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Adolphus Busch IV Quits NRA; Slams Gun Rights Organization for "Distorted Values"

Adolphus-Busch-IV.jpg
KSDK
Adolphus Busch IV says the NRA ignores its own members.
In a letter to the National Rifle Association that was also forwarded to KSDK Channel 5 News reporter Leisa Zigman, one of the heirs to the Anhesuer-Busch fortune took a surprising stand against the powerful gun-rights organization.

Adolphus Busch IV, eldest son of August "Gussie" Busch Jr., was apparently reacting to the Senate's failure to move forward a slew of gun-control measures earlier this week that would have included expanded background checks, a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity magazines. The NRA reportedly spent $500,000 in a single day on advertisements opposing the reform and pressuring senators to vote "no."

"This letter shall serve as formal resignation of my life membership in the NRA," Busch wrote yesterday. "I ask that you immediately remove my name from your membership roles [sic] and provide me an acknowledgement of this action."

Not only has Busch, a conservationist and avid hunter who lives in St. Charles, been a member of the NRA his whole life, he chairs an organization called the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance that has long partnered with the NRA. The NRA is listed as one of the group's sponsors and the NRA's legislative action website touts Busch's group as a resource. Considering the strength of Busch's rebuke of the NRA yesterday, that relationship may have curdled for good.

Here's the full text of Busch's letter, which was first sent to KSDK and was printed in full on the Post-Dispatch's website (emphasis ours):

April 18, 2013

Mr. David A. Keene
President
National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Mr. Keene,

This letter shall serve as formal resignation of my life membership in the NRA. I ask that you immediately remove my name from your membership roles [sic] and provide me an acknowledgement of this action.

As most in your organization would admit, I have historically been a staunch defender of the NRA purpose and tradition in representing the interests of gun owners. I have personally devoted countless financial resources and time to nurture an intelligent environmental policy that provided for the proud tradition of personal hunting for generations to come.

It disturbs me greatly to see this rigid new direction of the NRA. As a starting point, one only has to ask why the NRA reversed its original position on background checks. Was it not the NRA position to support background checks when Mr. LaPierre himself stated in 1999 that NRA saw checks as "reasonable"? Furthermore, I fail to see how the NRA can disregard the overwhelming will of its members who see background checks as reasonable. In fact, according to a Johns Hopkins University study, 74% say they support background checks.

I am simply unable to comprehend how assault weapons and large capacity magazines have a role in your vision. The NRA I see today has undermined the values upon which it was established. Your current strategic focus places a priority on the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers while disregarding the opinions of your 4 million individual members.

One only has to look at the makeup of the 75-member board of directors, dominated by manufacturing interests, to confirm my point. The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers rather than gun owners.

In closing I find it important to extend my personal thanks to Chris Cox and David Lehman for their support of so many important environmental issues. I will miss that level of friendship and support, but must take this action based upon my personal feelings toward the distorted values I see emerging within the NRA.

Sincerely,

Adolphus A. Busch, IV

Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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27 comments
Dottie Hanlon
Dottie Hanlon

How can any gun owner want someone else to own a gun who has a criminal background or mental disorder to own a gun!

suetoo
suetoo

To 12judges, the reason the current NRA membership supports LePere is that all the rest of us have left the organization.

Claude Kurtz
Claude Kurtz

What has Adolphus Busch ever done in his life except inherit money? I trust my dogs judgement more than his.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

aren't we due for another dead mom to turn up in his backyard?

Rick Rodinis
Rick Rodinis

The first good thing to come from Budweiser in it's history!

ElizaBeth CG
ElizaBeth CG

I had no idea he was a part of it... therefore i doubt he'll even be missed. Hundreds are joining everyday these days

12judges
12judges

It's unfortunate Busch decided to give up is membership, but I and many other NRA members would not agree with his reasoning.  First, while universal background checks are supported by NRA members like myself and others, NRA polls within the membership have consistently shown 0% favor for a firearms registry OF ANY KIND.  Manchin-Toomey did not reliably ensure this would not happen, and therefore NRA members like myself and many many others rejected it.  Second, the NRA's opposition to magazine capacity limits and AWB's is nothing new and has been consistent policy long before the first 1994-2004 AWB.  If Busch doesn't like that, he should've left long ago.  Third, the NRA's individual members (more than 5 million now) have always outnumbered their corporate members and in fact individual membership has grown since December of last year.  Busch is way off thinking it is an organization catering to the firearms industry.  It represents individuals like myself as much as any gun company.  Sad to see you go Augie, but gun culture 2.0 - made up of predominantly young urban gun owners like myself - will do fine without you.

StL__T
StL__T

Bravo! Well said. 

Otis G. Grove III
Otis G. Grove III

Not a big blow. He does not speak for me or my fellow NRA members. Tell him to teach his children better....is that a dead hooker in my trunk.?

Joanna Franke Kleine
Joanna Franke Kleine

Brian why don't you let our friend Trace fight his own battles. I used the term in quotations to restate what he had already let fly. I think at the end of the day we can all agree that Gussie IV is a douche canoe.

Timothy Casey
Timothy Casey

It will never make sense to me how so many sheeple seem to think if you ban the use of something for law abiding responsible citizens that a murderous criminal will follow that law, but they don't follow the existing law of murder... Wake up people, and read a dictionary for the correct versions of to, two, too, their, there, they're, loose, lose and all other grammatical mistakes, which shouldn't occur after 5th grade...

Keith Carr
Keith Carr

Oh man...how will they recover from the loss of such an outstanding citizen? He hasn't killed anyone in years...

Joanna Franke Kleine
Joanna Franke Kleine

Trace I love that you use the word 'pussy' so freely.... Sounds like you haven't gotten any in a while. Unless it was one of your guns up your ass.

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

adolphus has a higher opinion of himself & the power he has than the rest of us do...he's a real loser

Trace Welsh
Trace Welsh

Sounds like the pussies from Belgium wore off on him. Another reason not to drink that piss he calls beer

Melissa Waller Mercille
Melissa Waller Mercille

He probably would have done a better service if he had stayed on. Now they'll just replace him with another ammo or gun manufacturer's CEO, which can only strengthen the hold they have on (mostly) Republican Senators.

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