Rodger McDaniel BW

Rodger McDaniel BW

Rodger McDaniel

Wyoming columnist

Hey, NRA: Objects in your rearview mirror are closer than you think.

Outside of war zones, the United States is the most dangerous place on the planet for gun violence. Photographs of dead children will eventually prove too much. Even NRA-beholden pols will line up to pass strong gun control bills.

Like most Wyomingites, I don’t think confiscation is the correct path. However, the National Rifle Association will, one day soon, wish they had agreed to less onerous gun safety laws when they had the chance. Even those who blasphemously believe their “right” to bear arms is “God given” will find that god has abandoned them.

Until now, no one was coming after your guns. That didn’t stop the NRA and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Republican Party, from saying so. They’ve warned you someone wants to take your guns when that wasn’t true. Some bought it, as hundreds of people died from gun violence. Will there never be a reckoning? Do you think the American people will allow this to continue into eternity?

The truth is no one wanted to take any of your guns until now. Now, a back-bench Democratic Party presidential candidate openly warns, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15 and your AK-47. Get it? Hell yes.” Beto O’Rourke is not out in left field on this. A recent NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll shows Americans evenly divided on his proposal.

Actually, it’s a mandatory buy-out, not confiscation and 45% back the idea, including 55% of female voters. The day may be upon us when politicians find more support delivering gun-law-reform messages than the old “they’re coming to take your guns” tripe.

Gun owners have no one to blame but the NRA. At every step, they block rational gun safety laws, insisting that people who are seriously mentally ill, convicted of domestic violence or on the terrorist “no-fly” list be allowed to buy guns.

They carry weapons on the campus of the University of Wyoming in violation of the school’s rational rules, enacted because of legitimate safety concerns. Their badge of honor is “open carry,” flaunting AR-15’s and other weapons, regardless of how frightened those around them are in an environment where telling a “good guy” from a “bad guy” is challenging.

They force their schemes to arm school teachers on nervous students and parents as an alternative to rational gun safety measures. They make political threats against politicians who give any sign of supporting measures that have the backing of huge majorities of voters.

The director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion says it well, “You’d be hard pressed to find something where the gap between public opinion and legislative action is wider.” His polling data show how huge that gap is, and, as he says, “the congressional crowd is very much out of step with where public opinion is on this.”

According to the Pew Research Center, the share of Americans saying gun laws should be stricter increased from 52% in 2017 to 60% this year. What’s more, there are several proposals on which Republicans and Democrats agree. Around nine in 10 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents favor preventing people with mental illnesses from buying guns.

And large majorities of both Democrats (93%) and Republicans (82%) favor background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows, 72% of women want assault weapons banned, as do 57% of all voters. More than 60% favor red-flag laws, and 57% want gun owners to be licensed.

In 2008, activist Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in District of Columbia v. Heller that while the Second Amendment protects guns in “common usage” from bans, it does not protect “dangerous and unusual weapons.” Nor does it inoculate guns from other rational regulation.

The dam is leaking. The NRA has only so many fingers to stop the leaks. The time is coming, and soon, when they will rue the day they uncompromisingly created barriers to anything and everything supported by large majorities of voters.

Rodger McDaniel lives in Laramie and is the pastor at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne. Email:

(4) comments


Or, get this, Pastor: the NRA was right.


The pastor would do well to stick to preaching and stay out of politics.


Don't give an inch. The slippery slope for when to stop begins here.


Pastor McDaniel best stick to subjects he is better informed on. The NRA has done more to protect American's lives and freedoms than any other organization. The democratic party has, as a major platform of their party, an specific need to disarm american citizens. They have been forthright and specific in this goal. The NRA has recently supported what is called Fix NICS which lays the groundwork to allow states to pass on mental health databases to allow background checks to be more effective. The NRA has always supported mandatory sentencing guidelines for those who use firearms in felonies. The NRA has many safety programs interjected into the schools and communities of our children. Our schools have become targets of evil people and insuring that this evil is going to be supported in gun free zones will not detract from future events that are not the acts of law abiding citizens. The issue of fortifying our educational institutions is real and the best training and recognition against these evils is necessary in order for our children to be best protected.

The United States of America is recognized as a land of freedoms and law abiding people. Much of this is due to strong support and freedom of use within the 2nd amendment. This can continue to be a strength within our country especially when legislative efforts can be directed towards crime, gangs, illegal activities within our neighborhoods and against our neighbors.

Pastor, if you wish to live your live without the NRA and law abiding gun ownership, please exercise your right to due so. But please refrain from disarming law abiding citizens who face the same dangers that you do everyday and derating them because many chose to be part of the NRA and practice safe and cautious use of their firearms. Spend your time and efforts getting those who practice villianous acts against our society and children off the streets, into penal institutions or on a straight path to be judged by our God; versus acting against the law abiding citizens who chose firearm ownership as a means of exercising their rights and freedoms in defense of their country, family and neighbors. And please stop insinuating that citizens must be underarmed by disallowing the use of common firearms of today. Or do you really prefer that we revert to using slingshots in this day and age for protection?

Kenny Lankford


Wyoming State Shooting Association

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