How was the NRA founded and how did a gun lobby become so influential in American politics?

How was the NRA founded and how did a gun lobby become so influential in American politics?

Gun Rights

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is America’s oldest civil rights organisation and the country’s most influential political lobby group, boasting six million members. NRA spokespeople like Dana Loesch routinely appear on TV in the aftermath of mass shootings to insist that the real enemy is the pernicious influence of the entertainment industry and that the solution is the sale of more guns, not fewer. But the group has strayed a long way from its roots. Founded in the aftermath of the Civil War, the NRA was actually in favour of gun control until 1968. First chartered in New York on 16 November 1871 by journalist William Conant Church and lawyer George Wood Wingate, both Yankee veterans, the NRA’s primary goal was to improve marksmanship. The men were shocked by official Union Army statistics from the war that estimated 1,000 bullets were fired for every Confederate soldier hit. Rhode Island gunsmith Ambrose Burnside was elected its first president nine days later. In those early days, there was no strident insistence on the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms. The NRA was simply concerned with training hunters to shoot and promoting responsible gun ownership. The US Army donated surplus rifles to their cause and the state of New York even funded the construction of their first rifle range at Creedmoor, Long Island. The NRA continued to expand in the late 19th century, rolling out new clubs across the country as its membership grew and arranging long-range shooting competitions […]

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How was the NRA founded and how did a gun lobby become so influential in American politics?

How was the NRA founded and how did a gun lobby become so influential in American politics?

Gun Rights

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is America’s oldest civil rights organisation and the country’s most influential political lobby group, boasting six million members. NRA spokespeople like Dana Loesch routinely appear on TV in the aftermath of mass shootings to insist that the real enemy is the pernicious influence of the entertainment industry and that the solution is the sale of more guns, not fewer. But the group has strayed a long way from its roots. Founded in the aftermath of the Civil War , the NRA was actually in favour of gun control until 1968. First chartered in New York on 16 November 1871 by journalist William Conant Church and lawyer George Wood Wingate, both Yankee veterans, the NRA’s primary goal was to improve marksmanship. The men were shocked by official Union Army statistics from the war that estimated 1,000 bullets were fired for every Confederate soldier hit. Rhode Island gunsmith Ambrose Burnside was elected its first president nine days later. In those early days, there was no strident insistence on the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms. The NRA was simply concerned with training hunters to shoot and promoting responsible gun ownership. The US Army donated surplus rifles to their cause and the state of New York even funded the construction of their first rifle range at Creedmoor, Long Island. The NRA continued to expand in the late 19th century, rolling out new clubs across the country as its membership grew and arranging long-range shooting […]

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