JFK Was a Lifetime Member of the NRA (and the NRA Used to Favor Gun Control)
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American culture tends to mythologize people who die young, especially when there's a political agenda involved. So maybe it's no surprise that John F. Kennedy's legacy has changed wildly in the 50 years since he was gunned down. For example, popular culture remembers him as the peaceful president who was trying to end the Vietnam War (to the point that conspiracy theorists think that's why he was assassinated), but we've pointed out before that this was hardly the case.
Likewise, you'd think that if he were brought back to life by a necromancer, he'd be making speeches about bringing peace to America's urban war zones by getting rid of the guns (and not just because he'd still have vivid memories of getting shot by one). After all, today it's the Democrats -- Kennedy's own party -- who push for gun control, and the opposing Republicans are almost universally against it. And the latter is supported by the National Rifle Association, the gun lobby group that screams if anyone suggests restrictions on assault weapons and insists that background checks and waiting periods are a slippery slope toward liberal government tyranny.
"Three days for this!?! Can you believe this pinko crap?"
The NRA probably cried harder than anybody else on the day Kennedy was shot. In the history of the NRA, they've counted eight presidents as lifetime members, and Kennedy was one of them. But you could argue that the contradiction was on the NRA's part, not Kennedy's.
It might sound unbelievable now, but prior to Kennedy, guns were no big deal. Liberal politicians, like most people at the time, liked blasting shit with the biggest shootin' irons they could get, and flogging their gun love publicly was a common political tool. Meanwhile, the NRA spent way less time longing for a world of universal assault weapon ownership and much more time worried about the rights of hunters and sportsmen. In fact, when the massive Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed (which, among other things, banned gun sales through the mail), the NRA signed off on it, with a few minor complaints.
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"Sure, you can pry these out of our hands. It's not that big a deal."
You could argue, in fact, that the whole controversy over guns and the polarization of opinion started right there. It was soon after that the NRA became a much more political group (they got serious about lobbying in the mid-1970s). And why did that law get proposed in the first place? Because of the assassination of John F. Kennedy (although it wouldn't get passed until his brother Robert was also shot). As to whether JFK would still be an NRA member now, well, we'll let you guys argue that on your own.
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For more philosophizzle, check out 18 Unexpected (and Real) Quotes by Famous Figures and The 45 Most Badass Lines Ever Uttered in Real Life.
Related Reading: Famous people always get away with being hypocrites, just ask Jimmy Kimmel. Morpheus from The Matrix is a hypocrite too; he fought slavery with an army of child soldiers. And while we're on the subject of hypocrites, read about these copyright crusaders.