Monday, January 08, 2007

Not so strange bedfellows

A Washington Post article over the weekend indicates that the National Rifle Association "is being pressured by its membership to distance itself from President Bush's energy policies that have opened more public land for oil and gas drilling and limited access to hunters and anglers." It seems that NRA members, who have thus far supported the Republicans lock-step, are fed up with the Bush Administration giving away public land to private interests who then close it off to hunting and fishing.

It's about time.

When was it that the Conservatives became the champions of the Second Amendment and the Liberals because anti-gun? I mean, what could be a more liberal interpretation of the Second Amendment than to say that it guarantees the rights "of the People" to access the very tools that could be used to overthrow the government. To say that the phrase "a well ordered militia" means that the Second Amendment only guarantees the rights of the National Guard to have weapons is an extremely conservative and absurd interpretation. When did the world turn upside down and black become white?

Was it because Democratic demigod John F. Kennedy was assassinated and the Democrats had to take action by passing the Gun Control Act of 1968 even though the provisions of that law would not have had any effect on Oswald's ability to do what he did, even if the rules were in effect before the assassination. Somehow, even that doesn't seem enough to redefine the words Liberal and Conservative to mean their exact opposites.

As a life member of the National Rifle Association, I believe they need to get over their steadfast support of the Republican party. The Republican's support the Second Amendment while seemingly hell-bent on subverting all the other rights and freedoms afforded by the Constitution does not help the NRA's agenda. The NRA needs to teach Democrats that the Second Amendment is another one of the liberal rights "of the People" that they should be supporting.

And as a member of the Sierra Club, I think they need to get over their preconceived notion that the NRA walks lockstep with the Republicans on all issues. Gun owners are very often hunters and they very much want to protect America's wilderness from development. If they can accept the NRA as allies on this issue, they will find their 3 million members a tremendous benefit.

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