The NRA has been able to convince many Americans that the reason democrats and anti-gun organizations are fighting for more laws enforcing gun restrictions, is because these are the forces vying to take away your right as an American to bear arms. They have even gone as far as to convince people that it’s the media’s fault because mainstream media, “loves mass shootings” and this gets them ratings. The NRA leads the charge in the belief that, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people“, so it’s not more gun laws that we need – it’s more people laws. But, the NRA hasn’t always held this belief, and they didn’t always feel this way in terms of restricting access to guns. Most recently, Philando Castile’s mother called out the NRA for not coming to the defense of her son, who told a police officer he was carrying a licensed gun, but was killed in front of his child and girlfriend, because the officer ‘feared for is life’. Not only is the NRA flaky regarding when they speak out, but they are the pioneers of some of the gun laws that we have today. The NRA was also in favor of stronger gun laws in the sixties, when blacks wanted to arm themselves during the fight for civil rights.
According to Adam Winkler, author of the book “Gunfight: The Battle Over The Right To Bear Arms In America”, historically NRA leaders were in favor of gun control. Not only were they in favor of control, but the NRA lobbied for and wrote gun legislation. In 1963, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the NRA found out murderer Lee Harvey Oswald purchased his murder weapon from an NRA mail-order advertisement. The President of the NRA at the time, Frank Orth, decided and agreed that mail-order sales of guns should be banned. In a statement, Orth explained, “We do think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States.”
In the sixties, the NRA took gun legislation a step further. They supported California’s Mulfold Act of 1967; this act banned carrying loaded weapons in public. This was a direct response to the Black Panther Party who marched on the State Capitol to protest this new gun legislation. As the Civil Rights movement grew stronger, more gun legislation was put into place. After the summer riots of 1967, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr and Kennedy, Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968. This act added a minimum age limit to own a gun, included serial number requirements, and extended the gun ban for the mentally ill and drug addicts.
For most of the 20th century, the NRA lobbied and authored gun laws and legislation. These laws were put into place as the Black Panther party rose to power. By the 70s the NRA started to change their tune after the government raided the house of NRA member Kenyon Ballew. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided Ballew’s house, shooting and paralyzing him because they believed he had been stockpiling illegal weapons. After this, everything changed. Instead of creating gun laws, the NRA viewed any act against gun control as a threat to the 2nd amendment. According to an article in Time Magazine, “Today’s NRA could be summed up with words uttered by the Black Panther Party 40 years earlier: “the gun is the only thing that will free us—gain us our liberation.”
While armed militia in Charlottesville are seen as “not so bad guys” by President Trump, armed Militia of the Black Panther party were viewed as a threat and caused the American government “to form a wholly new urban guerrilla, counterinsurgency, army-like” force: SWAT. And, we can go on and on to discuss how the government targeted member of the Black Panther to ensure they were either killed or jailed for life.
So don’t let the NRA fool you with 2nd amendment rhetoric. Take a look at their long history in order to see how they have created laws that have always aligned with the goals and bottom line of their organization. The NRA’s only interest, is self-interest.