I always liked guns. When I was 6, Mom sent my picture to LIFE magazine, laughing with my toy six shooters, claiming I had lassoed my Grandpop’s cigar. The story was apocryphal, but the laugh was genuine.

My interest changed after a quail hunting trip to Fort A.P. Hill. Dad and I had a long morning of tramping through frosty fields. We flushed an occasional covey, but quail are quick and we did not even bag one. Later, Col. John Smith joined us. He asked how we were doing and commiserated with us.

Fifteen minutes later, we flushed another covey. Before either of us could get off a shot, the Colonel let loose a barrage of eight shots from his semi-automatic shotgun. He got his limit, but the quail meat vanished in a hail of shot, nothing but feathers.

Karl Frederick, Olympic pistol gold medalist and National Rifle Association president testified during 1934 congressional hearings that, “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. ... I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” The NRA’s position changed after a 1977 coup. The organization moved from promoting gun safety and marksmanship, to a political action committee committed to defending the Second Amendment.

This policy relied on a cynical invocation of a nonexistent threat. In a PBS News Hour interview in 1991, Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger referred to the NRA Second Amendment myth as “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American people by any special interest group that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

But the Second Amendment is limited. Justice Antonin Scalia, in Heller v. the District of Columbia, wrote, “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the amendment or state analogues.

“The court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

Why does the NRA defend against a nonexistent threat? The answer is money. In 2015, the NRA reported total revenue of $337 million, and a “profit” of $33 million. This allows them to pay their top 10 executives nearly $11 million, with over half going to the Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

I do not need an overpaid huckster to tell me a semi-automatic can turn quail into feathers.

Dan Freeman is an occasional columnist for The Daily News.

Locations

(48) comments

Carlos Ponce

Question: What stopped a bad guy shooting up a church in Sutherland Springs with a semi-automatic rifle?
Answer: A good guy with a semi-automatic rifle.

Emile Pope

After 26 people were killed...

Carlos Ponce

"After 26 people were killed." If only one of the parishioners was armed..........

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ If only one of the parishioners was armed..........]

Listen to yourself Carlos, bemoaning the fact that people don't come to church armed. That's loyalty to the NRA above Jesus by my measure.

Carlos Ponce

As I greet people to our church service, I know some are carrying legally. We have no problem with that. We welcome all. Little Marky is invited too! [beam]
Jesus said, "...one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one." Luke 22:36
The sword was the weapon of choice for that age.
So Jesus had no problem with people being armed to defend themselves.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [So Jesus had no problem with people being armed to defend themselves.]

So your interpretation of Jesus is as a believer in force-at-the-ready? And the stuff about "turn the other cheek," that was what?

Carlos Ponce

After the resurrection, his disciples went through the known world with the mission to spread the Good News. They would be welcome at some locales, not so much at others and were instructed to remove the dust from their sandals. But in other places they were to encounter hostility and aggression. That's why the swords were mentioned. Check Bible commentaries to Luke 22: 36.
"the phrase is expressive of the danger they would be exposed to, and of their need of protection" Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
"They must now expect that their enemies would be more fierce than they had been, and they would need weapons." Matthew Henry Commentary
"Buy a sword. This is for defence clearly. The reference is to the special mission in Galilee ). They are to expect persecution and bitter hostility. Robertson's commentary
"In contrast to the ministry of the Twelve and of the seventy-two during the period of Jesus in the future period of the church the missionaries must be prepared for the opposition they will face in a world hostile to their preaching." US Catholic Bishops
Slaps on the cheek are usually not lethal.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Check Bible commentaries to Luke 22: 36.]

Most commentaries appear to disagree with your violent interpretation of Jesus' words.

_"“No more of this!” (Luke 22:51); “Put away your sword!” (Matt. 26:52; John 18:11)."_

Carlos Ponce

Out of context since Jesus knew what was supposed to happen to him. The guards were after Him but not his disciples. Not exactly self defense to attack them.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Out of context since Jesus knew what was supposed to happen to him. The guards were after Him but not his disciples. Not exactly self defense to attack them.]

Most scholars appear to say you are the one quoting out of context given Jesus' message of sacrifice and benevolence.

Carlos Ponce

Most scholars???? That's I posted Biblical commentaries from several from several Biblical scholars. Which "scholars" are you referencing? I don't see you listing any.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Most scholars????]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sell_your_cloak_and_buy_a_sword
http://www.thegoodbookblog.com/2014/feb/25/let-the-one-who-has-no-sword-buy-one-the-biblical-/

Carlos Ponce

That's two. I got lots more.[beam]

Doyle Beard

he could have killed more

Cary Semar

He shot himself to death.

Carlos Ponce

" (CNN) Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman who killed 26 people at a Texas Baptist church, suffered three gunshot wounds, including a self-inflicted shot to the head, Texas authorities said Monday.
Kelley, 26, was also shot in the leg and torso by an armed citizen, said Freeman Martin of the Texas Department of Public Safety, citing autopsy results. Kelley was found dead in his vehicle."
http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/06/us/texas-church-shooting/index.html
But he dropped his weapon after being shot on the church grounds twice by an armed citizen. After he dropped his weapon, he fled firing a shot to his head with a separate weapon.
What stopped an armed bad guy with a semi-automatic rifle?
A good guy with a semi-automatic rifle.

Chris Tucker

Mr. Freeman while I respect your opinion I will also note you have cherry picked items from over many decades to justify your position. And as you have also noted that for better or worse the attitudes towards gun ownership have changed. Some people are more pro and some are more against it. The 2nd amendment is about a constitutional right and not the NRA. The NRA has evolved over time to defend the 2nd amendment as the attacks towards the 2nd amendment by those who do not want anyone to legally have a gun for any reason.....ever! It is actually quite simple. If you don't like the NRA then don't support it. However those who feel differently may chose to support it. Doesn't having different opinions make America the greatest place in the world?

glenn COFFEy

George Washington believed that having an armed citizenry maintained their status as citizens and not subjects! The NRA was founded to teach freed men to defend themselves from the democrats of the times and to the corrupt government that turned its head and allowed the oppression. members of the NRA have continually stood at the front of the line to defend the rights of this nation, while liberal lemmings line up to jump off any cliff a corrupt politician points to . It is not about blasting a small animal into oblivion its about fine tuning your self to turn back oppression in any form, whether it an enemy airplane or a nut job shooting up a church. I'll stand with those who are ready.

Doyle Beard

My opinion why the NRA has begun more support of the 2nd amendment is the accelerated attack on it by many people and groups like Dan Freeman.

Lisa Gray

Spot on Glenn Coffey! This is why we have the 2nd amendment. I grew up with hunters yes, I enjoy the benefit of wild game but the original intent was to prevent our being overtaken by enemies foreign AND domestic which would be the liberal leftists these days. Now the question is when will Marky Mark jump in with his chuffing and puffing?

Kelly Naschke

How can contributors to the GDN like Mr Freeman, whom one would assume must be reasonably intelligent, not have the capability to understand the basic tenets of what the 2nd amendment, and the history of the NRA stand for? Sorry Freeman, but someone that exhibits such blind ignorance, is descredited and held in contempt. And now everyone knows to use you as a human shield as we pull out our concealed firearms in the event that some lunatic decides he wants to waste everyone in line at Walmart.

Diane Turski

It is a shame that so many people are fooled so easily by this NRA fraudulent claim! Follow the money!

Kelly Naschke

So tell us Diane....please elaborate for those of us that don’t have a clue what you mean.....??? And please be specific so we can all understand.

Kelly Naschke

HELLO Diane....???? Certainly you are going to back up your statement with some concrete facts that support what you said....right???

Carlos Ponce

Diane, I'm not a member of the NRA but I do believe in the Constitution.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Diane, I'm not a member of the NRA but I do believe in the Constitution.]

...but not in judicial precedence (unless helpful).

Doyle Beard

really

Allison Mugnier

Three cheers to Dan Freeman for stating the truth, clearly enough that even idiots could understand it. I see the usual trolls and naysayers are commenting. Don't let them dissuade you from trying to bring sense to this problem, even if they chose to not understand.

Kelly Naschke

I challenge YOU to enlighten us then Ms.Mugnier. Please show us your proof of any validity that you so vehemently support. And use small words so that the trolls don’t need to continually check the dictionary.

Carlos Ponce

"...clearly enough that even idiots could understand it." Since I'm not an idiot I don't agree with him. But I see Allison understands what he is trying to convey.

Doyle Beard

oh written for idiot as they cab understand. Mr. Freemen should be called A CHERRY PICKER NOT AN OCASSIONAL COLUMNIST.After as one post avove pointed out his cherry picking fowrw decades. So I say now he is Mr Cherry Picker.

Keith Gray

I've hunted all my life, with multiple shotguns and rifles... for the life of me, I have never seen a shotgun (made for bird hunting) have an 8 round capacity even with the plug out. I'm calling BS until someone can show me a NONMilitary type shotgun that has an 8 round capacity... especially in the year period Mr. Feeman was a young boy.

Jim Forsythe

Keith, I have no idea how old dan is , but I started hunting when I was 6. I had a 410  bolt action shotgun, with a clip. When I used Mag. shells, it had plenty of kill power.

I found large capacity shotguns , that are used in the military. I have seen them used for hunting, with bad results. Where I grow up , you used what you had.
If I remember right , some from overseas had larger capacity's. My brother worked on one from Italy. I may be wrong, as that was over 55 years ago.
Or he may have been using military grade, since he was a Colonel and what he had access to, may have been military .
When he was done, "nothing was left but feathers." He also may have been shooting Mag. shells at to close range, which leaves nothing to eat.

I do not think he was using this. I would like to see one.
In 1925, Rodolfo Cosmi produced the first working hybrid prototype semi-automatic shotgun, which had an 8-round magazine located in the stock. While it reloaded automatically after each shot like a semi-automatic, it had a break-action to load the first shell.

A good all-round gun but not 8 shot. 
"The Mossberg 500 has always been marketed as a multi-purpose firearm"
It was manufactured in 1960.
Chamber: 12-gauge
Barrels: 18 inch and 28 inch vented rib
Capacity: 5+1
Mossberg's 500 pump-action shotgun offers an amazing amount of gun for an unbeatable price! The variety of stock, barrel and finish options alone assures the 500 a place in the hearts of outdoorsmen. Its performance in the field goes a long way in cementing its reputation with millions of hunters.
The vented rib barrel in particular is double beaded and choked,  to be used for hunting and clay shooting.

Keith Gray

Fifteen minutes later, we flushed another covey. Before either of us could get off a shot, the Colonel let loose a barrage of eight shots from his semi-automatic shotgun. He got his limit, but the quail meat vanished in a hail of shot, nothing but feathers.

Jim, that is some good info you provided, but all in all I feel Dan exaggerated to support his position... IMHO Take Care and Merry Christmas

Cary Semar

Your chances of being killed by gunfire are relatively small, about 11 in 100,000. If you do not own a gun, your chances of being killed by gunfire are around 4 in 100,000. I guess guns are like smoking; you know its bad for you, but it makes you feel good, so you do it anyway. And it makes liberal heads figuratively explode when you talk about how if you had been there with your trusty Sig-Sauer or Glock 17 you could shot that mutha dead in his tracks.

Guns are bad Karma, and bad Karma always comes back to you. He that lives by the sword dies by the sword. When you buy a gun, you are selling a piece of your soul to the devil. But if you do buy a gun, don't forget to keep your doors locked and keep a record of the serial number some place separately from the gun so you will be able to give it to the police when you report it stolen.

You probably heard the one about the woman who goes to a gun shop and says she wants a shotgun. The proprietor says, "What kind of shotgun?" She says, "It's for my husband." The proprietor says, "Did you ask him what kind to get?" She says, "No, he doesn't know I am going to shoot him."

Gary Miller

When I read [shot gun, semi auto 8 shot] I identified the writer as a liberal with zero knowlege of guns. Just a liberal shill. Having hunted quail in many states I've never seen a limit that 8 shots could fill even with a liberals vivid imagination. Doesn't need spell check, needs truth check.

Jim Forsythe

Gary , I grew up with a limit of 8!

'As Dan did not say were he was hunting, here is 3 states.

QUAIL limit in Kansas
Area Open: Statewide
Daily Bag Limit: 8 in regular season, 4 in youth season
Kansas generally ranks within the top three states in quail harvest

The Arizona  
Quail Hunt runs from the fourth week of November into the second week of February, with a limit of 8 birds per day

Texas bag limits
"Quail regulations have been largely unchanged since the mid 1980s. The seasons have basically run about four months, with bag limits of 15 birds a day and 45 in possession". He may have hunted earlier in the day, so 8 could have maxed him out. As I was not at the hunt , I have no way of knowing.

Doyle Beard

Growing up in the country in the 40s limit was what you could et. Although we ate what we shot we never just killed birds, squirels nor rabbits without eating them. In my experience after the limits came in firing 8 shots in a covey of quails mos likely would get many over the limit. Although I think the real issue on the limits was the semi auto shotgun as the only limit posted was he got his limit which as I said probably over his limits if all that was left was feathers. The article was not vey good as the writer did not seem knowledge able many things.

Mark Aaron

Gary: [ Just a liberal shill. Having hunted quail in many states I've never seen a limit that 8 shots could fill even with a liberals vivid imagination. Doesn't need spell check, needs truth check.]

Truth check:

https://www.armsunlimited.com/Mossberg-930-SPX-8-Shot-Semi-Auto-12-Gauge-Shotgun-p/85360.htm

You failed the check.

Mark Aaron

Gary, I misread your post and replied to something else. My apologies.

Keith Gray

Mark that is not a bird gun... and it was not around when the author was quail hunting. But it does have an 8 shell capacity.

Micheal Byrd

[tongue]

Jim Guidry

Mr. Freeman, I am not sure abut that 1977 "coup" that supposedly changed the NRA's position... but if you read through sportsman's publications dating all the way back to the forties, you might change your mind. Lots of articles were written by the firearm press all the way from the post-war years through the 70's about the NRA's role in protecting gun rights. I have a collection of old books, mostly one called the Shooter's Bible. It is a popular digest of shooting and hunting articles, dating to 1924. Every one of them contains at least one article about protecting gun rights. This is not a new fight. Love them or hate them, the NRA's position has remained steadfast for the last sixty years or so.

Mark Aaron

Jim: [ I am not sure abut that 1977 "coup" that supposedly changed the NRA's position... ]

The coup is well documented and widely reported.


https://www.google.com/search?q=1977+NRA+coup&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

Gary Miller

I think it has been proved when a liberal talks or writes about something they know nothing about they use liberal spin as facts. There is a strange list of guns liberals call 'assault weapons'. For instance the Vegus shooter used a PCC, not an assault weapon. How many of you liberals know what a PCC is? Do you know why an assault weapon is more powerful than a PCC?

Jim Forsythe

Gary , the picture I saw had a riffle that looked like a Daniel Defense Ambush AR Style Semi Auto Rifle . what other weapon did you see?  Did the bump stock change the class of the weapons for you?
The term 'assault weapon' was coined to sell more .

The popularly held idea that the term 'assault weapon' originated with anti-gun activists is wrong. The term was first adopted by manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearms owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun?

Mark Aaron

Gary: [There is a strange list of guns liberals call 'assault weapons']

Where can we find that list?

Chris Tucker

Isn't it interesting the author throws a bunch cow dung up into the air as if it was the holy grail but when challenged as to the facts he seems to be unable to respond? In any manner? Imagine that!!!!

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