A Sportsman’s Viewpoint: We Need a Moderate Alternative to the NRA

Many hunters would support sensible reforms against large-magazine firearms but have no organization that speaks for them

  • Share
  • Read Later
Michael Melford

I used to live in the country and go to a gun club for the skeet and trap shooting. I went there on Sundays because that was the only day the club was open to nonmembers. Like many shooting clubs, this one would only grant membership if I also joined the National Rifle Association. That wasn’t going to happen. While I like some of the NRA’s youth gun-safety programs, I cannot support its policy aims.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 13.7 million people went hunting in the U.S. last year, a nearly 5% increase from 2001. By contrast, the NRA has 4 million members. There are likely plenty of reasons why two-thirds of hunters (as well as millions of gun owners) don’t belong to the group, apathy and financial hardship among them, but politics undoubtedly play a role. And reaching out to pro-hunting moderates is perhaps our best hope for ending the national stalemate over gun control.

(MORE: When Massacres Force Change: Lessons from the U.K. and Australia)

“I don’t know anyone in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle,” West Virginia Senator Joe “Dead Aim” Manchin said on Morning Joe,one of several pro-gun politicians who have started to speak out in favor of sensible reforms after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “I don’t know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting.”

Neither do I. And I’m guessing the same is true for many other sportsmen.

Unfortunately, this constituency has no organization speaking to and for it. That’s why if philanthropists and influential leaders really want to do something about gun safety, they should launch an advocacy group for sportsmen that will provide a legitimate alternative to today’s gun lobby. The solution to our gun problem is not to try to fight through the same old politics — rather, it’s to change the political landscape.

(MORE: The Myth of Second Amendment Exceptionalism)

A moderate sporting organization could oppose knee-jerk proposals like banning “semiautomatic” guns (a class that includes many legitimate sporting arms) while supporting common-sense steps to improve public safety, including the strict regulation of — or even prohibition against — the sale of large-magazine firearms that have no legitimate sporting use. At the same time, such an organization could take on all the issues of more immediate concern to sportsmen than the Second Amendment, in particular the loss of wildlife habitat. The NRA and its even more radical cousins are pretty much exclusively focused on maintaining access to all kinds of firearms and ammunition. It’s an economic agenda to preserve the interests of the companies that make these products, not a pro-sportsmen’s agenda to preserve natural resources and open space; the gun lobby frequently supports politicians with horrendous records on environmental issues. Its narrow focus, as Field & Stream columnist George Reiger observed a few years ago, could lead us to become a nation where people can have “a closet full of guns with no place but a shooting range to use them.”

It’s worth noting that hunters have tried to start a pro-gun-control group before. Ray Schoenke, who used to play for the Washington Redskins and ran for governor in Maryland, launched the American Hunters and Shooters Association in 2005; it was defunct by 2010. Monster.com founder Andrew McKelvey started a similar group, Americans for Gun Safety, that quickly fizzled (before merging with the centrist D.C. think tank Third Way). Both of these organizations were hamstrung by having close ties with traditional gun-control organizations, and that made them an easy target for the gun lobby.

(MORE: The Backlash Against ‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’)

A moderate alternative to the NRA would need authenticity to succeed. And deep pockets too. It would also help if the leader of this new organization could motivate young people to help change the status quo. (Mass shootings may grab our attention, but day-to-day gun violence is the major reason why homicide is the second leading cause of death, after accidents, among young adults.) That’s why I’m nominating Mark Zuckerberg to take up this cause. He’s rich, he has tons of social capital, and in 2011 he pledged to spend a year eating only meat from animals that he had killed. He said he did this to challenge himself to be more thankful for what he has and to be more thoughtful about how we live — ideas sadly lost on today’s gun lobby.

234 comments
CharlieMorris
CharlieMorris

I consider myself a moderate conservative; I lean left on social issues (except abortion); lean right on fiscal issues; lean libertarian regarding marijuana yet authoritarian on security. I fully support the rights of law abiding hunters to own guns... but the second amendment wasn't written for that purpose.  It was written to ensure the average citizen could maintain the ability to defend themselves from 1) an increasingly oppressive government and 2) a foreign invader; Both of which the Red Coats of 1776 represented.  While I would love to see legislation that keeps guns away from criminals and the mentally disabled - while ensuring the second amendment rights of law abiding citizens; I believe it a pipe dream.  The left have many valid points, as do the right but as this article suggests - I rarely hear a Moderate viewpoint.  So here's my position... 

Let's start with some perspective...

In 1937, the German Government passed legislation that prohibited Jew's from owning - and Jewish owned companies from manufacturing - firearms.  Less than five years later, the Nazi's implemented the Final Solution and the Jew's had no way of defending themselves against the German Army.

In 1994, between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Rwandan people were massacred... by fellow Rwandans.  Most killed by machetes.

So I think it's safe to say, society (in the west) may have changed but Human nature has NOT.  Passing legislation prohibiting law abiding citizens from owning firearms - including assault rifles - will only allow possession of such weapons by criminals. Hence, the saying, "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns".


I therefore propose:

1) Close that darn gunshow loophole.

2) Harsher penalties for violent offenders. I'm a firm believer in preventive measures.

A) Start lopping off limbs (pinkies and toes) of violent offenders and watch the crime rate drop.  Those who exercise free will in committing violent acts against law abiding citizens should be prepared to suffer more extreme consequences. First offense you lose a pinky; second offense your trigger finger.

B) Hard time!  Bring back hard time for violent offenders.


3) Stricter legislation on second hand sales.


I got more to say, but I gotta go.  Time to make dinner.



DerekLogan
DerekLogan

I got the acronym for this moderate association, and yes, I took it from the Ben Affleck movie. But hey, I think it works: Association for Responsible Gun Ownership (ARGO). Anybody want to run with this?

endthedrugwar
endthedrugwar

No that it ever will be banned, but even if hunting is banned some day, so what? Killing animals for fun (or food) is a privilege, like having a swimming pool. It is not a right like self-defense. Is Rotherham saying he doesn't understand why people are more active in supporting a right over a privilege? Moreover hunting is if not dying out, then certainly less common than it used to be.

As a per capita rate hunting peaked decades ago, and has been on the decline ever since. Rotherman carefully chose 2001 as his starting point for claiming hunting is increasing for this reason, to make it seem like hunting is as big as it ever was and growing. It isn't. It is pretty much at a historical low point. If Rotherman had bothered to be honest, he would have noted from the source he referenced in his own article (http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/LicenseInfo/Hunting.htm), that the per capita peak was around 1982. During that year there were about 45 million hunting licenses/tags/permits/stamps. While in 2012 there were about 51 million hunting licenses/tags/permits/stamps. But the U.S. population in 1982 was only about 232 million, while in 2012 it was about 314 million. Which works out to about 1.94 hunting licenses per 100K people in 1982, versus 1.62 hunting licenses per 100K people in 2012.

FrankFC
FrankFC

The framers of the US Constitution were far seeing and correct to include the Second Amendment. Trouble is they could never envisage an occupying force arising from within. That occupying force looming as a threat to the USA is the NRA,

Like a virus, the NRA has worked its way little by little into the American psyche . Trouble is it is not one person affected, its millions. That is why a national ban on guns will only challenge and make this virus stronger. What is needed is the adoption of its own methods. Little by little.

Be prepared America. To succeed it will take time, probably twenty years. One state at a time enacting fool and bullet proof gun laws, will eventually run this scourge out of your great country.

MikefromPA
MikefromPA

I get tired of those who criticize the NRA, yet do not join because they claim we do not represent their interests. Last time I checked the NRA goes far beyond gun safety for youths, they also train law enforcement and security guards. They also publish American Hunter, a magazine for members and get involved with legislation to promote and further hunting. Are 30 round magazines needed for hunting? No, but the NRA's primary goal is to preserve our second amendment rights which have everything to do with preventing oppression from our government as well as other governments. For those who need a history lesson a black powder musket was the so called assault rifle during the revolutionary war and citizens owned the same firearm as the army. The semi-auto firearms that are deemed assault rifles are not even close (other than appearance) to what is being used on current battlefields. In summary, if you want your own organization for hunting rights or what you deem as common sense gun control, then go for it. Just don't expect those who believe in the constitution to support you. And I seriously need to understand common sense gun control. Do you really expect any gun owner to believe that a shooter with 10 or 15 round magazines would have killed less people? If so please look up VA tech shooting which was conducted with two handguns; no so called assault rifle. Your primary mission is to enact meaningless gun control measures to whittle away at our rights while achieving no results. That is why organizations such as the NRA and GOA will continue to thrive and gain members. I am proud to be a member of the NRA .

ShaunWheeler
ShaunWheeler

Charming. Another person who kills animals for fun and enjoyment that doesn't consider shooting at clays or paper targets to be a 'sport'.

After they ban the firearms I use in a 3 gun competition how much money do you suppose I'll contribute to defend your right to kill ducks or deer? How about none? 

dontn123
dontn123

"The Ludlow Massacre was an attack by the Colorado National Guard and Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914.
The massacre resulted in the violent deaths of between 19 and 25
people; sources vary but all sources include two women and eleven
children, asphyxiated and burned to death under a single tent. The
deaths occurred after a daylong fight between militia and camp guards
against striking workers. Ludlow was the deadliest single incident in
the southern Colorado Coal Strike, lasting from September 1913 through
December 1914. The strike was organized by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) against coal mining companies in Colorado. The three largest companies involved were the Rockefeller family-owned Colorado Fuel & Iron Company (CF&I), the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company (RMF), and the Victor-American Fuel Company (VAF).
In retaliation for Ludlow, the miners armed themselves and attacked
dozens of mines over the next ten days, destroying property and engaging
in several skirmishes with the Colorado National Guard along a 40-mile
front from Trinidad to Walsenburg.[1]
The entire strike would cost between 69 and 199 lives. Thomas Franklin
Andrews described it as the "deadliest strike in the history of the
United States".[2]
The Ludlow Massacre was a watershed moment in American labor relations. Historian Howard Zinn
described the Ludlow Massacre as "the culminating act of perhaps the
most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in
American history".[3] Congress responded to public outcry by directing the House Committee on Mines and Mining to investigate the incident.[4] Its report, published in 1915, was influential in promoting child labor laws and an eight-hour work day."

Listen and Watch this VIDEO:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDd64suDz1A

almonjer
almonjer

There needs to be an alternative to the anti-gun groups also, bottom line is they don't work-and this tragedy proves it.  I am not in the NRA nor do I own a gun.  I would be considered a left wing liberal based on who I am and what I do for a living, but I have ZERO faith in the anti-gun groups correcting this problem, and sad to say that is why at the end of the day the NRA will win unless a 3rd rail rises out of this tragedy.  Keep in mind as I say this, I am an expert on terrorism, domestic/family violence and I own and entertainment company (I have appeared on and in every media outlet from Rolling Stone to Al Jazeera.  So I know the area well, and what I know is that it is impossible for the groups and individuals that are most in the media on this issue, solving it. Sorry to say it, but we are going to get what we got with Katrina, Super Storm Sandy, BP, Wall Street bailouts, etc.-how many times do these people have to fail America in the worst of ways before we  actually look for other solutions from other people that AVOIDS THE PROBLEM FROM HAPPENING.  These shootings 100% can be prevented with ZERO loss of life...just not from the powers and speakers that be.

Gary42
Gary42

While I understand that quail and pheasant are not considered "big game", has anyone looked into the Boone and Crockett Club founded by Teddy Roosevelt?  Possibly an auxiliary for smaller game or recreational shooters could be established?  Just a thought...

cholbird
cholbird

Instead of starting another gun association why not take back the NRA from the radical right.  When the NRA was first started it was about gun safety and was for nearly a 100 years - then the crazies took over.  I say those of us who want sensible gun control, infiltrate the NRA and along with the 74% already existing members who have said they would support tighter gun regulations - we could oust the existing leadership to a more moderated leadership that would still support the 2nd Amendment and a citizens right to own guns for the purpose of hunting, target and skeet shooting but don't include machine gun style weapons.

dontn123
dontn123

Divide and conquer.  That is what you will see.  When they came for the neighbor down the street you wondered why?  When they came for the neighbor up the street you wondered why?  Finally when they come for you will you have to ask why?  Gun owners are in the middle of a fight for their RIGHT account of CRIMINAL ACTIONS so now is not the time to divide.  CRIMINALS WILL WIN and GAIN.

The .223 aka 5.56 ammo used in so-called AR15 ASSAULT WEAPON is not allowed in sever STATE as a hunting round for DEER aka LARGE GAME because it is not very powerful.  The 5.56 was designed to provide a lightweight bullet that can be used to be carried in LARGE QUANTITY.   Again most STATES and HUNTERS know the .223 is not suitable on a LARGE Game  Animal such as DEER.  The .223 aka 5.56 when aimed properly is a very accurate round but again the ballistics in combat is adequate whereas the operation is questionable.  The M-16 and M4 TRUE ASSAULT MILITARY weapons use the same ammo as the AR15. The lack of proper operation in the Oregon Mall is typical of why American Soldiers have been killed while using the M16 - M4 in combat - the weapons are prone to jamming.  The high capacity magazines make these type weapons even more prone to malfunctions.   

AGAIN The idea was that a .223 aka 5.56 would wound one soldier and as a result cause 2-3 enemy soldiers to quit fighting to attend that 1 wounded soldier.  Plus an INITIAL WOUNDED SOLDIER causes panic and demoralization to remaining soldiers.  

Peirs Morgan on CNN thinks the .223 aka 5.56 is a super weapon has not got a clue yet his IGNORANT RANTING AND RAVING IS BEING SHOWN AS FACT.  Anyone that knows about fire arms should know he is full of BS about the 5.56 ammo being a super round.   The .223 aka 5.56 replaced the .308 aka 7.62 for personal soldier weapons.  The .223 aka 5.56 is also a common NATO round just as the .308 aka 7.62 squad served machine gun.   LOOK IT UP  PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF.

Way-coolJunior
Way-coolJunior

There was a comedian years ago (unfortunately I can't recall his name) who made the observation that, "If you need a 30-round clip to bring down a deer then you need to greatly reexamine your hunting technique." That pretty much sums it up. 

If you have an assault style weapon then you need to admit that it has nothing to do with sport and everything to do with fear...that's where your side of the conversation begins (sure you can use them for target shooting but since you can do the same thing with an old fashion single shot rifle that argument is pretty much moot).   Then lets take a look at the concerns of those who keep such firearms as a "safety measure" against a government that is out to get them.  In these days of drone bombings and long range missiles does anyone really believe that they can offer anything more than token resistance? Probably not.

Moving on to those who say that the shooter in Newton (I refuse to use his name and give him the notoriety his demented mind craved) was able to obtain his weapons from a responsible gun owner (his mother).  You have no concept of what it is to be a responsible gun owner.  This was a woman (who has admittedly paid the price for her error) who took her son - a son that she herself apparently once described as "mentally unstable" -  to a gun range and taught him how to shoot.  No "responsible" gun owner would do such a thing.  That is where your side of the conversation has to begin.  Admitting that there is such a thing as responsible gun ownership and the vast majority of LEGAL gun owners are firmly in that camp. 

It's only after BOTH sides can agree that there is room for compromise that there can be any meaningful discussion. Until then it's just so much hot air and lip service.

Joe999
Joe999

I will not support any politician, company, publication or individualthat supports any further gun control. None of the "scary" rifles in mygun safe hurt anyone last year, the year before that, or EVER. I willnot be made to pay the penalty for the insane, evil acts of oneindividual and neither will several million other lawful gun owners.What did Lanza do with that scary looking rifle that he couldn't havedone with a pistol? Nothing. Or are you deluded enough to think that hewould not have committed the crime if he couldn't get access to thatrifle? Those semi-automatic, "legitimate" sporting rifles you mentionare functionally no different than the scary, black rifles that have yousoiling your panties. In fact, every firearm in existence is derivedfrom military firearms. 

You clearly do not know the purpose for the Second Amendment. Itdoesn't have anything to do with hunting, sporting clays, or targetshooting. It's about defense. Defense of one's self and one's communityagainst corrupt individuals and tyrannical governments. I and my fellowsare rather insistent on maintaining our access to the most efficienttools for such defense. 

 Furthermore, if you think for one secondyou can purchase your own salvation by sacrificing those arms and theirowners that you personally find distasteful then you're woefullymistaken. The first Assault Weapon Ban had no measurable effect oncrime. Another one, if that comes to pass, will yield no more resultthan the first. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, rifles areused in fewer crimes than your shotguns. Both statistics are dwarfed bythe use of handguns in the commission of crimes. 

Congratulations, Zumbo.

EduardoAcosta
EduardoAcosta

How come the article didn't state the fact that AR 15's and variants thereof are absolutely used for hunting purposes? 

AnnaSaenz
AnnaSaenz

This is a great article.   Why we do not hear more often about real sportmen or woman ?   Their voices have been silenced by the NRA and their agenda to protect the interests of the gun manufacturers, no matter if the cost is the loss of innocent children.

dms784
dms784

Hello casual reader.  If you wish to discover the real reasons why the gun crazies are so paranoid about laws that restrict personal weapons, read down through these posts.   Apparently they are arming themselves to overthrow the federal government.   And here we thought all along that it was for self defense.   Homeland Security, please take note.

JohnDavidDeatherage
JohnDavidDeatherage

The 2nd Amendment isn't about hunting or shooting skeet or even crime.  The right to bear arms provides citizens a last defense against oppressive tyrannical governments.  Changing the 2nd Amendment requires more than simple legislation.

ScottTazewell
ScottTazewell

Iam sorry but being moderate is not the answer, The shootings are tragic, but Iam a taxpayer, I know I paid for the young men and women in this country to be trained, and to only see them become soldiers, I paid for the bullets and the Gun and I paid for the availability for him or her to sail across the ocean and to conduct the tragic events upon humanity and it is called war, Children have died due to my tax dollars. Being moderate will not grant me my rights, Nor will being vain! If being Moderate would have granted me my freedom then history would have recorded the birth of the constitution as the greatest moment of human negotiations known to man, but that never happen. When I hear Americans on the left proclaim their humanity, this week Iam thinking, you mean to tell me you rise in the morning thinking I have no blood on my hands. All the tax payers in this country has went to war with our troops and all of us have blood on our hands, the left say ban the guns yet lets put them in the hands of our youth and train them to kill and we will pay for it but do not remind us we hired you to kill You live in a Extreme country that was born from an extreme human problem called Tyranny, man willing to see another become a slave, and its extreme to see the slave wanting to be free, Tax payer you have blood on your hands to, we have the convience to send out children off to war, the children and our enemies have to deal with the tragic events of war

mauisunset
mauisunset

Why do we paint bulls-eyes on our kids in public school?

American public schools are a total disaster - a 100% failure.

America ranks below Hungary in K-12 education with China #1.

What do you get when you round up 800 little kids and put them into a public school with NO guns on the property?

A victim-rich target for the insane and terrorists in America.

How many more mass murders do we need to learn this lesson....

PeteFlanagan
PeteFlanagan

I once asked a gun-grabber how he could be opposed to someone owning a shotgun for dove hunting.  His reply?  "To a dove, a dove hunt is nothing more than a drive-by shooting.  That is why we're going to take your shotguns too."

If it wasn't for the NRA, the shotgunners would have to resort to needlepoint on Sunday afternoons because there'd be no trap, no skeet, no sporting clays in which to participate.  Your beloved Berettas and Benellis would be hanging over the fireplace with their receivers welded shut were it not for the tenacity and resolve of the NRA's 4+ Million members.

These facts are not lost on guys like Rotherham, who is nothing but a shill for the gun grabbers.  He and his ilk sit on the sidelines taking potshots at the people who really care about the shooting sports.  Rotherham and his pals stand for nothing and never will - which is precisely why we're all better off with them sitting in the dark baying at the moon of moderation.

VondaRochelle
VondaRochelle

I did not write the following and I'm not sure who did so I cannot give this person credit but it is worth reading concerning the second amendment.

"The founders wrote exhaustively on this subject, and there is really no room for equivocation. The founders wanted us to be as heavily armed as the Swiss, and ready to "refresh the Tree of Liberty with the blood of the patriots and tyrants." They intended that we fight tyrannical government...with the best weapons possible! And the inclusion of "Militia" here underlies the fact that this amendment was to prohibit the states from limiting citizens' right to arm themselves!

This is not about hunting or target practice. This is the amendment considered for generations as the one that guarantees the rest. 

Most of us can't fathom that anymore.  That is a criminal shame, because we're ignoring all the lessons of human history and human behavior since Cain slew Abel when we get this wrong.

It is historically spooky when a nation that trusts its citizens  with the right to vote no longer trusts them with the power to protect themselves.

Consider the facts of US history; particularly in the racist, oppressive origin of gun control laws, and the number of times the 2nd amendment served minorities (In 1957, the right saved the NAACP in Monroe, North Carolina at a key time in the Civil rights movement).  Consider the frighteningly rapid militarization and expansion of our civilian-focused armed forces.

Turn around the common phrase you've no doubt heard before..."If they aren't doing anything wrong, then they have nothing to fear from armed citizens:...right?"

I understand we have problems and school shootings should never take place.  Our children should be well protected at all times.  Disarming citizens does not in any way secure their safety.  I am not a gun collector nor a member of the NRA.  I cannot  understand how people start throwing rocks at the NRA and gun owners when this is a mental health issue, 

I like the comment posted by ZenGalacticore "That collective consciousness doesn't necessarily reflect the opinion of the elite-controlled media, or of the idealists among us living in a delusional utopian fantasyland.Get real fellow citizens, and do a little Google research about Latin America, its crime rate, and its gun laws."

The elite controlled media. How accurate are those four words that sum up what is happening in our nation.  If we continue to change our Constitution we continue to do away with the very rights it was written to protect.  Our military has fought and died to protect our country and the rights of freedom of our citizens.  It is nothing more than a disgrace to make those sacrifices of no value.  It is especially disgraceful when we make those sacrifices of no value due to our own government. 

ZenGalacticore
ZenGalacticore

We already have a, "moderate alternative to the National Rifle Association", it's called the collective consciousness of the American people!

And guess what? That collective consciousness doesn't necessarily reflect the opinion of the elite-controlled media, or of the idealists among us living in a delusional utopian fantasyland.

Get real fellow citizens, and do a little Google research about Latin America, its crime rate, and its gun laws. 

JeffreyWhite
JeffreyWhite

The second amendment is not the issue.

As a society, we have the following problem: 

Mentally ill people have easy access to guns thatshoot six bullets per second in a society where mental illness islargely ignored until a person kills someone. 

What do we do about it?

Various solutions, include but are not limited to the following:

1) Improve security of all public places (i.e., security check points andblast walls, security guards, weapon detection systems, safe rooms,arming guards and other employees, etc.).

2) Arming all citizens with assault weapons, body armor and shielded vehicles.

3) Identifying and treating violent mentally ill people early in life and keeping themaway from weapons (i.e., assault guns, bombs, etc.) that can easily killa lot of people in a short period of time. 

4) Reducing access to weapons that let someone kill a lot of people in a short period of time. 

Given that an assault weapon is useless in the face of modern militaryweapons like RPG guns, bazookas, rockets, grenade launchers, helicoptergunships, tanks, jets and the like, some people argue that we might aswell remove assault weapons from the general public. If you don't wantto do this, then fine.

Maybe you can suggest a way to make sure thatyour assault weapon will never be stolen by a crazy person or child orfriend on drugs or whatever.  There should be some way to enforce yoursuggested approach across America. Alternatively, if someone steals yourassault weapon and kills someone, perhaps we should rewrite the law tomake you an accomplice to the crime and thereby subject to jail timeand/or heavy fines and civil suits. After all, rights should also have responsibilities.

RobertG.BerryJr.
RobertG.BerryJr.

These comments on the second amendment is why I very much want to have this national conversation and have it go on for the next 3 to 6 months.  The politicians however, don't even want to have a 7 day conversation about it.  Why?  Politicians contend with used car salesmen for th elowest opinion in America.  And when the American people listen to this debate andthen ask themselves "do I really want to put my life in the hands of these incompetent fools and be totally defenseless?"  They will say the answer is not no, but "Hell No!"  And think about this.  How the progressives reallly feel about their fellow Americans is demonstrated by the president creating a committee htat will work on gun control with Biden and the head of the ATF on it, the same people who brought you Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Fast and Furious.  Instead of looking at mental health issues, and turning our schools and kids from shooting galleries to safe places to learn.

mauisunset
mauisunset

If you do not believe in the 2nd Amendment then you should repeal it.

It will take 20+ years and $100 Billion at least and you will still lose.

But please, spend the money and stimulate the country.............

rarinmn
rarinmn

The 2nd Amendment has as much to do with hunting as it has to do with fishing or knitting - absolutely nothing.

If we didn't have the NRA would we have won Heller? Would we have conceal carry in nearly every state? Who would stand up to Bloomberg, Soros, Feinstein, the Brady Group, and all the others who destroy our rights in an instant without the slightest hesitation or regret? These people have already said that they'd take away every weapon we have if they could muster the votes. While there is the possibility of some areas in which compromises can be reached everyone knows that this is a war to maintain our constitutional rights.

The NRA is the nemesis of the gun grabbers simply because it's been effective in standing up for the rights of gun owners. The left would love for it to be replaced by a weak alternative organization. Since they can't beat it they demonize it and and then beg its members to dump it.  Why? Simply because it's so darn effective at what it does and that success drives the anti-gun groups nuts.

Create all the organizations you want but I think we'll stick with a winner.

JeffreyWhite
JeffreyWhite

Maybe a hunter could setup a webpage and start a new moderate alternative to the NRA?

mauisunset
mauisunset

America has 1 gun for each 3 citizens - is that good or bad?

What would you think of a country that:

Has 1 gun for each 2 citizens

and

That gun is a fully automatic machine gun, a SIG 550 - heavy duty military grade, and that machine gun is kept in EVERY house in that country.

The citizens of that country practice with their machine guns yearly and, in fact, are required to do so by the government that pays for the bullets for the machine guns. The murder rate of that country is 1/4 that of America; ; in fact this country has the lowest crime rate of any civilized country on earth.

You probably think I'm crazy - well the country is:

Switzerland

Don't believe me - then check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nf1OgV449g

Switzerland has a militia, like our Founders envisioned, not a standing Army like America has now.

If you are a male between 18 - 40 years old you are in the militia - its not an option. You are issued the fully automatic machine gun and are trained how to use it and you MUST keep it in your home. When you reach 40 years old you are put into the inactive militia, the machine gun is converted to semi-automatic and you get to keep it. For $59 you can buy a conversion kit to make it fully automatic again.

The people of Switzerland are armed to the teeth with machine guns and they have little crime and they don't go around murdering 6 year-olds- I wonder why????

So I ask - are military machine guns the problem or insane people wandering among us??????

dms784
dms784

Reading through these comments I can only conclude that while the fanatical firearm contingent is a small minority of the population, they certainly are very vocal.  Perhaps the folks who defend the legality of assault weapons might consider that by basing their argument on the 2nd amendment "right to bear arms" (conveniently ignoring the well-regulated militia part - the US had no national standing army at the time) as an unconditional guarantee for any individual citizen to own any weapon leads naturally to the conclusion that citizens should also have the right to grenades, rocket launchers, and - if they can afford them - tanks, fighter jets, and missiles.  It is in idiotic argument, and most of us are tired of hearing it over and over again.  If you want to rebel against the federal government, just admit it.  But do not tell us you have some constitutional right to amass your own private weapons cache in hopes of overthrowing the "liberal" federal government.  Organizations that imply this intent in their statements to their members are little more than domestic terrorists.   It is time for the rest of us to stop the insanity and the needless deaths caused by the pathological gun culture in this country.

LeeHelle
LeeHelle

Blaming a fire arm or the NRA just doesn't cut, diesel and fertilizer was the weapon of choice by the terrorist Tim M. we can still by diesel and fertilizer.

As far as I'm concerned this website http://mywar.homestead.com/failed.html does a pretty darn good at pointing the finger in the right direction

SteveBowlus
SteveBowlus

All the blah-blah about the 2nd Amendment: this amendment, together with the 3rd amendment, were included due to 1) the great suspicion of a central government with a standing army (one of which was fought during the Revolution), and 2) assuring that the military would remain subject to civil authority.  

The 2nd amendment specifically addresses this concern through the states' ability to raise a militia. This in fact is how large forces were generally raised through the Civil War. It is the STATES' right to raise the militia, not the individual's right to combat tyranny however s/he chooses.  This precludes the "militia movement" beloved of many citizens; to the extent that they do not acknowledge civil authority, these organizations are extra-legal.

Both the 2nd and 3rd amendments can be seen to arise to address concerns enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. Just read it ... (which apparently the Supreme Court has not).

Hunting (and reasonable extensions for sport shooting) is a right that derives from the 9th amendment, one of those rights that is not enumerated, but which can not be disparaged.  At the time of writing, subsistence and market hunting was a major (for some families the sole) source of meat.  The right to possess the tools of one's trade is firm in British common law (which is the basis of our own).  This is a sufficiently firm doctrine that under then-current debtor's laws, tools could not be seized to satisfy a debt: one could not deprive a person of his means to make a living.

GreggWexler
GreggWexler

Zuckerberg did not need the meat whether he killed it or not.

hdc77494
hdc77494

The second amendment has nothing to do with target shooting or hunting. The constitution is a LIMITING document, specifying the limits to government power. One of the methods to limit federal power is the citizen's ability to arm themselves against tyranny, whether that be a community or local militia, or as an individual. Gun crime is a tragedy, and we certainly need to do more to keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill and help them get the treatment they need. That said, Progressives don't want "reasonable" gun laws, they want to outlaw all weapons. Part of their mindset is that elite technocrats, usually selected by them, shouls be making decisions and drafting policies for all of us to follow. Over the past few years they've repeatedly called for conservative voices to be silenced, either by removing them from the airways or actually jailing people who disagree with them.  Those attitudes, and their control of our governing apparatus, are a far greater danger to a free people than any number of weapons. A more moderate alternative to the NRA? Please. What they want is an organization that ignores the constitution and gives progressives what they want. The state of Connecticut has outlawed assault weapons. Guns aren't allowed on a school campus. The school building was locked down. The shooter tried and failed to purchase a weapon, yet people still died, including the gun owner. The shooter was well known to be disturbed. the family was wealthy and the boy had virtually unlimited access to mental health care, and they still died. Just how much are we prepared to spend to build fortress America and take risk out of life? At Fort Hood, a facility completely under federal control and occupied by several thousand people with extensive weapons training, followed Federal law and DIED because law abiding citizens were disarmed and unable to defend themselves.  There are somewhere between 200 and 300 million firearms in the US, gun ownership is at an all time high, yet incidents of violent crime have been dropping for two decades. Why? Maybe because armed citizens are more of a deterrent than a theater, restaurant 0or school where law abiding people are disarmed sitting ducks.

Kneelie
Kneelie

Any person that claims to own a gun and inaccuracy uses the term assault rifle shows their ignorance. Its akin to a claimed chef not knowing the difference between a chef, paring, or santoku knife.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yATeti5GmI8

bd857pt
bd857pt

The second amendment is NOT ABOUT HUNTING. It affirms the natural right of self defense against tyranny, foreign invasion or bodily harm by a criminal attacker.