Thursday, January 03, 2013

NRA Annual Report:
Whites Only, No Blacks in Photos

(Cover of the 2011 NRA Foundation's annual report. The photo on the left in the bottom row is Sharon LaPierre, wife of Wayne LaPierre, who is the co-chair of the group's Women's Leadership Forum.)

On Monday, I blogged about lack of even minimal fiscal transparency at the National Rifle Association and the NRA Foundation, and today I turn my attention to two documents snail mailed to me by Rick Tedrick who's the chief financial officer for both nonprofits.

By the way, my post on the NRA executive director's pay falling 45% in 2011, according to the new IRS 990 for the group, is here.

Because nonprofits are not required under any federal statutes to post their annual reports, the NRA does not make the documents open to public inspection in a few clicks, and this means only a handful of Americans are familiar with the documents. That needs to change.

The NRA's annual report is full of financial statements and contains a single photo, that of their headquarters in Virginia.

But the latest annual report for the NRA Foundation is bursting with color photos and primarily of women leaders of the groups or ordinary members, and sheds light on other parts of the gun empire.

There's a three-page spread on the Women's Leadership Forum and reading it I learned that the co-chair is Sharon LaPierre, who is married to the chief executive officer and public face of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre. Who knew he was married and that his wife worked for the NRA?

She is featured above with the photo and quote on the bottom of the page.

The other members of the women's forum are shown in slightly smaller photos, three to a page. Racial diversity does not appear to be part of the NRA agenda in terms of who runs the group and its various components.

More women leaders of the NRA and no black women among them. Heck, photos of black people are completely omitted from the report. No, it didn't surprise me to not see a single African-American man or woman in the many photos because I see the NRA as a branch of the Tea Party-influenced Grand Old Party, and we all know how white the Republican leadership circles are.

The Firearms for Freedom page is illustrated with an image of a smiling mother, who donated her late husband's firearms to the NRA, along with her grinning daughter.

On the Golden Ring of Freedom page, there's a mix of photos showcasing addition NRA members and they're all white. Notice how the executives are in dark suits while the Golden Ring of Freedom folks are all wearing golden jackets.

Even if there were African-Americans among the NRA leadership or included in the dozens of photos in the annual report, I'd still have major differences with the organization and their outsized influence on our nation's gun policies.

I just want to call attention to who is included or missing from this one NRA report.

My favorite page, because it's all head shots and in glorious black-and-white, is the one for the board of trustees and officers.

One task we need to carry out after the Newtown massacre as the nation debates reducing gun violence and fatalities is to bring sunshine to the leadership of the NRA. To accomplish this, someone with resources larger than I possess needs to contact Tedrick at the NRA, obtain the documents, scan and post them on the web.

Unfortunately, Tedrick denied my request to share the annual reports with me in digital format, which would have made it easy for me to share them their entirety. You can contact Tedrick at

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