Fear and Ignorance at the NRA Convention

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The National Rifle Association is holding its annual meeting in Houston this weekend.  It’s about twenty minutes from where I sit.  I won’t be going.  That’s not a political statement.  To the contrary, I am an NRA member.  I just hate fighting crowds and they are expecting 70,000 people to turn out for the convention.  And of course, there are the protesters outside the convention hall.

Protesting the NRA these days has become very fashionable.  This past week in Houston, a school district canceled a gun safety program on its campus when it found out that the curriculum was provided by the NRA.  It was a knee-jerk reaction to be sure, but indicative of a larger problem in the gun control debate. The problem is that many people have a negative response to guns, and it’s an emotional response fueled by ignorance, lack of exposure, and fear.  I understand that.  Lack of familiarity always makes people uncomfortable.  Snakes are scary.  Dark places are scary.  Meeting new people can be scary.  Lack of familiarity with guns can make them scary too.  Continue reading