LETTER: NRA has Turned Into An Extreme Group That Ignores Safety

MacDonald: "What was once an organization focused on gun safety has now become an organization focused on commercial enterprise without regard for the implications of their policies."

Shooting BB guns was a right of passage for a 12 year boy. I couldn't wait to get one, and I remember that Christmas morning when I saw the long, bow-wrapped package standing up against the wall. I eagerly ripped open the package to find the most beautiful wood-grained Daisy BB rifle gun I'd ever seen.

My friends and I would set up targets in the yard, which could have been anything from cans, to bottles, to bulls-eyed sheets. My friend's dad (Barry) was an avid gun sportsman. Barry was a hunter who belonged to a gun club where I was introduced to skeet shooting.

But, before I even held one of his guns, Barry impressed safety rules on me. We signed up for gun safety classes, which were sponsored by the NRA.

There was a definitive tone of solemnity about these classes accompanied by an overwhelming sense of responsibility one assumed when handling a gun.

It was meant for sport, and as such, knowing the safety rules about handling a gun was of utmost priority. Thus is my experience with guns and the NRA.

Back then, it was about encouraging and supporting safe gun use. I understood how incredibly dangerous one of these weapons could be based on the training and experience I gained with them.

But now, the NRA has turned into an extreme group whose sole purpose is to increase the sale of guns, ignoring the safety ramifications of their agenda.

Assault weapons in the hands of non-US military is a safety issue.

Enabling gun purchases to be made without a background check is a safety issue.

What was once an organization focused on gun safety has now become an organization focused on commercial enterprise without regard for the implications of their policies.

Tim MacDonald


Tim MacDonald December 24, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Thanks Susin. I have more to say and I will continue to say it.
Betty Lehrman December 24, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Unfortunately, Mark, today's seemingly-rational human being may become next week's "nut job." Keeping guns out of the hands of "the mentally ill" isn't quite as easy as it sounds. Does that mean that anyone who has ever seen a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker needs to be in a national directory which tracks gun sales? What about an angry 15-year-old who hasn't been able to get treatment? How do we track him? Yes, evil will always be with us, but the ability to kill vast numbers of people in mere seconds doesn't have to be.
Tim MacDonald December 25, 2012 at 01:38 AM
As a parent, I felt a sense of responsibility for what happened at Sandy Hook. We lost 20 sweet little 6/7 year old angels and 6 incredibly brave adults because of a systemic societal failure involving mental health issues, family issues, and easy access to lethal weapons. I then ask: what kind of value system do we want reflected in our nation's laws? Do we want a country where we enable unfettered access to guns without regard for the implications? Or, do we want a nation that BOTH respects the rights granted in the second amendment AND provides SENSIBLE gun laws? I prefer we enact sensible laws. Why? Because that reflects my values. We won't be able to legislate away every possible bad event from happening, but if we don't take a hard look at our laws, and see if there isn't something we could do to reduce the chance that something like this could happen, or reduce the number of people killed if it does, then we are failing as a society. If we do nothing, and worse, if we continue to pass NRA-backed laws that benefit their sponsors without regard for the nation's best interest, then what does that say about us? The answer to these questions really is at the heart of the differences reflected in this thread. We're talking about values. And I happen to believe that not only can we do better, but that we are obligated to do better.
Walt Magee January 31, 2013 at 02:02 PM
The 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or sport it's about individual rights. The nations best interest is to keep individual freedom. This Progressive political power in OUR government is all about usurping freedom from the American citizens. Remember, an armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject. If you wish to give up your freedom for some vague hope of security you may but I will not!
Windy Wilson February 13, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Is the NRA the ACLU of the Second Amendment or is the ACLU the NRA of the First Amendment? Both organizations have responsibilities here. One cannot ignore in this politicization of the Sandy Hook tragedy the role of the ACLU in making involuntary committment next to impossible. The "reasonable doubt" standard has no place in mental illness, one cannot prove what will happen beyond a "reasonable doubt."


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