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Should I join the NRA?

October 8, 2013

Living in America Series

NRA leafletWhat a joy it is to live in a place where freedom is the code word for almost everything. The other day I got a letter from the National Rifle Association of America. This is the NRA that actor Charlton Heston once promoted so vigorously with his line about no one taking away his rifle unless they pried it from his cold dead hands.

I was slightly taken aback to see on the envelope that NRA did not stand for National Riflemen’s Association. Apparently the women gun owners of America, perhaps not wanting to be left out, were included in the gender-free NRA.

Intrigued by the offer of a “free gift,” I opened the envelope. The gift was an NRA duffel bag to be used for toting handguns, according to the photograph of it. Then I tackled the letter from NRA vice-president Wayne LaPierre.

Wayne wanted my money, of course. But he wanted more. Mistaking me as an “Oregon Gun Owner,” he was sending me this “Priority Communication” to invite me to sign the NRA’s “National Petition to Protect Our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”

According to Wayne, “the Obama-Biden-Bloomberg gun ban machine and their anti-gun media allies are waging all-out war on our gun rights.” These bad guys want to “DESTROY your right to defend yourself, your home and your loved ones.”

Wayne clearly likes the capital letter key. The NRA V-P is deeply concerned that the anti-gunners will “fight on and never surrender…Not until they BAN tens of millions of commonly owned firearms…SHUT DOWN gun shops and shows…impose crippling TAXES and FEES on firearms and ammunition…REGISTER gun owners….”

Wayne then invoked the spirit of “our Founding Fathers,” warned that “freedom’s enemies” were “on the march,” and reminded me that “the USA is the last place on earth where individual freedom is protected by the right to own a firearm.”

Not only would I get the gun bag and a copy of the petition with my name on it, but I would also get the opportunity to become an NRA member and subscribe to several NRA publications, including America’s 1st Freedom magazine.

Thank you, Wayne, but No Thanks. I am not a gun owner, do not wish to sign your petition, and furthermore, I don’t belief guns are the answer to America’s problems. Rather, they are a major part of them.

I’m with the Obama-Biden-Bloomberg “gun ban machine.” I’ll take my chances with less freedom to bear arms. I guess Wayne hasn’t heard: guns kill people and other living things!


The cry of freedom comes from all directions in America. A second letter found its way into my mailbox recently. This time it was from Thomas Flynn, editor of Free Enquiry, “the magazine religious zealots love to hate.”

The envelope grabbed me immediately. The word “BLASPHEMOUS!” was plastered across the front of it next to my name and address. Then it taunted me to “LOOK INSIDE at your own eternal peril.” Tom likes capital letters too.

Apparently Free Inquiry is the kind of magazine that “religious fanatics don’t want you to read because it dares to ask the sort of questions they consider “BLASPHEMOUS.” The letter provided several examples like “Is there anything at all about Christmas that’s genuinely Christian?” “Can you lead an ethical life without believing in a creator?” and “Are church-goers actually more giving and charitable?”

Here was a magazine that would “seek truth even when it flies in the face of religious dogma,” one that “cuts through the flimflam and reveals the unsavory truth about religion, faith, and superstition.”

Tom added a P.S. “Be forewarned: FREE INQUIRY is not the sort of magazine that will bend over backward to confirm your personal beliefs.” What it will do is “challenge you, turn accepted wisdom on its head, and make you THINK.”

Published by the Council for Secular Humanism (CSH), which is “dedicated to asking bold and meaningful questions that reveal the truth about our world and our lives,” Tom promised that the magazine was “beyond atheism and beyond agnosticism…it’s about secular humanism.”

Backing Tom up is world-famous British ethnologist Richard Dawkins, who asks, “Would the most advance life-form in the universe devise such grand concepts as DNA, nuclear fusion, and quantum mechanics and then spend all eternity fussing about whether you regularly sing to him, vote against gay marriage, or accept on faith that Earth is only 6,000 years old when there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary?

Dawkins says he doesn’t believe in “an all-knowing, all-powerful creator.” But if he did, “I’m certain that he would want us to think for ourselves and eschew such claptrap [as creationism].”

If I ante up the twenty-five bucks for a subscription, I get the 142-page “Scientific Examination of Religion,” several essays from the “HEAVYWEIGHTS OF TODAY’S TOP AUTHORS, THINKERS, AND ACTIVISTS.”

I guess Tom’s capital key got stuck at this point. I also guess that I’ll exercise my freedom not to subscribe. But keep on asking those tough questions, FREE INQUIRY.

Maybe a few Christians will start to listen one of these days. Hopefully that will be sometime before the second coming or the next rapture!

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