Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guns On Board and the NRA

One thing I've learned over the years is that if you really want to get boat folks all riled up, talk about anchors or guns.

My Mom's side of the family, the farm family, always owned guns. I got my first gun, a bolt action .22 (which I still have) when I was 16 and used it for hunting small game and target shooting.  That gun taught me a lot.  Since I was only 16, I had to take a hunter/gun safety course before I could get my first hunting license.  I learned about safety and responsibility when handling firearms, and respect for the property of others.

At one point, I had my .22 rifle and 12 gauge shotgun on board Drift Away, but I put them in storage.  We'd be traveling down the coast and I didn't want to run afoul of any local gun ordinances.  Besides, we have two pit bulls.   Who is going to mess with us?  And if someone did board us to rob us, would I really shoot him?

I really never gave the ownership of guns much thought until recently, with mass murders seemingly in vogue, gun violence at record highs in inner cities, cries for gun control from some, and similar cries about gun confiscation, the 2nd amendment, and government tyranny from others.  Guns are headline news, especially in some of the urban stops we made on Drift Away.  Baltimore, in particular, seems loaded with gun violence.

Being an inquisitive sort, and the kind of person who tries to understand all sides of an issue, I've done a bit of research over the past few years. One conclusion that I've come to is that, in my opinion, the NRA is a sham. It is no longer the worthy gun education group it once was. Nor does it lobby lawmakers on behalf of gun owners, but rather gun manufacturers. The NRA is all about selling guns and corporate greed.

In advance of our move back to upstate New York to build our little farmstead, I recently looked into joining a local rifle club. One requirement of membership is joining the NRA. I will not be joining the rife club.

This is a good video. Please get by the remarks about things like hollow point bullets (these folks obviously aren't hunters), and focus on the organization of the NRA and it's funding, and how it operates by instilling fear, uncertainty, and doubt in both its members and the general public.  It's pretty much in agreement with my own findings.

Revealed: The Truth about the NRA

As for whether you should carry guns aboard your boat, well, that's entirely up to you.   But if you do, please  make sure they're properly locked and secured, that you and anyone else aboard is trained in the proper use of each gun, and that they are only used as an absolute last resort.


  1. Bravo Dave! We traveled on Broulee all the way to Trinadad and back without a gun on board ( although our flare gun could have helped in a situation). Thanks for the birthday wishes and hope to see you guys before you head north.

    1. Hey Deb! We look forward to meeting up with you guys too!

  2. The NRA seemed unnecessary to me way back, and I grew up hunting in Vermont.

    Now, it's a lobby protecting manufacturers of dumb Rambo guns, cheap inaccurate pistols and 30 shot clips. No hunter I've ever known had any use for any of this junk.

    You'd look silly on your porch in Bleeker with a Bushmaster, Dave, get yourself a thutty-thutty...

  3. “Gun Control” is a very emotive issue, as is the NRA,…neither of which is accurately presented. All sides (conservative, liberal or progressive) make a case that seems to be totally logical, however, as the saying goes…”there are two sides of every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle”. Whoa that we could find the truth…as the X-Files said…”the truth is out there”.

  4. Hi Dave - Thanks for a thoughtful post. I too grew up in a "hunting" family. My education, so to speak, continued when I was a grunt with the 1st Infantry along the Cambodian border in Vietnam. When I returned home I gave away my civilian firearms having seen too much of the devastation created by firearms used against humans. I was never a member of the NRA but totally gave up on the NRA when they backed the production and sale of bullets that pierced the flak jackets worn by policemen. Every police organization wanted a total ban on these bullets but with the NRA leading the way, production began. I agree that hunters have no use for assault rifles and large capacity magazines. What is essential in combat has no place in civilian life. Thanks again. Stretch

  5. No change is possible without challenge. I would apply to that rifle club, Dave and tell them their per-condition for membership is a political group is not appropriate and will keep gun owners with a differant point of view away. Lets see what they do..you (we) may be pleasantly surprised.