The National Rifle Association is not the media-portrayed ogre. It is several million of your friends, neighbors and relatives. We are volunteers who teach hunter education to your children at no cost and conduct youth programs enhancing gun safety while in competitive atmospheres. We are members of conservation organizations, such as Izaak Walton, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited and a myriad groups increasing wildlife habitat.
We enjoy hunting for the pleasure of watching a dog search for birds and lock up on point. We pay a firearms and ammunition excise tax used for habitat acquisition, research, hunter safety and ranges. We buy hunting and fishing licenses, giving the Department of Natural Resources income to provide public land for hunters and all outdoor lovers.
Some of us like to collect firearms much as others collect cars or favorite art. Owning and displaying a family “antique” firearm gives us as much pride and pleasure as paintings and sculptures do you.
Law enforcement primarily catches criminals, not protecting homes or people from those who would harm us. Politicians, media and celebrities have armed security, paid for by us. So yes, we own guns for self and family protection.
Sandy Hook was a tragedy. Blame the deranged killer, not the NRA or guns. Our national reaction must address mental illness, poverty, drugs and gangs. Some believe the First Amendment protects violent movies and videos games that impersonalize killing but they disavow me the Second Amendment.