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Friday, January 11, 2013

Dear @NRA

Dear @NRA: if you don't want people to be blamed for "the acts of criminals and madmen," then it's your duty to help make sure that criminals and madmen don't have access to firearms in the first place.

Growing up, we've all been in situations when someone "spoiled it for the rest of us" - when an entire group is collectively punished for the acts of one or two kids who misbehave, or students who cheat on a test, or commit some other infraction.

That's the situation you're in right now. The murderous acts of criminals and madmen are "spoiling it for the rest of us" - the law-abiding gun owners, enthusiasts, and supporters of the Constitution and the Second Amendment. And you, the leaders of the NRA, are doing nothing about it, other than fight tooth and nail to lay the blame on everyone but yourselves and the policies you advocate.

Rights come with responsibilities, and your membership very clearly understands and agrees. These are some of the results from a June, 2012 survey conducted by a GOP pollster, Frank Luntz:

  • 87 percent of NRA members agree that support for Second Amendment rights goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
  • 74 percent of NRA members and 87 percent of non-NRA gun owners support requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun.
  • 79 percent of NRA members and 80 percent of non-NRA gun owners support requiring gun retailers to perform background checks on all employees – a measure recently endorsed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry.
  • 71 percent of NRA members support barring people on terror watch lists from buying guns.
  • 64 percent believe the law should require gun owners to alert police to lost and stolen guns.

Your members get it. Why don't you?

Your spokesman recently said that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun. That's ludicrous: the only superheroes who can stop tragedies before they happen live in comic books. One less gun in the hands of a bad guy is worth immeasurably more than one more gun in the hands of the good guy.

And to the argument that guns don't kill people, please ask yourself: just how much harm can a bad guy cause, if he's armed with a feather instead of a Bushmaster?

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