Reading about the history of the NRA I was surprised and pleased to learn of the original purpose of the NRA, Marksmanship. It was all about assuring the effective use of firearms. As I continued to read I was further impressed when I read the following from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rifle_Association
Karl Frederick, NRA President in 1934, during congressional NFA hearings testified “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. … I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” Four years later, the NRA backed the Federal Firearms Act of 1938.
As I read the second amendment, the NRA President seems to embrace the first clause.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The NRA focus seems to have been on making sure those who bear arms are properly trained. Clearly a principal roll of a regulated militia is the training of its members.
A key word in the initial phrase of the Second amendment is “regulated”. This word means:
control or supervise (something, especially a company or business activity) by means of rules and regulations.
Reading more about the history of this organization there was a unfortunate strategic shift.
Until the middle 1970s, the NRA mainly focused on sportsmen, hunters and target shooters, and downplayed gun control issues. However, passage of the GCA galvanized a growing number of NRA gun rights activists, including Harlon Carter. In 1975, it began to focus more on politics and established its lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), with Carter as director. The next year, its political action committee (PAC), the Political Victory Fund, was created in time for the 1976 elections. The 1977 annual convention was a defining moment for the organization and came to be known as “The Cincinnati Revolution”. Leadership planned to relocate NRA headquarters to Colorado and to build a $30 million recreational facility in New Mexico, but activists within the organization whose central concern was Second Amendment rights defeated the incumbents and elected Carter as executive director and Neal Knox as head of the NRA-ILA. Insurgents including Harlon and Knox had demanded new leadership in part because they blamed incumbent leaders for existing gun control legislation like the GCA and believed that no compromise should be made
The question – why this shift away from Marksmanship, hunting and sportsmen?
How do gun manufactures play into this shift? How does the desire for profit, stimulate a shift to advocating gun ownership?
I then read a bit of Harlon Carter’s history. Convicted of murder and one can sense a racist attitude. Maybe the manufacturers came later and the white supremacist came first.
We America need to take politics out of the discussion and commission a panel of professional English language grammar scholars. We should ask them to carefully read the language of the second amendment and provide clarity as to what people, at the time it was written, meant if there is a strict interpretation of the Grammar. This thought led to a search for some previously prepared analysis of the construction of the second amendment.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
[pdf-embedder url=”https://andreae.com/wp-content/uploads/securepdfs/2018/11/guns-and-grammer.pdf” title=”guns and grammer”]
Clearly there are multiple interpretations, ranging from the objective of “Maintain a well regulated militia” to the objective of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”.
I personally am of the view that what one of these articles described as the “Collective Rights Approach”
Given these multiple interpretations, we the people as the majority of the people should vote and decide which we seek to be the appropriate interpretation.