By Scott Melzer
Not anything inspires pictures of the yank frontier and a pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps view of freedom and independence rather like weapons. Gun Crusaders is an interesting within examine how the four-million member nationwide Rifle organization and its devoted contributors come to work out every gun keep watch over hazard as a step down the trail in the direction of gun confiscation, and at last socialism. Enlivened via a wealthy research of NRA fabrics, conferences, chief speeches, and special in-depth interviews with NRA participants, Gun Crusaders makes a speciality of how the NRA constructs and perceives threats to gun rights as yet another assault in a large liberal cultural struggle. Scott Melzer indicates that the NRA promotes a nostalgic imaginative and prescient of frontier masculinity, wherein gun rights defenders are obvious as patriots and freedom warring parties, protecting now not the liberty of faith, however the faith of person rights and freedoms.
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Additional info for Gun Crusaders: The NRA's Culture War
50 Following this coup the NRA experienced some setbacks, but the new leadership saw these difficulties as a purification process: only supporters of gun rights were now welcome. 51 A standing ovation greeted EVP Carter at the 1983 annual meeting, when President Ronald Reagan joined him on stage, symbolizing the epitome of the NRA’s influence in gun control politics. Reflecting the dramatic organizational transformation from gun enthusiasts to hard-liners, the NRA headquarters now displayed a sign, in capital letters, stating: THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
General Franklin Orth, the NRA Executive Vice President at the time, along with other Old Guard leaders whose interest in firearms centered on being sportsmen, bought so much land that they had room not only for a world-class shooting range but also for camping, survival training, and educational programs on conservation and environmental awareness. Instead of calling it the “National Shooting Center,” they named it the “National Outdoor Center,” a decision seen as treasonous by a small but growing faction within the NRA who focused on preserving unrestricted gun rights.
Adopt the culture’s values, beliefs, and in most cases hierarchical power divide between women and men, or expect to be marginalized by those men. Event speakers informed us that this Women’s Breakfast, only the second ever held, brought in $10,000 for the women’s endowment, a tiny drop in the NRA bucket and evidence that even assimilation does not necessarily lead to enthusiastic acceptance. NRA leader Wayne LaPierre appeared toward the end of the breakfast to show his support, but clearly women are not the NRA’s target audience.