A Potential Death of a Thousand Paper Cuts
August 3, 2018 12:32 PM   Subscribe

The NRA Says It’s in Deep Financial Trouble, May Be ‘Unable to Exist’.

From the report, their insurance carrier has cancelled their coverage and was unwilling to resume coverage at any price; they are also being sued by the state of New York over whether their 'Carry Guard' program constitutes illegal insurance, no financial institutions wish to work with them, and they also overspent their budget by $46 million.

The suit claims that the financial issues raised by the lawsuit will force them to cease their media operations, including their magazine and NRATV, amongst processes of the organization.
posted by mephron (98 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wanted to be quite clinical in the post itself, so let me say here: let us send thoughts and prayers... and not one thin penny.
posted by mephron at 12:32 PM on August 3 [194 favorites]


Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww poo' baby.
posted by ZaneJ. at 12:39 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


Play stupid deadly games, win stupid deadly prizes when people realize how stupid deadly you are.
or as grumpy cat would say:
GOOD.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:42 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


...and nothing of value will be lost.
posted by JohnFromGR at 12:43 PM on August 3 [14 favorites]


Happy Friday, y'all
posted by Maaik at 12:43 PM on August 3 [19 favorites]


I guess buying congress was expensive!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:43 PM on August 3 [22 favorites]


Ehhhh, their worst case scenario probably looks like bankruptcy and reconstitution with the same employees under a new name. Their malignity isn't going to fade from the world.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:43 PM on August 3 [30 favorites]


Imagine all the angry "lifetime members" having to pay again if they declare bankruptcy!!!!
posted by Megafly at 12:45 PM on August 3 [15 favorites]


...and nothing of value will be lost.

What Pope Guilty says, they'll just change the name.

Ctrl-F "lapierre" 0 results.
posted by rhizome at 12:46 PM on August 3


Well, there is hope in the world after all.

LOL at fiscal responsibility.
posted by kevinbelt at 12:47 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


bankruptcy and reconstitution with the same employees under a new name

They'd lose a lot of support - even if it went perfectly smooth, they'd have to get the word out that "the NRA is gone; this is the US Rifle Association; just treat us the same as the NRA," and some people would lose interest, or not believe them. And of course, all contracts that belong to the NRA wouldn't carry over; they'd have to renegotiate everything. Memberships wouldn't carry over; people would have to join the new one, and they'd lose everyone who doesn't feel like scrounging up their credit card and filling out the form.

And that's if it goes smoothly. More likely, it splits into two factions: The USRA, comprised of the current core leadership, which is just a reskin of the current org, and the National Rifle and Gun Association, comprised of people who think the current leadership's mistakes caused the problems. NRAGA will sell hats that look like MAGA hats, and there'd be a lot of arguments about which is the "real" successor to the NRA.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:49 PM on August 3 [36 favorites]


I'll believe it when it happens. I suspect this is probably just a ploy to get donations/new members.
posted by Blienmeis at 12:51 PM on August 3 [110 favorites]


Ehhhh, their worst case scenario probably looks like bankruptcy and reconstitution with the same employees under a new name.

Perhaps, but the issue they are raising in the lawsuit is that they're being denied insurance and banking services. Earlier this year airlines and others pulled out of partnership deals. You can go bankrupt, but you can't reconstitute if nobody will provide services to you. That said, they are probably exaggerating the problem and the potential consequences for the sake of stirring up a lot of foment and getting their base behind them with extra contributions.
posted by beagle at 12:53 PM on August 3 [12 favorites]


Maybe they should be looking harder into some foreign investment group for a bailout.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:54 PM on August 3 [26 favorites]


More likely, it splits into two factions

As long as they point their well-armed vitriol at each other, I'm fine with it. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:54 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


I'll believe it when it happens. I suspect this is probably just a ploy to get donations/new members.

Same here. That legal filing came off like one of their UNDER SIEGE style donation appeal letters. Looking for that wingnut welfare, sounds like.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:55 PM on August 3 [20 favorites]


Seems like insurance isn't actually a necessity to carrying out the activities described in the article. Why would operating educational programs require insurance beyond the NRA's ability to self-insure, for example, unless those educational programs carry high risk? And we all know that guns make everything safer.
posted by HiddenInput at 12:56 PM on August 3 [6 favorites]


This is a new take on an old grift.

HELP! WE NEED MONIES~~~!!!!111!!!11one
posted by andreaazure at 12:58 PM on August 3 [6 favorites]


🎻🔬
posted by acb at 12:59 PM on August 3 [50 favorites]


Well, bless their hearts.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:01 PM on August 3 [10 favorites]


Will dyadya vova come to the rescue?
posted by WeekendJen at 1:05 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


I'll believe it when it happens. I suspect this is probably just a ploy to get donations/new members.

Very, very plausible.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:09 PM on August 3 [6 favorites]


Still, because this news gave me one second of schadenfreudistic pure joy, Imma dry hump something then go out in the driveway and drink some boxed wine. L’chaim ya fascist tools 🥂
posted by romakimmy at 1:17 PM on August 3 [39 favorites]


Yea, fuck'em, BUT this is 2018, and whatever replaces them will be ten times worse. Best case scenario is they limp along on a knife edge for years.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:20 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Obviously there's no way that "gun rights" groups go away entirely. But if there is some truth to this and the NRA takes a big hit, it will probably at least hurt the effectiveness for a while. Its unlike a new organization could spring up with comparable power overnight.

(In addition to the possibility they are exaggerating for donors benefit, I also assume they are exaggerating to make the lawsuit / situation seem more dire --- but that doesn't mean there is no truth to it).

The marijuana industry has had tons of problems with banking --- on the one hand, it hasn't shut it down, but on the other from what I understand it definitely slows/limits possibilities.
posted by thefoxgod at 1:26 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


Specifically, the NRA warns that it has lost insurance coverage — endangering day-to-day operations. “Insurance coverage is necessary for the NRA to continue its existence,” the complaint reads. Without general liability coverage, it adds, the “NRA cannot maintain its physical premises, convene off-site meetings and events, operate educational programs … or hold rallies, conventions and assemblies.”

The complaint says the NRA’s video streaming service and magazines may soon shut down.

“The NRA’s inability to obtain insurance in connection with media liability raises risks that are especially acute; if insurers remain afraid to transact with the NRA, there is a substantial risk that NRATV will be forced to cease operating.” The group also warns it “could be forced to cease circulation of various print publications and magazines.”


This reads to me like their operations are very seriously affected.

Good.
posted by orange swan at 1:36 PM on August 3 [7 favorites]


Why would operating educational programs require insurance

Many property owners won't rent out facilities to an organization that doesn't carry liability insurance. Can't rent a hotel for your conference if you're not insurable.

I agree it's probably exaggerated, both to make the lawsuit sound plausible and to drive up membership fees. But if it's too exaggerated, they're on the hook for various legal penalties, so it has to be at least in the range of "if you look at it THIS way, those are the numbers."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 1:37 PM on August 3 [7 favorites]


Yea, fuck'em, BUT this is 2018, and whatever replaces them will be ten times worse. Best case scenario is they limp along on a knife edge for years.

No they won't, because it takes a heck of a long time to build up enough grassroots support and critical mass to create a national organization with any real influence. It's a TON easier to counter a local or regional group before it gains traction. Even if the national organization reorganizes under a new name, they lose a huge amount of the name recognition and association that the old name had--that's why changing your brand is such a risky move.

And never mind the NY lawsuit, what about the allegations that they funneled money to the Republican party to collude with Russia? (Or colluded with Russia to funnel money to the GOP) If that actually gained any movement, the current leadership are probably going to jail.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of folks!
\:D/
posted by Autumnheart at 1:38 PM on August 3 [11 favorites]


L’chaim ya fascist tools 🥂

At first I thought "I had no idea there was a 'mooning' emoji!" before I realized it was two glasses clinking. Now I wish there really was a mooning emoji; it'd come in handy quite often!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:40 PM on August 3 [8 favorites]


Also, #TIL that although there is no mooning emoji, italic emojis do exist.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:41 PM on August 3 [8 favorites]


I think we should all send our very best, most appropriate, thoughts and prayers to them in this time of crisis.

Other mefites may find, as I did, that this is a good starting point for composing your feelings.
posted by "mad dan" eccles at 1:42 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


Everyone whose thoughts and prayers focused on seeing the NRA go down like the Hindenburg...nice work! Take the night off, you deserve it.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:47 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


.

[lol no i am kidding, the area of that dot actually represents exactly how saddened i am by this news, represented as a proportion of one square mile]
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:47 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


dont worry

congress will save these patriots from teh eeeeevils

coming soon: a law indemnifying the nra from anything, like they did with gun mfrs.
posted by lalochezia at 1:52 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


World's tiniest violin?
posted by Autumnheart at 1:52 PM on August 3


Our thoughts, prayers, and womp womp are with you, NRA.
posted by Schadenfreude at 1:53 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Done by acb.
posted by mephron at 1:53 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Hold on, is this really true?

Everything I know about the NRA is that it's a powerful, well-organized, and influential organization.

Is this complaint specific to NY state or nationwide?

Do we have any corroborating evidence from other sources?

Are the NRA's claims in this filing simply meant to bolster their legal filing?

Color me skeptical.
posted by boghead at 1:54 PM on August 3 [8 favorites]


My understanding is that membership fees are a rounding error in the budget. Individual members serve to obfuscate the real source of money - the gun manufacturers. The NRA may have been a membership organization for gun owners at one time but in recent years it's simply the gun manufacturers lobbying organization.
posted by COD at 1:56 PM on August 3 [12 favorites]


If the NRA fails, i’m sure the right wingers who run it will just hijack another organization like the Sierra Club and continue the lobbying until next year is 1910.
posted by BYiro at 1:58 PM on August 3


In its complaint, the NRA paints these actions as a “malicious conspiracy to stifle the NRA’s speech and induce a boycott of the NRA.” Cuomo and state regulators, the NRA alleges, were intent on “suppressing the NRA’s pro-Second Amendment viewpoint” and had engaged in “unlawful conduct with the intent to obstruct, chill, deter, and retaliate against the NRA’s core political speech.”

You're entitled to criticize the government, NRA, not to make money doing it. Nice try tho.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:01 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


If the NRA fails, i’m sure the right wingers who run it will just hijack another organization like the Sierra Club and continue the lobbying until next year is 1910.

Vince McMahon even already has experience running one thing called the WWF.
posted by Copronymus at 2:05 PM on August 3 [6 favorites]


I'm really fascinated by this from the perspective of an activist and a nonprofit management nerd, so I posted this on FB, hopefully it's cool to repost here:

This is an eye-catching headline, but the story is even more interesting. It looks like the NRA is feeling the heat in terms of financial institutions and insurance companies not being willing to work with them partly because of public pressure, and partly because of the NRA's own recklessness.

(The NRA is trying to hide behind the claim of "regulatory reprisals," but the real story is their reputation and the risks it poses to risk-averse institutions)

Three takeaways from this:

1. Consumer/public pressure WORKS. Toxifying NRA's brand has worked, and we need to keep that in mind for other issues/campaigns (the climate movement has had some success with this too, but we can do a lot more of it)

2. I've been watching the NRA for a few years and wondering how long they can survive on their current path. It's one thing to be a tiny fringe organizations throwing bombs like they do, but to be a big, supposedly mainstream organization doing things like telling journalists their time is up, and offering insurance to gun owners for killing people - I mean, that just seemed really inherently unsustainable. It made me wonder where the hell their board of directors was - but they are probably bought into the madness too.

3. At the same time, they are almost certainly overstating the financial harm. BUT it was so interesting to me that they overspent by $40+ million dollars last year - and it wasn't even an election year. They are definitely spreading themselves too thin and again, where is the board of directors?

(I don't expect anyone to care about the organizational health of the NRA and I'd dance on its grave too. But I'm a bit of a nonprofit governance/management nerd, so that's where my brain goes.)
posted by lunasol at 2:20 PM on August 3 [61 favorites]


I'm also very skeptical of this. From having an extra $50M to spend on the 2016 election to this? In this climate?

It seems a lot like PR posturing, so that they can play victim to some Deep State conspiracy that is starving them of funds, which will (a) help them secure more money from gun-loving rubes, and (b) give them a foundation from which to claim they are being persecuted "again" with all the soon to be uncovered evidence of Russian funding that will no doubt end up in some kind of courtroom and/or IRS prosecution.
posted by rokusan at 3:07 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Money laundering, maybe? I'm skeptical.
posted by yueliang at 3:12 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Why would operating educational programs require insurance beyond the NRA's ability to self-insure, for example, unless those educational programs carry high risk?

Most Hunter safety programs in the US are taught by NRA licensed instructors and you have to take a proficiency test at the end with a .22 or bow for your license. The NRA doesn't own the facilities or ranges so they won't be able to teach the courses without insurance. NRA instructors also teach quite a lot of other shooting sports like trap, skeet, youth leagues etc. Every hunter in the US takes one or more classes, it was the original mission of the NRA to improve gun safety and that effort absolutely dwarfes their political stuff in terms of number of events. So this is going to be disruptive and now some other governing body will have to take on that aspect. Maybe this is just a ruse to divest themselves of the boring hard work part of their jobs so they can do media stuff full time, who knows.
posted by fshgrl at 3:37 PM on August 3 [6 favorites]


I'd imagine they lost a few big funders. The election's been won, the supreme court will be won soon. Ted Nugent's estate isn't going to keep on funding them at the same level after he dies and I'm sure that's not their only aging donor. Corporate funding must be near zero these days. $50M isn't that much, I bet they get it all from a few big donors.
posted by fshgrl at 3:39 PM on August 3


Sending thoughts & prayers
posted by Divest_Abstraction at 3:48 PM on August 3


The NRA's argument is that Cuomo et al. have violated their first and fourteenth amendment rights, by threatening companies that do business with them and by using political pull to turn people against them.

Their outline of how that happened is fairly solid (although I'm not sure about the "threats" part); their claim that this violates their rights seems a bit thin.

The legal precedents mentioned are:
* Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58, 72 (1963) (Gov't newsletters sent to police departments with lists of "objectionable" publications, is a form of informal censorship - violation of 14th Amd rights.)
* Brown v. Hartlage, 456 U.S. 45, 52 (1982) (Candidate offers to reduce his salary if elected; other side objects that this is bribing voters; courts eventually rule it is not.) (It's a stretch to include this - I guess it's about "1st amendment includes the right to discuss how the gov't should operate.")
* Okwedy v. Molinari, 333 F.3d 339, 342 (2d Cir. 2003) (Anti-gay billboards posted; local officials objected; billboards removed and money refunded to church; churchpeople sued. Failed, because the local officials weren't using political power for anything other than telling the billboard company, "this kind of content isn't welcome here.")

That's it. There's a few more legal bits - things like quoting sections of NY law - but those are all the precedents they're currently mentioning. That seems... amazingly weak.

The whole claim seems to fall apart if the various refusers are willing to send a rep to court to say, "after considering the NRA's recent actions and stated goals, it's no longer in line with our business plans to have them as a client." The censorship claim requires that the banks want to do business with the company, but won't take the risk of negative gov't attention.

(IANAL; TINLA; don't rely on my legal analysis for your own court cases.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:49 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


You guys, I don’t know why you’d suspect an organization run by Oliver North to be moving money around in a sketchy way...
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:50 PM on August 3 [27 favorites]


I mean, that just seemed really inherently unsustainable. It made me wonder where the hell their board of directors was - but they are probably bought into the madness too.

Do you mean people such as Tom Selleck (who wants to be America's authoritarian father figure), Karl Malone (ex-NBA player who forced magic Johnson to retire), Ted Nugent (who suffered frontal lobe brain damage from a crossbow cleaning accident -- I assume!), Oliver North (pardoned felon), Larry Craig (senator cashing his check for providing liability shield), Ronnie Barrot (inventor of a 50cal sniper rifle), David Keene (father of a convicted gun using road rager), Carl T. Rowan Jr. (Sr. shot a kid for jumping in his pool).

The board of the NRA is a not at all surprisingly made up of either gun nuts, former politicians receiving their delayed payments for favorable gun legislation or gun manufacturers and retailers. These are not people chosen for the organizational acumen or practical wisdom. Oversight isn't going to happen.
posted by srboisvert at 3:54 PM on August 3 [13 favorites]


I'll believe it when it happens. I suspect this is probably just a ploy to get donations/new members.

I am also skeptical. They need $46 million? That's chump change for any number of right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers. Any one of them would gladly bankroll the NRA indefinitely.
posted by zardoz at 4:02 PM on August 3 [4 favorites]


“The NRA’s inability to obtain insurance in connection with media liability raises risks that are especially acute; if insurers remain afraid to transact with the NRA, there is a substantial risk that NRATV will be forced to cease operating.” The group also warns it “could be forced to cease circulation of various print publications and magazines.”

This reads to me like their operations are very seriously affected.


It will be a long time (if ever) before the NRA will be forced to back up the claims it is making. In the meantime they have an incredibly cheap publicity campaign.

Still, here’s hoping.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:09 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


They need $46 million? That's chump change for any number of right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers. Any one of them would gladly bankroll the NRA indefinitely.

Actually, not so much. The Koch brothers are currently at war with Trump and the NRA is hard in the tank for him. The big funders are plain not interested.

But also: if the Governor in fact sent personal letters asking New York institutions to refuse to do business with the NRA - which I have yet to see proof of - that actually would, in fact, be really messed up and completely using his station inappropriately. It’s inappropriate when Trump tweets stuff about companies he doesn’t like, it doesn’t become morally good just because the NRA is the target rather than a different company.
posted by corb at 4:13 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


NRA encouraged the training and arming of people to oppose the US government and kill minorities; they took at least some money illegally from foriegn adversaries. They are a terrorist organization that has clearly given material and propaganda aid to mass shooters.
Safety and marksmanship doesn't require allowing people on the no-fly list to get guns.

As an advocate for non-violence, the fewer people holding guns in a situation, the more likely that situation is to be de-escalated non-violently.

The NRA's silence when police have killed persons of color for legal fire-arm possession tells you all you need to know about who it thinks should have what rights.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 4:16 PM on August 3 [27 favorites]


The claim is that "DFS, an agency created to ensure the integrity of financial markets after the 2008 credit crisis, will exercise its extensive regulatory power against those entities that fail to sever ties with the NRA." From the lawsuit:
At Cuomo’s behest, Vullo and DFS have threatened, and continue to threaten,
regulated institutions with costly investigations and penalties should they fail to
“discontinue[] . . . their arrangements with the NRA.” And Defendants have already carried out
some of these threats. Within a single week, DFS levied multi-million dollar fines against two
insurance-industry firms that dared to do business with the NRA.
On the one hand: gov't officials sending inspection orgs after businesses they don't like is bad. On the other: the case they're drawing here seems weak; they're not saying that the fines weren't deserved, and they don't seem to have anything solid showing that Cuomo etc. are directly pushing DFS at NRA-related businesses at the expense of regulating other organizations.

I can't tell if they're not providing evidence because they don't have it, or because that's not what you do at this stage of a lawsuit, and they're waiting for the other side to deny everything before they start discussing who can prove what.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:26 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Karl Malone (ex-NBA player who forced magic Johnson to retire),

And who fathered a child with a 13 year old girl while he was in his 20s and faced no criminal consequences!

A true rogues gallery.
posted by fshgrl at 4:31 PM on August 3 [8 favorites]


It’s inappropriate when Trump tweets stuff about companies he doesn’t like, it doesn’t become morally good just because the NRA is the target rather than a different company.

I understand what you’re saying but I don’t think I agree they’re equivalent. It seems to me that targeting a political action group is very different than targeting a private company, if for no other reason than that the former has already waded in to public discourse with a vengeance.

I don’t think anyone would consider it improper if Trump came out against one of the Occupy movements or the ACLU or the RNC. Rude and annoying, yes, but political leaders criticizing political groups seems to be in bounds.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:38 PM on August 3 [7 favorites]


Today's organization is already "ten times worse" than the one it replaced decades ago. (The NRA used to be relatively sane.) If they can't lose the loonies, then let the funeral begin.
posted by Twang at 4:40 PM on August 3 [10 favorites]


THEN PERISH
posted by poffin boffin at 4:54 PM on August 3 [11 favorites]


The NRA used to be relatively sane.

The current iteration of the NRA is basically the exact opposite of what it was founded for. If the current group reforms in some way I imagine it'll be a good opportunity to shed the education and safety aspects and go full arms lobbying group.
posted by fshgrl at 5:34 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Good riddance if true, but I agree with the comments above suggesting this is a maneuver to raise money or get some kind of deal from congress, or both.

The current iteration of the NRA is basically the exact opposite of what it was founded for. If the current group reforms in some way I imagine it'll be a good opportunity to shed the education and safety aspects and go full arms lobbying group.

To be honest, I'd love it if they would split those roles apart, since I am in favor of education and safety, and it would be great if that didn't come attached to the crazy stuff.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:38 PM on August 3 [6 favorites]


That is true and hunter education has definitely saved a lot of lives over the years.
posted by fshgrl at 6:46 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


My dad was an avid hunter and no, it’s not the organization he became a lifetime member of. I remember reading their magazine when I was a kid; they devoted a half a page a month to a column titled “The Armed Citizen” or something like it, with news stories of homeowners holding off burglars until the police arrived. I’m not entirely sure he would have liked what it’s become and I hope it dies and the earth around its grave is salted.
posted by lhauser at 6:56 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


I want to believe, I do. I want to believe the Koch Brothers and our idiot in chief are feuding. I want to believe that the republican party is about to disintegrate. I want to believe that the NRA is likewise, about to disintegrate. I want to believe all of this and that the Democratic party is a bunch of well meaning people that have my best interest at heart and through enlightened self interest will help bring relief to the poor and disenfranchised, and usher in a new American utopia of love and bunnies.

But I've been awake at least part of the time in the last pile of years and while I may want to believe it's not what I've been seeing. Life is short, so go ahead and celebrate. I however am not trading my cow for a handful of magic beans.
posted by evilDoug at 8:41 PM on August 3 [9 favorites]


If only arms lobbying was the extent of their activities. Have you checked out @NRATV lately?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:23 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


I am aware that the organisation is much more politically polarising than it was when it was mostly about training and gun safety; while I think there'll be some people who'll want to make up the shortfall, I hope there'll be a significant proportion of the membership who'll want this to act as a course correction.

But I can't help but read this as good news. Part of the problem was that it always seemed like the rich libertarians and the regressive organisations and the Republican party were all marching in lockstep, but it turns out there's really only one rich libertarian who's also really into racism. The Kochs are trying to court Democrats. The NRA is flirting with bankruptcy. The wheels are falling off because, as the immortal line goes, these aren't very bright guys, and it got out of hand.
posted by Merus at 9:41 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


I however am not trading my cow for a handful of magic beans.

Who's trading what now? I thought we were mostly just pointing and laughing.
posted by ryanrs at 10:19 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


I think this is a variation on the gambit Murdoch used when he closed News of the World back in 2011 to keep the phone hacking scandal from taking down his entire UK empire back in 2011.

Russian money, direct help, and influence at the NRA look to have been virtually all pervasive, and probably account for the Bear's share of the vast and vastly outsized influence the NRA has had in American politics for GOK how long.

If it stayed in business in its current form, even the deliberate incompetence the Trump DOJ would certainly bring to an investigation they will probably be forced by public opinion to undertake might not be enough to keep the entire alt right and Trump with it from breaking off the main body of American politics and melting away in a sea of newly heated water.
posted by jamjam at 10:20 PM on August 3 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, the US Concealed Carry Association observes and waits.
posted by otherchaz at 10:23 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


“The Armed Citizen” can be an interesting read.
posted by Afghan Stan at 12:11 AM on August 4


I remember in 1995, the 'jack-booted thugs and Nazis' letter that LaPierre signed and sent out, which caused former President Bush to resign his lifetime membership from the NRA. People thought the NRA was too shrill, to divisive then and doomed.

If. fucking. only.

When Dems are in office, the NRA points at the government and tells dumb and fearful people 'they're coming for you!' When the GOP is in office, the NRA points all around 'look, strangers! They're coming for you'.

And it works.

This will just be another massive donation drive for them.
posted by taterpie at 2:03 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Now I wish there really was a mooning emoji; it'd come in handy quite often!

You could show them Uranus: ♅ or ⛢
posted by XMLicious at 2:20 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


It's like when they got Al Capone for tax fraud.
posted by Damienmce at 4:37 AM on August 4


bankruptcy and reconstitution with the same employees under a new name

Also now would be a good time for an anti gun org to register a huge number of pro gun sounding names.
posted by Damienmce at 4:39 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


May the NRA rot in peace.
posted by mermayd at 4:56 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I want to believe, I do. I want to believe the Koch Brothers and our idiot in chief are feuding. I want to believe that the republican party is about to disintegrate. I want to believe that the NRA is likewise, about to disintegrate.

I know. I know. I can't help seeing similarities between this stuff--particularly the thing about the Kochs--and the stuff QAnon believes.
posted by Don Pepino at 5:15 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Would it be fair to say that they shot themselves in the foot???
posted by Burn_IT at 7:16 AM on August 4 [4 favorites]


Send money or else is hardly a new fundraising ploy.
posted by TedW at 7:52 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


...the NRA points all around 'look, strangers! They're coming for you'.

I don't think they mean strangers though. Perhaps another word ending in "...gers".
posted by TedW at 7:54 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


I'm not convinced this is just a fundraising tactic, because they apparently don't have the ability to process payments. I'm sure they'd like funding, but this is a pretty big crisis for them and they haven't shown particular aptitude for dealing with crises in the past - their response to Philandro Castile was silence, their response to Las Vegas was to cave, their response to Never Again MSD was panicked. When you're getting bested by high-school students, it's hard to argue you're an effective advocate.

Moreover, the NRA has opposition it never had before (as mentioned, Never Again MSD, but Every Town USA is organised, there's a big blue wave ready to use them as a punching bag, and a population in despair over mass shootings), and coming to the NRA's rescue runs the risk of getting caught up in the ongoing Maria Butina investigation.
posted by Merus at 8:02 AM on August 4 [9 favorites]


Regarding the conversion of the NRA from gun-safety organization to...whatever epithet you want to use today, the death of Ramon Casiano back in 1931 paints the beginning of the picture.
posted by notsnot at 8:02 AM on August 4 [2 favorites]


they devoted a half a page a month to a column titled “The Armed Citizen” or something like it, with news stories of homeowners holding off burglars until the police arrived.

Those always read like Penthouse Letters to me. "Dear NRA, I never thought it could happen to me, but .... "

I hope the NRA goes down in flames. They gave away their game in the 60's when they decided "a little gun control was okay" in response to The Black Panthers walking around with rifles, and they haven't looked back.

If you need a gun rights organization, there's always JPFO. There are also two newish ones that have started gaining attention; 'The Liberal Gun Club', and 'The Socialist Rifle Association', although at this point I haven't the foggiest idea if they're real things or if they're more Russian divide-and-conquer crap.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:09 AM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Well certainly our thoughts and prayers are with the organization.

But is it really the time to be talking about fundraising and finances? It seems to me that any discussion of organizational fiscal health right now is going to be motivated by this headline, and the last thing we want is to rush into financial strategies when we're driven by emotion. Look, I'm all for a viable financial future for every non-profit, but we have to understand that there's a time and a place for a discussion like this -- and it's not in the hours and days following such serious news.
posted by -1 at 10:13 AM on August 4 [27 favorites]


You know, you'd think that patriots would refuse to be members of an organization that funneled millions of dollars to politicians on behalf of a foreign hostile government.....
posted by miyabo at 6:14 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


They sent me a fundraising/membership letter in the mail about a month ago. I have no idea where they get their lists from, as I've never owned guns, don't think the Democratic party is liberal enough, and am an ACLU member.

I sealed the empty postage-paid reply envelope and dropped in in the mail. I'm glad to have contributed a tiny bit to their current situation.
posted by macbot3000 at 7:10 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Praise Jesus.
posted by Toddles at 7:11 PM on August 4


The NRA used to be relatively sane.

Pining for the NRA good ol' days is like pining for the Republicans as the party of Lincoln. That ship sailed a half century ago. The NRA, like the Republican Party, has been a shit pile for most people's entire life. It is but a distant memory in mythology.
posted by JackFlash at 10:35 PM on August 4 [4 favorites]


C O L D D E A D H A N D S
posted by BiggerJ at 12:58 AM on August 5


Obviously there's no way that "gun rights" groups go away entirely.

The NRA was terrible on gun rights. They represent manufacturers, not owners. JPFO is a zillion times better.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:24 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


The JPFO thinks that the NRA is too liberal. The founder of JPFO, Aaron Zelman wrote a public letter to Ted Nugent starting out:

"Dear Ted:

First, I personally thank you for the valuable work you have done, and are doing, for the Second Amendment. You have used your talent, success, wit, and celebrity to fight for our freedoms."


In the letter he says that he would be willing to join forces with Nugent and the NRA if only the NRA would even more stridently fight against all concealed carry laws, the disbanding of the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives, and the abolishment of every gun control law going back to 1968.

The JPFO is even more right wing, even more wacko than the NRA, if that is possible. Fortunately the membership of the JPFO is quite small, with just a few thousand members.
posted by JackFlash at 10:44 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


Left wing gun clubs that I know of are the Huey P Newton gun club and the John Brown gun club, both of which are well worth supporting. I can’t say I will switch my giving there as the NRA was dead to me after 2016, but I will say they’re both great places to get involved.
posted by corb at 2:39 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


This is how rich people get rid of debt. That's all this is: noisy cover to raise a few bucks before they shed their debt and financial records in liquidation.
posted by Docrailgun at 7:07 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Is Cuomo Threatening NRA's Existence? He Says: 'I'd Like To Believe It's True' (NPR, Aug. 5, 2018)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the National Rifle Association's federal lawsuit against him is "frivolous." The lawsuit claims that Cuomo's policies are trying to deprive the NRA of its First Amendment rights by making it more difficult for the organization to function in the state.

Cuomo described the NRA as a "group of extremists" and says he hopes that his actions against the group will expand to other states.

"I'm hoping to extend this all across the country," he said in an interview with All Things Considered. "And if they think New York hurt their pocketbook, let's see what happens when the other states also join in."

Part of the lawsuit focuses on an NRA-branded insurance program called Carry Guard, which the state's Department of Financial Services took action against earlier this year. For example, in May, the DFS imposed a $7 million fine on the program's underwriter Lockton Cos. because the insurance covered "certain acts of intentional wrongdoing" which the state found to be unlawful.

Critics of this kind of insurance policy have called it "murder insurance."
"Critics" have a website called Stop Murder Insurance, which has this statement:
Campaign Update: On February 23, Chubb publically announced that they would [now] cease underwriting the NRA’s Carry Guard murder insurance as soon as their contract allowed. On February 26, Lockton joined them and announced they would stop brokering all NRA insurance policies. With Lockton’s decision to no longer broker the policy, and Chubb’s decision to no longer under write it, Carry Guard will end unless another insurer decides to assume the risks Lockton and Chubb found too risky and contriversal (sp).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:44 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Pining for the NRA good ol' days is like pining for the Republicans as the party of Lincoln. That ship sailed a half century ago.

Speaking of which, here's a WaPo article about the turning point at the 1977 NRA annual meeting where the old NRA leadership got ousted in favor of the current flavor of extremist.
posted by mhum at 12:46 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


The NRA has looked suspiciously like an insurgent army for years, with its determination to block all limits on automatic weapons and prevent caps on the number of weapons an individual can own; and now the Russia connection reveals that it's an insurgent army under the influence of a foreign power, and that its primary mission is to keep the President installed by that foreign power in power.
posted by jamjam at 2:16 PM on August 6


Hold on. Why do responsible gun owners need murder insurance? *kermit drinking tea*
posted by kevinbelt at 2:54 PM on August 6 [2 favorites]


Why do responsible gun owners need murder insurance?

They don’t. They need lawsuit-happy-America insurance, just like the rest of us.

However, the same policy can be used by bad actors to set themselves up with a huge legal defense fund before pulling the trigger, and make it more likely for even upstanding citizens to pull the trigger in borderline situations.

On the plus side these are insurance companies we’re dealing with and as such they are really loath to pay out. In fact their investigators are actively motivated to prove it wasn’t self-defense.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:38 PM on August 7 [2 favorites]


« Older The worker sinks her mandibles into my skin   |   Too Hot for Merriam Webster Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments