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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #1
For the record - I am a life member of the NRA, and have been a member since college. But - we often have members stating various reasons why they will not join. Often their logic is faulty, and the purpose of the thread is to refute that.

Because of the political nature of the topic, the thread is closed to members. However, if you have a well-thought out, logical reply, which is on topic!, you can either email me through the forum, or use the 'contact us' link at the bottom of the page. Whether or not you agree with my post is not a consideration for including your reply in the thread. Whether it is on topic, and does not stray off into other non-gun topics, is the only consideration.

Here are some of the reasons that have been posted on the forum as to why members will not join the NRA:

1. "The NRA is too political."

Response: Ummmmm..... you do realize that the NRA is dealing with politicians, right? The politicians who would take away our rights to shoot, hunt, and self defense? If you have a constructive suggestion as to how the NRA can protect our rights with out being political, I'm sure they'd love to hear it. Drop them a line.....

2. "The NRA sends mail I don't want....."

Response: Yes, and so do the dry cleaners, pizza restaurants, pool cleaning services (I don't have a swimming pool but get them anyway), appeals for various donations, lawn care, tree trimming, and so on. The ones I don't need, are discarded. On a similar note, our local newspaper is full of ads for services I don't want or need, and announcements by political groups I don't support. I still get it and read what I want. Mail I don't want goes in the trash, unopened. I would suggest doing the same, and not using the excuse of unwanted mail to avoid supporting an organization we desperately need.

3. "The NRA is too liberal...."

Response: Ummmmm..... not sure what to tell you. Hopefully, you have joined other pro-gun organizations already that meet your standards. If not, you are probably being a hypocrite (my opinion).

4. "The NRA doesn't do anything for my state. They are totally ineffective at preventing anti-gun state/local laws, why should I support them?"

Response: This is an excellent opportunity to point out a couple of things. One, if you aren't a member of your state rifle association, then you should be. As an example, the Texas State Rifle Association is the organization primarily responsible for defending our rights at the state level. Last legislative session, there were around 80 bills filed that could affect firearms rights. Some good, some bad. The TSRA rides herd on all of them. That's at the state level. I can't strongly enough state how important it is to support your state level organizations.

Two, if your state rifle association is ineffective - for whatever reason - then it's even more important to support the NRA. Why? Federal law trumps local law. The only way to overturn local ordinances may be through the Supreme Court. If you don't think that's true, please go read the Heller or McDonald decisions.

5. "I'm a member of a (church/trade union/fraternal group/etc.) that opposes gun rights. I can't quit and they would frown on my joining the NRA."

Response: You have to live your life as you see fit. I personally run a small company and my customers are a diverse group, to put it mildly. However, my customers don't have access to my postal mailbox (if they broke into it, it would be a violation of federal law), and I don't have bumper stickers on my car. But I can still support the NRA without alienating my customers, or threatening my livelihood. The NRA has nothing to do with the industry I work in and it's nobody's business whom I vote for unless I choose to tell them. If that sounds hypocritical, please note that there are some strongly anti-gun people who pay my salary, a part of which goes back to the NRA to support our rights. How's that for sweet revenge? And, your particular organization will NEVER change if the members don't demand it. So you might consider speaking up - you may find more friends and allies than you thought. Up to you.

6. "Candiate So-and-So whom the NRA endorses, or perhaps a spokesperson from the NRA, said something dumb and I can't join an organization that allows people to say dumb things."

Response: Wow, I guess you have NEVER voted in an election, for anyone, except possibly yourself. Have candidates said dumb things and gotten elected? I suggest that it happens every election cycle. Have you scrutinized EVERYTHING that EVERY candidate at EVERY level has EVER said? Probably not. Considering no person is perfect, the by definition we can't have any elected leadership, ever. Lame excuse is the kindest thing I can say about this argument.

7. "The NRA is (anti/pro) on (some non-gun related issue).

Response: This response is the product of a conflicted mind. As far as I can recall, the NRA does not endorse or oppose other non-gun, hunting, self defense, or second-amendment related issues. It is a remarkably single-minded organization. So how does it get a bad rap? Let's walk through an example:

Candidate "A" has demonstrated a long history of being pro-gun. Candidate "B" has demonstrated a long history of being anti-gun. The NRA, naturally, endorses Candidate A.

But.... there is a twist. Candidate "A" also supports a restriction on the rights of citizens to wear green socks on Fridays. This, naturally, has stirred up the pro-green-sock-on-Friday faction.

By chance, Candidate "B" takes the opposite stance on wearing green socks on Fridays.

You, the concerned voter, feel strongly about both issues. While you are pro-gun, you are also pro-green-sock.

What to do?

Rather than being honest with yourself, and prioritizing one issue over the other.... the human mind has a tactic called "rationalization." Which, basically, means lying to yourself. Let's follow Mr./Mrs. Conflicted Voter:

"Well, the NRA has endorsed the anti-green-sock candidate. Thus, the conclusion is the NRA is anti-green-sock!!!! I can't support that organization and refuse to join."

See the fault? The NRA is assigned a "position" on an issue that is not relevant, that it has never endorsed, and frankly cares nothing about.

As a personal note, I have friends who are gun owners, who are not NRA members, who support politicians who would like to take all of our guns away. The difference? These people are HONEST about their priorities, and I can respect that, even if I don't agree with it. The people who claim to be pro-gun, but bash the NRA, are generally lying to themselves. And there is not really any other way to sugar coat that.

Please let me know if I've missed any other illogical reasons to not join the NRA......
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
First response - going to paraphrase:

8. "The NRA won't compromise and give any ground, so I can't join."

Response: No, if we wanted to give up our gun rights, then we would not need the NRA.

Upon further reflection -

It later occurred to me that the NRA doesn't compromise. The NRA (actually it's lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action), does not introduce, write, sign, or enforce legislation or laws. Politicians are the ones that do that, and compromise! Politicians "compromised" our rights away in 1934 with the NFA, signed by President Franklin D. Rooseveldt, and gave us nothing in return (some compromise, huh?). Politicians "compromised" our rights away in 1968 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968 (again, giving away our rights with nothing in return). Politicians "compromised" when the Sullivan Act was passed in New York in 1911, again (surprise) giving gun owners nothing in return. Politicians "compromised" when they voted to confiscate legally owned firearms in California.

Can you see a pattern? I don't think it's necessary for the NRA to "compromise," the politicians are doing their best to "compromise" our rights away for us. Oh - just a nit to pick - it isn't a "compromise" when you don't get anything in return. It would be a little more accurate to say politicians are "giving gun owners the shaft," but for some reason they don't own up to that.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #3
Another response - keep 'em coming:

9. "The NRA is too partisan."

Response: You don't like the fact that the political party you most closely associate with is full of anti-gun zealots. However, this poor excuse is dispelled when looking at the national endorsements. While in an ideal world, there would be plenty of endorsements in all parties, the fact is there are some everywhere you look (if you bother to look). Obviously, the people making statement #9 haven't bothered to look.

Not any pro-gun candidates in the party you like in your local races? Then, get involved at the primary/caucus level, and nominate some pro-gun people in your party of choice so the NRA can endorse them. Or you can sit on your rear end and complain about NRA "partisanship."

Oh, and last time I checked - it isn't required to vote for everyone in the same party for every office on the ballot. That would be called "communism." Do your research, instead of complaining, and vote for the best candidates you can, regardless of party affiliation.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #4
I am not an NRA member. I appreciate their efforts. They have done a yeomen job at protecting gun owners rights. I agree with all your comments so far. I guess if I had a reason I am not an NRA member, it would be:

I give all I can to what I believe is right. NRA does not make the top 5 on my list. I can still only afford the top 3. The top 3 need more. I might add, no lobby groups make my top 5.

Thanks for the great thread.
Here is someone who is honest about their priorities. I can respect that. No excuses, just a choice for something else.

I hope you can find the resources to support the NRA in the future.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Here's a PM received from a forum member that led to a discussion about the NRA's role in issues that aren't strictly about the 2nd Amendment:

Hi Mike, I see your points on this issue and was hoping you could help me to join the NRA again. I've been a member for about 29 or so years on and off. (more on than off) Sometimes times were "tight" and my membership lapsed.

Recently I've been concerned about the NRA involvement in crossbows in archery seasons and ATV use on public lands. Neither of which, to me, involve protecting my firearm rights.

I am an avid bowhunter and don't think the NRA has any business in archery seasons. When I contacted the NRA about these issues, I was told,"a lot of people have been bothered by these things" and they were sorry I felt the way I did.
and one of my replies:

MikeG said:
If I understand you correctly, you feel that the NRA should not involve itself in any issues that do not exclusively pertain to the right to keep and bear arms? Such as hunter safety education, hunter harassment laws, preventing the closure of public lands to hunting?

I don't see it as a negative that the NRA supports my right to keep and bear arms, in addition to my right to hunt. I view their support of both as a positive.
and the member's final reply.

Thanks for a different perspective, I'll be renewing soon.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #6
Here's another one:

try to put things into perspective. I'm a lifelong Democrat and consider myself a social liberal but I also support the 2nd Amendment. BUT, I do not support the views of the NRA and especially Wayne LaPierre because of their inability to see eye to eye with the non-gun owning community.

With that said, I find it disturbing how many conservative gun owners can sit there and label me a communist, socialist & fascist in the blink of an eye because my political views don't align with theirs. They're basically painting every other gun owner in this country with such broad strokes that it really is a turn off. When I hear Ted Nugent spout his brand of rhetoric and bile it makes me sick. I can't take a known draft dodger seriously and think he has my best interests at heart.

So this is why I do not support the NRA. I will not give my money to an organization whose members routinely demonize those who disagree with their views.
Carl, I think it's terrible that there is name-calling (on either side). It only serves to distract from the issue. The NRA should be taking the high road, but I suppose it is human nature when the media constantly demonizes gun owners to lash out. Let's hope our spokespersons can do a better job.

Having said that - I sincerely hope you are involving yourself at the primary/caucus level to ensure there are pro-gun candidates that support your other views. Hopefully you aren't the only one.....

And I do hope you can find some pro-gun organizations to join, hopefully you won't feel the same way about your state rifle association. Ours, at least, manages to find pro-gun candidates on both sides of the aisle.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #7
One other thought -

Some of the national leadership of your political party demonize gun owners, such as yourself, yet continue to receive your support and votes. You may not directly support, for example, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives if you do not reside in her district, but votes at the state level for U.S. House candidates put her in the Speaker's chair.

While Ted Nugent isn't perfect, neither is Nancy Pelousi. Give that some thought.

You might consider writing to the national organization of your chosen party to let them know you support the 2nd amendment and don't appreciate them demonizing gun owners such as yourself, who have supported their other political issues in the past. They won't know there are any gun owners in the party if you don't speak up and let them know.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #8
Been lax about updating this thread, here are some comments that have come in since my last update -

It thoroughly upsets me that the NRA can't or won't tangibly support private citizens who are in court because they've rightfully protected their loved ones, home or property with lethal force. Were the NRA to do so, I would contribute $ to those efforts.


Off the top of my head, I don't know whether the NRA would be allowed to engage in court cases for individuals, since they are a non-profit. Just a thought that came to mind.



But I also know the NRA is like our mule pulling our wagon up a steep hill. Just because I don't approve of the mule's behavior all the time, doesn't mean I'd shoot it. Do that and we'd all be in REAL trouble. And, last I noticed, we only have ONE mule.

And that's why I'm a Life member and actively support the NRA.
Emphasis mine. Hey, folks, let's not shoot our biggest ally!
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #9
Here's a short excerpt from a longer message:

It would come as a surprise to a lot of gun owners that the National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed The Federal Gun Control Acts of 1934 and 1968 ...
Frankly, it would be refreshing if folks remembered what their elected officials did last week, let alone 81 and 47 years ago (as of this writing). If voters paid even the LEAST bit of attention to the recent anti-gun politics of some of our prominent national politicians (never mind the decades long effort of the gun control crowd) - we wouldn't have elected some of the folks that are in Washington DC today.

But, come on, don't you think that is a long time to hold a grudge? Especially considering where we would be without the NRA?

The message had some valid points about compromise and I'm still thinking about them and how they relate to the thread. More to come.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #10
An interesting contrast - from post #2 above -

"The NRA won't compromise and give any ground, so I can't join."
but, from the person who send the message that I started to discuss in post #9 (just above this one:

There can be no compromise on moral principles.
and

I put more trust in the:
The Second Amendment Foundation http://www.saf.org/ and Gunowner's of America. http://gunowners.org/
So, it seems that the NRA has the impossible task (of pleasing every gun owner). Politicians get into office all the time without pleasing every voter all of the time, or even pleasing 50% of the voters on every issue. Why can't we support the single biggest, most effective lobby out there? As well as any others that deserve our support.

I'll go back to what I said in post #2 - the politicians compromise when they write legislation. We, as voters, need to hold them accountable when the politicians give our rights away, because it can be very difficult to get them back.

Remember, the NRA does not write legislation nor does the NRA sign it into law.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #11
A good observation from a member -

Can sure tell that NRA membership is a better value than PETA from reading here.

...

NRA ain't perfect, but you could sure find yourself in worse company without looking hard.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #12
And another -

... it's hard to be in a fight without throwing a punch.
Amen! The anti-gun groups are throwing plenty of punches, that is for sure. Just pick up a newspaper or turn on the tube....
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #13
Still more good stuff -

I'm not "supporting the NRA", I'm supporting my constitution and myself.

...and so I am a NRA Life Member.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #14

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #15
Here is a good example where the NRA accomplished something for all gun owners:

Up until a couple of years ago, the right to carry was completely abolished in illinois. When a lawsuit was filed against the state of illinois by two women (which would typically have been settled quietly), the nra-ila caught wind of it and backed the women with nra-ila lawyers. They did not settle, pushed it to the IL supreme court, and forced the anti gun chicago politicians to restore the right to carry to all illinoians, including me. Chicago politicians pretty much control the illinois state senate, house, and governorship, and they were dead set against cc. We were the last state to pass concealed carry legislation and would still be without it right now if not for the nra.

In another lawsuit, they sued chicago, where handguns were COMPLETELY BANNED. That lawsuit led to the restoration of gun ownership rights for those who live in chicago.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." The NRA does something about it.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #16
A message I got some time ago - sorry guys, have been delinquent about keeping this thread up:

I'm a Benefactor Life Member of the NRA because it is the only group that covers the entire gun culture in terms of support. They do yeoman work for hunters, competitive shooters, LEOs, gun safety for adults and youth, and through the NRA-ILA, politics. They are always there, always working for the benefit of NRA members, and gun owners in general.

So, when I hear somebody say they won't join the NRA for "X" reason, I hear somebody who really isn't pro-gun. I see somebody who is a fence rider, a fair weather supporter of gun rights. I think most of them, if pressed, will cut and run rather than step up to support something they profess to support and enjoy.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #17
Yet another -

It thoroughly upsets me that the NRA can't or won't tangibly support private citizens who are in court because they've rightfully protected their loved ones, home or property with lethal force. Were the NRA to do so, I would contribute $ to those efforts.

But I also know the NRA is like our mule pulling our wagon up a steep hill. Just because I don't approve of the mule's behavior all the time, doesn't mean I'd shoot it. Do that and we'd all be in REAL trouble. And, last I noticed, we only have ONE mule.

And that's why I'm a Life member and actively support the NRA.

Thanks for putting this thread up.
I'm not sure how practical it would be for the NRA to intervene in every legal issue involving every gun owner. It is pretty costly after all.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #18
From one of our Canadian members -

I'm a lifetime member of the NFA in Canada and agree with all your points but I also feel sympathy for the chap that says this 'cause' does not make his top 5 list...honest indeed!...one must remember that not everyone can afford to support every cause they would like to and have to make hard choices,especially in these difficult economic times...
Cheers to you Mike and thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Yup, we do have to make choices. Agreed.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #19
Hello. I read your NRA thread. Joining is something that has come up since I've become a CC permit holder, but I just can't bring myself to do it. My main objection is because I've come to the conclusion that our current system of background checks needs a serious revamping. I believe that the NRA could play a vital role in it, but the organization is so dead set against any changes in regulations whatsoever. We all agree that we don't want guns getting into the hands of people who shouldn't have them. It's also becoming more and more evident that our current system isn't adequately keeping guns out of those people's hands. If both sides of the political divide would stop seeing each other as enemies, then we could come up with a better system than the one we have. As a lefty, I have seen a willingness in many Democrats to work with the right to revamp the background check system, but Republicans are afraid of how the NRA would react. The NRA is probably the most powerful lobby that exists on the right, so, as long as it continues to insist on no changes to the current system, and as long as it maintains the leverage it has with Republicans, I just don't see how we will ever come to a meeting of minds. In the meantime, we have more and more people walking into schools, churches, bars, malls, company parties, etc., killing as many people as they can. I don't pretend to know how to fix these problems but I do know that the NRA's rigidness is a huge stumbling block in the way of those whose job it is to come up with workable solutions to these problems.
Where to begin…. First of all, all gun owners and enthusiasts are welcome on the forum, and I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to learn. You have a long way to go, when it comes to gun issues. I have a number of friends on the political left and it is kinda sad what propaganda they will fall for, when the data is right in front of them (FBI Uniform Crime report, et al). The same statement is true when they fall for anti-hunting propaganda, but that’s a different discussion.

Let’s talk about the NRA since you bring up the democrat view (aided and abetted by the media) that the NRA is ‘on the right.’ It is neither right nor left, democrat nor republican. It is simply pro-gun. That’s it. When there are pro-gun politicians, with a track record of supporting the right to keep and bear arms, and lawful self-defense, then the NRA will endorse them. That’s about as simple as it gets.

The reason you don’t see a whole lot of politicians on the left being endorsed by the NRA is that there are precious few on the left who will agree that we have a right to keep and bear arms, and have a right to self-defense. If, as the sun comes up tomorrow, all the politicians on the left would become solidly pro-gun and pro-self defense, and the politicians on the right suddenly embraced gun control – the NRA would start endorsing the ‘other side’ and ipso facto, be perceived as a liberal organization, although that wouldn’t be strictly true, either. The NRA is pro-gun. The politicians you support have become anti-gun. It really is that simple.

Background checks…. My goodness, where to start. Typical democrat propaganda that ‘background checks’ will solve all firearms violence problems. If the absurdity of criminals and the criminally insane voluntarily submitting to background checks just because there is another law doesn’t strike you as an unbelievable leap of faith, then just consider the empirical evidence. That mecca of gun control and personal safety, Chicago, compared to….. say, that lawless town of guns a-plenty, Houston. Similar population and demographics. So, how much safer is Chicago than Houston? Er…. As it turns out, the murder rate in Chicago far outstrips Houston. Could it be because the subjects of Chicago, have been systematically denied the right to self-defense for decades? And the citizens of Houston have been allowed the right to armed self-defense (despite the best efforts of the democrat politicians in Houston and Harris county to raise obstacles to handgun ownership and concealed carry)? Nah, couldn’t have anything to do with it, could it? Oh and by the way Houston is subject to the same federal ‘background check’ requirement that Chicago is. The difference is just that Chicago politicians go the extra mile, to ensure that Chicago subjects are helpless in the face of violent crime.

Well, if Chicago v. Houston is too small of a sample for you (as if millions of data points over decades isn’t enough evidence), ask our forum members in Australia and England how much violent crime rates have gone up since handgun ownership was severely restricted. Or, if you would like an example from ne plus ultra of gun control – let’s take a country where there is exactly one (!) gun store in the entire country where a handgun can be legally purchased, never mind the obstacles to get permission to do so in the first place. That’s gotta be the safest place from gun violence on this earth, right?

That country would be Mexico. The crown jewel of gun control, right there for you. Boggles the mind that democrats, by and large, want to take us there. So we can be ‘safer.’

Now I realize that there is additional propaganda that ‘background checks’ would stop all the crazy stuff. Let’s see if we can debunk that…. San Bernardino ring a bell? Yup, the guy who shot up his company office party avoided the background check…. By illegally getting his neighbor to pass a stringent California background check and buy a rifle for him! Gosh, if only he had known it was illegal… surely he wouldn’t have gone through with the deed, would he?

And Sandy Hook…. Gosh, it sure is a shame that the shooter didn’t submit to a background check, after murdering his own mother, and stealing the firearms she had already passed a state and federal background check for. Wow, we just need to educate people how important these background checks are, don’t we? Shame on the NRA for not helping out in that situation, don’t you think?

Hopefully you get the idea of how stupid it is to expect violent criminals to care one bit about background checks. In any case – not to minimize the tragedy – but it is all overblown by the (anti-gun) media. Hard-hearted, am I? No, just pointing out facts. Roughly a hundred people die, every day, by negligence on the roads. But we call that ‘accidents’ instead of ‘negligence’ and that makes it all better. After all, cars don’t kill people, accidents do. But people don't shoot people - guns do. Right?

The fact of the matter is, mass shootings are WAY down the list of preventable death causes. And if you’d like to address those in any case – may I suggest taking it up with the pharmaceutical industry, who hand out various mind-altering drugs with random side effects, to include increased risk of depression, suicide, and violence. Don’t believe me? Those are listed in the known side effects of anti-depressants, right there in the literature the doctor gives you when prescribing them. It’s just not known in advance if those possible side effects will apply to YOU when you start taking them. Kind of like Russian roulette, isn’t it? If you will pardon the expression.

As soon as humans come equipped with a ‘sanity gage’ on their foreheads, or perhaps a dipstick for measuring sanity levels, I think we can make background checks for crazy people work. Until then… it is much less precise (unfortunately). But the ‘problem’ of crazy people getting guns, is vastly overblown, compared to the problem of sane people, being denied the right to self defense. And the evidence is clear – violent crime rates go down when people have the right to defend themselves. And they go up when people do not.

So, I’d suggest doing yourself and the democratic party a favor. Find some pro-gun, pro-self defense politicians to support, and vote for them in the primaries. Goodness knows we could use some. Heck I’ve even voted for some – I voted for the last democratic Lieutenant Governor of the state of Texas, who had a proven track record of support for the right to keep and bear arms, and was instrumental in getting our first concealed-carry bills through the Texas Legislature, when the Lege was controlled by democrats. RIP Bob Bullock. I haven’t seen a solidly pro-gun democrat at the state level since, and probably won’t again in my lifetime (much less at the national level), unless democrat gun owners like yourself pry the democratic party away from draconian gun control that leaves our population helpless and ripe for slaughter, just like the poor subjects of Chicago.

Chicago-style gun control. I hope that’s not what you are advocating.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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