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The Truth Is Better Than Fiction


June 12, 2019 - 10:15am

Marion Hammer
Marion Hammer

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people believe distortions printed by the media -- particularly in their efforts to help the enemies of freedom and the Second Amendment and to try to destroy the NRA. Nor does it cease to amaze me how willing the media are to deliberately distort and mislead.

The Washington Post used legitimate expense reimbursements and recruiter payments to drive their narrative and pad their numbers to falsely cast aspersions on 18 board members and the NRA (the story can only be found behind the Post's paywall). It is a deliberate distortion and an orchestrated attempt to convey a false impression.

The numbers weren't extraordinary if one looks at it from a one-year perspective, so the Washington Post lumped three years of reports together to make the amounts look larger and more lucrative. That is the epitome of calculated treachery!

Board members who are NRA recruiters get no special treatment. They, like all recruiters get the same commission that any recruiter receives. Yet the Washington Post makes it sound like they're stealing or have some sweetheart deal. Some of these board members use their businesses to recruit members and they disclose it. Yet the Washington Post attacks them for serving the NRA - and for trying to get more people to sign up as NRA members.

Also included in the scurrilous attack are board-member reimbursements for travel at the NRA's request, for speaking engagements and appearances at events to which the NRA is requested to send a representative. Some board members make these trips and appearances at the NRA's request because the officers and staff can't do it all.

In addition to taking off from work and giving their time, perhaps the Post expects board members to pay for airline travel, lodging, meals and expenses out of their own pockets to travel for the NRA?

Another big fraud by the Washington Post suggests that when the NRA purchases materials, supplies and services from board members or their businesses, board members are getting rich. Anyone alleging that Hornady or Brownell needs the paltry sums disclosed by the Washington Post clearly has no idea what they're talking about. What nonsense!

Board members whose companies sell products to the NRA for discounted prices don't need to do business with the NRA, they have plenty of customers. It's the NRA that wants to do business with them -- for better deals than we can get elsewhere.

Have you been paying attention the New York governor's attempt to maliciously stop companies from doing business with the NRA? Since the NRA is under attack -- by what has all the earmarkings of a coordinated attack -- would you believe that some businesses want to charge the NRA more just to do business with them? Because of this orchestrated attack, some businesses refuse to do any business at all with the NRA.

Yet, the Washington Post wants you to believe that board members somehow have sweetheart deals and try to paint them as engaging in some illegal activity. What bull! The NRA has the sweetheart deal! The NRA and our members benefit from the good deals NRA gets when we use board members.

Heck, the Washington Post even used a deceased board member and friend, R. Lee Ermey, to pad its false narrative. For crying out loud, the Washington Post even disparaged a dead man -- who has been gone since last April -- to pad its numbers! That is as bad as Joe Biden claiming he just talked to Margaret Thatcher when she actually died three years earlier.

Board members' legitimate expenses are being made to look sneaky by a publication that has no love for the Second Amendment, or the NRA. Are you going to fall for it? Or are you going to open your eyes and your mind?

Payments to board members are disclosed, in writing, at every NRA Annual Meeting. Stacks of disclosure reports are put on a table along with other financial reports at the Annual Meeting of members and are available to members and the media. These reports are where they got the information they are distorting.

And, yes -- I am on that list. I am proud of my work on behalf of the NRA and the Second Amendment. I have spent my entire professional life in this arena. For over 40 years I have been standing on the front line fighting for Right-to-Carry, Castle Doctrine, preemption and the list of pro-Second Amendment legislation goes on. The list of anti-gun, freedom crippling legislation is even longer. In fact, I was lobbying for the NRA long before I was elected to the Board and long before I was elected NRA president. There aren't many states in which I haven't helped fight for the Second Amendment.

Isn't it interesting that in this article, the Washington Post points out that there are other non-profit organizations that require their board members to make financial donations to these organizations in order to get on their boards?

In other words, some other non-profit organizations require people to "buy" their seats on their boards. I guess the Washington Post thinks that's OK. But the NRA's democratically elected board is demonized?

For the past few months, the media have trained their guns on the NRA and those of us within our movement. They are happily doing the bidding of Mike Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

The simple fact is that Second Amendment rights are the only means that citizens have to protect their ability to protect freedom from the enemies of America. Give up that right and you are no longer free.

If you think the NRA is the only organization they are turning their guns on, just wait ... we may be the first but we won't be the last. Make no mistake, we are the first, because we are the most effective. This is the price the NRA is paying for getting Donald Trump elected and for securing the Supreme Court for a couple of generations.

I believe with all my heart that the freedom we enjoy today depends on the NRA standing guard to protect Second Amendment rights from the enemies of freedom and our Constitution. I want that freedom and those rights for my grandchildren and for yours.

Marion P. Hammer is a past president of NRA and a member of the NRA Board of Directors.