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Community Forum: A sarcastic reply for the NRA lobby

This week’s writer is Joanna Colwell, director of Otter Creek Yoga in Middlebury’s Marble Works District. She lives in East Middlebury.
Dear NRA member,
Thank you so much for your continued support in our efforts to ensure that our right to own firearms is never curtailed in any way. We all know that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. And when deranged psychopathic people acquire lethal weaponry and slaughter innocent children, well, that’s just the price we must pay for protecting our Second Amendment rights. Of course unfortunate events like the recent incident in Connecticut will cause some to assert that some kinds of limits are called for. But you and I know that any regulation is a slippery slope toward the day when a semiautomatic weapon will no longer be available for purchase at WalMart.
It’s thanks to dues-paying members like yourself that the National Rifle Association has been able to secure some of the most effective lobbyists in America’s capitol. It’s thanks to you that we can hire expensive public relations firms that burnish our image in the face of occasional unfortunate incidents like those in Aurora, Tucson, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and now Sandy Hook Elementary School.
It’s due to your dedicated support that the NRA has been an influential force against limiting gun sales and has succeeded in loosening restrictions on some high-powered combat weapons originally intended for military use. However, we are at a crossroads in this country. There are groups such as Mayors Against Illegal Guns who insist on repeating the frightening statistic that 34 Americans are killed with guns every single day. There are citizens groups like the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence who are trying to convince the American people that a heavily armed populace does not lead to less gun violence, but more. If these groups have their way, the United States could someday enact legislation like Australia did. After a mass shooting in 1996, that country enacted strict gun laws. Since then, there has not been a similar massacre in the entire country.
The leadership of the NRA is committed to continuing our close relationship with weapons manufacturers, who actually reap major profits every time a mass shooting occurs. Strict gun control in the United States will have a devastating effect on that revenue. So we’re counting on YOU, NRA member, to help us maintain our image as a sports shooting club, while we protect industry profits.
While some analysts say that up to 70 percent of NRA members actually support commonsense gun control, we thank you in advance for not speaking up unless you are in the 30 percent who believe that the more weapons we have the safer we will be.
Sincerely,
The National Rifle Association

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