The NRA board voted to name Meadows its new president in April after North was forced out over a struggle with LaPierre over the organization’s financial woes, The Washington Times reported.
Meadows was elected to the NRA board in 2003 and was elected second vice president in 2017, according to The Times.
Meadows also serves on the board of the American Conservative Union and is the Chairman of the Stone Mountain Board of Directors, according to her ACU bio. She also serves on the Republicans Overseas Advisory Board and Council on National Policy Board and is a former three-term Georgia Republican National Committeewoman.
In an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal days after being named NRA president, Meadows vowed that her goals are to “get Donald Trump reelected,” bring “unity” to the organization, be “politically active.” She added that she supports “arming teachers” in schools and arming people in churches.
Meadows also criticized Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, an African-American mother who ran for office after her teenage son was killed for allegedly playing his music too loudly at a Florida gas station.
“It is wrong to say like McBath said, that the reason she won was because of her anti-gun stance. That didn’t have anything to do with it — it had to do with being a minority female,” Meadows told the Journal.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Carolyn Meadows Was Named President of the NRA After Oliver North Was Forced Out
Meadows is a former Republican National Committeewoman from Georgia who was named to the NRA board in 2003 and was elected second vice president in 2017. She was elected president of the NRA in April 2019 after former President Oliver North was forced out amid a feud with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre.
LaPierre wrote in a letter to the NRA board that North attempted to extort him by threatening to release damaging information about the group’s spending unless LaPierre stepped down, which he refused to do. Days later, North announced he would not seek re-election, The Washington Times reported.
LaPierre was unanimously re-elected as head of the NRA.
2. Meadows is the Chairwoman of the Largest Confederate Monument in the US
Meadows is listed by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association as the chairperson of its board of directors, which notes she is also a member of the American Conservative Union and a longtime Republican.
Stone Mountain is a memorial that features a carving of Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis. The Smithsonian magazine described it in 2017 as a “testament to the enduring legacy of white supremacy.”
The magazine noted that it was also closely linked with the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The report noted that KKK leader William Simmons “ushered in the modern era of the Ku Klux Klan, founding the Second KKK at the top of Stone Mountain on November 25, 1915,” in a ceremony intended to signal “a new era of white nationalist terrorism.”
The memorial was shelved after the KKK ceremony for decades but plans to build the memorial to the Confederate leaders was revived amid right-wing backlash to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court. The monument was completed in 1972.
3. Meadows Blocked MLK Monument, Dismissed Rep. Lucy McBath as ‘Minority Female’
Meadows sat on the board of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association when it blocked the construction of a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. in 2015, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Meadows has sat on the board’s chairperson since at least 2013.
In 2015, the chief executive officer of the group proposed building a replica of the Liberty Bell atop Stone Mountain to honor King, who said in his iconic “I Have a Dream Speech”: “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.”
The Journal-Constitution reported that “the park’s all-white governing board decided” that “such a monument would clash with the legislated purpose of the state-owned park as a memorial to the Confederacy.”
Meadows was also criticized for her comments about Rep. Lucy McBath, who became involved in political activism after her son was fatally shot and was elected to Congress in November 2018.
“It is wrong to say like McBath said, that the reason she won was because of her anti-gun stance,” Meadows said of McBath in an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal. “That didn’t have anything to do with it — it had to do with being a minority female. And the Democrats really turned out, and that’s the problem we have with conservatives — we don’t turn out as well.”
McBath fired off a series of responses on Twitter:
4. Meadows Says Her Position on Guns in Schools & Churches is Even More Extreme Than The NRA’s
Meadows said in the interview with the Daily Journal that her stance on guns is in some cases even more extreme than the NRA’s.
“I believe in arming teachers. Absolutely. In my church, I’m armed. My pastor is a shooter, a hunter, he knows I am, people in the congregation do,” she said, clarifying that, “this is not [an] NRA position. But as far as I’m concerned, I’d love to have a sign out front: ‘We have gun-toting teachers and security.’”
Meadows said that the NRA will work on re-electing Trump and restoring unity.
“We’re going to work to get Donald Trump reelected, unity, and that’s primarily it, to be politically active, to bring gun-toters into the fold, to get more gun-toters to join NRA,” she told the Journal. “It’s a powerful lobby, not just for gun rights, but for rights. We believe in the Constitution. When we take our oath of office we actually swear allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. That’s why I do it.”
5. Meadows Says Her Entire Family Are All ‘Patriots, Shooters, and Life Members of the NRA’
Meadows, 80, was born and raised in east Cobb, Georgia where she and her husband of 60 years, Bob Meadows, still live, according to the Daily Journal.
Meadows told the outlet that her husband and their three sons “are all conservative Republicans. They are patriots. They are shooters. They all have guns. They are all life members of the NRA.”
Meadows said she identified “fiercely” as a conservative going back to her high school days in the 1950s. Three of her older brothers fought in World War II. One of them, Robert Marion Dodgen, was shot down and killed over Germany.
Meadows said she accepted the job as NRA president to “save this country.”
“I would not have taken this job if I didn’t feel like I could save this country. That’s obvious, I’m not young. … My husband said, ‘Your whole life has led you to this point.’ And he said, ‘If you don’t do it, you dishonor God,’” Meadows said, adding she’s “not a religious person — I’m a Christian,”