December 5, 2018

Sidebar: Guns and Money

In my post the other day on how investors are looking to get some key principles implemented by gun manufacturers, I talked about the many ways that folks are considering, or already using, to try and change processes that allow guns to get into the wrong hands, or to keep guns from becoming extraordinarily capable of mass destruction (as opposed to being only ordinarily capable of such destruction).

There were several approaches in the post, but there's one more that wasn't mentioned. It's the one taken by former President George HW Bush back on May 3, 1995:
Dear Mr. Washington,
I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of NRA, defended his attack on federal agents as "jack-booted thugs." To attack Secret Service agents or ATF people or any government law enforcement people as "wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms" wanting to "attack law abiding citizens" is a vicious slander on good people. 
Al Whicher who served on my [United States Secret Service] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country - and serve it well he did.  
In 1993, I attended the wake for ATF agent Steve Willis, another dedicated officer who did his duty. I can assure you that this honorable man, killed by weird cultists, was no Nazi. 
John Magaw, who used to head the USSS and now heads ATF, is one of the most principled, decent men I have ever known. He would be the last to condone the kind of illegal behavior your ugly letter charges. The same is true for the FBI's able Director Louis Freeh. I appointed Mr. Freeh to the Federal Bench. His integrity and honor are beyond question.
Both John Magaw and Judge Freeh were in office when I was President. They both now serve the current administration. They both have badges. Neither of them would ever give the government's "go ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens." (Your words) 
I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed to most of the NRA's objectives, particularly your educational training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns.
 However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us.
You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre's unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of NRA, said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name for your membership list.
Sincerely, [signed] George Bush.
That's right -- resigning from the NRA is another tactic that might add to the critical mass I think we need.

Bush did it because he didn't like how the organization talked about other Americans,specifically those who served in government and law enforcement. Today, it could be because of their seemingly cavalier approach to what's happening all too often in our country. If enough people do this, it could might reduce their cash flow and  perhaps limit their political influence in the process.

If enough people do it, of course.

And while the 'Mr. Washington' the letter was addressed to -- then NRA president Thomas Washington -  died suddenly only a few short months after this letter from Bush,Wayne LaPierre is still around and still speaking with unabashed recklessness on behalf of the NRA. If ever a good man with a gun wanted to exert some pressure on the NRA, now's a great time to give it a shot.

All roads lead to Rome, they say...

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