I've been having a little fun comparing YouTube clips of new National Rifle Association President Jim Porter, an Alabama Lawyer (above), in action; and another clip, from 2012, of our current state senator, Wayne County's Amy Sinclair, campaigning at an NRA-related rally in Iowa. Needless to say, both are Republicans (a recent poll suggested that 44 percent of Republicans foresee the need at some point for armed insurrection to whip the U.S. of A. back into shape).
This is not intended to cast aspersions on either Alabama or Wayne County and the south of Iowa in general, lovely places with nice people, although there are those elsewhere in Iowa who do claim now and then that there are similarities. I'm just sayin' ....
Friends who live in Birmingham tell me that, whenever more than the usual level of nuttiness is in the air down there, sensible folks look west to where there's usually more and say, "thank God there's a Mississippi." Down here, we look south and say, "thank God there's a Missouri." Although these days it might be more appropriate to look southwest and say, "thank God there's a Kansas."
And I think I'd still feel safe in both Birmingham and Corydon, although I began to wonder a little about Corydon a couple of years ago when, after attending a friend's funeral at the United Methodist Church there, I came out to discover that everyone parked on the square (it was a big funeral) had been leafletted --- a call to action because of a plot in the Iowa Legislature to deprive us of our God-given Second Amendment right to bear arms. More nuts than hickory loose in the hills down thataway perhaps?
In all fairness to Alabama, too, Iowa's own Kayne B. Robinson, who served as NRA president for two years, held views just as nutty --- it just didn't occur to him to call upon that old "war of northern aggression" for ammunition. It's interesting to note that Robinson, subsequently named NRA's executive director of general operations, earns in excess of $1 million annually in that position. Way to go, Iowa.
I tried hard yesterday to work out an analogy between the NRA and old time religion, but it didn't work too well --- although I did like the working title, "Father, Son and Holy Handgun," well enough to keep it. And it does seem some days as if the the NRA's goal is to convince the faithful that an assault rifle has more potential to be a friend than Jesus.
There certainly are other similarities, too --- Christianity has traditionally been fear-based: Believe or roast in hell. And so is the NRA: Believe (and fork over cash so we can keep paying Kayne Robinson, Wayne LaPierre and all those congressmen and lesser politicians) or the devil (President Obama) is gonna getcha.
American Christians, however, are discovering increasingly that fewer and fewer are buying into empty threats --- and really haven't come up with an effective substitute for fear (Love, somehow, just isn't as sexy).
In all likelihood, the NRA will experience similar difficulties as time goes by. Irrational rhetoric certainly will speed along that process. So keep talking, Jim (and Amy). Preach it, brothers and sisters.