With the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s (JFK) assassination drawing near, various aspects of his life and presidency are being recounted. Among these, two aspects that are not getting the attention they deserve are his lifetime membership in the NRA and his defense of the Second Amendment.
According to the Washington Post, JFK was one of eight U.S. presidents to “have been lifetime members [of the NRA].” The others were “Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower… Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.” Kennedy stands out as the only Democrat on that list.
In April 1960, JFK said our founding fathers used phrases like “a well regulated militia” and “the ‘security’ of the nation,” as well as “the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms,'” to show “the essentially civilian nature of our economy.”
He posited “fears of governmental tyranny” as the impetus “which gave rise to the Second Amendment” to begin with. And although he believed it “unlikely” that such tyranny “[would] ever be a major danger to our nation,” he said “the Second Amendment will always be important.”
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