An unfortunately timed pro-gun missive

A California gun-rights leader sarcastically thanked U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein this morning for driving more people into the arms of the National Rifle Association with her promise to reinstate a federal assault weapons ban – and said the NRA is actually too liberal for his tastes.

Minutes later, news began to break about a shooting at a Kern County high school.

Charles NicholsCalifornia Right to Carry president Charles Nichols of Torrance claimed in an e-mail that NRA leaders are “dancing with joy” as “100,000 people have joined the so called gun-rights organization in the last 18 days thanks to the ultra-liberal leftist Senior Senator from the left-coast state of California who announced that she will soon be introducing a bill that would either ban or require the registration of nearly every handgun, rifle and shotgun ever made. That’s a minimum of $2,500,000.00 into the coffers of the NRA from new memberships sold in just the last 18 days alone.”

But Nichols wrote that the NRA is unlikely to spend a lot of money fighting the legislation, and claimed the NRA has been too soft on past legislation and lawsuits.

“Ironically, the NRA also supports Gun Free School Zones despite what its spokesmen may say on TV,” he wrote. “What the NRA says to the public and what it says in legal briefs are two completely different things. … Senator Feinstein thinks it would be drastic but I suspect many members of the NRA believe that gun free zones should be abolished along with prohibitions on carrying loaded firearms in public.”

I got that email at 9:27 a.m. The Associated Press reports the shooting at Taft Union High School in Taft (near Bakersfield) happened around 9 a.m.

“Today comes word of another tragic shooting at an American school. I have visited this school over the years—in fact, my own father attended Taft Union,” Feinstein, D-Calif., wrote later this morning. “At this moment my thoughts and prayers are with the victims, and I wish them a speedy recovery. But how many more shootings must there be in America before we come to the realization that guns and grievances do not belong together?”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.