George Block

Column George Block

George Block is a sports columnist who loves the outdoors.

NRA a misunderstood organization

Misunderstanding NRA easy to do

January 5, 2013

Is there an organzation less understood and more maligned than the National Rifle Association?

Just who and what is this organization?

When you enter an operating room at any hospital, the person with the scalpel might just be a member of the NRA. The same could be said of the person giving you the anesthesia.

That police officer standing on the street corner or the lawyer you see walking to his office might also be members.

The NRA is not a thing, but an organization of men and women who enjoy shooting firearms and strongly defend the Second Amendment.

Speaking of the Second Amendment, I find it strange that those who strongly defend the First Amendment, the freedom of speech, try so hard to weaken the second.

Yet, hasn’t it been said that the pen is mightier than the sword? I am sure that somewhere, people have died because of the written word.

Last week, I commented on the brisk sales of firearms and how stores can’t keep certain guns and ammunition in stock. Checking with the NRA, I find that its membership has also taken a jump, increasing 300,000 in a few weeks.

While Wayne LaPierre might be the public voice of the NRA, it is the 4.5 million members that provide power to his words.

What the NRA actually is are the doctors, lawyers, judges, politicians, mill workers and coal miners who make up its membership.

• After many years of deer hunting, chasing bunnies and squirrels, I have developed opinions on what works the best.

When choosing my guns, I must also consider cost. Like most readers, I am not rich.

And the opinions I write are mine and mine alone.

For rabbits, I would choose a 12-gauge side-by-side shotgun. But they have become expensive.

Why the 12-gauge? Ammunition can be found at a reasonable price and there is a huge variety available.

I would choose the side-by-side because it comes up easily and swings well. An over-under would be my second choice.

For squirrel, I would choose a good-shooting .22 rifle. Of course, it can be of any make as long as it is accurate.

My rifle is an old Remington 513, but a Ruger would work just as well.

A good .22 deserves a good scope sight as well,and something in a 2 x 7 or 2 1/2 x 8 will do. You don’t shoot a .22 at great distances.

Varmint rifles is the category that gives me the most difficulty. I like a variety of groundhog rifles.

For instance, I might decide to take a walk and my .222 will serve me well. Or, I could be accompanied by my .22-250 or 6mm.

If I know that I am going to sit somewhere, looking at distant hillsides, I might take along the 40X in .220 Swift or the other one in 6mm.

You might conclude from this that I have a few groundhog outfits.

Pin me down, however, and I probably would hunt with my old Model 70 in the Swift.

Of course, a good rifle is worthless without an equally good scope. I have a variety of scopes, all of which start with the letter L. On my 40X in the Swift is mounted a 16 power. On the 6mm is a 61/2x 20. My lighter 6mm is topped with a 12 power.

When chasing deer, most people know I like a .270. My favorite outfit is a pre-64 Model 70 featherweight topped with a 3.5 by 10 Leupold.

Yes, I do hunt with other rifles. For instance, when the ranges get long, I move to my Model 70 in .264, or Remington Classic in 25-06. But when push comes to shove, it’s the .270.

George H. Block writes a Sunday Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.



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