Unabashed admiration needs to be tempered

Your unabashed admiration for the NRA needs to be tempered by the realization of two things about that organization:

Its massive political contributions have corrupted many venal legislators in state legislatures and the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Such legislators are afraid to vote against any positions taken by NRA because they know the money spigot will be shut off if they do.

As a result, a very important law, the assault weapons ban, which had a “sunset” clause allowing it to lapse if not renewed, was recently allowed to expire by Congress.

No rational person could claim that the framers of our Constitution intended that the Second Amendment right to bear arms would apply to assault weapons, which didn’t exist in 1776, or to the so-called “Saturday night specials” used so often by criminals to kill and maim other people. Small multi-shot handguns didn’t exist in 1776 either, but efforts to ban them fall on deaf ears in legislative halls, both state and federal, because the NRA opposes such bans.

I’m enclosing a contribution solicitation letter from a congresswoman who was widowed when a madman who got his hands on an assault weapon killed and injured passengers on a Long Island train in 1993. This lady had the guts to run for Congress against an opponent who was heavily subsidized by the NRA. She won in 1996 and has fought off efforts by the NRA to unseat her ever since.

William Helsell
Seattle

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