Misrepresenting NRA no way to win gun control argument

Wayne LaPierre 1
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre

Thursday’s Seattle Times carried a second gun control-related column by liberal columnist Jerry Large, and it was not so much something he said but one of his readers that launched a furious debate.

The reader, identifying himself/herself as “Thuja500,” intimated that the National Rifle Association is a bunch of racist crackers. That would come as a surprise to longtime NRA Board member Roy Innis, chairman of the Congress on Racial Equality.

Thuja500 threw out this canard: “I remember well when the NRA saw guns through the prism of race. In the 1960s, when the Black Panthers were sporting guns, the NRA drooled all over itself in favor of the idea of regulating what they called ‘Saturday Night Specials’ that they felt black people had access to. So there certainly is a prism of race involved.” Demonizing one’s enemies as racist has become something of a first strike political weapon of the Left. In this case, the allegation is so demonstrably false as to merit laughter from gun owners.

The association has a long history of diversity and supporting the gun rights of all Americans. When African Americans in the South were threatened with violence by the Ku Klux Klan, the NRA stepped in with firearms training assistance.

Another misrepresentation of the NRA is that the organization is trying to prohibit so-called “smart guns.” A look at the facts tells a different story. The NRA doesn’t object to research and development of new firearms safety technology—provided that it works, of course—but the organization is adamant that such technology should never become a requirement of exercising the right to keep and bear arms.

“NRA does not oppose new technological developments in firearms;” the organization declared recently, “however, we are opposed to government mandates that require the use of expensive, unreliable features, such as rigging a firearm so that it could not fire unless it received an electronic signal from an electronic bracelet worn by the firearm’s lawful owner.”

Anti-gunners have labored to drive wedges between NRA leadership and their members, accusing top officials including longtime NA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre of being an extremist, and out of touch with the members.

That argument would be a tough sell to the 75,000 NRA members who attended last month’s annual convention in Indianapolis. LaPierre received a standing ovation when he promised the association will be working to change Congress this fall and put a pro-gun president in the White House in 2016.

More information is available at the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner.

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