Thursday, December 20, 2012

Your early morning fun fact for today. Did you know the NRA was not ALWAYS full of gun nuts?

Courtesy of the Atlantic:

Today, the NRA is the unquestioned leader in the fight against gun control. Yet the organization didn’t always oppose gun regulation. Founded in 1871 by George Wingate and William Church—the latter a former reporter for a newspaper now known for hostility to gun rights, The New York Times—the group first set out to improve American soldiers’ marksmanship. Wingate and Church had fought for the North in the Civil War and been shocked by the poor shooting skills of city-bred Union soldiers. 

In the 1920s and ’30s, the NRA was at the forefront of legislative efforts to enact gun control. The organization’s president at the time was Karl T. Frederick, a Princeton- and Harvard-educated lawyer known as “the best shot in America”—a title he earned by winning three gold medals in pistol-shooting at the 1920 Summer Olympic Games. As a special consultant to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Frederick helped draft the Uniform Firearms Act, a model of state-level gun-control legislation. (Since the turn of the century, lawyers and public officials had increasingly sought to standardize the patchwork of state laws. The new measure imposed more order—and, in most cases, far more restrictions.) 

Frederick’s model law had three basic elements. The first required that no one carry a concealed handgun in public without a permit from the local police. A permit would be granted only to a “suitable” person with a “proper reason for carrying” a firearm. Second, the law required gun dealers to report to law enforcement every sale of a handgun, in essence creating a registry of small arms. Finally, the law imposed a two-day waiting period on handgun sales. 

The NRA today condemns every one of these provisions as a burdensome and ineffective infringement on the right to bear arms. Frederick, however, said in 1934 that he did “not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” The NRA’s executive vice president at the time, Milton A. Reckord, told a congressional committee that his organization was “absolutely favorable to reasonable legislation.” According to Frederick, the NRA “sponsored” the Uniform Firearms Act and promoted it nationwide. Highlighting the political strength of the NRA even back then, a 1932 Virginia Law Review article reported that laws requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon were already “in effect in practically every jurisdiction.”

Okay do you know what? THAT 1920's and 1930's NRA is an NRA that I would have absolutely NO problem with. None!

Listen to what Mr, Fredrick said about the 2nd Amendment protections:  

Preserving the ability of law-abiding people to have guns, Frederick would write elsewhere, “lies in an enlightened public sentiment and in intelligent legislative action. It is not to be found in the Constitution.”

I know right?

So what happened? Well to find that out you need to read that article.

However I will give you a hint. It has to do with the Black Panthers and gun ownership for protections vs gun ownership for hunting. When owning a gun in response to fear, rather than for recreation, paranoia rules the day.


  1. Sally in MI2:33 AM

    Paranoia is the right word for these people. Afraid of government, afraid of anyone not the right skin color, afraid of their school system, afraid of their shadow. So let's arm them all so they are 'safe' from the boogeyman. And if they only killed each other..but no, they work themselves and their kids into a lather with their paranoia, and Friday was the result. Hey gun-owners, either start policing yourselves, or we, the sane and gun-hating public, will start doing it for you. As it has to be. Our kids have a right to LIVE without paranoia and fear.

  2. Anonymous3:13 AM

    That's not the reason - the reason is simple and your media won't tell you because they are just as involved in it as the NRA.

    The reason is corruption. The NRA is run by gun corporations to make more money for themselves, NOT to represent their members and make their members wishes known. It is well known most NRA members favour sane reform. Gun manufacturers just want money money money so oppose even the most sensible obvious laws like restricting those on the terrorist watch list from owning guns!

    The reason for 99% of your ills is simple corruption in your government. Your country not only allows lobbying and corruption to take place, but encourages it and even applauds it as patriotic and all American and doing the right thing. The small numbers of representatives that avoid selling out are swiftly punished and voted out, so really there's no one to blame but your own country and what you've allowed it to become. Russ Feingold refused to sell out and he got voted out for it. Everyone else almost gives in and does what they're told, yes both R and D!

    I have to be honest; since this tragedy I've re thought America as a potential place to visit. It's not safe. I'd feel real fear walking down the street knowing I'm walking past guns in holsters of irresponsible people in the street. Knowing that they are George Zimmermans waiting to happen, just dying for their 'hero' moment where they open fire and risk everyone's lives for their own fantasy. Knowing that these same people don't respect the weapons at all and keep them loaded with the safety catch off, just waiting for a tragic accident to happen. A tragic accident for which they know full well they will never receive any sort of punishment for, but will receive glory from the wing nut throngs for simply carrying a gun. No thanks. I'm not yet a mother, but when I am one day the one thing I will force them away from is a move to America for any length of time. No child of mine is living in America! I think I'm simply being a responsible adult at this point by standing by this. I'm open to change occurring but I know it just won't and I'm sorry to you for it. You won't get any effective laws I'm telling you right now. The situation will only get worse over the next five, ten years. Maybe many decades from now after many more senseless tragedies it will hit you, and change you, but I still doubt it sincerely.

    Just move away and settle somewhere that values its citizenry.

  3. Anonymous3:31 AM

    Thank you.

  4. Anonymous8:36 AM

    Ah, but its a slippery slope, isn't it? First they'll come for our military style weapons, and next they'll come for our penises.

    --Clem Sue Bob Fumduck

  5. So, the NRA was taken over by right wing (racist) nutjobs just like the Republican Party is being taken over by right wing (rascist, misogynist) nutjobs.

    Anyone see a pattern here?

  6. 1977, Harlon Carter. This is also the age of Ronald Reagan. He was just finishing his stint as Governor of California and the Republicans were grooming him to run for President. Coincidence?

    Maybe we can't completely disarm the public, but we can certainly regulate what firearms they can and cannot possess. And there's not reason for assault weapons, semi-automatic anything, or large capacity clips. Or even handguns. The problem with the NRA is they want to own anything they want to. (Probably including and beyond grenade launchers.) That isn't well-regulated under the 2nd amendment.

    I would also pose that Scalia's and the Supreme's decision has lead inevitably to more victims of gun violence. We've heard the statistics for the last five years. I'd say that's an escalation.

  7. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Just a simple question. If gun free zones make people safe, why are the White House guards armed like this?

    The real answer is that those protecting the President realize the reality that, just making the White House or even the whole Country a gun free zone will not insure the safety of the President. The guards will not suddenly lose their weapons if the Country went gun free.

    Do you think the guards of the British Royal Family are gun free even though there is a ban on gun ownership there?

    Is the President more important than our children? It's sad when the protection of our leaders is deemed more important than the protection of our children.


  8. Anita Winecooler7:05 PM

    Who'd have thunk it? I like Mr. Frederick's "Uniform Firearms Law, keeping a registry nationwide of gun owners, licensing and regulating. Standardizing the whole thing nationally makes sense. One law for all states.

    I found his use of the word "promiscuous" interesting, in light of the "man card" post you did the other day:

    “...not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”

    Ironic, that once hatred/racism/fear,in any combination, were introduced to the mix, the NRA became more radical.


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