Wounded Warrior Used To Like Guns

aac_big_bang_2010_tfb-tfb

Controversy has erupted online over the Wounded Warrior Project not wanting to appear on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk radio show because they don’t want anything to do with firearms. This must be a new policy because they co-branded the AAC Big Bang Party party I attended in 2010.

WWP logo is underneath Remington
Jeremy Feldbusch, Wounded Warrior
Project national spokesman at the time, and AAC’s Rachel

According to their PR person Leslie Coleman …

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.

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.

Guns are one of my two addictions (caffeine being the other).

[ Many thanks to Erick for the tip. ]


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


Advertisement

  • http://vuurwapenblog.com Andrew Tuohy

    I’m more concerned about the fact that they are a much-hyped but not terribly efficient charity. I like my donations to go to the causes I choose, not to admin costs or executive salaries.

    • http://www.triangletactical.net/ Luke

      Hope for the Warriors FTW!

    • Rob J.

      WWP is an accredited charity by the better business bureau. Administrative costs are 4%, which is identical to the Red Cross. 13% goes to fund raising, and 83% of donations to WWP go directly to programs. WWP is actually more efficient than some bigger charities, including the American Cancer Society, and is much more efficient than pretty much every other veterans’ charity. Please don’t spout inaccuracies like this without facts to back it up, you’re doing veterans a disservice through sharing your ignorance.

      http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/veterans-and-military/wounded-warrior-project-in-jacksonville-fl-3806/financial

      • http://vuurwapenblog.com Andrew Tuohy

        Here are some facts.

        http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12842

        Rated significantly lower than Fisher House or Operation Homefront.

        Pulling the “you’re doing veterans a disservice” card is a bit rich, for a supporter of one of the flashiest and most inefficient “charities” oriented towards veterans. Oh, and I’m a “disabled” veteran.

      • Matt

        Hey Rob (*Cough Cough* WWP Shill)

        Andrew Tuohy (AKA Mr. Vuurwapen) just bitch slapped you.

        WWP is ENTIRELY in the wrong here. I hope they get MASSIVELY screwed.

      • Rob J.

        Fisher house does not disclose its financials on either charity navigator or bbb, so I cant comment. Operation Homefront in the other hand, does do better than Wounded Warrior in terms of percentages. Notice though that WWP brings in about 5 times the income if Operation Homefront, so even with a lower fundraising efficiency, it gets much more money to the programs it supports. The 13% fundraising expenditure is obviously well spent.

        I don’t mean any disrespect, but I stand by my original assertion. Also, to Matt, I am not affiliated with WWP in any way. I’m just making a case against knee-jerk reactions to a perceived (not real) threat on our rights. The 2nd amendment is safe, plenty of organizations ensure that. WWP is a charity, not a lobbying group.

  • ruben

    who do they think donates money to their cause, womens rotary clubs. i bet a majorty of their donations come from gun guys and gun and gun related manufacturers. i just hope this rediculous policy doesnt hurt the wounded warriors they claim to help. politics rears its ugly head yet again.

  • Tim Ellwood

    Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
    $319,692 0.55% Steven Nardizzi Executive Director

    To me, that seems like a lot of money to be the Director

    From
    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12842

    • tincankilla

      Not as bad as the head of the NRA:

      Wayne LaPierre, Executive VP/Ex-Officio
      National Rifle Association & Foundation, respectively
      $970,300

      http://www.charitywatch.org/hottopics/Top25.html

      • Mu

        Next time he calls me I have to ask him why he’s bugging me for money if he makes so much more money than me.

    • Komrad

      I think I read somewhere that 0.5% of total income is typical compensation for the heads of major charities. I don’t remember where I heard that though, so don’t quote me on it.

  • klyph

    Support local charity. If a charity is co-branding, it’s a brand, not a worthwhile cause.

  • Obie

    “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.”

    Do they ban co-branding with other companies that supply products that can be used as mechanisms to commit suicide? Knife companies? What about those that manufacture or sell 550 cord? I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but as an Iraq vet myself, there is a great amount of benefit many vets get in shooting off firearms, particulalry those they used downrange.

    I wonder how much of this is a legitimate shift in conern vs. a shift in gun ideology. Barring a whole industry from helping the WWP for this reason is no doubt the right of the organization, but in my opinion a foolish and shortsighted one by manufacturers who are virtually all extremely patriotic.

  • Nadnerbus

    I have very little knowledge of the charity, but my gut feeling is it’s just an artifact of them going mainstream. They are big now, so the usual corporate, lawyer-tested crap is going to start taking over. Risk mitigation, general audience PR, the usual soulless stuff that makes big organizations so easy to hate but also usually so successful. Wounded Warrior collects at the register of my local grocery store like the big prostate cancer and muscular dystrophy charities. That puts it up there.

    They really should reconsider this one though. It goes directly against their core audience’s values. And as already mentioned, I know a few vets that get a lot of enjoyment and, in a way, continuity out of owning and shooting weapons very similar to the ones they had while in service.

    On a side note, the more a charity partners with large corporations and runs ads, the less I usually trust it to do its core mission.

  • Marc

    Well, I won’t be donating anymore since they have gone “POLITICAL”. It was a nice charity on behalf of the wounded, now it has changed and they don’t deserve my money. I REALLY doubt that their new targeted demographic will donate at current levels. Such a shame if ultimately true.

  • Curzen

    how not wanting to be co-opted into a marketing gimmick for gun manufacturers is twisted into them being against the 2nd amendment is beyond me

    • dan

      A voice of reason thank you

  • gunslinger

    interesting. i didn’t think they would alienate their main donating demographic, but ohwell.

  • Spade

    I don’t like to give that much money to charity, so it is nice when one I actually kinda like makes it easy for me to not donate to them.

  • Danny

    It’s weird they say they don’t take donations from gun companies but I remember BCM was a big WWP supporter. I don’t see anything on BCM’s website anymore though…

  • Ben

    Yeah… right… ’cause nobody ever commits suicide without a gun.

    But you do have to be careful about co-branding, and that sort of thing. You are trying to appeal to a broad range of society, so avoiding strong associations with hot button political issues is probably a good idea.

    OTOH, refusing donations from firearms manufacturers, or not wanting to get your message out on a firearms related radio show… that doesn’t really make a lot of sense. The people you are trying not to offend aren’t listening to the show, and a gun owner’s money is just as good as anybody else’s.

    So I gotta think WWP is being pressured by anti-gun donors.

  • Matt G

    Wonder if Bill O’Reilly had something to do with it. He acts conservative but is as anti gun as Bloomberg. I see it in his face. His Dad was a cop and he has the NY attitude that only cops should have guns. He plugs this charity on his show so maybe gave them an ultimatum.

    • Komrad

      I doubt Bill has that much influence or that he would care enough to pressure them even if he could.

      This is likely just a result of them going mainstream.

  • IllTemperedCur

    WWP wasn’t worried about getting support from gun companies back in May when they took Kahr Arms’ $50k donation.
    http://www.kahr.com/kahr-news.asp#WWP

  • Mike Knox

    Maybe it’s something to do with wounded warriors not liking something that causes wounds..

    • Matt

      I know absolutely no vets who dislike firearms.

      In fact, I’ve been helping a (three time deployed) Marine (and disabled vet) cope with his PTSD and disability as much as possible over the last year, the thing that helped him the most? Firearms, and skeet shooting in particular.

      Your point is baseless and stupid.

      • Mike Knox

        So you’d know, Combat Veterans aren’t the only ones that suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Physical Rehabilitation isn’t the most efficient means of therapy. I took extra studies in Psychology while in school, Mental/Psychological Trauma included. So, that I can say, your example wouldn’t make an efficient and lasting effect.

        People with high risk duties are most prone to this Disorder, not just Combat Personel but Law Enforcement, Emergency Services, or even Civilian Occupations like Bank Tellers, Transit Operators and Fishermen can suffer as well. It’s more dire with the latter examples since they aren’t as conditioned to loss of life and threats of physical harm.

        An Important thing I’ve learned from a Surgeon who served as a British Royal Marine that one of the most Crucial Factor and Means to Complete recovery from PTSD (even with Severe Physical Injuries, disabling and otherwise), is not Firearms as you’ve suggested but basic Humour. Something you may certainly lack because My first comment is merely a Joke.

        Therefore, before you to jeer at something, you really should try and experience something these Stricken Individuals went through. Having taken or lost a life at the Weakest Mental Point can be a really jarring experience..

      • dan

        I know 4 that don’t own firearms and flat out refuse to go to the range, Two come from families where everyone hunts religiously and yet they refuse, So what is baseless and stupid now? Vets aren’t all gun guys. My brother works for a very liberal state senator who would love nothing more than to take your guns and he is against private gun ownership but he loves to go shooting with me and hunting, then tells me how illegal it should be. Not all gun banners hate guns they just hate that we can have them.

  • http://www.thehollowgrind.com Dave

    I would like to wager that this is in direct relation to Google’s ban on weapons in the middle of October.
    Google has banned ALL paid advertising (adwords) and shopping results from ANY company who sells or promotes firearms or other weapons.
    Should WWP continue to co-brand or whatever they were doing with firearms, they would be eliminated from paid advertising and shopping results.. even banned from selling their shirts.

    I think their new policy is solely based on money and I do not believe one bit that there is any truth to their statement.

    • Matt

      Then WWP should have taken that policy public and called Google to task. Google would’ve been CRUCIFIED. Publicly held company saying screw you to vets… right…

  • Bryan S.

    Perhaps they should remove the gun from their logo.

    • Rob J.

      I would agree if the logo was of a gun with two soldiers attached. That’s obviously not the case; it’s a soldier carrying another wounded soldier.

  • Jimmy

    WWP was actually on my short list of charaties I would be making donations to for 2012. It’s been my practice for several years now to sit down Thanksgiving evening (with a turkey sandwich and a glass of brandy), after the late football game is over and all the family have left to go back to their homes, and write out my checks and address my envelopes for the charities I’ve decided to make lump sum donations to for the current year. I’m very careful about who will receive my donations and usually narrow down the recipients to four charities in diverse fields of interest. Because of their political stance against firearms, I will not be donating to WWP this year or any year in the future. My previously earmarked WWP donation will now be going to a charity called “Habitat for Horses”, which provides rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption services for abused and neglected horses. These are horses that the typical SPCA chapters would have to have put down since they don’t the facilities, budgets or staff to care for feed these large animals. Being both a horse owner myself and gun enthusiast, I easily attest that the majority of the numerous and wide variety of horse owners I have been acquainted with over the years have been staunch 2nd amendment supporters. So, in addition to the share of charitible donation funds I had already intended to give to Habitat for Horses, I shall now be adding to those funds the amount I had intended for the WWP.

    I sincerely encourage others to either do the same or something similar.

    • Rob J.

      The 2nd amendment is certainly important, and deserves to be preserved. That being said, at least donate your money to another charity that helps veterans. What you’re saying with your money is essentially “Horses are more important than Veterans.” If you believe that, that’s fine, but I’m pretty sure you don’t.

    • dan

      Ask that charity what their stance on firearms is or what associations they are associated with I bet it is no better than WWP. You guys have yet to show me where they claim to hate guns, shying away from guns and alcohol is fine, churches do it, schools do it so are you going to stop sending your kids to school? Are you going to stop attending church? Any Wells Fargo customers here? Better find a new bank. Are all of the goods and services you buy produced by a gun friendly business?

  • Rob J.

    Sure, the WWP made a pretty dumb move to alienate support, I’ve got no argument about that. However, as gun enthusiasts and/or owners, let’s not forget one important thing: WWP is NOT and has NEVER been about guns. It’s about helping and rehabilitating veterans. If the fact that a charity will lose your support simply because they snubbed a radio appearance, then you have to ask yourself a tough question: do you care more about small-time political gamesmanship, or our veterans?

    • Matt

      There are many MANY other worthy organizations out there that support our veterans and DON’T screw with our rights. Your argument is invalid and baseless.

      • Rob J.

        As mentioned in a previous comment, WWP brings in $125 million, 83% of which goes to programs. Operation Homefront brings in about $25 million, 94% of which goes to programs. WWP may not be the most efficient charity in the world, but it brings in a lot more money than OH. Please debate me with facts, not opinions.

      • Sian

        @Rob
        Your donation gets to vets either way, there’s no reason to donate to the larger organization over the smaller one, and if that organization’s stance on a certain issue is a reason to make that choice, then so be it.

        Even better, donate to a LOCAL veterans organization and make a difference on your own community.

      • Rob J.

        I agree with you Sian, all I’m trying to say is that pulling donations from WWP does not equal an equivalent increase in donations to other charities. WWP is successful because they’re basically a household name thanks to marketing; other charities either don’t or can’t attract that kind of investment. In the end it’s a numbers game, and every donation counts, even if you may not agree with a policy that has nothing to do with the mission of the charity.

      • dan

        How exactly are they screwing with your rights? I didn’t see them releasing statements calling for gun control. Distancing yourself from the gun companies isn’t the same as gun control so sorry your argument is invalid and baseless until you show me where they say ban guns.

  • akim

    ask a mother who lost her sons to war overseas or back home if she gives a shit about guns or politics the wwp is about vets not politics

    • dan

      Agree’d I don’t care much for their PC crap but the money(some of it) is going to help people who deserve it, their may be better ways to get the money to those people buy any help is better than none. Until they come out an call for an end to private gun ownership then whatever can’t force people to like guns. Freedoms go both ways

  • David

    Ask WWP about the percentage of Purple Heart recipients that are receiving help from them. You will be very surprised!

    I was at a monthly meeting of the Order of the Purple Heart and we were discussing donating to a worthy veterans group. I suggested WWP as I had been giving to them already. A state officer at the meeting told me that it was his understanding that under 5% of the veterans receiving help were Purple Heart recipients.

    I personally contacted WWP and got a canned answer about what a good charity they are. I pushed back and then got a response to the effect they don’t track that information. I find that hard to believe.

    Coupled with their PC response on guns, it makes it easier to place my donations elsewhere, and advise others to do likewise.

    Member DAV, OPH and VFW (not that it matters)

  • Coldcase1984

    I would humbly suggest everyone reading this investing in their own rights first: purchase an NRA Life Membership. I’ve spent hundreds on WWP donations and related purchases. No more. We got enough lib- smooching BS in this country. I refuse to give any of the toadies my money.

  • Nanban Jim

    Alcohol is a depressant and removes inhibitions. Not wanting to be placed by THAT makes sense, it alters a mental state into one that is more likely to commit suicide.

    A firearm makes no such change in the beholder. WWP is essentially saying that firearms make suicide more accessible and therefore that their removal makes suicide less accessible.

    … presumably because most vets don’t have cars, live in perfectly flat places with no two-story or taller buildings, have no access to sharp objects nor electricity and water, and can’t get hold of multiple bottles of pharmaceuticals. That’s a fascinating fact I had never encountered before!

    Give me a break! This is the same mentality that believes banning firearms will reduce violent crime. No! It will only reduce firearm crime, and then you end up with knife crime like the UK! If you’re going to take a life (or even threaten to), your own or someone else’s, you’ll do it with whatever’s at hand. “On Killing” works for killing yourself too, people. Read it! (except maybe the headline-grabber chapter at the end)

  • RockStarArtist

    My heart palpitated there quickly. It was not because of gun politics, or who said what. I care little for that stuff. My heart went into a petite cardio-arrhythmia because Rachel was being shown in an image. Oh cupid, why do you tease me so?!

  • http://www.tacticaltshirts.com Tacticaltshirts.com

    As an organization they have the right to their opinion. I respect that. But I have the right to mine. If all the “gun-guys” walk away from TWWP, I think they believe they will be fine.

    But…early on, they were hot to trot all over the gun-press and SHOT shows in the beginning. As a business that caters to the second amendment crowd we have been briefing our customers about the situation. Frankly, some just won’t believe it. But most of our customers are in complete shock. Both reactions come from the same spring: It’s THIS community that carried the biggest burden to support TWWP in the beginning. Remember when it was popular among the cool-kids to not support the warriors? Bush’s illegal war, Murtha running his mouth, and the rest of that crap.

    They wanted my money on the way up, but now don’t. God please forgive my personal failings as I kick TWWP on the way down. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to pretend I’m not.

    In the end, it’s not about all those people at TWWP who make SIX FIGURE SALARIES. It’s about those blessed and courageous few who serve my country: the individual warriors. I have spent serious hours working with severely wounded vets. For free. I will continue. For free. My money and time is fungible. It will pop up somewhere else.

    These people be damned.

  • dustin

    I have a Citadel 1911 with the wounded warrior logo all over it! I just purchased it a few months ago. When did all of this take place? Is my gun limited in production now? I have not shot this gun yet should I wait and see if it rises in value.