Let me start by giving you a little personal history. I have been a shooter since early childhood. My grandfather taught me to shoot when I was eight years-old and I have been a dedicated sport shooter ever since. I shot my way onto a Policemens' Benevolent Association team when I was ten and that was the beginning of my competitive career. In the decades since that time I have been on numerous rifle-teams, including the First U.S. Army team at Ft. Dix, where I won the post small-bore championship in 1965. After the army, I tried out for the Penn State varsity rifle team and won a spot on it. We beat both Army and Navy that year...but got our asses kicked by the mountain boys of West Virginia.
In subsequent years I have competed in handgun, shotgun and rifle events, won three state championships, and put countless rounds downrange just for the fun of it. You would have to look hard to find a more devoted shooter than I am. But, recently I decided to not renew my membership in the NRA, and I have been a member since childhood. My reason for making this decision is that I finally got to the point where the rhetoric coming from the NRA leadership began to sound just plain stupid. That's it. I finally could not stand the rigid unwillingness to support even common sense measures to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. Enough is enough. How much more mayhem has to happen before the whacko far right realizes that living in a country where even mental cases can go out and buy a gun...is simply undoable, unacceptable and STUPID?
No background checks at gun shows? Not on internet or private sales? What are you really doing when you create such easy access to essentially unlimited firepower? What is the ultimate message here?
Then there is the fact that the list of speakers at the last NRA convention was a laundry list of far-right whack-jobs: Palin, Beck, Perry, etc. etc. I can't stand the bullshit that pours forth from ANY of these people and now the NRA considers them 'keynote' figures. Well, that was really the straw that did it for me. I couldn't imagine going to such a meeting and being surrounded by people who admire Glenn Beck...or Sarah Palin. I need to be around people who don't lie at the drop of a hat, who believe that an intelligent public discourse is necessary to the well-being of our democracy.
So, bye-bye NRA. I admired your ideals for decades, still believe that the right to keep and bear arms is our best insurance against the rise of a despotic government....but, I also know that there are far too many people now who should be denied that right....lest they run loose among us sowing destruction and death. We take great pains to keep drunks from killing us on the roads...now it's time to start identifying the mentally unstable and the socially malevolent and preventing them from arming themselves.