In response to a letter from James Harrigan: The NRA isn't afraid of background checks. It has always supported background checks to keep guns from criminals and people who aren't mentally qualified.
The bill that was recently voted down by the Senate would have made a simple transfer, loaning a gun to your neighbor or relative for day, a felony without a background check. If that is what Harrigan wants, he should say so.
No one in the United States hunts with an automatic weapon, and some states do not allow hunting with a semi-automatic rifle. A semi-automatic gun like the AR-15, which is not an automatic weapon -- repeat, is not an automatic weapon -- is excellent for home defense. It is a "military-style weapon" but its selector switch has safe and fire, no full auto.
The NRA is America's oldest civil rights organization and its membership is now 5 million and growing. Harrigan should join so he can be better informed.