I have wondered recently whether the NRA has the courage of its convictions, and what their reaction might be if its headquarters were to be targeted by misguided gun enthusiasts. So I called the NRA HQ today to get answers that might obliquely shed some light. I couched my questions in the form of a bet between myself and a friend of mine who is into guns, (part of his business is ceramic powder coating of firearms), somewhat conservative, but not political. I have no use for weapons myself, but am not adamantly anti-gun, and actually am fascinated by the mechanisms of weapons, being somebody who does a lot of mechanical design. Some of the designs are quite elegant. I do disapprove of the excesses of gun ownership i.e., arsenals of high capacity, rapid fire firearms, and cheap handguns.
So I called the only phone number for the NRA on the internet---the membership number, of course. I finally got to an operator who connected me to the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. I asked the woman who picked up (after I outlined the situation) whether staff members were allowed to carry firearms in the HQ offices, or store them in their desks. She said, 'Of course. This is Virginia, and it is a concealed carry state, so, yes, staff can carry weapons at work. We follow the law.' But when I asked whether visitors could enter the building with weapons, she clammed up, saying that as an employee, she could not answer the question. But she did give me a direct HQ number, (703) 267-1000, and told me to ask for security.
Which I did. I finally was connected to the public affairs department and spoke to a pleasant woman there. I told her my friend thought the NRA should allow visitor weapons, to be logically consistent, and that I disagreed, with the view that you can't always trust gun owners to act safely and that it would be dumb to assume visitors' goodwill. And that there was a six pack of beer riding on her answer. She told me that the security guards at the front desk were unarmed, but that visitors were not allowed to bring weapons into the building (except to their posh firing range, which has a separate entrance). Doesn't that leave the visitors at a bit of an disadvantage, I asked, and we had a bit of a chuckle about that. I was too chicken to ask her whether that policy was inconsistent with the NRA's present philosophy that seems to encourage shoot-outs.
So there you have it. The NRA staff is armed, while visitors are disarmed.
Somebody here, I think, recently commented that the best means to counter the NRA would be ridicule. I hope that this little bit of fact-finding might contribute materials to those mocking the NRA.
Don't bother jumping over the fancy orange pastry; there's nothing there.
UPDATE: 5/20/2014 Markass informs me that what I discovered in the diary above is presently not true (and appears to be suggesting it never was). I assure you that at the time 18 months or so ago, I did spend the time calling whom I said I did, and reported what I was told truthfully and fully. Their policies may have changed in the meantime, or I may have been misled or their left hand doesn't know what their right hand is doing (if they even have a 'left' hand, or just two right hands). Anyway, thank you Markass for checking. My info may be out of date.
Do you think the NRA is a terrorist organization?
- Yes 100%