I bought my first rifle 32 years ago. I bought it because I often camped alone out in the middle of nowhere. I bought it for self-protection and never thought I had any rights under the Second Amendment. I've always saw the NRA less a group of hunters and target shooters, and more the lunatic fringe especially when they insisted Teflon "cop killer" bullets be legal in the mid-80's. In 1990 I was going to go for my handgun permit. I took a handgun safety course at a local range and got my certificate. But then the chiefs of police for each town in Massachusetts had much discretion in who they gave handgun permits to... and if one could not make a good self-defense case, another way was to belong to an NRA gun club. I could not in good conscience become a member of the NRA and just never bothered getting my permit.
When I look at the NRA I see a leadership that has contempt for its members. The members are manipulated with lies and half-truths then milked for donations. The more irrational and paranoid the membership becomes, the more power the leadership has. And somewhere in this crazed dynamic arose the cult of the Gun Nut.
The NRA faithful have been lied to that the Second Amendment is some sacred Right to own a gun unconnected to a "well regulated militia". On some level I agree... that it's a Ninth Amendment right but as such isn't so absolute as the NRA claims.
Gun nuts love to strip off the first half of the Second amendment concerning the "well regulated militia" as if it has no relevance and let the second half stand alone. Since the faithful buy into the lie, they also see themselves as constantly under attack by gun control advocates who must be seen as guilty of sins against the Founders of this nation itself!
Is it any wonder Gun Nuts are… nuts?