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Gunshop owners stands by his controversial signs

In an Aug. 4 guest commentary, East Lyme resident Donald Danila contended a local business, which voices its political sentiments on a sign outside, had gone too far when it posted the statement reading, “A vote for a Democrat is a vote for socialism, fascism, and communism.”

Danila did not name the business or owner.

“Notwithstanding the absurdity of this statement — all these political movements have philosophies that are antagonistic to one another … I certainly took the nastiness personally. As a proud registered Democrat I’ll be damned if I’m going to be labeled a fascist or communist,” he wrote.

Danila said the statement was indicative of a mentality that “weakens the fabric of our nation, driving people apart.”He noted members of his family fought fascism in World War II, his father-in-law serving 18 months in a German POW camp. “All these men were Democrats.”

In the following commentary Ron Rando, the owner of “Ron’s Guns,” responds.

At first glance, Donald Danila may have made some valid points. However, a more thorough examination of his letter will show his message is biased and not substantiated by fact or consistent application of standards. Danila’s view is myopic. Let’s take a step back and view his criticism with a much broader view than just my signs and examine each of the points made by Danila.

First, the statement, that “Blanket accusations, name calling, spreading false premises if not outright lies, espousing dislike or even hatred of others … all weaken the social fabric of our nation” clearly applies to the current Democratic Party and the press with their biased criticism of our current president, Donald Trump.

This issue is much larger than Donald Danila and my signs in the front yard. My signs are my way of expressing my view of events at both the local and national level.

Do readers agree with me that we have given up our celebration of Christmas for political correctness gone mad? Discouraging the use of “Merry Christmas” and replacing it with a generic “Happy Holidays”? My simple message is we should be honest and forthright and say what we mean.

During President Obama’s two terms, Republicans did not display the name calling and express hatred the way Democrats do today. Is Danila silent when U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., or Al Sharpton spew messages of hatred and racism? Does Danila agree with their tone and messages or is he and The Day afraid to make a comment on the big league of national politics. Do they support the never-Trumpers and the obstructionists who are committed to stopping President Trump at any cost?

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, referred to NRA members as terrorists. Does Danila agree with this “blanket accusation?” Did Danila write a letter criticizing the governor’s “blanket accusations” and “name calling?” My gun business is legal, ethical and pays taxes that benefit us all. We, in the gun business, support the Second Amendment. Don’t condemn us for the acts of a very few deranged individuals and don’t try to put us out of business.

Danila challenged my sign stating, “A vote for a Democrat is a vote for socialism, fascism and communism.” He states he “took this nastiness personally” and goes on to cite his relatives who fought in WWII and Vietnam. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I have enormous respect for all our veterans and all they have given to protect our rights.

The Democratic Party of 2018 is not the Democratic Party of WWII. My signs strike at the heart of the 2018 Democratic Party, not that of WWII. Danila should look at his own party with the same critical eye he uses to evaluate my signs.

I am justifiably critical of Hillary Clinton’s actions, not the least of which is her handling of sensitive classified government material for which anyone else would have lost their clearance and been prosecuted. The Comey investigation was a farce. Again, the silence of people like Mr. Danila and The Day is deafening!

Danila prefers, instead, “not … to get into either the accomplishments or deficiencies of our two major political parties.” Too bad. This is the bigger issue. The one I have taken positions on with my signs.

I have never advocated for a single-party system, as Danila claims. I am critical of our tax-and-spend, big government; Republicans too.

Mr. Danila, like everyone, is welcomed in my shop to challenge my opinions and express their ideas.

Editor’s note: Setting the record straight, The Day did criticize Rep. Waters’ statements in our June 27 editorial, “Decline in civil discourse is of great concern.” It is also fair to note that Danila concluded his commentary with a call for everyone, not just Republicans, to “resolve our political differences with reasonable discourse and not with insults and false narratives.”



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