There may be a line even the National Rifle Assn. won’t cross.
The lobbying group that has defended the availability of weapons in the face of mass murders such as the one that shattered an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., apparently has decided that some things go just a touch too far. The NRA wants irate gun-loving Texans to rethink demonstrations in restaurants like Chili’s and Chipotle, in which protesters bring tactical long guns to make a point that guns should be allowed everywhere -- even in popular fast-food emporiums that have banned them.
After the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School left 20 children and six educators dead, NRA leaders reminded the world of the group’s long-standing creed: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The NRA has fought all forms of gun control, from background checks to limiting the availability of weapons.
It turns out there are some things that don’t go better with Coke. In a post on its Institute for Legislative Action website, the NRA notes that some types of constitutionally protected protest can appear to be “weird” to some.
“Now we love AR-15s and AKs as much as anybody, and we know that these sorts of semiautomatic carbines are among the most popular, fastest selling firearms in America today,” the gun-rights group says, praising Texas as an “independent-minded and liberty-loving place.”
“Recently, demonstrators have been showing up in various public places, including coffee shops and fast food restaurants, openly toting a variety of tactical long guns,” the group says, adding that such tactics can put off some people, even in Texas, “which is second to none for its robust gun culture. We applaud Texans for that, but a small number have recently crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness.”
The NRA's post continues: “Let's not mince words, not only is it rare, it's downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one's cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.”
“Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners,” the group notes. “That's not the Texas way. And that's certainly not the NRA way.”
The dispute between the groups was reported by the Dallas Morning News and Mother Jones magazine.