“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.
As a Constitutionalist, I believe our Forefathers got it right when they drafted and adopted the Bill of Rights. It is a timeless document that formed the rights that every American citizen would enjoy for generations and hundreds of years. It is not a living document, easily changed, as many would like to think. As an American, we have a responsibility to uphold our Constitution, and that would include the press and media. Unfortunately, the press has abused that right!
Pick a subject, and the press will rewrite it to fit their narrative, especially if that subject comes from those who consider themselves conservatives. We have witnessed that consistently over the years with the Ohio media. You don’t need to look far for the lies the media has portrayed over the years in Ohio, as we’ve advanced our Second Amendment rights. The media said there would be blood running in the streets when concealed carry passed in 2003. Hasn’t happened! Each session we run pro-gun legislation, and the media sets the tone of lies. Last session they pegged the bill as “Stand Your Ground,” and even worse, the “Murder Bill.” Plain and simple, it was a bill removing the duty to retreat, but those words didn’t sell headlines. To no ones’ surprise, the press once again abused their right to the freedom of the press.
The People have come to not trust what the media tries to spoon feed us as the truth. In these times, we have to seek out on our own what is the truth and what is blatant, made-up lies of the media.
Recently, the Washington Post (along with many other media outlets which picked up the story) ran an article entitled, “NRA money flowed to board members amid allegedly lavish spending by top officials and vendors.” As a member of the NRA Board of Directors, to my surprise, my name appeared in the article. One of the WaPo reporters, Beth Reinhard, had reached out to me twice and requested an interview, because my name was listed a few years ago in the annual “statement of income” for Board members. I ignored her requests, which in her final email to me, I could see she was irritated that I had the gull to ignore her.
I am an NRA membership recruiter, just like most all of the other 100,000 NRA certified instructors, most gun stores, and most Second Amendment organizations across America. I was honest enough to have claimed the approximately $200 in recruiter membership commissions paid to me, from the NRA membership division. What Reinhard failed to do though, was disclose that it was ONLY $200!!! She lists me along with some of my fellow Board members who are paid for lobbying, speaking engagements, consulting, etc., some of which are paid some hefty fees. Somehow, Beth Reinhard found my $200 recruiter commission earned was newsworthy?
Notably, she left out the minimal income figures for three of us Board members who are membership recruiters, one which has passed away. It was far better for the story to be able to accuse 25% of the Board members of being paid by the NRA. Yes, my $200 didn’t fit the narrative these reporters were attempting to make. (The three additional reporters who contributed to this disingenuous article, along with Beth Reinhard, are Katie Zezima, Tom Hamburger and Carol D. Leonnig.)
And you wonder why people don’t trust the media anymore! Because facts don’t matter to them!
For the record, I am an UNPAID volunteer. I don’t get paid for what I do with the NRA (or with Buckeye Firearms Association) for what I do, on behalf of protecting, defending, and restoring our Second Amendment rights. What I do comes from my heart, because it’s the right thing to do. Yes, protecting the Second Amendment is the right thing for any patriotic American to do. Shame on you reporters for attempting to tarnish my upstanding reputation over a measly $200 commission that I earned, just like 100’s of thousands of other people do each and every year!
It is no wonder why newspapers are closing shop, why various news channels ratings have tanked, and why people no longer trust the media. Unfortunately, the media has forgotten what our Forefathers wrote for them, and have even changed the narrative of our Bill of Rights to suit their own agenda.
Linda Walker is Vice President of Buckeye Firearms Association, a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association, where she sits on the Legislative Policy, State & Local Affairs Subcommittee, Women’s Policies and Grassroots Development committees. She’s an NRA-ILA FAL Frontlines Activist Leader, an NRA certified instructor, the 2009 recipient of the NRA’s “Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award.” She is Co-Founder and Co-Host of the NRA Women’s New Energy Breakfast. Linda Walker is also a Co-Chair of President Trump’s Second Amendment Advisory Coalition.