Thursday, April 26, 2012

Those Were the Days: When NRA Supported Gun Control

"It wasn't always this way. The NRA supported the 1934 National Firearms Act, which taxed the ownership of automatic weapons, and the 1938 Federal Firearms Act, which created a licensing system for dealers. And the NRA was not alone in its logical support of gun control. The governor of Texas -- yes, Texas -- said in 1893, that the "mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder."

Thought I'd share a Huffington Post op ed on gun control, written by teen blogger, Jess Coleman. He really did his homework. Regardless of what you think of his conclusion, the history of NRA's shift in stance on gun control is fascinating.  Here's more:

"What happened? Jill Lepore writes in "Battleground America" that the gun debate as we know it began with the murder of President John F. Kennedy. When the news broke that Kennedy's murderer, Lee Harvey Oswald, ordered his gun from a magazine and received it in the mail, Congress started to get tough on guns. The Gun Control Act was passed, which barred so-called "high-risk" people from buying guns. The NRA supported it, but they felt the threat coming.

Over the next few decades, the NRA began arguing that the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects an individual's right to own a gun, and the Supreme Court agreed. However, as Chief Justice Warren Burger said of this interpretation, it is 'one of the greatest pieces of fraud ... by special interests groups I have ever seen in my lifetime.'"

I ran down the full quote from Chief Justice Burger, which he apparently said in January of 1990, in an interview with Parade Magazine, rather than from the bench:

"If I were writing the Bill of Rights now there wouldn't be any such thing as the Second Amendment... This has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word 'fraud', on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies - the militia - would be maintained for the defense of the state.  The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kink of weapon he or she desires."

Do read Jess Coleman's article.  It's very informative!