By David Codrea
The man was unquestionably an American hero, having flown a total of 149 combat missions in World War II and the Korean War. He literally put his life on the line for this country uncounted times, deserving our gratitude for a debt we can never pay back.
For many of us growing up at the time of his perilous first Mercury orbital mission in Friendship 7, he was a larger-than-life icon.
And for those of us who went on to become advocates for the right to keep and bear arms, he was an enigma we’ll forever have trouble reconciling. Our admiration for his deeds will be dogged by recognition of the lead Glenn took in imposing infringements that dictate the way guns are owned and transferred today.
“Pro–gun control advocates mobilized and constructed an effective pro–gun control pressure group called the Emergency Committee for Gun Control,” Encycopedia.com documents. “The bipartisan organization was headed by Colonel John H. Glenn, Jr., a former astronaut and friend of Senator Robert Kennedy.”
The most significant federal legislation since the 1934 National Firearms Act, GCA ’68 “primarily focuses on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers.” It also added marking requirements, denied guns to specific classes of “prohibited persons” and placed import restrictions on “non-sporting” weapons.
As Aaron Zelman and Richard J. Stevens of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership documented in “’Gun Control’- Gateway to Tyranny,” GCA ’68 author Sen. Thomas Dodd was not only in possession of a copy of German “gun control” laws from 1938, but that a side-by-side comparison with U.S. law reveals fundamental similarities, particularly when it comes to the origin of “sporting purpose” restrictions.
That’s an irreconcilable difference those of us who admired John Glenn, but believed him to have been gravely mistaken in his views on the right to keep and bear arms, will carry into eternity.
That’s sad, because for many of us, “God speed John Glenn” is more than words from history, it’s a sentiment we feel as we come to grips with and mourn his passing.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.