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I keep seeing references to polls like this one, saying that NRA members support at least some reasonable changes to gun laws that the NRA's leadership opposes. (The NRA struck back against this by polling a bunch of straw-man issues and reporting widespread member agreement. 92% of NRA members oppose confiscation by mandatory buybacks!)

Does anybody understand how that works? How does the leadership continue in office if it doesn't represent the members?

Wikipedia is vague about NRA governance:

The National Rifle Association is governed by a large board of directors. The directors choose the president, the leading spokesman for the organization, from among their members.
I still haven't figured out how that board is chosen, though. Searching the NRA web site itself hasn't gotten me anywhere.

Somebody must know how the NRA governs itself. Could an alternative leadership emerge from the ranks, or does the current leadership have the process all locked up?

Originally posted to Pericles on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    Read the Weekly Sift every Monday afternoon.

    by Pericles on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:11:51 AM PST

  •  How is the NRA governed? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, hnichols

    Poorly, and by raving lunatics.

  •  One would assume they are governed by the people (4+ / 0-)

    ... who really fund them (well beyond member dues).

    And that's the gun manufacturers.

  •  NRA is structured much like a corporation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north, hnichols, hamjudo, Catte Nappe

    The NRA is governed by a board, whose members serve for three year terms and are elected by the members in good standing for at least 5 year.s.  Turn out is low, though that is no evidence of member disengagement.  The large board members--76 members to date--provides enormous stability, and low voting turn out most likely indicates satisfaction and acceptance of NRA's general course.

    The board selects all the executives, including Wayne LaPierre (CEO and Executive Vice President).

  •  The election of the Board happens every year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at the Annual Meeting.  Certain members, those of longer-standing, are given a ballot in the mail.
    That can be mailed in, or brought to the Annual Meeting.

    This isn't without consequence to the NRA.
    The NRA was playing footsie with the GCA '68 supporters, which I believe was based on two things:
    1) Domestic unrest which rankled the old white men of the NRA Board.
    2) The profitability of domestic firearms makers.

    Certain members for various reasons wanted some of these old entrenched coots out.  It was a mutual admiration society, of former board members working as proxy voters entrusted with the absentee ballots to "elect" the anointed few.

    Your ability to add a young turk, like Gabby Giffords, to the Board via write-in was near zero or less.

    Then Cincinnati happened.
    Firebrands with proxy ballots of their own, packed the Convention Hall, and usurped power from the Old Guard.

    It could happen again, end the racist (you could paraphrase it as no guns for Negroes) policies of the past, and restore some sanity to the organization.

    •  I doubt it (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, I think this is working against any kind of gun control proposition, sane or insane. LaPierre is afraid of a revolt from the right, similar to the ones that happened after 1986 and 1994. Thus his blanket opposition to universal background checks.

      ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
      My Blog
      My wife's woodblock prints

      by maxomai on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 08:16:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, there are people more extreme. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I have a link but on second thought I won't post it.

        One generality you can assume is that a board as large as theirs does not actually govern, and that there is some sort of executive committee that holds the actual reins.

        Another phenomenon that happens in other organizations is that board members get chosen for being famous but pliable

        One forum of NRA members said the national organization has to get sued just to get them to follow the bylaws. Someone with a stronger stomach and more curiosity than I have could look up court records and get details.

  •  A relevant essay (0+ / 0-)

    The bylaws don't seem to be in Googlespace.

  •  Not to be too snarky (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    here, but’s there’s this amazing thing called the internet (which I know you know about cuz you’re using it right now).

    I just Googled “list of nra board members” and got tons of info at my fingnertips, including two websites at the top of the hit list that may answer your questions:

    The first site has a very through description of all the nut cases and whack jobs on the NRA board, including some very amusing if not downright scary photos (check out that of the NRA president, Joe Allbaugh).

    The second site describes the process by which these nut cases and whack jobs are chosen:

    “By the way, let’s not beat around the bush, many of these spots aren’t going to be turned over by choice or otherwise; the majority of the spots are “owned” by celebrity figures, conservative idealists or the old guard at the NRA, which, by the way, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Only 25 spots are voted on each year.”

    So most of the 76 seats are held by celebs such as:

    Chuck Norris (“…an actor and popular cult figure and celebrity”) who, while not a real law enforcement officer, did play one on TV!

    Uber-patriot Oliver North (“well known figure in the Iran Contra debacle”)

    John ‘I am the Walrus’ Bolton (yes that one, formerly of the UN)

    Fallen rock god Ted Nugent (“…a Rock and Roll Icon in America, and carries that rockstar attitude and In your face style to the NRA’s camp”)

    Larry Craig (yes that Craig we all grew to love so much, you know the former Idaho senator whose political career was derailed when his 2007 arrest for lewd conduct in an airport bathroom became national news!),

    and even our good friend Grover Norquist (“Many believe Norquist to be one of the most powerful political influencers (sic) in the United States”).

    (All quotes shown above in parentheses are from the web site.)

    Hope this helps!

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