An Open Letter to Wayne LaPierre

Mr. LaPierre:

Thank you for your letter inviting me to join the National Rifle Association. I’m not interested at all, and I’m surprised that my name ended up on your mailing list, but since you bothered to write, I figured I’d write you back. And (although I’m reasonably certain you’ll never see this) I can do it here without wasting postage on a reply that I am certain would never be looked at beyond a brief inspection to see if I sent you a credit card number. And while I’m thinking about it, if perchance you do happen to see this, please take my name off of your mailing list, and don’t contact me in any way for any reason in the future. Thanks very much!

In a way, your two-page letter was a confirmation—if I ever had a shred of doubt about whether my personal policy of never voting for any candidate that receives support or endorsement from the NRA was the right one, your letter reassured me that I needn’t reconsider that policy.

I briefly considered quoting some of your absurd claims about the intentions of the Biden administration regarding gun legislation, but frankly, I wouldn’t want any of that nonsense to appear on my site, so instead, I’ll summarize the actions the administration is taking, which you can find here:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/04/07/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-initial-actions-to-address-the-gun-violence-public-health-epidemic

In short, this is what the current administration plans to do to address gun violence in the U.S.:

  • The Justice Department, within 30 days, will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.”
  • The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.
  • The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states.
  • The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.
  • The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking.
  • The President will nominate David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

I can only imagine why your organization would oppose any of these measures. Perhaps for some reason you like the idea that guns without serial numbers (and thus relatively untraceable) can be assembled from kits. (After all, in your letter you did make it clear that you oppose gun registration and licensing.) Maybe you feel it is important for the owner of a handgun to be able to easily conceal it when desiring to use it as a more accurate/deadly rifle, though I can’t think of many good reasons for that. Maybe you believe mentally unstable people should be allowed to have full access to whatever weapons might be within easy reach. I don’t understand why you oppose the idea of community-based violence interventions, but I’m guessing you see that as a threat for some reason? I have no idea why you would oppose an annual report on firearms trafficking, except that there’s a lot of money to be made out there by gun manufacturers and dealers, and by those who lobby on their behalf. And the ATF hasn’t had a Director since 2015–maybe you would prefer the ATF be unorganized and without leadership, or at least not to be led by someone who desires to work for enforcement of common-sense gun regulations. I’m just spit-balling here.

In any case, thanks again for your letter and for motivating me to step up my personal efforts to support candidates who oppose what you stand for.

Cordially, 

Doug

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