Outrage of the Week: Up in Arms Against Safety?

Posted on August 10, 2012

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This week's outrage comes to us from our nation's capital, where D.C.'s decidedly anti-gun mayor is apoplectic over a billboard ad placed last month by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. 

So what was it about the billboard ad that so raised the ire of D.C.'s mayor, Vincent Gray?  Well, the billboard says "Hey D.C. -- It's time for your first shot," and features a picture of a woman holding a paper target.  The billboard, which is simply an advertisement for NSSF's "First Shots" gun safety and training seminars, so incensed Mayor Gray that he called the sign "offensive" and "irresponsible."

A Washington Times
editorial this week reported that Mayor Gray complained, "To promote the use of guns in the city I think really is just anti-safety."

Anti-safety?  According to the NSSF website,
the First Shots program provides:

  • An educational introduction to the safe and recreational use of firearms
  • A clear understanding of the local requirements for owning and purchasing a firearm
  • Individual and group training
  • A rundown of shooting sports opportunities for all levels of interest, and
  • A chance to give shooting a try!

Nothing about that description sounds "anti-safety."  If anything, it sounds just the opposite. In fact, the NSSF program offers many of the same features as the NRA's extensive education and training programs.

Conversely, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson--a Democrat who has recently authored reforms to the city's gun laws--has a different take on the billboard.  The Times editorial quotes Mr. Mendelson as saying, "I see nothing wrong with promoting gun safety.  If this is a program which helps people use a firearm responsibly then that's a good thing."

The editorial goes on to note that the three-hour seminars will cover local firearms laws and safe handling and shooting fundamentals, and that the classes will be taught at shooting ranges in Maryland and Virginia.

In his anti-gun zeal, Mayor Gray demonstrated a very inaccurate assessment of a gun safety and training program that would actually benefit law-abiding gun owners in Washington, D.C.  Shame on you, Mayor Gray.  Your narrow-minded rush to judgment is outrageous.

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