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Sarah Thompson is a physician and gun-rights activist.

An Open Letter to the NRA

By Sarah B. Thompson, M.D.

July 8, 1997

Ms. Marion Hammer
Mr. Wayne LaPierre, Jr.
National Rifle Organization
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Dear Ms. Hammer and Mr. LaPierre,

I have received several requests from each of you to renew my membership in the National Rifle Association. I am unwilling to do so now, or in the foreseeable future.

You see, I'm one of those "extremists" whom you feel you need to purge from the ranks of the organization. I know better than to go where I'm not wanted. I certainly know better than to pay for such treatment.

I believe that many, though still a minority, of our law enforcement agents do behave like "jack-booted thugs" and that calling them what they are is appropriate and necessary. I believe that federal law enforcement should be severely curtailed and should always work under the supervision of local law enforcement.

I believe the Second Amendment guarantees me the right to own any weapon I choose, specifically including fully automatic "machine guns". In fact, if the Second Amendment is to have any meaning, then we are obligated to own fully automatic weapons and weapons of mass destruction in order to resist the depredations of a corrupt, unconstitutional government that would sell us and our children into slavery.

I believe I do not need anyone's permission to own or carry the weapon of my choice. I most assuredly do not need anyone's permission to defend myself, my family, or my property. I will not beg, and I will not subject myself to degradation by a government that presumes I am "guilty" until it determines my innocence.

I do not, and will never, concede that the police, the military, the legislature, the ATF, our despicable president, or anyone else is my intellectual or moral superior and has the right to judge me. Only a fully informed jury of my peers may do that, and then only where it has lawful jurisdiction.

I believe that all gun control laws are inherently evil. It is not enough to say that Brady will "sunset". If you're willing to tolerate evil for one day, will you tolerate it for two? If you are willing to tolerate it for two days, will you tolerate it for a year? And if you tolerate it for a year, why should anyone believe you will not tolerate it forever? Honor and integrity dictate that we demand a repeal now!

Domestic abuse is a heinous crime and must be treated as such. But I will never condone the removal of rights as punishment for a misdemeanor. Likewise I will never condone the removal of a person's right to self-defense in response to a non-violent crime, nor will I condone the denial of basic rights to those persons who, through no fault of their own, suffer from a mental illness, but pose no threat to others.

I find your support for the overturning of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which denies First Amendment rights as "necessary to get tough on crime", abhorrent; it is an indication of your true nature and goals.

NRA-ILA has done many wonderful things. Your educational programs are excellent, have taught the joys of gun use and ownership to many, and have no doubt prevented many deaths and injuries due to your emphasis on safety training. There is no better firearms safety program for children than Eddie Eagle. Your research and legislative resources have been invaluable to me.

However, the time for compromise is past. This is no longer about hunting, or target shooting. It's not about safety. It's not about begging for permission to exercise rights that existed long before either government or man.

It's about survival: individual survival and family survival. It's about survival of the form of government envisioned by the founders of this nation. It's about the survival of the gun culture in the face of a government that would willingly commit genocide against it. If you think I'm a wild-eyed radical, just look to Clinton's soul mate, Tony Blair, who has publicly announced that gun bans have nothing whatever to do with public safety; that the issue is the elimination of the gun culture.

Far too many others have attempted genocide against my people. I will not close my eyes. I will not lie down. I will not go willingly. I will resist until there is nothing left of me to resist.

I will not register my guns, my ammunition, myself, or my family. I will not consent to background checks, especially when performed by a fascist government. I will not ask permission from anyone to do what is right.

When you decide to stop selling our birthright, When you decide to stop supporting permits, When you proclaim that each and every one of us is innocent until proven guilty; that we need not subject ourselves to "background checks", registration or bureaucracy, When you refuse to tolerate evil, When you are willing to call evil by its rightful name, When you are willing to call genocide by its rightful name, When you stop distracting yourselves and others with peripheral issues, When you learn that a compromise with the devil is no compromise at all, Then, and only then, will you have my support.

Until that time, may your chains rest lightly.


Sarah B. Thompson, M.D.

© Sarah B. Thompson.
Permission to distribute and/or copy granted provided this letter is reproduced in its entirety, without changes, and full attribution is given.

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20 November, 1997