A reader, doubtful about my suggestion that a new pro-gun organization is needed, pointed out that:
* The loonies that kill babies are on the rise.
* We have lost control of a once moral society.
* The gun problem needs a paradigm shift.
He made other powerful points, but there was one he didn’t make; the erosion of our tradition of a “loyal opposition,” in which opposing sides speak to and respect each other. The extremist National Rifle Association, considers all gun regulation to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution, and deems those who advocate regulation disloyal. Like other extremists, some of whom sit in Congress, they denigrate compromise. Traditionally the essence of the democratic process, extremists now consider compromise a shameful retreat. This is a blow against democracy itself.
The formation of an alternative gun-owners group (one reader suggested, Traditional American Gun Owners - TAGO) would appeal to gun-owners dismayed by gun violence, and who support reasonable gun controls. It will also attract non-gun owners who respect of the right of fellow Americans to own a gun. Both sides would meet on the common ground of abhorrence to criminal gun violence, seeking real solutions while avoiding an extremist fight in which all, and the country, would lose.
A new pro-gun organization would challenge the NRA to find leadership to represent its members, not gun manufacturers, offer an alternative for those who support laws against the madness that turns public places into killing grounds, and respect the traditional gun-bearer as a lover of independence and the land with a passion to preserve its wildlife habitats. This is the paradigm shift that our country desperately needs.