The National Rifle association was formed on November 17, 1871 by Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate.
They acknowledge on there website (A brief history, n.d.), that they are a major political force and a defender of Second Amendments rights. Their main focus, however, is firearms education.
The current President of the NRA is James W. Porter, who took over for for David Keene in early 2013 (NRA Leaders, n.d.). Both are shown in the picture above, Porter on the left and Keene on the right. It’s interesting to note that actor Charleton Heston, the celebrity who played Sampson in “The Ten Commandments,” was the acting President of the NRA and served successfully in that role from 1997-2003.
The NRA promotes education among the youth and has had programs in place for some time. “The NRA’s interest in promoting the shooting sports among America’s youth began in 1903 when NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones urged the establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies. By 1906, NRA’s youth program was in full swing with more than 200 boys competing in matches at Sea Girt that summer. Today, youth programs are still a cornerstone of the NRA, with more than one million youth participating in NRA shooting sports events and affiliated programs with groups such as 4-H, the Boy Scouts of America, the American Legion, U.S. Jaycees and others” (A brief history, n.d.).
The NRA, in spite of their “lobbying” accusations and being referred to as a strong arm in government, is largely community minded and seeks education of society which results in responsible handling of any and all firearms. They reach beyond our borders and into other countries. “The NRA’s call to help arm Britain in 1940 resulted in the collection of more than 7,000 firearms for Britain’s defense against potential invasion by Germany (Britain had virtually disarmed itself with a series of gun control laws enacted between World War I and World War II)”(A brief history, n.d.).