The year was 1968 and I had just received some money from my father's estate. I wanted to do something good with it so I purchased a Life Membership in the National Rifle Association. I was 28 years old and I was very proud of this distinctive accomplishment. This was in December and it was sort of a Christmas present to myself. Unfortunately, I was never aware of the controversy that the NRA created a few months earlier in the March 1968 issue of American Rifleman, when they revealed their own record of support for the Gun Control Act of 1968. (full text reprinted below). I did not begin to suspect anything was wrong with the NRA until some years later I began to notice their frequent attacks against some right-wing conservative groups I belonged to in the mid-1970's. When I questioned them on why they would go against some of their most dedicated supporters their replies seemed to be written by a few intellectual snobs who had no grasp of the realities of politics. Since my dues were paid up for life I decided to site back and just read the magazine every month and go on with my life. Then in 1980 America elected a true conservative, Ronald Reagan, as president and the whole conservative movement was re-energized again. Soon after that the NRA appointed Charlton Heston as vice president and my respect for this organization was rekindled. Once again I began to give my support to the NRA-PVF and the NRA-ILA.
In later years I expanded my Life Membership to the Endowment level, then the Patron level and finally a few years ago to the Benefactor level, the highest a member can be. In recent years I also became more active in politics and began to take notice of the NRA endorsements for elective office. With over 3-million members the NRA had become a effective force on the national political scene and many anti-gun politicians voiced concern over them. This concern came to a head with the The McCain-Feingold Act, Public Law 107-155, the US federal law that regulates the financing of political campaigns; chief sponsors were Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Russell Feingold (D-WI). The law became effective 6 November 2002. This law appeared to be written specifically to hinder the NRA's influence.
Then in 2008 the NRA began to show their true colors when they endorsed 53 Democrats, all members of the most anti-gun political party in American history, for Congress and 52 got elected. These 52 then go on to vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and a whole truckload of Obama appointees. Coincidently, the NRA, which has previously referred to John McCain as “one of the premier flag carriers for the enemies of the second amendment,” inexplicably gave McCain their endorsement.
Now in 2010 as the mid-term elections approach American's are in high fever over taking back their country from a Marxist/socialist Democrat led administration. The Democrats that the NRA helped get elected have joined a power-crazed frenzy stripping away our Constitution. With the Tea Party churning up up so much concern that a dozen or more incumbent liberals have decided not to seek reelection, everyone is watching what the NRA will do.
In Nevada, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is being challenged by a Sharron Angle, a true conservative Republican who happens to be a NRA Life Member. The NRA is giving Reid a lot of friendly exposure.
In Arizona, a primary looms against Senator John McCain and his challenger is former Congressman J.D. Hayworth. The NRA again endorsed their one-time foe John McCain for reelection. I have no respect for John McCain because he is a Republican in Name Only (RINO). I think most Americans believe this, as well and so do the liberals who helped him win the Republican presidential nomination two years ago. The liberal run news media wanted the weakest Republican candidate to help their chosen one get elected. I sent J.D. Hayworth a campaign contribution.
Common sense tells you that liberals don't want other people to own guns or have the right to protect themselves. Protecting yourself is an act of being self-sufficient and liberals want you to be dependent on them for survival. Therefore it is also common sense to realize that the only people who support the 2nd Amendment and your right to self protection are conservatives. The Gun Owners of America also believes this is true.
Meanwhile, the Gun Owners of America (GOA) which has endorsed J.D. Hayworth, said: “John McCain has gone out of his way to earn the ire of conservatives and gun owners in his 20-plus years as a U.S. Senator from Arizona.” I am now a very proud Life Member of the Gun Owners of America and I fully support their decisions to endorse true pro-gun conservatives. You may be interested in seeing my old and new certificates and the ex-NRA Life Member hat that I now wear.Click the photo for a larger view
Here in Kentucky, I have decided that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! After 42 years of once proud membership in the NRA I sent them a letter on July 2nd resigning my membership, once and for all. I told Chris Cox that if the NRA wants to play politics they must be held accountable for consequences of their endorsements. He did not respond. Now I could have simply become an inactive member like I was before just reading the monthly magazine. But I was getting a lot of mailings from the NRA Political Victory Fund asking for contributions to help them support "pro-gun" candidates and that thought of all my past support going to Democrats stuck in my craw. I didn't want to be associated with this group who had given so much aid and comfort to the enemy of the 2nd Amendment. My resignation was a symbolic gesture but like I told Chris Cox, I intend to write about it for a very long time.
A few days ago while researching the gun control issue and the involvement of the NRA I came across a web site that had reprinted the entire article from the March 1968 issue of the American Rifleman. The source for this reprint is:
KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.COM http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?id=3247
Here are some highlights from the American Rifleman, March 1968 issue article to perk your interest:
"The NRA supported The National Firearms Act of 1934 which taxes and requires registration of such firearms as machine guns, sawed-off rifles and sawed-off shotguns..."
March 1968, P. 22
"The NRA supported The Federal Firearms Act of 1938, which regulates interstate and foreign commerce in firearms and pistol or revolver ammunition..."
March 1968, P. 22
"The National Rifle Association has been in support of workable, enforceable gun control legislation since its very inception in 1871."
—NRA Executive Vice President Franklin L. Orth
NRA's American Rifleman Magazine, March 1968, P. 22
BEGIN TEXT OF PAGES 22 AND 23 OF NRA'S
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN MAGAZINE, MARCH 1968 EDITION
WHERE THE NRA STANDS ON GUN LEGISLATION
97-year record shows positive approach to workable gun laws
By ALAN C. WEBBER
THE AMERICAN RIFLEMAN
"I think it is a terrible indictment of the National Rifle Association that they haven't supported any legislation to try and control the misuse of rifles and pistols in this country."
That flat assertion was made by Senator Robert Kennedy (N.Y.), Jan. 16 in addressing the New York State University law school in Buffalo.
Terming Kennedy's accusation "a smear of a great American organization," NRA Executive Vice President Franklin L. Orth pointed out that "The National Rifle Association has been in support of workable, enforceable gun control legislation since its very inception in 1871."
A few days later, Orth seconded the request of President Lyndon Johnson, made Jan. 17 in his State of the Union message, for a curb on mail-order sales.
"The duty of Congress is clear," Orth said, "it should act now to pass legislation that will keep undesirables, including criminals, drug addicts and persons adjudged mentally irresponsible or alcoholic, or juveniles from obtaining firearms through the mails."
The NRA position, as stated by Orth, emphasizes that the NRA has consistently supported gun legislation which it feels would penalize misuse of guns without harassing law-abiding hunters, target shooters and collectors.
Here is the record over the years:
Item: The late Karl T. Frederick, an NRA president, served for years as special consultant with the Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to frame The Uniform Firearms Act of 1930.
Adopted by Alabama, Indiana, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Washington, the Act directly attacks the "mail order murder" to which President Johnson referred in his State of the Union Message. It specifically forbids delivery of pistols to convicts, drug addicts, habitual drunkards, incompetents, and minors under the age of 18. Other salient provisions of the Act require a license to carry a pistol concealed on one's person or in a vehicle; require the purchaser of a pistol to give information about himself which is submitted by the seller to local police authorities; specify a 48-hour time lapse between application for purchase and delivery.
Item: The NRA supported The National Firearms Act of 1934 which taxes and requires registration of such firearms as machine guns, sawed-off rifles and sawed-off shotguns.
Item: The NRA supported The Federal Firearms Act of 1938, which regulates interstate and foreign commerce in firearms and pistol or revolver ammunition, and prohibits the movement in interstate or foreign commerce of firearms and ammunition between certain persons and under certain conditions.
More recently, the spate of articles on gun legislation has spread the erroneous impression that the NRA has always opposed Senator Thomas J. Dodd's attempts to keep guns out of the hands of juveniles. This is simply untrue. The facts are these:
The NRA worked closely with the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, of which Senator Dodd was chairman, in its investigation into the relationship between juvenile crime and the availability of firearms.
The NRA supported the original "Dodd Bill" to amend the Federal Firearms Act in regard to handguns when it was introduced as S.1975 in August, 1963. Among its provisions was the requirement that a purchaser submit a notarized statement to the shipper that he was over 18 and not legally disqualified from possessing a handgun.
In January, 1965, with the continued support of the NRA, Senator Dodd introduced an amended version of his first bill, now designated 5.14 and expanded to cover rifles and shotguns as well as handguns.
The parting of the ways came only when Senator Dodd introduced still another bill (S.1592) in March, 1965, which drastically intensified his earlier bills. The NRA opposed S.1592 and subsequent bills introduced by the Connecticut Senator. If passed into law, S.1592 would, among other things, have ended all interstate shipments of firearms except to persons holding a Federal firearms license. It also would have prohibited even a Federal licensee from selling a pistol to anyone residing in another State.
NRA support of Federal gun legislation did not stop with the earlier Dodd bills. It currently backs several Senate and House bills which, through amendment, would put new teeth into the National and Federal Firearms Acts. The essential provisions which the NRA supports are contained in 2 Senate bills introduced by Senator Roman L. Hruska (Nebr.) and House bills introduced by Congressmen Cecil R. King (17th fist.-Calif.) and Robert L. F. Sikes (1st Dist.Fla.). These bills would:
1. Impose a mandatory penalty for the carrying or use of a firearm, transported in interstate or foreign commerce, during the commission of certain crimes.
2. Place "destructive devices" (bombs, mines, grenades, crew-served military ordnance) under Federal regulation.
3. Prohibit any licensed manufacturer or dealer from shipping any firearm to any person in any State in violation of the laws of that state.
4. Regulate the movement of handguns in interstate and foreign commerce by:
a. requiring a sworn statement, containing certain information, from the
CONTINUED ON PAGE 23 (text below)
THE AMERICAN RIFLEMAN
purchaser to the seller for the receipt of a handgun in interstate commerce;
b. providing for notification of local police of prospective sales;
c. requiring an additional 7-day waiting period by the seller after receipt of acknowledgement of notification to local police;
d. prescribing a minimum age of 21 for obtaining a license to sell firearms and increasing the license fees;
e. providing for written notification by manufacturer or dealer to carrier that a firearm is being shipped in interstate commerce;
f. increasing penalties for violation.
Through bulletins to its members, the NRA has often voiced approval and support of State and local ordinances designed to keep firearms out of the hands of undesirables. A bulletin of Feb. 20, 1964 notified Virginia members of the introduction in the Virginia House of Delegates of a bill requiring a 72-hour waiting period for purchase of a handgun. In the bulletin, which outlined the provisions of the bill, NRA Secretary Frank C. Daniel commented as follows:
"A number of States and local jurisdictions have a waiting period of varying length for the purchase of a concealable firearm; and, where intelligently and reasonably administered, it has not proved to be an undue burden on the shooter and sportsman. ... The bill from a technical point of view adequately protects citizens of good character from any arbitrary denial of their right to purchase a handgun. It should be judged on the basis of whether or not a waiting period for the purchase of a handgun is desirable for the State."
The bill was killed in the House Feb. 25, 1964.
When bills were introduced in the Illinois legislature in February, 1965, to provide mandatory penalties for crimes committed while armed with a firearm, the NRA expressed its opinion to Illinois members in these terms:
NRA Secretary Daniel
"The purpose of these bills is to penalize the criminal misuse of firearms and weapons, and not the firearms themselves. This is a sound and reasonable basis for regulation and is aimed in the right direction--that of criminal conduct when armed. Senate Bill No. 351 and House Bill No. 472 are worthy of the support of the sports-men of the State of Illinois."
The bills were passed by the Senate and House but were vetoed by Gov. Otto Kerner a few months later.
Many other instances of NRA support for worthwhile gun legislation could be quoted. But these suffice to show that Senator Kennedy's "terrible indictment" of the NRA is groundless.
END TEXT OF PAGES 22 AND 23 OF NRA'S
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN MAGAZINE, MARCH 1968 EDITION