For the record, I am a Republican and a gun owner. The NRA does not speak for me. It speaks for small-arms manufacturers, gun dealers, extremists, and some very well-meaning people who have been hoodwinked into believing that any limitation on weapons ownership puts us on a slippery slope to tyranny.
It is time for us to assemble an organization of Americans that speaks for gun rights but also for intelligent, modest limitations on the right to keep and bear arms. If we leave this debate to be led by extremists, the nation will wind up facing the stark choice of automatic weapons for all on the one hand, and a ban on the legal ownership of firearms on the other.
As a nation, we cannot afford for this issue to be consumed by ideological warfare. Let’s elevate this debate, and do it now.