Mothers and fathers are also the NRA


June 27, 1999

The media,gun control advocates and our president continued to portray the National Rifle Association as more concerned about guns then children. Enough. Let us get something very clear: I am the NRA along with more than 2.7 million other fathers and mothers.

As a law-abiding citizen, I am incensed that the president and certain members of Congress are accusing us of not being concerned about the safety of our children and grandchildren.

The NRA has always been in the forefront of teaching safety as it pertains to firearms. The Eddie Eagle program is a prime example. However, we are also very concerned about the constant attacks on our constitutional rights.

These self-appointed guardians think government knows best, but they stoop to using our children as weapons to achieve their goals. When they attack the NRA, or say that the gun lobby doesn't care, they are not attacking some mindless organization. They are attacking every law-abiding citizen who has exercised his or her constitutional rights.

I have taught both of my children from the time they were old enough to understand real guns are not toys. Even when they played with toy guns, I told them that they were not to point them at anyone and I disciplined them if they did not listen. And I taught them that the only true safety for a gun is the person holding it. As a result, I am confident that they understand the responsibilities that come with exercising their right to own a firearm.

However, my confidence does not come from the fact that I taught them about guns.

It comes first from the fact that I taught them to love one another, to respect others and that life is sacred.

Second, I taught them that although the Constitution guarantees them the right to keep and bear arms, it does not give them the right to take other's life without just cause. I used the instruction from Proverbs, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." It works.

As for the audacity of this president, who has violated the sanctity of the marriage bed and has brought shame and embarrassment on his daughter, to accuse me or the millions of other responsible parents of not being concerned about the safety of our children is a joke.

And for him or the gun control people to use the tragedy of Columbine High School as a venue to push their goals is worse than ambulance chasers.

Anyone who takes the time to use common sense will see that the gun control provision passed by the Senate will not stop the violence. In addition, the vote to defeat the House version clearly indicates that the goal of the gun control advocates in Congress is not to control access to firearms by criminals or children, but to eliminate access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.

The gun control advocates know that they cannot defend their call for additional gun controls so they hide like cowards behind the mantra of "Do it for the children," to get their way. Enough.

If we truly want to stop the violence, we as a nation must first get back to the moral values that stress the importance of the family and the value of life. And yes, we must put our children's wellbeing first. But don't dare use them as pawns in a battle that for some is nothing more than a personal vendetta to deny others their rights and freedom. And don't say I don't care about our children.

W. David Blair, Manchester

Pub Date: 6/27/99

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