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Letter: Original mission of NRA ideologically hijacked


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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: William Scarbrough

Columbus

The Second Amendment to the Constitution and the gun rights associated with it have been a primary topic of discussion since the Walmart shooting. It may surprise those who support unlimited gun rights as well as those who want common sense restrictions to learn that the Second Amendment of the 10 known as the Bill of Rights is the most regulated of all.

This may be ignored by those believing they have a God-given unalienable right to possess guns, but they cannot claim, as Gregg Macklin did in a response to my last two letters, that I lied about facts and offered incorrect numbers. It is impossible to lie about a fact, and the numbers are not incorrect. See the online version of the July 17 Republic for a full response.

The early history of that Second Amendment sentence with the syntax error was not much different than it is today. The framers wanted to calm public fear that a tyrannical federal government was going to take away guns from white landowners. Guns were denied to slaves. Today, the same fear is at the root of propaganda being spread by the National Rifle Association, but there are few regulations as to who may own or the number of guns a person may possess.

Founded in 1871, the NRA was a gun control organization. In 1977 a coup happened at its annual convention. Eighty staff members were fired, and its new leader, Neal Knox, ideologically in line with Republicans from the Southern and Southwestern states, said, “The NRA ... believes that every law-abiding citizen is entitled to ownership and legal use of firearms and that every reputable gun owner shall be an NRA member.”

In 1991, Wayne LaPierre was named executive vice president. He immediately started a campaign to vote against any politician not supporting the Republican position and voting against Democrats who were in favor of gun controls. The campaign was so successful that Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill was defeated.

Democrats became NRA lemmings. In 1995 LaPierre called federal agents “jack-booted government thugs.” Former President George H.W. Bush resigned his NRA membership in protest over such language.

The right wing of the Supreme Court ruled that everyone could have a gun in their home. Then the NRA, along with the Koch brothers and their legislative group called ALEC, got Republican-controlled states like Indiana to pass legislation allowing such laws as open carry and stand your ground.

After the sickening murder of the first-grade children in Newtown, instead of seeking reconciliation, LaPierre shouted, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The headline of the conservative New York Post was, “NRA Loon in Bizarre Rant Over Newtown.”

This week it was announced that the NRA is against substituting copper and steel bullets for lead shot to protect birds and critters because they’re being poisoned. Watch out for the NRA ... feathered and furry friends.

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