The pertinent parts:
For the past 24 years I've been a classic man in the middle, and I've seen close-up how effective the NRA is with its propaganda espousing "liberty" and "freedom." Since President Obama's election, the NRA response has been nearly hysterical, and obviously it has had a large role in the growth of the Tea Party movement. The gun dealers loved it, however; rifles, ammo, and every primer for reloading was swept off the dealers shelves within days of the election, and stayed off until late last year.
The NRA had little to nothing to do with the growth of the Tea Party movement. In reality, the Tea Parties have little to no NRA presence. As for rifles, ammo, and reloading equipment being sold out, it's only because people took Barack Obama for his word. He campaigned as a gun banner. Naturally, people will stock up on the guns he wants to ban and the ammo to feed them.
Through the years I've subscribed to a number of gun magazines, some of which I continue to read, and since the election I've witnessed a growing number of articles that comment on "the current administration" and what a menace it is to the rights of the readership if allowed to prevail.
Again, they are only taking the current administration for it's word. Barack Obama campaigned as a gun banner. Eric Holder went to Mexico and reasserted the administration's intent to ban guns. Hillary Clinton soon followed suit.
The ballot box is one thing, and I've put my trust in it. But about a year ago I began to notice that more and more of these articles aren't dealing with topics of high precision accuracy, or with finely-tuned competition rifles (as I favor). No, the emphasis has switched to the semi-automatic platform, the AR-15 and AK-47 -- once disdained by the bench-resters and long-range competitors as blasters and alley sweepers.
A sizable portion of competition rifles are AR-15s and similar rifles based on that design. In some competitions (such as Three Gun), a semi-automatic rifle is a requirement. The magazines are only responding to a shift in demographics. Competitive shooters are becoming younger, not older. As a result, the average competitive shooter is less likely to be a graying, well-to-do retiree with a $10k bench rifle and more likely to be your average working stiff with a $2k gun.
Now more articles are being published dealing with how to make modifications to these military-style firearms, how to squeeze more and more accuracy and performance out of them.
You mean they are doing what gun magazines have been doing forever? Color me shocked.
Just yesterday at the drugstore I found an annual Gun Directory in the magazine rack. In it were listed 30 semi-automatic combat-style rifles, ugly, clad with every conceivable contrivance and gimmick to make each appear more deadly than the next. Deadlier to whom and to what, I ask? Is the citizenry preparing for war? Civil war?
How can something appear deadly? Last I checked, all guns are deadly, regardless of what they look like.
The gun press insists on calling these things "sporting rifles," as though a deer hunter or varmint shooter needs a rapid-fire, multi-round semi-automatic weapon basically designed for warfare. Yes, the old right wing double-think is out in full force. And it's scary. Numerous news items on militias and open carry of guns at rallies in the past three months bear me out.
Times change, so get with the times. The "rapid-fire, multi-round semi-automatic weapon" is the modern day sporting arm. They are to my generation what lever guns were to your generation and muzzle loaders were to your father's generation.
As for militias and open carry, these things are neither new nor illegal. Your fear contrived.
Many guns are, to me, things of beauty -- mechanical marvels, artwork in wood and steel, precision instruments of astounding efficiency. I don't blame the gun, I blame the person wielding it and his or her motives. But to my mind, the NRA's insistence that "any bullet, any gun" be considered equal under the law is a grave error. As a society, we do not need semi-automatic "sporting firearms" designed for small arms combat, and armor-piercing bullets. And we don't need easily-concealable hand guns (remember "Saturday Night Specials?")
The NRA has never had an "any bullet, any gun" policy. In fact, they had a hand in writing the current restrictions on NFA items such as machine guns, suppressors, short-barreled, rifles, etc. As for what society needs, as long as this country exists under the pretense of freedom, that's neither yours nor the government's decision to make.
What we do need, for the good of the country as a united entity, is a frank dialogue between those who make and sell guns and those who seek to legally limit and control the type of gun available to the public. I believe this requirement can best be met with a National Gun Registration Act, one that would foster gun laws consistent from state-to-state. I've been stumped for a long time at the inconsistency of licensing: if you have to be licensed to drive a car, why shouldn't you be licensed to own a gun?
The problem with dialogging with those who seek to legally limit and control the type of gun available to the public is that the results of such dialog have always been to the detriment of gun owners. In 1934, 1968, 1986, and 1994, gun owners allowed legislation to be foisted onto them under the farce of crime control. Well, no more. It is now apparent that gun control is not control. We will keep what we have and work to get back what was taken from us.
Gun registration is non-negotiable, as it has always been nothing more than a precursor to confiscation. Licensing is also non-negotiable as it is too often used as a tool of discrimination (e.g. a California concealed carry permit).