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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Re: NRA Propaganda

By D Jay O'Brien


July 19, 2017
Wednesday PM

The violent images in the NRA video Mr. Chaudhary references are indeed disturbing. The video is a compilation of segments from actual events that have occurred in our cities and on our college campuses since the last election. Is this video clip propaganda or just depictions of the new reality of violence that may be brought upon someone for their beliefs and political leanings?

The legislative, not the executive branch of our government is charged with making laws, so Mr. Chaudhary is correct in his assertion that President Obama had limited effect in enacting restrictions to the Second Amendment. However, the former President is on record stating that his “greatest disappointment” was not being able to pass more gun rights restrictions. I suspect he would have signed most legislation doing so were it sent to him by the people’s representatives in congress. Evidently, such legislation was not the desire of the majority in the country.

The NRA still promotes “hunting and safe, responsible ownership of firearms” as it always has. The organization produces informative videos and conducts seminars and trainings on varied topics. A visit to their website menu tab, “NRA Programs” is advised. I especially appreciate the NRA’s outreach to women. Locally, the “Friends of the NRA” put on a banquet every year. Funds raised at the event and through a raffle have generously supported Ketchikan’s Junior Shotgun League through which students practice clay target shooting and have had the opportunity to travel to state-level competition in Chugiak.

Mr. Chaudhary goes on to malign the NRA and call it a “cult.” Now that sounds like propaganda to me. If you want to join the organization, you fill out a form, send a check for $35 and you’re in for a year. You get a magazine delivered monthly, and a sticker for your car. Crazy stuff like that. There are other levels of support if you choose. I suspect the Sierra Club has similar means of support. If you don’t want to belong, you don’t pay the dues the next year or you don’t sign up in the first place. I think that’s called “freedom of association” if I’m not mistaken. The same freedom allows people in this country to listen to radio stations of their choice, watch tv shows they enjoy, and join political parties they agree with. It’s worked pretty well for a couple hundred years and is still the envy of millions of people on earth who do not have such rights.

The letter’s author concludes with a dark vision of the future, again using what appears to be propaganda and somehow linking this to gun owners. I agree that the last few months have been pretty scary. My kids have witnessed incredible violence just a few blocks from the “peaceful transfer of power” at the inauguration, seen a “comic” holding a bloody, severed head of our President, and been exposed to pop culture icons saying, among other things, that the White House should be blown up. This kind of vitriol has occurred with disturbing regularity. How Mr. Chaudhary links law-abiding members of the NRA to this is mind-boggling.

Jefferson said, “The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.” I hope our country continues to enjoy the freedom to passionately discuss political points of view, join organizations they wish to support and listen to speech of their choosing, and to be able to do so without fear.

D Jay O’Brien
NRA Life Member
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received July 15, 2017 - Published July 19, 2017

Related Viewpoint:

letter NRA Propaganda By Norbert Chaudhary




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