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That’s why democracy is the best thing going. Like you, I hate seeing it abused.

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The sensationalism about which you write is a cancer that transcends lobbies like the NRA. It seems that these days any debate about any issue consists of two opposing sides who will stop at nothing to paint the other as evil, racist, insensitive, stupid, arrogant, and/or Hitler. As stupid as both sides often sound, at least they have that right.

But wait — there’s more!

I’d heard of this latest installment of birther insanity but hadn’t seen it until last night.   Seems an ex-con got together with – and you can’t make this up – an attorney by the name of Mr. Kreep, and whipped up a 5-minute infomercial.  It’s currently running late night on a station in Lubbock and a bunch of other TV stations in the South (imagine that) but probably is getting more exposure on the talk show comedy circuit.

The sad thing is I can think of a couple people right off the top of my alleged mind who will send in the $30 for the bumper sticker and help the “United States Justice Center.”

Honestly, I thought this was a joke.  I kept waiting for Chad Vader to appear in the back ground.

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I was very sad when the NRA found our address – my husband’s father bought each of his kids lifetime memberships to the NRA when they graduated high school. Until recently, those magazines when to my in-laws’ house.

I’m not a big gun fan, but the hubby and his family all were hunters (only one still does), so I understand and I appreciate that part of their lives and heritage. But I hate that propaganda comes to my house – and so glad to hear that someone else feels the same way about that organization.

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Great post. I completely agree. I grew up eating venison, duck, perch, pheasant and other Wisconsin goodies my Father, Grandfather, Uncle and I harvested for food. We had fun and I grew to be proud of that heritage. I am embarrassed by some of the crap I see, and more so by how it is affecting the mindset of my close relatives, especially the young ones.

From my cold, dead hands …

I grew up in a hunting family. I still hunt. Doves, grouse, pheasant, deer, antelope, mule deer, squirrel – you get the picture.  I dig guns. Shotguns, rifles, antique guns. I’m an outdoorsman, a sportsman.  I love the Fall – my favorite time of the year. Hunting with friends and family – some with whom I’ve hunted most of my adult life. Pheasant hunting with bird dogs in Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Missouri. Antelope and mule deer hunting on horseback in Wyoming. Wisconsin whitetail deer hunting in Winnebago and Grant County. It’s a magical time of the year.

Because I subscribe to probably too many dog/hunting/fishing/gun magazines, I get on the mailing lists of some pretty cool organizations.  Pointing Dog Journal, Field & Stream, Gun Dog, Whitetails Unlimited, The Ruffed Grouse Society and Pheasants Forever. But three or four times a year, I also receive a mailing from the National Rifle Association.  The NRA.  And, three or four times a year, I grab their postage paid envelope meant for my membership or donation, go out to the garage, fill that envelope with metal washers, getting it as heavy as I can, and then stick the envelope in the mail. That’s what I think of the NRA. And it’s sad because I never used to think of them that way.  I was a fan.

Back when I was a kid, the NRA was a great resource for hunting and gun enthusiasts and derived most of its operating income from memberships. Over the years, hunters have declined for one reason or another. Some say it’s because of attacks by anti-hunters and that is probably true to a point. I personally think it has more to do with people losing touch with where their food comes from. As hunters declined so did membership in the NRA.  They had to do something to ensure their existence. Somewhere in the scope of time, the NRA went from a partner in the field to an NRA who tells anyone who will listen and write a check that:

·         The government is taking away their guns. Done deal

·         Probably within a year or two

·         Slippery slope. Can’t ban assault rifles – your 20 gauge Parker side by side will be next

·         Sky is falling

·         Democrats hate guns

·         Republicans love guns

·         Vote Republican

·         Love the NRA because they’ll preserve your “way of life.”  

The NRA still does some good work. But I can’t get over the sick feeling that my dollars given under the mask of “good” end up funding scare tactics. Scare tactics that drill the mantra that if you don’t join the NRA now, you’re going to lose your guns and your right to hunt.  Admittedly, they’re good at it.  The NRA is one of the most effective and well-greased political propaganda machines of my lifetime.  I’ve seen them destroy good public servants and help elect completely ineffectual candidates whose only claim to fame is being “a friend of the NRA.”  In short, my partner in the field somewhere along the line became a lobbying behemoth. A force in politics with a strong, consistent message:  “From my cold, dead hands.”

As is often the case, tell someone it’s the gospel truth long enough and they’ll believe it.  Particularly a youngster. A 10 year-old can be mind-bent in a very short time.                                                                                                                              

Now, this 10 year-old is the same promising outdoorsman who made me proud recently by not just passing his Hunter Safety Course but acing it.  His Grandpa gets most of the credit because he spent a lot of time studying and coaching with the 10 year-old.  His Grandpa is a classic, old world outdoorsman in every sense of the word. He knows his stuff and, oh, the stories he can tell. I could listen to him for hours.  I respect Grandpa.  But when Grandpa starts telling the 10 year-old that Obama, the government and particularly Democrats want our guns, that the NRA is our only hope, well…that bothers me. 

It bothers me because it isn’t true.  It bothers me because, though I think the world of the 10 year-old, he’s not MY 10 year-old.  All I can do is tell him there are always two sides to every story. And there’s certainly two sides to this one.  There’s room for debate.  

So, 10 year-old – do me a favor. The next time Grandpa tells you Obama and the Democrats are working with the DNR to take your guns, ask Grandpa where he’s getting that information.  Hopefully, when he brings you the letter he got alerting him to that latest gun-grab, he’ll also bring you the postage paid envelope that came with it.

Bring that home for me, will you?