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December 29, 2012

Dodging fire in no-man's-land on gun control


When NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre offered his post-Sandy Hook rant, I couldn’t help but think of Upton Sinclair, who said: “It can be awfully hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

It’s sad, because a lot of gun violence could be prevented without restricting anyone’s right to firearms adequate for recreation and self-defense. But the NRA brass – along with some of its most vitriolic, doctrinaire members — are taken aback at the audacity of questioning anyone’s right to any type of weapon. Just ask outdoors writer Jim Zumbo, whose column and endorsements were dropped amid outrage after a 2007 blog post suggesting assault rifles “have no place in hunting.” Only after taking a vow of ideological purity at the ranch of draft-dodging admitted pedophile Ted Nugent was Zumbo able to resume his career.

Firearms enthusiasts would be well-advised to abandon such hardline stances and seek some reasonable middle ground on gun control. In a civilized society, laws are made by those who have the winning argument, not those with the most firepower.

JUSTIN VERNOLD is a copy editor at The Daily Star. Contact him at




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