Monday, April 07, 2014

Pre-Revolutionary War Era

On the same visit to the Antique Mall that turned up the picture of the NRA instructor's "I Love Me" shirt from '71, I picked up an old issue of Shooting Times from July of '77.

I was got by the cover, heralding the arrival of the new Virginian Dragoon, a domestic .44 Magnum SAA clone from Interarms which snatched the top billing from the the first test about a new revolver from North American Arms chambered in the radical .454 Casull... I guess not everyone can predict the future.

The "Firearms Law" column by one P. Richard Metcalf sure could foreshadow it, though:
"Transporting firearms on a commercial airliner involves a number of FAA rules and safety regulations to insure the safety of the passengers. It's a big responsibility, but the burden doesn't rest with just the airport terminal employees, the firearms owner shares a heavy load, too."
I don't know that current events aren't affecting my interpretation of the tone, but that second sentence fair drips with "It's for all of our safety. Those cattle cars aren't going to load themselves, you know!"

There are folksy pieces from Skeeter and Clair Rees, and Metcalf penned a multipage scrawl on "Whatever Happened to the S&W .22 Jet Revolver?" which got a cover blurb and provided my main reason for buying the mag.

The most interesting thing in it was this ad, though, especially in light of the NRA Annual Meeting happening this month:
How about you keep my FREE! Arkansas Pocket Oilstone! and hire another frickin' lobbyist?
A full-page NRA ad that is as Fudd-ite as they come. "22 Good Reasons To Join The NRA!" that only makes the most passing mention of, you know, fighting for your right to keep and carry your guns. Of course, this being the July issue, that ad was certainly typeset before the 1977 NRA Annual meeting in Cincinnati, better known to posterity as the Cincinnati Revolt.

Speaking strictly from the standpoint of federal laws, the period of time between the passage of GCA '68 and FOPA '86 was a Dark Age. Signing the ammo registry to buy a box of cartridges, zero legal protection for interstate transport, and worse. Do you like old Mausers or Mosins? Tough bananas back then. Since they had seen military service, they weren't importable because, you know, "sporting purposes". The unconstitutional "sporting purpose" clause in GCA '68 remains, but FOPA opened a door for C&R guns, through which poured the flood of military surplus we have now, and $75 Mosins and $100 SKSs have made more larval gun nuts than probably any other single thing I can think of.

It's plenty possible to have beef with the organization, in fact, it's mandatory, but to confuse the NRA of that ad and the NRA that barrages me with fund-raising junk mail today ("Hey, how about you keep that FREE! DVD and hire another frickin' lobbyist?") is just willful ignorance.
.

42 comments:

Joel said...

There was a shameful gap in my time buying every shooting mag on the rack between "All these articles are the same" and an angry "Hey! All these articles are advertisements!" Slow on the uptake, was Joel.

I do still miss Skeeter Skelton, though.

perlhaqr said...

I don't know that current events aren't affecting my interpretation of the tone

Which particular current events are you referring to, here?

Tam said...

perlhaqr,

These ones.

D.W. Drang said...

Concur.

Good luck convincing some Threepers that the NRA isn't an anti-gun rights organization...

...And, while other organizations sometimes complain about NRA "stealing credit in cases they weren't involved in", there have also been wins where no one knew NRA was involved, until someone (congressional staffer, for example) dropped a line about "Working with the NRA, we drove a stake through the heart of the lead ammo ban." (Ignoring the fact that these things are pretty immune to stakes through the heart, alas.)

perlhaqr said...

Ahhhh, ok. Thanks! :D

fast richard said...

In 1977 there were still a lot of guys around who had flown with firearms before there were any rules at all about it, but yeah, the tone of that second sentence does foreshadow his eventual meltdown.

RHT447 said...

Another blast from the past..

http://gunsmagazine.com/classic-guns-magazine-editions/

Anonymous said...

FOPA '86 also closed the door on civilian ownership of newly manufactured Machine guns, driving the price through the roof, and effectively stopping private civilian development of better full auto weapons.

'Course it didn't affect LE, they could still acquire as many as they want, at nice decent prices.

That last minute addition was done with NRA complicity. Those wonderful fun loving Fudds.

-UnReconstructed

Robert Fowler said...

I sure miss the days of $100 SKS's. I saw a beat up example at the last gun show priced at $450. Jesus wept.

Mike_C said...

> a shameful gap in my time buying every shooting mag on the rack between "All these articles are the same" and an angry "Hey! All these articles are advertisements!"

And (gear-oriented) bicycling magazines, photography magazines, outdoorsy/hiking magazines, and so forth. I don't follow 'em but I have little doubt audiophile magazines, etc all follow the same pattern. You're not the only one who spent way too much time and money on those things. Speaking of which, anyone remember when "Ultrasport" was actually a good and interesting magazine about ultra-endurance sports and associated madness? Then it went all Abercrombie and Felch-style soft porn. Blegh.

That was an excellent archive post, BTW, Tam.

Steve Skubinna said...

So that's it? You didn't get a nifty tactical vest, or some bitchin' fingerless gloves, or a velcro backed Molon Labe patch?

It doesn't look like you were serious about the fun show after all.

Steve Skubinna said...

Hey, this is cool. I'm in Rota, Spain right now, and when I submitted the last comment I was informed by my browser that "Se ha guardado su comentario y podrĂ¡ visualizarse una vez que el propietario del blog lo haya aprobado."

Tam said...

-UnReconstructed

Really? Do tell!

Lazy Bike Commuter said...

The image that immediately popped into my head when I saw mention of an NAA .454 was not of a gun that was pleasant to shoot.

Lazy Bike Commuter said...

The image that popped into my head at the thought of a .454 NAA revolver was not of a pleasant firearm to shoot. It was also likely not the accurate image.

Anonymous said...

Awww - Skeeter Skelton was my FAVORITE gun writer, he made his readers feel like a good friend. Darn shame he passed away too early. His Me and Joe, Dobe Grant stories were well crafted - I don't know any gun writers that can tell a tale like that nowadays.

Thank you ma'am for the blast from the past.

Anonymous said...

Tam,

Ya, new enough.

Sri to be a boob.

its one of my major gripes abt the NRA. Everybody *loves* FOPA, and I admit its great as far as 'allowing' folk to easily cross statelines, but still.

Beggin' yer pardon, M'aam (tugging forelock and bowing as he backs away slowly)

-UnReconstructed

Tam said...

"I admit its great as far as 'allowing' folk to easily cross statelines"

If that was all FOPA did, I'd bitch about it, too.

Tam said...

There is no greater irony in the world than a dude with a III patch and a Blue Sky Garand bitching about FOPA at a shooting match.

If that happened in an educational film, there'd be a little "Tinkerbell" noise and his rifle would disappear out of his hands in a *poof!* of bad special effects, as the narrator's voice-over intoned "What did FOPA do? Well, I'll tell you, little Johnny!"

fast richard said...

Looking at the link to your old post about surplus rifles led to a link to Sgt. Rock comics. That's a blast from the past. When I was eleven or twelve, that's what I read. I even had issue #1 of "Sgt. Fury and his Howlin' Commandos". My mom threw all those comics out while I was at Boy Scout camp the following year. She was packing up the household for a move to another city.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I know that FOPA did great things. Glad they passed it, in fact.

But I don't *like* being thrown under the bus, Tam. Having to pay north of 12K for a proper M-16 stinks. North of 4K for a MAC is insane. That on top of the fingerprints and CLEO signoff, and all the other crap. Yes, I know that other (prints, CLEO) isn't part of FOPA. BUT NRA was behind *all* that, too.

Oh hell, making a fool of myself is one of my better points. No, I haven't been a regular for more than 2-3 months. I'm a regular now, and I think I'll sit down.

-UnReconstructed

Tam said...

"BUT NRA was behind *all* that, too. "

The linked paper Dave Hardy wrote has some fascinating history about NFA '34 and GCA '68. It's in the first two sections and is definitely worth a read.

Comrade Misfit said...

Oh, it was a lot of fun taking a trip from New England to almost anywhere and knowing that a routine traffic stop in NY State (or MA) would result in a year in the clink.

On the other hand, it was possible, as a non-NYS resident, to take a flight in and out of LaGarbage, declare a checked handgun and not get arrested.

LCB said...

fast richard said...
Looking at the link to your old post about surplus rifles led to a link to Sgt. Rock comics.


Wow Richard, I thought I was the only one around here old enough to remember Sgt. Rock. There was another one I used to love as a kid about a Stuart tank in WW2 haunted by the ghost of...Gen Stuart? I think...

I've joined the NRA twice, but the weeking mailings begging for more money were just too much both times. If a member could opt out of that crap I'd rejoin.

Sherm said...

My uncle owned North American Arms in the early 1970s. He claimed to be the only person to loose money making guns. After it failed NAA reformed with just the mini-revolvers and Freedom Arms came to be. I visited the factory sometime in the first half of the decade and was impressed by what they showed me about the .454.

One of my lasting regrets is not putting together the money to purchase one of those early Casull revolvers. The family connection might have gotten me a rate and the roll mark is rare enough that, last I checked, the guns don't even show up in the Blue Book.

Matthew said...

LCB,

"The Haunted Tank" They actually did a little "meta" commentary when they upgraded tanks to a Grant.

Will said...

Sherm:

Apparently, COLT lost money during WWII !!!

Sigivald said...

It's a big responsibility, but the burden doesn't rest with just the airport terminal employees, the firearms owner shares a heavy load, too."

I read that as "Don't be a damned idiot and make us look bad by checking a loaded .44 magnum with the hammer back, you idiots".

I don't see any charitable way to read it as Collaboration With The Concentration Camp Guards - because to do that we have to assert that he's wrong, and that individuals have no responsibility to pack a damned gun safely for air transport.

Geodkyt said...

UnReconstructed:

From teh Hardy article: "One final amendment, banning private ownership of any machinegun not already in lawful ownership on the date of enactment, was raised with only minutes left in the time allotted under the rule. It passed on a rather irregular voice vote.[217]"

Yet you insist that NRA was behind 922(o)?

Chris said...

Sgt. Rock
The Haunted Tank
The Losers

Good times

Trevor Montroy said...

Good links here, especially the Dave Hardy article.

Anonymous said...

/Zipping up flame proof suit


'it passed on an irregular voice vote'

ya. you bet it did.

no I cannot prove that they were complicit. Back room deals are like that.

and gosh, you are right, I forgot about the NRA press conference denouncing the weird last minute wiggle waggle on FOPA, and their denouncing the 'irregular voice vote'. Oh wait.

Opinions differ here.

NRA was definitely complicit in NFA '34. They helped guide Dodds hands in GCA '86. And this is in the Hardy article, too.

They lionized Bill Ruger....gave him a cover page if I recall correctly....Remember him? He was the guy responsible for the 10 round limit of the Mag ban of the Clinton era...oddly, none of HIS firearms had cap over 10 rounds. NRA poster child. Literally.

They send out the hats, the pins, and endless crap. But they are only too willing to compromise my rights away in the name of 'political expediency'.

They know where their bread is buttered and it ain't with the folk who own NFA.

up until recently, they didn't give a hoot about black rifles, NFA or DD.

So perhaps you will forgive me if I don't genuflect in the direction of Wayne La Pierre every time somebody mentions the NRA, and all the wonders that they provide us peons while building giant palatial headquarters and pulling down huge salaries.

Why didn't Heston hold up a AR-15? Or a Glock? THAT would have been relevant.

yes, I'm glad the good parts of FOPA passed. I *have* benefited from that.

Any money I can spare for progun orgs goes to the likes of JPFO.

OK, now I really will sit down and shut up.

I can see the pitchforks and torches coming out.

a murmuring from the crowd.....growing in strength....

Blasphemer! Blasphemer! He disses the holy NRA.....He dares...Burn him burn him



Tam said...

"NRA was definitely complicit in NFA '34. They helped guide Dodds hands in GCA '86. And this is in the Hardy article, too. "

Holy cow, it's like I just wrote a post about the "Cincinnati Revolt" and the NRA before and after. You know, the post to which you're commenting? And if you got "helped guide Dodd's hand" out of the Hardy piece, you're reading a different Hardy article than the one I linked.

" He was the guy responsible for the 10 round limit of the Mag ban of the Clinton era...oddly, none of HIS firearms had cap over 10 rounds."

You're close. Bill Ruger suggested a 15 round limit (a cynic like me would say it was because his 15-shot P89 was its lunch eaten in the LE market by the Glock 17.) The NRA fought that bill.

"So perhaps you will forgive me if I don't genuflect in the direction of Wayne La Pierre...a murmuring from the crowd.....growing in strength....

Blasphemer! Blasphemer! He disses the holy NRA.....He dares...Burn him burn him
"

Jesus Christ on an electric unicycle, drama queen much?

PhilaBOR said...

I opted out of that crap. Years ago.

Jim said...

I've pointed it out before, and reading the comments here, it seems to need pointing out, again.

It's easy to not get junk from the NRA, while remaining a member.

Call the membership number, and request that your membership be coded as "NO PROMOTIONS". Use those exact words.

Like magic, the junk, stoppeth.

And, if you can't live with the overwhelming good that the NRA brings to the legislative arena, and not live in a state of perpetual butthurt where they're not 100% sinless, well, fine.

"The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good". NRA? Not perfect. Good, though? Oh, hell yes.



Jim
Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Dwight Brown said...

I think folks are missing the important thing here:

Whatever DID happen to the .22 Jet revolver?

(I'm sort of kidding. I hope at some point to be able to add a nice example to my collection. And I actually would like to read that article. That is, if I haven't already; that may have been in the period when I purchasing every gun magazine the grocery store had.)

(In my defense, I was 12.)

Mike Gallo said...

The voice vote for 922(o) actually failed, too, but was deemed passed. In the audio you can hear my old representative, F. James Sensenbrenner, objecting. Since it would be a procedural issue to be solved by the next Congress, but was not, it stands to this day, a law that never passed.

staghounds said...

Thank you for the "NO PROMOTIONS" information.

I wish there were a "Online magazine only" version, too.

KM said...

Staghounds, I get my NRA mag online.
Log in and change your magazine preference.

Geodkyt said...

Anymouse (11:45 PM, April 07, 2014):

"NRA was definitely complicit in NFA '34."

Yup, you betcha, they were.

Because the alternative was worse.

Seriously, imagine if the NFA had applied to handguns since 1934, complete with $200 tax?

We'd have the gun culture of Great Britain by now.

That's what the battle was in 1934. It was also intended to head off more gun control legislation -- and be the first, last, and only federal gun control law that didn't have the words "shall not sell to Indians" in it.

And frankly, most NRA members didn't give a damn about sawed off shotguns, machine guns, or silencers in 1934. Or in 1968. So the NRA in 1934 was acting in the best interests of their members as both the organization leadership and the general membership believed at the time.

Geodkyt said...

Anymouse (11:45 PM, April 07, 2014):

"Why didn't Heston hold up a AR-15? Or a Glock? THAT would have been relevant."

Um, he held up the gun as a reenactment of something he had already done ten years or so previously where he had just been presented with a flintlock, and when he was given that gun, he said that quote.

Had he been presented with an AR15 or a Glock, instead of a flintlock, I'm sure he would have done the same thing.

Here's the full quote:

"I remember a decade ago at my first annual meeting in St. Louis. After my banquet remarks to a packed house, they presented me with a very special gift. It was a splendid hand-crafted musket.
I admit I was overcome by the power of its simple symbolism. I looked at that musket and I thought of all of the lives given for that freedom. I thought of all of the lives saved with that freedom. It dawned on me that the doorway to all freedoms is framed by muskets.
So I lifted that musket over my head for all to see.
And as flashbulbs popped around the room, my heart and a few tears swelled up, and I uttered five unscripted words. When I did, that room exploded in sustained applause and hoots and shouts that seemed to last forever. ... So as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those words again for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: From my cold dead hands!
"

See, the symbology would have fallen flat if he used a visibly different gun than the one that triggered the first incident that he was re-telling.

The man was a master speaker, and very good at setting the stage to get the point across.

Retired Spook said...

The thing that most folks don't consider about the NRA is simply this: If, tomorrow, all the federal laws currently on the books limiting firearms access were suddenly gone, just POOF! vanished into thin air...
NRA membership would drop by 60-70 percent in the first year thereafter.

Anybody who doesn't think that the leadership at the NRA knows that, I have some beachfront property for sale.

Of course, this also applies to JPFO, 2AF, GOA, and all the others. It's not in their best interests to do TOO good a job protecting out 2A rights.

(Someone once told my daughter "Your dad is pretty cynical." She replied, "No, he's too jaded for that.")