David Keene is the president of the National Rifle Association, and wrote an op-ed recently explaining why his organization lobbies so hard for gun rights in America. Whether you love or hate the NRA, his column is a must-read for gun supporters and those opposed who want a better understanding of the other side.
In a column for CNN, Keene recalls a brief history of the National Rifle Association, and a few of the major battles they’ve faced over the years to head off any federal or state effort at stricter gun laws. According to Keene, the national discussion on gun control as we understand it today started with President Lyndon Johnson when he signed the Gun Control Act of 1968. There have been several other attempts since for stricter gun control, but most have not been successful, and Keene believes that gun rights continue to win over time.
However, referencing the Sandy Hook tragedy, Keene writes that some “have sought to exploit December’s incomprehensible murders in Newtown, Connecticut, to impose further restrictions on honest people.”
“The organization’s political strength rests on the bipartisan and diverse make-up of its membership and of the millions of nonmember firearms owners who look to the NRA for leadership and their willingness to step up to the plate and the ballot box when their rights are threatened,” he writes.
“The Obama administration has attempted to demonize the NRA and cow gun owners into accepting restrictions that they know won’t make anyone safer but which will interfere with a citizen’s ability to acquire, keep and rely on firearms to protect their families or participate in the shooting sports.”
“But gun owners have been energized rather than cowed. They are presenting a truly united front as they rally to fight for their constitutionally guaranteed rights.”
Overall, Keene seems relatively calm and a bit more reasoned than the NRA’s usual talking head, Wayne LaPierre. Yahoo reports that following the most recent Senate hearings on gun violence, Keene thinks that the gun rights crowd will win in the end, despite the fact that the NRA faces some of its most vocal and widespread opposition in years.
“People are smarter than politicians, and common sense ultimately prevails. … We’ve had that discussion at various decibel levels over the last several decades, and it’s always come out that way and I expect it to happen again,” he said.
Whether or not David Keene’s cool confidence sends a chill up your spine, well … we can’t help you there.
What do you think of NRA president David Keene’s op-ed on gun rights?