NewsMax put together a list of the top 100 most influential pro-gun rights advocates. While it was a valiant effort, there were some notable snubs, important people omitted from the list, along with some real head-scratchers, people who had really no right being on the list.
To be fair to Newsmax, I’m not going to paste the entire article below, instead, I’ll give you their top 25:
1. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and an outspoken opponent of government efforts at gun control, famous for the quote, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
2. Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a 300,000-member gun rights organization.
3. Donald Trump, billionaire businessman and Republican presidential candidate, has come out strongly for gun owners’ rights and says he has a gun permit.
4. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., presidential candidate and strong gun rights supporter who vowed, “We will not let the liberals tread on the Second Amendment!”
5. Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, vice presidential candidate, and a hunter and gun owner, who addressed the 2013 NRA Convention.
6. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who strongly opposes bans on assault weapons and the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which would affect the firearms industry.
7. Col. Oliver North, political commentator and television host, who appeared in an “I’m the NRA” advertisement.
8. David Keene, former NRA chairman from 2011 to 2013, former chairman of the American Conservative Union, and an outspoken proponent of gun owners’ rights.
9. Dudley Brown, executive director of the National Association for Gun Rights, which he calls the “no compromise” gun lobby.
10. Robert K. Brown, publisher of Soldier of Fortune Magazine, director/member of the NRA Executive Committee for two years, and past member of the Public Affairs and Finance Committees.
11. David Clarke, sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, who urged residents to arm themselves for self-protection and vowed to resist federal gun control measures.
12. John Lott, economist who published “More Guns, Less Crime,” called the “Bible of the gun rights movement.”
13. Glenn Beck, radio and television personality who opposes the Obama Administration’s anti-gun attitude and wrote the book “Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns.”
14. Mark Levin, conservative talk radio host and Constitutional attorney, a gun owner and strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
15. Tina Pattison, president of Hunt of a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization which grants hunting and fishing dreams for children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.
16. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who opposes expansion of government controls on firearms.
17. John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., who has opposed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty and warned of its dangers to Americans’ right to bear arms.
18. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, an avid hunter and gun owner who once shot a coyote that attacked his dog while they were out walking.
19. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, an NRA member, who supported bills allowing open and campus carry of firearms in the Lone Star State.
20. Sean Hannity, conservative Fox News TV host who is a registered gun owner in New York and opposes gun control measures.
21. Alex Jones, radio host and head of Infowars.com, who confronted CNN host Piers Morgan about the British broadcaster’s support for gun control.
22. Ben Shapiro, editor-at-large of Breitbart News, who is a strong supporter of the right to bear arms.
23. Ted Nugent, rock star, avid hunter, and outspoken supporter of gun rights, who often brings his guns onstage with him during concerts.
24. Clint Eastwood, actor, director, producer, artist, and former mayor of Carmel, California, who has said “I have a very strict gun control policy. If there is a gun around, I want to control it.”
25. Chuck Norris, the internationally famed martial artist, actor, and star of “Walker, Texas Ranger,” is an NRA member and honorary chairman of the NRA’s “Trigger the Vote” campaign.
Read the rest by clicking here.
The fact that Donald Trump shows up in the number 3 spot is a telltale sign that the list is flawed. While Trump may be the GOP’s frontrunner for president in 2016, he is far from a gun guy or a gun-rights advocate. Back in 2000, while he was considering running for president as part of the Reform Party, Trump wrote this about firearms:
“I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within seventy-two hours if a potential gun owner has a record.”
Sure, there is no doubt that his position has evolved on the issue since 2000, and he now probably opposes banning black rifles, but even so, to rank him #3 — or any spot at all for that matter — on the list of the top 100 most influential pro-gun rights advocates is absurd. That’s like ranking Bill Cosby #3 on the list of celebrities you want your daughter to date (okay, not that bad, but you get the idea; it’s poor placement).
While Trumps inclusion is baffling, equally perplexing is leaving off Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Gottlieb and his organizations have done wonders to advance the 2A. In fact, it was Gottlieb and his superstar attorney Alan Gura (another notable omission from the list) that spearheaded the landmark Supreme Court rulings on D.C. v. Heller and Chicago v. McDonald, which together solidified that the Second Amendment was an individual right, not one subject to militia service, and that bans on handguns were unconstitutional.
Without Gottlieb, Gura, the SAF, and the CCRKBA, our right to keep and bear arms would not be what it is today. In short, any list of influential gun-rights activist needs to include those fellas.
That said, what are your thoughts about NewsMax’s list?