Fire NRA Board Member for Making Racist Threats


Target: Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association

Goal: Fire NRA board member who allegedly made racist threats against a local politician’s family.

Charles Cotton, an NRA board member, allegedly made a racially-charged threat of “having to put a bullet” in African-American Texas state representative Alma Allen’s children, just because Representative Allen is trying to ban corporal punishment in Texas schools. The NRA must take decisive action against Cotton to demonstrate that it does not endorse these threats. Demand that the NRA fire Cotton from its board of directors immediately.

Representative Allen has been trying without success to ban corporal punishment in Texas schools for eight years, and has introduced a new measure to try to do it again. On Texas Concealed Handgun License, an online forum for Texan gun enthusiasts, Cotton, who in addition to being an NRA board member is also active in the Texas State Rifle Association and on the board of directors for a local Texas gun range, addressed Allen’s most recent efforts. “I’m sick of this woman and her ‘don’t touch my kid regardless what he/she did or will do again’ attitude,” he wrote. “Perhaps a good paddling in school may keep me from having to put a bullet in him later.” He went on to say that, though Representative Allen’s measure “doesn’t deal directly with guns or self-defense,” the NRA should use its full lobbying weight to block its passage into law.

Cotton’s remarks directly threatened a congresswoman’s children on the basis that they are black and, as a result, destined to become criminals that he would ultimately have to murder. Sign the petition below to demand that the NRA hold Cotton accountable for his despicable words and fire him from its board of directors.


Dear Executive Vice President LaPierre,

I am writing you today regarding the conduct of one of your organization’s board members, Charles Cotton. While explicitly acting as a representative for your organization, Cotton made a racist threat against Texas congresswoman Alma Allen’s family. However, he has not yet received any disciplinary action for his disturbing comments.

In an online forum discussion on Representative Allen’s legislation to ban corporal punishment in Texas schools, Cotton wrote “I’m sick of this woman and her ‘don’t touch my kid regardless what he/she did or will do again’ attitude. Perhaps a good paddling in school may keep me from having to put a bullet in him later.” Representative Allen is an African-American woman, African-American students are disproportionately subjected to corporal punishment in schools, and African-American people are disproportionately targeted by police and vigilante violence. How are Cotton’s comments at all appropriate? They are racist and condemn people to fates based on nothing but bigoted stereotypes.

Is this the quality of person the NRA lets into its board of directors? Do his comments reflect the values of your organization? I demand you take decisive action to demonstrate that they do not, and fire Cotton from your board of directors immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Rod Waddington via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Karen Remnant says:

    I signed this petition on the grounds that thus ‘man’ thinks without corporal punishment this woman’s child will deserve shooting later.
    In the report here of what he said there is no mention of the child’s colour. Did he actually say anything about colour?
    His attitude sucks! If a parent gave a child a good ‘paddling’ they would no doubt be charged with child abuse. Why then is it considered by him fine for a school to punish in such a way?
    Wouldn’t want him anywhere near kids!

  2. Only the least educated and most ignorant adults still physically discipline children. Mounds of research clearly show that physically disciplined kids grow up with a wide variety of psychological, emotional and social deficits. Kudos to Representative Allen for trying to ban this out-dated, barbaric, psychologically damaging behavior (i.e. physical discipline).

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