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I Am The Quiet NRA

Hi. I am The Quiet NRA. Let me introduce myself. I am retirement age, but only a recent first-time NRA member. After being given a gift membership by family, I decided to renew it.

I was born into a multi-generational clan of food-on-the-table hunters, avid target shooters and stubbornly-independent Second Amendment believers. Interestingly, I never started hunting. I’m sure my family wonders, but since I chose a lifelong career in a healing profession, they have quietly tolerated my aberration.

I was even a vegetarian for several decades.

I’m not one now—hamburgers were my downfall.

I’m an independent voter, having voted both GOP and DFL in the past, based on my perception of the issues and my personal conscience. For example, in the wolf-versus-farmer debate, I’m on the wolf side—that used to drive my uncle crazy! I never served in the military, but I had my draft number in the Viet Nam era, and would have gone as an unarmed conscientious-objector if I’d been drafted.

I don’t own an assault rifle.

I’m not going to enumerate what I own—but I do own.

I’m a lifelong teetotaler, though not fond of the axe-wielding-prohibitionist viewpoint. I believe in common sense, personal responsibility, live-and-let-live, elbow room, and respectful vigilance—the price of freedom. I also believe in equal rights, under the law, for differing opinions.

My hobbies are writing poetry, rescuing dogs from humane society shelters, telling good old campfire stories, listening to jazz and classical, sharing silly grade-school jokes and learning a Native language. And I do pray every day; sometimes all day.

I’ve had a happy life, and hope to keep having one for some time yet. I don’t like crowds, in-your-face situations, traffic jams, bad-ass behavior, loud noises, drugs of abuse, gang-mentalities or little houses made of “ticky-tacky”—I’ve managed to live, with my family, in or near the woods most of my adult life, while still practicing a professional career that I could have carried out in any big city. I didn’t make as much money out here in the boonies, but I like it quiet.

Like many others of my family members and friends, I am a concealed-carry permit holder; have been on and off for decades. I’ve passed more federal and state background checks than most of my peers, and done it quietly. I do [concealed carry], but not always. My family just shakes their heads at my intermittently-armed condition; but my profession simply doesn’t allow for concealed carry in some venues.

Like the rest of my extended family, I have never (thank God) had to unsheathe my legally-carried concealed weapon in a life-threatening situation—though I must point out that at least one of my always-legally-armed family members survived being shot at by bad guys. He survived not by pulling his piece and blasting away, but by promptly using his common sense and safely, cleverly exiting the area. I hope I never have to face that decision.

But, I’ve had my life threatened several times in my career, ducked punches a couple of times and once stared down a stiletto—hurray for the peaceful country life. And I once—with permission—pulled up a guy’s shirt tail to check his cough, only to find a cocked-and-locked 9-millimeter in his waistband. But it doesn’t’ count—he was an off-duty cop who apologized like hell when he remembered what I was stutteringly backing away from!

I’m not macho about guns.

I am thoughtful and careful about them.

And I don’t own a soapbox nor do I intend to obtain or ascend one. But I do believe in the principle of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America and the reasoning behind it—as well as the rest of the Constitutional freedoms and Amendment freedoms currently in force. I believe that the gun laws we now have in our democracy should be fully and consistently enforced. In that event, the need to shore up gun-law loopholes would rapidly become nearly moot—though I admit that, reading the news some days, I think it is now sadly not moot. In my opinion, acts of terrorism—for me that means any time any individual with a weapon kills innocent, unarmed people to further any bizarre personal agenda—will not ever be stopped by any gun laws. But I actually believe that rapes, other assaults, burglaries, kidnappings, and gang/drug crimes can in many cases be prevented or mitigated, in a lifesaving way, by the life-risk exercise of second-amendment rights.

I believe in freedom—quiet freedom. I’ll bet there are a lot of others like me in the NRA right now. We don’t shout—we vote. And we carry, too. Nice to meet you. I am the Quiet NRA. If you don’t like loud surprises, consider joining me.

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