Fairfax, Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- The year 2019 will mark the 148th anniversary of the founding of the National Rifle Association. This organization has a long legacy of not just protecting our rights, but also for a host of other programs that serve law-abiding citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights. But what will the future look like for this organization?
There have been rumors about NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre possibly stepping down, and speculation about who will replace him. There are major threats that are also being faced. But there have been some successes as well, and even the bad news of the mid-terms have given us reasons for hope.
So, what does the future look like for the NRA?
Well, it is hard to say, much depends on what those who support the Second Amendment do in response to the challenges we face, not just from hostile lawmakers, but from Silicon Valley and from major companies who are weighing in against our rights. They will even have to face growing social stigmatization pushed by pop culture icons and politicians, especially in the suburbs.
That said, the near future – at least through the NRA’s sesquicentennial in 2021 – will involve a fierce battle to keep confirming judges who will defend our right to bear arms. But in this time, it is also important to prepare for what happens down the road, especially if there is a less-friendly president.
But there is a need to think beyond 2021. What should the NRA of 2046 (the organization’s 175th anniversary) look like? Or the NRA of 2071 (it’s bicentennial)? The NRA has had to make big changes before. In the wake of the 1968 Gun Control Act, it shifted from primarily firearms safety education and training into the legislative and political arena.
That change was necessary, given the very real threats that a total ban on handguns would pass back then. It seems unthinkable now, but back in the 1970s and 1980s, those who sought to take away our Second Amendment rights were calling for a ban on handguns and they thought they would get it. That was ultimately beaten back, but even during the debates over the Brady Act in 1993, there were still proposals to ban handguns discussed (notably by Major Owens, then a Congressman from New York). That was then. Today, a total ban on handguns is pretty much unthinkable – and has been ruled unconstitutional in the Heller and McDonald cases.
These days, the old threats still remain.
Yes, legislation still moves, now mostly focused on semi-automatic firearms and standard-capacity magazines. But the new threats will need to be addressed. This will require changes – and some of those changes will be difficult, but necessary to preserve our Second Amendment rights in the future.
Whether it will be the fact that the NRA hires translators to make the facts about our Second Amendment rights more accessible, reaching out to urban communities, starting to get more involved with those who shape popular culture, or taking the fight for the Second Amendment to corporate boardrooms, the NRA of the future is going to look different from the NRA of today. Then again, the NRA of today would probably leave an NRA member from 1968 taken aback as well.
The protection of our Second Amendment rights in the future will require adaptation to address the newer threats. This doesn’t mean that the objective has changed. It just means that the tactics and strategy that will ensure the Second Amendment will be preserved will change to deal with the new threats.
Yeah, the need to change can be very difficult at times. But ask yourself this: Would you rather see an NRA that made the changes needed to adapt to new threats to our right that is still strong, and still protecting the Second Amendment, or do you want to lose the Second Amendment because we didn’t address the new threats coming from Silicon Valley and elsewhere? It’s your choice, ultimately.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.