My sister asked me to publish this on dailykos:

I just called the NRA and spoke to a reasonable human being who listened and
wasn't smug at all.

"You may also contact us by phone at (800) 392-VOTE (8683), Monday-Friday,
between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., EST.  Choose 4 to speak to a

The person who answered was female and not terribly old.  I said I wanted to
share my opinion on what role the NRA could play in changing our gun
culture.  Yes, she would listen and take notes.  More importantly, as I got
off, I asked if there were an email address where I could document my

Yes.  ILA-contact@NRAHQ.org.

The reason for my call was not to rail against the NRA.  I know the
organization is made up of human beings who are as aghast as the rest of us
about what happened in Connecticut.  I wanted to make the point that the NRA
is in a powerful position to influence whether these things happen again.

Specifically, the NRA prevents reasonable laws that prevent semi-automatic
weapons and the large magazines that make it easier for mass murderers to
kill more from being eliminated. Why do we need semi-automatic weapons?  What is their purpose in sport and hunting?  Are they needed?  If not, are there other reasons to have such easy access to such powerful weaponry?  What are reasonable laws to control
these items?   Who needs semi-automatic weapons?

It's been pointed out over the years that there is more regulation and
control on use of cars than there is on guns.  The NRA should immediately
declare a task force to define next generation methods for background
checks, record keeping, reporting and auditing of records.

This country has 300 million guns in circulation. Those aren't going to
disappear.  We can, however, with the help of the largest organization of
gun owners in this country, take positive steps to reduce the likelihood
that this kind of massacre happens again.  It is the civic duty of the NRA
to use its name, money and reputation to redefine what guns mean in the
society we now have.  This is not a colonial world where each of us is in an
outpost, having to protect ourselves against marauders and wild animals.
Redefine the NRA as a force for good and rational control of guns in an
interconnected society.

Please get behind an assault weapons ban.  Bills to reinstitute this law
will be introduced at the new Congress.  Get behind those bills now,
proactively.  It will make a big difference for the good of the country.
Reposition the role of guns, help us be less violent.

While we were emailing back and forth about this issue, the WGBH-TV program "Greater Boston" was hosting a half-hour discussion of the response to the killings in Newtown, CT.  One of the participants was Sue O'Connell, a former youth NRA member who was rejoining the organization and advising others to join or rejoin the organization in order to change it from within:



Change the NRA from within?

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