Evidently the National Rifle Association has come to realize that none of this is good for business. In an extraordinary move on Friday, the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action -- the organization's powerful lobbying arm in Washington -- issued a lengthy statement seeking to distinguish between "responsible behavior" and "legal mandates." It told the Texas gun activists in no uncertain terms to stand down. "As gun owners, whether or not our decisions are dictated by the law, we are still accountable for them," the statement began. "If we exercise poor judgment, our decisions will have consequences…such as turning an undecided voter into an antigun voter because of causing that person fear or offense." The NRA praised the "robust gun culture" of Texas -- which recently has loosened laws as aggressively as any state -- but then laid into those Texans "who have crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness."
In response to the NRA's statement on Friday criticizing Texas activists' recent tactics, members of the pro-gun group Open Carry Texas have been cutting up their NRA membership cards, and the group has issued a statement demanding a retraction of the NRA's "disgusting and disrespectful comments." Or else. "The more the NRA continues to divide its members by attacking some aspects of gun rights instead of supporting all gun rights, the more support it will lose," Open Carry Texas said in a statement published Monday on its Facebook page.