To the Editor:
As a long term skeet shooter, I believe that hunting – if done safely and legally – is an ancient and honorable sport.
After the recent massacre at Newtown, Conn., and the ongoing slaughter of youths in Chicago and elsewhere, the polls now show an overwhelming majority of citizens believe that reasonable restrictions on gun purchases are necessary. Consider this number: 281,757 Americans died from gunshot wounds from 2001 to 2011. In fact, more people in this country die from guns than in the Iraq War or the war in Afghanistan. Why is it so difficult to enact reasonable laws to curb this slaughter? It’s all about money, big money.
The National Rifle Association was for many years an honorable organization teaching gun safety and protecting the legal rights of gun owners. Some years ago, it was a proponent of certain background checks. Under current management it has turned into a powerful lobby blocking any restrictions at all, including background checks. With a budget of over $200 million, it rates members of Congress on their support of its program – no new gun laws. It backs this up by spending large sums to elect those who agree with them and money to defeat those who do not. The most amazing fact is that it is now deriving tens of millions from gun manufacturers who naturally are only interested in selling more guns. Assault weapons have the highest price tag and are obviously a significant source of profit. Interestingly, Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the NRA, is reputedly being paid about $1 million dollars. No wonder he thinks everybody should be armed just like the old west. He might make more money if more guns were sold.
Try listening to or reading some of his paranoid ramblings. He has apparently convinced many that the government is out to take away their guns. This is categorically not true, a convenient way to mislead the membership. His favorite target is the president, who has repeatedly stated that he supports the second amendment, and he has done some skeet shooting himself. He has been in office for over four years and has obviously made no moves to take away guns.
Recent polls show the American public strongly supports universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. Polls also show a majority of NRA members support universal background checks.
Edward Lynd Kendall