The Gun Control History of the NRA

Adam Winkler writes for The Huffington post


The NRA was founded by William Church and George Wingate after the Civil War. Wingate and Church -- the latter a former reporter for a newspaper not exactly known for its love of gun rights, the New York Times -- both fought in the War on the Union side. They were shocked by the poor marksmanship of Union soldiers and convinced that one reason the Confederacy was able to hold out so long before surrender was because their soldiers had more experience shooting. Church and Wingate's goal for the NRA was to improve the marksmanship of civilians who might one day be called to serve in the military, not to fight gun control.

The author goes on to explain how for most of the 20th century the NRA was actually involved in drafting gun control ligislation.  And during those decades they had very little to do with the 2nd Amendment.

All that changed in 1977. That year, the leadership of the NRA decided to retreat from political lobbying and refocus on recreational shooting and outdoors activities. This sparked a backlash among a group of hardline gun rights advocates who were upset that the NRA had endorsed the Gun Control Act of 1968 -- the first significant federal gun legislation since the 1930s. Motivated by the belief that guns weren't primarily for hunting but for personal protection in an era of rising crime rates, the hardliners staged a coup at the annual meeting of the membership, ousting the old leaders and committing the organization to political advocacy.

Shortly after that they picked up La Pierre. And the world has seldom seen anything like it.

What's your opinion?  We've often spoken about the evolving interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, but this article helps us see it from the perspective of the NRA.  Do you think that's helpful? Does the dynamic change in direction undertaken by the NRA lend credibility to the theory that the way we view the 2A has been bastardized over the last 5 decades?

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

(cross posted at Mikeb302000)



Tags: gun rights, la pierre, NRA (all tags)


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