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NRA Letter To Ann Landers

Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Nationally syndicated advice columnist Ann Landers recently ran an anti-gun letter from `Happy...in Canada` that was loaded with misinformation and the type of emotional extremist rhetoric one would expect from Sarah Brady -- including the outrageous claim that "children are being killed -- thanks to the National Rifle Association." JR Robbins, the Manager of NRA General Operations Communications Deparment, sent Ann the following reply, which we hope she will choose to publish.

JR Robbins National Rifle Association 11250 Waples Mill Rd. Fairfax, VA 22030 July 27, 2001 Dear Ann: In the July 24 letter from "Happy to be Safe and Living in Canada," the author demonstrates his "concern" for public safety by making outlandish statements about the National Rifle Association. The NRA demonstrates its concern for public safety in more concrete ways--massive investments in effective safety programs and aggressive lobbying for laws that get criminals off the streets. If you are interested in some facts, consider these: (1) Gun accidents among children are at an all-time low, (and even dropped 35 percent more between 1994 and 1998, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The decline occurred during a period of rising gun ownership and an increasing U.S. population. (2) Gun-accident prevention programs such as NRA`s Eddie Eagle GunSafe™ Program are widely regarded as part of the reason for the progress in child safety. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice described Eddie Eagle as an "outstanding initiative" in its report, Promising Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence. (3) NRA`s advocacy of programs like Project Exile, which mandates an absolute five-year sentence for anyone who commits a violent crime with a firearm, does more to bring crime rates down than all the anti-gun rhetoric we could ever hear. Homicides dropped 46 percent after adoption of Project Exile in Richmond, VA. Moreover, it`s well-documented that crime rates drop significantly in states where citizens have the right to carry a gun. (4) Law-abiding Americans use guns in self-defense 2.5 million times a year. Finally, an irresponsible statement like, "Your children are being killed thanks to the NRA," and your willingness to publish it, put the blame of murdering children on 4.4 million law-abiding Americans. Has it ever occurred to either of you that violent criminals might have something to do with the commission of violent crimes? Neither of you seems to recognize it. If the author of "Happy" is truly concerned about gun safety and reducing crime, he would have more success by supporting real-world, constructive steps like NRA takes, rather than make wild accusations that do nothing for child safety. Sincerely, JR Robbins Manager, NRA General Operations Communications Department

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.