John Glenn’s Heroic Legacy Dimmed by His Support for ‘Gun Control’

By David Codrea

Remember and celebrate John Glenn’s life and deeds outside of politics. [Photos: NASA, The White House]
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA –  -(  John Glenn has passed away at the age of 95. The Marine pilot, astronaut and senator died Thursday afternoon at Wexler Medical Center in Columbus, OH, surrounded by family.

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,” 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 ’68primarily 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.

[Photo: NASA]
David Codrea in his natural habitat.

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.

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It should not be looked over that George H. W. Bush was the only member of the Texas deligation that voted FOR the 1968 GCA. Seems many forget this when holding the Bushes on a pedistal.

Edward Weber

I’m personally not sure why they call John Glenn a hero. Just because he went into space and orbited around the earth? We sent monkeys into space and orbited around the earth and we don’t hail them as heroes. I think we use the word ‘Hero’ too loosely.


I remember watching Glenn’s journey into orbit in February, 1962 (as well as Alan Shephard’s journey into space in May, 1961), and feeling a sense or pride, at the tender age of 6. Having said that, I agree with Dave Codrea, in that I can’t understand Glenn’s support for onerous gun-control legislation, especially since he flew those combat missions against a regime that disarmed its subjects, and whose gun-control statutes served as the model for the Gun Control Act of 1968. In fairness, it’s not just John Glenn, though. I had a lot of respect for the Israeli author and… Read more »

Jim Macklin

Don’t just blame Glenn, 51% of Ohio voters put him in place because he was a passenger in a Mercury ballistic space pod.



You’re one of my heroes. Keep up the good work.

Dave Burch

2nd Amender

I guess everybody gets at least one chance to piss someone else off!

Judge the man by his actions, place them on a scale, and let things settle out by themselves….no need to lean in on a dead man’s legacy.
R.I.P. John Glenn

Roger VerMulm

I recall writing a term paper in HS in ’64 on Dodd’s efforts to enact stringent gun control, which culminated in the GCA of ’68. So this stuff is never ending effort by those among us, including the late Sen. Glenn, and I must say it always comes as a surprise to me when ex-military types come out as Progressive/Liberal Dems and inevitably decide that the Constitution only matters when it has a positive impact for their person … like taking the 5th.

Dr. Jim Clary

Not only was Col Glenn anti-gun, but he was also against females ever being pilots in the armed forces or NASA. He personally prevented the seven female astronauts of Mercury 13 from ever getting into space. And, when NASA was getting ready to let him get a ride on the shuttle, there was a movement to allow one of the original Mercury 13 gals ride along also and he said NO. If there was ever a misogynist, he was one.


Anti-Constitutional/ant-freedom/ anti-gun activists live on in high military and NASA types. Gen Petraeus, Mark Kelley(astronaut), both gun banners and Petraeus up for Sec of State.

Old Guy

It is sort of strange but of the good number of military officers who came up in the Viet Name era and before are anti-gun. Officers, not rank and file. Don’t know why that is but a good number are.


Glenn’s aeronautical accomplishments aside… Don’t be hornswoggled that his flaws were limited to disrespect for the 2nd… On July 16, 1996, the Senate Committee on Governmental affairs held hearings considering a bill to require Congress to specify for each new law which section of the Constitution gives it authority to pass the law. United States Senator Glenn spoke out strongly against this requirement stating: “Americans just want us to… not be concerned if they can be constitutionally justified… Why, if we had to do that we could not pass most of the laws we enact around here.” And so,… Read more »


I agree. I’m also from Ohio. He supported EVERY state & federal gun control law that I can remember: “assault weapons” bans, certain handgun bans, handgun registration, “assault weapons” import bans, “hi-cap” magazine bans, etc.. John Glenn always allied with communist and fellow Democrap Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum on gun control issues (Metzenbaum’s voting record makes Charles Schumer look conservative on gun issues).

When you work to strip away liberty, and criminalize your own people, you can never be looked at as a hero no matter what you have done in the past.

Dr. Jim Clary

AND, don’t forget that Glenn personally made sure, via Senate testimony and his NASA contacts, that the seven fully trained women astronauts of Mercury 13 would never make it into space. He was a real misogynist who also was against female pilots in the AF or allowing female cadets into the USAFA.

Clark Kent

Shows you there is some good in everyone as there is NO ROOM for women in ANY combat role, period, end of story.

Dr. Jim Clary

And, a lot of folks forget that Glenn personally made sure that the seven trained female astronauts called the Mercury 13 never made it to space. He believed that women were not fit or good enough for space. He even intervened to make sure that one of them did not get the ride on the shuttle instead of him. He may have been a great fighter pilot and astronaut, but he was a misogynist at heart.

Matt in Oklahoma

Buried him right there with his dream of gun Registration and Klinton for potus

Scott Grissom

No one benefited more and contributed less than John Glenn.


He’s right there in the same flock with J. Kerry and J. McCain.


I’ve known about the GCA of 1968 for some 37 years, and have espoused that fact. multiple times on this forum m. I guess being a former gun dealer and reading alot about the subject over the years has given me advantages over the average American.


I guess it is another historical irony: hardly any americans realize the critical role of nazis in our modern day gun laws, just as almost none understand the crucial role nazi scientists played in america’s space program – and john glenn was heavily involved in both!


I am glad codrea brought up the origin of the 68 gun control bill. I would bet not even one percent of the country realizes our modern gun control laws originate with actual nazi gun laws.


Isn’t Gabby Giffords married to another ‘anti-gun astronaut’?


Anyone who has researched NASA knows that ALL astronauts are “free masons” and the whole space program is a lie that has been perpetuated to bilk tax payers out of tens of billions of $$$ a year. It doesn’t matter what their accomplishments were prior to working for NASA, they have sold their souls to the left (devil) for money and power – Glen was no different. I have no respect for any of these scum who become leftist politicians and violate the rights of the people and ignore the Constitution for their own gain. He is no different than… Read more »