Still More on the NRA

The principal organizer of both the Wise Use Movement and the Alliance for America is Alan M. Gottlieb, a shy, balding little felon who has done time for filing false income tax returns and failing to pay taxes and whose not-for-profit "Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise" has been linked with Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. "For us the environmental movement has become the perfect bogeyman," he told The New York Times. It has always intrigued me that Alan Gottlieb -- whose rambling harangues appear often with Workman’s in Gun Week -- is so gung-ho about gun ownership since he was willing to sacrifice his right to a gun permit (temporarily at least) by defrauding the government. Felons can’t own guns, but apparently Gottlieb eventually talked his way into a permit. Thanks to my friend Tony Dean for letting me post his superb piece, below. --Ted Williams Tony Dean Outdoors Issues The Attempted Public Hanging of Pat Wray If you delve into this section, you'll find the two columns authored by Pat Wray. They were well done, though rightfully critical of the National Rifle Association. Since, the NRA has emptied its big guns on Wray on the pages of Gun Week magazine, and I find that hard to understand. While Wray's columns appeared here and perhaps on several other websites, they were originally printed in a small newspaper in Corvallis, OR. That's hardly nationwide circulation, which suggests that the NRA might be making much of nothing, or that they have become the emperor wearing no clothes. Why would a huge, powerful national organization fear a man who thinks they should return to their roots, spending their time fighting on behalf of the second amendment? Good question. It certainly isn't because Pat isn't a patriot. He's an ex-Marine helicopter pilot who was one of the last to leave Vietnam. The truth is, the NRA has been taken over by far right wing zealots, and over the past decade, they have played more politics than anything else. But let's go to the bottom line. Consider the publication the NRA chose in which to level their attack on Wray. Gun Week magazine, seen by some as a rival publication. Dave Workman is the Editor. Its owner is Alan Gottlieb, one of the key players in the Wise Use Movement. Ron Arnold, widely believed to be an architect of the anti-conservation Wise Use Movement, is listed as a contributing writer. These people hold in contempt, anyone who believes in real conservation. Why? I believe because real conservation stands in the way of allowing the rape and pillage of natural resources by the companies and individuals who seek to profit from their exploitation. Gun Week has spent an enormous amount of time and page space in an attempt to make the now nearly two year-old Outdoor Writers Association decision to send a somewhat critical, though apologetic letter to Kayne Robinson, the most important event in history. It isn't and never was. But Workman continued to fan the flames of discontent in his weekly Gun Week columns. I've had my own brushes with the NRA over the years. Like Pat, I think they were once a major force in protecting our second amendment rights, but somewhere, they went astray. Pat remains member of the NRA. That's his choice. I've never joined, and that's my choice. Still, I wonder why they find it necessary to attack a writer in rural Oregon. I wonder if it's because he told the truth. After all, in recent years, the NRA has become a creature with thin skin. And maybe, just maybe, they want to paint Pat as anti-gun in order to make it difficult for him to sell stories to the outdoor press. Doubt that? There are a few magazines out there that have stated they won’t buy stories from OWAA members. That hits me as a bit strange, since some of them were in the forefront of an effort to say the OWAA Board of Directors violated Kayne Robinson’s first amendment rights. That was a false charge. Robinson wasn’t prevented from making his remarks. But by silencing those who hold a different view, the NRA and the few magazines who have joined them, are hurting hunters and anglers over the long haul. That’s because the future of hunting won’t be determined by gun laws as much is it will by a lack of access to quality hunting land…or lost habitat as a result of the efforts of the aforementioned Wise Use Movement.