I was about 13 years old attending a Boy Scout jamboree when I first heard of the NRA. One of their representatives lectured on gun safety and put on a precision shooting demonstration for about 200 guys my age. That was over 60 years ago and the lecture made a lasting impression on me, as did the shooting exhibition. Compare that with today's gun climate where the NRA says we can only be safe if we're all armed. That's not gun safety. That's insanity!
The NRA no longer approaches gun safety like they used to. They prefer to engage in sloganeering. The NRA president now tells us, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." That was not a casual comment. That is a typical NRA slogan. Easy to remember and carefully crafted to grab the attention of anyone with a single digit IQ. The NRA faithful will, no doubt, repeat that phrase frequently in years to come.
Gun owners remember Charlton Heston's famous NRA convention speech when he proclaimed, "From my cold dead hands," as he held a Kentucky long rifle over his head. That was pure NRA sloganeering, at its best, and the phrase has been frequently quoted through the years.
I often wonder what the Founding Fathers were thinking 225 years ago when they framed the 2nd Amendment. Did they consider Charlton Heston's long rifle to be the ultimate in weapon technology? It was certainly the best firearm available in the 18th century. Do you think the Founding Fathers ever envisioned anything like an M-16 derivative with a 100 round magazine being used to murder 20 children and six teachers in a Connecticut school room. Not likely! The Founders were pretty sharp dudes but I doubt if they were that clairvoyant. I don't think they ever foresaw any problem with the 2nd Amendment way back in 1789. What the heck could possibly go wrong if they wrote a law allowing militia members to own Heston's single-shot, muzzle-loading, black powder rifle?
Solving the perpetual gun problem will require something not often seen in our elected officials. Courage! Courage to stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby! Congress had the guts to do it in 1934 when they passed laws limiting ownership of full automatic weapons. That law didn't hurt the Second Amendment. Congress can do it again. The time is right! But it will take courage!