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Letter: NRA never founded as ‘gun control’ organization

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Bob Snively


In his recent letter to the editor, William Scarbrough makes a lot of statements that just are not true. The NRA was never founded as a “gun control” organization as he states. The NRA was founded by William Conant Church and Gen. George Wood Wingate.

It was founded because Union Army records from the Civil War indicated that the army fired about 1,000 rounds for each Confederate killed, and both men were determined that Americans should learn marksmanship skills. Their reasons had nothing to do with gun control. My source is

The mission of the National Rifle Association is:

1. To promote and defend the Constitution of the United States.

2. To promote public safety, law and order and the national defense.

3. To train members of law enforcement agencies, the armed forces, the militia, and people of good repute in marksmanship and in the safe handling and efficient use of small arms.

4. To foster and promote the shooting sports.

5. To promote hunter safety.

Again the source is

In his latest letter Scarbrough also credits NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre with successfully orchestrating a voting campaign to defeat House Speaker Thomas (Tip) O’Neill in 1991. O’Neill had a distinguished career in Congress from 1953 until his retirement in 1987.

I think it would have been fairly difficult for him to lose an election four years after he retired. My source is the Biographical History of the United States Congress.

I would be a lot more comfortable with Scarbrough’s letters if he were to list his sources for some of the claims he makes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his letters. I know of several people who have joined the NRA mainly because of his incessant attacks and misrepresentation of the NRA. Thank you, Mr. Scarbrough.

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