NRA Apologizes for Calling Some NRA Members “Downright Weird”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 3 2014 8:52 PM

NRA Apologizes for Calling Some NRA Members “Downright Weird”

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The NRA apologizes for calling some of its members a bit nutty.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

The NRA, last week, took the out-of-character step of telling some of its most enthusiastic supporters of guns and the freedom to take them into your local Chipotle to, you know, maybe take it down a notch. “[A] small number have recently crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness,” Friday's NRA statement reads. Here’s more:

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… Yet while unlicensed open carry of long guns is also typically legal in most places, it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms. 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
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Well, needless to say some of those very people the NRA called “downright weird” weren’t too thrilled about having the organization’s finger-wag pointed in their direction. On Tuesday, the NRA sidled back its criticism saying last week’s statement reflected the writer’s “personal opinion” and did not apparently meet the fact-based reporting standards the NRA typically holds itself to. "There was some confusion, we apologize, again, for any confusion that that post caused," said the NRA’s Chris Cox on a NRA radio talk show.

Here’s more of what Cox had to say:

Now, the truth is, an alert went out that referred to this type of behavior as weird, or somehow not normal. And that was a mistake. It shouldn't have happened. I've had a discussion with the staffer who wrote that piece, and expressed his personal opinion. Our job is not to criticize the lawful behavior of fellow gun owners."

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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