2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Wounded Warrior Project is Anti-Gun?

Seems like it from the following email exchange posted on a FaceBook page....

Wounded Warrior Project Email Exchange

by Gun Talk on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:56am ·
After Sunday's show, we've gotten many emails about Tom's remarks after WWP declined an interview request on Gun Talk Radio because it's a firearms-related show. We've also seen the forums that are suggesting many things that are not true. So, I'm going to lay it all out right here.
We thought it would be great to book the WWP on the Veteran's Day show to promote the organization, so I contacted them. I was flabbergasted when their PR contact, Leslie, sent me an email saying they could not participate because our show dealt with firearms. Knowing that WWP has had a booth at trade shows and various gun shows across the US, takes wounded warriors on hunts and range days, raffles guns and accessories as fundraisers, etc., their policy didn't make much sense. I forwarded the email on to Tom to get his take.

The following is the complete email exchange:
Hello, Leslie:
Sarah forwarded me your email after I asked her to invite the Wounded Warriors Project to join me on "Tom Gresham's Gun Talk" radio show.

I'm stunned at your email saying that the WWP doesn't participate in an interview or activity related to firearms.  Inasmuch as there are 90 million gun owners and most of them support wounded veterans, I think they would be shocked to hear that they are, by way of their hobbies, somehow not worthy of helping with the Wounded Warriors Project.

 Does your policy apply also to police agencies and the military, since they are "related to firearms?"

I'm hoping that we have misunderstood your email.  Can you confirm that it is, in fact, an official policy of the Wounded Warriors Project to not do interviews with or participate in any activity related to firearms?

Thank you.
Tom Gresham


Good afternoon --

While we appreciate your interest in Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) you are correct that we decline the media opportunity.

Please note the following notice that appears on our website which also applies to WWP public awareness policy and inquiries from media outlets:

WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.

 Thank you for your inquiry.

 public relations director

O: 904.405.1433
 M: 904.654.8138
 F: 904.296.7347

 Wounded Warrior Project
 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300
 Jacksonville, Florida 32256

Thanks for confirming that, Leslie.  It was a simple opportunity to promote the WWP on a national program in an effort to send donations your way.
 I'll pass along the info that you don't want or need the help of America's gun owners.  

 Best regards,
 Tom Gresham


Good morning --
This policy is not a judgment on those who own and use firearms – clearly every member of our armed forces has been trained in the use of firearms and then called on to use them in the course of their service to this country.

Our position regarding firearms and alcohol is in response to the struggles that many injured service members face with substance abuse and suicide and the roles those items often play in those issues.

 Thank you.
 public relations director


Hello, Leslie:

Thank you for that explanation.

I do think -- and I'm being as kind as possible -- that it's the nuttiest thing I've heard in years. Suicides are not linked to firearms. Japan has a much higher rate of suicide than does the U.S., and they have essentially no firearms. Suicide is a serious issue irrespective of the methodology used.  

This explanation doesn't pass even the most simple "does this make sense" test.

Your policy does, in fact, brand firearms and the companies which make them as undesirables, and by association, you are saying that those who own and use firearms for recreation, hunting, self protection, and other safe and legal uses are to be avoided.

It's certainly your option to ostracize the firearms industry, the 90 million gun owners in America, and the media which support firearms safety training.  

At this point, I feel an obligation to make sure the millions who listen to my radio show and watch my two national television series know about your policy.

I cannot fully express how much I feel you are doing a disservice to our wounded veterans, and how disappointed I am to discover this bias at the Wounded Warriors Project.

Tom Gresham

The post is getting a lot of play across social media and the web, some pro and some anti the organization.  What do I think?

Well, it seems to me that I see folks talking one of two points..

  1. The overall mission of WWP is honorable and people should not politicize it over a particular issue.
  2. That the organizations stand on 2A is hypocritical concerning how many gun groups give to them and further donations to them should be directed towards other charities working to help veterans.

What I see happening is that the organization has just gotten too big.  WWP generates a lot of cash income from various sources to include both individual and corporate donations and also through merchandising their logo onto various items that are sold.   A group making that much money cannot exist stuffing it into coffee cans and running to the bank to make deposits into a checking account.  They have a full time administrative staff that oversees the collection and disbursement of these funds through their various outlets and, of course, those people have a vested interest in their own livelyhood in keeping the organization solvent with cash coming in.  These people in turn hire a PR company to handle both their image and public reputation who also now have a vested interest in the organization maintaining flush with donations.  

It seems to me in this instance that the spokesperson for WWP decided to go down the path of least resistance and stand against a "touchy" subject knowing full well that it would be harder for any individual or organization to shun disabled veterans in order to promote a pro-gun agenda.  More likely than not, people that do not agree with their position will still donated to WWP because of what they contribute to.  Hopefully  this is all it is and not, as I may fear, is an indication of the political leaning of the organization.
Our position regarding firearms and alcohol is in response to the struggles that many injured service members face with substance abuse and suicide and the roles those items often play in those issues.
I cannot abide by or try to support this statement made by the WWP spokesperson as having much validity at all.  While I also do not condone the use of the term "nuttiest" in describing that response as used by Tom Gresham above, I do think it does show a bias against firearms and an ignorance that a firearm is a tool, and as such is sometimes used for purposed other than what it was intended for use.   If this is indeed a view shared by the entire organization itself it is truly sad as they often gladly take in large sums of money from both firearms companies, those in the shooting sports industry in other capacities or pro-2A individuals.  They will accept our donations to fund their livelyhood in the name of the cause they champion, but do not want us to associate with them.

I am going to wait a bit to see how this plays out (if it does any further) before I make any decisions to not support the project.  I have a friend who has benefited from WWP directly and I do believe their cause is just, as are many other organizations out there as well that may not share the same view.  What I think some people need to remember is that 99.9% of the population supports veterans in this day and age.  As far as core services to these affected veterans, the US government still provides the lion's share of resources for them in terms of medical care to try and get them physically heal.  Organizations like WWP do not pay for the surgeons or therapists that help heal physical wounds but help to provide a bride for the wounded to reintegrate back into society and deal with their new challenges.  So by not supporting them you will not be take a crutch or a wheelchair from out beneath a wounded veteran, but maybe make it more difficult for him to experience some needed "down time" at a later date while he deals with the (often Just as damaging and as scaring) mental injuries they also need to overcome.

I should point out this year I have pledged $10 a pay period to WWP through my employers combined charitable campaign.  I have also made both single cash and material donations to them in the past, as well as have actively promoted them on this blog and in other mediums.

1 comment:

Constitutional Insurgent said...

The good that WWP does is not outweighed by their prohibition of consorting with gun companies in their campaign to help veterans.

Although I disagree with their position, I'll still support their mission.