Example: [Collected via Facebook, October 2015]
Origins: A month after the 19 April 1995 bombing of the
The most ill-timed screed was an NRA fund-raising letter slamming federal agents as "armed terrorists dressed in Ninja black ... jack-booted thugs armed to the teeth who break down doors, open fire with automatic weapons and kill law-abiding citizens."
Even on TV shows a week after the Oklahoma blast, NRA executive veep Wayne LaPierre wouldn't disavow the slurs.
That rabid zealotry is losing the gun lobby its clout and friends in high places — and could self-destruct the NRA with inner feuds.
The most prominent defector is George Bush, so furious that in effect he ripped up this NRA membership card.
What steamed Mr. Bush was NRA President Tom Washington's calling the 1993 Waco, Texas, raid an example of "black-suited, masked, massively armed mobs of screaming, swearing agents invading homes of innocents."
The former president, who knew an agent slain at Waco and another in Oklahoma City, flared: "Your broadside deeply offends my sense of honor and decency ..."
I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy,
Al Whicher, who served on my [United States Secret Service] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country — and serve it well he did.
In 1993, I attended the wake for A.T.F. agent Steve Willis, another dedicated officer who did his duty. I can assure you that this honorable man, killed by weird cultists, was no Nazi.
John Magaw, who used to head the U.S.S.S. and now heads A.T.F., is one of the most principled, decent men I have ever known. He would be the last to condone the kind of illegal behavior your ugly letter charges. The same is true for the F.B.I.'s able Director Louis Freeh. I appointed
Both John Magaw and Judge Freeh were in office when I was President. They both now serve in the current administration. They both have badges. Neither of them would ever give the government's "go ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens." (Your words)
I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed with most of N.R.A.'s objectives, particularly your educational and training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns.
However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.
You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre's unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list.
[signed] George Bush
"I really feel bad about the fact that the words in that letter have been interpreted to apply to all federal law-enforcement officers," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said.
"If anyone thought the intention was to paint all federal law-enforcement officials with the same broad brush, I'm sorry, and I apologize," LaPierre said.
LaPierre insisted that the fund-raising letter was intended to criticize only isolated actions, primarily involving the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
But at least one section of the letter offered a more sweeping condemnation of federal law-enforcement efforts.
The letter referred to federal law-enforcement agents as "jack-booted government thugs" and said that "in Clinton's administration, if you have a badge, you have the government's go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens."
Last updated: 10 October 2015
Grady, Sandy.   "Bush's Defection Showed Guts." [Wilmington] Star-News. 14 May 1995 (p. E7). Kell, Richard.   "NRA Apologizes for 'Jack Boot' Letter." The Seattle Times. 18 May 1995. The New York Times.   "Letter of Resignation Sent By Bush to Rifle Association." 11 May 1995.