I joined the National Rifle Association some years ago, after moving to Arizona, because I liked their work in gun-safety education and in firearms understanding. I'm not a hunter, but I know hunters. I'm a military veteran, so guns are not unknown to me. And I live in what used to be called the Wild West.
But I'm not renewing my membership.
The NRA, which has always had radical right-wing elements, has become nothing more now than an armed subsidiary of the extremist wing (and is there any other these days?) of the Republican Party, its publications foul with nasty propaganda, outright lies, and incessant Omaba-hating.
This has occurred under the aegis of the NRA's boss, a fellow named Wayne LaPierre, who wears a pompadour the likes of which I haven't seen since the Lawrence Welk Orchestra's trombone section was on a bus. LaPierre, who snarls like a warrior, is actually one of those faux warriors I love to identify -- a guy about my age who loudly supports war but who himself managed to dodge the Vietnam draft when he was a young man. They are called "chicken-hawks," and the list is long and sad.
And by the way, what the hell kind of a name is "Wayne LaPierre?" Sounds like something W.C. Fields would have cooked up.
Now my membership renewal in the NRA is predicated on the need to "defeat President Obama" who, LaPierre tells me in my renewal letter, plans to "dismantle the heritage of our country and tear down the foundations of our liberties."
LaPierre makes a cool $1 million as the guy leading the NRA into this folly.
My $25 renewal fee is not coming your way this year, LaPierre. The NRA is no longer an organization that has value as a representative of gun-owners and gun-safety advocates who are not also right-wing screwballs (and draft-dodgers).