Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ken Pierce, the NRA and Gun Control

My dad, Ken Pierce, was a hunter, sportsman, and a gun collector, and a proud member of the NRA. I remember the magazines next to his chair were Outdoor Life, Field and Stream and he always had a current copy of Gun Digest.  Ken hunted and fished Northern New York State. He and his buddies Don Winters, George Cutler and his brother Gerald Pierce had a camp with a log cabin they built themselves from trees they felled on their own land.  Dad had been a game warden on Whitney Park near little Tupper in the Adirondacks.  He loved Guns, hunting, fishing ,the outdoors and he passed this love along to me and my sister.
Ken Pierce was a man's man, and his mantra was cigarettes and whiskey and wild, wild women.  He taught my sister Jackie and I to shoot when we were barely out of diapers, and he gave me my first rifle, a 12 gage shotgun for my birthday when I turned 16.
Ken was a card carrying member of the NRA and very proud of it.  Remember the NRA stands for the National Rifle Association and in the day, when I came of age, they held gun safety classes for young people.  Like I mentioned before Dad was a gun collector. The NRA kept him in touch with other collectors and the newest rifles on the market.
dad kept his weapons in a locked gun cabinet which Jackie was lucky enough to get when he died.  I say lucky because his then wife sold every pistol and rifle dad had, mainly to keep them out of our hands, though she most likely did need the money.. We hauled that sucker of a cabinet out of there before she could think to protest.
I am writing this because I want to make one thing very clear.  My father, Kenneth Blake Pierce, believed in gun registration and was very willing to register both his guns and ammunition, if the times should warrant it.  I had a number of discussions with my father regarding this issue because I to loved guns and Dad gave my husband and I a 22' to keep with us at our home in L.I.
Dad believed it should be very difficult for criminals to legally obtain weapons.  He had no problem with gun registration and background checks because as he said, he had nothing to hide or fear.  He believed in the 2nd amendment and loved his government and country enough to trust them with his life and his guns.  He said that registration would help track his weapons if they were ever stolen and used in a crime, and might help get them back if they went on the resale market.  Of course dad died in 1994 so he didn't own any assault weapons.  I am sure he would have felt they would have ruined the meat on any deer, moose or bear he might shoot.
The NRA has passed the point where they represent sportsmen and gun collectors.  They now represent only the gun manufactures and the survivalist fringe with a few legitimate backward leaning romantics who still dream of a better world back then....but we are living in the now.  Now criminals, wing nuts, anti government groups and the lobbyists hope LaPierre can continue to represent their interests. 
I will forever carry a picture of LaPierre, with spittle foaming at the corners of his mouth and know that my dad, if alive today, would repudiate him and everything he stands for.  As an aside let me close by quoting something I found on a negative LaPierre website:  " LaPierre took numerous student deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam and has never served in the Armed Forces in any capacity. This fits in with his infamously calling FBI and ATF Agents “Jack Booted Thugs”, an accusation so ugly that George W. Bush’s much cooler dad resigned his lifetime NRA membership.  Clearly this man hates America."  If anything the current NRA could do with a classier representative.  They should be ashamed.