NRA is voice of 4.5 million members


Writers have a right to their opinions whether or not some might consider those opinions inane. An example of inanity, in my opinion, appeared in the U-B on April 5 in a letter titled, “The National Rifle Association solution” by David Schmaltz.

As an Endowment/Life member of the NRA, I believe it’s fine to question NRA statements and actions. Yet, this attempt to appear clever by employing “humorous satire” in the face of the horrific Newtown tragedy where 20 wonderful children and six adults were slaughtered by a mentally-disturbed individual was despicable. There is nothing humorous about what happened at Newtown. When the NRA (or anyone) suggests a potentially viable solution to prevent recurrence of such tragedies, it can be debated or challenged, but ridiculed using absurd, fallacious arguments?

Most NRA members know the only thing that could have prevented the Newtown atrocity — saving some or all of the kids — would have been someone confronting that murderer with his/her firearm.

Unfortunately, ignorance about safe carry and use of handguns (including safe and secure methods of concealment) is commonplace. Preposterous claims are made that the Newtown shooter could not have been stopped by someone armed. Someone — yes, even a teacher — trained and accepting the responsibility involved with safely carrying that firearm and having achieved the mindset required to handle a lethal confrontation certainly could have stopped him, saving children’s lives.

There’s no one solution to resolve the school safety issue but armed defense by teachers or security personnel is certainly one, along with actions to address mental instability of potential perpetrators and the use of various psychotic drugs that most of these shooters have been administered. You can read about this at, which contains a list of worldwide school shooting attributed to prescribed drugs (or the effect of abruptly stopping diagnosed prescriptions without authorization).

In Texas some 700 teachers and administrators took a gun law and safety course including live-fire training organized by Dalworthington Gardens Police Chief Bill Waybourn in response to Newtown. Similar training of 200 teachers was conducted in Utah. I hope this trend continues.

NRA condemnation is also based upon misinformation and ignorance. Since 1871 it has instructed millions — young and old — on safely handling and using firearms as well as protecting our constitutional Second Amendment rights.

The NRA is not just a “lobby” — it’s the voice of some 4.5 million members and many others, who vote.

Steve Singleton

Walla Walla


chicoli 2 years, 3 months ago

Mr Singleton,thanks for this nice letter, carefully devoided from vituperous comments. Letters like this are conducive to the proper discurse of ideas and, by emulating your style we all can follow suit. The NRA members are not the problem. The NRA leadeship, on the other hand, is the problem. As we speak, and in the current background checks debate, the NRA leadership misleadingly pronounced that a national registry will follow when in fact such attemp will result in 15 years prison time. Background cheks will not interfere with gun transfers amongst family members, but the NRA leadership uses the opposite argument as a deception . Obviously sneaky transactions such as trying to sell a gun to a cousin by an internet transaction is arguably a suspicious attempt to cheat. Another NRA leadership argument is that background cheks will not stop mass shootings. We all know that. No single measure will. Background checks will stop SOME criminals, rapist, spouse abusers, drug dealers, convicted felons, mentaly unstable fellows and, yes, jihadist from obtaining guns. With a reasonable background check program we might be able to save the life of one child, maybe hundreds or maybe thousand of them! It's worth trying this, while simultaneusly trying many other good ideas. Off course we have to enforce all the laws availble. The effort to save lives ought to be multifactorial, indeed. The overwhelming majority of the NRA membership support sensible background checks. The majority of the American people support it too. Do you?


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