Wounded Warrior Project Exposes Their Anti-Gun and Anti-Religious Policies

November 20, 2012 4:42 pm 15 comments

The Wounded Warrior Project helps returning service members adjust to home life after returning home from war with physical and psychological injuries. This organization is one that I have supported personally, and their mission is one that is close to the heart of everyone at The Patriot Statesman.

Recent emails from Leslie Coleman, The Wounded Warrior Project’s public relations director, showed a very different side of the organization that many have found quite shocking.

These emails were exposed by gun writer and television host Tom Gresham. Gresham invited The Wounded Warrior Project onto his television show, Gun Talk, to help increase awareness and support fundraising for the WWP organization. Leslie declined to be on Gresham’s show, indicating that The Wounded Warrior Project “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.”

 

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

 

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

Wounded Warrior Project’s PR director Leslie Coleman soon responded:

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/additional-opportunities.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

 

Leslie Coleman made it very clear that WWP doesn’t not want their brand associated with any message that is sexual, political or religious in nature, or related to alcohol or firearms companies.

I can understand that they would not want to be connected to a sexually oriented business, but why does the WWP distance itself from firearms and religion?

Although they claim to not associate their brand with these topics, they have done so in the past. For example, here is a link to the WWP holding an event at the Playboy Mansion – one of the most iconic sexually oriented businesses in the world. Here is another link announcing that WWP will be taking donations from Trijicon and Kahr Arms, two well know brands in the firearms business

The email exchange continues:

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

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

Leslie Coleman explained that the same service members that put their life on the line to defend our Constitution and Bill of Rights – the same Bill of Rights that protects our right to bear arms – now cannot be trusted with guns because they might kill themselves with them. Gresham’s response to this logic was right on the mark.

In response to a firestorm of questions about whether or not the Wounded Warrior Project is anti-gun, the organization’s CEO Steven Nardizzi has agreed to appear on the Gun Talk Radio show to explain WWP’s policy on firearms, working with firearms companies, and more.

“I’m really glad that the Wounded Warrior Project is coming on the show to clarify their position on this,” said radio show host Tom Gresham. “It has been really confusing to see them taking donations from firearms manufacturers as well as hunting groups, and then to be told that they won’t appear in public with us. The latest communication from WWP is that this is all a big mistake and that they want to clear it up with me this Sunday.”

15 Comments

  • IMO, the Wounded Warrier Project is pro wounded warrior.
    Their policy seems to avoid ‘co-branding’ with a number of entities. That does not make them anti-gun anymore than the pro-gun organizations response make them ‘anti-wounded warrior. As for Gresham’s ‘suicides are not linked to firearms, he is apparently unaware of studies by the military that 88% actually are.

    • You must be talking about the convoluted studies by the military. Any study the military may do is going to be done on the bell curve and it will be done to support a position they want.

      If, in fact, the percentage is 88%, then who is to blame?

      Do we blame the gun manufacturers?

      That would be equivalent to saying the car manufacturers are directly responsible for the problems drunk drivers cause.

    • And apparently you are not aware of the ongoing research that started in the 1960′s and continually disproves that 88% by confirming that those without guns WILL take their lives by other means. If you remove guns, you DO NOT lower the suicide rate, you simply change the method. This has been known for about half a century – where have you been.

    • J. Maddocks

      BB, how can an inanimate object be LINKED to the act of suicide? That is ridiculous. Don’t you suppose those who want to kill themselves would find another way of getting the job done? Would you be saying that you will not support trains. many have died in front of them?

    • “As for Gresham’s ‘suicides are not linked to firearms, he is apparently unaware of studies by the military that 88% actually are.”

      That’s a pretty one dimensional view of suicide and its relation to guns.

      There are different “types” of suicidal people, cutters, jumpers, etc.

      Different people will use was is most “comfortable” to each. If someone was at war and saw many people die from being shot, that person may feel familiar with that method and consider it most efficient. But lacking that device, that person will find another way. If the person’s “type” requires a violent exit, then perhaps crashing a car into an oncoming vehicle might do it.

      Secondly, you are discussing correlation statistics. A basic premise of that study is that correlation does not equal causation. A may cause B, or B may cause A, or an unknown C may cause both A and B. In this case, I think it’s fair to say that the trauma of war led to feelings of depression and apathy after spending years in a hyper-charged environment where every decision could determine survival for the soldier and his or her group. Sometimes after such an experience, it’s kind of hard to care whether rent gets paid or not.

      My opinion is therefore that the “solution” is to try and heal the soldier. And you are not going to do that if you vilify the very existence of the tools they have mastered. You are not going to do that if, after decades of society working to remove the stigma of mental illness so that people would come forward and get help, you brand the stigma onto their foreheads with a hot iron, as was done recently to all those who sought compensation for PTSD when their right to own arms was removed and they were put on an ineligible persons list.

      Such actions exacerbate their conditions and are discriminatory. What percentage of soldiers who asked for PTSD compensation go on shooting binges? Why do these heroes not have a right to due process and individual hearings? Only because of fear and ignorance by those who never protected anybody else.

      The worst part is that the Wounded Warrior Project stigmatizes them even more profoundly by making these decisions for them, as if the soldiers were ineffectual little children incapable of making their own choices. How lacking in compassion, especially coming from a group who are supposedly on their side.

  • Chris Ottinger

    This fella must somehow be connected with Fox News.

    There are far more suicide deaths by guns than homicides in the United States of America. Hopefully someday Mister Gresham will become suicidal.

    • Perhaps you should as well and rid the world of your stupidity.

      HURRR FOX NEWS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING WRONG IN AMERICA.”
      Just shut your mouth and refrain from spouting your stupidity. People like you are brainwashed scum that have been overburdened with an abundance of propaganda, not education.
      And it wouldnt matter if every suicide was by gun. Becuase if people didn’t have guns they would kill themselves in other ways. Pills, drowning, hanging, arson (though rare) hemorrhage, falling, breaking neck. etc. must I go on?
      You morons focus on what is used to commit suicide, NEVER WHAT CAUSES IT, and what causes it is bad morality and bad foundation of morality. Stupidity the likes of yourself, Ideology makes people commit suicide, not the option of it. Dumb ass.

      • Well said, Samuel…ignorant liberals don’t even want to know the facts or contemplate truth. I am so sick-and-tired of dumb-azz fools blaming Fox News and its personalities for what is wrong with liberal policies…that do not work and never will! People who commit suicide need psychological help and we, as a country, ignore mental health.

        • Don’t you find it hilarious that the liberals are always hating on Fox News, but they are always the ones that report on what is really going on in the Annointed One’s regime, and the rest either ignore it, or cover it up, or try to play catch up when they can’t cover his ass anymore.

    • Roy Dille-Hayes

      Chris Ottinger, I find your comment extremely disgusting. Yes guns are used as the weapon of choice by many when committing suicide but it is not the weapons fault. Deal with the suicide not the weapon used. And I hope that you really stop and think about wanting anyone to become suicidal, that is disgusting. Mr. Gresham is making a very valid point about the Wounded Warrior Project not willing to accept help from Gun People.

  • IF it is there policy not to accept “proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.”, then can someone explain to me why EVERY gun shop or gun range I have been in have signs saying that they support the Wounded Warrior program?

  • Here is a crazy idea. Why not wait until the CEO Steven Nardizzi explains things before every gets all up in arms (pun intended) :)

  • Wounded Warrior Project Rejects Funds from Local Church

    http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2985093/posts

    How does Gary Sinise feel about all this since he is both a Christian, and a big backer of WWP and also a Conservative.

    Seems to me that WWP has some serious problems that need to be fixed.

  • I am appalled that wounded warriors is a farce.Is this another one of Obama’s schemes to bilk money for all the wrong reasons.This too needs to be investigated to see if any wounded warrior has benefitted from the money that has been sent.I for one,will send it to everyone I can to look into this.

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