During last month’s 2017 NRA Annual Meeting, 64-year-old gun control author William Alexander decided to attend the convention in order to get a “deeper understanding” of what us “gun nuts” are all about. What better place to try out America’s greatest past time than at a gathering of pro-gun enthusiasts?
Alexander detailed his experience in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times. Not surprisingly, Alexander instantly came away with one takeaway: if you’re a gun lover, you must be a God-fearing, Bible-thumping conservative.
According to Alexander, he was hoping the NRA would get back to what it used to be all about:
I know the NRA’s reputation, but I went to the convention with an open mind, prepared to have my stereotypical notions challenged, and hoping to connect with gun owners who feel, as I do, that it’s high time the organization returned to its roots as a group promoting gun safety, training and responsible ownership. I’d heard, encouragingly, that 90% of NRA members support universal background checks.
In reality, the NRA has never abandoned its mission of protecting gun ownership while advocating gun safety and promoting firearms training. The gun rights group has always taken a two-pronged approach to the gun safety training and education. They focus on reminding adults of best practices while remaining dedicated to promoting gun safety that their Eddie the Eagle campaign teaches kids. If that’s not dedication to gun safety and responsible gun ownership, then I don’t know what is.
Gun owners across the nation also work to ensure criminals do not have access to firearms. And while the majority of us are okay with background checks, the problem with the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) is that states decide what information is provided to the FBI. Fix the reporting requirement and *GASP* we can all agree on something.
Looks can be deceiving. No matter their age, gender or social class, every person I spoke with regurgitated the same NRA talking points: self-defense, guns-don’t-kill/people-kill, and 2nd Amendment rights.
The problem is, these aren’t “talking points” to us, this is real life and we’re real people who choose to take our personal protection seriously and responsibly. For Alexander, this can only translate to one thing: we’re scared.
One common thread among the conventioneers I met was fear. Real, genuine fear. But that’s no accident. Protecting yourself from crime, real and imagined, is what the NRA is all about. The NRA’s America, unrecognizable to the vast majority of Americans except from television, is a very dangerous place. Lawlessness, crime and violence reign. Rioters rule the streets. Islamic terrorists are coming to your town. Unarmed women are rape bait. Unarmed men are cowards. It is twilight in America and no one is going to defend you. Except you.
Perhaps the author has never taken the time to read through the thousands of Guns Saving Lives stories we report here on Bearing Arms each and every year. Better to have it and not need it isn’t a statement of fear, it’s a message of preparedness. The NRA’s America is a very dangerous place: that’s reality and exactly why millions of Americans
The NRA’s America is a very dangerous place because the world is a dangerous place. That’s not coming from the NRA, that’s the reality of the world we live in, and exactly why millions of Americans continue to listen when the NRA says they are America’s safest place.