Blanding commits the same sin of omission when describing AHSA’s Executive Director, Robert Ricker. Ricker is described as “a former NRA general counsel and lobbyist for the firearms industry”, which is incorrect. Ricker spent a brief period of time as one of the attorneys in the General Counsel’s office, but was never general counsel himself. Blanding fails to mention that Ricker switched sides, so to speak, back in the late 1990’s, and has since testified as an expert witness for those hoping to hold gun manufacturers and sellers responsible for the actions of criminals. Chris Cox, NRA-ILA’s Executive Director, wrote an article about AHSA (found here) in which he details testimony Ricker gave in a 2005 deposition. Ricker testified that his two biggest clients were the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (part of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence) and the group Virginians for Public Safety. Ricker also testified that AHSA was another of his clients, and paid him $3,000 a month for his services. Again, Blanding apparently didn’t want to let his readers know Ricker’s entire background.
I realize that for Blanding, AHSA represents a new and exciting attempt to mislead gun owners (we’re talking about a writer who once penned a “Culture of Life Top Ten” wish list for the ultra-lefty Alternet, in which he expressed his desire that Congress would pass Massachusetts-style gun control laws). New or not, AHSA is trying to deceive gun owners into buying into an anti-gun movement and to give anti-gun politicians a bit of pro-gun cover. From the tens of thousands of dollars its leaders have donated to candidates like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi to the fact that the press contact for this supposedly non-partisan organization is also the head of the Fairfax City (Virginia) Democratic Committee, American Hunters and Shooters Association isn’t out to protect your rights. They’re out to deceive you, and Michael Blanding appears happy to help.