I am still mulling over a very recent conversation with my 84 year old father about guns. He is NRA, a long time member. I am not a supporter, which should be abundantly clear to anyone who reads this blog. My father on the other hand, is a classic example of the successful marketing done by the National Rifle Association. Dad is just a guy who likes to hunt. He also has guns for home protection. He taught his daughters how to shoot. My mother is a better shot than my dad, if truth be told. He keeps them in a locked safe, which he didn't do when I was a kid, but chose to do when he started having grandchildren. He innately realized that today's kids are different from the kids of yesterday. Yesterday, if we were told not to touch the gun, we didn't, even if we knew where it was, and we did. We just left it there. My first memory of guns in the house dates back to when I was six. It was a handgun that I would come to know later was a 38. But Dad also tends to believe everything the NRA tells him in the magazine and mass mailings to which he is subjected on a weekly basis.
The message since January 2009: Obama is coming to take away all of your guns.
Now my father is an intelligent man. He reads absolutely everything that finds its way into his mailbox along with the books that he buys or articles that he comes across in the newspaper, which he reads daily. My parents are still subscribers. He is skeptical about much of it. He questions a lot of what he reads. In fact our conversation began with him calling me and asking me for the definition of the word “heretic.” The word was used in an article, to refer to Chuck Hagel by republicans during the confirmation hearings last week.
From that jumping off point, we got onto gun control.
We talked about the NRA position. I told him about the NRA lies to its membership. I talked about what the President has really said. My father admitted reading about Obama's positions. I told him about how the NRA stood with Ronald Reagan against blacks and specifically the Black Panther Party carrying guns according to the Second Amendment, back in the day. How it's apparently okay for white people to own guns but not blacks. I explained the assault weapons ban that Bush allowed to expire, while Obama refused to put it back in place. Because in fact, Obama is as big a hindrance on gun control as the GOP and the NRA, regardless of how many tears he sheds in public.
I talked about how and why the NRA buys congressmen in order to get their laws passed instead of laws that would better the people and society. My Dad admitted reading articles on the subject, and recently, too.
We talked for a long time, but in the end, all my father could or would say despite all that I told him was:
“But Obama is coming to take my guns and make me register the ones he lets me keep!”
NRA, mission accomplished...