The new “weird” NRA campaign rolls on in the great state of Texas by offshoot group Open Carry Texas (OCT), what many consider a new low for the political group. This NRA campaign asks members to visit local area restaurants with their semi automatic weapons.
Recently, Chipotle Restaurants enacted a ‘no guns’ policy in their stores in response to this weird NRA campaign, saying that the presence of automatic guns turned off and even scared customers. Starbucks, Jack In The Box, Sonic Brands and Brinker International, who owns Chili’s Restaurants, all issued similar statements and reaffirmed policies of no firearms inside their restaurants.
The NRA has issued a statement calling the actions by OCT “downright foolish,” going on to say, “Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself,” said the statement.
“To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.”
“That’s not the Texas way. And that’s certainly not the NRA way,” the statement concludes.
On Monday the OCT responded through their Facebook page:
“Already, OCT members are posting pictures of themselves cutting up their [NRA] life membership cards. If they do not retract their disgusting and disrespectful comments, OCT will have no choice but to withdraw its full support of the NRA and establish relationships with other gun rights organizations that fight for ALL gun rights, instead of just paying them lip service the way the NRA appears to be doing.”
“It is unfortunate that an organization that claims to be dedicated to the preservation of gun rights would attack another organization fighting so hard for those rights in Texas,” the group says.
This caused a response on Tuesday by Chris Cox, head of the lobbying arm of the NRA, backing off the harsh words of the statement saying that it was an act of “personal opinion”.
What the OCT and NRA seem to fail to realize is that as long as we have these monthly mass shootings, or so it seems, citizens will never feel comfortable around guns. While the NRA seemed to have some sense initially, the folded like a deck of cards once they saw some of their most extreme members threatening to leave over the weird NRA campaign.
The NRA has to rely on these strange and admittedly ‘weird’ campaigns to draw attention to itself locally. Nationally, according to polls, the NRA is losing popularity as they grow more and more out of touch with many Americans. Hopefully we will find that the tragedies that have grown to be commonplace in our society outweigh the manufactured need to blast away 50-100 bullets a minute. When a group backed by the NRA has to turn to “weird” campaigns such as showing off your semi automatic weapons in restaurants and other public places, they show their desperateness in gaining or maintaining control.
What is even more weird than the NRA campaign, is the response, prompted by public outrage at the NRA campaign, and the walk-back after the outrage by members of the OCT. Which is it, NRA? You can’t have it both ways. Would you rather take your wife to dinner, or your AR-15?