NRA on the fringe

EDITOR: At a time when the country is having a long-overdue conversation about gun violence, responsible gun owners need a level-headed voice representing their interests. The National Rifle Association is no longer that voice.

From its despicable ad involving President Barack Obama's daughters to its fear-mongering over an imagined descent into tyranny, the NRA has become a parody of what it once was, making it all too easy for the media to paint gun owners as paranoid extremists.

As Americans, we need to defend our constitutional right to bear arms but within sensible limits. An assault rifle under the bed will not protect us from tyranny. What will better protect us from tyranny is taking public policy and public debate out of the hands of deranged and irresponsible fringe groups, which is what the NRA has unfortunately become.