NRA's Statement Asks Gun Activists to Consider Consequences of Their Behavior

NRA logoIn a statement that surprised some, the National Rifle Association asked gun owners "to consider the effect their behavior has on others, whether fellow gun owners or not." The statement, "Good Citizens and Good Neighbors: The Gun Owners' Role," implies that some gun advocates have gone too far:

"In summary, NRA certainly does not support bans on personalized guns or on carrying firearms in public, including in restaurants.  We think people are intelligent enough to resolve these issues in a reasonable way for themselves. But when people act without thinking, or without consideration for others – especially when it comes to firearms – they set the stage for further restrictions on our rights. Firearm owners face enough challenges these days; we don't need to be victims of friendly fire."

The NRA statement gave two examples of when "poor judgement" may run counter to NRA goals. The first is supporting "smart" guns that can be fired only by an authorized user, a technology the NRA says has "darker implications."

The second example is openly carrying long guns in public places, particularly in Texas. Although the statement applauds the state's "robust gun culture" and acknowledges that carrying is legal, the NRA criticizes the "attention-hungry few"-"a small number have recently crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness."

In a Facebook response, Open Carry Texas explained its position:

"Open Carry Texas members have always sought permission to enter an establishment prior to going in with our firearms. This has been part of our philosophy since day one and it has worked, with hundreds of businesses across the state 100% in support of what we do and how we do it."

Read the full Open Carry Texas statement.

Read the full NRA statement.

Discussion Starters:

  • Assess persuasive strategies used in the NRA statement. How does the NRA use logical argument, emotional appeal, and credibility to make its case?
  • What are the strongest and weakest arguments in the statement?
  • Is the apostrophe in the NRA statement title correct: "Good Citizens and Good Neighbors: The Gun Owners' Role"?