To the Editor:
The AP this week reported about National Shooting Sports Foundation and Steve Sanetti's consideration of leaving Newtown. One must have sympathy for NSSF's employees. It must be uncomfortable being part of an organization whose major focus is promoting civilian assault weapons (AKA Modern Sporting Rifles) after such a weapon was used in last December's horrendous massacre in their own town. That they expressed feeling “nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about” calls to mind Upton Sinclair's statement “It's hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it”.
I'd like to remind Steve Sanetti that that NSSF broke their “respectful silence” in January only to exhort gun owners to pressure lawmakers, saying “CT legislators seeking to destroy Second Amendment; Bills will make CT citizens instant criminals.” Fomenting paranoia and disinformation about gun regulation is very profitable for the gun industry. NSSF has not distanced themselves in any way from the extremist positions of the National Rifle Association, even to support universal background checks. Gun industry leaders together with Second Amendment ideologues have used intimidation to effectively squelch consideration of rational limits on guns, even within their own industry – see Dick Metcalf and Reed Exhibitions this year, as well as Jim Zumbo in 2007 and Smith & Wesson in 2000 following their agreement with the Clinton Administration.
NSSF's investment of $1 million a year in the ChildSafe Gun Lock program is a PR pittance, compared to the $515 million sales surge reaped by the gun industry since the Sandy Hook School shooting. While NSSF resists any government mandate to develop technology to make guns safer, leaving it to groups outside the gun industry to fund gun safety innovations, they expect the government to pick up the tab for ChildSafe Gun locks?
What has NSSF done to support the Newtown community? Not even a green ribbon. May the employees and leadership of NSSF open their eyes to the true nature of their organization and its activities, and either change them – or go.
31 Osborne Hill Road, Sandy Hook November 25, 2013