PDA

View Full Version : My Day With the NRA: What I Learned (F&G Commission 8/6/09 re: Lead Ammo Ban)


wildhawker
08-13-2009, 12:34 AM
I've been meaning to write a brief summary of my experience at the recent Fish and Game Commission hearing and the on Thursday, August 6, 2009; I apologize for the tardiness of the post.

The day began with a phone call to Bill on the road to the meeting to figure out where/who/how. After arriving at the Fliers Club (a nice facility, by the way, better than typical government digs), Bill was kind enough to introduce me to Paul Payne and Chuck Michel. From there, I went inside and worked with Anthony Canales to get my speaking time ceded to Chuck Michel, (who did an artful job of priming the commission and setting up the presenters when called to the podium). Bill and I made our way into the adjoining "war room", which had A/V so we all could monitor the presentations and dialogue.

Once agenda item 12 was up, the team leapt into action and immediately set the tone for the debate. The data offered by the NRA team was persuasive (and frankly, disturbing, although not surprising) and the presenters did a wonderful job of taking a complex scientific issue and communicating an easy to comprehend message of the relevant key points. A hat tip to Dr. Erik Randich, who was directly challenged by Commissioner Sutton and responded appropriately both on and off the podium. Mr. Payne already mentioned the quality presentations of NRA's Ed Worley, CRPA Governmental Relations Liaison Tom Pederson and Bill Gaines of COHA, so I'll just go on to say that Dr. Erik Randich, Dr. Don Saba and Anthony Canales all contributed their vast experience, knowledge and research to the overall effort and were rewarded with a 4-1 adoption of F&G's recommended "No Change" option.

After everyone packed up, we had a convoy of the NRA team, including the presenting scientists, Mr. Michel and his staff, as well as Bill and myself who went to Sacramento for a great lunch at Logan's Roadhouse to celebrate the win.

So, to sum up the experience, here are a few key lessons I took from it for your consideration:

1. The NRA does more behind the scenes than most of us give it credit for. What they do on a day to day basis goes largely unnoticed- except, however, for all the wonderful things we do have due to their hard work and financial support (like lead ammo).

2. The NRA was able to assemble a top-shelf team to address this critical issue and create a compelling case for rejecting a new ban (and revisiting the entire lead/Condor interplay) in a matter of weeks. Who else can do that? :gene:

3. Tom Pederson of CRPA is the real deal. I watched him intently, as many of you know of my skepticism surrounding the CRPA's changes, and failed to see anything but a skilled operator. If Tom is the new CRPA, they have my full support. He's that good.

4. Grassroots activism works. Phone calls, faxes, emails, showing up- all of it. Keep it cranked to 11, and we'll avoid having to fight our way out of further legislative and regulatory BS.

This has already ran on longer than was planned, and it's 1:30a, so I'll close by saying a big thank you to NRA, CRPA, COHA, Bill and all of you for making this experience an eye-opener, and one of the best days I'd had in a long time. A special thanks to Paul Payne for lunch, and I hope you will join me in sponsoring one of Paul's magnificent trees.

-Brandon

bwiese
08-13-2009, 12:41 AM
I can't add much to Brandon's post that hasn't been said already - but I do reasonably speculate this work cost $money$.

Experts and quality support work don't come cheap.

This is your membership & donation dollars at work: and you just thought you were getting a magazine and a ballcap ;)

ivanimal
08-13-2009, 12:42 AM
Great post. Can I just say here in open forum, how much I admire you, for all you do? I mean, there is not a day that goes by where you are waiting for things to happen. You my friend are a man of action. We need more Wildhawkes in this world.

Thanks,

Ivan

spencerhut
08-13-2009, 5:45 AM
The NRA does more behind the scenes than most of us give it credit for. What they do on a day to day basis goes largely unnoticed

If all the complainers and excuse makers would only listen to this . . . .

Cool Gun Wife
08-13-2009, 5:56 AM
I just wanted to add my thanks to all of the team who made this happen. From the grassroots emails, phone calls and letters, to the tireless research by Tony Canales, and the strategy employed by the NRA - CRPA, and the irrefutable expert testimony, it was a team victory. My hat is off to the Ed, Paul and Chuck trio - stealth and brilliance again!

The NRA does more behind the scenes than most of us give it credit for. What they do on a day to day basis goes largely unnoticed- except, however, for all the wonderful things we do have due to their hard work and financial support (like lead ammo).

Ditto -

Grassroots activism works. Phone calls, faxes, emails, showing up- all of it. Keep it cranked to 11, and we'll avoid having to fight our way out of further legislative and regulatory BS.

Ditto - again! If you live in CA, find a Member's Council near you and join up. That is where a lot of the foot soldiers get their info and direction and we need your help.

As Paul said in another thread, we can savor this victory, but the fight is not over. It takes this kind of dedication, investment and coordination to win consistently. We will have to stay geared up and on task.

Don' forget, sponsor a Montana Tree they need your help!

WokMaster1
08-13-2009, 6:35 AM
You forgot to document the luncheon. What was for lunch???;)

Brandon, great write up & to Bill the all the others, thanks for all the hard work & not to mention hard scientific facts to proof them wrong. Hats off to all of you.

Brandon, I've watching your contributions to the Calguns Foundation cause & effort for a bit now. Have you thought about a career as a lobbyist or even a politician in SAC?:)

bulgron
08-13-2009, 7:32 AM
I'm still waiting to hear if there was any whimpering and gnashing of teeth from the pro-lead-ban side of the debate.

bwiese
08-13-2009, 8:25 AM
I'm still waiting to hear if there was any whimpering and gnashing of teeth from the pro-lead-ban side of the debate.

The best the pro-ban speakers could come up with was, "we banned lead in paint, lead is bad bad baaaahhhhd, let's add this because we're not sure, and hunters leave dead animals around all the time".

wildhawker
08-13-2009, 8:40 AM
Wok- I remember having a bbq burger... Thanks for your kind words, but do note the quality of leadership we have in the Board as well as the excellent team of volunteers and coordinators that have put the rubber to the road. These people make it happen.

bulgron- only one anti presenter I recall, 3 minutes of no data (gotta dig up my notes on specific comments and her name). Commissioner Sutton tried, and failed... 4-1.

Davidoff
08-13-2009, 8:45 AM
Brandon-

There were two anti presenters. There was the middle-age lady with no actual argument at all, and there was the younger Asian man who spoke on behalf of an environmental group I can't remember the name of. Neither of them presented any facts, as hard as Commissioner Sutton tried to make it seem like it.

Can'thavenuthingood
08-13-2009, 8:49 AM
Thanks for the detailed after action report Brandon, we need this out here in Podunkville.
Too often we can only wonder what is happening or how it 'went down' at these type of meetings and events. With over 31,000 folks here we forget not everyone understands the ins and outs as well as many who are just now learning the process and picking up on the Activism involved.

Thanks again,

Vick

jdberger
08-13-2009, 8:55 AM
Great post. Can I just say here in open forum, how much I admire you, for all you do? I mean, there is not a day that goes by where you are waiting for things to happen. You my friend are a man of action. We need more Wildhawkes in this world.

Thanks,

Ivan

Here! Here!!

For those of you out there who haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting with Brandon and his lovely wife, find a way. They're movers and shakers in this movement, inspiring and good people to know.

I'm honored that they are a part of our cause.

:hurray:

rjf
08-13-2009, 8:58 AM
How do we get rid of Commisioner Sutton? Elected or appointed?

socal2310
08-13-2009, 9:08 AM
How do we get rid of Commisioner Sutton? Elected or appointed?

California Fish and Game Commission (http://www.fgc.ca.gov/)
The California State Fish and Game Commission is made of up to five members, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. ...

I'm astonished that only one was for the proposal given our eco-freak RINO governator (I voted for McClintock).

Ryan

wildhawker
08-13-2009, 9:29 AM
Davidoff is correct, my memory failed me this morning- I believe he was an attorney, will have to look for the org name later.

ripcurlksm
08-13-2009, 10:20 AM
thanks for the post wildhawker, my CRPA card came in the mail two days ago. Kes posted the sticky about the reform of CRPA and the positive things that are happening and on Kes' word/support I joined as well. This just reinforces this.

Kid Stanislaus
08-13-2009, 11:15 AM
So much for that "The NRA never does blah, blah, blah" bovine gravy!!

bwiese
08-13-2009, 11:48 AM
So much for that "The NRA never does blah, blah, blah" bovine gravy!!

Bingo.

I saw a buncha smart, ultra-well-prepared folks.
I saw a lotta real science that took time & SIGNIFICANT expense to prepare.

If you think your membership dollars are just to pay for ballcaps and magazines, fuhgeddabout it. It's also why more-than-just-yearly-membership dollars are required.

jdberger
08-13-2009, 11:50 AM
Bingo.

I saw a buncha smart, ultra-well-prepared folks.
I saw a lotta real science that took time & SIGNIFICANT expense to prepare.

If you think your membership dollars are just to pay for ballcaps and magazines, fuhgeddabout it. It's also why more-than-just-yearly-membership dollars are required.

I get a ballcap?

Ripped off, I say!

6172crew
08-13-2009, 12:03 PM
Everytime I go to a NRA meeting I find out what really happens. I wish I had more time to get involved but I need to finish these classes and get a paying job first.:chris:

It was good to meet you wildhawker!;)

7x57
08-13-2009, 2:23 PM
I saw a buncha smart, ultra-well-prepared folks.
I saw a lotta real science that took time & SIGNIFICANT expense to prepare.

If you think your membership dollars are just to pay for ballcaps and magazines, fuhgeddabout it. It's also why more-than-just-yearly-membership dollars are required.

I suspect that wasn't all just pulled together for that one meeting. The NRA has a serious, long-term effort afoot to expose the advocacy pseudo-science behind the lead-ban, because they know that this isn't just a California issue any more than the Invasion of Normandy was just a local Normandy issue. CA is just the beachhead for a planned nationwide assault on the ability to exercise Second Amendment rights through environmental regulation. I imagine that what was presented in Sacramento was built on that ongoing effort.

That doesn't make getting it digested down to presentable form in record time any less impressive. My point is simply that what your membership buys you is not just the cavalry riding to the rescue on this one commission meeting. It buys you the strategic planning to get the wheels in motion so when there is a specific vote, the material is ready to be boiled down and presented.

That's where the national NRA is crucial even with a strong statewide affiliate (which we didn't even have before). Someone has to take the long-term, nationwide view and be prepared for what the states are going to face in the future. No state group is likely to have the resources, or the advance planning.

The national organization sort of functions as the high command staff, doing it's job so when the division commanders yell for help, help is ready to be airdropped in. Ultimately, Patton goes nowhere without Eisenhower and Marshall. :D

7x57

wildhawker
08-13-2009, 2:39 PM
7, we heard it from the horses' mouth- a few weeks is not an exaggeration in this case.

chris
08-13-2009, 3:15 PM
nice summary Brandon. hopefully the lead ammo ban falls to the way side. good job.

7x57
08-13-2009, 3:17 PM
7, we heard it from the horses' mouth- a few weeks is not an exaggeration in this case.

I imagine the presentation, yes. But I was told a while ago that the science end of it is an ongoing thing, and that was also from sufficiently close to the equine's mandibles. There aren't that many ways to reconcile those bits of data--either the left & right hands don't talk, which I don't believe, or the science effort started about the time they began putting together the presentations (or because of it), which is possible but not my impression, or the science end of things was already ongoing when they found out they had to go live in front of the commission.

My guess is the third case, but the second is I suppose possible. The first I don't believe.

7x57

wildhawker
08-13-2009, 3:54 PM
All I have to offer is the substance of my conversations with the scientists and others present; beyond that I'll have to defer to those privy to the leadup preparations and strategy.

Legasat
08-13-2009, 4:06 PM
You guys and others make us proud.

H Paul Payne
08-13-2009, 4:39 PM
I imagine the presentation, yes. But I was told a while ago that the science end of it is an ongoing thing, and that was also from sufficiently close to the equine's mandibles. There aren't that many ways to reconcile those bits of data--either the left & right hands don't talk, which I don't believe, or the science effort started about the time they began putting together the presentations (or because of it), which is possible but not my impression, or the science end of things was already ongoing when they found out they had to go live in front of the commission.

My guess is the third case, but the second is I suppose possible. The first I don't believe.

7x57

Thanks for the vote of confidence folks. And thanks of all of the help in this TEAM EFFORT!

But please don't ask for details regarding our strategy and tactics. OP-SEC is important if we are to be successful. I give you my word that it is not an example of "secrecy" for "secrecy's sake" but it is actually important.

Since many of you have come to know me, I believe that I have EARNED your trust and I will continue to earn it on a continuing basis. I am constantly reminded of the the CA DOJ hearing (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=38531&highlight=assault+weapons+regulations+hearing&page=2) where they were trying to expand the definition of AWs. Many of you had never met me before that day, but we learned to respect and trust each other since then. We have fought many battles in the few short years since that hearing and we have many more to fight in the future. Let's stick together and be effective.

Our strategy will become apparent as our tactics are put into action. It's just that simple. I, as well as the NRA, have been criticized (by short-sighted would-be RKBA leaders) in the past for not openly disclosing our strategy and tactics. We have endured the insults and accusations for the good of the Second Amendment Movement. I am reminded of the old (way before my time) slogan, "loose lips sink ships."

Therefore, I will not be addressing the concerns found at: http://www.californiapredatorsclub.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=15018&view=findpost&p=151856 or http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=2897526&postcount=8 or any similar posts.

But, if you do want us to disclose our plans so the anti-gunners, anti-hunters, and/or radical environmental extremists can see them and defeat us --- please speak up and let us know who you are. :eek:

Note to all of you "ANTIS" reading this: This is just sarcasm. Don't expect anyone to actually respond in a way to help you. Go read someone else's forum. ;)

Semper Fi folks. The fight still rages on!!!

Paul

7x57
08-13-2009, 6:07 PM
But please don't ask for details regarding our strategy and tactics.

That information wasn't given to me as privileged, but if it was privileged I'm sorry I said anything. I wanted to clarify the advantage of having someone thinking long-term and preparing for the future.

And the fact you can't talk about that means the usual paranoid gang will simply not believe it and continue to snipe at the NRA. :mad: But it's useful to make the point that part of your NRA dollar buys some useful secrets. I bet the antis didn't expect the tour-de-force you guys put on up there. :thumbsup:

7x57

acanales
08-13-2009, 7:47 PM
7x57 said:
I suspect that wasn't all just pulled together for that one meeting. The NRA has a serious, long-term effort afoot to expose the advocacy pseudo-science behind the lead-ban, because they know that this isn't just a California issue any more than the Invasion of Normandy was just a local Normandy issue. CA is just the beachhead for a planned nationwide assault on the ability to exercise Second Amendment rights through environmental regulation. I imagine that what was presented in Sacramento was built on that ongoing effort.

The clear answer to this is, and has always been, yes.

H. Paul Payne said:
Our strategy will become apparent as our tactics are put into action. It's just that simple. I, as well as the NRA, have been criticized (by short-sighted would-be RKBA leaders) in the past for not openly disclosing our strategy and tactics. We have endured the insults and accusations for the good of the Second Amendment Movement. I am reminded of the old (way before my time) slogan, "loose lips sink ships."

The clear response to this is "sho nuff".

H. Paul Payne said:
The fight still rages on!!!


My reflection on this is simply that we were "ready to rumble" and they were not. Absent were folks like Pamela Flick (Defenders of Wildlife) and Jeff Miller (Center for Biological Diversity), the latter who has a habit of openly showing disdain for working folks who express their opinions the same as everyone else (He was shaking his head at ranchers, farmers, and hunters who spoke to the Commission on June 25 noting that the science on a lead shot ban was without basis.).

Believe me, it was a pleasure to dish some of it back on August 6. With luck, we will get to do it again shortly, and with the same effect.


Respectfully,

Anthony Canales

7x57
08-13-2009, 8:33 PM
Believe me, it was a pleasure to dish some of it back on August 6. With luck, we will get to do it again shortly, and with the same effect.


Unfortunately, such a successful campaign probably means next time they won't repeat that mistake, and we'll take a lot more incoming fire. :chris:

7x57

dantodd
08-13-2009, 8:39 PM
Therefore, I will not be addressing the concerns found at: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=2897526&postcount=8 or any similar posts.


The calguns post was simply asking for the data that you presented to the DFG AND the antis in attendance at the meeting. It doesn't seem too much to ask nor could it really be considered secrecy for a reason as the antis already have the information as well as the DFG.

Or is there something I am missing?

hoffmang
08-13-2009, 8:40 PM
Anthony Canales

Welcome aboard! Pull up your virtual chair and stay a while!

-Gene

Can'thavenuthingood
08-13-2009, 8:50 PM
Are transcripts of these type meetings available to the public?

Yes, welcome aboard acanales, you'll have some fun here I'm certain.

Vick

H Paul Payne
08-13-2009, 8:52 PM
Or is there something I am missing?

Actually, Yes. But I won't be going into that at this time.

Paul

P. S. -- You can call me and I will discuss some of it with you. I'll be available until Midnight tonight.

wildhawker
08-13-2009, 9:50 PM
Welcome, Anthony! Thanks again for the excellent presentation and your help in arranging the speaking time, and please do join us here often.

-Brandon

acanales
08-13-2009, 10:52 PM
7x57 said:
Unfortunately, such a successful campaign probably means next time they won't repeat that mistake, and we'll take a lot more incoming fire.

Perhaps. But with the "Database From Hell" at our disposal, maybe we might just be able to deliver some "steel rain" ourselves. Facts are stubborn things, and have a quality all their own.

And to Brandon, Bill, Vick and Gene- I want to express my appreciation for your help in getting us more time on August 6. We really needed it.

Anthony Canales

wildhawker
08-13-2009, 11:13 PM
Vick,

NRA coalition facepalms bad science (begins at ~47:25): mms://www.cal-span.org/calspan/Video_Files/CFG/CFG_09-08-06/CFG_09-08-06.wmv

http://www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/new/2009/proposedregs09.asp#311_1


Are transcripts of these type meetings available to the public?

Yes, welcome aboard acanales, you'll have some fun here I'm certain.

Vick

Can'thavenuthingood
08-14-2009, 10:30 AM
Thanks for posting the video (mms://www.cal-span.org/calspan/Video_Files/CFG/CFG_09-08-06/CFG_09-08-06.wmv) of the proceedings Brandon.
This video ought to be watched by all Calgunners as its a learning experience.
The hearing starts at the 47:25 mark on Windows Media Player and runs right at an hour.

Time was conceded by others to give the speakers an extra minute rather than the 3 minutes allowed. How many extra minutes could a speaker gain? Is 4 minutes the limit per speaker?

If we had 25 Calgunners at a meeting and all gave up their allotted 3 minutes to give a primary speaker 4 minutes, would that be reason enough to gather up more Calgunners to attend these meetings?

Dr. Erik Randich, the Metallurgist scientist had an excellent presentation. Put that Church report right in the trash bin. Then Dr.Don Saba followed up with further stomping and shredding of the obvious intentions of the Church report.
Talk about a one-two punch:thumbsup:

Facts is where its at. Proof is in the fact that the evidence, records and data has been kept from being released to the public.

Absolutely impressive win gentlemen, absolutely impressive presentation.

Thank you,

Vick

acanales
08-14-2009, 11:34 AM
Just for the record-

It's Dr. Erik Randich, and Dr. Don Saba.

And yes, without their input we would have had more difficulties. We owe them a lot.

Respectfully,

Anthony Canales

rkt88edmo
08-14-2009, 11:46 AM
Thanks for the report. Welcome AC.

mikehaas
08-14-2009, 2:27 PM
But, if you do want us to disclose our plans so the anti-gunners, anti-hunters, and/or radical environmental extremists can see them and defeat us --- please speak up and let us know who you are. :eek:

Paul
I'l disclose the plan right now... TO WIN. In my 15+ years of working with NRA, it's the only path they have been concerned with.

All of this is reminiscent of Oct 16, 2006, the date of the famous "AW Ban Expansion" hearing in Sacramento. The calgunners who attended that hearing weren't yet sure about NRA. They had listened to me pump NRA for about 10 months (thank you all for your patience with me back then), after Paul and Ed asked me to join calguns. The leaders here had completed that first group buy and gained an uncommonly clear understanding of CA AW issues and were actually "instructing" DOJ on the intricacies of the law. (Remember: two weeks! :-)

Full of spit & vigor, the Calguns leaders only needed a little direction. When that 2006 hearing ended, they had no doubt and thus cemented the strong ties between NRA California and this fine site. And look what it has grown into. Now I pump Calguns to other as I did NRA here, back then.

Unlike the lead ban expansion hearing, we didn't get a clear vote that day, something to declare us the winners in that fight. It was weeks later, when it began to become clear that DOJ was not moving forward with their plan, that we knew we had won. And later that year DOJ sponsored AB 2728, voluntarily removing their ability to add guns to the banned list. Calguns had a major effect the very first year they started working with NRA!!! Imagine what we could accomplish together if every gun-owner were as supportive.

I've often reflected on the many ill-focused and disorganized "pro-gun" forums on the 'net - the NRA bashers, the "experts" who get everything wrong, the crazies that refuse to listen to those more experienced (some of whom have almost destroyed the Second Amendment at SCOTUS level)... and contrast it with this site and the important work that has actually come from these threads.

Some of you may have heard that old country song "Thank God and Greyhound you're gone". Well, I thank NRA and Calguns they're here!

MrSigmaDOT40
08-15-2009, 4:14 AM
Great to hear the insider NRA/CRPA review. Glad to know my money is being well spent!

sixniner
08-15-2009, 7:19 AM
Thank you for looking out for the rest of us