NRA pandering to survivalists' fears

December 21, 2012

I joined the NRA before most of your readers were born. Try 1953. I was 14.  That was back when the NRA was the National Rifle Association. I had inherited my brother’s .22 when he went off to college. My targets were tin cans as my mom would not let me shoot any living thing.

But I left home and went on to acquire a bolt-action .22 Hornet with a Weaver 4x scope, loaded my own cartridges with my Lyman hand loader, and did some occasional downrange woodchuck hunting for farmers that considered them nuisances.

As time went by, something happened to the NRA’s emphasis on rifles and sporting shooting. It became the National Handgun Association with an emphasis on self-protection. I didn’t like the way this was going and dropped my membership. Now the NRA is the National Assault Rifle Association and there is even less reason to support the organization.

Much argument for automatic rifles and extra-large capacity clips is based on the survivalists’ fear that in the Armageddon coming soon, they will be defending their lives, wives, and property by mowing down as many oncoming intruders as they can with fast-firing weapons.  They are joined by those who hate the government and fear a takeover by our own army and police. Today, the NRA caters to these groups.

The problem with a growing number of survivalists among us is that their fears can be self-fulfilling. If enough people begin to believe that we’re becoming an “us vs. them” society; that race and class wars are inevitable - then our divisions will worsen and the prospects of such outcomes improve.  Such folks deserve the kind of society they fear, because in their fearful actions they help bring it into being.

Today’s NRA panders to these fears.  It is not a pretty sight.

David Downing

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