The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted to declare the National Rifle Association a terrorist organization.


I’ve seen those little window stickers on some folk’s cars and trucks, but I didn’t realize they were all terrorists. Come to think of it, I’ve seen a lot of them. They’re everywhere around here. On the advice of that whole, “turn-in-your-neighbor/see-something, say-something” campaign, I immediately took note of the first hundred or so window stickers I saw, and rushed down to the police department to report the bad news.

All I can say was if the number of randomly advertising terrorists in my own neighborhood didn’t shock me, the number of them in the police department’s parking lot certainly did. In fact, I began to wonder if I hadn’t just inadvertently stumbled into the biggest nest of horrors in the whole county. Suddenly I wasn’t any too comfortable bringing my neighbor-packed list of fiendish fanatics to a police department which was so clearly infiltrated by the same cabal in question. I slowly backed all the way out of the driveway, whistling tunelessly so as not to be noticed. Careful not to squeal tires, I about-faced on Clarksville Street and scooted off toward the county courthouse. Surely there I could make my report.

Or not. Shock number three was waiting for me there. OMG! Not the county, too. Department of Public Safety then. Yikes — color me terrified, gobsmacked and whuffle-stomped. It seems I am indeed in the belly of the beast of those deplorable fly-over-country clingers to God and guns. Eek!

Sarcasm aside, sorry about that. It’s just very hard not to meet this kind of abject silliness with all the laughing contempt it so richly deserves. They have obviously forgotten who and what the NRA is. The truth is, they don’t really want to know. They just want it to disappear so they can get on with the business of the subjugation of anyone save themselves. When you try to explain or educate, they screw their fingers into their ears up to the first knuckle, and scream, “La-la-la-la-la I’m not listening to you.” And if you’ve ever spent much time around a tantrum tossing 2-year-old, I guess that just about fully illustrates the mindset.

Who is the NRA? The NRA is your friends, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues and a whole lot of fire, rescue and law enforcement folks. I know these kind of people. So do you. As a general rule, I like ’em. I would trust most of ’em with my life, and as a matter of fact, I do so on a daily basis. So do you. Not only that, I tend to watch out for them. More than once when a traffic stop looked a little hinkey, I’ve pulled over at a far enough distance to not worry the officer, but close enough to keep an eye out, ready to assist if needed.

By way of full disclosure, from diapers to driver’s license, the magazine rack in the living room at home always contained the latest issue of the American Rifleman. There never were any stickers in car windows and such, though. Even though we lived way out in the sticks and were part of a well-trusted community, some things just aren’t wise to advertise.

For these San Francisco militant zealot’s sakes, I hope that stuff played better out in the West Coast granola bowl than it did here. A friend in Montana called to tell and tease me about some fellow down here who, after contacting the press to ensure he had himself an audience, went to his local police department and in a grand gesture of virtue signaling, “turned in” his AK-style “assault rifle.”

Mike wasn’t prepared for my response, which was, “Oh, thank goodness!”


“Yes. Seriously.”

“How so?”

“Easy. Owning and operating a firearm is a skill and duty only suitable for responsible, well-matured and clear-headed adults. Obviously this guy is lacking on all counts. Therefore, he has correctly determined he is not qualified to own a gun of any kind.”

Mike replied with sarcasm. “So we should thank him?”

“Ayup,” I said, “Absolutely.”

From a personal standpoint, all they have done is guarantee I will never again go to San Francisco by choice. But that’s not much of a loss. I wasn’t inclined to wander there anyway. It wasn’t a pleasant place 20 years ago, and I doubt it’s improved. Back then, rather than address a serious and pernicious homeless vet problem, they decided the best thing to do was offer them a new cardboard box and rentable grocery carts. One introduced the novel idea of allowing official addressing at dumpsters so the homeless could receive mail.

Finally, I can tell you from personal experience that even in the most remote and under-developed corners of rural America, they have good enough sense to dig, build and use a privy. You won’t find an abundance of dirty syringes and used condoms in the streets either.

From The Paper Radio out here in NRA country, when you bow your head to say grace, you won’t be ridiculed, reviled, insulted and held in hateful contempt — and I suspect that has a heckuva lot to do with the difference.

Dan Beard is an 12-year Paris import who dabbles in Linux and photography. He has a 30-year history of writing content and columns for newspapers and magazines. His columns are published every Wednesday.

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