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So, a pro-gunny infiltrated an anti-gunny group:

Mary McFate was a prominent gun control activist. Mary Lou Sapone was a freelance spy with an NRA connection. They are the same person. A Mother Jones investigation.

This is the story of two Marys. Both are in their early 60s, heavyset, with curly reddish hair. But for years they have worked on opposite ends of the same issues. Mary McFate is an advocate of environmental causes and a prominent activist within the gun control movement. For more than a decade, she volunteered for various gun violence prevention organizations, serving on the boards of anti-gun outfits, helping state groups coordinate their activities, lobbying in Washington for gun control legislation, and regularly attending strategy and organizing meetings.

Mary Lou Sapone, by contrast, is a self-described “research consultant,” who for decades has covertly infiltrated citizens groups for private security firms hired by corporations that are targeted by activist campaigns. For some time, Sapone also worked for the National Rifle Association.

But these two Marys share a lot in common—a Mother Jones investigation has found that McFate and Sapone are, in fact, the same person. And this discovery has caused the leaders of gun violence prevention organizations to conclude that for years they have been penetrated—at the highest levels—by the NRA or other pro-gun parties. “It raises the question,” says Paul Helmke, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “of what did she find out and what did they want her to find out.”

She’s apparently quite a busy lady.

Update: From our s00per seekrit gun blobber meeting, Thirdpower says:

She became a leader of Pennsylvanians Against Handgun Violence and later a board member of Ceasefire Pennsylvania.

So they had a mole, a bigot, and a UFO nut.


Update 2: Sebastian:

Hey Peter, Doug… Paul is a Republican. From a very pro-gun state. Haven’t you found that to be a little suspicious? Just sayin.

Double heh.

12 Responses to “pwned”

  1. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Ha! Saw that over at Washington Monthly, was going to blog it but my shitty webhost is taking a dump again.

    What I was gonna say is…so what? The antis over there have their panties in a knot, but really…what damage could we possibly have done?

    It’s like…”gasp! they’re trying to ban guns!” You don’t need a mole to figger that one out, Holmes :).

  2. bwm Says:

    Of course the reverse could never happen.


  3. Nomen Nescio Says:

    on the one hand, i can see why Mother Jones magazine would be upset. shades of COINTELPRO privatized and warmed up.

    on the other hand, if her self-description of “research consultant” is anywhere near realistic, she certainly went remarkably far in her “research”. i can think of some reasons why that might be, but they’re all pretty damn hypothetical, so not much point speculating.

  4. Nomen Nescio Says:

    BTW, Sebastian-PGP, seems your blog’s down with some wordpress flu. did you know?

  5. Sebastian Says:

    Actually, BWM, it would be much harder to do to NRA, because board members are elected my membership. To even get on the ballot, you have to get past the nominating committee, or get 250 life or voting non-life members to sign a petition to get you on the ballot. After that, you have to have enough achievements to get at least 40,000 NRA members to vote for you. The circles of trust on our side of the movement are much wider, and even then, the left hand doesn’t often know what the right hand is up to.

    The reason they got burnt on this is because they have very little or not real grass roots. So all it takes to get into their inner circles is getting a few people to trust you. I would not unequivocally say this could never happen to NRA, but it would be much harder, and would require a much more talented mole.

  6. Sebastian Says:

    Plus, in the past they haven’t needed moles. They have guys like Richard Feldman, who get pissed at NRA, and write tell all books. Then there are the Bob Rickers of the world.

  7. countertop Says:


    Maybe this explains why Bill Haslam refuses to discuss his membership in Mayors Against Guns.

    It certainly makes more sense than being abigoted gun banning mayor from E. Tennessee.

  8. wizardpc Says:

    Plus anti-gun moles are real easy to pick out at the range. They’re the ones that react with abject horror when someone pulls out a class III.

  9. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Yeah my webhost was having a database issue…restored. What a PITA.

  10. Brad Says:

    Revealing the mole has panicked the anti-gun crusaders into fearing that other moles might have been or still are active amongst them.

    Well I guess the jig is up then. Josh Sugarmann of the VPC has been one of our agent provocateurs for some time. After all the split between the VPC and the Brady’s in 2004 over strategy to renew the AW ban was very helpful to us in defeating that ban.

    So from all your friends in the gun-rights movement, you’ve done the cause great service Josh. I guess it’s finally time for you to come in from the cold and put that FFL of yours to greater use. (I can’t believe they bought the story that your FFL was for “research”! Those anti-gun folks are so gullible)

  11. DirtCrashr Says:

    SHHH! Don’t tell anybody about Josh Sugarmann!! Mother Jones is published out West here in the City by the Bay, and the Pony Express is slow to arrive. SHHH!!

  12. Phil Stanhope Says:

    The Mother Jones article just proves what I long have thought: Forget James Bond — unassuming middle-aged women make the very best spies.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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