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Letter: NRA, politicians to blame for state of U.S. gun laws

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: William Scarbrough


The local Walmart shooting generated a letter on July 2, written by Greg Macklin, defending laws in Indiana that permit carrying guns, under a concealed carry weapon permit, that are not concealed. The quintessential oxymoron!

Macklin’s letter was followed on July 3 by a letter from Michael Greven stating that the National Rifle Association is creating a culture of fear. Greven is absolutely right about this.

The fear of a consequence and the only real fear preached by the NRA is directed to politicians. They are threatened with loss of their elected positions unless they support legislation written by groups run by the Koch brothers and delivered to state legislatures by the NRA.

The threats to politicians are backed up by success stories of the removal of senators and assemblymen. It happens at a federal level as well. There are no real threats presented to you and me. The NRA tells us we are threatened by criminals everywhere and are living under a tyrannical government. None of us buys that stuff unless paranoid or afflicted by androphobia.

There is no question that NRA edicts are followed in states with a majority of Republican assemblymen and senators. The Indiana Republican and Democratic platforms provide a valid reason for that situation. The Republican platform states only that Republicans support “the Second Amendment of our U.S. Constitution which gives the ‘people’ the right to ‘keep and bear arms,’ which protects gun ownership by all lawful citizens.”

The Democratic platform makes no mention of the Second Amendment or anything else involving guns.

Because the Indiana state platforms either say nothing (Democratic) or are cryptic (Republican), the alternative for more specific policies of each party is found in the national platforms.

The national Republican platform proclaims endorsement of the Second Amendment, opposes licensing and registration of guns, gives individuals the right to obtain and store ammunition without registration, supports concealed and open carry laws, proposes that such laws be extended to all states, supports stand your ground laws and opposes lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

The Democratic platform is flat out different in content. It states that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulations and that manufacturers be held liable for selling a lethal weapon to unlicensed merchants (this would effectively end sales at gun shows). It wants to reinstate the assault weapons ban, limit types of ammunition sold, improve background checks even if it causes waiting periods for gun possession, limit the number of operating guns a person may possess to one or two for hunting and one for protection in the home, and eliminate all stand your ground laws.

Unfortunately, Democrats are too timid to get behind their own platform, and Republicans to a man/woman strongly endorse and vociferously defend their platform positions.

That’s why the NRA’s corrupted leaders who do the bidding of gun and ammunition manufacturers, while willfully ignoring a majority of their members’ disagreement with their edicts, are reprehensible.

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