Those Who Call The NRA Racist Don’t Know Our History

From America’s 1st Freedom:

by Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

This feature appears in the October ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.  

Of the many big lies of the gun-ban media, none should make us angrier than the malicious, false notion that somehow the NRA is racist.

Confronted with that “NRA-racism” claim by a CBS news anchor, my instant reply was to say that at a time when the doors of many newsrooms were sealed against employment of people of color, membership in the NRA was wide open.

It has been ever thus since the founding of our Association in 1871 by former Union officers—men who were deeply committed to ending the vestiges of slavery and to seeking equal rights for all.

One of the great honors of my career at the NRA was serving with Charlton Heston and Roy Innis—among the great figures in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

Heston marched in Selma, Ala., and in Washington, D.C., arm-in-arm with Dr. Martin Luther King, who was a gun owner who knew the sting of racist gun control.

Heston was a man not just touched by that history, but immersed in it. He lived and breathed civil liberties. He understood better than anyone the NRA’s role as the oldest civil rights organization in the nation.

Innis, who headed the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) as a civil rights pioneer in the 1960s, was a staunch Second Amendment supporter, serving for 25 years as an NRA director until his death in January this year. His son, Niger, carries on in his footsteps.

With our unyielding dedication to preserving the Second Amendment, the NRA has long been fighting the covert racism of “gun control.” Even today in places like Chicago and D.C.—where the Supreme Court’s will on the Second Amendment is ignored—the targets of the gun banners are good and honest inner-city residents who are the victims of unchecked armed violence: Hispanics and African-Americans.

Nowhere was that more apparent than in the story of Otis McDonald, the lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case that knocked down Chicago’s draconian gun ban in 2010 and extended the individual right to keep and bear arms to every corner of the nation.

An elderly black veteran disarmed by the Chicago political machine of his right to own a handgun in his home, McDonald lived in a once-peaceful neighborhood that had been taken over by gang members. His singular accomplishment was summed up in an obituary published in the Chicago Tribune in 2014, two days after his death at age 80.

“Mr. McDonald felt strongly that he had a duty to stand up for the rights that had been taken away from African-Americans during slavery. … He had come to understand more about his ancestors and the … ‘black codes’ that kept guns out of the hands of freed blacks.”

The Tribune quoted McDonald as saying, “There was a wrong done a long time ago that dates back to slavery time. … I could feel the spirit of those people running through me as I sat in the Supreme Court.”

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