What If There Were No NRA?

By Allan D. Cors, NRA President

Signing of the Gun Control Act on 22 October in 1968 with President Lyndon B. Johnson
Signing of the Gun Control Act on 22 October in 1968 with President Lyndon B. Johnson
Allan D. Cors
Allan D. Cors

FAIRFAX, Va. –-(Ammoland.com)- As NRA's new president, I am grateful to serve with you to preserve America’s unique freedoms.

I first encountered the National Rifle Association as an 11-year-old growing up in Ohio. Mentored by the NRA in the 1950s by men who had a passion for owning firearms and shooting, I learned the true meaning of our Second Amendment.

Recently, an old friend and I were remembering those remarkably free times: when “gun control” was not even in the lexicon; when a kid could take a shotgun or rifle to school and stow it in the cloakroom for after-school target practice or hunting.

My friend asked rhetorically, “What would life be like without the NRA?”

I know the answer to that question because I lived it.

I was blessed to have been present—working as a staff attorney in Congress—at the beginning of all of the legislative battles that have been thrust upon us.

In that fight—which brought us the 1968 Gun Control Act—there was no NRA as we know it today. We had no means to assemble our collective power as individuals to influence government. “Lobbying” was just not proper.

The sad truth is that the majority of the NRA’s Board of Directors at that time didn’t see disaster in the offing.

Then came the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy (an NRA Life member), and of Martin Luther King Jr., himself a believer in armed self-defense.

As a young attorney, I served as minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee. Universal, national gun control to most of us was a totally unacceptable, foreign concept.

My civil disarmament counterparts on the majority side were the opposite. They and their bosses—along with their allies in the U.S. Senate, the Department of Justice and President Lyndon Johnson’s White House—were motivated by a kind of hatred of gun owners that none of us had seen before.

Allied with those zealots was a coalition of 32 organizations, brought together by U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, called The National Council for a Responsible Firearms Policy. With the intensely active assistance of the White House, that lobby—headed by astronaut John Glenn—created a mob of anti-gun media. Glenn (later a U.S. senator) and his cohorts were pushing for universal gun owner registration and licensing, and prohibitive controls on all legal firearm commerce.

The NRA was not organized at all. Whatever reaction there was came from individual gun owners as a spontaneous response to the media hysterics. NRA members responded, but NRA itself sent horribly mixed signals to our supporters on the Hill. To make matters worse, just days before a first major gun-control vote, then-U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

The vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Gun Control Act of 1968 was 161-129, giving Johnson and his grassroots Glenn committee a 32-vote margin.

The minority staffs in both the House and the Senate fought a rear guard action. We did surprisingly well. Registration and licensing were swept off the table. Bans were off the table. But without an NRA to lead the effort, the Gun Control Act of 1968 became law. It was a monster—a regulatory law with harsh criminal penalties for any infraction—the perfect vehicle for civil liberties abuses.

The really sad thing about that House vote was that 141 members on both sides of the aisle who were supporters of the Second Amendment simply didn’t vote. Those votes easily could have won the day.

Along with millions of other beleaguered gun owners and NRA members, I swore, “Never again.”

In 1975, I was blessed once more, this time to be among those on the NRA Board of Directors creating the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA)—a real citizens’ lobby to defend the Second Amendment against all threats.

Harlon B. Carter
Harlon B. Carter

Under the proudly hard-line leadership of Harlon B. Carter, who recruited a young staff with boundless commitment and energy, the battle for our liberty changed overnight.

In these 40 years since ILA’s birth, support for the Second Amendment has been unwavering.

Our strength, then and now, is in our membership—in you, and your partnership with the dedicated men and women in ILA who represent you before government bodies at all levels. Their success is always your success.

Today with new fights, new tactics—from billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and George Soros—and the unprecedented abuse of power by President Obama, your membership has never been more important. But we must become numerically stronger than ever.

You will soon get a letter from NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre on strengthening our grassroots power. Your response is essential and will make sure that the NRA will always prevail over threats to diminish and destroy the Second Amendment.

National Rifle Association
National Rifle Association

About: Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group.

Nearly five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.

Visit: www.nra.org

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    ChicagoGuyRichMoonPievincewardeCharles Nichols Recent comment authors
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    ChicagoGuy
    Guest
    ChicagoGuy

    We could only hope that the aging baby boomer losers in the NRA would just fade away. When the U.S. Federal court in Chicago forced the IL legislature to enact a carry law, NRA contract lobbyist for IL Todd Vandermyde loaded up Rep. Brandon Phelps HB 183 “NRA backed” bill with Duty to Inform w/ criminal penalties of 6 MONTHS or 1 YEAR in jail, plus an UNLIMITED privacy waiver and hundreds of gun-free zones. Vandermyde worked for William Dugan, president of the Intl. Union of Operating Engineers local 150 in Countryside, IL, before Dugan was convicted by U.S. Attorney… Read more »

    HK Latham
    Guest
    HK Latham

    Indicted Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was given an “A” rating by the NRA, and he is certainly no friend to gun owners. Check out:
    http://www.examiner.com/article/embattled-hastert-was-no-friend-to-gun-owners-despite-a-rating?CID=examiner_alerts_article. I gave up on the NRA years ago over stabbing us in the back on state issues. They lie to your face and are arrogant to boot. Thanks, but I’ll support GOA , Second Amendment Foundation and National Association For Gun Rights, etc.

    Charles Nichols
    Guest
    Charles Nichols

    The Second Amendment Foundation is worse than the NRA, it has brought one failed lawsuit after another claiming that states can ban Open Carry. You might as well be supporting the Brady Bunch. As to the GOA and NAGR, they certainly talk a lot and are constantly asking for money but how many Open Carry lawsuits have they filed? The answer is none. The GOA/GOC even filed a brief in support of an NRA lawsuit which argues to uphold California’s Open Carry ban as well as argues to uphold California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 – Peruta v. San… Read more »

    Ralph Pryor
    Guest
    Ralph Pryor

    I am not at all surprised at some of the answers to this email considering the level of education that our High School graduates possess It appears there is now a lack of ability to understand the intent of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights The right to Keep and bear Arms is not about what a hunter needs or what his firearm looks like . The secondment was inserted into the Bill of Rights to Protect the general public from a Tyrannical Government . Those who speak out against our God given Rights are part of the problem… Read more »

    MoonPie
    Guest
    MoonPie

    Your right our, schools probably don’t teach any of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, if they don’t know about it the government can casually repeal, strip and delete any part of it they want to without anyone knowing it. Oba-mao administration is definitely trying to rip it up and has no respect for it because he has push all kinds of illegal rules, regulations and laws that keep the supreme court ,congress and the house busy trying to keep under control. Michelle and barack both spout hate for the USA and try their level best to keep trouble stirred… Read more »

    RDNK
    Guest
    RDNK

    The NRA called me wanting me to consider putting them in my will as a beneficiary. I was laughing so hard when I told this idiot to ‘go to hell’,I’m not sure he understood me or not. The NRA lies,decieves,but really like them fat salaries.

    JohnC
    Guest
    JohnC

    NRA… nothing rational accepted. I am not sure whether I am a pointy head or Kool Aid drinker, but open carry or 30 capacity assault weapons are not reasonable goals of reasonable citizens. It must be horrible to live in constant fear of everything to the point of carrying a hog leg everywhere you go. Yes I own several guns and am ready to defend my family and country. The NRA seems to be in conflict with reason. Reason being ” One does not have to have a machine gun and be a red neck, paranoid, belligerent wimp hiding behind… Read more »

    John
    Guest
    John

    “but open carry or 30 capacity assault weapons are not reasonable goals of reasonable citizens” Obviously you are not understanding that this is about the 2A and not about what is considered reasonable. You are one of this two faced that claim to be all for the 2A, while you are more in line with what is called an elitist. Just ask yourself – how is it possible to create a militia without access to weapons of all kind? If you don’t have the guns you can not create “a well regulated militia”. In 1770 there was no regulations in… Read more »

    eaglesnester
    Guest
    eaglesnester

    First off before U open your yap about assault weapons U should at least know what an assault weapon is. Assault weapons are illegal and have been since the 1930es. Assault weapons have a select fire switch that allows them to be switched to machine gun mode. All of the automatic weapons sold in the United States today are not assault weapons.

    Charles Nichols
    Guest
    Charles Nichols

    Real “assault weapons” are machine-guns and they are legal in most states, if you can afford to buy one.

    VOX
    Guest
    VOX

    How much does George Soros pay you to go on pro-gun forums and post lies?

    Darren
    Guest
    Darren

    I’m just so curious I have to ask your point of view, what is “…true meaning of our Second Amendment”?

    mikrat
    Guest
    mikrat

    I’m sure he’s is working on a few definitions to give depending on who’s in the room.

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    Muskrat,have you tried reading the 2A ? Does the wording of it confuse you ?

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    Read it ! Almost any 7 year old can tell you the meaning of it. Its very self explanatory. Doe the ”well regulated militia”,or the ‘shall not be infringed’ part of it confuse you ?

    Charles Nichols
    Guest
    Charles Nichols

    http://CaliforniaRightToCarry.org “[A] right to carry arms openly: “This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations.”” District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008) at 2809 “[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms (art. 2) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons…” Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 US 275 – Supreme Court (1897) at 282. “In Nunn v. State,… Read more »

    TEX
    Guest
    TEX

    I joined the GOA instead of renewing with the NRA. The NRA does not represent firearm owners like the GOA does. GOA doesn’t compromise/negotiate our 2A rights with the gungrabbers like the NRA. I’m still a lifetime member of TSRA,but I’m done with the NRA until they come around and show some backbone.

    Charles Nichols
    Guest
    Charles Nichols

    Unfortunately there is a lawsuit in California, Peruta v. San Diego, where the NRA has been arguing these past five years that California can ban Open Carry. The GOA/GOC filed a brief in support of the NRA.

    Not a single so called gun-rights groups has filed even a single lawsuit challenging an Open Carry ban or filed a single brief in support of my lawsuit to overturn California’s Open Carry bans -> http://blog.californiarighttocarry.org/?page_id=739.

    Charles Nichols
    Guest
    Charles Nichols

    How do you know when someone from the NRA is lying? His lips are moving. The NRA endorsed the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968. The NRA endorsed the National Firearms Act of 1934. In the 1920s the NRA lobbied for the passage of the Uniform Firearms Act which called for permits to carry and possess handguns which California passed in 1923 with the explicit intent to ban Latinos and Chinese from carrying (or even possessing) handguns. The NRA helped write California’s 1967 ban on openly carrying loaded firearms in public. A ban which the NRA is arguing to uphold… Read more »

    Tred
    Guest
    Tred

    @Charles, we know your contempt for the NRA, as always a hater will hate, regardless…

    Charles Nichols
    Guest
    Charles Nichols

    And the Kool-Aid drinking pointy headed opponents of Open Carry will still be cowards and criminals.

    JohnC
    Guest
    JohnC

    Mr Nichols, You must be a trembling fraidy cat to have to rely on a big gun to walk down the street. I am sorry for you.

    Bill in IL
    Guest
    Bill in IL

    Whatever you non – gun owning FUDD.

    Anonymous
    Guest
    Anonymous

    You liberals turned our cities into savage Third World jungles. If we can’t leave the house unarmed, it’s your fault, not ours. And if you’re in denial about the effects of the policies enacted by the people you vote for, that is, likewise, on you.

    mikrat
    Guest
    mikrat

    @TRED – You are part of the problem as your willful ignorance and ego allow the “elite” to plunder on.

    vincewarde
    Guest
    vincewarde

    First of all, when arguing a case before the courts there is this thing called tactics. The lawyers involved in this case, who are making these arguments have one case after case for California gun owners. They win because they approach cases thoughtfully. For instance, they just won a case in which the trial court ruled that our stupid 10 day waiting period has no value when applied to current gun owners. Their argument: 1) With gun registration in place the state knows who current gun owners are. 2) If a waiting period has any value, it is only for… Read more »

    Rich
    Guest
    Rich

    NRA has sold out