The National Rifle Association is calling people who choose to publicly display firearms for the sole purpose of making a statement "foolish" and "attention-hungry."
"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," the NRA writes in a story posted to the website of its lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action.
"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."
The NRA was referencing the recent public open-carry demonstrations in Texas, during which gun owners showed up at a Chipotle restaurant with assault rifles slung across their chest. It was a political statement, one that has ruffled the NRA's feathers.
"As a result of these hijinks, two popular fast-food outlets have recently requested patrons to keep guns off the premises," reads the story, alluding to the moves by Chipotle
to keep firearms out of their restaurants. Other establishments
have since followed suit.
"In other words, the freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior," the NRA article reads. "To state the obvious, that's counterproductive for the gun-owning community.
"Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That's not the Texas way. And that's certainly not the NRA way . . . Firearm owners face enough challenges these days; we don't need to be victims of friendly fire."
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