Looks Like Outreach: HRA with BSA Event with Union Leaders

this post begins w this entry at Facebook.com/WillesLeeNRA “BSA & #NRA have a long history, as do state affiliates & state BSA organizations. Hawaii Rifle Association president Harvey Gerwig invited me to view an event on the Oahu North Shore. FB Live video is at Willes Lee NRA Board of Directors. It is a Boy Scouts of America development (read $$) activity w community leaders competing for bragging rights & prizes in 10 interesting events. All fun, but got competitive. The leaders, donors, are almost all from union organizations in Hawaii. Unions are the strength behind the heavily liberal agenda in this blue state. In general, that flows into some strong anti gun sentiment. (Keyword, one of the NRA committee on which I sit is Outreach, so this seemed appropriate). This is where this post get interesting – sorry to ask you to do this, if you want more, check the blog at www.WillesLee.com. It is too much to cover here. Short story – some diverse folks in a community come together to allow less-privileged children to participate in BSA thru the Scoutreach Program. Stations include Rifle, Air, Shotgun, black powder (substituted w .22) rifle, Pistol, also archery, slingshot, knife throw, tomahawk throw, spear throw, & ninja throwing stars!! This post focuses on the HRA piece. #HRA #NRA #NRABoard #MAGA #outreach #keepshooting #pewpew #guns #commonsense Willes Lee NRA Board of Directors @WillesLee www.WillesLee.com” 

This is the 12th year for this event. The Scoutreach program funds membership, uniforms and more for children who can’t afford it. I appreciate the aspect of more children participating in scouting, more liking that it kept some from perhaps participating where they can get into trouble. Participants in this event are mostly construction union-leader guys & gals so they aren’t shrinking violets, afraid to chuck a spear or blast away with a shotgun.  Intended strictly to support the BSA effort for Scoutreach, it certainly serves as many purposes for HRA and 2A. Over a good cause, gun and non gun folks get to play together. The funds support BSA, i.e. another generation, which get much of it’s firearms training and safety training from HRA members who are mostly NRA instructors and safety officers.  Especially in such an antigun blue state this, this collaboration with liberal (not necessarily antigun, but certainly liberal-minded) leaders and the tie to firearms awareness for the next generation is great outreach.

About 40 volunteers, 20 HRA and 20 BSA organize, set up  and run the event over three days.

Side notes. Outreach-style. The new young-lady BSA development director had never shot, and openly admitted being afraid of the prospect. i.e. not just afraid to shoot, but afraid to think about shooting. After watching many others take a shot (no pun), HRA instructors (all NRA certified) had her headed to the air rifle, then .22.

Less than usual events. Sucked at knife throwing.  Stuck three of ten attempts.  This was fun enough and challenging that I’ll set up something in my backyard – where unlike some of you, I cannot use firearms. Spear throwing was harder than it looks. I would have been a terrible Spartan. One of five. Harvey Gerwig replaced the cheap, breakable wooden shafts with metal poles. Yeah, they were heavy, but still. I do a little work at home with a slingshot so that isn’t unfamiliar. Didn’t try the ninja stars. With the real ones, think I’m afraid of sticking myself.

On the North Shore, the shore is right THERE. Summer is flat & smooth, winter comes & the waves get to 30+ feet.
Easy venue for beginners over a beautiful gorge w the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop.
Knife throwing crew. This was enuf fun, may get a set for my backyard.
Spear throwing. Uh, ok, harder than it looks in the movies.
All volunteers from HRA come up Friday for set up, and leave Sunday after teardown.
BSA food and volunteers. Wow, for a simple lunch, all cooked on the spot, nice.
Harvey Gerwig, longtime HRA President.
Couple months ago I posted a photo from the distance looking to where I stand now.
Not much, but still some limited fields of pineapples.

From my NRA FB page: MUSING About NRA

MUSING About NRA – National Rifle Association of America Statement. Caution, Caution: Long read, so friggin’ long.  MY thoughts. Don’t know if other #NRA are opening their page like this. Will pin for a couple days, do my best or will find answers. Responded to many w same questions, still getting to Groups. Know this is important to you.
-Encouraging input, even haters. I respect your opinion, even to disagree. If you’re not a member, please hold off a day. I value your input, but you don’t have standing. Will see if I am preaching to the choir, & of course you may UnLike. (Cursing is allowed by me. FB, dunno.) OK?
-NRA statement, Hammer’s email, & LaPierre. I canNOT & do NOT speak for the NRA or Board. It’s just ME, & what I read online.
-NRA statement is our statement. It is good. Don’t misinterpret it. Some want to make waves, or money, off it. If you read it, some haven’t, please read again … w the eyes of a congressman.
-I am politically (read the bio) #nocompromise, … but, I am not the decider. Congress is. I didn’t elect them, you did. Same folks we’re asking to pass #reciprocity & #SHARE. Some are scared by bump stocks. If they get involved, anything can happen. Wrap your brain around that – anything.
-I am right-wing. Read TWT article about my weekend speech (hint, he uses ‘fire-breathing’ for sweet ‘ole me). The hard right must counter the unconstitutional voices of the hard left who want to take all your firearms. But, neither side decides, nor does NRA (nor #GOA, nor #SAF). Congress does, & anything can happen… unless ATF reviews, where it should be.
-Some want a public internal-to-2A fight, maybe for legitimate reasons & maybe not so much. That’s your right. If you don’t support NRA or don’t have skin in the game (member), you have no business complaining, or for that matter, taking advantage of anything NRA does or has done (think #CCW, semi-autos, competitions, training, & more). It is a gift.
-Many members don’t care about the legislative side & wish we’d just let #shooting, safety, #hunting#conservation, shows, sales, meetings, manufacturing, competitions, collecting, training, & certifying simply silently perform.
-For the legislative ‘shall not be infringed’ folks, of which I am one, imagine your gun safe/closet in four years if NRA did a ‘screw you’ & closed shop. Imagine if a few tough 2A guys hadn’t begun NRA Institute for Legislative Action in the 70’s. No FB discussion, bc you wouldn’t have a gun. ILA is a professional political organization, not blustering activists like us. Not a branch of gov’t. Not a political party. Not a multi-billion dollar corporation. Yet, they’ve saved us through repeated, huge, costly anti-gun attacks… & won.
-I’m in politics, & appreciate good political work even by liberals. They got us distracted, fighting, bailing. We’re frustrated the congress we elected won’t act, then distracted by an NRA statement. Don’t be distracted.
-Marion Hammer’s email, which not surprisingly leaked. Of course, there shouldn’t be dissent on the Board, nor employees. Nor members, but you want to vent. Never been on a team – military, business, political, family, anywhere – where we publicly dissent after a decision. No Coke Cola director complained about Coke Zero. Zuckenburg fired an employee for disagreeing w ideology. Not on the Board & not an employee, go ahead & complain. If you are, once the decision is made, move forward w all your energy & determination to #M2AGA. Sort of think you want folks at your office to do the same.
-I am full-spectrum: #guns#life#taxes#immigration & more. Love our movement. I am a member of some, & very much appreciate the value of all, #2A & #conservative groups. But, opponents don’t mention them. Only. the. N.R.A. A friend wrote “hard to continue supporting the NRA”. Latest is anti’s call to abolish the 2nd. Who you gonna call? 2018, ’20 elections coming. You got a friend who does what the NRA does? Weekend w friends who carry long-haul “I do not support the NRA”. Really? Think your CCW & 13+1 double stack is here bc Ds want you to have it? Nat’l competitions, your next range upgrade, plinking in your backyard, saving our hunting culture… who are you counting on? Complain? Sure. Walk away? Maybe you don’t have the stomach for this business. Just sayin.
-Another. “LaPierre needs to go”. Don’t know where I saw that so this isn’t personal: Gotta be the dumbest thing all month. I’m strapped, CCW in my pocket from another state bc mine won’t issue. Three ARs on my backseat w a box of 30 rnd mags to go hunting on a Sunday in another state. Then, take guns & ammo on a plane to yet another state to compete in a national 3-gun, before an elem school w #EddieEagle to teach gun safety to the next generation…. bc Wayne LaPierre is giving his adult life fighting for my rights …. even before I knew they were being taken. No, I’m riding the horse that got me here & we will never, ever be able to repay Wayne (& family), Chris Cox & the tough bubbas before them for getting us this far. Do we have disagreements? Sure, but I’m not telling you. You can argue we’d be better if he’d never been here …. ha, ha ha, ha. Sorry, I shouldn’t make fun of your argument.
-What we can do: 1. Have a US Senate & two Gov races right now. Get involved. 2. About 38 are competing for 25 #NRABoard seats in 2019. Vote. 3. Support ILA, we’re in a fight.
-Now, you’ve been distracted by me, & I’ve used three hours writing. You’re reading instead of calling 535 congressmen, & all your state legislators. #Reciprocity. #SHARE. #Guarantee.
Thank you. //s// Lee, law-abiding, private citizen.
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#gunrights #gunowners #DefenderofFreedom #Guns #patriot#commonsense #noexcuse #DTS #M2AGA @WillesLee www.WillesLee.com Willes Lee NRA Board of Directors

 

NFRA Convention

This was a biggie. My own convention to host. National Federation of Republican Assemblies, NFRA.

Freedom Caucus Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs

Dick Morris for lunch.

 

Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the house.
Protesting white oppression. Silent when they saw my face.

Corey Lewandowski for dinner.

That’s not to say I did the work of making it happen, absolutely did not. Mostly stayed out of the way of convention chairman Lori Urban and our great team and they did produce! This one kept getting better. First panel was three Freedom Caucus members – Franks, Gosar, Biggs! Judicial Watch, American Majorities, Joe Arpaio, Richard Mack, Jeanne Finicum (husband killed by FBI over property rights).  NRA sponsored a lunch with Dick Morris. Even had a touch, just a bit of, in 98 degree weather, protest. ACU Foundation sponsored the reception with

Sheriff Richard Mack

AZ Treasurer Jeff DeWitt. GA Alex Johnson was awarded NFRA Activist of the Year. Corey Lewandowski did keynote speaker for our banquet. Were there glitches? You bet. Our crew handled every one, and the public never knew there was even a slight hiccup. Same weekend, we hold two NFRA board meetings. Friday generally closes out old business, and prepares us for Sunday.  Sunday is election of national officers, by laws review, adopting resolutions. Unfortuantely typical board meeting complications, all my fault. We got through business, cut out to catch our flights. A full and fun weekend with like-minded, hard right-wing conservatives. Check The Washington Times October 12 Ralph Hallow article for his mention of conservatives and our event. National Federation of Republican Assemblies meets every other year in convention. I was pleased to be reelected to President of this growing movement, with TN Sharon Ford Executive VP, AZ Lori Urban Secretary, AZ Wes Harris Treasurer. Appointed TX Steve Thrasher General Counsel, AZ Alex Melusky Sergeant-at-Arms, Mark Spencer Chaplain.  Great set of national Regional VPs for this term. Lots to do for 2017, ’18 and next convention is the Presidential Endorsing Convention in 2019. We’ll soon select the site.

 

Working with the Professionals

ACU/ACUF Chairman Matt Schlapp opens the day.
Second Amendment panel w NRA Board member Todd Rathner, TownHall’s Katie Pavlich. Moderator ACU Executive Director Dan Schneider.

Huge weekend in Mesa, AZ. American Conservative Union Foundation asked to team with our NFRA Convention. They scheduled a Regional Battleground one-day CPAC event the day prior, in our hotel, leading into our event. A Smashing Success. Panels on Israel, Second Amendment, Property Rights and more. First time NFRA (me, as President) got on an ACU CPAC stage, albeit a regional CPAC. Disclaimer, it was the 2A panel and I am on the NRA Board, I am also on the ACU Foundation Board.  Best experience for all-volunteer NFRA was to watch the young, smart CPAC professionals do their work with ease. 

Millie Hallow is the ACU Foundation co-chairman.

Day ends with ACUF sponsoring our NFRA Fiesta reception featuring AZ Treasurer Jeff DeWitt.

GRPC 2017

You’re in the right place when it is Amanda Suffecool & Rob Campbell.
Jam-packed agenda.
Amazingly surprised, humbled.
Alan Korwin, Cheryl Todd, Danny Todd.
Yehuda Remer, creator of children’s Safety On book series
Maj Toure
2A women on stage
Liberals jailed Shaneen Allen in NJ.

If you haven’t been to GRPC, you should next year. You know that I am an NRA Board member. I have attending GRPC longer than NRAAM (Annual Meeting), just happened that way. Neat thing – GRPC registration, two receptions, box lunches, and 25 pounds of books and research is free-to-you via some great sponsors. You just have to get there, and have a place to stay (GRPC arranges for discounted rooms in the HQ hotel block of rooms).  I spoke Saturday morning, part of a panel with two other NRA Directors “Gun rights in the Trump Era”. We had 15 minutes which goes quickly. Our panel is posted on FB WillesLeeNRA. The best part of the weekend is the complete list of who’s who speakers, presenters, and guests. Many friends are here. Many folks I hadn’t met. Hosted by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and their political twin Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) led by Alan Gottlieb (we are board members together at American Conservative Union). Julianne Gottleib and Andrew Gottlieb make this a family affair, with longtime guru Joe Tartero, Dave Workman and more. This year, Dallas, always near or at the airport to facilitate folks getting quickly in an out. A treat was to have a day-long Communications Day on Friday – 2A media, social media, radio and TV brainiacs to discuss the industry, compare notes, trade best practices. Friday night reception included BFF Amanda Suffecool’s Concealed Carry Fashion Show, the room was rowdy. All Saturday is rapid fire presentations, with a reception that evening.  Half Sunday is the same. Wrap up about 1:00pm after a session of resolutions. My schedule, you see from my previous blog post, is so tight this fall that I had to cut this trip to the minimum. Next year needs to be more time because this was a great event. Tried here to present photos different from the ones I used on my page or personal page.

Knew It Would Be Crazy

I don’t travel or go to as many meetings as many of my peers, and not nearly as much as some leaders.  But, I don’t care about their schedules. I care about mine. I knew the end of summer going into fall would be crazy. Not whining, just moving around a lot. I decided to base off the east coast rather than trying to do this back-and-forth from Hawaii. I’d lose way too much in travel time. Plus, the long-distance travel wears me down more than, well, when we were all younger.  Been to Georgia and back, a tiring (successful) over-nighter to speak at a great Georgia Republican Assembly Convention. To Nashville for a couple days prior to the formal RNC – Republican National Committee – meeting (I am a former state party chairman), and straight to Milwaukee for four days of the Inaugural NRA Carry Guard Expo. When I drafted this post, forgot to add in: also did five days to Springfield Missouri for the NRA Board meeting.  Back to Virginia, trip to Delaware which kept me from the NRA World’s at Peacemaker. Had a visit a little south for the Americans in Wartime Museum, next day was the NRA Car Show at NRA HQ in Fairfax VA. From Virginia about to launch to Dallas for the Gun  Rights Polity Conference GRPC. I missed last year with knee surgery and want to see my friends this year. I speak on a panel Saturday morning. But, all the other attendees and speakers are friends, or I want them to be friends, so I’ll be busy.  Between trips, quick stop in Virginia to switch suitcases, actually saves me a couple hundred dollars not in a hotel. But, only 48 hours to get from Dallas, to get home to Virginia, change suitcases – the next is already mostly prepacked – and fly to Phoenix. Phoenix is my event, or at least of the organization of which I am President. The National Federation of Republican Assemblies Convention. My team has it locked and cocked but still I have to learn about a lot of our guests and prepare some six or seven speeches. A day to get ready and meet local friends, a day of the American Conservative Union one-day Regional CPAC ( I am a member of the ACUF Board of Directors), our convention (Try doing this many introductions and speeches with interesting material!!), two NFRA board of director meetings including NFRA elections for national officers (I am running for reelection as President). Love to slow to see the sights but can’t wait to get home.  One week in Virginia with meetings then to Hawaii for a week of meetings and to check on the house. Each of those stops has at least a major event, if not several meetings or smaller events. Range  time, meeting with staff and volunteers, dinners, gun shows.  All the time waving the flag, recruiting, doing work, or networking for NRA and NFRA. In between is a flash of visiting elderly parents, trying to keep up with media and social media, making sure (in this case) everyone knew NFRA was actively supporting Roy Moore’s Senate runoff (win) in Alabama.  Youngest daughter once posed this question. “Dad, you do things so well. How come you can’t do retirement better?” Knew it’s be crazy for this couple of months.