The early NRA believed in gun control as a matter of public safety.
“I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns," then-NRA President Karl T. Frederick told members of the House Ways and Means Committee, when they were considering passing the National Firearms Act in 1934. "I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses."
The National Firearms Act was passed in 1934, five years after the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago. It taxed, rather than banned, machine guns. Later laws took machine guns out of the hands of everyday citizens. In many cases the NRA helped draft gun control laws.
But the passage of that law was the first of many gun laws. It was a pivotal moment in America's history, marking the first comprehensive, federal gun-control law. Since then we have banned assault- and military-style weapons just to have the next administration change the laws again. In the meantime, more and more people die of gun violence.
In the 1920s and 30s and again from 2005 to 2018, gun attacks on civilians became increased. We are a far more violent nation today than we were when the NRA helped pass the first gun control laws.
During the 20s and 30s, robberies of banks, breweries, import and export businesses, and small turf wars among various criminal groups were taking place. Gun fights on sidewalks between criminal groups were not unusual. Often the guns of choice were Thompson 45-cal. machine guns (Tommy Guns) which were also used as a military combat weapon. Shotguns and semi-automatic pistols were so popular that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were sometimes outgunned and had to increase the power of the guns that they carried.
But even then, the USA was not experiencing the volume of gun violence that we experienced in 2016-2018. The USA today has more guns in private hands than any nation on earth.
NPR reported in its 2016 article, “Guns in America,” that “THERE ARE MORE THAN 300 MILLION GUNS IN THE USA.” About 150 million guns have been produced by U.S. gun manufacturers since 1986 alone, and a majority of these are military-style, semi-automatic guns much more powerful than the old “Tommy Guns” of the 1930s.
The rate of gun deaths, gun robberies, gun assaults and gun suicides is directly related to the fact so many Americans have easy access to guns. We have a “gun epidemic,” and this has largely been promoted by the NRA, which was taken over by a leadership that has carefully blended a philosophy of guns, politics and patriotism into something different than the “gentleman hunter” or the “father and son out for a special hunt together” that was popular from 1930-1960. The gun has now become a “macho weapon” that is often advertised and promoted as the weapon to "keep the government” or some named politician of the day at bay. It was Bill Clinton for a while, then Obama, but now, ironically, Trump is the only president who has said, "Confiscate the weapons, and litigate later." We note that on Feb, 12, 2018, Remington Arms, America’s Oldest Gunmaker, filed for bankruptcy because the company had built so many new “AR-type guns” (military-looking, semi automatic weapons) that it had been unable to sell enough to cover its debts. The strategy of manufacturing more guns, was encouraged by a myth, often promoted by NRA members, that if Hillary Clinton won the presidency, she would take everyone’s guns away. When Trump won, gun lovers stopped buying so many guns.
Other gun makers in the USA are also reporting large surplus inventories of unsold guns, and we may see other gun companies in financial difficulty. BootheGlobalPerspectives predicted some of this years ago, reporting that the NRA's “the government will take your guns” myth resulted in record sales. The current AR-style guns easily can be converted to “machine gun” type performance with a low cost "bump stock" addition, and although republican and democratic leaders swore that they would make them illegal, republican House and Senate leaders have blocked every effort to do so. Thus the kids of the USA have risen up with their own political movement to stop the “bullshit” and “do something now to make our schools safe."
One by one, corporations, businessmen and investors are taking steps to stop catering to the powerful NRA.
Airlines, retail stores, food service companies -- the list goes on and on -- are taking away discounts or special preferences previously granted to the NRA, and more and more voters are telling elected officials, "Don't take money from the NRA. It is blood money, and we kids are paying the price."
Millions of Americans believe in the family and cultural heritage of having a gun for hunting in their house. But other millions of Americans are beginning to see that like many have figured out, WE DON'T NEED A SEMI-AUTOMATIC, MILITARY-STYLE GUN WITH A 30-ROUND CLIP TO TAKE A QUIET WALK IN THE WOODS AND SHOW OUR GRANDKIDS HOW TO HUNT FOR A DEER.
Bill Ruger, whose family founded the famous Ruger Gun Company, recently sold his stock in the company, saying,