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posted by catman in Local

The Surprising Unknown History of the NRA

January 14, 2013

For most of its history, the NRA supported gun control laws and did not see government as the enemy.

For nearly a century after, its founding in 1871, the National Rifle Association was among America’s foremost pro-gun control organizations. It was not until 1977 when the NRA that Americans know today emerged, after libertarians who equated owning a gun with the epitome of freedom and fomented widespread distrust against government—if not armed insurrection—emerged after staging a hostile leadership coup.

In the years since, an NRA that once encouraged better marksmanship and reasonable gun control laws gave way to an advocacy organization and political force that saw more guns as the answer to society’s worst violence, whether arming commercial airline pilots after 9/11 or teachers after the Newtown, while opposing new restrictions on gun usage.

It is hard to believe that the NRA was committed to gun-control laws for most of the 20th century—helping to write most of the federal laws restricting gun use until the 1980s.
(Continued here)
http://www.alternet.org/suprising-unknown-history-nra?paging=off

(Editor's note: This is the first in a series of AlterNet reports on 2013's emerging gun-control debate. The sources include several books, including Gunfight: The Battle Over The Right To Bear Arms in America, by Adam Winkler (2011), Gun Show Nation; Gun Culture And American Democracy, by Joan Burbick (2006) and Lawyers, Guns and Money: One Man's Battle With The Gun Industry, by Carol Vinzant (2005). Other sources include reporting by The New Yorker's Jill LePore and Jeffrey Toobin, The New York Review of Books' Garry Wills, and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, including Justice Stephen Breyer's dissent in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), and Retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger in Parade magazine.)

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