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The NRA has it wrong

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The NRA has emptied its big guns on Pat Wray, and I find that hard to understand (HCN, 1/23/06: What's the NRA's beef with roadless areas?). Why would a huge, powerful national organization fear a man who thinks they should return to their roots, spending their time fighting on behalf of the Second Amendment? It certainly isn’t because Wray isn’t a patriot. He’s an ex-Marine helicopter pilot who was one of the last to leave Vietnam.

The truth is, the NRA has been taken over by far-right-wing zealots, and over the past decade, they have played more politics than anything else. Consider the publication the NRA chose in which to level their attack on Wray: Gun Week. Its owner is Alan Gottlieb, one of the key players in the anti-conservation Wise Use Movement. Ron Arnold, widely believed to be an architect of Wise Use, is listed as a contributing writer. These people hold in contempt anyone who believes in real conservation. Why? I believe because real conservation stands in the way of allowing the rape and pillage of natural resources.

The NRA and the few magazines that have joined it are hurting hunters and anglers over the long haul. That’s because the future of hunting won’t be determined by gun laws as much is it will by a lack of access to quality hunting land — or lost habitat as a result of the efforts of the Wise Use Movement.

Tony Dean
Pierre, South Dakota

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