In case you don’t own an AK-47 or the weapon most preferred by mass shooters in the United States — the AR-15, the one American G.I.s threw into the mud next to fragged officers for the AKs lying around on the jungle floor — you probably haven’t heard about some of the details of legal acrimony involving the NRA’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, a name that sounds more like that of an 18th century French explorer than a gun salesman.
At the moment, LaPierre’s NRA is suing its former PR firm Ackerman McQueen. This is where the exact source(s) of acrimony get a little murky. Isn’t this like suing yourself?
It all seems to begin when the gun lobby group announced in court filings that it was broke. You see, old Wayne got into some serious drama with the NRA’s biggest, mostly-on-the-books “vendor” — Ackerman McQueen, which reportedly received around $40 million a year for…for — no idea, you got me there, but it looks like parasites feeding on parasites. There is no honor among thieves.
On the misuse of words: “Vendor” is a curious word (perhaps legalese) which the press has repeated over and over again in reporting on the recently leaked documents from the unfolding court battle. But who leaked them? I think we can all take a logical guess here and be correct. (Not Ted Nugent.)
Throw into this confusing mix that inimitable serial criminal Oliver North. You know, the guy from the Iran/contra scandal who swore before congress and the nation that he would tell the truth and nothing but the truth, and then lied and became famous. North just lost a battle for control of the gun lobby group that escalated into a very ugly row in my state’s capital, once home to Booth Tarkington and Kurt Vonnegut both well known Hoosier gun nuts.
To make a long story short, here was a power struggle between a NRA LaPierre-led faction and an Ackerman McQueen-led faction that tried to install North as El Presidente Permanente, but the coup failed. Now we can only speculate about the alleged related NRA sex scandal until it blows wide open. (Alternatively, you could read this story, which lays out the apparent sex scandal in all its gory details.)
Allegations of mismanagement of donations by the governing body of the nation’s top gun lobby are not new and have been voiced for many years by people who were duly ignored, among them members, journalists and institutional insiders. But at this point only New York state’s attorney general seems interested in investigating the NRA over its misuse of donations, which could jeopardize the group’s tax-exempt status. That would very likely be a bullet in the NRA’s collective head, which wouldn’t be a bad thing, for gun nuts and anti-gun nuts alike.