Stupid, easily disproved statements are not, sadly, exclusive to the political Left. Lately, with the gun control debate again hotly contested in the news and on the interwebs, I’ve seen an old one recycled, which I will paraphrase as “the NRA’s attackers are racist because they don’t know the NRA was formed to arm freed slaves against the KKK.” Even though I would find the actions of anyone in those times seeking to do exactly that to be laudable, that’s not why the NRA was founded; indeed, it’s just stupidly easy to show otherwise. From the “About the NRA” page:
A Brief History of the NRA
Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according to a magazine editorial written by Church.
After being granted a charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. senator, became the fledgling NRA’s first president.
An important facet of the NRA’s creation was the development of a practice ground. In 1872, with financial help from New York State, a site on Long Island, the Creed Farm, was purchased for the purpose of building a rifle range. Named Creedmoor, the range opened a year later,and it was there that the first annual matches were held.
Political opposition to the promotion of marksmanship in New York forced the NRA to find a new home for its range. In 1892, Creedmoor was deeded back to the state and NRA’s matches moved to Sea Girt, New Jersey.
The NRA’s interest in promoting the shooting sports among America’s youth began in 1903 when NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones urged the establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies. By 1906, NRA’s youth program was in full swing with more than 200 boys competing in matches at Sea Girt that summer. Today, youth programs are still a cornerstone of the NRA, with more than one million youth participating in NRA shooting sports events and affiliated programs with groups such as 4-H, the Boy Scouts of America, the American Legion, Royal Rangers, National High School Rodeo Association and others.
We only embolden our adversaries when we use stupid arguments like “the NRA was founded to arm freed slaves.”
Readers of these virtual pages know that I have long attacked the gun-grabbers for their abysmal lack of knowledge of the very items they want to regulate out of existence. Many on the Left fancy themselves the party of “science” and “reason,” but when it comes to firearms, they are anything but; it’s all about the feelz, and they can’t be bothered to actually learn anything. Take Senator Feinstein’s bleating on how the 5.56mm NATO round fired by the AR-15 is “more powerful than a typical hunting rifle,” for example, or the famous “shoulder thing that goes up” remark.
So let’s co-opt their science and reason for ourselves. When it comes to firearms, we are the ones who know the specifics. Please, please, please don’t ruin it by making stupid claims like the one above that can be dis-proven in a ten-second web search.
Full disclosure: I’ve been an NRA member since the late Seventies. Mrs. Animal and I have both been Life Members for over twenty years. I know damn well why the NRA was founded. So do they. So should everyone.