NRA members react to attacks

In the wake of the Dec. 13 Newtown, Conn., shooting, anti-gunners are attempting to label the National Rifle Association as extreme an members say their efforts to bully its organization into disbandment will fail.

This is not the first time the NRA has been targeted for destruction, said Linda Walker, from the Buckeye Firearms Association and a member of the association’s board of directors.

“Anti-gunners like the Brady Campaign are out in full force, but they will not stop mass shootings by guilting us into compromise,” she said.

“They work off emotions, we work off facts,” she said

“I am a father and what happened in Connecticut to those children is heartbreaking.  But, none of us are guilty of this horrific crime,” said Mark Vanderberg a 20-year NRA member and the executive producer at Gun Rights Radio Network.

The topic of conversation needs to change from blaming the individual gun owner to addressing the viability of gun free zones, he said.

“The NRA is all about upholding and preserving Second Amendment rights,” Walker said.

The NRA has decades of experience on the frontlines of the gun rights debate at the state and federal level, she said. “We will not lose members.  We will gain more members.”

The recent ruling in the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recognizes that overturned the Illinois ban on handguns carried outside the home, shows we have the courts on the side of gun fights, Vanderberg said.

But, there is a lot of tension in the air, he said. “Everything that is happening is producing a knee jerk reaction on both sides.”

Anti-gun stalwarts such as Sen. Barbara L. Boxer (D.-Calif.), Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D.-Calif.) and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will manipulate any tragedy to push their agenda; and those who are not gun owners are quickly purchasing firearms for fear of losing our Second Amendment rights, he said.

“There are some people that will politically distance themselves from the NRA, but those that understand the real threat to Second Amendment rights will join the NRA,” said five-year NRA member and executive producer at Politics and Guns Podcast, Paul Lathrop.

The NRA consistently recruits new members and will continue to grow, he said.  “The anti-gunners know that if they can take down the NRA, they can take down anything, but it will not work.”

America has a rich gun culture that is not getting smaller; it is growing, he said.

“The media can not neuter 4.5 million members,” said 15-year NRA member Thomas Diorio of Round Rock, Texas.

“The NRA is the most visible pro-gun rights organization in the nation,” he said.

Gun grabbers in the media will use the NRA as a scapegoat, he said.

“The Constitution cannot protect itself.  The Second Amendment is the right that protects all others. It is there to protect the nation, not just gun owners,” he said.

The bill of rights is not for sale, Diorio said. “We will not be cowards and accept defeat.”

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