Readers write: NRA is not the enemy


It is apparently a given that those who would protest a dinner supporting the National Rifle Association are generally those who possess little knowledge of guns, gun safety, and logical thought.

Millions of Americans own guns, and those who are NRA members are among the safest, most considerate you can find. Those who have disdain for guns and the NRA likely have never received training in gun safety, much less even handled a firearm. Those of us who have been trained in the proper use and handling of firearms have a healthy respect for the damage that they can inflict, and we are trained to follow all the safety rules and laws regarding them.

I was first trained in gun safety at age eleven while spending my summer in sleepaway camp. The camp had a rifle team, and we were taught how to handle a .22 caliber rifle, load, clean and shoot it. It was all about marksmanship, and safety was the primary lesson.

In the latter half of the 1960s, during six years in the military, I learned how to use a rifle or sidearm for both offense and defense. I saw firsthand the damage that might be inflicted on an opponent– not a lesson taken lightly. I became expert at shooting, and thankfully did not see combat where I would have had to exercise the skills I had been taught. Most of my fellow veterans were not so fortunate.

I am now 75 years of age and my love of shooting has not dissipated.

Although I prefer not to hunt, I respect those who do. They practice the lessons learned in the military and through the NRA. They are responsible citizens, and have a healthy respect for life and ethical, legal behavior. I know hundreds of gun owners, and not one of them has committed more than a traffic infraction, and all own and shoot their guns with respect for safety and the law.

Several time each year, I meet with an NRA-sponsored group that teaches women gun safety and how to shoot. The feedback from the ladies is always positive, and many of them have lost their fear of firearms and gained respect for the firearms at the same time. It’s heartwarming to see their pride and sense of accomplishment having gained the knowledge and the experience.

The Second Amendment is a guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms. This cannot be questioned. It has already been legislated that there are conditions which preclude gun ownership – criminal behavior, mental or emotional unfitness, etc.– but the laws are already on the books. Gun-free zones do not work, nor do gun-free cities. The perpetrators of gun violence don’t care about laws or gun-free zones. They are criminals, not law-abiding citizens. Just look at Chicago, Newark, Detroit– the list goes on. In gun-free zones, only criminals have guns.

As every decent person should be, I am horrified and saddened when some troubled or deranged individual goes into a school, theater or other venue to slaughter innocent people. When law enforcement is called, and it takes them two or three minutes to be on scene, the slaughter has already taken place. It’s now too late to intercede, the damage is done and is irreversible.

Yet people are against arming trained individuals who would be present to protect our children where they are most vulnerable– in their schools. In my view this is great folly, and the NRA has proposed solutions, but the uneducated public fights the proposal due to ignorance. I would certainly have a trained marksman on staff for rapid response to an active shooter, possibly able to stop the problem before it gets to the tragic level.

I’m proud to be a member of the National Rifle Association, as they represent safe, legal, skilled ownership and use of firearms by all, and are firmly aligned on the side of good enforcement of existing gun laws without treatment that is prejudicial to safe gun owners.

Kudos to The Inn at New Hyde Park for standing on principle and not backing down despite the protests. Let those who protest about what they don’t know learn more about the NRA, maybe even take a gun safety class, and try a few hours at the county range with a trained instructor. It’s a great way to become educated about the subject.

Eric Spinner

New Hyde Park


  1. I respect that Mr. Spinner has a hobby, and that he enjoys guns. I also respect and accept that the NRA does some worthwhile things, such as providing gun safety lessons (leaving aside the blatent sexism embedded in Mr. Spinner’s comments about “the ladies”). But in the end, Mr. Spinner likes guns so much that he, and those like him, ignore the base truth about these tools that he so enjoys — they are designed for one purpose, and one purpose only — to kill.

    Mr. Spinner and those like him engage in the most reckless and tortured form of logic — truth denial. Mr. Spinner may very well be right — gun owners like him are generally safe. The NRA does some things that are positive. But that does not negate the facts that Mr. Spinner’s access to weapons of massive power to kill means that the next school shooter has access too, and that the NRA stands in the way of any sort of protections against that.

    While Mr. Spinner and his brethren may have repurposed firearms and created alternative uses, that cannot diminish the simple and undeniable fact that these are tools of death, and that their availability will always, necessarily, lead to death. There will be dead Innocents — dead concert goers, dead gamers, and dead school children.

    And while the aspects of the NRA that Mr. Spinner chooses to laud are arguably positive, the aspects that affect each of us every day are not. Mr. Spinner can ignore, but he cannot deny, that the NRA stands in the way of every reasonable common-sense gun measure that has ever been proposed, including those supported by more than 80% of it’s own membership. The NRA stands in the way of background checks, capacity limits, bans on the AR-15 and weapons like it, and now, bans on 3D printer plans that would allow anyone, criminals, terrorists, and those with mental health issues, to make their own, untraceable guns in their own homes. The NRA buys politicians who trade their souls and decency for campaign war chests and supportive advertisements. There can be no question that there are thousands, including children, that are dead, but would be alive, but for the NRA.

    And yes, Mr. Spinner, we are against training and arming teachers. First because it has been proven time and time again that firearms are far more likely to lead to accidential shootings than any form of protection. Second because teachers are educators, not security guards. And finally, speaking for myself, because when I look back on my school career, I cannot think of a single teacher that I would have wanted armed.

    Finally, and most frustrating, Mr. Spinner, while claiming ignorance on everyone else’s part, states that “[t]he Second Amendment is a guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms. This cannot be questioned.” But Mr. Spinner, having fallen prey to what Chief Justice Warren Burger called “the biggest fraud ever perpetrated upon the American people”, ignores the accepted meaning of the Second Amendment prior to the NRA’s 1960s propegamda campaign. The Second Amendment was meant to protect the States’ right to maintain their own armies or militias. The Amendment was intended to stop the federal government from preventing armed state forces or from calling up and disbanding militias. This was, in large part, meant to protect slavery. But even ignoring that, it has been held time and time again that the right, no matter how you define it, is not limitless, and that reasonable limitations can and should be made. No one needs an AR-15. No one needs a 10 or 20 or 30 round clip. No one needs to buy a weapon without a background check or a reasonable waiting period. The NRA, a gun industry lobbying and properganda organization, stands in the way of all of that. That is why we protest, and that is why we believe that it is abhorent for a local business to allow the NRA to raise money on it’s property, especially by auctioning off guns for as little as $20 at a wedding venue. The Inn at New Hyde Park should be ashamed, as should Mr. Spinner.

  2. The first words of the second amendment are “well regulated”. The NRA no longer emphasizes gun education, they represent gun manufacturers instead.

  3. I wish The Island Now would print this screed on toilet paper so I could wipe my ass with it.

    You make a point of telling us you have lived 75 years as though that is to suggest you have earned some wisdom over the years and impart some sort of clout for your argument – except your only arguments are that you took a gun safety class and gun laws don’t work.

    There is only one true method of gun safety and that is being as far away from a gun as you possibly can be at any given time. So there’s all your important firearm safety classes in a nutshell.

    The rest of your argument may as well have come from the mouth of an ignorant child. You begin by insulting the “logical thought” capacity of people who oppose guns, a great many of whom have lost loved ones to gun violence.

    Then you continue in your ignorance to mention that criminals have guns. Guess what dumbass? Criminals have guns because NRA member companies keep manufacturing guns. Gun Laws don’t work because the organization you are defending keeps lobbying on behalf of the corporations that continue flooding our streets with guns. If you support the NRA you are not “part” of the problem, you are the problem.

    Guns serve one purpose and one purpose only; causing harm and death to another living being.

    Guns are not “tools” in the same vein as a knife. I can use a knife to cut wood and build things or chop open a fruit and sustain myself. Before you talk to me about hunting, please do tell me where it is legal to hunt with a semi-automatic weapon? You can’t because it’s not even legal to shoot animals with semi-automatic rifles. So why then do civilians even need access to semi-automatic rifles?

    The answer is because you just want to get you jollies off and play with guns; and if some lunatic goes off and takes a few dozen lives like Vegas well that’s just too bad. That’s simply not as important as your little playtime.

    Riflery and marksmanship are a “sport” in the same vein as archery, but they do not use automatic or semi-automatic weapons in any competition. There is no reason for these industrial-grade killing machines to be in our streets or store shelves.

    I think the only way the complete madness will register through the thick skulls of people like you is once you are forced to suffer the pain of senseless gun violence in your own community or family. But until then have fun playing with all your automatic weaponry; I’m sure you need all the stimulation you can get at your old age.

    Shame on the Inn of NHP. I look forward to the day you go out of business and we no longer have a terrorist front in our community.

    Steve Martinez



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