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"Another Poster Child For The NRA."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Those who know even a little something about NRA would read this headline and immediately conjure up images of a renowned competitive shooter, an accomplished sportswoman, someone who bravely and legally used a gun for self-defense, or maybe a patriot who stands up for freedom when it is attacked.

Well, if you’re Jayne Lyn Stahl, your image is that of a murderer.

In an October 9 Atlantic Free Press article by that title  (http://www.atlanticfreepress.com/content/view/2576/81), Stahl equates the off-duty deputy sheriff in Wisconsin who shot and killed six innocent people in cold blood with the typical NRA member. Specifically, Ms. Stahl writes, “While one often thinks of Charleton (sic) Heston when thinking about the NRA, in this age of the cowboy, any gun-toting madman will do just as well.” Need more? Stahl also opined, “This officer who fired his gun, and took the lives of six isn’t the only poster child for the NRA; each of his victims is, too.”

“Misguided” is the most benign adjective that can use to describe her assessment. More appropriate descriptions include “ignorant,” “insulting,” “outrageous.”

Imagine equating an organization of nearly 4,000,000 members, which dedicates itself to preserving the rights of law-abiding citizens to choose to legally own guns, while also calling for the strict enforcement and punishment of those who break the law, with a cold-blooded killer. Stahl’s offensive comparison shrieks of ignorance, disregarding NRA’s actions and deeds.

Comparing a group whose 62,000-plus certified instructors train 1,000,000 Americans annually in firearms safety and responsibility, to someone who would undertake such a heinous act?  That’s insulting.  If not, perhaps we don’t understand the meaning of the word.

An organization that counts among its staff, national officers, and members current and retired law enforcement professionals, representative of a murderer? That’s not just outrageous, it’s damn outrageous!

We haven’t even discussed perhaps the most disturbing part of Stahl’s slanderous piece. Along with her viciously misguided words was a photo of the shooter, along with the NRA logo (used without permission), and the following caption: “Proudly enabling sick nuts to carry out violent revenge for fantasies for 136 years.”   

NRA reserves its support for the Second Amendment to lawful and responsible citizens. It appears when it comes to the First Amendment, Ms. Stahl and the Atlantic Free Press fail to qualify in this latter category.

It is troubling to say the least when a professional writer, with either absolutely no factual information about NRA or who we are, is able to pen a piece equating our four million members with a murderer.

Ms. Stahl, shame on you for your outrageous, insulting display of ignorance.

Please consider voicing your opinion on this issue as well to either the author or The Atlantic Free Press at these email addresses: 

To contact Stahl: jayne.stahl@gmail.com 

To contact the Atlantic Free Press : www.atlanticfreepress.com/component/option,com_dfcontact/Itemid,90/   

Editor’s Note:  The story above ran in the October issue of “Freedom’s Voice”—NRA-ILA’s free, monthly electronic newsletter that provides tips and strategies on increasing gun owners’ levels of activism.  To receive “Freedom’s Voice”, please click here to fill out an on-line Volunteer Information Form and indicate you wish to receive the newsletter.

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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.