An anti-NRA feature story posted last weekend at salon.com is so devoid of logic and fact that it’s hard to even know where to begin in discussing it.
Titled “6 gun groups that aren’t for white right-wingers,” the author, Kali Holloway, attempts to talk about some pro-gun groups that apparently aren’t “like” the National Rifle Association. But before getting to her rundown of such groups, she shows her blatant lack of understanding of law-abiding gun owners and the NRA in more ways than one, turning her reporting into just another example of fake news.
Note first that Holloway is listed as the “associate editor of media and culture” for AlterNet, if that tells you anything. By looking at her past writings, it looks like she is attempting to make a living solely by race-baiting and ruthlessly trashing the Trump administration.
In this case, she bases her entire feature on one big lie—that the NRA is a racist organization.In this case, she bases her entire feature on one big lie—that the NRA is a racist organization. Yet Holloway never even tries to prove that accusation is true—she’s content to simply use her own bias to condemn 5 million law-abiding Americans without giving a second thought to the fact that in doing so, she is being racist herself.
“I have a theory that the quickest way to get legislative gun control in this country would be to start a movement that successfully convinces millions of black folks to join the NRA,” Holloway began. “I’m not pro-gun, I just know that a gun rights movement fueled largely by white fright would suddenly see the logic in gun restrictions if more people that didn’t look like them carried firearms.”
First, Holloway might benefit from a short primer on the racist roots of the gun control movement. As frequent America’s 1st Freedom contributor Dave Kopel pointed out in a 2015 feature, the desire to keep freed blacks from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms led to many of our nation’s early gun control laws—the very types of laws that NRA continues to fight against today.
Additionally, as Kopel and associate Joseph Greenlee explained in a recent feature at thehill.com, firearms have historically protected Americans from white supremacists. In fact, private firearm ownership largely made possible the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
“Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion in the 2010 McDonald v. Chicago explicated the history of gun control as race control,” wrote Kopel and Greenlee. “Historically, people of color in the United States have often had to depend on themselves for protection. Sometimes the reason is not overt hostility by the government, but instead the incapability of government to secure public safety, as in Chicago today.”
“A central focus of my NRA presidency is to help the NRA be more inclusive than it’s ever been.” — NRA President Pete BrownellWhether Holloway wants to admit it or not, when NRA fights against restrictive gun laws, or increased firearm taxes, or increased carry permit fees that disproportionately affect those with lower incomes living in inner cities, the organization is largely fighting for the right of minorities to keep and bear arms. Does that sound like a racist organization?
Secondly, the NRA members I’ve met are among the most warm and open people in the country, and are very welcoming of all who want to be a part of the movement to save the Second Amendment. It’s a big-tent organization that fights for the rights of all—including Holloway’s right to keep and bear arms, whether she chooses to practice it or not.
While Holloway seems to be trying to divide Americans even further at this critical juncture in our nation’s history, NRA is trying to bring together all who believe in liberty and who understand that the right to self-defense is a basic human right of all free people.
As new NRA President Pete Brownell put it recently in a column titled “Second Amendment Belongs To All Americans, Regardless Of Race, Creed Or Gender,” which was published in the NRA’s official journals: “The Second Amendment belongs to every American. The freedom secured by the Second Amendment cannot be put asunder by any conceivable element of discrimination—not by color, race, age, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political ideology or national origin. This is the simple, direct message of the National Rifle Association to all Americans. I’m proud of our minority outreach efforts to date, but more work needs to be done. A central focus of my NRA presidency is to help the NRA be more inclusive than it’s ever been.
“The Constitution does not care about the tone of your skin, who you love, which political party you’ve vowed to support or which language you speak—if you’re speaking the language of freedom. If you’re willing to protect your family no matter the cost, and if you want to have a say when it comes to your rights as a law-abiding, responsible American gun owner, then I want you to join us.”
So please, Ms. Holloway, quickly jumpstart your movement to bring millions of black members to the NRA. As you can see by Brownell’s recent comments, they’ll be welcomed with open arms.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.