The era of the NRA is coming to an end. We need a better national gun owner group.

Local youths learn firearms essentials at 4-H Shooting Sports group (2010)

To my fellow American families, Do you remember that pride you felt when you were just learning to shoot and finally hit the bullseye? When your parent or older brother or sister patted you on the back and said, “Good shot!”? When it comes to the tradition of families and guns, the phrase from Spider-Man always comes to my mind: “With great power comes great responsibility.” But there is one organization that is actively working against that message, and has pushed an extreme agenda that does not represent sensible gun owners.

The National Rifle Association wants to sell you guns, wants to sell you conceal carry insurance, and wants to sell you fear alongside their training packages. The NRA does not represent you — you, the responsible gun owner, who values skill and experience and commonsense. Who values tradition and the outdoors and passing respect for firearms down to the next generation. The NRA represents the gun manufacturers holding the giant checks for millions of dollars that go straight to their CEOs’ salaries and to pay for terrorizing ads against political candidates.

There is a hateful frenzy in our society being stoked right now by the latest attack ads produced by the NRA. Do you enjoy living day-to-day in a heightened state of fear and vigilance, worried about encountering a shooter around every corner? It doesn’t have to be like this. This is not the feeling of freedom in America. I need you to take a stand and respond in the only way that the NRA will listen — by taking your membership and your dollars elsewhere.

To my uncles and cousins who enjoy hunting and guns and love your children as much as I love mine, I implore you. To the veterans who spent countless hours drilling and practicing so that you could assemble and disassemble a firearm blindfolded, I implore you. To the trained police officers who put their lives on the line every day and are more and more likely to go up against gun-toting citizens in unknown situations, I implore you. Turn your back on the NRA. The current NRA leaders have abandoned all reasonable regulations that they used to support, and now actively fight against any attempts to reduce gun deaths in America.

How can this be achieved? With good old capitalist competition. The NRA has become the bloated big dog in the gun club market, but I am hoping for the rise of a new era of grassroots gun ownership organizations. There are many families out there seeking a friendly alternative that has the laid back camaraderie of 4-H as opposed to the teeth-gnashing and fist-pounding propaganda of the NRA. There is a need out there for a new national group of responsible gun owners and veterans to offer a brighter future for America. Until such an organization exists, it will be hard for some lifelong members to take that final step and tear up their NRA cards.

There are groups popping up across the country that make me feel hopeful that someday soon the NRA’s reign of terror will come to an end (see below). Maybe someone like Kyle Weaver can take his years of experience at the NRA and get back to his roots by founding a newer, more reasonable organization. Mr. Weaver, you seem like the kind of guy who values training, responsibility, and a positive family atmosphere. To you and other leaders out there, I hope there is a part of you that is disillusioned with what the NRA has become, and can be a force for good to help set this country on the right path again for gun owners.

Please post links to other local responsible gun owner groups, this is just a small collection that needs to grow. I don’t think one single group has stepped up to build an infrastructure that can fill the void of the NRA, but the need is out there:

Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership

Citizens for Smart Gun Ownership

American Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership (ACRGO)

Association of Reasonable Gun Owners (ARGO) (@ARGO_GunOwners)

The Liberal Gun Club (@liberalgunclub)

Americans for Responsible Solutions (@resp_solutions)

Everytown for Gun Safety (@Everytown)