animated GIF of flaming gun

By K Thomas Ross

The NRA’s annual meeting this year is at the Indianapolis Convention Center the weekend of April 26-28. The main hotel is the JW Marriott next door. The event has speakers, entertainment, and “15 acres of guns and gear”.

tRump will speak again at the NRA Convention. Both share a similar constituency – paranoid men, so frightened of the world that they need a military-grade weapon that can kill dozens of persons to ‘protect their homes’.

If you oppose violence, the American normalization of mass murder, and our lack of gun sense laws (our national pact with the devil), you have a great opportunity to focus your protest that weekend.

One of the main events at each annual meeting is the announcement of the new members of the #NRABoardofDirectors. The elections have been taking place (via mail-in ballots) for the last few months. Voting ended on April 7.

Like the US Senate, the Board has three ‘classes’ of Board members. 25 regular seats are filled each year (plus vacancies). So, it has 75 members, plus a 76th, chosen for a one-year term at the annual meeting. This final person tends to be the executives’ chosen candidate, who was rejected by the members. Thus, I call this person and position the #TopLoser.

Those eligible to vote are ‘Life Members’ (those contributing $1,500), plus those who have been members for 5 consecutive years. With one resignation and one death, there are 27 seats to fill this year (plus the #TopLoser).

These elections are mostly a public show, as Board’s Nominating Committee picks most of the candidates. Only in rare occasions does an outsider get elected, getting on the ballot by a petition. 33 candidates were nominated, and another two through petitions. The results are so predictable and controlled that only about 5% of eligible voters actually vote.

Almost all of the old Board members who choose to run again get reelected.

But not 100%. Last year voters rejected four existing members, though one was chosen as the 76th member. The membership has shown hostility for the political hacks who have been picked by the leadership, but have no real love of guns (though the Board has many of them.) Last year they rejected Grover Norquist, the anti-tax ideologue, and almost ousted David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. He came in 25th place.

The membership also has been hostile against financial arrangements they do not understand. For a long time, the #TopLoser was Lance Olson, former police officer & US Marshall. The membership resented him, because he’s on the payroll, but has no apparent job title. One might wonder, why would the NRA need a hired gun.? So, he was the 76th member for several years, until Tom Selleck campaigned for him.

The NRA does not publish a listing of its Board of Directors. So, I have done it for them (and you). (To see who is currently on the Board, Or simply Google “NRA Board of Directors”, which will take you to the same link, as no other source exists. The only change that list has been the resignation of actor Tom Selleck. He was temporally replaced by Paul Babaz of Georgia, who is not running for a permanent seat.

Babaz is a big game killer, financial advisor, gun silencer advocate, and illegal lobbyist. (His Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s sole purpose is to lobby Congress, governors and state legislatures. Per the IRS, “no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying).” And exactly what religious, educational, scientific or literary, purpose does this organization serve?)

Among the more famous of the incumbent candidates are NRA president and convicted felon Oliver North, Ted (“Jail Bait“) Nugent, gun manufacturer Pete Brownell, and former US Senator Larry “tap tap tap” Craig. Another is the president of Hornady Ammunition, which makes armor-piercing bullets for civilians. (After all, who doesn’t need to pierce armor on occasion?) One of the more colorful is 85-year old congressman Don Young of Alaska, famed for ethics violations, the Bridge to Nowhere, and holding a 10-inch knife to the neck of former Speaker John Boehner.

Besides Babaz and Herb Lanford, last year’s #TopLoser, the candidates picked by the Nominating Committee to run were another big game killer from Florida, two business execs who fit the NRA’s “good guy with a gun” fable, a crony of Texas governor Greg Abbott, an Illinois gun dealer who contributes lots of money to NRA affiliates, and Mark Geist, a ‘military consultant’ who has created a ‘career’ from having managed to help lose the US consulate in Benghazi, but then exploited his failure, lies, and the Benghazi Hillary nonsense into a career.

Two candidates have also gotten on the ballot via the petition method. This requires around 650 signatures. One is Tony Colandro of Guns for Hire of New Jersey. He teaches semi-automatic ‘skills’. (On a semiautomatic, most of the ‘skill’ is simply to pull the trigger, and murder as many people as possible. And before you start calling me the usual insults [beta male, etc.], I am a crack shot with a Glock.)

The other is perpetual outsider candidate Adam Kraut from Pennsylvania, a lawyer who thinks that the NRA is too conservative on the 2nd Amendment, but also too political.



K Thomas Ross is a retired business executive in Georgia. After graduating from UVA, he spent several years regulating banks for the US Treasury Department. He then become a CPA, was the CFO of a number of companies (smaller than Fortune 500 ones), and got an Executive MBA from GSU. The opinions he expresses here are his own.


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