The California Rifle and Pistol AssociationOn Target
Of the California Rifle and Pistol Association's magazine "The Firing Line."


These are a few letters I have had printed in the forum, "On Target," of the "Firing Line" of the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

Dear On Target:

In response to the letter from R.D., Costa Mesa, (On Target, June '96 "Let's Watch Our Mouths") Bravo Sir! After reading it, an incident I experienced at a local gun shop came to mind. I was at the counter and asked the proprietor about some expended high-performance ammo rounds that were in the case. A conservative looking woman of middle age was stranding a short way down the case, observing the revolvers. He proceeded to tell me, rather loudly, "Oh, that's what a Black Talon round looks like, after you clean off all the blood and hair, HAW, HAW, HAW!" I grinned nervously. The lady promptly walked out.

Probably a potential gun owner and supporter, who was now negatively influenced by the crude behavior of one gun representative.

Another incident happened recently in our town. A gentleman, who had been drinking while on medication, became upset over something, then went outside and fired a round from his gun into his car. Obviously, the neighbors called the police who then showed up, roped off the block, notified the local school of the situation, called in the S. W. A. T. team and after a short time, took him into custody.

That isn't the worst of it. . . .

The following day, in the county newspaper, in a follow-up article, they had a picture of the man standing rather forlornly in front of his car (sporting one bullet hole) and stating how "it was all a mistake." He was a member of the National Rifle Association and wanted his seized weapons back from the Police Department. Just wonderful!

Even if it was all a misunderstanding, behavior such as this by supposedly responsible gun owners and members of the NRA is inexcusable and atrocious! Do these people realize the negative impact incidents such as these have on public perceptions and understanding of the NRA?

California gun owners should be the most responsible, sensible, levelheaded individuals in the state! We should not be exhibiting obnoxious, offensive, irresponsible behavior, especially in the sight of a misled and critical public!

The times we live in demand that the private gun owning membership of the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle and Pistol Association, the only representatives of these organizations the public will EVER see, be the models of stability, of strength and of class, as defenders of the truth.

If there are those few among us who cannot bring themselves to live up to this level of protocol, they should definitely stand down from any outward, vocal defense of the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association, and the California Rifle and Pistol Association, and save the rest of us the trouble of trying to explain, with great embarrassment, their actions. . . .

M. A. Baker.(Printed July, 1996, The Firing Line)

Dear On Target:

I have been a gun owner for about five years. In that time, since joining the NRA, and recently, the CRPA, I have remained in the rear, learning the ropes and my way around the gun world. I would like to share some observations concerning the current political climate and how I feel we, as gun owners, can more effectively combat the hostile environment in which we find ourselves.

One, we have not experienced any losses in the Legislature, that we have not first lost on the street. I do not think the general public, gun owner or not, is as gullible as we believe in falling for the lies and deception foisted on them by the media, "Gunphobics," and liberal politicians. They, like a lot of other people, are apathetic and burned out on the political process as a whole, as I was, thinking that it does not affect them or they really cannot make a difference.

Growing up the last thirty years in relative peace, it was and is easy to take advantage of the lifestyle and way of life to which you have become accustomed. Apathy.

Then I went out and bought a Smith & Wesson Model 915 9mm Automatic, a high-capacity handgun. Fifteen rounds, one in the pipe. Now a banned "assault weapon"! I found myself in the middle of one of the most critical fights pertaining to personal freedom and the Constitution of the century. So began my rapid education, under fire!

Second, I saw the lack of education and knowledge the truth, available to the general public. The majority of the general public will NEVER have access to the literature or educational materials available to an NRA or CRPA member! And so, the liberal left politicians have taken full advantage and exploited the general public's apathy and naivete to advance their twisted antigun agenda.

We, as regular members of the NRA and the CRPA, being on the streets everyday with the public, definitely need to seize the initiative, as ambassadors and representatives of the gun owners organizations, not only to educate ourselves on the issues pertaining to gun ownership, that we may speak intelligently with confidence and boldness, but then to become ourselves educators to the uninformed.

And even if you are not eloquent, as has been stated before, the NRA has quite a few brochures available at no charge to its members. These can be given to only to your friends but left in a restaurant bathroom or on the table, on a gas pump, on a newsstand or anywhere else someone can pick it up. The administration of the NRA/CRPA is not out on the strett everyday. We, the membership, are! We need to understand that we are the front-line troops in this battle. We are amply supplied with the resources and tools to win, now we need to follow through. EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION! Knowledge is power.

In recent months, I have heard the rumblings of civil war in America. These are strange and perilous times in which we live. Some of the articles I have read in the national mainline gun magazines these past few years have been radical, revolutionary, and very disturbing! Are you ready to be involved in social unrest, in defense of your Second Amendment rights? I am not.

We need to move now on educating the general public on these Constitutional issues. In the future, my Smith-Corona will be smoking, so that in the future my Smith & Wesson is not.

M. A. Baker.(Printed June, 1998, The Firing Line)