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Letter to the Editor - Jan. 26

January 26, 2013

The NRA is in denial and our country is not safe

To the editor:

I had to laugh at a recent editorial cartoon in a local newspaper. It was situated right below a “gun apologist’s” letter that suggested “no compromise, no gun legislation.” The cartoon showed the 1950s denial of “There is no correlation between smoking and lung disease!” (Big Tobacco) The second part of the cartoon, labeled “Today,” had an NRA member holding a semiautomatic weapon and saying, “There is no correlation between gun availability and mass shootings.”

Now, if you want to go from laughter to being scared, read the Sunday, Jan. 12 article on the history of the NRA in the Washington Post. This organization went from a reasonable, middle-of-the-road, bipartisan, century-old organization focusing on hunting, marksmanship and conservation to an organization formed from a revolt by radicals who entirely changed the agenda in 1977. Since that time, extremists have formed the boards of the NRA, and their “No compromise, no gun legislation” stance, even after the Newtown shootings, is appalling.

They are in the position to do so much good by supporting enforcement of extensive background checks and end of assault weapons for the average gun owner. 

Here’s a simple analogy: If you want to lose weight, don’t have junk food, baked goods, sugar and candy in the house. Every weight-losing diet or organization supports this adage. If you want to stop drinking, don’t flirt with alcohol by having it in the house (AA). To stop smoking, don’t keep cigarettes around (SA). Keeping guns in the house makes it only too easy in times of stress and anger to use a gun unwisely or have a child or teen take your weapon and accidentally shoot another or commit suicide. When statistics of actual protection from an invader with a gun are compared to incidents of homicide, suicide and accidental shootings, the latter always shows more detriment than any good from home protection. Keep your remote keys to your car by the bed instead and sound the alarm if you hear an intruder.

The NRA is in vast denial and unless we stand up to their current extremist policies, our country will never be safe.

Judith McLean
Waynesboro, Pa.

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