The Nation Invokes Truman for Gun Control–But He Loved Guns & the NRA

The Nation Invokes Truman for Gun Control–But He Loved Guns & the NRA

On June 4 the Nation carried a column which invoked Harry Truman’s name as an inspiration for discouraged gun control activists. Yet Truman was both pro-gun and a fan of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The authors of the Nation column urge Democrats to learn to “lose” on gun control the way President Harry Truman lost on other types of legislation he supported but never passed–things like health care reform. 

And while it’s true that Truman showed a “never give up” attitude in pushing for what eventually became Medicare, it doesn’t justify any link at all between Truman and gun control. 

Photographs of Truman holding a gun while smiling aren’t hard to find, and stories about his love for guns are legend. 

And consider excerpts from the letter he wrote to the NRA during the first year of his presidency. 

In that letter, dated November 14, 1945, Truman wrote that the NRA’s firearms training programs“materially aided our war effort” in WWII. He expressed hope that “the splendid program which the National Rifle Association has conducted for three-quarters of century will be continued.”

When you consider these things, you have to ask yourself: what will The Nation do next? Will they try to show how Truman opposed the use of atomic weapons against Japan in WWII?

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins


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