In his May 16 op-ed, “The NRA in disarray,” E.J. Dionne Jr. quoted the Rev. Peter Marty as saying, “The gun has become an object of reverence.” Indeed, the National Rifle Association embraces this idolatry. Then-NRA Executive Vice President J. Warren Cassidy once remarked, “You would get a far better understanding of the NRA if you approached us as if you were approaching one of the great religions of the world.” Religions start with an assertion that cannot be proved: Jesus rising from the dead; Moses shoeless before the burning bush; Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon; the Koran as God’s revelation.
Many in this country have seized upon the absolute God-given right to bear arms without any restraints of government as their primary devotion. Reverence then tops responsibility, respect and restraint. This religion is prevalent across the United States. NRA “logic” serves this primary devotion. The gun lobby, Congress, presidents of both parties and gun manufacturers all kowtow together, twist the Constitution, circulate the money and profess the faith. Legislation has effectively, though tacitly, established it as the religion of the land, in violation of the First Amendment.
These gundamentalists tell us that there is nothing we should do in the wake of one horrific school shooting after another. The adherents of this religion are resigned to the human sacrifice this religion tacitly practices.
G. Wilson Gunn Jr., Durham, N.C.