Chairman's Message: Doing "Something" Is Not Effective Action

Feb 27, 2018

All of you are well aware of the heated national discussion surrounding school shootings and gun policy. President Trump hosted a roundtable discussion, CNN held a town hall meeting, and the media outlets have been filling the 24-hour news cycle with anyone claiming they have the answer to prevent violence. In most cases, the proposed answer is more anti-gun legislation, or the finger just gets pointed at our industry. In this national discussion, we all need to individually be a part of advocating effective actions to address this.

I don’t know anyone in America who can downplay how tragic the events in Florida were.  It’s heartbreaking to think about the pain those families are going through. We’ve all walked the halls of our children’s schools and our grandchildren’s schools, and everyone agrees that these places must be kept safe. The knee-jerk reaction of the left is to drag out the so-called “common sense” gun laws, restrictions and bans.  The skewed data, misinformation and outright falsehoods are all over the media.  I can’t count the number of times in the last few weeks I have been simply shocked at the ridiculous things I have heard from people whom many view as trusted news sources.  However, none of the restrictions they advocate will stop a deranged individual determined to commit an act of violence.  One after another they advocate for doing “something” but dismiss the effective actions such as increased school security, increased mental health resources and improving NICS.

The NRA will continue to fight as our voice in these public-facing discussions, but we must facilitate conversations and correct the falsehoods that are rampant in the media within our individual areas of influence as well.  We can pick our battles and always speak in a professional and respectful manner, but we must stand up for truth. There are many Americans that just simply don’t understand that the anti-gun agenda being pushed, will do nothing to solve this issue.  I sincerely believe that most Americans will see the anti-gun agenda for what it is when educated with facts.  Help those around you understand the regulations that exist and why the new ones proposed would not stop school shootings. Talk to them about the misinformation around what MSRs are, and how the media twists the facts. And most of all listen to their concerns, address the misinformation they have been fed by the media and advocate for effective action to protect our schools.  As members of the industry, we offer a lot of knowledge that usually is left out by the media.

I recently received an email from our friends at GunTalk Media, which offered similar suggestions. It encouraged us all to partake in these discussions and even linked to a blog post from a passionate yet misinformed individual demanding change. At the end of the blog, there is a place for comments. In this comment section Tom Gresham from GunTalk Media, respectfully countered her arguments, educated her about the definitions of “Assault Rifles” and “Military Grade Weapons”, detailed out a number of current restrictions in place for individuals to purchase weapons, and even went as far to discuss the logistics of response times of first responders and the reality of arming school employees. His points were well thought out, educated, and honest. He countered each of her emotional arguments with thoughtful explanations of facts. If we all engage the anti-gun conversation and take a similar approach, it will help bring more truth to the discussion.  While the NRA, NSSF and other organizations work hard to advocate for truth, we must not overlook the effect our individual voices can have on those we interact with.

So, as you head out into your communities and circles of friends, I encourage you all to join the discussion and share your experience, knowledge, and truth.  Let’s help our communities to support effective action, protect our schools and call out the false narratives.

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