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Old November 13, 2012, 06:47 PM   #1
RTFM
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Wounded Warrior Project = Anti-Firearms Industry

I've been following closely several exchanges on both Thunder Ranch and Tom Gresham's Gun Talk pages on FB about the Wounded Warrior Project. It seems that after much digging around, Mr. Gresham had indeed discovered the the WWP has a policy in place that deems it against their values to do business or participate with any entity involving firearms and the related industry.

The hypocritical thing is that WWP routinely accepts donations from the firearms industry, such a very large recent donation from Khar Arms......also, WWP only actually gives about 15% of every dollar donated to use for what it should be used for.



Below is an exchange between Tom Gresham and the WWP as posted on FB:

Quote:
Wounded Warrior Project Email Exchange
by Gun Talk on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:56am

After Sunday's show, we've gotten many emails about Tom's remarks after WWP declined an interview request on Gun Talk Radio because it's a firearms-related show. We've also seen the forums that are suggesting many things that are not true. So, I'm going to lay it all out right here.
We thought it would be great to book the WWP on the Veteran's Day show to promote the organization, so I contacted them. I was flabbergasted when their PR contact, Leslie, sent me an email saying they could not participate because our show dealt with firearms. Knowing that WWP has a booth at SHOT show and various gun shows across the US, takes wounded warriors on hunts and range days, raffles guns and accessories as fundraisers, etc., their policy didn't make much sense. I forwarded the email on to Tom to get his take.
-Sarah

The following is the complete email exchange:
====================
Hello, Leslie:
Sarah forwarded me your email after I asked her to invite the Wounded Warriors Project to join me on "Tom Gresham's Gun Talk" radio show.

I'm stunned at your email saying that the WWP doesn't participate in an interview or activity related to firearms. Inasmuch as there are 90 million gun owners and most of them support wounded veterans, I think they would be shocked to hear that they are, by way of their hobbies, somehow not worthy of helping with the Wounded Warriors Project.

Does your policy apply also to police agencies and the military, since they are "related to firearms?"

I'm hoping that we have misunderstood your email. Can you confirm that it is, in fact, an official policy of the Wounded Warriors Project to not do interviews with or participate in any activity related to firearms?

Thank you.
Tom Gresham

============

Good afternoon --

While we appreciate your interest in Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) you are correct that we decline the media opportunity.

Please note the following notice that appears on our website which also applies to WWP public awareness policy and inquiries from media outlets:
http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org...rtunities.aspx

WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.

Thank you for your inquiry.

LESLIE A. COLEMAN
public relations director

O: 904.405.1433
M: 904.654.8138
F: 904.296.7347

Wounded Warrior Project
4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300
Jacksonville, Florida 32256

====================
Thanks for confirming that, Leslie. It was a simple opportunity to promote the WWP on a national program in an effort to send donations your way.
I'll pass along the info that you don't want or need the help of America's gun owners.

Best regards,
Tom Gresham

=====================

Good morning --
This policy is not a judgment on those who own and use firearms – clearly every member of our armed forces has been trained in the use of firearms and then called on to use them in the course of their service to this country.

Our position regarding firearms and alcohol is in response to the struggles that many injured service members face with substance abuse and suicide and the roles those items often play in those issues.

Thank you.
LESLIE A. COLEMAN
public relations director

=============================

Hello, Leslie:

Thank you for that explanation.

I do think -- and I'm being as kind as possible -- that it's the nuttiest thing I've heard in years. Suicides are not linked to firearms. Japan has a much higher rate of suicide than does the U.S., and they have essentially no firearms. Suicide is a serious issue irrespective of the methodology used.

This explanation doesn't pass even the most simple "does this make sense" test.

Your policy does, in fact, brand firearms and the companies which make them as undesirables, and by association, you are saying that those who own and use firearms for recreation, hunting, self protection, and other safe and legal uses are to be avoided.

It's certainly your option to ostracize the firearms industry, the 90 million gun owners in America, and the media which support firearms safety training.

At this point, I feel an obligation to make sure the millions who listen to my radio show and watch my two national television series know about your policy.

I cannot fully express how much I feel you are doing a disservice to our wounded veterans, and how disappointed I am to discover this bias at the Wounded Warriors Project.

Sincerely,
Tom Gresham

https://www.facebook.com/notes/gun-t...51354082553313
Quote:
This from Thunder Ranch:

Official: Thunder Ranch will no longer be doing any fundraising for Wounded Warrior. This due to the main reason is they will do not want support from the guns period because guns are used by our military to kill themselves. What do they save themselves with? Nerf guns? Also the fact that very little of our money is actually getting to the families that need them. We will find charities in the coming months to help us all give but for now all money raised with our current DVD sale will go to our Seal team family... the Reece Petersen Trust fund. Thank you as always for your support. We will continue to do the best job we can to put as much money as we can to helping our military. Clint and Heidi

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thund...20548841302589

Here is a site that has info and ratings on different charities:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/inde....view&cpid=531
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Old November 13, 2012, 07:33 PM   #2
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Interesting it sounds like political correctness run rampant. After spending a few years in Human Resources I know that a lot of organizations make errors in judgment by attempting to do what they initially believe is the right thing. I hope that is the case here and after reexamining their position they will evolve.
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:29 PM   #3
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The way I see this organization, is that if that is something they believe in, fine. I have friends/family with similar thoughts on what I stand for. I'll support their cause, but as soon as they start trying to push for changes in guns on a broad scheme, they fall from my graces.
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:44 PM   #4
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I'm assuming WWP is a non-profit entity, as such, they're probably non-partisan (if you're a 501c4 my guess is you have to claim non-partisanship). I don't see why this should be a problem and to denegrate those that have served our country is dispicable to me.
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
This policy is not a judgment on those who own and use firearms
Huh?????
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Old November 13, 2012, 10:16 PM   #6
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I've got to say I'm conflicted. WWP is a good cause. While I don't care for that policy, this is one of those matters where we'll have to agree to disagree.

Though nobody's suggested it, it's not feasible (or always constructive) to boycott an organization because it's not sympathetic to firearms ownership. It's not as if they're advocating against it.
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Old November 13, 2012, 11:01 PM   #7
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I see it like this and maybe I'm a little off base . Just because you go on a program to promote your organization or product . Does not mean you endorse all if any of the programs content or there sponcers .

Quote:
WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.
Last I checked gun talk is not a alcohol or firearms company . Therefore this policy does not apply . Unless Gun talk openly promotes a political agenda the policy does not apply and I never have seen anybody naked on the show. so I don't see what there doing over there at WWP .
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Old November 14, 2012, 05:08 AM   #8
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Gun Talk does promote a political agenda regardless of the firearms issue. However, not only does WWP talk money from gun companies, but also sends wounded warrior on hunting trips, the same it claims are facing issue related to guns.

Quote:
Though nobody's suggested it, it's not feasible (or always constructive) to boycott an organization because it's not sympathetic to firearms ownership. It's not as if they're advocating against it.
Very well said.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:32 AM   #9
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I will not be supporting the Wounded Warrior Project.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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My concern for our wounded returning warriors overrides my uneasiness with the organization's odd position toward firearms companies. As a retired Army officer, who fortunately never suffered any combat related injuries while serving, I have great compassion and concern for the brave men and women who come home to a lifetime of challenges and impairments to their lives. Wounded Warrior Project supports this great heros and I have been a sponsor for several years now. If WWP ever crosses the line, and becomes an active anti-2nd Amendment focused organization I would change my position, but just their unwillingness to work with firearms manufacturers does not negate the good work they are doing for the wounded individuals. But that's just me and my personal take on this situation.
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Old November 14, 2012, 10:38 AM   #11
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The fact that they exclude religious organizations and firearms companies is baffling.

Two of the very liberties that our wounded heroes have fought to protect. Astounding.

Too bad. They're doing a good thing.

I wonder why they left out the other amendments?

Maybe it should say:

WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, from any person who has refused a warrantless search, from anyone who has refused to quarter soldiers, anyone who has invoked the right to not testify against himself, any person involved with the press, any person who has attended a rally, anyone who has petitioned the government or from alcohol or firearms companies.
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Old November 14, 2012, 11:49 AM   #12
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I am not an accountant, but a cursory look at their financial statements showed less than 20% of expenditures being for administration and fundraising and over 80% to programs. If I am missing something, I would appreciate someone pointing it out, but I don't see where the statement that "WWP only actually gives about 15% of every dollar donated to use for what it should be used for" comes from.

I think they missed a good publicity opportunity, and I find their attitude towards firearms to be hypocritical, but their position is not openly hostile towards 2A issues. Choosing not to promote firearms as not the same as overtly opposing firearm ownership. Firearms ownership has been associated with certain political views, albeit erroneously, and they may well wish to avoid the appearance of endorsing any particular stance in order to remain open and receptive to all who need their services.
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Old November 14, 2012, 11:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailGator
Choosing not to promote firearms as not the same as overtly opposing firearm ownership.
And their position is a long way from simply "choosing not to promote firearms."

Quote:
WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.
They will not accept donations from firearms companies or even appear on a firearms-based radio show to promote themselves!

That position is, IMO, much closer to "overtly opposing firearms ownership" than it is to "choosing not to promote firearms".
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:07 PM   #14
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Agree with Brian Pfleuger on this completely. Are there any other similar group(s) to support?
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:12 PM   #15
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It kind of sounds to me like they are oppossong firearms ownership without actually coming out and saying it in order to keep from alienating potential donors that happen to be owners of firearms.
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Old November 14, 2012, 03:18 PM   #16
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I'm going to have to +1 all three of the ^ above comments
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Old November 14, 2012, 04:07 PM   #17
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It's a shame that that is their policy. I respect the right of any company or organization to do/not do business with whomever they wish. But their reasoning of guns promote suicide is just silly.

I would have more respect for them if they said we don't do business with the firearm industry because firearm ownership can be taken as a political issue and we do not want to even come close being regarded as politically motivated. At least then, they may have some basis for their claim. But then they would have to say we don't do business with abortion clinics, etc. But I digress.

After looking at the link the OP present, www.charitynavigator.org, it looks like there are better organizations to donate to other than the WWP, anyway. It looks like their workers take a big chunk of the donations that come in now add that with their silly explanation of firearms, I won't donate to them.

Edit: I bet if they were to promote inside the firearms industry, they would make a killing in donations. Think about it. A Colt 6920 Magpul/WWP edition. Half of the profits get donated to WWP. So many people would buy that gun its silly to think it would stay in stock.
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Old November 14, 2012, 04:36 PM   #18
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Has anyone tried to contact upper administration? Sometimes we find lower level PR or legal folks putting in policies that seem strange at best.

Is there a contact with the top ranks? That's the place to contact.

I seem to recall that the San Antonio PD had a Wounded Warrior shooting event just a bit ago with some experts helping the vets with firearms and getting back into shooting. I'll look for the link and story.
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Old November 14, 2012, 04:41 PM   #19
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This just went up on their Facebook page:

Quote:
We've had a lot of questions recently that started when we declined an opportunity to appear on Gun Talk Radio. We want to clarify and help answer some questions. We have seen through this process that the language on our website and our response to the invitation to appear on the show weren’t clear, and we are working on clarifying our approach. There is now much inaccurate information about WWP being anti-gun rights, an issue as an apolitical organization we do not take a stance on. We understand and appreciate that many of our Alumni are gun owners, and we facilitate multiple hunting and outdoor opportunities for our Wounded Warriors throughout the year.

In the past, we made our logo available to appear on wide variety of products, including guns. As an organization, we owe it to our donors and constituents to maximize the return on investment of our dollars and brand. We are always looking at our business practices and whether we should
continue with them in the future. In the case of cobranding, we've decided that we're not going to offer our logo to appear on weapons anymore - whether they're guns, knives, bows, swords, or any other type of weapon. There are still a few of the guns around for sale that had licensed our logo years ago, but there aren't any new ones being made. This is purely a business decision based on a review of a return on investment, especially when compared with other types of cobranding ventures.

Regarding the question of donations and events, we do permit fundraisers that are shooting- and gun-related, such as gun raffles, shooting competitions, etc., and we're incredibly appreciative of those who are willing to give their time to host or participate in an event. Likewise, we gratefully accept donations from companies and individuals connected with the gun industry.

As indicated above, we know that hunting and shooting sporting events can be very therapeutic for many of the Wounded Warriors we serve, and we're happy to work with the community to make these types of events available to our Alumni. Hunting and shooting sport enthusiasts are an incredibly supportive and generous community, and we've been honored by how often folks have opened their land and homes, and volunteered their time to make these types of events possible for our Alumni. We're so sorry if it seemed that we didn't appreciate that support with our confusing communication of a business decision. It certainly wasn't our intention!

I hope this post provides some clarity and helps answer some questions. We welcome the opportunity to have a warrior on Gun Talk Radio to discuss how hunting or events of the like have supported their recovery. We responded too quickly to his request and should have delved a bit deeper.
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Old November 14, 2012, 05:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Agree with Brian Pfleuger on this completely. Are there any other similar group(s) to support?
How about an organization dedicated to putting wounded vets back on the firing line? Or, for many, onto the firing line for the first time? Primarily focused on CMP type shooting. Providing rifles, equipment, and coaching and opportunities to compete?

M1 for Vets. It's a very small, low key 'organization'. Mostly made up of a whole bunch of extremely loosely organized CMP affiliated clubs around the country. Really just a bunch of shooters doing it for other shooters.

Here's the website but, like I said, it's a small group and the site gets updated on an irregular basis. http://www.m1forvets.com/Home_Page.html
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Old November 14, 2012, 05:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron228
This just went up on their Facebook page:
Interesting.

That explanation seems to fly in the face of the statement on their site, the email explanations and the direct refusal to appear on GunTalk.

Which is to be believed?
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Old November 14, 2012, 05:38 PM   #22
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OK, I am convinced, and withdraw my previous attempt at justifying their position. I guess I was so in favor of their purpose that I wanted to see it their way.

If anyone has insight into their finances, I would welcome a PM. If I am missing something, I would like to know how to better evaluate other charitable organizations.
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Old November 14, 2012, 05:43 PM   #23
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The statement on their site seems very convincing. This comes from their 'how to do a fundraiser for us' page at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org...uidelines.aspx

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWP website
Once your committee is in place, begin researching types of events to hold. Keep in mind who your potential supporters are, your event location, and your volunteer base. Some popular ideas that have been successful in the past include sports tournaments, walk/run, benefit dinner, motorcycle or car event, and concerts. When organizing a fundraiser or event to benefit Wounded Warrior Project™ (WWP), please bear in mind we do not support any fundraiser that is of a sexual, political, religious nature, or exchange of firearms or alcohol.
They don't want your money.

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Old November 14, 2012, 05:52 PM   #24
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Simply Rugged Holsters mentioned this on their Facebook page also.
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:06 PM   #25
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The majority of there statement seems to be your normal corporate PR/PC to back peddle some of the statements in the email exchange . If they would not have included the last paragraph . I would have said they were just covering there a--. The fact they said
Quote:
We welcome the opportunity to have a warrior on Gun Talk Radio to discuss how hunting or events of the like have supported their recovery. We responded too quickly to his request and should have delved a bit deeper.
seems to me to indicate they are sincere in trying to correct any damage they have done . Now lets just hope when the do appear on gun talk the host is respectfull and does not come off making us all look bad .
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