The National Rifle Association (NRA) held their annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky last weekend. Despite my love of small arms, and that Louisville is only about an hours drive south of me, I did not attend. Perhaps this would be a good time to comment on the weak mainstream NRA, and the (current) gun control positions of Trump and Clinton.
For those who may be new to this blog, let me clarify that I was a member of the NRA for over a decade, beginning in my mid-teens. I financially supported the NRA-ILA. I was also a member or donor to several other guns rights organizations, although they did not milk me for as long or as much cash.
I was still an NRA member in 2008, the last time the NRA held their convention in Louisville. I attended it then. I met Todd Jarrett (a well-known IPSC shooter), second amendment researcher David E. Young, walked past NRA official Chris Cox and Oliver North, sat in a packed room with a few hundred other people to listen to Ted Nugent play the national anthem and give a speech on the 2nd amendment, looked at a huge amount of guns on display. (Note: I am not a fan of Oliver North; look up Rex 84).
The NRA was founded in 1871 by a couple of men who served as officers in the Union Army during the War of Northern Aggression (your teacher called it the “Civil War”, but it does not meet that definition). These men had seen how poorly the Yankee soldiers, many of them city boys, had performed in battle compared to the Southern boys. They founded the NRA to promote rifle marksmanship among soldiers and potential soldiers. It morphed into a marksmanship club for all, and finally (after 1968) into a guns rights organization.
The NRA has not always opposed all gun control. The NRA is not currently calling for the repeal of all gun control laws (all of which violate the 2nd amendment). The NRA is content to accept federal licensing for professional gun dealers, to accept computer database background checks on purchases of guns from licensed dealers, and to accept the regulation of automatic weapons (neither of which laws existed before 1934, and some not until 1968).
The NRA weak ideologically and practically. They will celebrate their former president Charleton Heston -a professional actor- hold up a flintlock and proclaim “from my cold dead hands”, while basically worship the police and the military -the ones who would be creating those “cold dead hands” in a gun control scenario. And of course, the NRA ignores citizen militias. But the NRA sure does rake in membership fees and donations to support thier corporate apparatus!
The ideologically flawed NRA also promoted Project Exile, which consisted of making illegal possession of a firearm by a felon as a Federal crime to be prosecuted in a Federal court with a mandatory minimum sentence. Think about this for a moment. First, Project Exile subverts state jurisdiction over crimes in their territories that do not concern Federal laws or property, which attacks state sovereignty. Second, American legal tradition is based on jury trials -where the jury may determine both law and fact in regard to the charged offense. Traditionally, judges and juries meted out the punishment to convicted criminals on a case by case basis -depending on the severity of the offense. Thus, crimes carry a maximum punishment threshold, not a minimum punishment threshold.
The NRA has officially endorsed Donald J. Trump for President. And no, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump truly support the 2nd amendment, though Trump is walking the NRA party line.
Unlike most Americans , and the NRA, I actually support the second amendment. I actually oppose all gun control. I actually support the Founders.
Copyright (c) 2016 by Joseph Charles Putnam of Orange County, Indiana. All rights reserved.