The NRA claims guns are the answer: Give teachers loaded guns, not apples, and all will be peaceful.

Members’ dogmatic claims of Second Amendment rights (with its reference to a well-ordered militia conveniently ignored) are extended to include any armament their macho, Rambo, tough-guy fantasies can lust for. These weapons include assault rifles that have no hunting or defensive purpose, only aggression, imagined and real.

As for their claims of self-defense, they’re nonsense. How many readers know anyone outside a war zone who has actually defended themselves with a gun?

In contrast, how many readers know innocent people who have been murdered with guns?

I know three in separate incidents.

There were 8,583 firearm murders and 138,336 firearm aggravated assaults in America in 2011.

I have no objection to hunting arms and have enjoyed hunting. Concealed weapons and assault rifles have nothing to do with hunting.

Fifty years ago, as a teenager hitchhiking in Ontario, I was given a long ride by an Ontario provincial policeman.

His gun was sealed by a ranger when we entered a public park where no guns were allowed.

He thought nothing of it, telling me, “You Americans are gun crazy. You’ve had more police killed in your hometown (Rochester, N.Y.) this year than we’ve had in all Canada. In 23 years on the force I’ve never had to draw my gun while making an arrest. We have reasonable gun laws here in Canada.”

Imagine what he would think of us today. The NRA has been shaking down politicians and frightening others into silence while thousands die in shootings.

I think we should declare the NRA a terrorist organization and treat it as such.

Phillip Davis

West Gardiner