The NRA is going to have a news conference this morning that was announced earlier in the week with this tidbit: "The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
What does that mean? Will they announce a free training program for school staff? Will they announce a partnership with Ruger to provide free pistols to principals? Or will they say that the conversation must start toward some rational gun control laws to keep assault weapons out of the wrong hands? I am a life member of the NRA... have been for quite a few years. But the NRA has a terrible history of truly caving and dropping the ball when the chips are down.
They supported the Gun Control Act of '68. That made dealing and buying firearms inconvenient at best and did nothing to prevent crime. They did not fight the illegally passed Hughes amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act in 1986 which effectively ended civilian ownership of full automatic weapons except those already in the registry. Overnight, the price of a Tommy Gun went from a couple thousand to $20,000. In 1989, they did nothing when Bush 41 used executive order to ban the importation of many of the finest foreign weapons available. They caved and allowed the Clinton so-called Assault Weapons Ban to happen in 1994. The NRA talks gun rights, but they haven't done a great job of living it.
There are a couple things we can do...
- Look at joining and supporting the no-compromise gun rights organizations: Gun Owners of America and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership are two that I know of.
- Deluge your elected servants in the local city hall, the state house, and that den of vipers, Washington, with polite, yet firm letters, emails and phone calls letting them know how you feel about infringements upon our rights
- Educate your friends. There are a lot of solid, pro 2A folks out there. There are also some rabid, irrational antis. The rest fall in the middle. Maybe they hunt once or twice a year. They might own an old .357 for home defense. They might shoot skeet. But they don't have much exposure or understanding of weapons that look like military or are scary and black. When they say that maybe an assault weapon ban is good because nobody needs that type of gun, rather than getting mad and calling them a commie rat bastard, reach out. Explain the fact that the AR15 and AK47 were designed 50-60 years ago and that their technology dates to the 1890s. Talk about the sporting uses such as 3-gun matches and the Camp Perry National Matches. Show them that other than cosmetics, these guns are no different than many hunting weapons. Bring up something they like but that no one needs... nobody needs a Corvette that can go 100 mph over the speed limit. Nobody needs a riding mower for a residential yard that could run over and kill a small child. Nobody needs a dangerous nail gun - haven't they seen Lethal Weapon II?
- Invite a non-shooter to the range. I just had an encounter on FB with a guy I went to high school with. He was speaking from fear and misunderstanding, lashing out at "high capacity clips," "military style weapons," and nobody needs something that can "spray all those bullets." I invited him to go to the range with me to shoot such guns and learn what they truly are and can do. He works weekends, but we are heading out during my spring break to do it. I think that just the invitation has eased his fears of the unknown a little.
Edited while I'm watching the NRA press conference...
Thank you, NRA! The National School Shield Safety Program is an amazing step in the right direction! I am PROUD to be a life member of the NRA and a school safety professional!