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A Blast from the Past

Thanks to Dave Hardy for highlighting this article about NRA from the 1990s. I can’t say I recall these years, since at the time this article was written, I was just taking my drivers test to get my license. I was sixteen and had bigger fish to fry. But I’ve heard from others that the days of J. Warren Cassidy were dark ones for NRA. But reading through the article, you get a sense of a much more engaged membership than exists today. Most of NRA Annual Meeting these days is political theater. In a lot of ways it’s a good thing not to have endless strife, and have factions struggling against other factions, but to a large degree I think NRA members have largely forgotten it’s a membership driven organization.

5 Responses to “A Blast from the Past”

  1. Shootin' Buddy says:

    This is in the aftermath of the Stockton hysteria. Big Media had far more power than they do today.

    The Media meme of ’89 to ’94 was the NRA was a paper tiger that could not hurt the politicians. Note the “declining membership” references.

    Remember, Father Time has removed many Fudd counters off the board. in 1990 NRA’s ranks was still filled with Fudds who did not think that “honest men” needed Glocks or “Assault Rifles” for “hunting”.

    The Cassidy Era was a dark one, but its sordid memory drives me on and keeps me fired up for the fight.

  2. Stranger says:

    I suspect you can blame the internet for many of the changes. Remember, we did not have an effective way to get the word out about new developments. We got some news from the anti-gun media, but generally had to wait for Gun Week to arrive, and then call our friends, cell fashion, to mobilize our people.When the shoo-in for governor announced he was for gun control, I made over 100 telephone calls, myself. And the next day, Gun Control Gil Carmichael’s political career was ended.

    The NRA conventions were our chance to find out more, and improve our communications. I still have many FAXes from that era. Now, with the internet, there is far less closeness in the shooting community. We all face the same enemy – but we have communications.

    Cassidy? Was on par with the IMF Froggy whose name has been so much in the news lately. As I recall, the NRA paid some of his victims a total of two million to settle sexual harassment lawsuits. And I was one who was glad to see his backside.

    I just wish Neil Knox had gotten a chance to run the NRA – but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

    Stranger

  3. mike says:

    A blast from the past, from back when the NRA wasn’t trying to close PA’s so-called “Florida Loophole” and was just dedicated to undoing Hughes. Oh, wait.

  4. richard says:

    Stranger is right about the Internet. I remember calling Knox’s weekly firearms report line back in those days to get a recorded message of the events in DC. That was the “fresh” news. Otherwise one had to wait for an update at a monthly club meeting or gun week. I remember a couple rallies out here that took months to organize.

    I guess it is no surprise as gun owners’ communications networks have improved, we start winning more.

  5. Jacob says:

    Stranger & Richard are correct. Neal did recognize (at least partly) the power of the internet long before NRA and most other gun groups did.

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