The crazy thing about gun politics in this country is that the National Rifle Association is more or less the moderate wing of the gun lobby. Other groups bill themselves as “no compromise” alternatives to the NRA. That has to change. In a new TIME column that is not school focused (although has a tangential education hook at the end) I look at what a genuinely pro-sportsmen but pro-gun safety organization might look like and why one is needed:
I used to live in the country and go to a gun club for the skeet and trap shooting. I went there on Sundays because that was the only day the club was open to non-members. Like many shooting clubs, this one would only grant membership if I also joined the National Rifle Association. That wasn’t going to happen. While I like some of the NRA’s youth gun-safety programs, I cannot support its policy aims….
…Unfortunately, this constituency has no organization speaking to and for them. That’s why if philanthropists and influential leaders really want to do something about gun safety, they should launch an advocacy group for sportsmen that will provide a legitimate alternative to today’s gun lobby. The solution to our gun problem is not to try to fight through the same old politics — rather, it’s to change the political landscape.