Steve Chapman On “Gun Paranoia”

It’s laughable when a former member of the NRA lectures us on guns as Steve Chapman did with Gun Paranoia in the Age of Trump.

As a gun owner, recreational shooter, former NRA member and longtime advocate of Second Amendment rights, I like to see cogent criticism of gun control proposals and anti-gun propaganda. But under President Barack Obama, the NRA has occupied itself sowing groundless panic and fighting imaginary villains.

Obama made it plain in his first presidential campaign that gun control was not a hill he was willing to die on. He assured gun owners, “I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.”

The NRA and smart gun owners judge politicians on what they do, not what they say.

He did sign bills allowing people to carry concealed handguns in national parks and check guns on Amtrak, expanding the gun rights of troops on U.S. military bases, and preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from banning lead ammunition. His “anti-gun” proposals amount to ending the manufacture and sale (though not possession) of “assault” weapons, limiting magazines to 10 rounds and requiring background checks for all firearm purchases, not just those from licensed dealers. These changes would have a minimal impact on law-abiding gun owners.

No, he signed bills that had things he didn’t want. A bill might have a thousand pages, it might be full of earmarks and regulations that have nothing to do with the name of the bill. Furthermore, he wasn’t the one that prevented the EPA from banning lead ammunition, we’re the ones who raised hell about it, and forced the government to back down.

Also, as someone who used to have a magazine with 16 rounds, Obama’s changes would have affected me. I like high capacity ammunition because I like shooting more and reloading less. Also, more than am million people own AR-15’s, the so-called “assault weapons,” so yes, Obama’s changes would have affected them.

They also affect those who love the 2nd Amendment regardless of the guns they own.

The strategy has clearly served to frighten some gun owners and stimulate them to buy more firearms—you know, before Obama could outlaw them. Gun sales have set records under him, and gun companies have prospered. The NRA has found that it can only gain by stoking chronic fear of draconian gun laws.

OK, maybe Ruger did donate a million bucks to the NRA, but that’s peanuts compared to the money all five million members raise together. If each member pays $30, that’s $150,000,000, and I can tell you many of us pay a lot more than $30.
The NRA doesn’t have to scare us, the politicians and gun haters scare us which is why we keep supporting the NRA, the muscle of the 2nd Amendment, the army that fights in the halls of congress and in court.

But how will it be able to do that with President Trump, a Republican Congress, GOP dominance in governorships and legislatures, and a Supreme Court that has given new force to the Second Amendment? The rights of firearm owners are more secure today than the gold in Fort Knox.

Keep dreaming, the rights of gun owners are not secure in California, Washington, Oregon,  and other states where anti-gun initiatives have passed.



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