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The Madera Tribune

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Cruz was NOT an NRA member

March 3, 2018

People who hate the National Rifle Association are taking the opportunity presented by that awful high school murder spree in Parkland, Florida, to blame the NRA for the shooter’s having been able to buy his murder weapons, and, apparently, for having used them.


Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz had drawn swastikas on ammunition magazines he brought into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. People who knew him thought he might be insane, and had even reported violent behavior on his part. Plenty of reasons to get him off the streets, if you ask me. But that’s just me talking. Years of study tell us that people who shoot up schools telegraph their punches, sometimes for years, and that people aren’t surprised at their behavior once they start killing. When will we learn that?


But besides being mentally unstable, Cruz had one other characteristic:


He was NOT a member of the National Rifle Association.


The smoke had hardly cleared from the muzzle of Cruz’s gun, though, before various companies were punishing the National Rifle Association by cancelling business arrangements.


Which seems a little odd. The American Rifle Association has long been known for teaching gun safety. It is known for trying to preserve the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, which grants all of us the right to keep and bear arms. It has been known for effectively lobbying political bodies, from Congress on down, to maintain that right.


Of all the school shooters over the years, not one has been an NRA member.


But the NRA is a big target for the ban-the-guns crowd, mainly because it does not pretend to be anything other than what we know it to be, which is an organization that fosters gun safety and insofar as it is able sticks up for the rights of gun owners.


Gun-control laws abound, and none of them seems to have been particularly effective at keeping guns out of the hands of people like Cruz and other criminals.


The thinking of the anti-gunners goes something like this: If there hadn’t been so many guns legally available for Cruz to buy, he wouldn’t have been able to get one and do so much damage. But the NRA keeps the pressure on lawmakers so they don’t take the guns away from the public, and therefore it is the NRA’s fault.


Well, why don’t the anti-gunners form their own pressure group? They could call themselves the National Disarmament Association, and work to do away with the 2nd Amendment. They could thump the tubs for laws that would force those of us who have guns to surrender them to the government.


Of course, the NRA would be all over them, too. And that organization probably would double in size, because a lot of Americans feel the 2nd Amendment is just fine, thank you.


I think I’d buy a ticket to that fight.

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