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NRA’s political stranglehold

Ryan Moore (Guest Opinion, May 12) views the National Rifle Association as the “true gun safety organization.”

How ironic that the organization’s truer nature is more accurately reflected in an article in the same issue about the defeat of an NRA-supported bill in Oklahoma that would allow adults to carry firearms without a permit or training. This ludicrous idea is the type of thing the NRA advocates, as it opposes virtually all sensible measures to reduce the risk of gun violence, even those based on the best scientific research available and supported by the vast majority of the population.

The NRA, with the political stranglehold they have had on our legislators, is a major reason this country has dramatically higher rates of gun violence than most other advanced countries. For those interested in actual information, the October 2017 issue of Scientific American provides a useful account of what we know, how we know it, and the limitations imposed on research that would allow us to know more.

There are watershed moments in history. The slaughter of even more young people at a school in Parkland, Florida, is hopefully such a moment. A high NRA rating for a political candidate is increasingly seen as a badge of dishonor, corporations are discontinuing their NRA affiliations, and fair-minded target shooters and hunters are questioning what the organization really stands for.

Maybe this time will be different, if we persistently stand with the morally compelling young people whose role as political advocates was not of their own volition.

Ronald Doyen


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