Letter: Behind the mask is real face of NRA

In a March 3 column, Mark Figley is taking his language from the Wikipedia entry on the NRA. But he leaves out the stuff about the NRA being a lobbying group. I wonder why? Perhaps for the same reason gun advocates, when citing the Second Amendment, tend to leave out the opening clause — “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” — and only cite the part about people having the right to keep and bear arms?

The NRA began as a group to promote better marksmanship and gradually became a fraternal organization for people interested in guns and shooting in general. For the first 90 years of its existence, it was essentially a-political — it did not endorse a candidate for president until 1980.

In the late 70’s it was taken over by political extremists and eventually transformed into the lobbying arm of the gun industry. It’s leader, Wayne LaPierre, did not come to the NRA because of his love of guns, shooting, and the great outdoors. He came to it as an experienced lobbyist. Most of those sitting on the organization’s board of directors are gun industry types (with the exception of drat-dodger Ted Nugent). The NRA today is all about protecting the gun and ammo industry’s bottom line. And that’s all it is about.

Not only does the NRA not care about the welfare of most Americans, it is not even responsive to the will of its “5 million strong” rank-and-file membership. Consider: After the Sandy Hook massacre, despite the fact that 74 percent of NRA members were in favor of universal background checks, the leadership came out in opposition to the checks.

The NRA is a cancer that Needs to be excised.

Kelly Anspaugh, Ada

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