze Age, and such trivia as mathematics, philosophy, religion, and art would never have been invented. As Aristotle pointed out, most people have slave minds, and prefer to be told what to do and where to line up for chow.”

In Vol. 10, No. 10 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in September 2002, Cooper wrote, “Note that riflery is not an exclusively masculine province. The ladies can shoot right along with the gentlemen, if they wish to. Driving, on the other hand, does seem to be a man's job.” He went on to mock the accidental shooting of a tourist, writing, “We hear from Namibia that a German tourist's holiday down there came to an end when he was mistaken for a baboon and shot by a local farmer. If this poor fellow looked enough like a baboon to be mistaken for one, he may be better off dead.” Turning to the topic of slavery Cooper added, “This talk about reparations for slavery is so silly that one could expect it to fade of its own embarrassment, but people keep after it. In the first place, it is unreasonable to ask anyone to make reparations for something he did not do, nor cause others to do. In the second place, if you study this subject you will realize that slavery may be considered a natural condition of civilized man. As our favorite columnist, Thomas Sowell, has pointed out, there is hardly anybody on earth whose ancestors have not enslaved or been enslaved at sometime in the past. It is a lot more sensible, as well as more humane, to put the losers to work than to kill them. I have been amused by the tale of Richard Burton, the famed explorer of Arabia, who was a crusader against slavery but went to considerable trouble to acquire the necessary slaves of his own when setting forth for Mecca. As even Al Sharpton should note, the Negro slaves who were brought to America by the colonists had one and all been enslaved by their black brothers in Africa. Perhaps these activists should put in to Nigeria or the Congo for their reparations.” He continued on the topic of race, writing, “Perhaps you will not believe it, but I recently picked up from a British publication that some movie producer is now contemplating making a movie about the man who crossed the Alps with the elephants—casting Denzel Washington as the man! So much for public education!” Cooper was upset because Denzel Washington is African-American, and added, “If we can cast Denzel Washington as Hannibal, I think we might try to cast Brad Pitt as Booker T. Washington.”

In Vol. 10, No. 3 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in March 2002, Cooper wrote, “Well, they finally got Jonas Savimbi. There was possibly the greatest unsung hero of the Cold War. Savimbi fought the Communists to a standstill in Angola for decades, with no help from us. He was not ‘African−American’ (unsatisfactory term). He was, on the contrary, a first−string African, and he will go down historically with [Zulu chieftain] Chaka as one of the great heros [sic] of his people. I never had the honor of meeting him, but I got pretty close on two occasions, and I regret the loss.” The United States Department of Homeland Security characterized Savimbi’s UNITA political group—from 1998 until the killing of Savimbi in 2002 by Angolan government forces—as a terrorist organization. During this time period, Human Rights Watch described UNITA as “a rebel group led by Jonas Savimbi, [that] killed, abducted, and terrorized civilians with impunity.” The United States Institute of Peace wrote, “Savimbi is indeed responsible for a litany of crimes against humanity.” The conflict between UNITA and the Angolan government resulted in the country having one of the highest concentrations of landmines in the world, with some experts estimating that up to six million mines remain in the ground. Cooper also wrote, “Those of you of the old school will remember that we threw the Moors out of Spain in 1492. Trouble is that we did not throw them far enough. In searching through the records for ragheads of consequence, I discover Haroun−al−Rashid and Saladin, and then my sources begin to dry up. Our current crop of Extollers of The Faithful would have us believe that what we may refer to as the Arab Culture was way ahead of the West up until something mysterious happened along about 1450 or so. These people had shown us such things as numerology, algebra, cotton fabric, and coffee, but suddenly something went wrong. Maybe they lost their push and civilization left them behind. The cultural structure of Islam must have a strong appeal, otherwise it would not be proselytizing throughout the world as it is. How is it that the West copes and the East does not? Allah has fallen short somewhere along the line.” He then complained about patients at the Mayo Clinic, writing, “A friend of ours who is troubled with a nagging form of recurrent carcinoma makes a practice of visiting a Mayo Clinic regularly to keep ahead of the game. He reports that over the last couple of years the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has been so completely patronized by Arabs that treatment therein begins to resemble some sort of cult practice. The waiting rooms are solidly populated with people wearing bed sheets. Treatment at the Mayos is not cheap, but this does not trouble the rag heads.” Cooper continued, “Our enemy in the Holy War turns out to be simultaneously deadly and silly. They can kill us, of course, dead, but it is hard to take anyone seriously who announces continuously five times a day that God is Great. Is it that ‘milady doth protest too much’?

In Vol. 10, No. 1 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in January 2002, Cooper wrote, “The devout Moslem demands that other people share his faith or die. That is not a foolish fancy—it is right there in the book [Koran]. The devout Moslem does not necessarily hate the Infidel, he simply cannot accept his existence, and there you have the Holy War. It may be that OBL's [Osama bin Laden] days are briefly numbered, but whether he lives or dies, Islam remains the core of the Holy War. I cannot handle the Arabic language, and therefore it is not possible for me to interpret the Koran. The fact remains that we do have a Holy War on our hands, and how we pursue it remains to be seen.” He also added, “We American shooters who constitute the foundation of liberty, are philosophically correct, but we are not strong enough to aid the enemy by fighting amongst ourselves. Please do not throw rocks at people on your own side of the barricade. Despite our temporary victory at the polls, there are still plenty of people who voted the wrong way—and will continue to do so. [New York Democratic Senator and gun violence prevention advocate Chuck] Schumer, I understand, is still alive and well.” Turning back to the subject of Islam, Cooper wrote, “Several correspondents have informed us that according to the Koran, Moslems are forbidden to fight any but defensive wars. Since I do not read Arabic, I cannot be sure about this, but it seems that the Arabs had to defend themselves furiously all the way from Mecca (in Arabia) to Tours (in France), going backwards all the time. Those Christians must have been pretty clever in order to get around behind the ragheads, who then defended themselves in reverse for several thousand miles and several hundred years.” Cooper continued, “Our two favorite columnists are Thomas Sowell and Florence King. Miss King just threw us a real beauty in National Review. She asserts that her mother (an unreconstructed Southern Lady) disputed this ‘sensitivity’ about busting the ragheads during Ramadan, as follows: ‘That's the best time to get 'em—when they've got their faces in the rug and their asses in the air.’

In Vol. 9, No. 12 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in November 2001, Cooper wrote, “We are informed from South Africa that the crime situation there continues to deteriorate. This is not something you will hear in what is normally called ‘the Western media,’ since it indicates what happens when you give the country back to the Indians. We knew South Africa reasonably well back in the old days, which we think of as the good old days, despite current political rectitude.” The “good old days” that Cooper referred to are the days before the end of the white supremacist apartheid state in South Africa. Political reforms in 1994 mandated majority rule.

In Vol. 9, No. 11 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in October 2001, Cooper commented on 9/11 architect Osama bin Laden, writing, “This fellow, whom we shall refer to henceforth as OBL, is said to stand 6’ 5” and could properly be referred to as a ‘trophy rag−head.’ Any Arab this long should certainly go in the record book.” He also wrote, “It has been suggested that you can really upset a Moslem if you undertake to sew up his dead body in a skin of a pig. If we are going to play this game, we should explore all possibilities.” Cooper turned to the topic of slavery to state, “This talk about ‘reparations’ for slavery is pretty quaint when you think about it, unless you are disconnected from history. Slavery has always been a normal aspect of civilization. Since the beginning of recorded history, and probably before, human beings have enslaved one another and nobody thought much about that until quite recent times. What do you do with the losers? You can either kill them on the spot or put them to work. Without the institution of slavery, civilization would never have been achieved, for no one could ever have done anything intellectual if he had to spend all his time hewing and digging and fighting … Those who speak of ‘reparations’ for slavery betray a state of mind which might have been universal if it had not been for slavery. I find it odd that nobody has brought that up in these dim−witted discussions we hear about.” Turning back to the topic of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Cooper called Islam, “an extremist cult rooted in the Middle Ages.”

In Vol. 8, No. 13 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in December 2000, Cooper published the following excerpt of a song written by his daughter Lindy: “The sun shines bright/On the old Kentucky home/'Tis summer/And all the African−Americans are homosexual.” In Vol. 9, No. 3 of the Commentaries, Cooper stated that his daughter was updating the pre-Civil War song “My Old Kentucky Home,” which opens with the lines, “The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home/Tis summer/the darkies are gay.” The song’s status as the official song of Kentucky has been called into question for the song’s use of racially disparaging terms for African Americans. “Clearly we had to restructure this because we cannot longer use the term ‘darky,’ and ‘gay’ has been rerouted,” explained Cooper.

In Vol. 8, No. 8 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in August 2000, Cooper wrote, “Perhaps you know of the book ‘Unintended Consequences,’ by John Ross, which narrates the fictional account of violent resistance to the infringement of the right of the people to keep and bear arms in the United States. Turns out now that the BATF [Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms] is doing its best to suppress the book, since those people care no more about the First Amendment than they do about the Second. We hear mutterings from several sources about the possibility of a serious backlash against these obnoxious people in their unconscionable behavior.” The plot of “Unintended Consequences” revolves around a man who systemically kills federal law enforcement agents as revenge for the implementation of the 1994 assault weapons ban and other gun control laws. The book concludes with the president of the United States vowing to repeal gun control measures. Oklahoma City Bombing perpetrator Timothy McVeigh called the book his “New Testament” and stated that if he would have read it before plotting his attack, he might have gone on a sniper rampage.

In Vol. 8, No. 9 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in August 2000, Cooper wrote, “It is okay to cut your wife's throat as long as you are rich, famous—and black.”

In Vo. 8, No. 6 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in June 2000, Cooper wrote, “It is sad to note that the political unrest in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) has practically ruined tourism/hunting in that country. I find this odd. On several occasions I have gone hunting in a war zone, and found the experience exhilarating.” Zimbabwe has not been called Rhodesia since before 1980 when the country was subjected to the white supremacist rule of Ian Smith.

In Vol. 8, No. 3 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in March 2000, Cooper wrote, “It appears that this baseball player [Atlanta Braves reliever John] Rocker has stated publically that he dislikes having to ride public transportation in company with scruffies. On this he has been sent to Coventry, where presumably they regularly wash his mouth out with soap. Does anybody really like to ride with scruffies? Social censorship − miscalled ‘political correctness’ − is reaching new lows all the time.” Cooper was reacting to the following comment that Rocker made when asked during an interview if he would like to play baseball in New York: “I would retire first. It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you're [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing. The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. I'm not a very big fan of foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?” Cooper also wrote, “They had a big raffle [election] recently in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia). To everyone's intense surprise, Comrade [Robert] Mugabe was the winner of the grand prize. For all our putative rejection of ‘racism,’ it is sometimes hard to take these popinjays seriously.” Zimbabwe has not been called Rhodesia since before 1980 when white supremacist apartheid supporter Ian Smith ruled the country.

In Vol. 7, No. 5 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in April 1999, Cooper blamed students at Columbine High School for not stopping a mass shooting at the school committed by two students on April 20th of that year. He wrote, “I suppose I should begin this issue by wringing my hands over the disaster at Littleton, Colorado. Certainly that was a dreadful episode, but I can see no relevant connection between the murderous rampage of a couple of psychopathic adolescents and the activities of the National Rifle Association. If anyone on campus had had the presence of mind and the ability, he might have stopped that atrocity before it got started: at the very least, he could have limited it to one or two casualties. But as we know, no weapons are allowed on campus, so the place is ostentatiously defenseless. I once saw a door−poster which announced, ‘There are no guns in this house. Feel free.’ Thus it is with schools. We do not announce these things, but the creeps know that a school is easy pickens. That is probably an important factor in the recent epidemic of school shootings.” The Columbine shooters obtained their firearms through private unregulated sales at a Denver gun show where no background checks were required. The National Rifle Association has long opposed legislation to require background checks on private firearm sales. He went on to write, “As Cousin Bongo continues to wander around the vast Pacific, he runs across more evidence of the general aspect of the war in the Pacific. For example, recently on the Gilbert Islands, the remains were discovered of 22 whites − probably British − who were simply shot out−of−hand when the Nips took the place. There was no fighting, this was just murder, but that is the way that war was. The ‘post modern’ generation does not seem to understand that.” Finally, Cooper shared a story from a friend who pulled a handgun on four African-American men because he saw them wearing “ski masks” on Halloween, writing, “It is delightful to contemplate a circumstance in which the right man was there at the right time. We do not read of such situations often because they are simply not newsworthy. There is nothing to wring our hands about.” Cooper’s friend concluded his story thusly: “Perhaps they did nothing else criminal that night, or perhaps they did. I will never know. But I'm sure that before they decide to approach another old, broken−down, potential victim, they may remember what the muzzle of my 45 looked like as it was pointed at their heads.”

In Vol. 6, No. 6 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in June 1998, Cooper blamed “blacks” for all of the crime in South Africa, writing, “The criminal violence is pretty nasty, but it tends to take place in categories. Street crime in the big towns is mainly a car−against−car, black−against−black proposition, and it can be avoided it one stays out of the wrong places and does not move around in congested areas after dark. On the other hand, raids on isolated rural dwellings are mainly black−on−white, and they are difficult to combat in a culture which has been used to staying in Condition White [a relaxed mindset] at all times. As you know, it is possible to be legally armed in South Africa and to fight back, unlike the situation in Britain where it is considered politically incorrect to resist violence. In most of the cases which have come to my attention, the farm house raids could be defeated by people who are prepared to fight back. It is, however, a truth that most people find it difficult to remain in a properly guarded mindset all the livelong day. The result of this is that most of the wonders of South Africa can be visited by the tourist or hunter without risk, provided, as always and everywhere, that the individual is armed, awake and aware.” He also wrote, “We were saddened to discover that South African Airlines, which we used to think was second only to SwissAir, has come down several clicks in service and comfort following the revolution [that ended the white supremacist apartheid in South Africa]. A form of affirmative action seems to have equipped the cabins with too many people who are simply not up to the task. The job of airline stewardess (‘flight attendant’) demands an eminent degree of intelligence and sophistication. It is not a task for just anyone, and people who have spent a lot of time flying commercially over the past decades have discovered that times have a way of changing.”

In Vol. 6, No. 5 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in May 1998, Cooper wrote, “In view of all the excitement about that sad business in Jonesboro, we should note that fatalities from firearms mishaps are at an all time low today. More people die each year from medical misadventures than from accidental shooting.” The “business in Jonesboro” was not a firearm accident. On March 24, 1998 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson and 11-year-old Andrew Golden perpetrated a mass shooting at their middle school that left four of their female classmates and a teacher dead; 10 more were wounded. Cooper also added, “Have you noticed that women who spout off about things they do not understand usually hyphenate their last names? In my opinion, a hyphenated last name is evidence of violation of Rule 5, which is ‘Thou shalt not take thyself too seriously.’

In Vol. 6, No. 4 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in April 1998, Cooper wrote, “It appears that since the Nips were unable to defeat us in the field, they are going to try to do so at the conference table. We may lose this one, as long as we maintain the current sleaze camp in Washington. It's just another reason why we must change the administration.” He also added, “Did you see where some Nip punk recently attempted to attack a police officer in order to hijack the officer's service pistol? Upon his arrest he claimed that he just wanted to know what it was like to shoot a firearm. Now what on earth should we make of a social organization in which that sort of thing turns up!” Turning to the role of women in society, Cooper wrote, “Family member Pat Rogers tells us of a case in New York wherein a police officer correctly, justifiably, and expertly laid out a goblin on the street with his shotgun. The action had been building up for a few minutes, and there were several other police officers in the vicinity. Three of them were copchicks, who had to be taken off the line to recover their composure after having witnessed so ghastly an event. One of these girls obtained a medical discharge, and is now on a pension from the taxpayers because of what she saw in the line of duty for which she volunteered.” He went on to write, “A recent report from Africa informs us that a Bantu hunter of our acquaintance was recently set upon after dark by an armed robber. Our friend cut him down neatly and went on about his business. Naturally, I am not going to furnish any details about the nationality or locality of our friend. In cases like this, the less the authorities know, the better. Years ago in our Balsas expedition we were forcefully informed by our permit issuing authorities in Mexico City that if we had occasion to knock off a bandit, we were by no means to report the matter. Just get the body out of sight in the bushes and get on with your business.”

In Vol. 5, No. 13 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in December 1997, Cooper favorably quoted a National Review article that stated, “It is not ignorance, but an accurate perception of reality, that lies at the root of much of what is now called ‘white racism.’”

In Vol. 5, No. 11 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in October 1997, Cooper expressed surprise that a woman could be an officer in the Marines, writing, “While in Washington I ran into a rather presentable woman of young middle age wearing the Marine Corps casual uniform. On her collar appeared three stars. As with Scarlet O'Hara, I do not want to think about that today. I will think about that tomorrow.”

In Vol. 5, No. 1 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in January 1997, Cooper wrote, “We ran across an amusing anecdote from Vietnam which suggests that there are two sides to most questions. It appears that this marine sergeant became involved in a short−range daylight firefight in which his people were supported by two M48 tanks mounting 90 millimeter guns. As things developed the sergeant noticed a gook a short way off armed with a bazooka (RPG), which was aimed precisely at one of the supporting tanks and well within rocket range. The sergeant assumed a classic offhand firing position, right elbow high, left elbow under the piece, and with his weapon placed properly in the semi−automatic mode, he squeezed off his single round. At precisely that moment, the other tank, having noticed the same gook, touched off one round of 90 millimeter main battery ammunition, but there was so much going on at the time that the sergeant was not aware of the tank round. The gook was totally scrambled, and our marine looked wonderingly down at his little poodle shooter in amazement. ‘Jeez!’ he said.” Cooper also added, “I suppose all sports fans are aware of the case in which some Texas stripper claimed that she was ‘raped at gunpoint’ by a member of the Dallas football team. What a quaint notion! The technical procedures involved in rape at gunpoint would seem exotic, to say the least. How does one do that? As it turns out the whole thing was a hoax, which is not unusual in the circles involved, but it is curious that nobody in the press thought to ask any questions about that.”

In Vol. 4, No. 16 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in December 1996, Cooper wrote, “Objection to that sneaky piece that was slipped through at the last congressional session, depriving anyone convicted of ‘spouse abuse’ from forever owning a firearm, is rising to a crescendo. Certainly no one defends wife beating under any circumstances, but permanent recision [sic] of civil rights is not the answer. I have always held that the proper punishment for the wife beater is the public whipping post, but certainly not permanent deprivation of basic civil rights.” He also wrote, “Clearly propaganda is more potent than truth. Take this matter of Guernica, for example. Pablo Picasso, one of the more significant propagandists of the left, made a very successful point in claiming that the town of Guernica had been flattened from the air by the German Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War−this being an atrocity since the town had no strategic value. This point was accepted by the world press, and is now considered a fact, even for inclusion in encyclopedias. For those who have access to the official records it is clear that the Condor Legion had been grounded for two weeks prior to the occupation of the city by the Nationalist forces. Moreover, the German light bombers did not have the technical capacity for ‘carpet bombing,’ as later practiced by the Allies in Europe. Most conclusive, however, was the fact that there were no bomb craters in the streets. The buildings were pretty well demolished, but this was done from inside them. It is obviously impossible to flatten a town from the air without hitting any of the streets, but now, to the amazement of the well−informed, the German government is proposing to pay an indemnity to Spain for an atrocity never committed. Such goings on!” In reality, Guernica was bombed on April 26, 1937 by the Nazi Germany Luftwaffe and the Italian Fascist Aviazione Legionaria. The bombing is considered one of the first instances of military planes being used to target civilians. The idea that Guernica was a hoax has been propagated by supporters of right wing Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in order to cast blame upon leftist anarchists, rather than the Nazi and fascist forces, for the atrocity. Turning to a racial discrimination lawsuit brought against oil giant Texaco, Cooper wrote, “In continuing observation of what might be called the ‘hoax effect,’ Texaco has caved in to Jesse Jackson, even after both parties have discovered that the tapes responsible for the racial uproar were fake. Jesse Jackson, himself, has claimed he does not want to be bothered by the facts.” In actuality, tapes did exist of Texaco executives using racially disparaging language and plotting to destroy evidence related to the lawsuit. Texaco settled the lawsuit for $176 million.

In Vol. 4, No. 11 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in September 1996, Cooper wrote, “For those who are proud of their lifetime shooting record, we learn of an old geezer, aged 96, who at the end of his life in the Transvaal boasted that he had taken 341 elephants, 187 lions, 40 kaffirs and two Englishmen. It will take some doing to top that.” “Kaffir” is a racial slur for individuals of African descent that was used in apartheid-era South Africa. The slur is analogous to the use of the N-word in the United States, and its use in South Africa is criminal.

In Vol. 4, No. 8 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 1996, Cooper wrote, “Family member Barrett Tillman tells us that he recently caught a segment on the tube portraying girl soldiers undergoing bayonet training. We had been told that obscenity on television was growing out of control, but we did not realize that it had gone this far.” He also wrote, “Just last week up in Denver we were treated to an example of the handgun training procedures now apparently in widespread use amongst the feds. I was holding rifle school on a range back−to−back with the contingent of agents from the Health and Human Services division. Their training procedure was strictly in accordance with regulations handed down from on high, and the officer in charge was a copchick in the range tower manning a bullhorn. Naturally she could not do much supervising up in that perch, but she had the training manual in front of her and she proceeded with great precision.” Cooper went on to blame feminists for the suicide of Chief of Naval Operations Mike Boorda, writing, “The naval establishment−most specially the naval air arm−constitutes the republic's first line of defense, and when it is pilloried by feminist activists such as [Democratic Congresswoman] Pat Schroeder and its traditions are thrown aside in the face of ‘sensitivity’, it had become impossible for Boorda to look himself in the mirror. Turning our mighty fleet carriers into floating brothels, and the erosion of the iron discipline necessary to fighting efficiency are rapidly wrecking, if they have not already wrecked, America's status as a world power. Mike Boorda apparently could not face the prospect of presiding over this calamity−by the direction of the sleazemaster in the White House.” In his suicide note, Boorda cited a controversy about whether he was entitled to wear a medal for valor in combat as the reason. Cooper also added, “On the subject of concealed carry, it occurs to us that the occupation most in need of this asset is that of trained nurse. A nurse goes on and off duty at all hours. Most nurses are young, trim, reasonably attractive females.”

In Vol. 3, No. 10 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in August 1995, Cooper wrote, “I do not think I mentioned the name of the BATgirl [federal law enforcement agent] who stomped the kitten to death in the course of the [Harry] Lamplugh raid. Her name is Donna Slusser. That is one to remember along with [FBI agent] Lon Horiuchi. We are treated to inquiries and investigations, but it seems very difficult to ask a straight question of a perpetrator. ‘Mr. Horiuchi, why did you shoot Vicki Weaver in the face? Ms. Slusser, why did you stomp on that kitten?’ ‘Self defense’ will not do.” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms denied that the raid on Lamplugh’s home involved violence. Assistant Special Agent Robert Graham stated, “We are not picking on Mr. Lamplugh. I can't even tell you how many [media] shows he puts on. It really makes my blood boil to hear some nut and liar say that stuff.” Commenting on the animal stomping allegation, Graham said of Donna Slusser, “She's an animal-rights activist who has pets of her own. She won't even eat meat.” He went on to call Lamplugh “a chauvinist” for singling out the only female agent involved in the raid. The ATF conducted the raid with a valid search warrant based on suspicion that Lamplugh, who was a convicted felon, was in illegal possession of firearms because of his involvement in hosting numerous gun shows. Sixty firearms were recovered during the raid, and Lamplugh and his wife were later convicted on tax evasion charges. Lamplugh’s dubious account of the raid on his home was the impetus for a National Rifle Association fundraising letter that described federal law enforcement officers as “jack-booted thugs.”

In Vol. 3, No. 7 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in May 1995, Cooper commented on the trial of former NFL running back O.J. Simpson—who was accused of murdering his ex-wife—by writing, “We should perhaps remember that when the peasantry become enraged they burn down cities, whereas no matter how exasperated the bourgeoisie may feel, they do not take to the streets.”

In Vol. 3, No. 6 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in April 1995, he wrote, “In view of this queasy multi−culturalism with which we are continually affronted, it occurs to us that Western Europeans gave the world to the human race and there is nothing harder to forgive than a favor.” Cooper also commented on then Attorney General Janet Reno, writing, “As you have doubtless heard, there is a bill now banging around in the House authorizing Butch Reno to recruit, train, arm and equip a federal force of 2,500 ninja, presumably to make war upon American citizens. It is up to your representatives in Congress to find out why this country needs a special force of civilian storm troopers in order to make war upon its own people.” He then shared a story that suggested that black children who beg for money should be threatened with a gun: “Herewith an interesting tactical ploy for our times. Late night shopper comes out of supermarket to be confronted by a hostile crowd of pickaninnies asking for money. The shopper greets hostiles in friendly fashion and raises a question, ‘Any of you brothers seen my speedloader?’ ‘Speedloader?’ ‘Yah, something like this,’ and he brings out his Detective Special, fishes around in his pockets and says, ‘A speedloader is something you use to load this piece. It's round and made of black rubber. I swear I dropped it around here someplace. Anybody see it?’ We have often noticed that one can frequently disconcert a goblin by asking him a question he is not prepared for. This would seem to be a good one.” “Pickaninny” is a racial slur for a black child. Cooper also added, “For those who wring their hands over the status of the poor, long−suffering Japanese, two questions should be posed about World War II in the Pacific. ‘Who started it?’ [and] ‘Who won?’ Whenever the Nips get uppity I reflect that those two questions should be engraved in bronze in prominent places throughout the now defunct Empire of the Rising Sun.”

In Vol. 2, No. 16 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in December 1994, he wrote, “I have been criticized by referring to our federal masked men as ‘ninja,’ when in the view of the critic the traditional role of the ninja in Japan was to fight against oppression and tyranny. Let us note that almost no one ever resorts to force and violence unless he is convinced that his cause is right, but without going into that let us reflect upon the fact that a man who covers his face shows reason to be ashamed of what he is doing. A man who takes it upon himself to shed blood while concealing his identity is a revolting perversion of the warrior ethic. It has long been my conviction that a masked man with a gun is a target. I see no reason to change that view.” He also wrote, “For the FBI to investigate [FBI sniper Lon] Horiuchi is somewhat like Hitler's investigating [Nazi SS leader Heinrich] Himmler. But no matter what [former Attorney General Janet] Reno and [former FBI director Louis] Freeh and [former FBI agent Richard] Rogers and Horiuchi may say, that case is not closed. Whether Horiuchi committed a procedural error at Ruby Ridge is not important. What he committed was a mortal sin, and that sin will find him out. The only appropriate demise for this man now would seem to be the traditional route of sepukku [suicide], with which he should be familiar. If he needs a proper knife I have one, which I will provide to him upon request.” Horiuchi received death threats from anti-government extremists after his role in a shooting during the Ruby Ridge standoff. While attempting to shoot armed extremist Kevin Harris, Horiuchi instead killed an unarmed woman, Randy Weaver’s wife Vicki.

In Vol. 2, No. 15 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in December 1994, Cooper wrote, “Recently in the waiting room of an office in Prescott we heard a customer, looking at us, remark, ‘The man has a pistol.’ My response was, ‘Yea, we just won the election!’ I do not know if the customer got the point, but I did enjoy the exchange.” In January 1995, the Republican Party took control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since 1954. Cooper also called Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first “Grand Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan, “an amazing man.”

In Vol. 2, No. 14 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in November 1994, Cooper shared a poem celebrating a 1994 incident where a man fired 29 rounds from an assault rifle at the White House. The poem, in part, read, “The White House, it was shot up/It was only tit for tat/Shame on the fellow with the SKS/He shot like a Democrat.” Cooper also listed several “humorous” made-up statistics, including, “71% of feminist agitators tend to be ugly.”

In Vol. 2, No. 8 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 1994, Cooper wrote, “An informal poll conducted in the area of Harare (ex−Salisbury, Rhodesia) indicates that the great majority want Ian Smith back in place of Robert Mugaby. If Mugaby finds out about this, Mr. Smith's head rests very lightly on his shoulders.” Ian Smith was the white supremacist leader of Rhodesia who enforced white minority rule of the nation until 1980. Robert Mugabe became president when the country declared independence from the British and became Zimbabwe. Cooper also described a business deal gone sour involving the sale of Gunsite, his firearms training facility, as “the great lynch party of April Fool 1993.” Turning to the topic of the Vietnam War, Cooper described Vietnamese as “slant−eyed little fiends.” He then added that, “If Nicole Simpson had studied at Gunsite she would now be a wealthy widow.” Simpson was murdered in 1994 and her ex-husband former NFL star O.J. Simpson was eventually acquitted after being charged in connection with her death. Cooper then recommended that his readers purchase “Racism, Guilt and Self−Deceit" by M. Gedahlia Braun, stating “His work, which is very carefully researched and irreproachably objective, is not politically correct, which may be its strongest recommendation.” In the book’s forward, Braun writes, “It was obvious to [black Africans] that whites were ‘cleverer’ and they made no bones about it. It is whites who feel guilty about this and blame themselves for black failure. Shrewd blacks use this ‘guilt’ to blackmail, browbeat and bamboozle whites. This sham anger is a principal weapon of psychological warfare. It is used by women against men, blacks against whites, homosexuals against straights and islam [sic] against the West—though always with the help of the (alleged) wrong-doers … Blacks are deficient in abstract thinking and this leads to moral blindness … Blacks’ difficulty in thinking of the future explains, e.g., their high rate of criminality and HIV.”

In Vol. 2, No. 5 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in May 1994, Cooper wrote, “We see that the Bahutu [Hutu] and the Watutsi [Tutsi] have resumed their age−old hostilities. Truly they enjoy this sort of thing, and what they may lack in aptitude they make up in enthusiasm. This, of course, is one of the rewards of independence. The Belgian administration did not put up with it.” Later, he added, “How long do you suppose it will take Jesse Jackson to discover that the horror in Rwanda was caused by the French abandonment of their colonial policies and leaving these people to their own devices?” Cooper was referring to the genocide in Rwanda where up to 1,000,000 Tutsis were massacred by Hutus. He also wrote, “Let us all gather round to meet the New Woman of The Nineties. Her name is Tonya Rodham Bobbitt.” Cooper was referencing Tonya Harding (who was implicated in a violent attack on a rival figure skater), then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Lorena Bobbitt (who was famous for an incident where she severed her husband’s penis).

In Vol. 2, No. 3 of Jeff Cooper’s Comenntaries published in March 1994, Cooper wrote, “Major Robert Hines, of the DC Park Police, maintains that [Deputy Whitehouse Counsel for President Bill Clinton] Vincent Foster, who was found dead in the park, was in possession of a ‘38−caliber 1911 Colt army revolver.’ Now there is a collector's item for you!” He also added, “The newspaper accounts coming out of the Waco trials are quite unbelievable at this distance. It would appear that the attorneys for the FBI are talking about some other occurrence entirely. They are quoted as telling the jury that ‘These people (the Branch Davidians) wanted to destroy your country!’ Somehow I never got that impression. What I would like to find out, however, is what sort of wounds caused the death of the three BATmen [ATF agents] who entered the upper story first. Those men were buried before anyone got a good answer to that question, and evidently it was not raised at the trial. It matters, however, if the BATmen shot each other, as seems likely. That might well be verified by the nature of their wounds.” Cooper also quoted Howard McCord’s novel “The Coming Civil War in America,” stating, “What Clinton and his kind want to develop is a population which sees itself as a victim of violent crime, economic injustice, racial and sexual prejudice, and helpless to correct these wrongs without government assistance. People who see themselves as victims look to rescuers, look to those who will help, for a victim is one who is demonstrably incapable of doing things for himself. He wouldn't be a victim otherwise. And under no circumstances must a victim take action on his own to remedy the evil he suffers from. Never. He should call the government to help.” Cooper also wrote that “a woman who cannot cook, like a man who cannot shoot, is in important ways incomplete.” Finally, Cooper went on to share a quote: “Under the administration of [white supremacist Cecil] Rhodes there were the fewest laws, the widest freedom, the least crime, and the truest justice I have ever seen in any part of the world.” Rhodes, a British colonialist responsible for the founding of Rhodesia, said of the British people, “I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race.”

In Vol. 2, No. 2 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in January 1994, Cooper wrote, “Now that the media are doing their best to cover up the Waco atrocity, they have been able to downrate the news with the forensic pornography surrounding the Bobbitt case [where a woman severed her husband’s penis]. In response to this, Dan Dennehy, the renowned knife maker who has long been one of the stalwarts of Orange Gunsite, will now offer a special instrument to be known as the ‘Dan Dennehy Dick Docker,’ featuring a serrated edge and a pink plastic hilt. He will have it on special order for uppity feminists as soon as it is available.” He also stated, “The Republic is in very bad shape−probably the worst since 1776−but it does us all well to remember that the principles of the Founding Fathers stand as sound and irrefutable today as yesterday. We must bear in mind that ‘they’ cannot disarm us. They do not have the legal power, of course, but neither do they have the physical power. An army may be defeated by another army, but the people of a nation cannot be, as long as they are aware of their principles and maintain their determination to observe them. We hope, of course, that ‘they’ never presume to try, because ‘they’ simply cannot do it. What the American people need is the viscera to tell ‘them’ No! God grant that we still have the courage!” Cooper also indicated that one of the awards he gave to his students while a firearm instructor was a Scharfschützenabzeichen, a badge awarded to Nazi soldiers who had great sniper proficiency.

In Vol. 1, No. 9 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in October 1993, Cooper wrote, “This ‘family values’ concept seems to be burgeoning amongst the counterculture. Just recently in Phoenix a professional burglar went about his business accompanied by his wife and children. (Was he perhaps thinking of the statement, ‘The family that preys together, stays together’?) In any case, when he was shot dead by one of his victims in broad daylight, his wife, who was driving the getaway car, and his children, who were interested observers, were much upset. One observer opined in the newspaper that you should not shoot people for stealing stuff. It gives one to wonder. Obviously, the constituted minions of the law are doing little about people who steal stuff. Perhaps it is indeed time for ‘the militia’ to take over. Remember that according to the Founding Fathers the militia is constituted of all the people, except for a few public servants.” He added, “Back in the Dark Ages, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation occupied a place of glory in the eyes of the young. The FBI under John Edgar Hoover was an organization to be held up as a goal for young men of sufficient ‘patriotism, valor, fidelity, and abilities.’ Now then, see what has happened! In addition to its various other transgressions, such as the Randy Weaver disaster in Idaho, the FBI has now come out for the disarmament of the American people, and has issued an official press release totally exonerating the Bureau for any sort of transgression in the Waco atrocity. I do not suppose there is anyone who has not seen the Linda Thompson tape of the action of the Federal ninja at Waco. The attempt to clear the Feds of any sort of misdemeanor in that episode completely destroys the credibility of the Bureau. Lo how the mighty are fallen!” Cooper also shared the following story: “It seems that a felon armed with a 357 revolver robbed a bank. As he left the bank, he was accosted by a policeman whom he murdered with one shot. Great excitement ensued, with the felon taking hostages and racing madly around from one store to another. When the forces of law and order had been mobilized and surrounded the goblin, a policeman volunteered to trade himself to the goblin for two hostages. This offer was accepted, at which time the felon fired at the policeman and seriously wounded him. The forces of law and order opened up with everything they had, which was mostly AUG and Glock fire. Shortly, the goblin killed himself with one round. He had fired three times and achieved three hits. The police, according to their official report, fired 1,261 rounds without drawing blood. At one time, we used to refer to an event of this sort as a ‘Chinese Fire Drill.’ Later we came to call if ‘Father's Day in Harlem.’ After the interment of the Ayatollah Khomeini, we began to call it ‘An Iranian Funeral.’ Now, I guess we can call it ‘A Viennese Bank Robbery.’ As I have often stated, if someone wants to shoot at me, I sure hope he does it on full−auto.”

In Vol. 1, No. 8 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in September 1993, Cooper blamed victims of rape for not successfully fighting off their attackers by writing, “We read in the Washington Times of some character in the vicinity of Washington, DC, who has raped three different women, always wearing black and armed with, of all things, a cross bow. Now how does one go about his sexual jollies when he is armed with a cross bow? Apparently the instinct to fight back has been all but bred out of the American people. Either that or the law of the survival of the fittest has been repealed.” He also wrote, “It would appear that the media are desperately attempting to sweep Waco [standoff] under the rug. Let us hope this takes more sweeping than they can handle. The success or failure of the National Health Plan or of NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] are trivial considerations compared to the menace of the federal ninja making war upon American citizens on no stronger grounds than suspicion of bad behavior. We are thankful for the policies of [fellow NRA board member] Colonel Bob Brown, publisher of Soldier of Fortune, who is determined not to let the matter drop. We simply must do something about these fat men with face masks and MP5s who shoot down unarmed citizens. Personally, I would not think that the American people would stand for this, but then I am a member of an older generation which took the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution with more than a grain of salt … It has been suggested that the reason that our federal ninja wear face covering on raids is that they are not American citizens. The suggestion is that UN troops of other nationalities are being employed on these nefarious affairs so as not to be liable for prosecution in the United States. Now this may be a farfetched idea, but when the feds will not level with us we must be free to draw our own conclusions.”

In Vol. 1, No. 5 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in August 1993, Cooper recommended his readers view the film “Waco: The Big Lie.” The film promotes several conspiracy theories related to the 1993 standoff between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and a sect of anti-government Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, including a false claim that agents of the United States government, rather than Branch Davidians, were responsible for the shooting deaths of four ATF agents. Cooper wrote, “This is the unexpurgated record of the atrocity at Waco, and while it does not have all the answers, it certainly poses all the questions … But the big one, of course, is why the United States government, in its majesty, saw fit to declare war upon a group of citizens guilty of no offense. The only defense that the feds have suggested up to now is that the whole thing is a hoax. When you look at the tape, see if you think that it is.” The Waco standoff began in February 1993 after ATF agents attempting to serve a valid search warrant on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas were met with gunfire, and ended 50 days later in another violent incident. Commenting on the dismissal of FBI Director William Sessions for financial improprieties, Cooper wrote, “Now we need the [head] of [Attorney General Janet] Reno … Note that [NRA Board Member] Senator Larry Craig of Idaho is hard at work on that one.” Additionally, Cooper related an anecdote from a friend about a police officer shooting a criminal suspect and added, “See how lucky Rodney King was to escape with his life?

In Vol. 1, No. 3 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 1993, Cooper wrote, “Nonetheless, it is the month in which we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, in which it was set forth unmistakably for posterity that human rights are not granted by man but rather by God, and that when any government or institution threatens those rights it is the duty of the people to abolish it. That is an idea especially pungent at this stage of America's political devolution.” He also added, “It was interesting to observe the Attorney General [Janet Reno] coming forth to ‘accept full responsibility’ for the atrocity at Waco. One wonders what that means. When one accepts responsibility, one accepts appropriate punishment for one's transgression. The Japanese have a long tradition of the proper means of accepting responsibility. It is conducted by means of a short, sharp knife. I have such a piece in my armory and I would be glad to part with it in a good cause, such as appropriate use by the Attorney General.” Continuing to discuss standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco between anti-government extremists and federal law enforcement, Cooper wrote, “How long are the American people going to put up with this sort of thing? It is popular, at this time, to compare the behavior of our uncontrolled federal agents to that of the Nazis in the Third Reich. It may be that this is a valid comparison, but the Nazis are long ago and far away, whereas the ninja in the US are right now in full−cry and apparently without fear of any sort of control. They move mainly at night. They conceal their faces. They use overwhelming firepower and they make almost no effort to identify their targets. They are scarier than the Nazis − who at least never concealed their faces.”

Chris Cox (Executive Director)

In a March 18, 2013 op-ed for The Hill, Cox wrote, “A mandate for truly ‘universal’ background checks would put the federal government squarely in the middle of every sale, loan or gift of a firearm between private individuals. In other words, it would criminalize all private firearms transfers, even between family members or friends who have known each other all of their lives.” In fact, Senator Chuck Schumer’s Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013, which Cox made reference to, exempts "bona fide gifts between spouses, between parents and their children, between siblings, or between grandparents and their grandchildren" from the background check requirement. The legislation also includes exemption from the background check requirement for temporary transfers for hunting and other sporting purposes.

In a January 25, 2013 press release from the NRA-ILA, Cox wrote about an article in The Hill that reported the NRA was working on a bill with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to implement universal background checks on all firearms purchases. The release stated, “NRA does NOT support universal background checks and is not working with Manchin to implement this type of legislation. NRA opposes, and will continue to oppose, universal background checks.” Several polls conducted in January 2013 in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary indicated overwhelming public support for universal background checks. A public opinion poll published by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health found that 89% of Americans and 74% of NRA members supported requiring a background check for all gun sales. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 85% of Americans and gun owners favored making private gun sales subject to background checks. A CBS/New York Times poll found that 92% of Americans and 85% of respondents living in a household with an NRA member supported universal background checks. At one time, even the NRA supported expanding background checks. In May 1999, following the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre told Congress that the NRA supported background checks on all firearms purchases at gun shows. A 1999 NRA ad in USA Today read, “We believe it's reasonable to provide for instant background checks at gun shows, just like gun stores and pawn shops.”

In a September 7, 2012 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Cox wrote, “So far this year, 369 people have been murdered in Chicago … [President Barack] Obama’s 2012 party platform makes it clear that if he wins re-election, he will work to bring the same, dangerous anti-gun policies that are destroying Chicago to cities and towns nationwide. For that reason, November’s election presents a clear choice between our Second Amendment freedoms and fundamental right to self-defense…and the murder and mayhem that Barack Obama helped bring to Chicago, but now wants us all to ignore.” The Democratic National Committee’s party platform states, “We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans' Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms. We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements—like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole—so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few." Most of the crime guns recovered in Chicago are originally bought in Illinois. According to a 2008 to 2012 study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, 45% of Illinois’ crime guns come from one county within the state, Cook County. Chuck’s Gun Store, in Cook County, supplies approximately 20% of the crime guns in Illinois. Roseanna Ander, executive director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, said that the data “suggests a key strategy in keep guns off the street is for law enforcement agencies to target the local gun stores most likely to sell firearms to straw purchasers.”

On July 12, 2012, Cox wrote a letter to U.S. Senators in opposition to the DISCLOSE Act of 2012, a bill that would require disclosure of the corporations and high-dollar individual donors paying for “independent expenditure” political ads. In the letter, Cox stated that the Act’s “provisions require organizations to turn membership and donor lists over to the government” and would violate the right of citizens “to speak and associate privately and anonymously.” Cox threatened, “Due to the importance of the fundamental speech and associational rights of the National Rifle Association’s four million members, and considering the blatant attack on those rights that S. 3369 represents, we strongly oppose the DISCLOSE Act and will consider votes on this legislation in future candidate evaluations.” In fact, groups such as the NRA would not be required to disclose their entire membership or donor list, only the names of those donors whose aggregate donation during the reporting cycle was $10,000 or more. Organizations like the NRA could keep the names of some of their high dollar donors private under the legislation by setting up a separate bank account for independent political spending. Groups would only have to disclose the names of their high dollar donors whose money funded such independent expenditures. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the controversial Citizens United decision endorsed this sort of disclosure as “the less-restrictive alternative to more comprehensive speech regulations.”

In a July 2, 2012 op-ed for the Washington Times, Cox wrote, “Today begins the most important 26-day period for our Second Amendment freedoms in recent history. That’s because today, representatives from many of the world’s socialist, tyrannical and dictatorial regimes will gather at United Nations headquarters in New York for a month-long meeting, in which they’ll put the finishing touches on an international Arms Trade Treaty that could seriously restrict your freedom to own, purchase and carry a firearm.” Cox was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.” Cox added, “You might think that something so obviously menacing to one of our enumerated fundamental rights would receive a strong rebuke from our top government leaders. But you’d be wrong. This is President Barack Obama’s vision for America, and we’re expected to just go along with it. In fact, a group of anti-gun members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), went so far as to circulate a letter last week to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, in which they ‘strongly urge the United States to take a leadership role in pushing for a strong, verifiable Arms Trade Treaty’ … Since when did it become fashionable for sitting members of Congress to lobby international thugs, tyrants and dictators against our own U.S. Constitution?”

In a June 28, 2012, interview with NRA News, Cox spoke about a vote in the House of Representatives to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena for documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation on the southwest border. Cox stated, “The truth is, we’ve talked a lot about our dislike of Eric Holder. There’s no surprise that we think there’s something there … We believe, and have every reason to believe, that this was all part of their agenda to undermine the Second Amendment … I can assure you that Eric Holder’s contempt for the Second Amendment is the only thing that probably is stronger than Congress’ contempt for Eric Holder … We called for Eric Holder’s resignation over a year ago … But the best way to deal with Eric Holder, the best way to deal with these problems, is to defeat this president in November and to get some new people in there that have a little bit of common sense, a little bit of law enforcement background, that is legitimate, and that won’t be used to pursue a political agenda.” A report released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General on September 19, 2012 found that there is no evidence that “Fast and Furious” was part of a broader conspiracy to advance new gun regulations. The report also found that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the tactics used in the investigation until after it was concluded in 2011.

In the May 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Cox wrote, “If you’re like me…you’re disgusted by what has come out of the White House in the last three years. It’s not just [President Barack] Obama’s false claim of supporting the Second Amendment, whether to win election in 2008…or to dupe voters in electoral battleground states today. It’s also the repetitive, arrogant disregard for legal and traditional limits on presidential power.” Cox concluded, stating, “Together our ballots will help decide whether…election day 2012 goes down in history as the day we reaffirmed our belief that America is different, and ended the failed Obama experiment once and for all.”

On April 14, 2012, in a speech at the NRA Convention in St. Louis, Cox stated, “Friends, I know why President [Barack] Obama pays so little attention to the law. He thinks he’s above the law … He seems to think he’s the king of all three branches. How’s that for arrogance, folks?” Later, Cox referred to a discussion President Obama had with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in which he told Medvedev he would have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious foreign policy issues, such as missile defense, following the November 2012 elections. Cox quipped, “In other words, ‘cut me some slack Dmitry. Once I con these annoying voters into reelecting me in November, I can do whatever I want.’” Cox then warned the audience, “The stakes of this year’s election couldn’t be higher … Freedom is what’s at stake and it’s what we’ll lose if we fail. Let us cling to our firearms…with every fiber of our being.”

In a September 7, 2012 op-ed for the Daily Caller, Cox wrote, “So far this year, 369 people have been murdered in Chicago … [President Barack] Obama’s 2012 party platform makes it clear that if he wins re-election, he will work to bring the same, dangerous anti-gun policies that are destroying Chicago to cities and towns nationwide. For that reason, November’s election presents a clear choice between our Second Amendment freedoms and fundamental right to self-defense…and the murder and mayhem that Barack Obama helped bring to Chicago, but now wants us all to ignore.” The Democratic National Committee’s party platform states, “We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans' Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms. We can focus on effective enforcement of existing laws, especially strengthening our background check system, and we can work together to enact commonsense improvements—like reinstating the assault weapons ban and closing the gun show loophole—so that guns do not fall into the hands of those irresponsible, law-breaking few.” Most of the crime guns recovered in Chicago are originally bought in Illinois. According to a 2008 to 2012 study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, 45% of Illinois’ crime guns come from one county within the state, Cook County. Chuck’s Gun Store, in Cook County, supplies approximately 20% of the crime guns in Illinois. Roseanna Ander, executive director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, said that the data “suggests a key strategy in keep guns off the street is for law enforcement agencies to target the local gun stores most likely to sell firearms to straw purchasers.”

On July 12, 2012, Cox wrote a letter to U.S. Senators in opposition to the DISCLOSE Act of 2012, a bill that would require disclosure of the corporations and high-dollar individual donors paying for “independent expenditure” political ads. In the letter, Cox stated that the Act’s “provisions require organizations to turn membership and donor lists over to the government” and would violate the right of citizens “to speak and associate privately and anonymously.” Cox threatened, “Due to the importance of the fundamental speech and associational rights of the National Rifle Association’s four million members, and considering the blatant attack on those rights that S. 3369 represents, we strongly oppose the DISCLOSE Act and will consider votes on this legislation in future candidate evaluations.” In fact, groups such as the NRA would not be required to disclose their entire membership or donor list, only the names of those donors whose aggregate donation during the reporting cycle was $10,000 or more. Organizations like the NRA could keep the names of some of their high dollar donors private under the legislation by setting up a separate bank account for independent political spending. Groups would only have to disclose the names of their high dollar donors whose money funded such independent expenditures. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the controversial Citizens United decision endorsed this sort of disclosure as “the less-restrictive alternative to more comprehensive speech regulations.”

In a July 2, 2012 op-ed for The Washington Times, Cox wrote, “Today begins the most important 26-day period for our Second Amendment freedoms in recent history. That’s because today, representatives from many of the world’s socialist, tyrannical and dictatorial regimes will gather at United Nations headquarters in New York for a month-long meeting, in which they’ll put the finishing touches on an international Arms Trade Treaty that could seriously restrict your freedom to own, purchase and carry a firearm.” Cox was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.” Cox added, “You might think that something so obviously menacing to one of our enumerated fundamental rights would receive a strong rebuke from our top government leaders. But you’d be wrong. This is President Barack Obama’s vision for America, and we’re expected to just go along with it. In fact, a group of anti-gun members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), went so far as to circulate a letter last week to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, in which they ‘strongly urge the United States to take a leadership role in pushing for a strong, verifiable Arms Trade Treaty’ … Since when did it become fashionable for sitting members of Congress to lobby international thugs, tyrants and dictators against our own U.S. Constitution?

On April 14, 2012, in a speech at the NRA Convention in St. Louis, Cox stated, “Friends, I know why President [Barack] Obama pays so little attention to the law. He thinks he’s above the law … He seems to think he’s the king of all three branches. How’s that for arrogance, folks?” Later, Cox referred to a discussion President Obama had with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in which he told Medvedev he would have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious foreign policy issues, such as missile defense, following the November 2012 elections. Cox quipped, “In other words, ‘cut me some slack Dmitry. Once I con these annoying voters into reelecting me in November, I can do whatever I want.’” Cox then warned the audience, “The stakes of this year’s election couldn’t be higher … Freedom is what’s at stake and it’s what we’ll lose if we fail. Let us cling to our firearms…with every fiber of our being.”

On April 30, 2011, in a speech at the NRA Convention in Pittsburgh, Cox “revisit[ed] some words from [his] political dictionary.” The first of those words was “jack-ass,” which Cox attributed to HBO talk show host Bill Maher, stating, “We will never stop fighting for the Second Amendment or the Constitution which also protects his First Amendment right to be a complete jack-ass.” The second was “hypocrite,” which Cox attributed to filmmaker Spike Lee, who had criticized the NRA for their violent rhetoric following the attempted assassination of Gabby Giffords in Tuscon, Arizona. Cox noted that in May 1999 Lee stated that [Former NRA President] Charlton Heston should be shot. “It was Charlton Heston who opened up Hollywood so African Americans like you could become millionaires,” Cox said. “Instead of running your mouth, why don’t you just do the right thing and say, ‘Thank you Mr. Heston.'”

Turning to the topic of the United Nations, Cox warned, “At the United Nations, freedom-hating governments are working to eliminate firearms ownership around the world and here at home. You’ve seen it on our southern border. Narco-terrorist violence is being exploited. Corrupt government officials and gun ban groups are using Mexico’s problems as an excuse to ban guns. And if that’s not bad enough, Mexico just announced they want to sue American gun companies. Their drugs and violence are flowing across the border into our country, but they’re suin’ us? If anything, we should be suin’ them.” Cox was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the export of conventional weapons—leaving domestic laws regulating the possession of firearms untouched.

Cox went on: “But it’s not just attacks from abroad. Here at home, they’re worming their way into our children’s classrooms. Teaching that guns are evil, hunting is cruel, and the freedoms and traditions we cherish the most are wrong or outdated or to blame for all the world’s problems. You all know who’s funding it. Billionaire puppeteers like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and globalist banker George Soros. We all know they’re not goin’ away and neither’s their money. Folks, there’s a lot goin’ on, there’s a lot at stake, and we don’t have much time. So, I’ll say it without apology. We need your help. We need more members and we need more resources. Here’s why: President [Barack] Obama’s already launched his reelection effort. He kicked it off to get a lead on raisin’ money. They’re sayin’ he could be the first presidential candidate in history to spend more than a billion dollars … What do you lose if Barack Obama wins? Well, you tell me. What if he appoints just one more anti-gun justice to the U.S. Supreme Court and we go from one-vote victories to one-vote defeats for generations to come? What’s that cost? My friends, praying for the health of five Supreme Court justices is not a strategy you want to stake your freedom on. Because, once it’s lost, freedom can be almost impossible to reclaim.”

In the February 2011 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Cox accused “anti-gun groups” of a “secretive…assault on the Second Amendment through [administrative agencies],” stating, “anti-gun forces will use any means at their disposal, no matter how undemocratic, to undermine the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” Cox made reference to Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ “Blueprint for Federal Action,” a document which calls for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to promulgate or clarify certain regulations, including a regulation to require firearm manufacturers, distributors and dealers to report thefts of their products as soon as they are made aware of them; a regulation requiring gun manufacturers to put a second, hidden, serial number on every newly manufactured gun, and; a regulation requiring domestic manufacturers to use a standardized system for numbering firearms. Legislation that creates an administrative agency often authorizes the agency to promulgate rules through notice-and-comment rulemaking. The agency may also interpret the provisions of the legislation that created it, if the legislation is ambiguous and the agency interpretation is reasonable.

On April 30, 2011, in a speech at the NRA Convention in Pittsburgh, Cox “revisit[ed] some words from [his] political dictionary.” The first of those words was “jack-ass,” which Cox attributed to HBO talk show host Bill Maher, stating, “We will never stop fighting for the Second Amendment or the Constitution which also protects his First Amendment right to be a complete jack-ass.” The second was “hypocrite,” which Cox attributed to filmmaker Spike Lee, who had criticized the NRA for their violent rhetoric following the attempted assassination of Gabby Giffords in Tuscon, Arizona. Cox noted that in May 1999 Lee stated that [Former NRA President] Charlton Heston should be shot. “It was Charlton Heston who opened up Hollywood so African Americans like you could become millionaires,” Cox said. “Instead of running your mouth, why don’t you just do the right thing and say, ‘Thank you Mr. Heston.”

Turning to the topic of the United Nations, Cox warned, “At the United Nations, freedom-hating governments are working to eliminate firearms ownership around the world and here at home. You’ve seen it on our southern border. Narco-terrorist violence is being exploited. Corrupt government officials and gun ban groups are using Mexico’s problems as an excuse to ban guns. And if that’s not bad enough, Mexico just announced they want to sue American gun companies. Their drugs and violence are flowing across the border into our country, but they’re suin’ us? If anything, we should be suin’ them.” Cox was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the export of conventional weapons—leaving domestic laws regulating the possession of firearms untouched.

Cox went on: “But it’s not just attacks from abroad. Here at home, they’re worming their way into our children’s classrooms. Teaching that guns are evil, hunting is cruel, and the freedoms and traditions we cherish the most are wrong or outdated or to blame for all the world’s problems. You all know who’s funding it. Billionaire puppeteers like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and globalist banker George Soros. We all know they’re not goin’ away and neither’s their money. Folks, there’s a lot goin’ on, there’s a lot at stake, and we don’t have much time. So, I’ll say it without apology. We need your help. We need more members and we need more resources. Here’s why: President [Barack] Obama’s already launched his reelection effort. He kicked it off to get a lead on raisin’ money. They’re sayin’ he could be the first presidential candidate in history to spend more than a billion dollars … What do you lose if Barack Obama wins? Well, you tell me. What if he appoints just one more anti-gun justice to the U.S. Supreme Court and we go from one-vote victories to one-vote defeats for generations to come? What’s that cost? My friends, praying for the health of five Supreme Court justices is not a strategy you want to stake your freedom on. Because, once it’s lost, freedom can be almost impossible to reclaim.”

In the February 2011 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Cox accused “anti-gun groups” of a “secretive…assault on the Second Amendment through [administrative agencies],” stating, “anti-gun forces will use any means at their disposal, no matter how undemocratic, to undermine the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” Cox made reference to Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ “Blueprint for Federal Action,” a document which calls for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to promulgate or clarify certain regulations, including a regulation to require firearm manufacturers, distributors and dealers to report thefts of their products as soon as they are made aware of them; a regulation requiring gun manufacturers to put a second, hidden, serial number on every newly manufactured gun, and; a regulation requiring domestic manufacturers to use a standardized system for numbering firearms. Legislation that creates an administrative agency often authorizes the agency to promulgate rules through notice-and-comment rulemaking. The agency may also interpret the provisions of the legislation that created it, if the legislation is ambiguous and the agency interpretation is reasonable.

On May 16, 2009, in a speech at the NRA Convention in Phoenix, Cox stated, “The sanctity of the Second Amendment, all of our rights, all of our freedom, is in your hands. Freedom calls you to her defense now more than ever before because she's under attack like never before.” This was because of the appointments/confirmations of Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief-of-Staff, Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Cox explained. “We all know what to expect from our opponents,” he said, “They exploit tragedies. But to be honest with you, I never thought they’d pick an international tragedy. And as you've seen— that's exactly what they're doing with Mexico ... It’s been estimated that 100,000 Mexican soldiers have deserted the military in recent years to go work for the cartels. This is Mexico's problem. But the media and anti-gun politicians want us to believe that one more American gun control law or some international agreement will turn these ruthless murderers into boy scouts. You have got to be kiddin' me! We need to find 'em, arrest em', and send em' with the rest of the terrorists to Guantanamo Bay. Oh yeah, I forgot, that would be too ‘cruel.’ We should welcome them with open arms into our neighborhoods.” Cox warned, “Friends, these threats are real. Americans are concerned, and they're buyin' guns. So let’s give credit where credit’s due: In these tough times, the Obama administration deserves credit for the only part of the economy that’s goin’ strong—gun sales.” Finally, Cox told a story that “sums up the sorry state of affairs in [Washington,] D.C.”: “It’s 2006. Melroy Cort [an Iraq War veteran who had both legs amputated] and his wife are driving from their home in Ohio to Maryland. They drive through Washington, D.C. to get there. Melroy has a valid Ohio [concealed handgun] permit and he's carrying his 9mm in the car for protection. While driving through D.C., they get a flat tire, and pull over to fix it. Concerned, he takes his gun from the car and puts it in his jacket. Someone sees it happen and dials 911. Within minutes, the police show up and arrest him ... Now let me tell you a little something about D.C. If neighbors call 911 about some crack deal in progress there’s a 50/50 chance they’ll even send someone. But when a Marine Corporal –confined to a wheelchair because of his service to our country—strays into D.C. with his legally owned firearm they can’t put him in jail fast enough. And that’s our nation’s capital for ya. If you’re a gun owner, they put you in jail. But if you’re Mayor, and get caught smoking crack, they put you on the City Council.” The latter reference was to former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who went on to serve on the D.C. City Council.

On May 16, 2009, in a speech at the NRA Convention in Phoenix, Cox stated, “The sanctity of the Second Amendment, all of our rights, all of our freedom, is in your hands. Freedom calls you to her defense now more than ever before because she's under attack like never before.” This was because of the appointments/confirmations of Rahm Emanuel as White House Chief-of-Staff, Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Cox explained. “We all know what to expect from our opponents,” he said, “They exploit tragedies. But to be honest with you, I never thought they’d pick an international tragedy. And as you've seen— that's exactly what they're doing with Mexico ... It’s been estimated that 100,000 Mexican soldiers have deserted the military in recent years to go work for the cartels. This is Mexico's problem. But the media and anti-gun politicians want us to believe that one more American gun control law or some international agreement will turn these ruthless murderers into boy scouts. You have got to be kiddin' me! We need to find 'em, arrest em', and send em' with the rest of the terrorists to Guantanamo Bay. Oh yeah, I forgot, that would be too ‘cruel.’ We should welcome them with open arms into our neighborhoods.” Cox warned, “Friends, these threats are real. Americans are concerned, and they're buyin' guns. So let’s give credit where credit’s due: In these tough times, the Obama administration deserves credit for the only part of the economy that’s goin’ strong—gun sales.” Finally, Cox told a story that “sums up the sorry state of affairs in [Washington,] D.C.”: “It’s 2006. Melroy Cort [an Iraq War veteran who had both legs amputated] and his wife are driving from their home in Ohio to Maryland. They drive through Washington, D.C. to get there. Melroy has a valid Ohio [concealed handgun] permit and he's carrying his 9mm in the car for protection. While driving through D.C., they get a flat tire, and pull over to fix it. Concerned, he takes his gun from the car and puts it in his jacket. Someone sees it happen and dials 911. Within minutes, the police show up and arrest him ... Now let me tell you a little something about D.C. If neighbors call 911 about some crack deal in progress there’s a 50/50 chance they’ll even send someone. But when a Marine Corporal –confined to a wheelchair because of his service to our country—strays into D.C. with his legally owned firearm they can’t put him in jail fast enough. And that’s our nation’s capital for ya. If you’re a gun owner, they put you in jail. But if you’re Mayor, and get caught smoking crack, they put you on the City Council.” The latter reference was to former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who went on to serve on the D.C. City Council.

chris cox (Executive Director)

In a June 28, 2012, interview with NRA News, Cox spoke about a vote in the House of Representatives to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena for documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation on the southwest border. Cox stated, “The truth is, we’ve talked a lot about our dislike of Eric Holder. There’s no surprise that we think there’s something there … We believe, and have every reason to believe, that this was all part of their agenda to undermine the Second Amendment … I can assure you that Eric Holder’s contempt for the Second Amendment is the only thing that probably is stronger than Congress’ contempt for Eric Holder … We called for Eric Holder’s resignation over a year ago … But the best way to deal with Eric Holder, the best way to deal with these problems, is to defeat this president in November and to get some new people in there that have a little bit of common sense, a little bit of law enforcement background, that is legitimate, and that won’t be used to pursue a political agenda.” A report released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General on September 19, 2012 found that there is no evidence that “Fast and Furious” was part of a broader conspiracy to advance new gun regulations. The report also found that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the tactics used in the investigation until after it was concluded in 2011.

David Coy (Board Member)

In 2012, Coy testified in a suit filed against the National Rifle Association, NRA-certified firearms instructor Thomas Simpson, and others by Terry Gonser, a resident of Oakland Township, Michigan. Simpson shot Gonser in the face during a May 5, 2009 handgun training class. The suit alleges that Simpson, then 75 years old, was shaking so badly that he required an assistant to carry his materials to the class. Simpson and his assistant both failed to check a holstered .38 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun owned by Simpson to see if it was loaded. The weapon fired, sending a bullet ricocheting off a table and into the left side of Gonser's face. Nonetheless, the NRA renewed Simpson’s certification in January 2012. Coy testified under oath that the NRA does not certify instructors to teach the Michigan Concealed Pistol License course specifically. He added in a deposition that he did not know what the NRA does to monitor its instructors or if it requires any annual training of them. According to court documents, the NRA does not require testing of instructors for physical/mental soundness or firearms knowledge and safety. The NRA also neglects to run background checks on instructors to determine if they've been convicted of violent crimes or placed in a psychiatric institution.

Larry Craig (Board Member)

On August 3, 2012, the Associated Press reported that Craig, who is being sued by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for allegedly misusing more than $200,000 in campaign funds for his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in a bathroom sex sting, seeks to fend off the charges by arguing that the incident was part of his official Senate business. Craig asserts that he was travelling between Idaho and the nation's capital for work and cites a Senate rule which include all charges for meals, lodging, hotel fans, cleaning, pressing of clothing—and bathrooms—as reimbursable per diem expenses. "Not only was the trip itself constitutionally required, but Senate rules sanction reimbursement for any cost relating to a senator's use of a bathroom while on official travel," wrote Craig’s lawyer in documents filed on August 2, 2012.

On June 11, 2012, Craig was sued by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for allegedly misusing more than $200,000 in campaign funds for his legal defense following his 2007 arrest in a bathroom sex sting. Craig had been accused of soliciting sex in a bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The FEC claims that Craig for U.S. Senate, the U.S. senator’s campaign account, paid at least $139,952 to the law firm Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan in Washington, D.C., and $77,032 to Kelly & Jacobson in Minnesota for legal services related to his guilty plea. The FEC stated in their complaint that Craig should be required to repay the misused funds and a fine of up to $6,500.

In 2011, Craig lobbied Congress to remove the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act. The former U.S. Senator’s client, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, wanted the gray wolf de-listed because of concern that a recovered wolf population would eat big game animals prized by hunters. Once common in throughout North America, the gray wolf is now extinct in all but a few locations in the United States.

In 2009, New West Strategies, a lobbying firm co-founded by Craig, lobbied the federal government on behalf of two Idaho counties who wanted a federal prison to be constructed within their borders. Representatives of the counties cancelled the $5,000-per-month lobbying contract after Craig’s firm failed to secure funding in the federal budget for the project.

In an August 2007 letter to a constituent who asked about the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy concerning homosexuality, Craig wrote, “It is unacceptable to risk the lives of American soldiers and sailors merely to accommodate the sexual lifestyles of certain individuals.”

In June 2007, Craig, a married man, was arrested in a Minneapolis airport bathroom and charged with lewd conduct after an undercover male police officer accused him of making sexual advances. Craig later pled guilty to disorderly conduct. The Idaho Statesman published a comprehensive investigative report alleging that Craig engaged in sex acts with men for decades. A number of men gave accounts of sexual encounters with Craig.

In a video appearance at a 2007 “Friends of the NRA” dinner, Craig suggested that it was plausible that total firearm confiscation could occur in the United States and said, “When the government is the sole owner of firearms, you and I then become the subjects of a government, or the victims of a government, and not the free citizen that this country has been built on.”

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Craig was hesitant to provide federal funds to aid the recovery. Preferring instead that the damaged areas of New Orleans be abandoned, he said, “Fraud is in the culture of Iraqis. I believe that is true in the state of Louisiana as well.” Craig suggested that the Lower Ninth Ward be turned “back to what it was, a wetland.

In 2004, the Human Rights Campaign Congressional Scorecard awarded Craig a score of 0 out of a possible 100 for his positions on gay rights. His low score stemmed from his vote for a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would have limited marriage to opposite sex partners and a vote against the “Local Law Enforcement Act,” which provides federal assistance in the prosecution of hate crimes.

In a 1999 appearance on Meet the Press, Craig criticized then-President Bill Clinton for having an extramarital affair, calling Clinton “a nasty, bad, naughty boy”.

Craig voted “Yes” to implement the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy in 1993, which allowed for the dismissal of military service members who were discovered to be gay.

Craig urged his sexual partners to keep quiet by using threats, reportedly telling one man in 1986, “I can buy and sell your ass a thousand times over. You were never here.

In 1982 a former male Congressional page alleged that Members of Congress had encouraged pages to engage in sexual activity and drug and alcohol use. While no Members of Congress were specifically named, then-Representative Craig issued a preemptive statement denying involvement.

Cam Edwards (NRA News Radio Host)

On the January 17, 2014 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards praised 37 year-old Marlo Ellis for acting in “defense of others” during an incident in Orville, Alabama, and asked mockingly, “I wonder how many other media outlets will be reporting on this story?” The incident occurred at 12:45 p.m. on January 16, 2014 when 37 year-old Kevin McLaughlin walked into a dollar store and had words with those inside the store, including Ellis. McLaughlin then began waving a gun in the air and forced a cashier and Ellis, at gunpoint, towards a break room. As they reached the door of the room, Ellis, a concealed handgun permit holder, pulled out a pistol and shot McLaughlin once in the chest, killing him. According to the testimony of other customers and delivery men in the store at the time of the incident, “there was never any mention of a robbery or hold-up or a demand for money.” On his broadcast, Edwards failed to mention that Ellis was arrested in 2013 for allegedly raping a victim "between the age of 12 and 16" and charged with second-degree rape and enticement of a child, both felonies. Ellis also had a previous conviction for a misdemeanor offense. There is no evidence that Kevin McLaughlin had any criminal record.

On the November 14, 2013 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards claimed that Glamour magazine's 2013 Women of the Year Awards had an " anti-gun agenda" because the event honored victims of gun violence, including Pakistani education reformer Malala Yousafzai, who at age 15 was targeted for assassination by the Taliban for protesting a ban on female education. The event also honored former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)—who was wounded during a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona—and Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Kaitlin Roig-Debellis, who saved the lives of 15 first-graders during the December 2012 mass shooting at her school in Newtown, Connecticut. Edwards stated that while Glamour "may have the very best of intentions in pushing an anti-gun agenda," the magazine's misguided views mean that "ultimately…the ideas that they're pushing prohibit people from protecting themselves, they prohibit people from exercising self-defense, they make the world a more dangerous place for women across this country."

On the June 20, 2013 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards hosted blogger Frank Borelli. Borelli likened police officers enforcing Maryland’s gun laws to German soldiers during the Nazi regime. Responding to a question by Edwards about an editorial criticizing sheriffs who refuse to enforce newly passed gun laws, Borelli said, “I'd like to ask Mr. [Maryland State Delegate Jon] Cardin one question: Does he feel that when Nazis working the death camps used the excuse of, ‘I was just following orders.’ Was that an acceptable excuse and did it exempt them for moral turpitude for their actions? And I'd like to hear him justify that.

On the June 20, 2013 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards commented on a California law enforcement program that utilizes the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS), a database of individuals who are no longer legally allowed to possess guns. Edwards’ co-host Ginny Simone identified a case in which the system had “wrongly targeted” a California resident and Edwards added, “There are so many issues right now for the law-abiding in California because you got lawmakers going after their rights, meanwhile the criminals are getting put back out onto the streets, and it sounds like you've got a government that is in many ways just out of control.” In fact, the person in question was barred from owning a firearm under federal law because she had been subject to an involuntary commitment at a mental health facility.

On the March 15, 2013 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards spoke about the arrest of New York linen mogul George Bardwil on illegal gun possession charges after Bardwil brandished a firearm not registered in his name in his home during an attempted robbery. “You are still looking at three years in prison for acting in self-defense in your own home,” Edwards stated, adding that the situation was "pretty awful.” “I thought we lived in the United States of America,” said Edwards. “[New York City] Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg still has the, well I'll use the word tenacity, this is a family friendly show, still has the tenacity and the gall to say he is not anti-gun. If that is the case, why don't you call up your buddy the DA, chew him out, and get those charges dropped against George Bardwil?” In 2008, Bardwil pled guilty to assaulting a housemaid. In May 2012, Bardwil was arrested and subsequently charged with second degree assault, a class D felony in New York, after his ex-wife accused him of repeatedly slamming her head into the ground causing her to be hospitalized. (Criminal Activity, Women’s Rights)

On the March 15, 2013 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards spoke about the arrest of New York linen mogul George Bardwil on illegal gun possession charges after Bardwil brandished a firearm not registered in his name in his home during an attempted robbery. “You are still looking at three years in prison for acting in self-defense in your own home,” Edwards stated, adding that the situation was "pretty awful.” “I thought we lived in the United States of America,” said Edwards. “[New York City] Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg still has the, well I'll use the word tenacity, this is a family friendly show, still has the tenacity and the gall to say he is not anti-gun. If that is the case, why don't you call up your buddy the DA, chew him out, and get those charges dropped against George Bardwil?” In 2008, Bardwil pled guilty to assaulting a housemaid. In May 2012, Bardwil was arrested and subsequently charged with second degree assault, a class D felony in New York, after his ex-wife accused him of repeatedly slamming her head into the ground causing her to be hospitalized.

On the November 14, 2013 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards claimed that Glamour magazine's 2013 Women of the Year Awards had an "anti-gun agenda" because the event honored victims of gun violence, including Pakistani education reformer Malala Yousafzai, who at age 15 was targeted for assassination by the Taliban for protesting a ban on female education. The event also honored former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)—who was wounded during a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona—and Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Kaitlin Roig-Debellis, who saved the lives of 15 first-graders during the December 2012 mass shooting at her school in Newtown, Connecticut. Edwards stated that while Glamour "may have the very best of intentions in pushing an anti-gun agenda," the magazine's misguided views mean that "ultimately…the ideas that they're pushing prohibit people from protecting themselves, they prohibit people from exercising self-defense, they make the world a more dangerous place for women across this country."

On the October 18, 2012 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards spoke to George Kollitides, CEO of Remington Arms. Discussing the 2012 presidential election, Kollitides stated, “I think this will be the most important election of our lifetime. The next president is going to be in an incredibly powerful position to appoint [U.S.] Supreme Court justices. It’s one thing to legislate a gun ban. That can always be overturned by a future president, a future Congress, and Congress can fight it, of course, and hope they don’t get vetoed and overruled. We’ve had the benefit of a strict interpretist Supreme Court which has been conservative and really held up the core traditional values of our country. So, I don’t necessarily just worry about the next four years of an [Barack] Obama presidency, I worry about my kids and my grandkids futures, because if we change face of the Supreme Court, we’re looking at a thirty-plus-year uphill battle.” Edwards replied, “Absolutely right … We are likely to see, over the next four years, whoever is president have the opportunity to put one perhaps as many as three or four justices on the Supreme Court and that will impact our lives for decades to come … We really can’t afford a court that is going to be hostile to gun owners.” Kollitides continued, stating, “Not only will the Second Amendment be under attack if we go to a liberal non-strict-interpretative court, but it’ll be the entire American way of life. When we appoint liberal judges, they take it upon themselves not to interpret the laws but to legislate the laws and there’s a lot of liberal courts doing that. So, the appeal needs to be not just to gun owners, although that’s obviously critically important…but I think many of the things we think about, all of our freedoms will be at risk. You know the liberal courts and the liberal politicians believe they know what’s best for Americans. They’re gonna tell us when we have to get health care. They’re gonna tell us what time we have to get out of bed every day. They’re gonna tell us where we have to go to work. They’re gonna take our money and redistribute it. This is an issue that every American needs to be worried about.” After Kollitides finished speaking, Edwards replied, “Absolutely.”

On the October 2, 2012 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards spoke about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney signing an Assault Weapons Ban into law in 2004, when he was governor of Massachusetts. Edwards stated, “This was actually a bill that the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) in Massachusetts supported. The quote unquote ‘assault weapons bill,’ or excuse me, the quote unquote ‘assault weapons ban,’ was already law in Massachusetts. It was already permanent in Massachusetts. This bill actually provided some relief to gun owners in the state of Massachusetts. It was portrayed and it has been portrayed in the media as Governor Romney signed a bill to ban quote unquote assault weapons in the state of Massachusetts. But that's not the case. This was a bill, as I said, that was supported by the state gun owners' organization in Massachusetts because it actually undid some of the damage of that original legislation.” In fact, as Governor Romney’s press release announcing the signing of "An Act Furthering Regulating Certain Weapons" stated, “Like the federal assault weapons ban, the state ban, put in place in 1998, was scheduled to expire in September [2004]. The new law ensures these deadly weapons, including AK-47s, UZIs and Mac-10 rifles, are permanently prohibited in Massachusetts no matter what happens on the federal level.” While GOAL supported reforms to Massachusett’s gun licensing scheme contained in the legislation, the group stated in a July 2, 2004 press release, “Although the Governor did make mention of being a ‘sportsman’ and the reforms in the bill that would help other sportsmen, he spun the bill as a ban. ‘Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts,’ Romney said. ‘These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.’ When asked by a reporter if he supported the renewal of the federal ‘assault weapons’ ban and if he had spoken to the senators about it, Governor Romney replied that it was not really his job to lobby on federal legislation, but that he shared Senator [John] Kerry's and Senator [Ted] Kennedy's position on the issue!” Senator Kerry and Senator Kennedy supported renewing the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in September 2004.

On the August 17, 2012 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards spoke with James Manley, an attorney with the Mountain State Legal Foundation who represented a pro-gun group that brought suit against the University of Colorado for their policy prohibiting guns on campus. After the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the university could not prohibit students from carrying guns on campus, the university announced that gun-carrying students who wished to take advantage of on-campus housing would be required to live in a designated dorm. The University of Colorado cited concerns about “potentially dangerous living situation potentially dangerous living situations” as the rationale for its new policy. Edwards commented on the policy by stating, "Segregated dorms. Yes. How progressive. We are back to segregation now."

On the May 22, 2012 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards spoke with National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) adjunct fellow Horace Cooper. NCPRR was founded one day after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) disbanded its Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which was responsible for model voter ID and “Stand Your Ground” legislation. NCPPR promotes the implementation of voter ID laws at the state level in order to “enhance integrity in voting.” On the show, Cooper claimed that voter fraud is “a real problem” and that “felons, illegal immigrants, or just people who are paid to show up...go from one voting site to the next and cast votes in the names of other people.” Edwards agreed with Cooper and displayed a graphic which claimed that newly enacted voter ID legislation in Virginia “will ensure that voters presenting themselves at the polls are who they say they are, and greatly reduce voter fraud.” Cooper expressed NCPPR’s preference for voter ID laws similar to those in Texas and South Carolina, stating that these laws contain “grade A voter ID requirements.” Those laws have been challenged in court by the Department of Justice over allegations that they disenfranchise minorities. Furthermore, research has shown that in-person voter fraud of the kind Cooper warns about is extremely rare in the United States. Finally, in 2010, Cooper, a former Department of Labor official, pled guilty to falsifying a document after he failed to report gifts worth thousands of dollars which he received from convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

On the May 15, 2012, broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Edwards hosted conservative commentator and Pajamas Media contributor Bill Whittle to discuss “the demasculinization of men, the feminization of men, and the wimpification of men.” When Edwards asked Whittle whether the idea of a “strong man” owning a gun and hunting is obsolete, Whittle replied, “The great feminist line that just encapsulates this radical feminist philosophy in a nutshell is, they used to say, uh, you know, ‘women need men like a fish needs a bicycle.’ And there’s a lot of unhappy fish out there, if you haven’t been paying attention … I think in the case of the real out-there feminists, there’s something that really scares them about male strength.” Later in the broadcast, Edwards said, “One of the gun control groups, I think it’s the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, always says, you know, violence is never the answer. Well, Bill, I think that’s an absurd statement to make.” Whittle replied, laughing, “It is always the answer. This is the difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals think that you can avoid violence, that violence can be bred out of the human animal. It’s not possible. What you can do is, is you can take a society where people are fundamentally good and convince them that defending themselves is somehow wrong and that does not mean that the rest of the world becomes civilized. It means that the savages kill all the good people. And this has happened all throughout history.” Finally, Whittle told Edwards, “One thing I am really genuinely disturbed about, you see this all over the place, are these kind of women butt-kickers in movies. Scarlett Johansson who is, you know, she's probably five foot four and maybe she weighs 110 pounds soaking wet taking down these 250 pound guys with karate chops and stuff … It's like bad things are going to happen if people think this is going to happen in the real world. Because number one, girls are going to get themselves badly hurt, and number two, when guys see movies about young girls, and young women doing all these physical moves in these wild kind of defense things, it takes away that fundamental inhibition that has been drilled into boys my age, and your age too, and that is you never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever hit a girl. Ever ever ever. When young boys go to movies and see girls doing all this butt-kicking and taking down all these guys, number one, girls think they are going to get away with that, there is not going to be an outcome where a 100 pound girl physically punches a 210 pound guy with a happy outcome for the girl. That's why you have guns.” Edwards replied, “Absolutely. Absolutely right.”

R. Lee Ermey (Board Member)

In the March 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Ermey was interviewed by NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox. Ermey told him, “Some things I’ve said have ended up on Keith Olbermann’s show and I consider that a badge of honor. When he gets upset about something, it makes me happy. When it comes to politics and religion, you can’t please everyone. The people on the wrong side of the fence need to do a little more research.” When asked about his role in the NRA’s “Trigger the Vote” campaign, Ermey stated, “We need to take this country back and do it right now. I fought for this country, and now I’m watching these protesters and politicians destroy this country, so I have to consider them my enemies–just politically of course.”

Ermey is a spokesman for Glock Firearms.

Manny Fernandez (Board Member)

In 1983, Fernandez was convicted of criminal possession of a machine gun.

Sandy Froman (Board Member)

In the March 2007 edition of America’s 1st Freedom, stating, Froman wrote, “The U.N. forces believe that now is the time to advance their agenda to use international law and treaties to outlaw private firearm ownership in the United States.” She was referring to a United Nations treaty dealing with small arms trafficking. The treaty’s actual goal is to reduce the illicit international trade in small arms—it does not address the issue of private firearms ownership. In any case, foreign treaties require approval by two-thirds of the members of the U.S. Senate in order to be ratified.

Prior to the November 2006 Congressional elections, Froman urged NRA members to vote for Republican candidates in a column in America’s 1st Freedom, writing, “Disaster is looming on Nov. 7, and I need your help to save our freedom. I’m not exaggerating. We are at the edge of a dangerous political precipice. If we stumble, we will fall back to a pre-1994 [Democratic] anti-Second Amendment Congress. If we fail to act, out of apathy or because we want someone else to do our job, we betray not only ourselves but our children and grandchildren. We betray our country and Founding Fathers. Every gain we’ve made for the Second Amendment could be reversed unless we win this critical election.” Froman also added, “We are at war. Our freedom is at stake. The Second Amendment is America’s original homeland security and you, my fellow NRA members, are at the heart of our national defense. But Pelosi and her fellow extremists, who are hoping to take control, oppose our national security efforts and oppose your Right to Keep and Bear Arms.” Democrats did gain control of the House during the 2006 elections, and were the majority party until the Republicans retook the House in 2010.

In the August 2006 edition of America’s 1st Freedom, Froman claimed, “The United Nations is engaged in a global gun ban-scheme. It is well-organized and well funded by eccentric anti-gun billionaires. The goal of this movement is to get every nation to sign a treaty banning the private ownership of firearms worldwide and giving U.N. troops authority to enforce the treaty.” She was referring to a United Nations treaty dealing with small arms trafficking. The treaty’s actual goal is to reduce the illicit international trade in small arms—it does not address the issue of private firearms ownership. In any case, foreign treaties require approval by two-thirds of the members of the U.S. Senate in order to be ratified.

In a 2006 interview with her alma mater’s alumni magazine, Stanford Magazine, Froman said, “Everyone is safer when criminals don’t know who is armed. I’m this five-foot-two middle-aged lady, but they don’t know I’ll shoot their guts out.”

In the August 2005 edition of Americas 1st Freedom, Froman commented on NRA programs by stating, “I have never been a ‘women’s’ program person. I was never a women’s ‘libber.’ I don’t believe that women are second class citizens or that they need any special breaks.”

In a column in the August 2005 edition of America’s 1st Freedom, From an wrote, “Activist judges in some courtrooms have been ignoring—or in some cases rewriting—the Constitution as they push a radical agenda on the American people. The political left, unable to pass its extremist agenda at the ballot box and losing elections across the board, has turned to the courtroom to undermine our constitutional order, Bill of Rights and basic American institutions.”

In her “President’s Column” in the July 2005 issue of American Rifleman, Froman wrote, “President Bush may nominate as many as three new justices and, if they are like [Antonin] Scalia and [Clarence] Thomas, they will create a Supreme Court that would be the ultimate guardian of your Second Amendment rights.”

Jim Gilmore (Board Member)

In separate documents filed for his 2008 presidential and Virginia Senate campaigns, Gilmore failed to disclose that he sat on the board of Windmill International. At the time, Windmill International was facing allegations that the company’s president attempted to secure fraudulent government contracts in Iraq. The President of Windmill International, Douglas Combs, made tens of thousands of dollars in political donations to Gilmore during his political career.

The Free Congress Foundation (FCF), a think tank that promotes the far-right’s viewpoint in the “Culture War,” has courted a great deal of controversy. Gilmore effectively succeeded FCF President & CEO Paul Weyrich in 2009. On replacing Weyrich, Gilmore said, “Paul Weyrich blazed the trail for many conservative themes and I want to continue that leadership.” The “themes” advocated by FCF have included the following:

Marion Hammer (Board Member)

During a March 2014 meeting of the Florida House Environment and Natural Resources Council, Hammer told Mike Prendergast, head of the Department of Veterans Affairs, that Terrence Gorman, general counsel for the Department of Military Affairs and a staff attorney for the Florida National Guard stationed in St. Augustine, was “on her [expletive] list.” Gorman had given testimony during a Senate committee hearing the previous week critical of Senate Bill 206, a bill Hammer supported. SB 206 would allow “someone who is required to evacuate during an emergency like a hurricane to keep a gun on them even if they don’t have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.” Hammer’s anger towards Mr. Prendergast was apparently misplaced. Mr. Gorman doesn’t work in Prendergrast’s department.

In a January 27, 2013 op-ed in the Gainesville Sun, Hammer wrote, “The [President Barack] Obama administration's gun ban agenda and universal background check system are unconstitutional regulatory schemes to gut the Second Amendment. These proposals amount to universal gun registration and gun owner licensing … That's why NRA members and the nation's 100 million firearms owners will stand in solidarity and fight these misguided and diabolical proposals that have nothing whatsoever to do with curbing criminal violence but everything to do with stripping us of our guaranteed civil rights and our freedom.” In fact, President Obama’s universal background check proposal involves no registration of firearms, and merely expands the current system of background checks already required of federally licensed firearms dealers. Furthermore, under existing law, the federal government is required to destroy completed background check records after 24 hours.

In a January 7, 2013 interview with the Florida Current, Hammer was asked, “Do you think that ‘the people’ can remain ‘sovereign’ if a democratically elected government imposes strict regulations on gun ownerships?” Hammer replied, “No. Second Amendment rights are the means with which the people retain sovereignty. Give up your power to remain free and you are no longer free. Just because a government was ‘democratically’ elected does not mean it is a righteous government or that the electorate got the government they thought they were electing.”

In a January 2013 broadcast of NRA News, Hammer spoke about Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) proposal to ban assault weapons, stating, “Well, you know, banning people and things because of the way they look went out a long time ago. But here they are again. The color of a gun. The way it looks. It's just bad politics."

On October 16, 2012, Hammer spoke at a meeting of a Florida task force investigating the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Hammer told the task force, “We believe the law is doing what the legislature intended. It is protecting the rights of people who defend themselves against attackers and intruders. The NRA supported this law. We are proud to have been a part of the process. We are proud to say we worked with legislators from both sides of the aisle to protect self-defense rights. And although there may be other bodies of law that do not go far enough to protect the innocent and the righteous, we don't see any basic need to change the premise of this law.” Hammer previously acknowledged in an interview with Media Matters that the NRA helped draft the law. “Stand Your Ground” laws began to generate national controversy following the murder of unarmed, African-American teenager Trayvon Martin by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012.

In July 2012, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee sent Hammer a three-page letter in response to a survey she had sent to sheriff candidates around the state of Florida on behalf of the NRA and the United Sportsmen of Florida. One question asked, “Would you support legislation to restrict or ban the lawful manufacture, sale, transfer, ownership or possession of firearms?” Gee responded with examples of how courts have restricted the Second Amendment; including a prohibition on felons possessing firearms. Gee stated, “Since I am legally and morally bound to follow the law as defined by the Supreme Court of the United States, I freely accept their decision.” The survey also stated, “Businesses have been using off-duty law enforcement officers—in their official uniforms—as private security and have been SEARCHING private vehicles that are parked in business parking lots." Gee objected to the question, stating that it implies that when an officer asks for permission to search a vehicle, that officer is being "inherently coercive." He wrote, “Courts allow these consent searches.” The Florida Sheriff's Association drafted its own response to Hammer's questionnaire, writing, “The Sheriffs in our state have long defended a citizen's right to keep and bear arms as outlined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. However, the Sheriffs also have a duty to oppose legislation that would reduce public safety and place citizens and law enforcement officers at greater risk. It is unfortunate that some would view this common sense approach as being anti-Second Amendment, as this is far from our position as our history has shown."

In June 2012, Hammer sent a survey on behalf of the NRA and the United Sportsmen of Florida to sheriffs candidates around the state of Florida. One question about Florida’s first-in-the-nation “Stand Your Ground” law asked, “Do you agree that no victim of crime should be required to surrender his life, health, safety, personal dignity, autonomy, or property to a criminal, nor should a victim be required to retreat in the face of attack from any place he or she has a right to be?” There were two possible answers: “Yes, I believe the ‘Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground’ is appropriate and victims have a right to fight back without a duty to retreat,” or “No, I oppose the ‘Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground’ and believe victims should surrender to criminals or retreat to avoid fighting back.” Another question asked whether candidates support a law that would allow someone with a concealed weapons permit to openly display a gun. Those in favor could answer, “Yes, I support open carry…as a means to stop harassment by those anti-gun law enforcement officers [who question or arrest individuals who openly carry guns in public].”

Several other survey questions addressed the NRA’s goal of prohibiting sheriffs from lobbying for gun safety legislation. One question asked, “Do you believe it is appropriate for a sheriff to lobby or use deputies and/or their deputies to lobby against the Second Amendment rights of the law-abiding citizens they are sworn to serve?” Another question asked, “Do you believe it is appropriate for a sheriff or any of his deputies or employees to lobby on issues against the constitutional rights of law-abiding firearms owners , in the name of the Sheriff, Sheriffs department or any Organization or Association in any official law enforcement capacity?” The two possible answers were: “No, I would not allow it. Our duty is to respect and serve our community and uphold the law and the Constitution,” or “Yes, I would allow it if it makes things more convenient for law enforcement.” Commenting on the issue, Hammer stated, “We don’t believe it’s appropriate for any law enforcement agency to be lobbying against the Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the constitution of the citizens they were elected to protect and represent.”

The cover sheet attached to the four-page survey warned in bold letters, “No endorsement or support will be provided to a candidate who fails to return the questionnaire.” Hammer said about the survey, “Voters have a right and a responsibility to know who they are voting for. I’m not apologetic if that offends the Florida Sheriffs Association and anti-gun sheriffs.” Florida Sheriffs Association Executive Director Steve Casey responded that sheriffs are neither “pro-gun” nor “anti-gun.” “They’re pro public safety,” he said.

In June 2012, Hammer sent a survey on behalf of the NRA and the United Sportsmen of Florida to sheriffs candidates around the state of Florida. One question about Florida’s first-in-the-nation “Stand Your Ground” law asked, “Do you agree that no victim of crime should be required to surrender his life, health, safety, personal dignity, autonomy, or property to a criminal, nor should a victim be required to retreat in the face of attack from any place he or she has a right to be?” There were two possible answers: “Yes, I believe the ‘Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground’ is appropriate and victims have a right to fight back without a duty to retreat,” or “No, I oppose the ‘Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground’ and believe victims should surrender to criminals or retreat to avoid fighting back.” Another question asked whether candidates support a law that would allow someone with a concealed weapons permit to openly display a gun. Those in favor could answer, “Yes, I support open carry…as a means to stop harassment by those anti-gun law enforcement officers [who question or arrest individuals who openly carry guns in public].”

Several other survey questions addressed the NRA’s goal of prohibiting sheriffs from lobbying for gun safety legislation. One question asked, “Do you believe it is appropriate for a sheriff to lobby or use deputies and/or their deputies to lobby against the Second Amendment rights of the law-abiding citizens they are sworn to serve?” Another question asked, “Do you believe it is appropriate for a sheriff or any of his deputies or employees to lobby on issues against the constitutional rights of law-abiding firearms owners , in the name of the Sheriff, Sheriffs department or any Organization or Association in any official law enforcement capacity?” The two possible answers were: “No, I would not allow it. Our duty is to respect and serve our community and uphold the law and the Constitution,” or “Yes, I would allow it if it makes things more convenient for law enforcement.” Commenting on the issue, Hammer stated, “We don’t believe it’s appropriate for any law enforcement agency to be lobbying against the Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the constitution of the citizens they were elected to protect and represent.”

The cover sheet attached to the four-page survey warned in bold letters, “No endorsement or support will be provided to a candidate who fails to return the questionnaire.” Hammer said about the survey, “Voters have a right and a responsibility to know who they are voting for. I’m not apologetic if that offends the Florida Sheriffs Association and anti-gun sheriffs.” Florida Sheriffs Association Executive Director Steve Casey responded that sheriffs are neither “pro-gun” nor “anti-gun.” “They’re pro public safety,” he said. Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson stated that the NRA “doesn't want the sheriffs to be in Tallahassee to work on any kind of legislation, which we have taken for years...to try and work for good laws for the state of Florida such as narcotics laws, pill laws, traffic safety.” Johnson, a longtime NRA member, added that it is “sad to see [the NRA] take such a hard line on it.”

A Bloomberg News article from May 11, 2012 provided several interesting anecdotes about Hammer, including:

On March 20, 2012, Hammer responded to the controversial shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. The shooter, who was not arrested, claimed that he acted in self-defense under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Hammer, the NRA lobbyist who championed the law in the Florida state legislature, stated, “So for law enforcement to rush to judgment just because they are being stampeded by emotionalism would be a violation of law. This law is not about one incident. It's about protecting the right of law-abiding people to protect themselves when they are attacked. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the law. And if the [Republican] governor [Rick Scott] wants to waste time looking at it he can knock himself out.” Since its enactment in 2005, the “Stand Your Ground Law” has been tied to a number of shootings that involved the questionable use of deadly force.

In January 2012, Hammer renewed her opposition to an effort by the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association to ban the carrying of firearms in hospitals and nursing homes, claiming that it "panders to the anti-gun political agenda of South Florida organizations." According to Hammer, doctors, nurses and other medical staff have a "constitutional right" to carry loaded guns in these places.

During the 2011 legislative session, Hammer lobbied for a bill to force Florida’s cities and counties to repeal local rules regulating firearms that are stricter than state law. The legislation instituted fines for local officials who fail to comply, and gave gun owners a right to sue for damages if they believe their rights have been violated.

Municipal leaders stood in strong opposition to the bill. “This probably passed because of someone from the NRA, someone who doesn’t care about urban conditions,” said Aaron Campbell, vice mayor of Miami Gardens. “It’s sad that a piece of legislation can pass like this.” Elaine H. Black of the Liberty City Trust stated, “I’m concerned about some deranged person who doesn’t like what our government is doing coming in and shooting someone. If I can go now into the Miami Riverside Center, the main operating office of Miami, or any municipal building—and there’s always someone who’s walking into that door who’s not happy with government. Maybe you put a lien on my property, and I think that’s not right—I can walk in with a gun and shoot you.” The Florida League of Cities was concerned that the bill changed a longstanding common law practice of shielding elected and appointed officials from civil lawsuits relating to their job function.

Hammer dismissed these concerns, saying, “You’re not going to have every Tom, Dick and Harry carrying a firearm on their person up and down the streets and into buildings because it’s a felony [unless the person has a license to carry a concealed weapon].” When asked why it why it was OK for municipal leaders to beef up local laws on a host of other issues, such as where sex offenders can live, Hammer replied, “Sex offenders are not protected by the Constitution.” She added, “The right to keep and bear arms has Constitutional protection and ocal governments have been violating the Constitutional rights with no punishment.”

Hammer described elected officials who wish to regulate guns on the local level as “gun hating-Liberals.” “The legislature...made it clear in [1987] legislation that no future ordinances regulating firearms and ammunition could be adopted," she said. "And through that 24 years, there have been a number of counties that have arrogantly done it anyhow because there were no penalties in that bill.”

The legislation was signed into law by Republican Governor Rick Scott and went into effect on October 1, 2011.

During the 2011 legislative session in Florida, Hammer lobbied for a bill to prevent Florida doctors from asking their patients if they own a gun and counseling them about firearms safety. Hammer claimed that such questions violate the privacy of gun owners and “offend common decency.” "They are entering that information into medical records on laptop computers which greatly concerns parents because anything you put in a medical record they fear can be accessed by insurance companies or the government and used against ‘em," she explained. "Doctors should not ask you how much money you have in your checking account, whether or not you own diamond cufflinks or your wife owns a diamond necklace. They should not be asking whether or not you own guns."

Hammer said that gun-owning parents in Florida had complained to her for many years about pediatricians’ inquiries about firearms; but could only produce one specific example of this occurring.

She also drew broader theories about doctors' motives: “This is a campaign that started eight to ten years ago by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics and they decided to join the gun ban crowd," Hammer said. "They give pediatricians advice to give to parents and that’s not to buy a gun and if they own guns to get rid of ‘em. So when they start giving that advice to pediatricians and your very Liberal, anti-gun pediatricians start taking that advice, then we have problems ... We don’t want to pay to sit there and be lectured by a pediatrician or a GP telling us that guns are bad and giving erroneous statistics like they have on their website that if you have a gun in the home it’s 43 times more likely to be used on you than not. I mean, this is nonsense ... It’s about carrying out a gun ban campaign and it has to stop.” Hammer decried: "It's about politics. Pure, raw, anti-gun politics being imposed on patients when they are most vulnerable, when they are sick or hurt and need help."

The Florida Medical Association strongly opposed the bill, telling their members: “This legislation criminalizes doctors who ask their patients about gun ownership to ascertain accurate and complete patient history as well as advise patients on gun safety ... This is an inappropriate intrusion of government into the bond that exists between doctors and their patients ... Legal measures are already in place to ensure that the information patients share with physicians will be kept confidential.”

The bill, which originally fined doctors $5 million for asking patients about gun ownership, was amended to create a tiered fine system for violators. An offending doctor would be charged $10,000 for the first offense, at least $25,000 for the second offense, and a minimum of $100,000 for the third offense.

After the legislation was passed by the Florida state legislature, the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups sent Republican Governor Rick Scott a letter asking him to veto it. Hammer accused them of an intimidation campaign, saying, “They sent a letter that was a blatant threat. They attempted to intimidate and coerce the governor by telling him that they would sue him and other state officials if the bill became law. Now, that tells you the type of people you’re dealing with. To threaten a governor in that manner is just uncalled for.” In June 2011, Governor Scott signed the legislation into law.

On September 14, 2011, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction on the law. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke reasoned that the law "chilled" free speech and wrote in her decision: "The law curtails practitioners' ability to inquire about whether patients own firearms and burdens their ability to deliver a firearm safety message to patients ... Information regarding firearm ownership is not sacrosanct. Federal and state statues heavily regulate firearm ownership, possession and sale and require firearm owners to provide personal information in certain circumstances."

During the 2011 legislative session in Florida, the Florida Sheriff’s Association opposed a bill that sought to allow people to openly carry firearms in public without storing them in safety holsters. Seminole Sheriff Don Eslinger, speaking on behalf of the association, testified that the legislation was a bad idea in a tourist state, and pointed out that visible weapons are ripe targets for thieves—especially if a gun isn't properly secured. "Many officers are killed with their own guns," Eslinger noted. "And keep in mind, these are skilled practitioners."

Hammer, who was the primary lobbyist for the bill, explained that an Open Carry law was needed because, “Silly as it may sound, if a license holder is carrying a concealed firearm and the wind blows open a jacket or a shirt exposing the firearm, the person can be charged with a crime for violating the Open Carry law ... This is Florida. It gets really hot here in the summer. A lot of times folks might go into a restaurant or into, you know, a meeting and they have on a suit with a coat and it’s hot and they want to take off their jacket, if they’re carrying in a shoulder holster or in a pants holster they can’t take a jacket off and expose the firearm because then they would be violating the Open Carry law." She was unable to provide any specific examples of permit holders being arrested for such violations.

Speaking about opponents of the bill, Hammer said, "Open Carry was one of those things that we lost here in Florida when we passed concealed carry because the gun haters said that carrying openly would scare people so we ended up with Open Carry being banned in Florida 24 years ago ... claim that everybody’s going to strap a holster on and a gun on their hip and walk up and down Main Street. Well, that’s nonsense, that’s nothing more than emotional hysterics designed to try to kill a bill.”

When she was asked about the Florida sheriffs who lobbied against Open Carry, Hammer accused them of "bullying" legislators and said, "a lot of 'em are [anti-gun radicals]." "In my 34 years, I’ve not seen anything this egregious," Hammer added.

Republican Governor Rick Scott eventually signed a watered-down version of the bill into law on June 17, 2011.

In an interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel on April 24, 2011, Hammer discussed the 1968 Gun Control Act, a federal law which (for the first time) established a class of prohibited gun purchasers (i.e., convicted felons, substance abusers, those under restraining orders, those adjudicated mentally ill, etc.), a licensing system for gun dealers, and safeguards intended to reduce interstate gun trafficking. "In 1968 my way of life changed because the 68 Gun Control Act imposed restrictions on law-abiding people who had done absolutely nothing," Hammer said. "The Congress stampeded into taking that action because of the heinous acts of criminals, assassinations. And so for the acts of a handful of people an entire nation has suffered ever since. I got angry that I was being punished and I hadn’t done anything wrong."

Hammer was the primary lobbyist for a bill introduced in the Florida state legislature in January 2011 that sought to force the state’s colleges and universities to allow guns on campus. Under SB 234, anyone with a concealed handgun permit recognized by Florida would have been able to carry a loaded gun onto a college campus—including into classrooms and dormitories.

The bill was introduced just days after Florida State University sophomore Ashley Cowie, 20, was accidentally shot and killed at a fraternity party by fellow student Ryan Wilhelm, who discharged his semiautomatic AK-74 assault rifle while showing it off. Wilhelm had a blood alcohol level of approximately .10 at the time of the shooting and had also been smoking marijuana.

Commenting about the shooting, Hammer emphasized it happened off-campus in a fraternity house where guns are banned. “With shootings on campus, they are essentially a gun-free zone and in a gun-free zone the good guys don’t have a chance,” she said.

When asked why SB 234 was necessary, Hammer replied, “There’s a lot of safety by allowing guns on campus. That’s how a lot of us protect ourselves because law enforcement can’t be there when we need them. Law enforcement is not stopping rapes on campus, and not stopping a lot of crimes ... "Nothing about a university or college campus should take away an individual's right of self-defense."”

In response to those who questioned the wisdom of arming young people in an academic environment often characterized by stress and heated debate, Hammer made the following argument: “In order to qualify for a license, a person has to be 21 years of age or older. We’re not talking about teenage freshmen or underclassmen, so folks shouldn’t let anybody put that false image in your head However, we need to remember that this country asks 18 year olds to go to war and die for this country but we don’t let ‘em carry firearms until they’re 21 years of age or older and the reality is when we do let ‘em carry, we currently are denying that right if they decide to go to college and get a better education and make a better life for themselves.”

The police chiefs of Florida’s states universities came out in unanimous opposition to SB 234. The Florida Police Chiefs Association also opposed SB 234.

SB 234 was amended to remove the guns on campus provision on March 9, 2011 after Dr. Robert Cowie—the father of slain student Ashley Cowie and a registered Republican—testified against the bill in front of the Senate Florida Criminal Justice Committee. “Allowing guns in an atmosphere of college parties puts everyone involved at increased and undue risk,” he told committee members. "I challenge anyone present today in this room who is a parent—or for that matter any voter in this state that is a parent—to come forward to meet me eye to eye and comfort me with the thought that our campuses will be better and safer places if the possession of firearms is permitted by anyone other than a law enforcement officer ... If you wish to see further evidence of what a weapon on campuses can do, I invite you to attend my daughter's memorial service. " After the bill was amended, Dr. Cowie commented, “If my making a statement would possibly prevent another family from going through what we did, I knew I'd make the effort. I think Ashley would be proud of me."

In a radio interview with NRA News on January 11, 2011, Hammer expressed outrage that Florida residents would be denied the ability to bring guns into cemeteries to mourn their lost loved ones. “The case that outraged legislators and us involved a cemetery that last summer decided to ban guns on cemetery property," Hammer stated. "And there was a father who had already buried his son who had been killed in a car crash in that cemetery. And that father always carries his gun in his truck and frequently he would visit his son’s grave on his way home or going to and from.”

A 2010 IRS Form 990 filed by Hammer’s United Sportsmen of Florida (USF) organization revealed that the organization loaned Hammer over $50,000 to assist her in purchasing a home (to be repaid at 2% interest). This loan is in addition to the $110,000 in compensation Hammer, the only paid employee of USF, received that year.

While lobbying for legislation that sought to ban adoption agencies from asking would-be parents questions about firearms ownership, Hammer claimed that any request about gun ownership from an agency connected with government was tantamount to establishing a private gun registry. “Gun registration is illegal in Florida,” said Hammer. “An adoption agency has no right to subvert the privacy rights of gun owners.'' Hammer never specified exactly how gun owners’ rights would be subverted either by questions about gun ownership or registration.

While lobbying for an NRA-drafted bill that sought to prevent Florida’s private businesses from prohibiting employees from keeping guns locked in their cars in company parking lots, Hammer commented, "The Constitution begins, 'We the people,' not ‘we the Chamber,’ not ‘we the Retail Federation,’ not ‘we the Disney.’ It's 'we the people.'" David Daniel, the chief lobbyist for the Florida Chamber of Commerce—which strongly opposed the legislation—dismissed the bill as a “big government solution looking for a problem.”

The legislation was eventually signed into law by then-Republican Governor Charlie Crist and became effective July 1, 2008.

During the 2007 legislative session, a bill was introduced in the Florida state legislature to prevent private businesses from prohibiting employees from keeping guns locked in their cars in company parking lots. While lobbying for the bill, Hammer commented to the Associated Press: “[Private businesses] ought to be tickled to death for getting immunity from things that are happening in their parking lots. This bill codifies longstanding public policy and constitutional guarantees. It could not be simpler.” She did not provide an explanation, however, of where in the Second Amendment a right to take guns to one’s workplace is granted. Hammer also added, Big corporations want property rights for themselves but not for their customers or employees. “This bill is about people. And people are more important than a chunk of asphalt in a parking lot.”

Mark Wilson, the vice president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, had a different take on the legislation, saying, “This is the biggest assault on private property rights and the employer-employee relationship that this Legislature has ever heard ... Some of our members are dumbfounded that you can be smart enough to be in the legislature and still consider this bill seriously.”

In April 2007, a survey was released by Tel Opinion Research. The survey indicated that “80% of Floridians [thought] businesses and homeowners should decide what things are brought onto their property” and “56%...said business owners should be able to expressly bar their workers from having guns in the vehicles.”

In response to an independent investigation that revealed Florida had issued concealed handgun permits to more than 1,400 people who plead guilty or no contest to felonies; 216 people with outstanding warrants, including for murder; 28 people with active domestic violence restraining orders against them; and 6 registered sex offenders, Hammer said, “We do not participate in legislation that gratuitously takes away the rights of people, because when you begin taking away the rights of people that you don’t like, that’s the slippery slope." She then explained, “When people plead guilty or no contest in these cases frequently, very frequently, these are people who have not committed any crime, but their lawyer advises them to take a plea bargain.” Hammer lobbied successfully against the efforts of three major police organizations—the Florida Sheriff’s Association, the Florida Fraternal Order of Police, and the Florida Police Chiefs Association—to tighten the eligibility rules for permit holders and prevent dangerous people from legally carrying guns in public.

During the 2006 legislative session in Florida, Hammer lobbied for a bill that sought to create a public records exemption for concealed handgun permits and rejected permit applications—thereby barring Florida residents from knowing which individuals in their communities had obtained permits, and preventing them from independently auditing the permitting process to ensure public safety. When the legislation was signed into law by then-Florida Governor Jeb Bush in June 2006, Barbara Petersen, the president of the Florida First Amendment Foundation, commented, “I think this exemption makes a mockery of the constitutional right of access. The stated purpose of this bill is protect sensitive information. What is sensitive about your name? These are a privileged class of people who are allowed to carry a concealed weapon. They have to jump through some hoops. [But] we have absolutely no opportunity for oversight.” [Source: Palm Beach Post, “Bush Signs Gun-Related Bills into Law,” June 8, 2006]

On May 8, 2006, Hammer accused business leaders of deceiving her and lying to Florida state legislators. She was upset that a bill that she had lobbied for— which sought to prevent companies from prohibiting employees from keeping guns locked in their cars in company parking lots—had died on the last day of the legislative session. "They can interpret this any way they want to,” said Hammer. “I'm interpreting it as another opportunity to work this issue because it's not over until I say it's over. We intend to work until we pass legislation that protects the existing right of law-abiding gun owners in Florida to keep a lawful product in their car whether they go to buy groceries, visit an amusement center, stop at a doctor's office or anywhere else that people commonly go."

Florida Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Jennifer Krell Davis commented that, “It was clear to most people this was bad policy, and you can’t take a basic property right away from thousands of Floridians without a fight.”

Hammer was the primary lobbyist behind a “Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground” bill that aimed to eliminate Florida’s common law duty to use every reasonable means available to retreat from a conflict prior to using deadly force, which the state's Supreme Court had legitimized by explaining, “Human life is precious, and deadly combat should be avoided if at all possible when imminent danger to oneself can be avoided.” The bill, SB 436, stated that any individual who is in a place where he/she has a legal right to be, and who is “not engaged in an unlawful activity...has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” Individuals using lethal force in this manner were to be granted immunity from both criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits. Critics labeled SB 436 “Shoot First” legislation.

Hammer explained her reason for pushing the bill as follows: “Through time, in this country, what I like to call bleeding heart criminal coddlers want you to give a criminal an even break, so that when you're attacked, you're supposed to turn around and run, rather than standing your ground and protecting yourself and your family and your property. [I] started thinking then that the day will come when we will have to do some serious thinking about changing this … Taking away the rights of law-abiding people and putting them in jeopardy of being prosecuted and then sued by criminals who were injured when they were committing crimes against victims is wrong.”

She also claimed that during hurricane seasons in Florida, “In a lot of these devastated areas, law enforcement would tell communities, ‘You're on your own, we can't get to you.’ So, we needed to be sure that when people protected themselves, their families and their property, that they weren't gonna be prosecuted by some criminal coddling prosecutor.” Responding to criticism that the "Stand Your Ground" law could be invoked by the perpetrators of violent crime to avoid criminal prosecution, Hammer stated, "We saw a parade of hypotheticals by those who opposed this... What's important is the message it sends, and that's, 'don't attack me.'"

Furthermore, Hammer was unable to produce even a single example of a law-abiding gun owner being prosecuted for using a firearm for legitimate self-defense in the home prior to 2005.

Among those who opposed the “Stand Your Ground” bill were the National District Attorneys Association, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, and police chiefs from cities including Miami and St. Petersburg. Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer commented, “I dislike the law because it encourages people to stand their ground…when they could just as easily walk away. To me, that’s not a civilized society.” Paul Logli, president of the National District Attorneys Association, pointed out that the law “give[s] citizens more rights to use deadly force than we give police officers, and with less review.”

Regarding these concerns posed by critics of the legislation, Hammer said, “It’s nothing but emotional hystericsThose who like to ban guns attempted to say that this law would allow street gangs because they were legally in the street.”

The Castle Doctrine bill was signed into law on April 26, 2005 by Republican Governor Jeb Bush.

Jeannie Suk, a professor at Harvard Law School, published an analysis of Florida’s Castle Doctrine law and has described it in the following terms: “There is an important change in this law. Even the traditional castle doctrine, which was very protective of people in their homes, and allowed them to shoot in their home without retreating, it still meant that you had to be reasonably afraid of death or serious bodily harm. This was a very important requirement. You don't just let people kill in self-defense and say, oh, you were afraid of being attacked. You actually have to show that your fear was reasonable. And now…you don't have to do that because you don't have to prove that in court. But more importantly, even before the trial stage, what happens is that police officers and prosecutors, it affects their decisions about whether to bring cases, whether to make arrests or to bring a prosecution. I think it's a very big deal.” Duval County State Attorney Harry Shorstein has cited “a lesser sensitivity to gun violence and death” after the law was passed.

The New York Times and others have identified numerous cases of questionable (and unnecessary) homicides where shooters invoked the Castle Doctrine defense. A 2011 analysis by the South Florida Sun Sentinel found that “several…accused murderers have successfully used [Florida’s] 2005 ‘Stand Your Ground’ law to prove they were the real victims.” Bradford Cohen, the president of the Broward County chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, has described the law as “one more tool we can use.”

In 1996, Hammer told the New York Times that the solution to ending the gun control debate in the United States was to “get rid of all Liberals.”

In 1988, Hammer distributed a newsletter to members of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida—an NRA affiliate organization—accusing state legislators who favored closing loopholes in a concealed carry law of supporting “a modern-day Gestapo movement.” One of the loopholes the legislation sought to correct allowed violent individuals to possess firearms pending a criminal judgment. Republican State Senator John Grant called for Hammer’s resignation and said, “I think Marion Hammer has lost any effectiveness that she might have or any credibility she might have with legislators on both sides of the issue.” Republican State Senator Malcolm Beard added, “I never have been for gun control. But this letter from a lobbyist is filled with half-truths.” The Republican Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Criminal Committee, Bob Johnson, said Hammer possessed, “the lowest standard of integrity I have ever seen for a lobbyist in Tallahassee.”

Maria Heil (Board Member)

On September 29, 2012, Heil spoke at the 27th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando, Florida on a panel entitled “The Most Dangerous Election of Our Lifetime.” Heil spoke about the November 2012 presidential election, stating, “I contend that this is the most dangerous election of our lifetime … Let’s talk about judges. I’ve got a thing to say about them: they’re getting old. The Supreme Court and the Circuit Court of Appeals … During the next presidential term, three of the Supremes will turn eighty. We’ve had Second Amendment victories on the Supreme Court by one vote. One vote. Can you imagine what [President Barack] Obama will do if he’s unchained, if he gets a second term? Appoint radicals to the Supreme Court. Can you imagine two more of [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor and ]Justice Elena] Kagen? Or possibly three more? What else is he gonna do, do you think? Executive Order the Small Arms Treaty … He’s gonna try to push having guns as a health issue. He’ll ban them through Obamacare. I have no doubt about it … What I would like to happen is, when we all wake up on November 7th, assuming we can actually go to sleep that Tuesday night, I want to hear that Americans have overwhelmingly chosen the pro-Second Amendment candidate, the one that’s always been proud to be an American. And I also want to hear that the American people have spoken loudly and clearly and have said, ‘Mr. Obama, you’re fired.’” Heil was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.”

On June 8, 2012, Heil spoke at a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event in Chicago on a panel entitled “Defending Self-Defense: The Liberal’s Shadow War on the Second Amendment.” According to Heil, there isn’t just a “shadow war” on the Second Amendment. “There’s a shadow war on SUVs, too. ‘The SUV went off the road and killed people,’ not the truck,” she mocked. Heil added, “I’d…like to thank the American Conservative Union for holding CPAC Chicago here in Chicago in Obama’s state of residence. I know a lot of you who are Illinoisans cringe at that, but you know what? That’s OK, because Illinois is the birthplace of Ronald Reagan.” Heil also spoke about her roots in Illinois, stating, “I hope that it really makes some people in Oak Park cringe that one of their home-born people is on the NRA Board of Directors … And also with [Northern Illinois University], they’ve turned anti-gun, of course, because of the tragedy there. But I graduated from NIU. I hope that makes some of those people cringe as well.” The tragedy Heil was referring to was a 2008 mass shooting at the school in which a mentally ill student (who was a legal gun purchaser) shot and killed five students, wounding 21 others, before killing himself. Heil also told the following story: “When I was a kid in Oak Park, that’s actually when they started their anti-gun nonsense because I vividly remember as a kid the Sinclair station on, is it Austin, and the Eisenhower … My dad used to get the gas tank filled up there and I vividly remember one of the workers there, after some of this anti-gun stuff started, having a gun on his hip while he was pumping the gas. That stuck with me. I wasn’t pro- or anti- as a kid, I didn’t know anything, but that’s a vivid memory. That’s one thing that that gentleman did that stuck with me and now I’m a member of the NRA board of directors. You never know what kind of impact just a little bit is going to have.” Referring to the 2000 “so-called” Million Mom March on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which was attended by approximately 750,000 people, Heil said, “Who would be against a bunch of moms wanting to protect their children? You know, that’s what they portray it. Well, they wanted to take away guns is their ultimate goal. And, you know, to counter that you would think of that young mother…just after New Year’s, she was a new widow and young baby. She had to use a gun to protect herself and she did everything she could to not do that, but in the end she had to use a gun to protect herself. The Million Moms would have disarmed her. They would have disarmed her.” In fact, there is nothing in the reform proposals advocated by the Million Mom March that would prevent law-abiding mothers from owning firearms. Heil also identified the following movies as “anti-gun”: “The Lorax,” “Lethal Weapon 3,” and “Lethal Weapon 4.” Finally, Heil warned, “You know and we know if the Second Amendment goes, the rest of everything else that we hold dear is going to go as well.”

In an October 3, 2011 video in which the owners of the shooting range Freedom Armory endorsed Heil for the NRA board of directors, she stated, “Now is a very important time because we have a threat to the United States of America and that threat is the United Nations. And they have the Small Arms Treaty coming up … It is actually an attack on our Second Amendment rights. And once they shred that, they are going to be shredding the rest of the Constitution.” In fact, the U.N. Small Arms Treaty would set only international standards for the export of conventional weapons—leaving domestic laws regulating the possession of firearms untouched.

At a seminar held by the NRA’s “Women on Target” program in May 2000, Heil stated “I choose to own a gun because I am a good mother.”

Charlton Heston (Former President)

In the 2002 documentary “Bowling for Columbine,” when Heston was asked by filmmaker Michael Moore why the United States has such a high rate of gun violence compared to other developed nations, Heston responded, “Well, we have probably a more mixed ethnicity than other countries.”

During a 1999 appearance at Harvard Law School, Heston delivered a speech entitled, “Winning The Culture War.” In his remarks, he referenced a controversial speech he delivered at the Free Congress Foundation in 1997, stating, “I’ve to come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land … I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963, long before Hollywood found it acceptable, I may say. But when I told an audience last year that ‘white pride’ is just as valid as ‘black pride’ or ‘red pride’ or anyone else’s pride they called me a racist. I’ve worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life, throughout my whole career. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe. I served in World War II against the Axis powers, but during the speech when I drew an analogy between singling out the innocent Jews and singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite.” Heston also complained, “At Antioch College in Ohio, young men seeking intimacy with a co-ed must get verbal permission that each step of the process, from kissing, to petting, to finally at last copulation—all clearly spelled out in a printed college directive. In New Jersey, despite the death of several patients nationwide who had been infected by dentists who had concealed their own AIDs, the state commissioner announced that health providers, who are HIV positive, need-not tell their patients that they are infected. At William and Mary, students tried to change the name of the school team, ‘The Tribe,’ because it was supposedly insulting to local Indians, only to learn that authentic Virginia chiefs really liked the name ‘The Tribe.’ In San Francisco, city fathers passed an ordinance protecting the rights of transvestites to cross-dress on the job and for transsexuals to have separate toilet facilities while undergoing sex change surgery. In New York City, kids who didn’t speak a word of Spanish have been placed in bilingual classes to learn their three hours in Spanish, solely because their own names sound Hispanic. At the University of Pennsylvania, in a state where thousands died at Gettysburg opposing slavery, the president of that college officially set up segregated dormitory space for black students. Yeah I know that’s out of bounds now. Dr. King said ‘Negros’, Jim Baldwin and most of us on the march said ‘black,’ but it’s a no-no now. For me hyphenated identities are awkward, particularly Native American. I am a Native American for God’s sake.” Heston went on to compare the struggles of white conservative America to those who participated in the Civil Rights Movement, stating, “You must be willing to be humiliated, to endure the modern-day equivalent of the police dogs at Montgomery and the water cannons at Selma. You must be willing to experience discomfort.” He concluded by saying, “If Dr. King were here, I think he would agree.”

During a December 7, 1997 speech before the Free Congress Foundation, a controversial think tank that promotes the far-right’s viewpoint in “The Culture War,” Heston compared the perceived plight of white conservative Americans to “European Jews … The Nazis forced them to wear six-pointed yellow stars sewn on their chests as identity badges. It worked. So what color star will they pin on our coats? How will the self-styled elite tag us? There may not be a Gestapo officer on every street corner yet, but the influence on our culture is just as pervasive.” He went on to say, “Heaven help the God-fearing, law-abiding, Caucasian, middle class, Protestant, or even worse Evangelical Christian, Midwest, or Southern, or even worse rural, apparently straight, or even worse admittedly heterosexual, gun-owning or even worse NRA-card-carrying, average working stiff, or even worse male working stiff, because not only don't you count, you're a downright obstacle to social progress … The Constitution was handed down to guide us by a bunch of those wise old dead white guys who invented this country. Now, some flinch when I say that. Why? It's true...they were white guys. So were most of the guys who died in Lincoln's name opposing slavery in the 1860s. So why should I be ashamed of white guys? Why is ‘Hispanic pride’ or ‘black pride’ a good thing, while ‘white pride’ conjures up shaved heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated in the media as progress, while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? I'll tell you why: cultural warfare.” Heston also declared, “I find my blood pressure rising when Clinton's cultural shock troops participate in homosexual-rights fund-raisers but boycott gun rights fund-raisers...and then claim it's time to place homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts, and suggest that sperm donor babies born into lesbian relationships are somehow better served and more loved … Mainstream America is depending on you counting on you to draw your sword and fight for them. These people have precious little time or resources to battle misguided Cinderella attitudes, the fringe propaganda of the homosexual coalition, the feminists who preach that it's a divine duty for women to hate men, [and] blacks who raise a militant fist with one hand while they seek preference with the other.” Heston’s speech is still featured on the website of white supremacist David Duke, who lauds the remarks by stating, “A few years ago I was astounded to read these courageous remarks by Charlton Heston. I am thankful to hear a man with such high esteem say essentially the same things for which I have been reviled by the liberal media. His words should be reproduced and put into the hands of every American.” Julian Bond, then-Board Chairman of the NAACP, reacted to the speech by saying, “Charlton Heston's civil rights credentials are seriously sullied by his bigoted and homophobic remarks and his attacks on racial minorities. The endorsement by white supremacist David Duke further threatens to erode the considerable respect many Americans felt toward Heston for his years-ago commitment to human rights.”

Graham Hill (Board Member)

Graham is part of the “revolving door” culture in Washington. Prior to founding Ice Miller Strategies, LLC to lobby on transportation issues, Graham worked for Representative Charles Pickering, Jr. (R – MS) and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. One prominent Ice Miller client is Vulcan Materials, which paid Ice Miller $350,000 between 2007 and 2011 to lobby on transportation issues.

One of Graham’s principal Ice Miller clients is General Atomic, which paid Ice Miller $510,000 in lobbying fees between 2007 and 2011. General Atomics has courted controversy for the large amount of money it spends underwriting trips for members of Congress and their families.

Roy Innis (Board Member)

On October 31, 2011, the Washington Post reported that Prosperity USA, a private charity run by two top aides to 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, gave $100,000 to Innis’ Congress of Racial Equality Organization (CORE) shortly before Cain spoke at CORE’s annual “Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration” dinner. Speaking about Cain at the event, Innis said, “In this case we are even more pleased to bring the Tea Party people to our dinner as they have exemplified the spirit of Dr. King and are living the legacy that he helped establish in American politics.” Prosperity USA is facing scrutiny for a $37,372 donation to the Cain campaign that may have violated campaign finance laws (under federal law, non-profit charities are not allowed to donate to political campaigns).

On October 25, 2011, Innis described 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain as “an idea that was trying to be expressed for a long time by black America but was stifled by the left-wing establishment.”

In August 2011, Reverend Eric Rapaglia apologized to the public for hiring white supremacist Frank Borzellieri as the principal at a
Bronx Catholic school. Rapaglia said, "Neither myself, nor any of the members of the search committee knew of Mr. Borzelleri’s political writings at the time of his hiring. In addition, it is my understanding that Mr. Borzelleri had the support of many minorities including Roy Innis, the national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a black civil rights organization." Borzellieri—who believes that African Americans and Latinos are genetically inferior to whites—claimed that Innis has said, “I am proud to call Frank Borzellieri my friend.”

On January 25, 2011, Innis rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange “to highlight the 25th anniversary of the observance of the Martin Luther King holiday.” Innis was joined by FOX Business News Anchor Charles Payne.

Then-American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene presented Innis with the John M. Ashbrook Award at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference and said, “There is no living American I admire more than Roy Innis.” The award is named after one of the founders of the ACU who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 21 years as a Republican from Ohio. In his remarks, Innis warned of “a growing tyranny in our country” and said the candidates for the 2008 presidential election were “some of the most dangerous people to ever run for the presidency of the United States.” Speaking on the influence of CPAC, Innis said, “We have developed some skills. We are able to influence the Republican Party, and nudge it, and push it in certain directions. Let us teach those skills to our young brothers in the Tea Party.”

On March 18, 2008, Innis spoke at a press conference held by the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity prior to testifying before the Wisconsin state legislature on climate change. Innis said, “The economic crisis we are in now, can be solved with just letting people know the facts. Let them know that the right thing to do is not what they have been doing, which is going along with the environmentalist radicals … Ordinary people are good people, they want to do the right thing. Unfortunately we have sat idly by and have allowed them to think the right thing is to follow the radical environmentalists … It is crazy that we have environmental policies that prevent us from using some of the best resources we have. We have, on a per capita basis, more coal than anyone else in the world. We have a lot of gas. And we have a lot of petroleum too—up in ANWR [Artic National Wildlife Refuge] and the coastal areas. We are a rich country, rich in resources, rich in energy, potential energy, and we have laws that prevent us from maximizing it.” Americans for Prosperity is a corporate-backed “astroturf” organization that promotes Republican and corporate interests. President Obama has criticized the group by saying, “Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates all across the country. And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation. You don't know if it’s a big oil company, or a big bank.”

In 2006 Innis—whose CORE organization has taken money from original DDT manufacturer Monsanto—said, “We are fighting the same battle, for the liberation of black people. In the past that meant taking on old racists and colonialists—now it means challenging environmentalists too.” Innis also claimed that European Union restrictions on the use of DDT are “killing black babies.” Medical research has linked human exposure to DDT to diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and reproductive problems, including miscarriages, developmental disabilities, and premature births. DDT is also a “probable human carcinogen,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A former CORE fundraiser said that the organization raised money under Innis’ direction in 2002 under the pretense of “welfare reform” and used it to support conservative causes. The fundraiser called this development scheme a “racial hustle.”

A CORE dinner to celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday on January 17, 2000 featured far right wing Austrian politician Jörg Haider as an honored guest. Before his death in 2008, Haider was criticized for frequent remarks in defense of the Nazi party and Wafen SS.

Innis called conservative radio host Bob Grant personally to invite him to attend a 1998 dinner honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Grant is infamous for his racist statements, which include the following remark: “They're not satisfied with every third street being M.L. King Boulevard, you know, named after that scumbag Marty." Grant has said he and Innis “have been good friends for many years.”

In a 1989 appearance with Rev. Al Sharpton on “The Morton Downey, Jr. Show,” Innis became enraged and physically assaulted Sharpton.

1n 1988, Innis defended sports commentator Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, who was fired from a number of jobs after claiming that African Americans were better athletes because of slave breeding. "Jimmy the Greek spoke the truth," Innis said.

In 1986, Innis was forced to pay $56,000 in back taxes as well as $28,000 in civil fraud penalties after the IRS discovered that he had used unreported income from CORE for personal expenses including travel, rent, jewelry and entertainment.

Innis offered to fund the legal defense of the then-fugitive “Death Wish” gunman, a white man who shot four black teenagers who tried to rob him of $5 on a subway train on December 22, 1984. The gunman was later to be revealed to be Bernard Goetz, who Innis called, “the avenger for all of us.” Innis also called for a "volunteer peace officer" force of armed civilians to roam the streets of New York City. “After enough criminals get blasted, they will conclude that crime does not pay, he said. "Some black man ought to have done what [Goetz] did long before. I wish it had been me.

In 1984 Innis testified as a character witness for political activist Lyndon LaRouche in his slander lawsuit against the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), defending LaRouche against charges of racism and anti-Semitism.

Innis utilized the CORE infrastructure to falsely accuse a man of being responsible for the “Atlanta Child Murders” in April 1981. Innis threatened his supporters would “make the collar” if the police did not detain the man, who was later dismissed as a possible suspect. An editorial published in The Bulletin, an Oregon newspaper, accused Innis of using his claim to have broken the serial killer case as a ploy to “solidify himself as the head of CORE” during a “serious leadership fight and membership fight.”

In 1981, CORE paid $35,000 to settle allegations of illegal fundraising techniques.

In 1976, Innis recruited a 600-man “peace brigade” to support the forces of Jonas Savimbi’s apartheid-backed UNITA rebel organization in Angola. U.S. intelligence sources indicated that Innis’ men—most of whom were combat veterans—were actually mercenaries recruited to fight in the Angolan civil war. The brigade was to work under the mandate of the Organization of African Unity, which was led by Ugandan dictator and UNITA supporter Idi Amin. Human Rights Watch described UNITA as “a rebel group led by Jonas Savimbi, [that] killed, abducted, and terrorized civilians with impunity.” The United States Institute of Peace wrote that “Savimbi is indeed responsible for a litany of crimes against humanity.” UNITA employed child soldiers throughout the Angolan Civil War, which lasted from 1975 to 2002.

Innis was a "supporter" of Idi Amin, the Ugandan dictator accused by human rights groups of being responsible for the deaths of up to 500,000 people. Innis awarded Amin a lifetime CORE membership and claimed, “Ugandans are happy under General Amin’s rule of Africa for black Africans.” “He has the ability to make decisions, unlike other leaders who theorize but do not execute,” Innis said of Amin. He was also supportive of Amin’s decision to expel 50,000 Asians from Uganda. Asked how he could support Amin, a known admirer of Adolf Hitler, Innis said, “We have no records to prove if Hitler was a friend or an enemy of black people.” In return, Amin awarded Innis Ugandan citizenship in 1973.

In 1970, Innis embraced the doctrine of “Separate But Equal,” proposing to divide integrated school districts into pairs of schools districts; one which would be predominantly white, the other predominantly black.

Joaquin Jackson (Board Member)

Jackson once conducted an interview with Texas Monthly where he suggested that civilian assault rifles be limited to a five-round capacity. After receiving angry criticism from gun rights activists, Jackson backpedalled and claimed that he was referring to fully automatic rifles (i.e., machine guns) as opposed to the semiautomatic assault rifles available on the civilian market in the U.S.

David Keene (Former President & Current Board Member)

In July 2013, Keene was appointed as the opinion editor of the Washington Times. Keene served as President of the NRA from May 2011 to May 2013 and continues to serve as a board member of the organization. Since joining the Times, Keene has endorsed several Republican senators for reelection, either on his own behalf or on behalf of the National Rifle Association. Keene’s appointment has drawn criticism from journalism professionals, such as Kevin Smith, chair of the Ethics Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists and Kelly McBride, ethics instructor at the Poynter Institute. Smith asked in an email, “My question to Mr. Keene and the Times is a simple one—who do you serve? Do you serve the NRA and its constituents or do you serve the readers of the Times? It's straightforward. Because if you believe your professional and ethical obligation is to promote the agenda of the NRA, then you have no business as an editorial page editor because you are a spokesperson passing yourself off as a journalist.” McBride stated that, “even if [Keene] recuses himself [from editing any pieces in his department that are focused on the NRA], he can still have a significant influence on the editorial board.”

David Keene (Former President)

David Keene (Board Member)

On February 20, 2013, Keene spoke at Harvard University about gun violence prevention legislation which had been proposed in the wake of a mass shooting on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 first-graders and six adults were killed. When asked what kinds of weapons he thought should be illegal, Keene responded, “fully automatic weapons.” The NRA has not always supported tough regulations on fully automatic weapons. In 1986, an amendment banning the manufacture of new fully automatic machine guns for civilian sale was added to the NRA-drafted “Firearm Owner’s Protection Act” (more commonly known as “McClure-Volkmer,” for its Senate and House sponsors, Jim McClure and Howard Volkmer). Wayne LaPierre, then the head of the NRA's lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), announced, "Repealing the machine gun ban amendment tacked on to the McClure-Volkmer bill will be a high priority." James Jay Baker, then the NRA Governmental Affairs Director, promised that legislation had been drafted to repeal the amendment and was "expected to be introduced this session." Keene also joked that he’s stopped saying the NRA’s approval rating is higher than that of Congress since, “We could be serial rapists and have a higher favorable rating than Congress.”

In a February 2, 2013 interview with the Daily Caller, Keene stated, “You know, when you go back in our history…the initial wave of [gun violence prevention laws] was instituted after the Civil War to deny blacks the ability to defend themselves.” According to a Pew Research Center Poll, conducted in December 2012, an overwhelming majority of African Americans, 68%, said it was more important to control gun ownership than to protect the right to own guns

In a January 14, 2013 interview with Lou Dobbs on Fox News, Keene spoke about President Barack Obama’s upcoming recommendations on gun violence prevention, scheduled to be revealed at a press conference on January 16, 2013. Keene stated, “What Newton gave [the Obama administration] was an excuse to do what they’ve wanted to do for some time, which is to launch a full-breadth attack on the Second Amendment and that’s what they’re doing regardless of what the President claims.” Keene was referring to a mass shooting on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 first-graders and six adults were killed.

In a December 23, 2012 interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Keene spoke with host Bob Schieffer about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut in which 20 first-grade students and six adults were shot and killed. He stated, “The question on everybody's minds that we were trying to address is what do you do to prevent this from happening in the future? You know, it was interesting, Bob, because…that week I was in Israel. And they had a spate of school shootings in the 70s and on, and then they decided that they needed to have security at their schools. They started out with volunteers. They eventually institutionalized it and now they have armed security at the schools, and they've stopped the problem.” In fact, Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said following the Newtown tragedy that the situation in Israel was “fundamentally different.” He added, “We didn’t have a series of school shootings, and they had nothing to do with the issue at hand in the United States. We had to deal with terrorism. What removed the danger was not the armed guards but an overall anti-terror policy and anti-terror operations which brought street terrorism down to nearly zero over a number of years.” Reuven Berko, a retired Israeli Army colonel and senior police officer explained that, in recent years, restrictions on gun ownership have been tightened, stating, “Israeli citizens are not allowed to carry guns unless they are serving in the army or working in security-related jobs that require them to use a weapon.” Keene also spoke about background checks for firearms purchases, stating, “We have for, since the late 1960s, have been urging that those people who were adjudicated to be mentally ill be included in the national database. When you buy a gun, Bob, you go to the store and there's an instant check. Twenty-three states have not put any of that data in there, in many cases … When you go to buy a gun, you have to fill out a whole form. You're checked with the FBI and others through the instant check system. And then what the law is, that after a period of time, they can't maintain that [in] a federal gun registry. But they check you when you purchase that firearm, and they should.” In fact, current federal law requires criminal background checks only for guns sold through licensed firearm dealers. These sales account for just 60% of all gun sales in the United States. A loophole in the law allows individuals not “engaged in the business” of selling firearms to sell guns without a license—and without conducting background checks.

On October 4, 2012, in a speech at a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event in Colorado, Keene spoke about the 2012 presidential election, stating, “This is indeed an important election, a crucial election. We’ve said at the NRA that it may well be the most important election of our lifetime … There are…many reasons this President [Barack Obama] needs to be retired. There are many reasons why it’s so important that we elect conservatives to the Congress and the Senate this year … There’s the willingness of this administration, in unprecedented ways, to flout the laws and, indeed, the constitution of this country … If this president is reelected, he will have the opportunity to appoint one, two, maybe three justices of the United States Supreme Court. What will happen to the [District of Columbia v.] Heller decision, which ratifies the constitutional right of Americans as individuals to keep and bear, arms if he does that? It will vanish. What will happen to that decision and other decisions guaranteeing our rights, not just on Second Amendment grounds, but think recently of the attacks on the First Amendment by this administration? … Much of what our forbears fought for, much of what we inherited, many of the values that we share will vanish … Let’s face it, this is not about guns. It’s about freedom. The Second Amendment is crucial to the nature of this society … Americans know that it’s not just about guns, it’s about values. It’s about an America that the elites today wish was passé … It’s up to us to defend those values and defend those rights … We’ve got a strong ticket [in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romeny and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan] … We’ve got believers in our values.” Keene offered no examples of ways in which President Obama has restricted First Amendment free speech. Keene also referred to the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held for the first time in U.S. history that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to firearm ownership for self defense in the home; striking down D.C.’s handgun ban.

In an October 4, 2012 interview with NRA News, Keene spoke about the administration of President Barack Obama, stating, “This is an administration that on many fronts and over many issues has committed many sins. Perhaps the worst, in a general sense, is their willingness to flaunt the law and the Constitution. You see it in little ways and in big ways. This is an administration where, if you don’t agree with them, if you don’t like President [Obama]’s position, then your rights are suspect anyway. They’re now doing it on the First Amendment, for Lord’s sake. They view the First Amendment and the Second Amendment in [the] very same way. These aren’t rights. These are privileges granted by government that can be restricted or taken away by government. So, now in the area of free speech, maybe you should only be free to say things that the Obama Administration agrees with or that our enemies agree with or that don’t offend anyone … This is perhaps the most institutionally dangerous tenancy that we’ve seen on the part of the administration—its willingness to flaunt the Constitution, ignore the law and then govern unilaterally through executive order and harassment of people they don’t like without any reference to what they should be doing in their proper role within a federal structure … This election is the most important of our lifetime because if this man is given four more years in the White House, he will do frontally what he’s been trying to do behind the scenes. Without the fear of having to face an electorate again, Barack Obama will come after the Second Amendment in many ways. There will be, if he’s reelected, a small arms treaty signed at the United Nations. He will have the opportunity to appoint one, two, three justices of the Supreme Court. Lord knows how many lower court judges. Combined, they can either restrict the [District of Columbia v.]Heller and McDonald [v. Chicago] decisions in such a way that they become meaningless or they can outright reverse them at the Supreme Court level. If that happens … America’s gun rights are at risk … If they have their way, those rights which you think are not only sacrosanct and which are sacrosanct, but which you think you’ll never lose could indeed be lost.” Keene offered no examples of ways in which President Obama is restricting freedom of speech. Keene also referred to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.” Furthermore, such a treaty would require approval by two thirds of the U.S. Senate. Finally, Keene referred to the Heller and McDonald decisions. The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, held for the first time in U.S. history that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to firearm ownership for self defense in the home; striking down D.C.’s handgun ban. In McDonald v. Chicago, the Court held that the Second Amendment, as interpreted in Heller, applied to the states through the Due Process Clause.

On October 3, 2012, Keene made a stop in Great Falls, Montana to endorse Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill. Keene also stated, "If [President Barack Obama]’s reelected, the next time the UN considers a Small Arms Treaty, he will sign it.” The President’s goal is clear, he added: “To restrict and contract the number of people who engage in shooting sports that own firearms looking forward to the day when none of us have that right.” Keene was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.” Furthermore, such a treaty would require approval by two thirds of the U.S. Senate.

In the September 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Keene wrote, “Governor Mitt Romney is the Republican Party’s presidential nominee and the one man capable of denying President Barack Obama another four years in the White House … Gun owners in Massachusetts fared well under Romney … During his speech at NRA’s 2012 Annual Meetings, Romney, an NRA Life Member, championed the U.S. Constitution. Romney commended the NRA for calling for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder, who continued to be defiant before Congress’ demand for answers in the so-called ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal … The choice is clear: if President Obama wins a second term in November, he will go after America’s gun owners, our freedoms and the values we cherish.” Keene was referring to the discontinued “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation on the southwest border and Attorney General Eric Holder’s failure to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents related to the operation. A report released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General on September 19, 2012 found that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the tactics used in the investigation until after it was concluded in 2011.

In an August 29, 2012 interview with the Washington Examiner, Keene stated, “[The NRA] sees [President Barack Obama] as the most anti-gun president in modern times … We're fearful of a second Obama administration. That's why for the last year we've been saying that the prime political goal of the National Rifle Association, this year, is to replace Barack Obama in the White House.” Keene admitted that “[Obama] has not accomplished very much in terms of his anti-gun agenda,” but chalked that up to Republican opposition in Congress. In the wake of mass shootings in Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin and New York in 2011-2012, President Obama did not call for new gun violence prevention legislation. White House spokesman Jay Carney stated in an August 7, 2012 press briefing, “The President believes we have a violence challenge in this country, a violence problem that we need to address and come at from a variety of fronts, because it is not a problem that is just related to gun laws.”

In an August 27, 2012 interview with NRA News, Keene stated, “Don’t hesitate for a moment to realize that if [President Barack Obama] gets a second term, if he appoints people to the [U.S.] Supreme Court and to the lower courts, and if he has a chance by regulation and executive order or an opportunity to go back to the U.N. to get the gun treaty…he’ll do all these things and we’ll suffer." When asked what he thought of Vice President Joe Biden’s plan to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Keene replied, “Maybe nobody else will have him … This guy is a joke … I think [the convention] is very important because of what’s at stake. The fact is, that this is probably the most important election of our lifetime. It’s certainly true for believers in the Second Amendment and that makes this convention incredibly important because of the stakes.” Keene was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty which would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.”

In the August 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Keene wrote, “The hostility of most leftists in regard to the very notion that their fellow citizens might have a right to own firearms or to engage in the shooting sports is difficult for many of us to understand, until we realize it’s not just about guns. It’s about freedom and traditional American values … What they really object to goes far beyond firearm our ownership of firearms. They believe the traditional American individualist values that drove the nation’s founders to limit the power of government and protect our right to defend ourselves must give way to a new set of values that cedes governance to the state. In a very real sense, their hostility to firearms and the Second Amendment isn’t about guns or violence or crime; it’s about values. They see those who adhere to the values of the founders as a continuing threat to the new world they dream of creating.”

On June 8, 2012, Keene spoke at a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event in Chicago on a panel entitled “President Obama’s Fast and Furious Disregard for the Rule of Law.” Keene stated, “The Obama administration has played loose with the rule of law since this president’s first day in office. Sadly, he and his principal advisors seem to me to come from a generation that sincerely believes that the ends in almost all circumstances justify the means. Thus they enforce laws that further their goals, they ignore those that do not. They interpret the laws and the Constitution itself in light of what they want them to say rather than either the intent of Congress or the words of the Founders. And when anyone, including the Supreme Court itself, disagrees, they go on the attack.” He added, “It goes far beyond gun questions. Consider their current assault on the various states’ attempts to protect the integrity of the democratic process itself. I think we’ll have some discussion of what’s going on in Florida right now where the Justice Department, without any basis that most experts can see, are trying to stop the state of Florida from purging non-citizens and the dead and others from their voting rolls prior to the next election on the ground that it’s unfair, I guess, to the dead and the non-eligible voters.” One week prior to Keene’s remarks, 67 Florida election supervisors stated they were going to stop removing names from county rolls because the state's data is flawed—and because the U.S. Department of Justice says the process violates federal voting laws.

Keene also criticized the administration's support for the "DISCLOSE Act," observing, "Consider the president's personal disdain for the democratic process. While spending more than any of his predecessors on fundraising and bragging that he's going to have a billion dollars in the upcoming campaign to bury his opponents, he publicly attacks his opponents because they spend money to get their message out to the public." The DISCLOSE Act would ban U.S. corporations controlled by foreign governments from influencing election outcomes through the use of campaign contributions; prevent Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) recipients from making political contributions; give shareholders, organization members, and the general public access to information regarding corporate and interest group campaign expenditures; and create transparency mechanisms for organizations with more than 500,000 members to publicly identify themselves in their political ads. The NRA has publicly opposed the “DISCLOSE Act.”

At a second panel, entitled “Defending Self-Defense: The Liberal’s Shadow War on the Second Amendment.” Keene stated, “In 1968, the Johnson administration forced through what was known as the ‘Gun Control Act of 1968,’ a bill that Senator Edward Kennedy said was a good first step toward eliminating firearms in the United States. Richard Nixon’s attorney general, two years later, proposed a plan that would have eliminated the private ownership of handguns by 1983.” The Gun Control Act of 1968 was, in fact, the product of a compromise between the bill’s sponsors—including Senator Thomas Dodd—and the NRA, who supported the final version of the legislation. The Gun Control Act created a list of individuals prohibited from purchasing weapons; including, felons, drug abusers, and individuals adjudicated mentally defective. The law did not ban any firearms. In addition, Elliot Richardson, Nixon’s attorney general, never publicly proposed a plan to eliminate private handgun ownership. Keene added, “When it was decided that this new challenge faced us, the old board decided they wanted to move the organization to the Midwest and make it into a conservation group because they thought that politics was tacky… By 2000, the NRA’s influence was such that Bill Clinton would say that gun owners cost Al Gore the electoral vote of five states and the presidency of the United States and in a overt sense, at least, most Liberal politicians decided it was time to take guns off the table and do what Barack Obama is trying to do, which is to say, as he promised Sarah Brady, to proceed to deliver on his anti-gun promises, but to do so under the radar if possible because the electorate is not exactly friendly.”

Keene also spoke about the 2012 Wisconsin recall election of Governor Scott Walker, stating, “The NRA spent a lot of effort in Wisconsin targeting of different groups, but particularly targeting union members who are gun owners and hunters and in the recall election earlier this week I believe that Scott Walker in facing a recall generated by union bosses received more labor votes than he had when he ran for election in the first instance.”

Finally, Keene told the following story, “I was elected to the presidency of the National Rifle Association at our annual meeting in Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, and there was in attendance a member of the Supreme Court in the state of Pennsylvania who asked if I could stop in Harrisburg on my way home because he wanted to show me the Supreme Court chambers… He said the court would be in session, but I should stop and they would take me to the justices’ lounge and then they’d call a recess so they could take me on this tour. And I went there and they did indeed did call a recess and the justices came out and then the justice who’d invited me said, ‘Gentlemen, disrobe.’ And they opened their robes and five of them were carrying firearms, which is different from Illinois. And I said I understand that contempt of this court is a very serious offense.”

In a May 16, 2012 interview with NRA News, Keene discussed his May 15, 2012 editorial in the Washington Times in which he accused the administration of President Barack Obama of “calling out, investigating and doing their level best to demonize major Romney contributors.” Keene told hosts Cameron Gray and John Popp, “The Kennedys realized that, even then, as mean as they could be, that you couldn’t as president, or speaking for the president, pick out individual citizens and attack them because you had more power to demonize and destroy a life than almost anybody in the country. And it’s clear that that’s what the Obama campaign is trying to do.” Keene further accused the Obama Administration of “trying to stifle dissent, trying to shut up those who disagree with it, and then to bully people.” Keene accused the mainstream media of being complicit, stating that it was “unforgivable [for the media to have] taken this case and gone after the contributor [Iowa businessman Frank Vandersloot] … Politico may be able to smear you, and they’ve smeared almost everyone we know at one point or another. They have not a high regard for the truth.”

Keene defended the practice of blocking access to the identity of political donors, saying, “It was decided that in the name of campaign reform that while you couldn’t limit people’s speech by denying them the right to speak, that perhaps disclosure was the lesser of all evils, that everybody should know who was paying for the speech and all of that and that was sort of generally considered the lesser of evils by all parties involved. But what’s happened is that this disclosure has been taken by people as a way of taking the lists and then trying to intimidate the people who get involved by demonizing them and preventing other people from getting involved.” Keene also defended “voter security” legislation, comparing it to President Obama publicizing the names of PAC donors. He observed, “If [voter security] is a violation of anybody’s civil rights, what is the president of the United States and his campaign doing about the civil rights of those people who don’t support him? He would use anything in his power to deprive those folks of their right to have a voice in the most important democratic process that goes on in this country.”

During the course of the interview, Keene also claimed that President Barack Obama “went after the Catholic Church,” a reference to a January 2012 Obama Administration announcement that the health care reform law requires employers to provide health insurance which covers contraception for women free of charge. President Obama subsequently rejected an exemption for religiously affiliated private employers. Keene portrayed the Obama administration as out of touch with average Americans, saying, “He and his buddies, all of whom sort of come from the same place if you will, they don’t hold jobs, they never held jobs in the private sector, they’ve been in colleges or think tanks. They sit around and talk with each other and none of ‘em disagree with anything.”

Finally, Keene spoke fondly of former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. Keene bragged to NRA News, “Jesse had a been a friend of mine since before he was elected to public office.”

In a May 15, 2012 editorial for the Washington Times, Keene accused President Barack Obama of having a plan to “crucify” political opponents. He made specific reference to an Obama campaign blog that sought to foster transparency about donors to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s political action committee (PAC). “By calling out, investigating and doing their level best to demonize major Romney contributors, [President Obama and his “managers”] clearly are hoping to make others pause before opening their checkbooks to the former Massachusetts governor,” Keene wrote. “These threats are aimed… at the hundreds and perhaps thousands of potential Romney contributors who will slink away lest they, too, become targets of the Obama attack machine.” The previous evening, Idaho businessman and Romney finance co-chair Frank Vandersloot, who was listed on the blog, had made an additional donation of $100,000 to Romney’s PAC on the “Bill O’Reilly Show.” “I think the only response is to make another donation,” Vandersloot noted.

In the April 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Keene wrote about the 2012 presidential election, saying, “Everything we believe in is at risk this year.” He accused “[President Barack Obama] and his minions” of “operating under the radar right now,” warning, “If we don’t make every vote count this year, we are going to find ourselves targets of a government dedicated to stripping us of our rights. The future is in our hands and will be determined by what we do.”

In the March 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Keene accused New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg of being a “gun-hating politician…willing to ignore the law, the Supreme Court and due process to harass those…who believe in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms or who engage in shooting sports.” Keene also complained that “an anti-gun jurisdiction ruled by someone like New York’s Michael Bloomberg can have a legal firearm owner transiting his fiefdom arrested.”

In the January 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Keene accused President Barack Obama of “working overtime to gut the Second Amendment,” stating, “This is a president who has signaled to the international anti-gun community that the United Nations should go ahead with its plan to develop a treaty that could severely restrict or eliminate our Second Amendment rights.” He warned, “We are facing the most crucial election of our lifetimes in terms of the Second Amendment … The bottom line is that our rights are truly in danger. We cannot rely exclusively on the courts or even Congress to protect them. We are the final line of defense of the Second Amendment. We all have to be prepared to fight as never before.”

During the February 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Keene awarded Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s Republican Attorney General, the “Defender of Freedom Award” on behalf of the American Conservative Union and the National Rifle Association. In his remarks, Keene described Cuccinelli as “a man who has never turned his back on his values, has never turned his back on his beliefs, and has never refused to stand up when principle demanded that he do so.” Cuccinelli thanked the NRA for the award, and remarked, “James Monroe voted against the U.S. Constitution because he didn’t think it was cautious enough with respect to federal power. Seems like he had a crystal ball, one might think. But that’s the role of states when the federal government oversteps its boundaries. And the worst example of course is the health care bill [The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act]…signed by the president on March 23, 2010. And about 34 minutes later, give or take, we filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia … We filed suit in the Eastern District of Virginia … Seventeen blocks to the east, 235 years to the day…Patrick Henry gave his ‘Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death’ speech … And that seemed very appropriate, given that that legislation represents one of the greatest legislative invasions of liberty in the lifetime of anyone in this room.” Turning to the topic of the environment, Cuccinelli said, “We sued the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency]—which I have taken to calling the Employment Prevention Agency, because they are so good at that—for their greenhouse gas endangerment finding ... And when the EPA said that the CO2 that you are exhaling right now, let’s all annoy [EPA Administrator] Lisa Jackson together [exhales loudly], ‘Hi, Lisa.’ When they passed that regulation in violation of the law they brought on enormous consequences … The only science behind that regulation is political science ... They relied on a U.N. associated scientist; we now know them as the ‘Climate-gate’ scientist.” He also added, “You all are familiar with the National Labor Relations Board’s assault on South Carolina and Boeing. Make no mistake about it, that is an assault on the right to work…the right to hold a job without being coerced into joining a union … We have never seen such an across the board assault on the rule of law by any administration in the lifetime of anyone in this room. It has never happened.”

During the February 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Keene was asked by a female veteran of Afghanistan why the National Rifle Association had lobbied for an amendment to the Department of Defense appropriations bill that prevents commanders from talking to suicidal service members about firearms they have in the home. Keene stated that service members "have to deal with their problems, not with the group of tools that they have ... If you have depression and depression creates a suicidal situation if you don't have a gun, you'll use something else. And there are a million ways to commit suicide." Keene's statement about methods of suicide is erroneous. According to research conducted at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, "A suicide attempt with a firearm rarely affords a second chance. Attempts involving drugs or cutting, which account for more than 90% of all suicidal acts, prove fatal far less often." In 2010, 175 military service members committed suicide used a firearm, which represented 62% of the total number of suicides.

In the October 2011 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Keene suggested that Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents purposefully armed criminals during their botched “Fast and Furious” operation. “What [gun dealers] perhaps didn’t fully appreciate is that the [ATF] agents wanted [guns] in the wrong hands and were hoping they would later show up at crime scenes in Mexico to perhaps prove that many of the firearms used there were coming from this country,” Keene wrote.

In September 2011, Diana Hubbard Carr—David Keene’s ex-wife—was convicted of mail fraud and sentenced to a year in prison for her role in embezzling over $300,000 from the American Conservative Union (ACU). Keene chaired ACU during the period that the embezzlement occurred, before resigning in May 2011.

In a September 2011 column for America’s 1st Freedom, Keene suggested that, “Gun control advocates from this country have joined literally hundreds of like-minded Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOS) to work with international anti-gun delegates to develop a treaty that could destroy private gun ownership in this country.” He also warned that “friends of the Second Amendment must be prepared to defend our rights against international as well as domestic enemies.”

In a February 28, 2011 op-ed for The Hill, Keene compared Wisconsin public school teachers who opposed anti-union legislation to University of Wisconsin-Madison students who spent their “waking hours doing drugs, demonstrating, occupying campus buildings and dreaming of revolution” during the 1960s. Commenting on Wisconsin legislation that would largely eliminate collective bargaining rights for state employees, Keene wrote, “[Republican Governor Scott] Walker is doing exactly what he said during his campaign would have to be done to save the Badger State from bankruptcy … That doesn’t make Walker an extremist, but a governor whose state books won’t balance because those who preceded him ignored those warnings and ultimately governed as if the ’60s would never end.”

Keene presented Roy Innis, the controversial director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), with the John M. Ashbrook Award at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference and said, “There is no living American I admire more than Roy Innis.” The award is named after one of the founders of the ACU who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 21 years as a Republican from Ohio. In his remarks, Innis warned of “a growing tyranny in our country” and said the candidates for the 2008 presidential election were “some of the most dangerous people to ever run for the presidency of the United States.” Speaking on the influence of CPAC, Innis said, “We have developed some skills. We are able to influence the Republican Party, and nudge it, and push it in certain directions. Let us teach those skills to our young brothers in the Tea Party.”

In June 2009, when FedEx and rival UPS were embroiled in a legislative dispute, ACU sent a letter to FedEx offering to go to bat for the company at the price of $1.39 per grassroots activist contacted ($2 to $3 million for the entire project). One of the services offered to FedEx was op-ed pieces written by Keene. In the letter to FedEx, ACU expressed support for FedEx’s attempt to kill a piece of legislation that would have allowed nearly 100,000 FedEx workers to unionize. After FedEx declined ACU’s offer, the organization switched sides and supported UPS’s position in the dispute. In a letter in support of UPS signed by Keene, he called FedEx’s allegations against UPS “a disinformation campaign...that should be stopped.” The letter was also signed by fellow NRA Board Member Grover Norquist. The reversal in ACU’s position was widely seen as representative of the “pay- to-play” nature of Washington politics.

In a June 1, 2009 op-ed for The Hill entitled “Injustice Against Whites,” Keene claimed that during the 2008 presidential election “three” New Black Panther Party “thugs, dressed in paramilitary garb, were caught on camera wielding nightsticks to intimidate white voters who they suspected might not be prepared to vote for their candidate.” In fact, the video referenced by Keene showed only two members of the New Black Panther Party, and they were not interacting with any voters. One of the men was holding a nightstick and was later removed by police. Police received no complaints from voters at the site.

Keene tried to free up speaking time for Dutch politician Geert Wilders at CPAC in February 2009. Wilders has openly talked about his hatred of Islam, said that a contemporary Muhammad would “be hunted down as a terrorist,” and called the Muslim prophet “the devil.” Wilders also believes that the Koran should be banned in the Netherlands. Contemporaneous with the CPAC controversy, Wilders was barred from entering the United Kingdom because of his inflammatory comments about Islam. Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of a July 2011 terrorist attack in Norway that left 77 dead, cited Wilders as an inspiration in his manifesto.

On February 29, 2008, Keene registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as a lobbyist for the government of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Between 2006 and 2007, the Bayelsa government paid Carmen Group—the lobbying firm that employed Keene—over $900,000. The contract stipulated that lobbyists from Carmen were to “gain support for Bayelsa and the Niger Delta from the U.S. government.” The primary focus of Nigeria’s economy is the trade of oil, which account’s for 90% of the country’s exports. A February 2007 report by National Geographic stated, “Oil fouls everything in southern Nigeria [the Niger Delta]. It spills from the pipelines, poisoning soil and water. It stains the hands of politicians and generals, who siphon off its profits … The cruelest twist is that half a century of oil extraction in the delta has failed to make the lives of the people better. Instead, they are poorer still, and hopeless … Where does all the oil money go? That question is asked in every village, town, and city in the Niger Delta. The blame spreads, moving from the oil companies to a bigger, more elusive, target: the Nigerian government … On paper, a mechanism does exist for distributing oil revenues somewhat fairly. The federal government retains roughly half and gives out the rest each month, on a sliding scale, to the 36 state governments. The core oil producers—Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, and Akwa Ibom—receive the most.” The Nigerian government’s conduct towards oil profits has also been called, “the institutionalized looting of national wealth.” According to the Nigerian government, over 7,000 oil spills occurred in the region between 1970 and 2000 (although some analysts believe the true figure is ten times higher) resulting in an estimated spillage of 1.5 million tons of oil (50 times more than the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster). Williams Mkpa, an Ibeno, Nigeria community leader lamented, “Oil companies do not value our life; they want us to all die. In the past two years, we have experienced 10 oil spills and fishermen can no longer sustain their families. It is not tolerable.” In a high profile incident in the 1990s, the Nigerian government executed a number of anti-oil activists that had protested against Shell’s incursion into their homeland, after convicting the men of murder in a sham trial.

Documents filed in compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act on January 17, 2006 indicate that Keene managed a lobbying contract between the government of Algeria and the consulting firm, Carmen Group, where he was employed. Keene was tasked with projecting “an up-to-date image of Algeria, her government and her role in regional and world affairs,” while promoting “Congressional, non-governmental organizational, public and media support for Algeria’s legitimate interests and policy goals.” The lobbying contract also required Keene to facilitate “official and unofficial visits to Algeria for elected officials.” The government of Algeria paid Carmen Group $25,000 per month plus additional expenses for each month of lobbying work. In December 2010, Keene wrote a column for The Hill taking the side of the Algerian-based Polisario Front in that group’s conflict with the government of Morocco. In response, a column written by Robert M. Holley, executive director of the Moroccan American Center for Policy, stated, “The Dec. 7 commentary, ‘Our friends in the desert’ by David Keene, distorts the history and current realities of the Western Sahara conflict. It is also important to know that, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Keene and his consulting firm received tens of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees from Algeria, the Polisario Front’s ideological and financial supporter—a fact Mr. Keene fails to disclose. Mr. Keene seriously misrepresents the position of the United Nations on the Western Sahara conflict … As well, Mr. Keene egregiously mischaracterizes the position of the U.S. government in the Western Sahara conflict. The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, and bipartisan majorities of the U.S. House and Senate, support a resolution of the conflict based on autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty. Furthermore, the author’s description of life in the Polisario-run refugee camps in Algeria is the writer’s fantasy. In the tightly controlled camps—where the refugees are denied the most basic freedoms—there is only one permitted political party, the Polisario Front. Its appointed ‘president’ for more than three decades hails from a dubious class of Cold War leaders including their continuing ally, Fidel Castro. Mr. Keene’s distortions dishonor the lives of the 11 Moroccan police officers savagely killed by violent, pro-Polisario militants who infiltrated what began as a peaceful social protest over economic issues near Laayoune [Algeria].” The Polisario refuge camps are not the only place that human rights violations are alleged against Algeria. According to a 2008 report by the U.S. Department of State, Algeria’s human rights problems include “failure to account for persons who disappeared in detention during the 1990s, reports of abuse and torture, official impunity, abuse of pretrial detention, poor prison conditions, limited judicial independence, and restrictions on freedom of speech, press, and assembly. There were also increased limitations on religious freedom and problems with security-based restrictions on movement, corruption and lack of government transparency, discrimination and violence against women, and restrictions on workers' rights.”

In May 2005, Keene spoke at an ACU dinner celebrating and defending then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was embroiled in a number of ethics scandals (DeLay has since been convicted of money laundering). NRA Board Member Cleta Mitchell served as M.C. for the event. Attendees at the event included DeLay himself, then-House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R – MO), then-RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, NRA Board Members Grover Norquist and Governor Jim Gilmore (R – VA), and approximately 30 members of Congress. The NRA purchased a table at the dinner for $2,000. In an interview with NPR a day after the event, Keene announced that “conservatives will protect their own” and called ethics investigations against DeLay “an attack on the conservative agenda” and “each and every” one of the 800 attendees of the dinner.

In a March 14, 2005 op-ed for The Hill, Keene claimed that former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan “facilitated a genocidal uprising in Rwanda.” Annan, who was the director of U.N. Peacekeeping Operations during the Rwanda genocide, has said, “I believed at that time that I was doing my best. But I realized after the genocide that there was more that I could and should have done to sound the alarm and rally support.”

Keene’s son, David Michael Keene, was charged with attempted first degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison for firing a gun at another vehicle during a 2002 road rage incident. At the time of the incident, Keene was working with his father at ACU as an online communications director. Between the ages of 8 and 13, David Michael Keene was institutionalized seven times for “severe emotional problems,” including “a continuing problem with impulse control.”

Tom King (Board Member)

In a December 25, 2012 interview on the Hofstra University radio station, King spoke about why Americans need firearms. He stated, “Put simply, people are worried about protecting themselves … You know, in [Newtown,] Connecticut, this insane massacre, the police did just a magnificent job of responding to this. The response time was four minutes. But in four minutes, a crazy individual killed 26 people. That in itself is the reason that a lot of people are buying firearms to protect themselves and why the Second Amendment is so important.” When asked if semi-automatic assault weapons should be limited to law enforcement, King said, “No … A semi-automatic weapon is not any more dangerous than any other rifle … The fact is, without anyone in the schools to stop these perpetrators, you could go in there with a single shot firearm and you could kill just as many people. It’s a fact that if somebody has decided they’re going out to do it, they’re going to do it. Just like when somebody decides that they’re going to commit suicide. Ask the psychiatrists, ask the psychologists, you usually cannot stop someone from committing suicide if they really wanna do it. And that is exactly the mind set of these people that are going in and committing these atrocities … Unfortunately, you can’t stop that unless there is a coordination between the medical profession and the [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] people…and the individual states. That’s the only way to stop it.” According to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, suicidal acts with firearms are fatal in 85% of cases, while those with poison or overdose are fatal in only 2% of cases. Attempts by cutting are fatal in only 1% of cases.

On September 9, 2011, King posted the following status update to his Facebook Wall: “How to find out if yor [sic] spouse or your dog loves more. Lock them both in the car trunk for one hour and, when you open it, see which one is glad to see you.” When asked how that worked for him, King responded, “The dog is still happy to see me.”

King suggested that President Barack Obama should be indicted on murder charges as a result of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ botched “Fast and Furious” operation that allowed guns to “walk” into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. In a July 7, 2011 blog for the Albany Times-Union, King wrote: “Ladies and Gentlemen if you or I were involved in a crime that resulted in the death of a police officer we would be indicted for Murder I; maybe that is the course we should demand be taken for Attorney General Holder and anyone else involved in this illegal conspiracy including President Obama if he had prior knowledge of the operation. There can be no excuses; this was a deliberate lie to the American people to cover up a conspiracy (sic) intended to take away or severely limit our Second Amendment Rights but instead it resulted in the death of a Border Patrol Agent. The criminals must be punished…All of them!” “Fast and Furious” resulted in the resignations of ATF Acting Director Ken Melson and U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke but, to date, no evidence has been produced to indicate that either President Obama or Attorney General Holder knew about the operation before CBS News broke the story in February 2011.

On July 7, 2011, King posted a photo on his Facebook Wall that reads, “Now just why in the HELL do I have to press ‘1’ for English.” King then commented below the photo, “A question that should be asked more often!

King posted an image of a bumper sticker on Facebook on July 7, 2011 that reads, “White Straight Republican Male. How else can I piss you off today?

In an April 19, 2011 editorial for the Albany Times-Union, King expressed fears about “Muslim extremist literature and the occasional lost Koran” that are found on the U.S.-Mexico border—despite a total lack of evidence indicating that such material is actually being recovered. King then complained, “The Obama administration continues to ignore or down play the border threat while continuing his stealth campaign to take our firearms.”

King posted an image of President Barack Obama on Facebook on November 2, 2010 that includes the text, “SUCKA! Drank the kool-aid didn’t ya!” Below the image, King wrote, “No further comment is needed.”

A random but important thought for the day” posted by King on his Facebook Wall on October 29, 2010 was an image that reads, “If You Can’t Read This [Arabic writing] Thank A Soldier.”

A random but important thought for the day” posted by King on his Facebook Wall on October 29, 2010 was an image that reads, “If You Can’t Read This [Arabic writing] Thank A Soldier.”

On October 21, 2010, King posted a photo on his Facebook Wall reminding viewers to “Take out the trash” on Election Day 2010. Below the image he commented, “Just a friendly reminder.”

On September 3, 2010 King posted a photo to his Facebook Wall that depicts President Barack Obama saying, “The term ‘illegal aliens’ will no longer be allowed. Henceforth they will be referred to as ‘Undocumented Democrats’.” Below the photo, King commented, “For my friends in Arizona.” He was likely referring to the Obama administration’s legal challenge to a controversial immigration bill, SB 1070, that was signed into law in Arizona in April 2010.

In February 2010, King wrote an editorial for the Albany Times-Union in which he announced his opposition a bill in the New York State legislature that sought to prohibit the carrying of firearms in public by individuals who are intoxicated. King said the legislation was “about the persecution of the legal and lawful gun owners of New York state and [the New York state government’s] attempts to control [them].”

In a July 25, 2008 blog for the Albany Times-Union, King defended the actions of Gabriel Razzanno, who lost his pistol permit after a confrontation with U.S. Representative Caroyln McCarthy (D-NY). According to the Congresswoman’s staff, Razzanno—a member of the hardline anti-immigrant Minuteman organization—called McCarthy’s New York office over 100 times and made six visits culminating in an incident at the office where he was “rude, frightening, and threatening to the staff members.” Police confiscated 15 handguns and nine long guns from the home of Razzanno (who police described as “mentally unstable”). While at Razzanno’s home, police were troubled by a rope tied into a noose hanging in the back window of his minivan, accompanied by a bumper sticker stating, “Vote for Rope.” Police also took note of a David Duke book in the home entitled “Jewish Supremicism.” Commenting on the revocation of Razzanno’s pistol license, King wrote, “Congresswomen McCarthy should resign, the police chief should be prosecuted for a civil rights or RiCo [the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] violation, the entire Nassau County Board should apologize and the residents of Nassau County should hang their heads in shame for not immediately coming to the aid of Mr. Razzano.”

George Kollitides (Nominating Committee Member)

On the October 18, 2012 broadcast of “Cam & Company,” Cam Edwards spoke to George Kollitides, CEO of Remington Arms. Discussing the upcoming 2012 presidential election, Kollitides stated, “I think this will be the most important election of our lifetime. The next president is going to be in an incredibly powerful position to appoint {U.S.] Supreme Court justices. It’s one thing to legislate a gun ban. That can always be overturned by a future president, a future Congress, and Congress can fight it, of course, and hope they don’t get vetoed and overruled. We’ve had the benefit of a strict interpretist Supreme Court which has been conservative and really held up the core traditional values of our country. So, I don’t necessarily just worry about the next four years of an Obama presidency, I worry about my kids’ and my grandkids’ futures, because if we change face of the Supreme Court, we’re looking at a 30-plus-year uphill battle … Not only will the Second Amendment be under attack if we go to a liberal non-strict-interpretative court, but it’ll be the entire American way of life. When we appoint liberal judges, they take it upon themselves not to interpret the laws but to legislate the laws and there’s a lot of liberal courts doing that. So, the appeal needs to be not just to gun owners, although that’s obviously critically important…but I think many of the things we think about, all of our freedoms will be at risk. You know the liberal courts and the liberal politicians believe they know what’s best for Americans. They’re gonna tell us when we have to get health care. They’re gonna tell us what time we have to get out of bed every day. They’re gonna tell us where we have to go to work. They’re gonna take our money and redistribute it. This is an issue that every American needs to be worried about.”

Herbert Lanford (Board Member)

Lanford once falsely claimed that, “domestic murders out of passion…are often committed with household items such as axes” while opposing a South Carolina bill that would have placed a waiting period on handgun purchases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 69% of all murders in the United States in 2007 were committed with firearms. Only 11% were committed with cutting or piercing weapons.

Wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In an October 8, 2013 op-ed for the Daily Caller, LaPierre wrote, “The tyrants and dictators at the United Nations will stop at nothing to register, ban and, eventually, confiscate firearms owned by law-abiding Americans like you and me … By signing the U.N. gun-ban treaty our government will be placing a ticking time bomb at every American gun owners’ front door … Despite the half-truths and outright lies coming from the Obama administration, the U.N. and its gun-ban allies in the media, the [Arms Trade Treaty] ATT would potentially create an international gun registration system that could eventually pave the way for the full-blown confiscation of firearms owned by American gun owners … The U.N.’s driving mission is to accumulate power at the expense of the sovereignity[sic] of individual nations and fundamental individual rights, and its gun-ban treaty proves it. After all, no human right known to mankind is more essential to a free and just society than the individual right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their loved ones in the face of criminal violence. That’s why our Founding Fathers enshrined this freedom in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” LaPierre was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty that would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.”

On March 15, 2013, during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), LaPierre stated, “The Second Amendment is not just words on parchment. It’s not some frivolous suggestion from our Founding Fathers to be interpreted by whim. It lies at the heart of what this country was founded upon. Our Founding Fathers knew that without Second Amendment freedom, all of our freedoms could be in jeopardy … If you aren’t free to protect yourself—when government puts its thumb on that freedom—then you aren’t free at all.

LaPierre also spoke about universal background checks on gun purchasers, a measure supported by President Barack Obama and the subject of proposed legislation, stating, “A background check. A check that will always be far from universal, will never make our schools or streets safer, and will only serve as universal registration of lawful gun owners—the real goal they’ve been pushing for decade …. Their check only includes good, law-abiding people like you and me. That’s what they’re after—the names of good, decent people who happen to own a firearm to go into a federal database for universal registration of every lawful gun owner in America … What’s the point of registering lawful gun owners anyway? So newspapers can print those names and addresses for criminals and gangs to access? So that list can be hacked by foreign entities like the Chinese, who recently hacked Pentagon computers? So that list can be handed over to the Mexican government that, oh by the way, has already requested it. In the end, there are only two reasons for government to create that federal registry of gun owners—to tax them and to take them.

In reality, existing federal lawprohibits the creation of a national gun registry and none of the proposed gun violence prevention legislation referred to by LaPierre sought to change that. LaPierre continued, stating, “No gun owner, no rational thinking American, believes that will have any effect on violent criminals and they’re right.” In fact, several polls conducted in January 2013 in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary indicated overwhelming public support for universal background checks. A public opinion poll published by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health found that http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/31/nra-leadership... of Americans and 74% of NRA members supported requiring a background check for all gun sales. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 85% of Americans and gun owners favored making private gun sales subject to background checks. (Conspiracy Theory).

In a February 23, 2013 speech at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City, LaPierre spoke about universal background checks, stating, “It’s aimed at registering your guns. And when another tragic opportunity presents itself, that registry will be used to confiscate your guns … Picture this: your name, your address on a map giving directions to your home that could include a list of all the specific firearms you own. That’s a pretty handy list if you’re a seasoned criminal or a drug dealer or a gang member, isn’t it? How safe do you think that government list would be?" In fact, throughout U.S. history, federal and state laws have required registration of certain firearms, and such measures have never led to any confiscation of firearms from those in compliance with the law. Additionally, existing federal law prohibits the creation of a national gun registry and none of the proposed gun violence prevention legislation referred to by LaPierre sought to change that.

On January 22, 2013, in a speech at the Weatherby Foundation International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Reno, Nevada, LaPierre stated, “[President Barack] Obama wants to turn the idea of absolutism into a dirty word. Just another word for extremism. He wants you, all of you, and Americans throughout all of this country, to accept the idea of principles as he sees fit. It’s a way of redefining words so that common sense is turned upside down and that nobody knows the difference.” LaPierre was referring to President Obama’s second inaugural address, in which he stated, “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.” LaPierre also addressed President Obama’s January 2013 proposals to reduce gun violence, stating, “He wants to put every private, personal firearms transaction right under the thumb of the federal government. He wants to keep all of those names in a massive federal registry. There’s only two reasons for a federal list on gun owners: to either tax ‘em or take ‘em. That’s the only reasons. And anyone who says that’s excessive, President Obama says that’s an absolutist.” In fact, the Obama administration had never proposed the creation of a universal list of gun owners. “Absolutes do exist,” added LaPierre. “Words do have specific meaning in language and in law. It’s the basis of all civilization. Without those absolutes, without those protections, democracy decays into nothing more than two wolves and one lamb voting on, well, who to eat for lunch.”

In an October 17, 2012 interview with NRA News, LaPierre stated, "We’ll go to our graves mourning the freedoms we’ve lost in this country if we don’t step up between now and election time and make the difference in this election and make sure President [Barack] Obama’s defeated on election day."

On October 5, 2012, LaPierre announced the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund’s endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Fishersville, Virginia. LaPierre stated, “The dream is to save America and our freedom … You’re sure not free if you can’t defend yourself and everyone knows that. And I also know something else about ya. You’re not gonna surrender submit, succumb, or be marginalized. You’re ready to make a difference for freedom in this country. And we have to do that, because we’re standin’ on the edge of a [President Barack] Obama cliff with our freedom. If President Obama gets reelected, he’s gonna have one to three Supreme Court appointments and I guarantee you this, if that happens, one to three more [Justice Sonia] Sotomayors and [Justice Elena] Kagans and we can kiss our constitutional right to own a firearm in the United States goodbye, along with a lot of the rest of our freedoms. And we can’t let that happen … Does anybody trust an Obama Administration in the second term to be anywhere near negotiating with a club of governments called the United Nations on our freedom? Their gun plan is: Turn over your firearms and your protection to the government. The government will protect ya… That U.N. plan is about global agencies monitoring, surveillance, supervision, lists, all institutionalized within the bureaucracy of the United Nations … I guarantee this, if your glass breaks at 2:00 a.m. at night somewhere from some criminal, you all know that those baby blue helmets of the U.N. aren’t gonna be there to protect ya and neither is President Obama or [U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder. What will protect ya is our freedom that we have here in the United States under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. And there’s not a government or authority on the planet that can match that if you’re ever in that situation.” LaPierre was referring to a U.N. Small Arms Treaty that would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.” Finally, LaPierre added, “We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg on what’s in store if President Obama is reelected … It’s the most dangerous election of our lifetime … All of our freedoms, all of our rights, all of our way of life, all of the Second Amendment is on the line.”

In the October 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre wrote, “Of all the threats to American liberty posed by the [President Barack] Obama administration, the most dangerous is the corruption of the U.S. Department of Justice where high-level misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance have become the norm. The U.S. Department of Justice is supposed to be a neutral guardian of the rule of law and protector of our national order. It is supposed to uphold the United States Constitution. Instead, under President Barack Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, it has become the national enforcer of Chicago-style thuggery on the national scene … Under operation ‘Fast and Furious,’ Holder’s Justice Department has abetted federal felony gun-law violations and international gun running—resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Mexican nationals and the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.” LaPierre was referring to the discontinued “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation on the southwest border. A report released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General on September 19, 2012 found that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the tactics used in “Fast and Furious” until after it was concluded in 2011. LaPierre then turned to the topic of Voter ID legislation, stating, “But no clearer example exists of the deep corruption at Justice than its efforts to vacate state laws preventing election fraud … The Obama/Holder Justice Department is running a vote fraud protection racket by jamming the courts with lawsuits opposing state mandates that provide a simple solution to election cheating–Voter ID … Now connect the dots to another key assault on our freedom. Aligned with the Department of Homeland Security, Obama’s top federal law enforcement leaders are refusing to enforce immigration laws to stem the tide of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, potential illegal voters.” Voter ID laws in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida have been challenged in court by the Department of Justice over allegations that they disenfranchise minorities. In July of 2012, the DOJ began investigating Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law to determine whether it discriminates against minorities. Furthermore, research has shown that in-person voter fraud of the kind LaPierre warns about is extremely rare in the United States.

In the August 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre wrote, “For months I’ve warned you of the grave consequences our freedoms will face if [President Barack] Obama, his administration and its Capitol Hill enablers are reelected on Nov. 6 [2012] … Now Obama’s allies on Capitol Hill want to deny the right to political free speech to you, me and groups like the NRA completely and forever–even if they have to amend the U.S. Constitution.” LaPierre was referring to the “People’s Rights Amendment” introduced by Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) in response to the controversial Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In Citizens United, the Court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. Rep. McGovern’s amendment to the U.S. Constitution would clarify the meaning of ‘people,’ ‘person’ or ‘citizen,’ defining them not as “corporations, limited liability companies, or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state,” but as individual human beings. The amendment would also subject corporate entities to “such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.”

In an NRA fundraising letter dated July 23, 2012, LaPierre wrote the following about the 2012 presidential election: “The night of November 6, 2012, you and I will lose more on the election battlefield than our nation has lost in any battle, anytime, anywhere. Or, we will win our greatest victory as NRA members and freedom-loving Americans … The future of your Second Amendment rights will be at stake. And nothing less than the future of our country and our freedom will be at stake.” Lapierre stated that Obama’s re-election would result in the “confiscation of our firearms” and potentially a “ban on semi-automatic weapons.” The letter was sent to NRA supporters just three days after a mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. In that shooting, severely mentally ill gunman James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58 others in a span of two minutes. Holmes wore full body armor during the attack and was armed with three semiautomatic firearms. LaPierre made no mention whatsoever of the shooting in his letter.

In a July 5, 2012 interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, LaPierre spoke about a proposed U.N. Small Arms Treaty, stating, “The fact is the U.N. doesn’t protect people. It doesn’t save the innocent. You could stack to the ceiling the bodies of the innocent a thousand times over that the U.N has failed to protect. The dead people don’t get to vote on this U.N treaty. And Americans don’t want to be added to that pile of dead people that have been left defenseless by the U.N. policies … The U.N. gun control plan is the most extreme imaginable. It says people in the United States turn over your personal protection and your firearms to the government and the government will protect you.” In fact, the U.N. Small Arms Treaty would set only international standards for the import/export of conventional weapons—leaving it to individual countries to “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.” When pressed on this by Kelly, LaPierre responded by saying, “Right now it would affect every handgun, rifle, and shotgun American citizens own … It sets up global agencies, data centers, tracking, monitoring, surveillance, supervision, it institutionalizes the whole U.N. gun plan within the bureaucracy of the United Nations with a permanent funding mechanism. And included in this gun plan is implementation legislation that they are going to press for the United States to adopt.” Treaties must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate.

In the July 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre wrote, “We have been enormously successful in restoring Second Amendment freedom to honest Americans. But those hard-earned victories are vulnerable so long as Barack Obama is president. Despite his claims to the contrary, the threats we face today are as real and dangerous as any we’ve face before … Americans have had enough of this administration’s elitist contempt for our freedoms and our way of life … We can’t wait. If we sit back and count on a victory in 2016, we will face four long years under an emboldened anti-gun president. With no more elections to worry about, Obama will finally be free to launch an open assault on the Second Amendment. Now is the time to stop that from happening. It’s up to each of us to ask ourselves one simple question every day from now until November: am I doing everything I can to win this election?”

On June 29, 2012, in a speech at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado, LaPierre stated, “If you don’t remember anything else I say tonight, mark this down: this is the most dangerous election in our lifetimes ... It’s a fight for our country, it's a fight for our values, it's a fight for the freedoms we believe in, all of our Second Amendment liberty, all of the rights we’ve worked so hard to defend, all of what we know is good, and what we know is right about America. All of it could be lost if [President] Barack Obama is reelected ... The fight is on. Everything we believe in’s at stake and at risk ... Never has American freedom been more disregarded, denigrated, diminished, and often destroyed ... Almost every way you look at it, almost every aspect of American freedom is in some state of decline. Just think about it. Our right to speak out, our right to assemble, our right to practice our religion, our right to seek the kind of health care we want for our families, the economic freedom to earn and spend and save, to own our own homes, to buy the kind of food we want to feed our children, to raise and discipline our kids, even the simple right to fly the American flag. The increasing collapse of American freedom is becoming staggering. Because, by almost every measure, we are less free today than we were a short decade ago. President Obama? He won’t tell you that ... Never has honest leadership been so lacking as in the Barack Obama White House.” LaPierre also spoke about the discontinued “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation on the southwest border and President Obama’s decision to invoke executive privilege over documents subpoenaed by Congress, stating, “I guarantee you that there’s somethin’ that stinks to high heaven in those papers in order for this administration to be willin’ to walk into this briar patch. Executive privilege really is the last gasp of a cover-up ... [Barack Obama] chose the Richard Nixon option to cover it up until after the coming election. No one died as a result of Watergate, yet several members of Nixon’s cabinet and staff went to prison ... Just like Nixon, this president has put his administration in the same state of vulnerability, at the edge of a federal penitentiary.” A report released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General on September 19, 2012 found that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the tactics used in “Fast and Furious” until after it was concluded in 2011.

In a June 28, 2012 interview with NRA News, LaPierre spoke about the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation on the southwest border and a vote in the House of Representatives to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt for failure to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents related to the operation. NRA News co-host Ginny Simone asked LaPierre to respond to D.C. Delegate to the House of Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton’s assertion that the vote was partisan and motivated by NRA lobbying of legislators. LaPierre replied, “Well, that’s all a bunch of garbage to tell you the truth … I mean, all the enablers in the media that are trying to justify what went on here and refuse to ask any of the Watergate questions: who knew, when they knew, how high it goes … Watergate was a third-rate burglary. No one was killed.” A report released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General on September 19, 2012 found that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder was aware of the tactics used in the investigation until after it was concluded in 2011.

In a June 12, 2012 interview with Fox News, LaPierre stated, “You know, I don’t know the facts in this whole Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case, and I’ve learned to hold my tongue until I do.” LaPierre was referencing the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by concealed carry permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012—an event which generated national controversy. LaPierre also spoke about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which the NRA helped to author and promoted aggressively in the state legislature: “But what I do know the facts on, and that’s the Florida law. And there’s a shocking ignorance of the law, what it says in Florida. Or it’s being done for political purposes to seek political advantage. All that law says in Florida is, if you’re in your home, and your glass breaks in the middle of the night, there is a presumption that that person is there to cause you imminent fear of death or bodily harm. If you’re in your car and someone assaults you and tries to pull you out there’s a presumption that that person is there to cause you imminent fear of death or bodily harm. If you are on the street in Florida it is a completely different section of the law. It’s [Florida statute section] 776.012 as opposed to 776.013. And if you’re on the street in Florida, what the law says is if someone assaults you or you’re attacked, you can meet force with force. The law even says ‘not deadly’ in parentheses.” In fact, “Stand Your Ground” expressly allows an individual on the street to meet force with deadly force. The law states, “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” LaPierre continued, “But, gosh there’s been so much distortion as to what this law says, with ‘shoot first’ and everything else completely misinforming the American public … I think a lot of it is by some these politicians who want to impose a duty to retreat on the American public, where if your glass breaks in the middle of the night and there’s some criminal coming into your house, they want to impose a duty to retreat on the crime victim with a long complicated checklist rather than do what’s natural at the most terrifying moment of that person’s life when they’re in a state of overwhelming reactive panic which is to protect your life and your family from those who would destroy it. And they want to impose that duty to retreat all over the country and it’s mainly politicians and newspapers…that really don’t want the American public protecting themselves… so they’re willing to distort this to assert their political agenda.” When asked if the request of Sybrina Fulton [Trayvon Martin’s mother] for state lawmakers to amend or review “Stand Your Ground” laws was reasonable, LaPierre responded, “You know it’s a tragedy, and our heart goes out to the family, but have you ever been threatened? I mean you talk to crime victims in the country, and I’m not talking about this case, but you talk to crime victims; it’s the most terrifying moment of their life. They really are in a state of overwhelming reactive panic, instinctively they’ll do anything at that point to save themselves. They’ve done nothing wrong, they’re going about their business and yet someone is trying to destroy their whole life. And the whole idea that you’re gonna twist this Florida case into some national movement to try to impose a duty to retreat on the American public at their most terrifying moment of their life rather than let them protect themself and save themself. And then open the crime victim up to civil lawsuits by a criminal that will bankrupt them is crazy. This duty to retreat may sound fine at an Ivy League cocktail party, it doesn’t work very well in the real world.”

In the June 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre warned, “American freedom as we know it is in jeopardy.” He wrote, “There is no greater freedom than the ability to own a firearm to protect yourself, your family, your community and your country. That freedom is the heart and soul of our nation. And that soul is at stake in this election … If [President Barack] Obama wins this year, he will wage an all-out assault on America’s heart and soul. This isn’t just the most important election of our lifetimes–it’s the most important election for our children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s lifetimes.”

In the May 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre wrote, “All our freedoms are on the line [in the 2012 presidential election].” He accused President Barack Obama of being connected to a political “web of Chicago thug[s],” and having spun a “web of lies…about [his] phony, claimed support of the Second Amendment.”

On April 14, 2012, in his keynote speech at the NRA Convention in St. Louis, LaPierre stated, “we live in the most dangerous of times.” “We will never surrender our guns,” LaPierre declared. “The Second Amendment has never been more relevant as it is today. When all is said and done, we may have nothing left but our gun rights, but that’s the one right that gives us a fighting chance to reclaim freedoms lost.” LaPierre made almost no mention of the national controversy surrounding the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by concealed handgun permit holder George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012. The NRA was one of the authors of the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida that significantly liberalized the use of lethal force in public. LaPierre spoke of the tragedy only to accuse the media of “sensational[izing]” it, claiming they “manufacture controversy for ratings.”

In his opening remarks at the 2012 NRA Convention in St. Louis on April 13, 2012, LaPierre warned, “If President Obama gets a second term, America as we know it will be on its way to being lost forever.”

In the March 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre warned that if the NRA fails to end the “Barack Obama regime…the Right to Keep and Bear Arms could well perish in a Supreme Court heartbeat.” He added that an “Obama majority” on the Supreme Court would “rule that only the government has a right to guns, not individuals like you.” “We have time to stop the Obama juggernaut and to make history together,” LaPierre stated, “but we must start now—not only to save our guns but to save our heritage. The future of freedom in America depends on it.”

In the February 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre declared that the 2012 presidential election “could prove [to be] the most disastrous in the history of the country,” because President Barack Obama is “leading our country straight to…tyranny.” “It’s all or nothing,” LaPierre warned. “Either we defeat Barack Obama and retain all the benefits of our pro-gun victories over the last 30 years…or we lose this election and we lose it all.”

On February 10, 2012, during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), LaPierre warned listeners that “This is the most dangerous election in our lifetime … Our soul is at stake in this election. The campaign is a fight for our country, our values and the freedom we believe in.” LaPierre then detailed a “massive” conspiracy by the administration of President Barack Obama to “deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment.” LaPierre then boasted, “We’ll spend and do whatever it takes to tell the truth the media ignores.”

In the January 2012 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, LaPierre declared, “The emerging autocracy of President Barack Obama presents the gravest danger to our individual liberty in our lifetimes … The Second Amendment and our national character as we know it are at stake in the coming elections.” He accused the Obama Administration of being “engaged in a conspiracy of public deception intended to…excise the Second Amendment” from the Constitution. “The nation cannot survive another four years of Obama’s arrogant one-man rule,” LaPierre wrote.

During a January 2012 radio interview with Glenn Beck, LaPierre agreed with Beck’s assertion that when it comes to raising money in politics, “You have to go out and drum up the money, the unions just take it. They just have it. They just take it out of everybody's paycheck.” LaPierre went on to claim, “We raise it all through 5, 10, 15, 20 dollar contributions that Americans are willing to preserve freedom. And they're willing to support it. But, you know, that's what NRA is about. I mean, I always say we're about our membership and we're about giving voice to our membership.” In fact, the National Rifle Association does not raise all of its money from small donors. A report by the Violence Policy Center indicates that since 2005, the NRA has received between $19.8 million and $52.6 million in contributions from corporate interests. After Beck raised the specter of the reelection of Barack Obama leading to private gun confiscation in the United States, LaPierre responded, “We can’t let it get to this point. Every Second Amendment supporter needs to make sure that President Obama does not get a second term to destroy the Second Amendment.”

During a November 11, 2010 appearance on NRA News, LaPierre disputed that large numbers of crime guns recovered in Mexico originate from the United States, stating, “The Obama people, like Hillary Clinton and President Obama and Eric Holder, because they want to pass more phony gun laws in the United States and reinstate that so-called assault weapons ban—which was a lie and a failure from the start—they are also mouthing those types of dishonest figures … The freedoms of the United States are sure not to blame for the problems in Mexico.” Between 2006 and 2011, 64,000 of the 94,000 guns received at crime scenes in Mexico were traced to the United States.

Under LaPierre’s leadership, the National Rifle Association has frequently promoted gun confiscation conspiracy theories surrounding the administration of President Barack Obama and/or a treaty being considered by the United Nations to curb illegal, international sales of small arms. In a November 3, 2011 op-ed for the Washington Times, LaPierre wrote, “The Obama administration … hatched a political conspiracy to deceive Americans and hide its true agenda to dismantle the Second Amendment and our freedom. By delaying its anti-gun legislative agenda, it’s tried to dupe gun owners into believing our fundamental freedom is safe. The political calculation of the White House is clear: Deceive the voters and get re-elected at all costs and then, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling the Second Amendment and destroying American freedom forever … Mr. Obama…is responsible for his administration’s efforts to support a United Nations treaty that could severely restrict or effectively ban civilian ownership of firearms worldwide.” In fact, since assuming office, President Obama has not advocated for any gun control measures, instead signing legislation to allow firearms in national parks and on Amtrak trains. Furthermore, the UN has no power to alter American gun laws. Any UN treaty that called for changes in U.S. gun laws would have to be ratified by a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate.

Under LaPierre’s leadership, the National Rifle Association has frequently promoted a gun confiscation conspiracy theory concerning the administration of President Barack Obama. On September 23, 2011, LaPierre addressed the Florida Conservative Political Action Conference and told those in attendance, “The fight for 2012 is a fight for our country, our values, and our freedom. And if NRA has anything to say about it, President Barack Obama won’t get a second term … Our freedom is at risk in this election like never before … The president will offer the Second Amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he’s actually been good for the Second Amendment, but it’s a big, fat, stinkin’ lie, just like all the other lies that have come out of this corrupt administration. It’s all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country … Before the president was even sworn into office, they met and they hatched a conspiracy of public deception to try to guarantee his re-election in 2012 … We see the president’s strategy crystal clear: Get re-elected and with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroy our firearms freedom. Erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights and exorcise it from the U.S. Constitution. That’s their agenda … President Obama and his cohorts, yeah they’re going to deny their conspiracy to fool gun owners. Some of the Liberal media, they’re probably already blogging about it. But we don’t care, because as far as we’re concerned, the lying, conniving Obama crowd can kiss our Constitution.” In fact, since assuming office, President Obama has not advocated for any gun control measures, instead signing legislation to allow firearms in national parks and on Amtrak trains.

At the 2007 National Rifle Association annual meeting, LaPierre told the audience, “So no matter what the animal rights terrorists throw at us, no matter what crime wave illegal immigrant gangs cause, no matter what deals are cut in the back rooms of the United Nations, no matter who is slamming gavels at the Supreme Court, no matter who is sitting in the White House, and no matter who wins what election or chairs what committee, if they are enemies of what’s in that exhibit hall over there, if they threaten what that great hall preserves [guns], if they dare assault the one freedom that secures all freedoms, this National Rifle Association, millions and millions of members strong, you will rise and stand and we, together, will fight them all.”

In 2005, LaPierre called for the boycott of ConocoPhillips after the company filed a lawsuit to defend its ban on the possession of firearms at an Oklahoma refinery. He then made the following statement: “ConocoPhillips went to federal court to attack your freedom. Now freedom is going to fire back … Idabel, Oklahoma, is a new Concord Bridge. Our forefathers didn’t run from the Redcoats in 1775 and we’re not going to run from the corporations in 2005.”

In a 1995 National Rifle Association fundraising letter, LaPierre called federal law enforcement agents “jack-booted thugs” and suggested that “in Clinton's administration, if you have a badge, you have the government's go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens” and that “not to long ago, it was unthinkable for federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens.” President George H.W. Bush resigned his NRA membership in protest of the letter.

wayne LaPierre (Executive Vice President and CEO)

In a December 23, 2012 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” LaPierre spoke about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut in which 20 first-grade students and six adults were killed. Host David Gregory asked, “Not conceding that guns play a role [in these tragedies], that’s a meaningful contribution?” LaPierre replied, “Look, I know there’s a media machine in this country that wants to blame guns every time something happens. I know there’s an anti-Second Amendment industry in this town. I know there are political leaders that for 20 years always try to say it’s cause Americans own guns.” Gregory noted that some news outlets called LaPierre “crazy” after his response to Newtown. LaPierre replied, “If it’s crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy … That is the one thing, the one thing that we can do immediately that will immediately make our children safe … Israel had a whole lot of school shootings until they did one thing. They said, ‘We’re gonna stop it’ and they put armed security in every school and they have not had a problem since.” In fact, Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said the situation in Israel was “fundamentally different.” Palmor stated, “We didn’t have a series of school shootings, and they had nothing to do with the issue at hand in the United States. We had to deal with terrorism. What removed the danger was not the armed guards but an overall anti-terror policy and anti-terror operations which brought street terrorism down to nearly zero over a number of years.” Reuven Berko, a retired Israeli Army colonel and senior police officer explained that, in recent years, restrictions on gun ownership have been tightened, stating, “Israeli citizens are not allowed to carry guns unless they are serving in the army or working in security-related jobs that require them to use a weapon.”

When asked by Gregory about universal background checks for firearms purchasers, LaPierre replied, “We have backed the National Instant Check System. We have backed putting anyone adjudicated mentally incompetent into the system. Now, I know where you’re going with this. They’ve come up with this whole ‘Gun Show Loophole.’ There’s not a Gun Show Loophole … What the anti-Second Amendment movement wants to do is put every gun sale in the country under the thumb of the federal government.” Current federal law requires criminal background checks only for guns sold through licensed firearm dealers. Those sales account for just 60% of all gun sales in the United States. A loophole in the law allows individuals not “engaged in the business” of selling firearms to sell guns without a license—and without processing any paperwork. Gregory asked LaPierre if he would consider any kind of reform in this area, stating, “The standard is, if it's possible—your words—if it's possible that lives could be spared, shouldn't we try that? That's your standard, isn't it?” LaPierre replied, “I tell you, my standard is this. You can't legislate morality. Legislation works on the sane. Legislation works on the law abiding."

Tony Makris (NRA Consultant)

On September 26, 2013, Makris appeared on the NRA News show “Cam & Company,” where he spoke about shooting and killing an elephant on an episode of “Under Wild Skies” on NBC Sports. Makris stated, “The nice ones will come up and go, ‘You shoot elephant? Why?’ And I said, ‘Well, the short answer is because hungry people eat them and because I'm a hunter. You know, I'm not an elephant hunter. I'm a hunter. I hunt all things.’ And they go, ‘Well, nobody should shoot an elephant.’ I said, ‘Why?’ And they go, ‘They're so big and kind and gentle and smart’ and I said, ‘Okay, let me ask you a question. Should I be able to shoot birds?’ ‘Well, I guess that's okay.’ ‘Ducks?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Pigeons?’ ‘Oh, they're flying rats, okay.’ ‘Rabbits?’ ‘Well rabbits are cute. But yeah.’ ‘Squirrels?’ ‘That's nothing but a rat with a tail—with a fuzzy tail.’ And I said, ‘Well, deer eat all my mother's roses in Long Island and I go, ‘So I can shoot all of those, but not an elephant?’ ‘No.’ ‘Do you realize that if you subscribe to that philosophy you are committing a very unique form of animal racism?’ And now they're shocked. And they said, ‘But they're so big and special and they're smarter.’ And I went, ‘You know, [German dictator Adolf] Hitler would have said the same thing.’” On September 28, 2013, NBC announced that the show would no longer air on its network “due to the program's close association with its host, whose recent comments comparing his critics to Hitler are outrageous and unacceptable.”

In January 2013, in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, the National Rifle Association aired a TV ad which began by asking, “Are the President’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?” The ad was the product of Ackerman-McQueen and its subsidiary, the Mercury Group. It generated significant controversy and criticism nationally.

Karl Malone (Board Member)

After two Washington Wizards players were involved in a locker room altercation involving guns, Malone wrote a January 7, 2010 op-ed for Sports Illustrated that contradicted several longstanding NRA positions. “You can't tell me one good thing that can happen with a gun in an arena, but I can tell you a thousand bad things. If I'm a player on that team, of course, I'm saying to those guys, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ Even if, as [Wizards’ shooting guard Gilbert] Arenas insists, he brought the guns to the arena because he wanted them away from his children at home, I wouldn't have bought that excuse. Buy a safe. Put them in there. End of story,” wrote Malone. He added, “I like Arenas, but his initial reaction to this, in which he downplayed the seriousness of having guns in the locker room, was all wrong. It's wrong to make light of a firearm. That's when mistakes are made … I'll be the first to tell you I don't go anywhere in my vehicle without my weapon, but at no point has it ever occurred to me to take it inside anywhere, let alone an arena.” Regarding the use of firearms for self-protection, Malone stated, “ If I were a gun dealer and somebody walked in and said, ‘I want this for protection,’ I don't know if I would sell it to that person, because that person's only thinking about another confrontation. The people who get threatened or cut off in their car and think about their guns are the people who don't need a gun … The big picture is that guns won't protect you. If someone really wanted to get you, they would. If you still feel you need that protection, get yourself a bodyguard who knows the rules and knows the laws. How about you do all of that before you even consider having a gun? For you to say you need a gun for your protection? My goodness gracious, how are you living that you need that? I don't know where all these guys grew up, or who wants to do something to them, but be honest about why you want it. If you need a gun for that, that's for all the wrong reasons and something bad will come from it. If I seem a little fired up, I am. It's a privilege to own a firearm and I take offense when people don't handle their business the right way.” While Malone referred to gun ownership as a “privilege,” the NRA describes the private ownership of firearms as a “fundamental, God-given right.” Regarding the use of firearms for self-protection, the NRA has said, “The right to [self-defense] using deadly force would be illusory if one was not entitled to keep functional firearms.”

In 2008, ESPN reported that when Malone was a sophomore at Louisiana Tech he impregnated a 13-year-old girl. Their son, who is now a professional athlete, has said, “I treat it as if my mother went to the sperm bank. I don't hate him for [not being in my life]. It made me a better person.”

In 2007, John Amaechi, the first openly gay NBA player, called Karl Malone a “xenophobe.” Amaechi played for two seasons with Malone on the Utah Jazz.

In 2004, LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant accused Malone of making passes at his wife. “What he said is what he said. I believe in my heart that it wasn't a misunderstanding. My wife wasn't going to stand for it. She felt uncomfortable being around him to the point that she felt she had to call his wife and tell her,” said Bryant. According to Malone’s agent, Bryant’s wife asked Malone, “Hey, cowboy, what are you hunting?” and Malone replied, “I'm hunting for little Mexican girls.” Bryant’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, is of Mexican descent.

In 2003, Malone donated $4,000 to the presidential campaign of Republican George Bush and $2,000 to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The next year he donated $4,000 to the Republican National Committee.

John Milius (Board Member)

Buz Mills (Board Member)

In 2002, a Florida Court of Appeals held that Mills defrauded a business partner out of millions of dollars. The business partner was awarded $4.7 million in damages, although the parties later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Mills sent his business partner on numerous vacations while he secretly negotiated a lucrative buy-out of their cell phone tower company. Mills’ partner was then fraudulently induced to sell his minority share for a price that did not reflect the true value of the business. An opinion concurring with the Court of Appeals holding ruled that “Mills managed to keep an additional $9 million of profit out of [the business partner’s] pocket.”

Cleta Mitchell (Board Member)

On August 25, 2012, in an interview with NPR, Mitchell spoke about Voter ID laws, which require individuals to present certain types of photo identification at the polls. Voter ID laws have been passed in Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Mitchell stated, "I am not trying to keep anyone out of the polling place. ... We want to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat. I just don't know why that's controversial … If people are choosing to exercise their right to vote, there's some responsibility that accompanies that. Do we not think that something as precious as the right to vote is worth going to a little bit of trouble to obtain?" Voter ID laws in South Carolina and Florida have been challenged in court by the Department of Justice over allegations that they disenfranchise minorities. Furthermore, research has shown that in-person voter fraud of the kind Cooper warns about is extremely rare in the United States.

On November 2, 2011, the Minnesota Independent reported that Mitchell would serve as the primary lobbyist for National Organization for Marriage’s campaign to ban gay marriage in Minnesota through a ballot initiative. In response to Mitchell’s lobbying activities, Human Rights Campaign dropped the law firm that employs Mitchell (Foley & Lardner) from a perfect score to one of the lowest on the organization’s Corporate Equality Index.

Mitchell led opposition to a decision by the American Conservative Union (ACU) to allow GOProud, a gay conservative group, to participate in the 2011 CPAC conference. GOProud Board Chairman Chris Barron called Mitchell a “nasty bigot” in response to her efforts to shut out his organization.

Mitchell served as an “attack attorney” for many Tea Party Congressional candidates during the 2010 elections, including Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell and Joe Miller. She has suggested that the Democratic Party’s “tricks” include widespread engagement in voter fraud. Mitchell famously wrote a fundraising letter on behalf of Angle where she accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of attempting to steal the election. Mitchell also accused the Democratic party of stealing the 2002 South Dakota senate election, where Senator Tim Johnson was victorious over Senator John Thune. Both Angle and Miller have been involved in high-profile controversies surrounding guns and the Second Amendment.

Mitchell served as the attorney for the American Issues Project, a group that ran a television ad falsely accusing President Barack Obama of having a close personal relationship with former-Weather Underground member Bill Ayers in the months prior to the 2008 presidential election. Because AIP’s tax-exempt status makes it illegal for the organization to have a mission that is primarily political, the legality of the ad was questioned by elections experts. Laura MacCleery, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, called the ad a “clear abuse of federal election law.” Fox News declined to air the spot.

In 2006, Mitchell appeared on MSNBC to defend a number of Republicans embroiled in ethical scandals. Of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Mitchell said, “Those allegations, the indictment against Tom DeLay, were completely politically motivated.” She then bet public relations strategist Cliff Schecter dinner that DeLay would not go to jail. In January 2011, DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison for money laundering.

In May 2005, Mitchell served as the Master of Ceremonies at an ACU event honoring U.S. Representative Tom Delay (R-TX), who was embroiled in ethics investigations (and has since been convicted of money laundering). After telling those in attendance that she and other conservatives “love” DeLay, Mitchell claimed he was under investigation only because he is “effective.” She also declared, “The tribute is a statement to him: You're not alone. We'll stand by you. And it's to say to people in this town: If you pick a fight with him, you've got us to contend with.

Grover Norquist (Board Member)

In an interview with conservative activist Bob Price filmed during the NRA’s annual convention on May 3-5, 2013, Norquist referred to efforts to strengthen gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, stating,
“How many people are these Leftists willing to kill—kill—with policies that for decades we’ve known are counterproductive? And that’s pretty gruesome. That’s pretty cold. Those guys are letting kids die, knowingly. This is not a mistake. This is not, you know, like they haven’t read the books, ‘More Guns Less Crime.’ It’s not like they don’t know the statistics, they do know the statistics. They don’t care. They don’t care.” “More Gun, Less Crime” is a book written by Fox News commentator John Lott, whose research has been discredited by the National Academy of Sciences. Norquist also said of the President: “
If you’re Obama, and you’re out there exploiting these murders, for political purposes, you really have to step back. If you believe for a second that these laws he wants to pass would reduce crime, which they wouldn’t, he should have done something in 2009 and 2010 where he had super-majorities of Democrats in the House and Senate. I mean not only he didn’t do it, he didn’t even try. He doesn’t care. He’s just using the issue for politics. He didn’t care in 2009. He didn’t care in 2010. He doesn’t care now. And he also in the back of his mind knows that it has nothing to do with reducing crime and everything to do with increasing government control.” (GOP Ties)