Hughesair (Inflection Point)

Retired physician and air taxi operator, science writer and part time assistant professor, these editorials cover a wide range of topics. Mostly non political, mostly true, I write more from experience than from research and more from science than convention. Subjects cover medicine, Alaska aviation, economics, technology and an occasional book review. The Floatplane book is out there. I am currently working on Hippocrates a History of Medicine and Globalism. Enjoy!

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Monday, December 07, 2015

NRA

It ain't what it use to be! When I joined the NRA in 1946, I was 16 years old. I had a shot gun my father gave me when I was 12 and a 22 rifle I bought when I was 15. In order to joine the NRA, an endorsement was required from a member, a  shooting club or a service member. NRA was all about hunting, shot guns and hunting rifles. No one was upset with the federal restrictions, which prohibited concealed carry, automatics like the Tommy Gun and short barrells, like sawed off shotguns. The population was not so great, still sustainable. Game, birds especially, were plentiful.

NRA changed over the years from a shepard of responsible gun ownership and technical information into a vast recruiting machine to the benefit of its administrators and publishers and now a self perpetuating political fanatacism. I am a life member of the NRA but have no input into its actions, content or its ideology.  It is a top down organization that preaches to its members what to think.

NRA uses fear to advance a distortion of reality as dangerous as religious fundamentalism. Like wealthy monopolies NRA valorizes and extorts politicians to do their bidding. Like politicians themselves, they are supported by international gun manufacturers, and that may be the main reason for the promotion of ever more lethal combat weapons. 

NRA was tragically successful in repealing all the logically accepted gun laws of my youth limiting guns to hunting and the shotgun over the mantel for criticle home protection. Blocking legislation to deny gun purchase to persons on the "no-fly" list is the last straw.

The NRA does do good works with education of young people, in gun safety, shooting ranges and a vast hunting reserve. The magazine still containers good technical, historical and safety information for responsible gun owners -- once you get past the vitriolic political whining about the 2nd amendment. The core of NRA, I believe remains a good thing, but not the negative political action. NRA should be front and center in the fight for a resolution to the gun violence problem, a solution, not more of the same.

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