Saturday, December 22, 2012
The NRA doesn't represent me (thoughts from a gun owner)
The NRA, like the GOP, has found itself well down the road to irrelevance. By pandering to the ideology of the extremists they attract, they've alienated the majority of Americans. This includes many who'd support some of their ideas if it wasn't for their obstinate insistence on no compromise, no common sense solutions.
When faced with horrific tragedies and real issues to be addressed, instead of moving to the center or at least acknowledging an issue with guns, they double down on rhetoric. Instead of catering to mental stable gun owners, they've narrowed their audience further and further by stoking the fires of paranoia in the minds of conspiracy theorists and militia members. Rather than promote responsible gun ownership, they've cashed in on the wannabe Rambos and people who wouldn't be able to pass the psychological exam to become a police officer or soldier.
Now before people start of on the "well, you're just a liberal who wants to take everyone's guns away" tirade, I used to read "American Rifleman" when I was a kid. Every issue started off with a collection of short stories about people who used their weapon to protect themselves and/or shoot a bad guy. Back then, it was more about hunting and self defense than it is today. I really dug the idea of being able to eliminate a coyote at 500 yards with a .25-06 and plinking cans with a .22 has been something I've enjoyed since I was 7 years old. Blowing up a stuff with an AR at a target range out in the middle of the woods? That's a little slice of burnt gunpowder heaven to me.
However, the NRA doesn't represent me anymore. I own a 12 gauge shotgun with shells that range from 00 buckshot for home defense to #6 shot for the water moccasins that hang out in the ditches between the cane fields that surround my house. I have owned various handguns and a concealed carry permit but I don't buy into the constant fear they sell that causes their members to nervously pat their waistband every time they see a black person at the adjacent gas pump at 1 in the morning.
Their answer to gun violence? More fear, more paranoia. Buy more guns, buy more ammo, become a member and slap an NRA sticker on your vehicle to scare off criminals. And seriously, who the fuck are these nuts who want an AR-15 for home defense? Fire one of those at an intruder and miss? That 5.56mm round will scream right through 2 layers of drywall and insulation and right into your spouse or child sleeping in an adjacent room. Don't tell me you need a semi-auto weapon with a 30 round clip and armor piercing rounds to protect you from a crackhead. Chances are you're a lousy shot but let's be honest, you want to really, really kill someone.
These aren't people who really want to protect their homes, they have this delusional, Fox News fed fantasy that Obama and the UN are going to show up to take them to detention camps. They have watched Red Dawn or Rambo one time too many and think that they will somehow fight off an imagined repressive government with a single rifle, and the NRA reinforces that delusion at every opportunity to make even more money.
I'll support reasonable restrictions on gun ownership, including special licenses for military-styled weapons such as an AR-15 and bans on high capacity magazines. I also think that we should take the police officers who we pay to bust people for smoking pot and reassign them to walk the halls of our schools instead. We aren't going to stop gun violence in our country, violence has been part of our history since the beginning. We can make a dent in it and we can make it harder for people who suddenly snap to go on rampages like we saw at Sandy Hook or Aurora.
If you're a responsible person, you should be able support certain safeguards which in no way restrict your ability to own or use firearms in a responsible manner. Or you can follow the way of the NRA, double down on stupid, and follow the bloody trail to irrelevancy. Your choice.
Posted by : at 12:09 PM