The National Rifle Association, once respected and revered, has been under attack from the extreme left for several decades. The NRA is reviled because of their resistance to ever increasing calls for infringements to Second Amendment rights. Our nations founders valued individual liberty which is why they included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. They understood that governments can become corrupted and oppressive and that free people must have the means to defend their freedom should the need arise. The Second Amendment reads:
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
According to Wikipedia, “… out of the world’s nearly 200 constitutions, three still include a right to bear arms: Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States; of these three, only the last does not include explicit restrictive conditions.”
In all the world only the United States of America understands the people’s right to defend against tyranny by being armed. America stands alone as a Constitutionally protected beacon of freedom in the world. Many nations don’t even recognizes the right of an individual to defend himself against personal attack. It seems a rather important point then, that a “well regulated militia,” if required to defend against a tyrannical government, would depend on our citizens being trained in the reliable and safe use of weaponry. It follows that personal gun ownership is vital to that preparedness.
The NRA was founded, in part, to provide training to individuals after Civil War records revealed that Union Army troops “fired about 1,000 rifle shots for each Confederate hit.” Most recruits could reliably fire Muskets but the new rifles were another matter entirely. General Burnside, the first NRA President, noted that, “Out of ten soldiers who are perfect in drill and the manual of arms, only one knows the purpose of the sights on his gun or can hit the broad side of a barn.” How could citizens defend freedom if they were not proficient in the use of weapons?
The NRA was co-founded by General Burnside in November of 1871 in New York state for the purpose of creating a trained militia. A training manual was written, shooting ranges were established, and competitions were formed. The organization soon spread to other states and towns. Training, proficiency, safety, and competition were the organizations main concerns.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…
The modern NRA continues as the leader in the safe and effective use of firearm for America’s citizens and professionals. It teaches gun safety to children. The NRA was and continues to be a driving force behind sensible gun legislation and a defender of Second Amendment rights:
The NRA supported the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA), which regulated what were considered at the time “gangster weapons” such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and sound suppressors…
The NRA supported the 1938 Federal Firearms Act (FFA) which established the Federal Firearms License (FFL) program. The FFA required all manufacturers and dealers of firearms who ship or receive firearms or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce to have a license, and forbade them from transferring any firearm or most ammunition to any person interstate unless certain conditions were met…
The NRA supported and opposed parts of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which broadly regulated the firearms industry and firearms owners, primarily focusing on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers … The NRA supported elements of the law, such as those forbidding the sale of firearms to convicted criminals and the mentally ill …
The NRA-backed Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006 prohibited the confiscation of legal firearms from citizens during states of emergency…
In 2012, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the NRA called on the United States Congress to appropriate funds for a “National School Shield Program”, under which armed police officers would protect students in every U.S. school. The NRA also announced the creation of a program that would advocate for best practices in the areas of security, building design, access control, information technology, and student and teacher training… (Too bad their ideas weren’t implemented more broadly across America then)…
The NRA’s many members have supported and paid fees that protect and conserve national lands, fish and wildlife. It’s members and supporters are represented in both of the major political parties. Members of both parties accept donations from the NRA. The NRA has contributed greatly to our nation and yet, the radical left demonizes and vilifies this organization relentlessly. These are not serious people. They use tragedies and people, like the kids in Florida, for political gamesmanship. Our students need more than political games, agitation, and organized protest. They need to be safe and secure and they need the adults around them to make it so.
Our nation must engage in serious adult discussion and the implementation of policies that work to make our schools safe. We have seen that bureaucracies don’t function well, in particular those bureaucracies at a distance. We have seen that attitudes and policies of local administrators to shield students from criminal prosecution and protect the school’s image lead to terrible and inevitably sad outcomes. Unless we are living in a fantasy world we also know that guns don’t walk into schools to fire randomly at students and so we know that making guns the main issue in the discussion will do little to create security in our schools.
It’s telling that so much violence is happening in our schools. Kids are going to extremes…screaming for the adults to wake up!
Our students need familial, educational, social, and civic moral guidance. We have failed to provide it. They need to know they are valued as human beings. They need consistency and guidelines. They need to be given useful information. Knowledge is power. Education is important. We adults have failed them here too.
It could be valuable for students to be exposed to and learn about guns, gun safety, and situational awareness from professionals. It wouldn’t hurt for them to learn about the valuable role the NRA has played in advancing sensible gun control laws and in training children, parents and professionals in gun safety and proficiency. And it certainly should be imperative for all students to be fuly educated about the purpose of the Second Amendment.
The Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 referred to “a well regulated Militia, composed of the Body of the People, trained to Arms . . . .”
One day it will be up to the students of today to protect the liberty and rights of the people. Will they be up to the task?
A bill of rights may be considered, not only as intended to give law, and assign limits to a government about to be established, but as giving information to the people. By reducing speculative truths to fundamental laws, every man of the meanest capacity and understanding may learn his own rights, and know when they are violated …. By knowing when one’s rights are violated, the citizen may signify his or her displeasure through mechanisms such as the ballot box and the jury box, and may resort to speech, the press, assembly, and petition to denounce the evil. – St. George Tucker – 1803 treatise on the Constitution.
The NRA has been just such a voice for the rights, indeed the obligation, of the people to keep and bear arms.