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The overwhelming gaggle of rabid right-wingers, homophobes, racists, bigots and bitter over-reactionaries who dominate the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups are upset with Colorado, a state with the guts to enact some new gun-control laws.
They are promising to boycott the state over not only the new legislation on gun control but also a legislative move Tuesday to legalize same-sex civil unions in the Rocky Mountain region of the nation.
Good. Let them stay home. Colorado – and any other state in the union — is better off if these nutcases stay home.
Both sides of the gun debate go to extremes but the recent hard-core abandon of all-reason by the pro-gun lobby, led by the in-your-face defiance by reason-deprived Wayne LaPierre, head honcho of the NRA, showcases just how out of control and dangerous the carry arms at all costs proponents have become.
Colorado had good reason to take a hard look at stronger gun legislation. The massacres at Columbine High School and the movie theater in Aurora are strong, bloody, images of just how dangerous the American love affair with firearms has become.
The movie theater shooter obtained his weapons legally under current laws. He’s not alone when it comes to mass murderers in this nation. Are existing laws strong enough to deter such criminals? Obviously not.
But the NRA, whose real allegiance is to the gun industry, can’t accept any reasonable attempts to tighten gun laws. I’m not surprised. In and around my Blue Ridge Mountain home, a large number of people who drive around in pickup trucks adorned with NRA life member decals carry concealed weapons without valid permits and own firearms illegally after felony convictions.
As the local newspaper reporter who covers courts, I see them before judges and convicted of crimes that prohibit them from legally owning guns.
Several of us who believe in obeying the law have notified the NRA repeatedly of this criminal element within the association’s ranks but no action is ever taken. NRA would rather collect the dues and count criminals as members. We also notified the sheriff’s department, which did take action.
In addition, a disturbing amount of email received here at Capitol Hill Blue all too often contains racist, homophobic and bigoted comments from those who claim to be NRA members.
The NRA regularly endorses racists for public office, the most recent being its avid support of former Virginia Sen. George Allen, who lost a re-election bid after his racist comments were revealed in a video and who then tried to regain his seat in 2012. Despite avid NRA support in both elections, Virginians rejected Allen.
As a gun owner who uses legally-purchased firearms to hunt and one who carries a concealed weapon with a valid permit, I support the right to own and bear arms. But I cannot, and will not, support an organization who puts its own membership above the law or refuses to even discuss reasonable efforts to curb the ever-expanding disease of gun violence in this nation.
The staff here at Capitol Hill Blue includes gun owners and those who believe guns should be outlawed. Varied opinions are welcome here.
We all agree, however, on the need for more laws regulating sale of certain types of weapons, large capacity magazines and the proven need for more extensive background checks on those who try and purchase firearms.
The NRA does not give a damn about protecting anyone who supports gun control. It primarily serves the greedy gun industry which pads its profits by promoting gun sales to anyone — law abiding citizen or felon. Ironically, the organization that pushes the right to own arms does not even ask potential members if they have ever been convicted a crime involving the use of a firearm.
NRA President David Keene often bragged about how he taught his children to responsibly use firearms but his son sent to prison after shooting at a motorist in a road rage incident on the George Washington Parkway in Virginia.
When you get a license to drive in this nation, one of the questions on the form is whether or not you have committed an act that cost you the ability to operate a motor vehicle in another state. The NRA often compares gun ownership with car ownership and operation but draws the line at checking to see if its members are law-abiding citizens.
So when NRA members threaten to boycott Colorado because they want to take stronger steps to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, let’s applaud and say “good for you.”
If NRA members avoid the state of Colorado it should also decrease the number of felons in the state.
That is reason enough for the rest of us to visit the Rocky Mountain state.