Meanwhile, in transit to Lost Angeles...
On one of the morning shows this AM there was a startling piece of video that shows us as gun owners and gun users how far we still have to go to recover any kind of cultural acceptance. There was Brian Williams in New Orleans on St. Charles, talkign to the rich folk who wouldn't leave the city (I looked for this clip on MSNBC and couldn't find it). He interviews one rich guy who's staying to protect his stuff...a fairly rational response.
But they guy has...guns...a shotgun and a pistol...to "frighten" potential looters. In the spoken bridge to the next interview, with four paid security guards (unidentified, but I believe from Blackwater) guarding a high dollar neighborhood with battle rifles, pistols and enough ammo to take over Belize, Brian says, "Well, he scared us!"
Here's the conundrum...Brian felt perfectly comfortable with the armed security guards toting more firepower than most street cops ever carry, but he was frightened of the civilian with guns. Now why should that be? Let's say the four guys were from Blackwater, which is one of the E-Ticket Ride as far as security companies go. You got four guys with indeterminate training getting $200 a day — not Iraq wages, but no IEDs on the side of the road! — who are strictly there for the bucks. That's not a criticism, by the way. A bunch of my friends are down there for their daily bread.
OTOH, you've got a homeowner who only wants to protect what he's worked to earn. But because he's not a victim-in-waiting, Brian gets all shivery.
I hate to generalize from small sets, but I do believe this is emblematic of our overall problems, and it points out a huge failing on the part of the gun industry/community. Yes, we need the NRA and the otehr guys pounding up on the alledgedly legitimate miscreants confiscating guns in the Big Easy, but we also desperately need a cohesive "hearts and mind" initiative from the firearms industry — and I don't see one in sight!
If we are not able to convince the Brian Williams of the world that owning a gun, participating in the shooting sports, or even protecting one's self with a gun is not grounds for them to get the vapors, WE ARE DOOMED TO FAILURE!
As the person who ran the only successful "hearts and mind" program for the industry for five years, I am absolutely baffled why this industry hasn't launched a broader, better funded version, perhaps headed by someone not as...controversial...as myself. We need to be in constant touch with the news media...even Brian Williams! We need to be reaching out to Hollywood, to the local sports pages, to the broader communities we all live in.
And what are we doing? STILL writing lame letters to the editor about the Second Amendment and STILL funding new, improved — and largely worthless — "hunting initiatives" aimed at getting another half-dozen kids into the game fields. NSSF even changed their logo recently to one that ONLY reflects hunting...I'm surprised they didn't change their mission statement to "All Hunting All The Time!"
Even rats learn from experience!