Friday, December 28, 2012

My Open Letter to the NRA


Dear NRA:

This is a picture of my NRA Sharpshooter badge I was so proud to earn at Scout Camp in 1971. I love target shooting. Always have. I never was a hunter except for pheasant with my 20 gauge shotgun. I am a gun owner but not an NRA member. If I were a member, I would resign. And I am seriously considering getting rid of my two guns. I don't even want them to go to any other person as I would hate to have them used as tools for blowing holes in some living thing, possibly a human. They are tools made for that purpose after all.

The Sharpshooter badge appears a bit ragged because I ripped it off the backpack that I've had since I was a Scout. I had my Mom sew it on there along with my 50-miler awards. While still proud of earning that badge and grateful for the NRA contributions to assist the Boy Scouts in training me in my youth, I no longer wish to be associated with the NRA in any manner. I have that patch hidden away in a box with other old memorabilia. I will not destroy it or send it back to you because of my optimistic hope that even the NRA can change.

A lot of us had that hope in the week after 20 young school children in Connecticut were shot by an apparently crazed individual with weapons capable of firing off multiple rounds of flesh-piercing metal at a rapid pace. We were hoping that your news conference would offer up some common sense safety proposals to help decrease such horrific tragedies.

Your proposal to any problem with guns is more guns. If you can't see the illogical idiocy of that position, there is no way I can convince you. It appears that you may be operating as a shill for gun manufacturers to increase profits at the cost of human suffering much like big tobacco's schemes that were ultimately exposed..

You stuck to your guns with the idea that the Constitution somehow prevents any restriction on private gun ownership. It's pointless to argue the Constitutional issues as it is so easy to interpret the odd language of the Second Amendment any way you want even if it does refer to a militia and actually uses the words "well regulated." While the quartering of troops in the next Amendment has become historically irrelevant, your favorite Amendment apparently never will. All I can say is if it does mean what you and some of the conservatives on the Supreme Court think it does, then it ought to be amended. The people, all the people, of the United States will resolve this eventually. And it will not be in a hail fire of bullets raining through the air. This must and will stop.

You are on notice, NRA. We the people will not tolerate this. There are more of us than there are of your members and we're not afraid of your arms. If you want a second Civil War remember how that turned out for South Carolina and the other rebellious states. They believed property rights in human beings were more important than any other principle of America's founding including the fundamental that "All Men are created equal" You seem to forget that your "tool" of a gun is to serve the Union in well-regulated militias. It does not trump the fundamental rights, including those of 20 children snuffed out by your tools, to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Shame on the NRA.

Sincerely,
Grant L. Vaughn
Sharpshooter for a well-regulated civil society


Addendum:
Dec. 29, 2012

A report on lobbying money spent by NRA (not the voice of the people) can be found at OpenSecrets.org: Center for Responsive Politics. The NRA website states its membership as "nearly four million members." That is a very small percentage of the people of the United States for the power they wield through the mighty dollar in Congress and Presidential and state elections. They are the classic case of special interest lobbying - not the voice of the people.

Addendum No. 2:
Feb. 1, 2013
For a full debunking of the false quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson below, see here.

9 comments:

  1. Grant it appears that you are very emotional
    As you should be on this issue....remember however that it was the NRA that helped teach you the rules of gun safety...they have always been about safety...any scout who goes to camp learns this...they are a necessary organization, they continue to stress safety and the proper use of guns...without them thousands if not millions of men women boys and girls would not have been properly trained...I wonder how many lives they have saved....I believe they are in the hundreds if not thousands for with proper training comes responsible ownership...I understand why they are emotional about the attest tragedy. Perhaps they are worried that rights will be violated....just like you feel they have been...when governments begin talking about changing laws it is time to worry....it is people that need to change laws not governments...perhaps you should be concerned about this rather than worrying about an organization that has and continues to help train responsible gun ownership. I for one am worried about uncle Sam wanting to change gun laws....as I said before it is through the voice of the people that change should be made....not the voice of a few elected officials.

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    1. Mr. Anonymous (not brave enough to state your name even if you remain rather patronizing)- Responsible gun ownership does not mean no regulation of weapons of mass murder. The people will change these laws as I said. The NRA and Second Amendment fanatics stand condemned. Yes. I am emotional. The NRA used to be a perfectly respectable organization promoting gun safety and even reasonable regulation. They are no longer reasonable or respectable. Those dead children's rights were much more important than unrestricted gun ownership.

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  2. Weapon control is about disarming LAW ABIDING citizens so they will be helpless in the face of criminal thread, just like at that school.

    FACTS:
    The US military is currently engaged in an illegal, undeclared "war" going door to door and mass murdering unarmed civilians.

    The US military has lost more personal to suicide than to fighting: unarmed civilians don't put up much of a fight, but our boys don't feel so happy about genocide

    Weapon control has always been a precursor to state sponsored attacks on it's citizens, including genocide.

    Adolf Hitler was a major proponent of gun control and collected guns before overseeing the abuse, enslavement and eventual extermination of millions of people.

    Gun registration is a thinly veiled scheme to ensure no self defense is possible when they come for you.

    FACT: If you think I'm some kind of lunatic, you must not read history. All humans do is kill each other, what do you think our army is doing right now?

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    1. Kev-
      I read a lot of history and I agree about the drone war and Constitutional violations in the fight on terror are wrong and must be addressed. We are leaving Afghanistan, the sooner the better. And we never should have been in Iraq (as I have always maintained since 9/11).

      As for the rest, "well-regulated" militias and arms are far from genocide. Your facts are wrong about Hitler. I will make no comment on lunacy but leave your comment up for readers to decide for themselves.

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  3. Again. You are NOT moderate. Or conservative. You are an extremist and ready to disarm our people. One cannot cling to one thing because of comfort and throw away another portion because it makes you uncomfortable. You can't control if a police officer goes "postal", or anyone else. You're a deceiver my name calling yourself moderate. You're passionately left in 2nd amendment rights.

    Lets face it, people make bad decisions from time to time. Some decisions are worse than others, accepting that it was a bad decision doesn't negate the consequences brought about by the actions. Someone who goes out killing needlessly is a coward, to own a weapon to defend yourself, and to defend others, is akin to learning Karate or boxing. Just because you HAVE something you COULD do something with, doesn't mean you will. I turn 30 this year. I've been shooting guns for 22 years. I have never shot a person. Most people I know who've been target shooters haven't shot a person, in fact the only civilian I know who has shot someone took his own life at a very young age when his parents were in the process of divorce and he refused to talk to anyone about it.

    Guns aren't evil. People can be evil. Put a good person behind a gun and only good things will happen, put a bad person behind ANYTHING and if they choose to they can do something bad with it.

    Everything is a choice. Radioactive materials can be used to treat cancer. Or to make weapons. Those weapons can be uses of offense (nuclear bombs or missiles) or weapons of defense ("enhanced" CIWS rounds used by US Naval vessels that are for the purpose of intercepting incoming Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles).

    Every inanimate object is good or bad dependent on WHO is using it and/or for what purpose it was designed.

    Some times it's just fun to shoot guns, it's annoying to reload every 5 rounds, like you probably find it annoying to change rolls of film every 35 images. You've probably switched to digital and shoot hundreds without even thinking about it. That's similar to how a target shooter experiences 30 round magazines at a range. No that amount of rounds is Not needed for hunting, but it does make shooting at the range more fun. There's no harm in that.

    People will do enough harm on their own, there's no point in advocating people like myself to get rid of their hand guns of home defense because someone else did bad things with theirs.

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    1. Thank you for defining me. I'll leave it to others to think what they will about you. I sincerely doubt (based on some of your judgments about me, for instance) that you can clearly distinguish between "good" people and "evil" people because that line is so clear in every human life. Trying not to be sarcastic, but I simply don't believe that is true.

      And I'm not asking anyone to get rid of their guns. I haven't gotten rid of mine. I just think they could be better regulated to avoid evil and good people or a mix of both to do terrible things so easily.

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    2. "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." - Thomas Jefferson

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    3. Sorry, Kev. Just another made up quotation erroneously attributed to Jefferson. My source:

      http://wiki.monticello.org/mediawiki/index.php/The_two_enemies_of_the_people

      Where's yours?

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    4. For a link debunking the false quote about Jefferson, see Addendum No. 2 above.

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