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Nope, it wasn't in the past few days.  It was 17 years ago.  The reason?  Wayne LaPierre, then-executive vice president, and today CEO, of the National Rife Association. (h/t Being Liberal)

The letter was originally published on May 3, 1995 in The New York Times.  It came relatively quickly after the Oklahoma City Bombing.

I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as “jack-booted thugs.” To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. 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.
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Back when the elder Bush was president, he actually vetoed the Brady Bill that would eventually be signed into law by President Clinton.  However, unlike the current crop of Republicans, Bush knew when enough was enough:

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 N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list.

And that's the fundamental thing lacking in our debate on guns in this country.  There is a dedicated group of individuals that are not committed to civil discourse.  They see any regulation as being indistinguishable from tyranny.  Many times, they happen to be the same ones that, at the same time, believe that it is perfectly legitimate for the government to regulate women's wombs as though they are government property, reduce or eliminate government regulations to protect against discrimination and outright discriminate on the basis of sexuality.

That failure of discourse is one where both extremes drown out the majority that want to see murderer's tools off our streets, but respect the Second Amendment rights of citizens.  That's the majority that wants to see high ammunition clips banned and background checks put in place.  That's also the majority that says people should be able to keep their hunting rifles and handguns, but that it's a bad idea to let them into places like schools.

This letter from a former Republican president says it all.  The toxicity and the extremism is, in and of itself, dangerous.

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Originally posted to Mets102 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 06:32 PM PST.

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