A Letter to Wayne
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I don't want to buy a gun.
An open letter to the NRA's Vice President, Wayne LaPierre
I feel as though I must confess my sins to you. About three years ago I sent you a check to become a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). I did it not because I necessarily agreed with your organization's position -- truth be told, I don't think that I really cared at the time -- but because I was engaging in youthful rebellion. Simply stated, I wanted to flaunt my rebellious self by becoming a member of an organization which advocates for the arming of the citizenry, a constitutionally based, yet all too often morphed concept, in my humble opinion. And for the past several years you have helped me to fulfill my goal to upset my liberal associates. But the time for such endeavors has now passed. I no longer need to be a part of an organization like the NRA simply to flaunt my youthful independence and annoy my friends. I've grown up, and am now ready to move on to bigger and better things.
Truth be told, I think that I've grown out of my immature ways. I was just going to allow my membership to lapse, but with all of the recent mass shootings, along with your plainly stupid responses to them, and the fact that I now feel somewhat responsible for lax gun regulation I can no longer take it anymore. After the Aurora, Colorado shootings I felt sick. I've given your organization funding. And after the Sandy Hook massacre, I just couldn't stand to even think of my involvement with the National Rifle Association. In fact, I have felt like this for months.
Several months ago I sent you a letter. This was around the time of the Aurora Hills shootings. In fact, I sent letters to both the NRA headquarters and to the NRA membership department. My request was simple: please stop sending me advertisements in the mail and pleas for funds. I also asked that you stop mailing your 1st Freedom magazine/advertisement to me. I just wanted to stop the madness. I don't want to buy a gun. I don't want to give you money so that you can advocate for others to buy guns. And I do not want to be an NRA member any more. But still, the letters, magazines, and other propaganda persist.
Wayne, I even sent a follow-up letter after the two initial letters. This one was a bit more terse. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings with it. I pointed out that you are effectively spamming me, and that I still wished to be dropped from your membership rolls. In fact, since I'm a federal prisoner -- and an NRA member, ironic, you think?! -- I don't have ready access to a phone. So, I asked a family member to call your office and request that I be dropped from your membership roster, that I stop being harassed by your sales force for death. She sat on the phone for 40 minutes before she started pressing a number of buttons. Surprise, surprise: someone answered the call and asked if she would like to extend her NRA membership for the low price of $30. She was informed that she could even receive a free "tactical pen flashlight" or a knife, if she was to extend her membership for three years. Upon declining and explaining the situation, the membership representative informed her that he could not help her cancel a membership and transferred her to another department. After an hour of waiting for the "other department" she hung up. Perhaps there are so many people making the same request that there just aren't enough operators anymore?
In your latest letter to me, a letter dated March 1, 2013, you again ask for my money. You again bashed Obama and the "Hollywood elitists." I don't mind Hollywood, so please stop bashing my entertainers. And, as for your attack on California Senator Dianne Feinstein, someone you call "a shameless hypocrite" for once being licensed to carry a semi-automatic firearm, aren't you supposed to be protecting gun owners, not attacking them? You speak of Obama and his Hollywood elitists launching "a hate-filled and brutal attack on our Second Amendment rights with more force and fury than we've ever seen," but you respond in turn. You, Mr. LaPierre, are simply attacking them as they attack you (that is, if they really do, since your letters smack of propaganda on a regular basis it's hard to discern the truth of what you speak). Why not be a good old lobbyist and whisper in politician's ears and stop sending me all of this hate mail? I don't want to be inundated with the hate mail. Please leave me alone. We're through.
Now to your assertion: "Facts are facts. And the fact is the only thing that's proven to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Want to think about this one again? First, when citing facts, it's usually best to also cite a source. Was Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh your source? Were they high or dependent on a substance when they provided the aforementioned "facts?" I'm sure that their "facts" check out every time. I think that anyone with a modicum of intelligence can come up with a dozen ways to stop an armed gunman. Here's an idea. Call 911. And how about another: lock the front door. Or another: hit them with something. Or another: spray them with something. Or another: run away from the man with the gun (this irrespective if they are an NRA member or not). Get the point? If you're going to send me unsolicited hate mail, you might as well make factually -- there's that word again -- sound statements and arguments. I sincerely hope you didn't have to write that letter down to your readership. If so, we're in serious trouble. One would hope that NRA members -- people who own firearms at a higher rate than the general population (speculation, not fact since I don't have a source to cite) -- could see through your hateful propaganda.
If I have to receive one more letter from you which talks about the "venomous hatred and barefaced elite hypocrisy," I don't know what I will do. Wayne, it's over. I can't stand your lobby and I can't stand the spam which you continually fill my mailbox with. It's over. We're over. It was a stupid and fruitless ride from the beginning, but, thank God, it is now over. Please don't call, text, email, or write. Just leave me alone. Spew your hate to your members and the other fanatics you support. I want no more part in it. Oh, and keep the 1st Freedom magazine, too. If I have to be faced with another anti-Obama feature-length article on how he's trying to confiscate my soul -- or the guns which I neither have or want -- I might just lose it.
Hopefully a Former NRA Member (if you'll ever allow me to cancel my membership)
P.S: If you send another piece of hate mail to my mailbox, I'm going to write the FCC.
Christopher Zoukis, Contributing Writer: Christopher Zoukis is the author of Education Behind Bars (Sunbury Press, 2012), a comprehensive guide to prison education. Mr. Zoukis blogs at here and here. He's a PEN American Center award winning writer, legal commentator, and American Bar Association member (Criminal Justice Section/Section of Litigation). See... (more...)