There are many in the gun community that are angry with Trump for the bump stock ban. I have never blamed Trump for the travesty that was the bump stock ban, because I don’t think that he is the one who sold out gun owners. Let’s be honest here- the NRA greenlighted the bump stock ban. This is nothing new, the NRA was pro gun control for most of its history.
In the 1920s, the National Revolver Association, the arm of the NRA responsible for handgun training, proposed regulations later adopted by nine states, requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon, five years additional prison time if the gun was used in a crime, a ban on gun sales to non-citizens, a one day waiting period between the purchase and receipt of a gun, and that records of gun sales be made available to police. Florida becoming the 26th state to get rid of concealed weapons carry as a crime meant getting rid of that NRA proposal after 100 years.
During the 1930’s, the NRA helped shape the National Firearms Act of 1934. President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to make gun control a feature of the New Deal. The NRA assisted Roosevelt in drafting National Firearms Act and the 1938 Gun Control Act, the first federal gun control laws. These laws placed heavy taxes and regulation requirements on firearms that were associated with crime, such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and silencers. Gun sellers and owners were required to register with the federal government and felons were banned from owning weapons. Not only was the legislation unanimously upheld by the Supreme Court in 1939, but Karl T. Frederick, the president of the NRA, testified before Congress stating, “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”
After the assasination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald with an Italian military surplus rifle purchased from a NRA mail-order advertisement, NRA Executive Vice-President Franklin Orth agreed at a congressional hearing that mail-order sales should be banned stating, “We do think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States.”
The NRA also supported California’s Mulford Act of 1967, which had banned carrying loaded weapons in public in response to the Black Panther Party’s impromptu march on the State Capitol to protest gun control legislation on May 2, 1967.
Then came 1968. The assassinations of JFK, jr and Martin Luther King prompted Congress to enact the Gun Control Act of 1968. The act brought back some proposed laws from 1934, to include minimum age and serial number requirements, and extended the gun ban to include the mentally ill and drug addicts. In addition, it restricted the shipping of guns across state lines to collectors and federally licensed dealers. The only part of the proposed law that was opposed by the NRA was a national gun registry. In an interview in American Rifleman, Franklin Orth stated that despite portions of the law appearing “unduly restrictive, the measure as a whole appears to be one that the sportsmen of America can live with.”
It wasn’t until a mini-revolt was staged at the 1977 NRA convention that there was a change in direction. A group of gun owners pushed back and deposed the old leaders in a move called the “Cincinnati Revolt.” Led by former NRA President Harlon Carter and Neal Knox, the revolt ended the tenure of Maxwell Rich as NRA executive vice president and introduced new bylaws. The Revolt at Cincinnati marked a huge change in direction for the NRA. The organization thereafter changed from “hunting, conservation, and marksmanship” and towards the defense of the right to keep and bear arms. The catalyst for this movement was that the NRA wanted to move its headquarters from Washington, DC to Colorado. The new headquarters in Colorado was to be an “Outdoors center” that was more about hunting and recreational shooting than it was the RKBA.
I became a member of the NRA about a decade later and remained an annual member, until I became a life member about 15 years later. I believed for years that the NRA was fighting the good fight for gun owners. It wasn’t.
The NRA was always influenced by a group of Fudds who supported hunting, but hated guns that weren’t for hunting. The bureaucrats who were a part of the NRA’s organization always tried to steer towards hunting, eventually caused the organization to morph into an organization that used the threat of Democrat gun bans for fundraising.
LaPierre was able to use the large flow of money to fund his luxurious life on the company dime, including over $13 million each year for travel and a postemployment golden parachute worth $17 million. LaPierre testified in the NRA’s bankruptcy hearings about his annual weeklong trips to the Bahamas on the company dime.
All they were good at was bargaining away gun rights to the Democrat gun banners in exchange for money and power. That’s why my political donations for the past 15 years went to other gun rights organizations, and yours should, too.
EDITED TO ADD:
Thanks to an anonymous poster, we get this quote, directly from the pages of the March 1968 edition of The American Rifleman, the NRA’s official monthly publication:
the NRA has consistently supported gun legislation which it feels would penalize misuse of guns without harassing law-abiding hunters, target shooters, and collectors”NRA president Karl T. Frederick
Note that they make no mention of RKBA as anything other than support for the hobby of hunting. The article goes on to declare the NRA’s support for firearm registration, waiting periods, as well as prohibitions on sales of ammunition and firearms across state lines. The also express support for the prohibition of firearms to what they termed as :undesirables.”
The NRA is not, and apparently never has been, a true supporter of the Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. They should rename it the National Hunting Association. It can collapse and die for all I care. We don’t need them.
Anonymous · April 15, 2023 at 1:27 pm
google query: “site:keepandbeararms.com angel nra gun control american rifleman” produces the single result:
Which includes page scans of The American Rifleman March, 1968
neomunitor · April 15, 2023 at 3:52 pm
I became a Life Member years ago, but I haven’t given them a dime in over 15 years. I won’t participate in the NRA roundup that MidwayUSA does, I throw their mailers in the garbage. I love that anti-gunners still think the NRA is their main opposition, and I send all my donation to FPC, GOA, and SAF, mostly FPC in the last two years. I’m waiting for LaPierre to go to jail.
It's just Boris · April 15, 2023 at 6:13 pm
I don’t disagree in general re the NRA. However, it does seem to continue to serve a useful purpose. It draws most of the flak, abuse and rhetoric that would otherwise be directed against more effective gun rights organizations e.g. Second Amendment Foundation.
So there’s that, for what it’s worth.
Dick Tickles · April 15, 2023 at 8:18 pm
I don’t give the NRA any of my money any longer, what did them in for me was when they didn’t speak up to support the guy who was shot and killed by a cop during a stop because he thought he had to inform him and was trying to pull his carry license out.
The only lesson learned from that was never verbally inform police you are carrying.
There’s still a die hard Boomer contingent that refuses to believe the NRA is compromised, corrupt, and controlled opposition. They don’t matter anymore, if they want to waste their money because writing the check makes them feel good, their loss. The NRA is always going to be supported by the industry anyway, but all 2A supporters should donate to other organizations, especially state based ones because gun control is effectively dead at the national level, it’s the state level where the magazines and semi auto bans are being passed.
Steve · April 15, 2023 at 8:55 pm
Screw NRA. I got my Lifetime in 91 or so, and a few months later their NRA-ILA beg was supporting use of eminent domain to give property to Nature Conservancy or some other commie group. I wrote them something about they should not be throwing the bill of rights under the bus.
Wayne’s reply prompted me to tell them to never send me anything ever again. Friends like that…
McChuck · April 16, 2023 at 10:31 am
I’m a life member. I send every NRA beg-for-money letter back with, “Not another dime while Wayne LaPierre is in charge.” written in marker on it.
D · April 16, 2023 at 1:21 pm
> I have never blamed Trump for the travesty that was the bump stock ban
Unless they sent it to him with a 2/3rd majority and he was completely powerless to veto is…well…he signed his name to put it into law.
Even with a 2/3rd majority, I would have refused to put my name on it.
Divemedic · April 16, 2023 at 2:07 pm
The reason why, is because I recognize that no one can be an expert in everything. A person in the Presidency depends upon experts in each field to give him good advice. Not being an expert, not trusting the bureaucracy, and knowing next to nothing about guns or gun rights, he went to the group that he felt WAS an expert- the NRA. That organization, rightly or wrongly, is viewed by most Americans as the organization that is standing up for RKBA. The NRA told him that a bump stock ban was just fine and dandy. That’s where I lay the blame. He wasn’t betraying gun owners, he was misled by people who should have known better.
The NRA fucked us all.
D · April 16, 2023 at 4:08 pm
I agree the NRA fucked us.
But you have *ONE* damned job as President…and that’s to to uphold and defend the Constitution.
Ignorance is no excuse.
Relying on special interest groups to tell you what it says is no excuse.
June J · April 16, 2023 at 2:52 pm
LaPierre and his gang of thieves can go to hell.
I follow the blog https://nraindanger.wordpress.com/
It’s galling seeing the corruption contained within the sworn testimonies while they all are telling the members that everything is fine just send more money.
Matthew W · April 16, 2023 at 3:09 pm
I joined the NRA about 10 years ago when I started buying handguns.
I grew up with guns but didn’t do much with them from the the time I left the farm until about 10 years ago.
I joined because I wanted to financially support the people that were defending gun rights.
I knew the NRA was a large and diverse group that everyone did not agree on everything but did not pay attention to the inner politics of the NRA. It wasn’t until Oliver North got fired from the NRA that I did start to pay attention.
I still don’t know much about the politics there but it sure seems like Wayne is rather divisive.
So, when the NRA asks me for money, I send it back (no money) with a note, “No money until Wayne is gone”.
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