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Responsible Gun Owner? Then Break-Up With the NRA and Its Irresponsible Distortions.

| April 27, 2015

nra wayne lapierre irresponsible lies

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre likes to brandish his 50-caliber blister. (DonkeyHotey)

By Joel Kendrick

I couldn’t find a hotel room in Nashville when I visited for my brother’s wedding. Maybe that was for the best.

I had a longer commute to the clearing in the woods where the wedding would happen the next day, but at least I kept a safe distance from the NRA’s second-biggest convention ever happening downtown that April weekend.

Don’t get me wrong — I grew up in Nashville. And, though we never had guns around — my granddad says he’d rather have a rattlesnake in the house — I know plenty of responsible gun owners who kept rifles for hunting.

I also know many people who carry handguns for “protection” and as an expression of “individual liberty.” This group happens to include the DJ at my brother’s wedding reception. He sported a pistol tucked into his waistline during his set.

I’ve lived in Washington, D.C. for more than three years now. I can honestly say I haven’t yet spotted the gun tucked-in-the-pants look anywhere in my new hometown. Probably because it’s illegal. Yet even for Nashville, this seemed a little extreme.

So I pointed it out to my fellow groomsmen. A few laughed. One explained, “Oh, yeah. He’s always got a gun.”

I should never have asked why. That conversation always leads down the same, rocky road. But I couldn’t help myself.

“What if the government were to take arms against American citizens?” someone offered. “We need access to the same equipment so we can protect ourselves.”

Really, the same equipment? As the old saying goes: “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.” I have a bold theory that bringing a gun to a tank-fight would prove equally ineffective.

You don’t have to own a gun, but I’m going to protect myself and my family,” another said.

The NRA continues to peddle the long-debunked myth of Americans using guns in self-defense 2.5 million times a year.

I still haven’t met anyone — ever — who’s used a gun to protect his or her family. I’m sure it happens from time to time, but gun owners are significantly more likely to kill themselvesthan an intruder. Suicides account for 6 out of every 10 gun deaths in the United States.

The NRA still claims that guns are used 2.5 million times per year in “self-defense.” But experts have widely debunked that stat and ridiculed the 2.5 million claim as a “mythical number.”

Gun rights advocates also use this logic to defend concealed-carry laws. “Crime will go down if would-be criminals have to worry about law-abiding citizens with guns!” supporters say. But this is also a lie.

Take Dade County, Florida, where in five years police records have catalogued only 12 encounters between concealed-carry permit holders and criminals, compared to 100,000 violent crimes overall.

other-wordsSo how have groups like the NRA persuaded the DJ at the wedding — not to mention the 78,000 attendees of the NRA convention — that more guns means more safety?

In fact, while these lobbyists have convinced gun owners that they’re looking out for “personal liberty,” that’s simply not true. The NRA represents gun manufacturers, not gun owners.

To keep up the façade, the NRA skews facts on self-defense and leans on its allies in Congress to gag gun violence research. It’s essentially made ignorance the basis for garnering support from its members.

If the DJ knew he was far more likely to shoot himself on the dance floor than stop an unexpected wave of Islamic State terrorists crashing my brother’s wedding, would he still be packing heat?

The NRA prefers that he simply never find out. By spreading ignorance to block common-sense gun control measures, the NRA scares generally well-meaning folks into throwing money at gun makers for “protection” that never comes.

I think responsible gun owners need to break up with the NRA. It’s what will make them — and wedding guests everywhere — much safer.

Joel Kendrick is OtherWords’ editorial assistant.

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19 Responses for “Responsible Gun Owner? Then Break-Up With the NRA and Its Irresponsible Distortions.”

  1. R Gross says:

    Joel, I applaud your willingness to stand up and speak your mind on gun ownership. The fact is that most people that are either pro or anti gun, have an amazing tendency to only see their side of the truth. I would agree that the NRA most likely does spin the truth a little to sell their memberships, and maybe they are in it for the gun manufacturers (by the way that is a plus for pro gun) so using it to make pro gun owners feel like they are being misled, well really doesn’t work. You really must look at the anti gun movement and the fact that they too spin the facts and truth to support their position.

    In the end, what it really does boil down to is the same key points that every pro gun enthusiast will say.

    It is a constitutional right….wait let me clarify that…it is a god given right protected by the constitution.

    I am a veteran, and I swore in my oath to defend that constitution and the protections it offers to everyone.

    The bad guys will get guns….the police cannot protect us…that is very evident…and I neither should have to, or am I willing to give up that right I have been given to protect myself and my family. I hope that you never find yourself in a situation where owning a firearm will save you or a family member.

    We have really bad people in our society that have no reserve about hurting other human beings, and I assure you that as a highly trained and skilled owner of a handgun, I will be able to protect myself and my family.

    As for the individuals that shoot themselves by mistake or otherwise…forgive my lack of PC, but stupid people win stupid prizes. I understand that suicide is not a joke. Depression and mental illness are diseases and they need to be dealt with, but not at the expense of law abiding gun owners.

    Put a million laws on the books about gun ownership, how they can be carried, where they can be carried, when they can be carried and guess what….I bet you $100.00 not one bad person that intends to use a gun to do something really bad is gonna say…oh wait..there is a law about that….oh well guess I better not do that. Only law abiding citizens care about or follow the laws.

    Thank you for sharing your opinion and thank you for allowing me to share mine. I only hope that in the lifetimes of you, I and all of those that read this, that none of us will ever need to use a weapon of any kind to defend ourselves.

    • Obama 2015 says:

      Your gun rights are not god given. The Constitution does not state God Given. You have the right to bear arms aka own a weapon. But then again the Constitution said it was ok to own Slaves,Women didn’t have the right to vote and drinking alcohol was illegal.

      If you stop the massive flow of firearms and weapons in this country the “bad” guys will just have to work harder and take more chances to get a firearm. And in most cases, they will get caught. And then the people that follow the law will still be able to own their weapons.

      I will also bet you $100.00 that a “bad” guy does think about the laws because if your even caught with a gun when doing a crime it adds 5 to 20 years on a sentence that may have only been a year. So they will then use a knife or a hammer which are just tools.

  2. DanH says:

    Thanks for reminding me, it’s time for a donation to the NRA. I’ll double this one and make sure to give you the credit for it.

  3. Jim says:

    Just another anti gun article. Though I’m not an NRA member and have not plans become a member I do believe the right to defend urself and family. I have a CWP and carry everyday. This does not make me nut just because a carry a firearm. I don’t go around and tell everyone I carry and u would never know that I have a gun on me. I go hiking and fishing a lot. I’m more worry about snakes or a pack of pit bulls running wild than I do a person. I do feel the NRA does go overboard with what they say. I was born and raised in Orlando and this is why I got my CWP in the first place since Orlando is was not a safe place to live anymore and this is way I moved to Plam Coast for my family to be raised in a safe place.

    • Obama 2015 says:

      Having a CWP doesn’t make you a nut. If you own a business, work nights, in a bad area of town or need it for outdoor sports like hiking then then I agree with you.

      But the odds of you needing it when you go the Publix, a wedding or the doctor is pretty low.

      We only see the bad stories of a person going crazy with a weapon but the other 364 days and years nothing happens at all. The odds of getting hit by lightning is most likely higher. Wearing a helmet might be safer.

  4. Freddy says:

    Unless they can get guns away from all criminals I will always have mine for my defense.

  5. confidential says:

    Great editorial!!
    I am over 70 years old and I never needed a gun to defend myself…I consider a gun in the house more dangerous than my frying pan, a baseball bat or a good pepper/mace spray that I carry while walking my dogs. Was not for lack of opportunity that I do not own guns, as when I was younger and to satisfy a friend we practice in our city target shooting range.
    I believe that guns should be only in responsible hands if so, hunters, (I despise hunting) not in the bullies possession. Thanks to the so called BB guns we get busted windows in our neighborhood and also a neighbor lady bullied by a teen opening and closing a large black gun barrel while standing on the neighbors driveway, yeah the same driveway that I had them remove the NRA large coiled snake bannerol off his salvaged beat up pick up that speeds up and down, all the time among children while playing in our street. That lady neighbor (contrary to what I would have done) did not call the sheriff in that illegal threatening public display of a fire arm over concerns for reprisals. Same way another neighbor caught a couple of teens a while ago with BB guns among the back of four homes after they shoot a squirrel dead…well he told them not to do it again, as were just kids. I would have called law enforcement, because who pays for basted windows..?
    Not long ago I called our sheriff on a new bully renting in our street over verbal threats and our excellent deputies showed up fast and effective and after taking to the crass oversize guy , they came to me and asked me if I knew if he had any weapons, to what I responded not knowing and when they asked me if I had any weapons I said NO. Told them I got to past seventies without any need for guns and that is why I had “my well trained law enforcement taxes paid to defend me” to carry those guns, to which the smiled and thanked me. Thast bully never bother me again. I also told them I didn’t get to where I am now and at this age by backing down!
    Another question I have for the sheriff and city officials here that I am researching….within PC city limits is permitted target shooting with BB guns or arrow/crossbow within a 1/3 acre residence backyard lot?
    The above real incidents are my reality experiences in my classy neighborhood compliments of the NRA.

  6. Miguel says:

    ” but at least I kept a safe distance from the NRA’s second-biggest convention ever happening downtown that April weekend.”
    I hope it was because of the traffic. Crime dropped during the Annual Meeting as it happens in every city it is held.

    “Take Dade County, Florida, where in five years police records have catalogued only 12 encounters between concealed-carry permit holders and criminals, compared to 100,000 violent crimes overall.”

    Actually it is Miami Dade county. You are referring to a study that is 15 years old and for Dallas, not Miami-Dade. I could not find a county in Texas named Dade.

    “So how have groups like the NRA persuaded the DJ at the wedding — not to mention the 78,000 attendees of the NRA convention — that more guns means more safety?

    Let’s stay in Florida since you mentioned Dade: According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the crime rate for 1989 (Concealed Weapons Permit was just in its early infancy) was 8,755.9 per 100,000. Now we move to 2013 and the crime rate has gone down to 3,627.3 per 100,000. That is a drop of 59%.

    For the same period: Murder rate goes from 11 per 100,000 to 5 per 100,000 or a drop of 55%.

    It does not get any more empirical than that.

    Florida has the most active number of CWP in the nation with over 1.2 million. Yet only half of one percent of people ever issued a CWP had it suspended because they committed a felony, any felony. US Congress and Mayors Against Illegal Guns do not come closer to that neighborhood.

    I think it is safe to assume that Law Abiding Gun Owners are rather safe creatures and More Guns indeed produce Less Crime.

  7. Lancer says:

    Don’t like guns? Then, don’t own one. If only the left would just live by their beliefs, it’d be fine. However, they have to toy with everyone’s rights through taxation, mandate and regulation.

    Only an emotionally led, anti-gun zealot would pick this time, when looters and rioters are rampaging the streets of Baltimore, given a free “destroy private property” pass by their democrat mayor, to print such a robustly illogical article.

    • Obama 2015 says:

      So you’re ok with a 24 wait period for an abortion? Sounds like mandate and regulation to me.

    • a tiny manatee says:

      Lancer, you make a really good point. If the people of Baltimore were armed, they they could have dealt with police interactions in which innocents are killed or excessive force was used in a manner that is more inline with their constitutional right to bear arms.

  8. Nancy N says:

    There is one thing that all gun owners have in common and it is on display as usual in the comments here: hubris. Despite the statistics that show that the most likely outcome of having a gun is that it will end up being used to hurt yourself or a family member, every gun owner I know is vocal about how that won’t happen to THEM because THEY are smarter than that. THEY know better. That stuff only happens to other people.

    It reminds me of the argument we hear from the people who refuse to wear seatbelts because “I’m a good driver so I won’t get in an accident.”

    Stuff happens that you can’t control, that you would never predict. It’s nothing but arrogance to think that you are immune from the normal consequences of your actions.

  9. Sherry E says:

    Thanks for publishing this article Flaglerlive.

    Unfortunately, expecting our local paranoid gun zealots to “get it” that the bigoted NRA is not God is likely not possible.

    NRA not bigoted you say. . . Wayne LaPierre’s latest:

    while addressing a crowd of Second Amendment advocates at the NRA’s 144th annual meeting, the NRA’s CEO and Executive Vice President said, “eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough.”

    Or, to translate from racist code to English: we’re tired of these uppity minorities; let’s make the White House white (and male) again.

  10. GWOT Vet says:

    Unless you can somehow convince all violent criminals to give up their weapons I am holding on to mine, I will not let someone who has never been in a situation where they had to defend their own life tell me how or when I can defend my family or my own life.

    You say NRA lies, but where is your critique of the Bloomberg funded anti-gun groups for their lies?
    Many of the millions of citizens who carry concealed every day throughout the US are not even members of the NRA, they would carry regardless of the opinions of one single organization.

    You may not agree with someone else in their decision to protect themselves but unless they are criminals it is their right to do so, and neither you or the government has the right to prevent them. The Bill of Rights is not a set of gifts from your government, they are inalienable rights that your government has no authority to take from you.

    If the 1st Amendment came with as many restrictions and permit requirements as the 2nd Amendment does I bet you wouldn’t tolerate it.

    • Obama 2015 says:

      The 1st amendment has many restrictions and permit requirements.

      You can’t say a four letter word or show graphic sex on the radio or on TV or you will lose your licence or be fined.

      You can’t say I have a bomb on an airplane.

      You can’t go to a crowded shopping mall screaming at the top of your lungs saying you going to kill everyone.

      You can’t sell certain forms of media to a person under the age of 18.

      All can be considered 1st Amendment rights but they have requirements that have laws and rules just like your precious gun amendment does and should have more.

  11. confidential says:

    Hey Miguel, maybe you hail from somewhere south of the border were gun laws are very restrictive and the NRA lobby does not exist?

    Argentina: Gun ownership in Argentina is overseen by the National Firearm Registry (abbreviated to RENAR in Spanish). The application process, open to Argentines 21 and over, requires the prospective owner to prove they have no criminal record, provide details of where the gun will be kept, pass physical and psychiatric examinations, undergo firearm training at RENAR, and show proof of income. All prospective owners are also fingerprinted.
    The application process for permission to carry a gun requires all of the above requisites as well as a written request justifying the need to transport the weapon. Licenses are valid for one year, after which all documents must be resubmitted. Furthermore, firearm makers and dealers must keep a record of all weapons made and traded. Semiautomatic weapons are permitted for civilians.

  12. William Ewart says:

    “The NRA still claims that guns are used 2.5 million times per year in “self-defense.” But experts have widely debunked that stat and ridiculed the 2.5 million claim as a “mythical number.”
    Gary Kleck was the recipient of the Michael J. Hindelang Award from the American Society of Criminology, and the CDC now cites his study. His research is not the only one to find a high number of Defensive Gun Uses (DGUs.) See Table 1.

    To keep up the façade, the NRA skews facts…”

    False again.

    The Kleck study was commissioned by Handgun Control Inc., and your link cites the “Study” Violence Policy Center which is a citizen group so it has no credibility.

  13. Abraham Collins says:

    “Take Dade County, Florida, where in five years police records have catalogued only 12 encounters between concealed-carry permit holders and criminals, compared to 100,000 violent crimes overall.”

    If I run off a criminal with my concealed handgun the last thing I’m going to do is call the cops. I could end up incriminating myself. Just because something goes unreported doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

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