National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
I just received your letter of July 18, 2011 inviting me to your upcoming American Values Leadership Forum at the end of September. I must say, the guest list looks like a conservative all-star lineup — Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour, John Boehner, John Bolton, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Oliver North, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney — although, as a libertarian, I was disappointed to see you did not include Ron Paul. I guess he would have freaked the traditionals, huh?
By the way, I can’t help notice you call them all “invited speakers,” as if some of them haven’t actually agreed to appear. I sure hope that’s not the case, otherwise people might think you’re padding the list to make yourselves look important. Ha, ha.
My reason for writing is to let you know about a matter of incompetence among your staff that reflects badly on the NRA and on you personally. You see, I was pretty excited that you, the Executive Vice President and CEO of the NRA, wrote to me personally to say, “I’m extending to you this invitation to be my personal guest at NRA’s 2012 American Values Leadership Forum.” So you can imagine my surprise that your letter was accompanied by an “Official R.S.V.P.” that in included a list of ticket prices ranging from $125 all the way up to $1000!
I know! Right? You’re a sophisticated Washington insider, a power broker representing millions of NRA members. There’s no way you’d commit the serious etiquette breach of inviting someone to attend a gathering as a personal guest and then expect them to pay to be there. You need to look into this, because someone in your mail room is making you look like a total ass.
I just thought you should know.
In any case, as I am starting a new job and it would be imprudent to take the time off, I regret I must decline your kind invitation.