The NRA vs. the Second Amendment

photo credit: muffett

As a civil libertarian and a gun owner, I understand all too well that tragedies like the Newtown mass murder invariably mean a new wave of assaults on our most fundamental rights as human beings. 9/11 brought us the TSA, the Patriot Act, and the War on Terror, and every mass shooting brings out the same authoritarian coalition calling for an end to video games, movies, secular education, and, of course, guns. I have written in the past about why we should cling most dearly to our rights in times of crisis, but have only recently caught on to a much more deceptive (perhaps unwitting) foe of our right to bear arms: the National Rifle Association.

I admit, the suggestion seems ludicrous on its face. After all, the NRA ostensibly represents millions of gun owners and wields immense pro-gun lobbying power in Washington. But it is precisely this perception of the NRA as the end-all, be-all of Second Amendment advocacy, when combined with a perpetuated misunderstanding about the primary functions of both the NRA and the Second Amendment, that makes the organization a threat to gun liberty.

In fact, the NRA has quite a history of supporting restrictions on our fundamental right to bear arms. The NRA supported the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Federal Firearms Act of 1938 (the first comprehensive federal restrictions on the right to bear arms). The NRA supported gun-control measures throughout the 1960s and continues to do so to this day. It even supported Mitt Romney’s candidacy despite Gov. Romney’s horrid record on gun rights (support which Gov. Romney was always quick to point out in defense of his record). Wayne LaPierre, the current CEO and executive VP of the NRA, testified in 1999 in support of the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act and many other federal violations of the Second Amendment. In short, the NRA’s history is the history of a group more concerned with protecting the commercial viability of the gun industry than protecting the principle of the Second Amendment.

So when Mr. LaPierre took to his massive national platform last week to respond to the horror in Newtown and the subsequent attacks on gun rights, his speech left little doubt what the NRA is worried about. Mr. LaPierre blamed the weather, he blamed the media, he blamed video games, he lashed out at every target he could think of in a transparent effort to deflect, rather than engage, the anti-gun argument. He then insisted that the government should arm hundreds of thousands of government agents and put them in every school in America.

This was not the reasoned, principled argument of a scrupulous believer in the Second Amendment; it was the nonsensical, desperate plea of a charlatan trying to defend his product at the expense of any principle at stake.

Read more from this story HERE.

  • The NRA became an organization because this nation has been divided on gun ownership since 1771. Any organization or government can be misled and misused. Responsible gun ownership is the NRA’s goal, but no gun ownership is the liberal goal. Libertarians must choose which ideal to support because they are scant in number.

  • Jim

    The true meaning of the Second Amendment is not understood by the average citizen but you can believe it is by those in Washington. It is not for hunting or for sport but in fact was put into the Constitution to protect us from from the Government itself. As long as we are armed we can not be enslaved by those that would take our freedoms away from us. We now have a socialist class in power that wants to do just that and they are working night and day trying to find a way to disarm us as fast as they can. With the United Nations involved it is quite obvious what their end goal is.

    • semus

      Very true.

  • Carol-Christian Soldier

    from the article “..Her Majesty’s subject…”

    The Founders knew full well that those who think they are “royal” will subjugate those whom they believe are ‘below’ them in status–thus- They formulated written documents to protect the citizens of the -new Republic–

    The Second Amendment to the Constitution was meant to protect us in the US from tyranny–

    the First document – the Declaration of Independence was sent to the ‘royal’ of England w/ a verbal motto- NO KING BUT KING JESUS—

    Merry CHRISTmas to all Patriots who come to this site–


  • Popo2

    Excellent article. Gun Owners of America is looking mighty good right now to this NRA (soon to be former?) Life Member.

    • Coward! I am a lifetime member of the NRA, and, frankly, I think the mewling and whining by this writer is just that–whining! I don’t care for Mr. LePierre either, but, I do back the NRA, AND I am also a member of the Gun Owners of America!
      Now, tell me I’m wrong!

      • Popo2

        “Coward?” For what, calling the NRA out for their libtard remarks and actions? Maybe you should get back on the meds and back down to your mommie’s basement.

  • Sorry, buster! You sound just like the rest of the liberals in the country! I admire you for bein a gun owner, but, show me another group that can speak for gun owners without being immediately shot down! While you might not like the NRA, a goodly number of us do, and frankly, I feel a whole lot better with them in the mix than some of these others who claim they are for gun ownership!

  • semus

    Exactly right good column, and should be screamed from the roof tops. The argument as many believe is not the real argument at all. The real argument scares the hell out of treasonous politicians.

  • CaptTurbo

    The release from the NRA that I read actually called for schools to have their choice as to how to arm themselves and to what extent. The NRA offered to train teachers and faculty. I’m not all that happy with the idea of putting cops in the schools but even that would be better then leaving the kids fully unprotected as seems to be the desire f the liberal left.

  • Anadara

    in 2005, 43,510 people died in car crashes! These statistics clearly demonstrate that cars are much more dangerous than guns, and now, regrettably, the left is absolutely giddy about this tragedy. They Don’t care about our kids, their kids, or even the fact that they cannot control their own lunatics. They just want American citizens unarmed with no militia capability to defend against federal tyranny.