Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 10:16 pm -- NSSF today released a statement clarifying its position on handgun sports. Michael Bane has it on his blog. It reads as follows:
NSSF Statement on Shooting Sports Summit Action Items
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) - the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry -- has issued the following statement following the concern by some regarding the action items listed for discussion as part of the Shooting Sports Summit:
The action items presented as part of the NSSF Shooting Sports Summit have been developed by researchers predicated upon three years of public opinion research.
The purpose of the summit is to take the intelligence that has been gathered concerning the public opinions of shooters and non-shooters alike and take our ideas and meld them into coherent new programs and policies to attract, retain and re-introduce participants into the shooting sports – ALL the shooting sports.
NSSF has programs for rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers. And, as our motto says, we are always shooting for more.
The intelligence gatherers, like any effective reconnaissance team, studied the opinions we must face and reported their suggestions. As to the strengths and weaknesses of possible courses of action, NSSF does not have to accept their recommendations. All decisions as to what actions NSSF will take will be made by NSSF, after full discussions and consideration of all points of view.
The NSSF has no intention of abandoning pistol shooters. Our very successful First Shots program is specifically designed and targeted to encourage pistol sports shooting. Much of the NSSF staff, including its new president, have been pistol shooting both recreationally and competitively for decades – and, in fact, some have worked in the handgun industry.Sounds like they got the message.
NSSF looks forward to completing a successful summit, helping to foster a strong future for all of the shooting sports.
At a time when nore and more women are getting into handguns because they want to protect their children and grandchildren, it defies logic that the National Shooting Sports Federation, the umbrella organization of firearms manufacturers, is going out of its way to create a firestorm at a huge shooting sports summit taking place in Colorado Springs.
At issue: a controversial "Future of Hunting and Shooting Sports" report, authored by NSSF and funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, that states, among other things (and I am paraphrasing here), that more emphasis should be put on rifle and shotgun shooting because those are more readily accepted by the American public.
i.e. -- more politically palatable . . .
Specifically, here are two sections that have raised many eyebrows:
I, personally, do not agree with shooting at human silhouette targets. We do not use them in CCW classes I help teach. Our philosophy is that if you are learning to shoot "center mass" in a defensive situation, that will take care of you. Plus, if you use your firearm, either at home or out and about for self defense, you might have the police looking through your home. It would not bode well to have to explain why you have human silhouettes with holes in them. It creates too many questions for an over-zealous patrolman looking to impress his sergeant, or an over-eager prosecutor looking for a convincing win.
Action Item 163. Efforts to promote acceptance of shooting sports should focus on rifles and shotguns.
Action Item 164. Avoid communications imagery that shows people shooting at human silhouettes. Be aware that there is much resistance among the general public to target shooting at human silhouettes, and images showing this will not be as well-received as alternative images (e.g., a person shooting at a standard bull’s eye target with a rifle).
Regardless, these proposals are so much rubbish! Whatever happened to bullseye matches using pistols? Have they just swept those under the rug?
Other bloggers have covered this issue during the past few days and I will not go into great deal and repeat what strong words have already been stated. Among those resources worth checking out: Uncle has a particularly solid overview of this troubling situation. You also need to check out Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell, Bitter at The Bitch Girls, and Michael Bane.
It is worth repeating that Americans have lost their irrational fear of handguns due to the mass murder that was the attacks of 9-11, campus shootings where parents realize their students should have a right to defend themselves on victim-rich university environs, and the horror of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, where law and order broke down so quickly in one of America's most notable cities that people had no choice but to defend themselves -- if they had the means.
Bane has this to say:
"NSSF’s Rep stated that the they do not endorse these action items. That the firm that did the study (Responsive Management) generated 196 action items. Obviously, some of them are unacceptable. The concern among some folks is that NSSF put their name on it. And NSSF was clear to me that they did not endorse these action items and that one of the goals of this week’s summit was to go through these list of action items and formulate a plan."
Still, denials aside, it looks like NSSF is seemingly turning its back on handgun sports at a time when gun control and anti self defense group are in retreat. It is illogical, and demeaning to so many across this nation who have given their time and blood and sweat to promote the shooting sports in general.
Frankly, it smacks of some in the hunting community who look down their noses at competition rifles, when the "black rifle" crowd would gladly go to the mat for duck hunters who, as they get older, need a pistol stock on their shotgun for better accuracy.
I urge you to read all of the report and the commentary from various sources. This needs to be spread far and wide.
Keep in mind that the Bradys, VPC, various so-called "state coalitions" to stop so-called gun violence revel when we argue amongst ourselves. This serves no purpose but to embolden those who constantly attack the Second Amendment, self defense and the shooting sports for no other reason than to push their views onto everyone else. Remember, we're not trying to push guns into their hands if they don't want to play.
The other side has no business trying to regulate -- or take -- yours and mine. But these arguments "inside our own family" do far more damage than all the foundation dollars raised by Joyce and others to fund gun grabs and feel-good laws that do nothing but ensure the safety of criminals.
NSSF needs to excise that and other objectionable parts of the report -- PRONTO!