NRA Turns 150 as 'Guardian of Second Amendment' (Olga Mendenhall/Dreamstime)
By Jack Gournell | Monday, 22 November 2021 09:58 PM
The National Rifle Association celebrated its 150th birthday last week, with CEO Wayne LaPierre calling the organization the "guarding of the Second Amendment."
"NRA was established 150yrs ago today," the NRA announced on Twitter. "NRA is the country's foremost defender of our 2A rights, the world leader in firearm training & America's longest-standing civil rights org. Thank you to the 5M NRA members. These patriots are the most powerful political force in America."
LaPierre told Fox News that the NRA "never will shrink from a fight."
"For 150 years, millions of Americans from all walks of life, races, colors, and creeds have been proud members of the National Rifle Association of America," LaPierre said. "From presidents of the United States, military heroes, those with household names to rank and file Americans like us, all have entrusted the NRA to be the guardians of their Second Amendment, their self-defense and hunting rights, and indeed their freedom as Americans.
"That is a solemn duty that all of us at the NRA take seriously. That is why the NRA never has and never will shrink from a fight."
Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate founded the organization Nov. 17, 1871 because they were unhappy with the poor marksmanship of their troops during the Civil War. They said at the time, the NRA's primary goal would be to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis."
While firearms safety continues as part of the NRA's mission, it is mainly known today as a defender of Second Amendment rights among conservatives, and is widely panned among the left, which says the NRA promotes gun manufacturers and is unconcerned about gun violence, and has its roots in racism.
LaPierre addressed claims of racism at a recent speech, noting the organization has long fought against the Ku Klux Klan.
"The fact is, before the color barrier was broken in professional sports, before it was broken in schools, lunch lines, water fountains, in the media, or in Hollywood, before all of that, and since our founding 150 years ago, the National Rifle Association of America has not only welcomed all Americans," he said. "We've fought for civil rights and constitutional freedom for all Americans!"