In the interest of fairness and reason, I am compelled to respond to your article of May 5, "Sarah Palin's appearance at the National Rifle Association convention is perfect for phony 'patriots'." The author does nothing to advance a constructive national dialogue on guns, but rather invokes a series of bigoted stereotypes: gun owners are dumb, Sarah Palin is an attention monger, and anyone with differing views is somehow paid by the NRA. The writer manages to get all of these silly narratives to converge, creating a rant noteworthy for both its arrogance and incompetence.  

While Second Amendment scholars read this drivel and alternately laugh and fume, the typical reader might wonder how much of it is valid -- and perhaps have their views slightly nudged. We're here to nudge back.
Let's address each of the author's false assertions.

Several years ago, my cousin asked me if I'd be willing to speak to his Civil Air Patrol Squadron (he's the Chaplain).  I knew immediately what I wanted to talk about it, but had trouble coalescing it into reality.  It seemed appropriate this Memorial Day to share my prepared remarks - the actual did not deviate by much...


Many years ago I asked an officer I served with and admired if he would conduct my reenlistment ceremony.  Much to my surprise he replied he would be happy to recite the oath to me, and proceeded to do so off the top of his head.  I was amazed.  He then told me when he had been a young Sailor, an older officer had done the same thing with him, and pointed out the following: "Son, this is a very serious oath you are swearing.  Don't you think it behooves you to know – at all times – just what it is you've spoken?"  He said at that moment he promised himself he would know it by heart.  Likewise, I did the same. 

Some time later I happened to hear Red Skelton's rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance.  I found it to be very moving.  For those that have never heard or seen it, I strongly encourage you to enter "Red Skelton Pledge" in google and watch the video – it's a little over four minutes in length.  Anyway, it occurred to me somewhere along the way someone should really do something like that with the Oath of Enlistment.  After all, it was even more serious than the Pledge of Allegiance, at least in my mind.  Alas, the years went by, and no one ever did.  It then also crossed my mind that I was "someone."  So, with apologies to Red Skelton, I offer the following:

In a stunning twist, the two men who bombed the Boston Marathon apparently refused to comply with Massachusetts law regarding licenses to have firearms.  Who could imagine that terrorists who scheme to blow up public events causing mass carnage and murder police officers would dare run afoul of well-intentioned firearms laws?  Truly we at OFCC are stumped by this scofflaw attitude.
High caliber sarcasm, to be sure, but this point bears repeating.  In fact, it needs to be hammered over and over again to try and penetrate the illogical veil that covers the anti-gunner's logic.  How long have we pointed out that criminals don't obey laws?  Most crimes committed with firearms are with those obtained illegally.  The vaunted NICS check doesn't stop the gangbanger or terrorist.  The criminal with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction still manages to procure guns outside legal channels.  Only the law-abiding get tripped up by the huge volume of gun laws we face today.

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