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Intransigence for Liberty

Gil Iker's letter to the Public Forum (May 26) belaboring the
National Rifle Association's "intransigence" was in itself a labor
to understand. The letter was so full of logical inconsistencies
and misinformation that a response is demanded. 

The NRA is the only organization in the United States that
spends money on gun safety and training courses for people of
all ages. Here is the amount of money spent by the State of
Utah: $0. Here is the amount of money spent by the federal
government: $0. The NRA is justifiably proud of its safety
programs. Why, if gun ownership is such a public safety issue,
does not the government, at the very least, support some kind of
gun safety program? 

As for the effectiveness of registration and background
checks, here is an example of the logical fallacy behind such
arguments: Suppose that Bonnie and Clyde have a discussion
about robbing a bank. Bonnie sends Clyde to the local gun
dealer to procure several firearms. The gun dealer, as
proscribed by law, executes a background check on Clyde and
discovers that he is a criminal, and tells Clyde to get lost. What
does Clyde then do? Well, the gun control lobby would have you
believe that Clyde would simply go home, telling Bonnie that he
was sorry he couldn't procure the guns because he failed a
background check. 

Smarter readers will know that this is a ludicrous ending to the 
story. Clyde is going to get that gun one way or the other, despite 
all of the background checks, registration requirements, or other 
restrictions placed on lawful gun owners. 

Why? Because Clyde is a criminal. Intransigent criminals are 
stopped by vigorous prosecution. As for the Second Amendment,
I trust noted constitutional scholars, the Federalist Papers, and 
other constitutional resources before I would ever trust the 
ill-informed opinion of Gil Iker.

Here is the plain fact on the Second Amendment, which
even intellectually honest gun opponents admit: The right of an
individual American to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed,
and the preamble to the amendment doesn't diminish that right.
Honest gun opponents, in order to accomplish their aim of
disarming the American public, admit that the Second
Amendment would have to be repealed or radically altered in
order to accomplish their aims. 

The NRA and other organizations that are fighting to protect
Second Amendment rights are, as far as I know, the only
organizations that encourage the responsible use of guns for
self-defense, hunting, target shooting, etc. The "intransigent,
absolutist" approach that Iker attempts to demonize is
something for the NRA and its members to be proud of, just as
they should be proud of their "intransigent" defense of the free
press, the right to protest peacefully, the right to be secure in
their "persons, houses, papers, and effects," etc. 

San Francisco