AHSA tries to defend itself
A puff piece in the
The NRA leadership knows we are right and that is why their attacks are based upon half-truths, innuendo and character assassination. That being said, let’s look at some hard facts.
Ray Schoenke, AHSA president, has been a gun owner and avid hunter all his life. He has been fortunate enough to have hunted all over the world. He owns a 300-acre hunting farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and is an outspoken advocate for preserving and protecting our precious wild resources. His notable professional football career with the Washington Redskins in the 1960s and 1970s as well as his success in building a multi-million dollar insurance business opened doors for Ray in the powerful world of Washington DC politics. Washington DC policy makers, including two presidents, have sought Ray’s counsel on conservation and business issues.
OK, he'd like you to know that he's richer than Midas. Not quite sure what that has to do with the gun issue.
Critics say that Ray is anti-gun because he has made campaign contributions to some high profile Senate Democrats who are not considered pro-gun.
A search for his contributions on Open Secrets.com turns up totals of:
$5,000 to Brady Campaign (then HCI, I assume their PAC);
$2,000 to Barbara Boxer;
$2,000 to Ted Kennedy;
$1,000 to Bill Clinton.
Yep, some could say they were "not considered" particularly "pro-gun."
What the critics don’t mention is that Ray has spent millions of his own dollars supporting pro-gun candidates like Congressman John Dingell, challenging Maryland’s notorious anti-gun governor Paris Glendenning, answering the call to serve on the governing board of the Civilian Marksmanship Program, serving on the transition team of Republican pro-gun Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich and, covering much of the start-up costs of AHSA..
Can't find any trace of a contribution to John Dingell; the Open Secrets database goes back to 2002 for candidates and 1990 for soft money.
Ray’s wife Nancy is also connected politically. Like many wives of gun owners she is an independent thinker and does not like guns. She took a seat on the board of the Brady Campaign but soon became frustrated with the group’s lack of progress.
Not frustrated with their agenda. Frustrated that they didn't win at it.
Ray told her that progress would not be made until gun owners were allowed to bring their common sense perspective to the table.
Translation: Brady Campaign won't be successful until I can hornswaggle some gun owners into backing its agenda. We need to create a false-flag operation that will operate in tandem with it.
As a result, Nancy closed the family checkbook, resigned from the Brady board, and encouraged Ray to start AHSA.
I suppose it would have been too obvious to remain on its board while forming the false-flag operation. As far as her closing the checkbook, Open Secrets says the Brady/HCI contribution came from HIS checkbook, not hers.
Bob Ricker, AHSA executive director, is a recognized expert on gun policy issues and the gun rights movement. He has served as a former assistant general counsel for NRA and top lobbyist for the firearm industry.
Before he got unceremoniously released from that job. When the gun manufacturers' attorneys questioned him about what he had said in that job on behalf of the firearms industry, he responded "“I was paid to put forth that position.". Yep, sure sounds like he was being pro-gun.
From the nation’s capital to the west coast, Bob spent more than twenty years successfully representing gun makers and leading gun rights organizations before the United States Congress and various state legislatures.
Following in the traditions of the National Alliance of Stocking Gun Dealers (NASGD) Executive Director Bill Bridgewater and former Smith & Wesson CEO Ed Shultz, Ricker believes that the greatest threat to gun rights could be found in the reluctance of the gun industry to clean up its own act. Ricker’s courage in speaking out for change led some extremists to attempt to intentionally distort his motives.
'Nuff said. He thought (or could be paid to say) that the gun industry is corrupt. What he earlier said in its support was a matter of drawing his paycheck.
When many of the nation’s largest cities started suing the gun industry, Bob’s expertise was called upon to defend the industry
Let's see. Hiring out at $225/hour to testify for the people suing them. That doesn't exactly sound like defending the industry.
despite the fact that he no longer worked for the gun-makers. As we all know, witnesses can face perjury charges if they do not tell the truth, and Bob’s testimony cut both ways. In some cases it helped the firearm industry; in some it hurt. Critics have tried to allege that Ricker’s testimony meant he was a turncoat.
In other words, he was hired to attack them, but their attorneys pinned him on things in cross exam.
The fact remains Ricker took an oath to tell the truth and some bad actors within the gun industry got hurt.
Strange that they don't name these "bad actors" who got "hurt".
That does not mean he’s anti-gun; it means he’s honest. Some also criticize the fact that like most expert witnesses involved in litigation he was paid a reasonable rate for his time spent on the case. What the critics won’t say is that Bob was paid the same rate by both the industry and the city plaintiffs for the time he spent in court."
Facts: (1) Nobody has to volunteer as an expert witness. Actually, he didn't quite volunteer: he was paid $225-250 an hour by the groups suing the gun manufacturers. (2) As far as being paid by the industry, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that you pay an expert witness on the other side if you want to take his testimony via deposition.
On the side he consults for the "Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence," (see the same link), which is an arm of what used to be named the National Coalition to Ban Handguns.
Many of AHSA’s critics like to mention that John Rosenthal an AHSA founding board member was also the founder of Boston based Stop Handgun Violence, a gun violence prevention group that has advocated some of the nation’s strictest gun laws.
False-flag ops have a problem because they don't know how to fake the lingo. A profoundly anti-gun group is here described as "a gun violence prevention" group. Sorry, that's anti-gunner lingo. Take a look at their webpage, and tell me if this founder of AHSA, is pro-gun.
John, an avid skeet shooter, came to the shooting world in an unusual way. He’s a very successful urban real estate developer and saw first-hand how gun crime was not only destroying his city but also his business investments. Like Nancy Schoenke, he too served on the Brady board until frustration set in.
Frustration, like hers, that they weren't winning. By the way, a check at Open Secrets shows Rosenthal's political contributions:
$10,000 to Brady Campaign (then HCI);
$2,000 to Ted Kennedy;
$500 to Hillary Clinton;
$250 to Carolyn McCarthy;
John quit Brady and helped finance and build AHSA. In the spring of 2007, John resigned from the AHSA board over some fundamental policy issue differences and is now devoting his efforts to Stop Handgun Violence.
Wonder what the fundamental policy differences were? A more likely cause is that the group was starting to take criticism because his position made the false-flag pretty obvious. So he left the false-flag and went back to being overtly anti-gun.
Critics also like to dredge up the old John Lott, a conservative pro-gun lecturer and author, allegation that AHSA is merely front group for the Democratic Leadership Council. Lott, ever the conspiracy theorist, reasoned that because the AHSA’s internet technology consultant, DCS Congressional, was located in the same large Washington DC office building as the DLC that AHSA was just a front group.
Interesting that, if you check Schoenke's contributions via the , you find he's contributed $25,000 to "DNC SERVICES CORPORATION/DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE."
If anything, I'm shocked at how obvious these clowns are. A false-flag operation should be subtle. Here's a supposedly pro-gun group that was founded by two Brady Campaign directors and well-paid expert witness for the groups suing gun manufacturers. They endorsed Obama's candidacy, saying he had a "fundamental understanding of the meaning of the 2nd Amendment."