If the National Rifle Association is really, to quote its website “dedicated to the lawful, effective, responsible, and above all safe use of firearms,” then it should loudly discourage people from carrying those firearms to political rallies, writes Stephen Stromberg of the Washington Post. Politics aside, it’s just bad gun safety. "I'm an Eagle Scout trained in firearm use, and I can’t count the number of possible accidents that could result from lugging a heavy semi-automatic into a large crowd."
The first rule of gun safety is to never take out a weapon unless you have to. “And given that there’s no need to hunt game or defend oneself at a heavily policed political rally,” these guys don’t have to, Stromberg argues. The NRA "can and should scream that this isn’t appropriate firearm use," and tell politicians that it won’t hurt their NRA rating to do likewise. Speaking out against it isn't an infringement of the Second Amendment: "It’s merely an exhortation to treat rightful gun ownership with responsibility."