Proof: Believe the NRA when it says gun ban extremists are lying

By Chad D. Baus

Having adopted the deceptive tactics suggested a few years ago by billionaire gun-hater Andrew McKelvey, gun and hunting ban lobbyist groups go to great lengths these days to deny that their ultimate goals are to stamp out all civilian ownership of firearms, or to eradicate all forms of hunting.

In response to warnings by grassroots pro-Second Amendment groups about these anti-gun organizations' true goals, Americans are offered assurance by the gun banners and their media friends that all they want are "sensible" or "common sense" reforms to our gun laws.

One of the loudest voices of warning about the gun ban lobby's true intentions is the National Rifle Association. And now, if one can believe the leftist Mother Jones magazine, we may have even more reason to believe the NRA when they say groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Freedom States Alliance, States United to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center are lying about their true goals:

They had a (wo)man on the inside.

From the Mother Jones story:

This is the story of two Marys. Both are in their early 60s, heavyset, with curly reddish hair. But for years they have worked on opposite ends of the same issues. Mary McFate is an advocate of environmental causes and a prominent activist within the gun control movement. For more than a decade, she volunteered for various gun violence prevention organizations, serving on the boards of anti-gun outfits, helping state groups coordinate their activities, lobbying in Washington for gun control legislation, and regularly attending strategy and organizing meetings.

Mary Lou Sapone, by contrast, is a self-described "research consultant," who for decades has covertly infiltrated citizens groups for private security firms hired by corporations that are targeted by activist campaigns. For some time, Sapone also worked for the National Rifle Association.

But these two Marys share a lot in common—a Mother Jones investigation has found that McFate and Sapone are, in fact, the same person. And this discovery has caused the leaders of gun violence prevention organizations to conclude that for years they have been penetrated—at the highest levels—by the NRA or other pro-gun parties.

The article goes on to explain that the allegations against McFate began with a lawsuit brought against officials with Beckett Brown International (BBI), a now-defunct security firm based in Maryland. Depositions taken in the case reveal that McFate worked as a subcontractor for BBI and that the firm's clients included the NRA.

The NRA has not responded to requests for comment on the story, which has been picked up by several other news outlets.

The gun ban exremists, however, are screaming bloody murder.

[Bryan Miller, the executive director of Ceasefire New Jersey], told Mother Jones that the McFate operation "would confirm for me the way that the gun lobby works, which is no rules, no question of fairness or honesty. Anything that they can do they will do to protect the profits of the gun industry."

Angus McQuilken, whose organization, Freedom States Alliance, kicked "McFate" off its board after her true identity was learned, told ABC News "this reinforces what we have long known, that the gun lobby will go to any lengths, no matter how unethical, to protect the profits of the gun industry in this country, even at the expense of the over 30,000 Americans who lose their lives to gun violence each year."

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told the Associated Press he believes "it raises some real concerns with the tactics of the NRA. If they've got one person, maybe they have more. If they've done this dirty trick, what else have they done?" Helmke added that the Brady bunch plans to search its offices for listening devices and computer spyware.

Philadephia City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller told the Philadelphia Inquirer that "it's surprising that the NRA had nothing better to do but put a mole into an organization such as CeaseFire PA. It must mean they're afraid of something."

And Joe Grace, executive director for CeaseFire PA, whined to the Inquirer that "it shows what radical ideologues have to do when they don't have the public or citizens on their side. They cheat."

Rush Limbaugh often observes that if you want to know what the Left is doing, look at what they are accusing others of. And over the years, websites like and others like it have done a lot of looking at the deception employed by the anti-gun lobby.

In 2002, billionaire Andrew McKelvey committed more than $12 million toward the creation of "Americans for Gun Safety" (AGS), after having advised Handgun Control Inc. that the words "handgun control" were harmful.

"I told them that Handgun Control was the wrong name. I thought what they were doing was great but I thought it could be done differently," McKelvey said.

A quick visit to the Americans for Gun Safety website at the time proved they weren't the least bit concerned for firearms safety. There was no information on the website about the proper handling of firearms, safety practices on the range, or anything of the kind.

Handgun Control, Inc. changed its name to The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and AGS has since been renamed "Third Way".

Other examples of this type of deceit on the part of the gun ban lobby include, an anti-gun blog site anonymously operated by the Joyce Foundation-funded Mark Karlin and Associates (which also manages the Freedom States Alliance - itself a cover name for a cartel of nine anti-gun state organizations), and American Hunters and Shooters Association, which was co-founded by John Rosenthal, founder of the anti-gun Massachusetts state group “Stop Handgun Violence”.

If you can't tell people what you really are, and instead have to publicly pose as your enemy, what does that say about the popularity of your cause? And what does it say about your true intentions?

As if these examples of wolves in sheep's clothing aren't enough, ABC News notes that as Leftist anti-gun and hunting extremists have been spied on, so too have they spied.

One year before PETA accused the circus of allegedly spying, a New Jersey biomedical company accused the animal rights group of infiltrating and secretly videotaping its operations.

"This type of malicious activity by PETA, in which it conspires with individuals to lie about their intentions, to videotape and potentially disrupt medical research, and then to launch vile disinformation campaigns against pharmaceutical research companies, has got to stop," James Lovett, the lawyer for Covance, a biomedical industry leader with some of the world's largest animal-testing labs, told The Associated Press at the time.

Josh Sugermann, founder and executive director of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), writes that "this revelation should have a long-term impact on how Americans--gun owners and non-gun owners alike--view the NRA.

But Craig Dotlow, a former FBI special agent and spokesman for the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, told ABC News that the infiltration of activist groups is neither new nor difficult.

"The FBI used to do this kind of work a lot in the '60s, infiltrating groups like the Weathermen or the Black Panthers. All you really need to find is a good actor," he said. "It is a very unsophisticated but very successful technique. Find someone who can fit into the culture, who can be taught about the group and then make sure they cultivate friendships and work hard. Most of these groups have small budgets, and when they find someone who is dedicated and willing to work for free, they can move up the ranks pretty quickly."

The bottom line is that, try as they might, the gun ban lobby is in no position to gain the moral high ground with this story.

And so we are left with the prospect of learning what we can from the Mother Jones report, such as the revelation of "a certain amount of competition between all the [anti-gun] groups" (no doubt over who can obtain the most funding from anti-gun contributors) admitted to by Barbara Hohlt, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence.

Can we not also learn something about the credibility that can be attributed to the NRA every time they warned pro-Second Amendment Americans that the gun ban lobby was lying about their true intentions? Once more, from Mother Jones:

McFate's (now former) colleagues note that she was well-positioned for many years to provide the NRA—or any other gun rights groups—the plans, secrets, and inside gossip of practically the entire gun violence prevention movement. "She had access to all the legislative strategy for every major issue for years," says [Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center]. Another gun control advocate who worked with McFate and asked not to be identified recalls, "She was one of those rare people. As a volunteer, she wanted to know more and more about what people were working on." With intelligence gathered by McFate, Ceasefire New Jersey's Miller says, the gun lobby could "learn a lot: what the grassroots of the gun violence prevention movement intended; where our priorities are shifting; which legislation we would be promoting or fighting against and what sort of effort we would be putting into that; who our targeted legislators would be; what states and districts we deemed important enough to put an effort into; our messaging, what our messaging would be before we put it out there."

..."She's been active in everything and involved in every single major gun violence prevention organization," says Barbara Hohlt, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence.

Indeed, and with this type of access, she would know better than anyone the true intentions of the gun ban lobby.

So the next time a pro-gun organization like the NRA accuses these extremists of lying about their true intentions, pay close attention. They likely have first-hand knowledge.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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