Gun Lobby Dossiers

Brian Judy

Fast Facts

  • Current Position: Western States Lobbyist, National Rifle Association
  • Best Known For: Comparing Initiative 594, background checks, and gun laws to Nazi policies that precipitated the Holocaust; Describing the Sandy Hook, CT shooter - whose first victim was his own mother - as having used the “Murder Your Mom Loophole” to obtain his weapon

Details

        Brian Judy, a long-time NRA operative and one of the most effective state-level lobbyists in the country, is no stranger to the halls of statehouses up and down the West Coast. His is the voice legislators hear when they think of the power of the NRA. But in the single most meaningful election his territory had seen in years, one which would allow voters to decide the future of Washington’s background check system, Mr. Judy was nowhere to be seen. He wasn’t, as far as any one knows, even in the state after the first days of the campaign. Mr. Judy was on the run, hiding from his own rhetoric and the public eye.

         You see, Mr. Judy made a grave error. He got caught, and exposed, discussing background checks in a way most people in Washington found repulsive. He compared them to Nazi policies, suggested Jewish supporters of common-sense gun laws had forgotten the Holocaust, and openly implied Washington was walking down the road to dictatorship. Oh, Mr. Judy, you should have known better than to spout that offensive nonsense in front of a microphone!

        That incident was not the first time Judy had been caught using offensive and ridiculous rhetoric to try, and fail, to make a point. Judy once described the shooter at Sandy Hook as having taken advantage of the “murder your mom loophole” to obtain weapons. Unfortunately for the NRA, and fortunately for their opponents, such rhetoric is commonplace in their activities. Every week, an NRA spokesperson in America is either saying something offensively out of touch with American values, the American people, and the NRA’s own membership or attempting to dodge questions about things they have said before. In cases of abject offense, disgusting rhetoric, and revisionist histories, sunlight is the best antiseptic.

Wayne La Pierre

Fast Facts

  • Current Position: CEO & Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association
  • Best Known For: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” [link]; describing federal agents as “jackbooted government thugs . . . wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms . . . [who,] armed to the teeth, break down a door, open fire with an automatic weapon, and kill or maim law-abiding citizens” [link]

Details

        Wayne LaPierre is afraid. He is afraid of “jihadists.” He is afraid of “thugs” and their “knockout games.” He is afraid government agents in “jackboots . . . and Nazi bucket helmets” will come to take his guns and his civil rights. But most of all Wayne LaPierre is afraid people will stop listing to his paranoid fear-mongering.

        You see, LaPierre has one goal: he wants Americans to be so afraid of our government and of each other that we go out and buy as many guns, bullets, and firearm accessories as we can carry. The more scared we are, the more we spend and, the more we spend, the more money gun makers are able to send the NRA. Wayne LaPierre wants that money, and he isn’t willing to let things like common-sense, human decency, and reality stand in the way.

 


Dave Workman

Fast Facts

  • Current Positions: Communications Director, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep & Bear Arms; “Journalist,”  The Examiner
  • Past Position: Member, NRA Board of Directors [link]
  • Best Known For: Rhetorical leaps; talk radio appearances  

Details

        Dave Workman is a man of many words, but few new ideas. He masquerades as “journalist” in a column he writes for The Examiner, generally parroting whatever talk radio’s current hot button issue is, though always with a gun rights slant. From Benghazi to border security and the Supreme Court to health care reform, Workman has written on it all and, via some truly amazing jumps, managed to connect it all to the Second Amendment. He divides his time away from the column to radio interviews and filling communications roles across Alan Gottlieb’s empire.


Adina Hicks

Fast Facts 

  • AKA: Adina Atwood
  • Current Position: Former Executive Director, “Protect Our Gun Rights”
  • Most Recent Past Position: Campaign Field Director, National Rifle Association
  • Best Known For: Having been disciplined and disbarred by the Washington State Bar Association for “multiple acts of misconduct in representing individual clients” [Link]; Praising Brian Judy for “speaking the truth” about the connection between gun laws and Nazi policies [Link]

Details

Adina Hicks (née Atwood) directed the NRA’s on-the-ground activities against Initiative 594 and common-sense background checks in Washington. Along with other NRA operatives, like Keely Hopkins, Brian Judy, and Lexy Rusnak, Hicks consistently and regularly parroted, promoted, or defended divisive lies and half-truths and utilized the gun lobby’s tried and true tactics, including comparing advocates of reform to Nazis and inspiring irrational fear.

        Unlike most NRA operatives, Hicks was not imported to Washington for this role. She, in fact, has a long history in the state. In 2004, Hicks was disbarred by the Washington State Bar; among the multiple acts of misconduct she was found to have committed, Hicks failed to obtain a restraining order which prevented an abuser from entering the home of the abused individual. Hicks, like the NRA, claims that background checks somehow make people safer from their abusers, but one is forced to wonder if Hicks really has any idea about such things.  

        

Alan Gottlieb

Fast Facts

  • Current Positions: Chairman, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms [link]; Founder and Executive Vice President, Second Amendment Foundation [link]
  • Past Positions: Campaign Manager, Protect Our Gun Rights
  • Best Known For: Lawsuits; Sponsoring Initiative 591; Skirting the Draft; Felony Tax Evasion

Details

        Lording over a “gun rights” and direct-mail fundraising empire from a small Bellevue, Washington office park, Alan Gottlieb and his ever-present bowtie, along with coevals Dave Workman and Adina Hicks, spend every day trying to rollback common-sense measures which prevent felons from having easy access to firearms. As a felon himself (he pled guilty to underpaying income taxes in 1984 and spent 10 months in federal prison), this is issue an near and dear to Mr. Gottlieb’s heart. It is, however, far from his only gripe with firearms laws. When he isn’t battling against background checks, Mr. Gottlieb can be found railing against the kind of laws which keep guns away from schools, parks, and government offices and out of the hands of dangerous people. He also opposed a ban on armor-piercing “cop killer” bullets, claimed that banning guns in Seattle’s public parks was “really stupid” and would turn the city into a “banana republic . . .  a political gulag where civil rights can be dismissed at will” (Seattle Times, 3/9/12), and claims the only purpose of firearm databases is the confiscation of firearms. Mr. Gottlieb, it appears, is happy to fight for any gun lobby cause, as long as someone, somewhere will pay him well to do it and he can expand his mailing lists in the process.

        In the late 1960s, disturbed by anti-war activism, Mr. Gottlieb decided to differentiate himself. Unlike others of his generation, Gottlieb would fight for the Vietnam War, but never in the war. Instead, Gottlieb spent a few days each month with the National Guard on Long Island, about as far from Vietnam as he could possibly be. This appalling sort of activism has remained with Gottlieb ever sense; he’s never seen a violent and dangerous situation he wouldn’t encourage someone else to fight in.

        Like all empires, Mr. Gottlieb’s empire prides itself on an ability to leverage and create fear and hate. With a tradition of paranoia second only to Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt, Gottlieb has been known to sue municipalities which disagree with his very specific desires and, when he can, to threaten democratically-elected leaders with lawsuits in order to prevent the passage of laws; when Mill Creek proposed making parks a “No Gun Zone,” Gottlieb’s organizations threatened a lawsuit, which likely would have ruined the city financially, in order to force their will on the people.


Gavin Seim

Fast Facts

Current Position: Leading fellow activists in “Pledging their blood”against any and all gun laws
Day Job: Photographer
Best Known For: Attempting - and failing - to violate Initiative 594 at the December 2014 the “I Will Not Comply” Rally; YouTube “activism”
Video: Gavin Seim Declares War on All Gun Laws - Ideally with a Tank

Details

Target Text        By day a humble photographer and regularly dismissible political candidate in Ephrata, Washington, by night a patriot with an arsenal and a video camera. Prior to encouraging Washingtonians to revolt against firearms laws, Seim’s primary “activism” consisted of filming local government officials without their permission [link], fighting “bureaucratic terrorism” at Cliven Bundy’s ranch [link], and running from a “fruit Nazi checkpoint” in California [link]. Seim’s acts display a total lack of respect for the rule of law and the will of the people; however, he also speaks emphatically about the importance of the Constitution and American values in the process. When Californian “fruit Nazis” threaten our freedom and our children, we all must leave irony by the wayside.  

Larry Pratt

Fast Facts

  • Current Position: Executive Director, Gun Owners of America
  • Best Known For: Associations with white supremacist groups and the “sovereign citizen” movement [link]; claiming gun violence prevention activists have “the blood of little children their hands” following the shooting at Sandy Hook [link]

Details

        Larry Pratt is likely the most radical gun lobbyist who receives national attention. He is so extreme that the Southern Poverty Law Center keeps an “Intelligence File” about Pratt, alongside ne-Nazis, white supremacists, members of the Ku Klux Klan, and other hate group leaders. It is important to note, however, that Pratt’s rhetoric isn’t all that different from the things spewed b more mainstream lobbyists. Pratt just takes it up a notch or ten.  

Anette Wachter

Fast Facts

  • Current Position: .30 Cal Gal, Member of the US National Rifle Team
  • Best Known For: Appearance in NRA-produced advertising against Initiative 594 [link]

Phil Shave

Fast Facts

  • Current Position: Executive Director, Washington Arms Collectors

Details

        As Executive Director of the largest promoter of gun show in the State of Washington, Phil Shave’s interest in ensuring the maximum number of yearly gun sales is obvious. What is less obvious is why Shave found background checks so disagreeable during the campaign for Initiative 594. Shave regularly appeared to speak against the Initiative at forums, debates, and town halls; he most notably participated in KOMO’s “Guns in America” town hall.

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