Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic, has a guest post over at Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog, where he finds parallels between the “tactics and rhetoric” of today’s NRA and those of pro-slavery forces in the period leading up to the Civil War. His post closes with an interesting bit of history regarding the NRA’s founding:
Here’s one last link between the Slave Power and Gun Power, albeit ironic. The NRA was founded after the Civil War by Union veterans who felt Yankees had shown a lack of marksmanship in battling Rebels.The NRA’s first president was General Ambrose Burnside, who led Union troops at Antietam, a battle that in turn led Lincoln to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This early NRA appears to have regarded guns and marksmanship as necessary to the maintenance of a well-regulated militia. Today’s NRA, of course, resists the “regulated” part of that equation. And militia, in its mind, means massively armed individuals ready to resist the “jack-booted government thugs” of the ATF and other agencies (including the United Nations).