|General Ambrose Burnside, first President of the NRA |
(FYI: He also served in the army that killed William Quantrill)
I'm referring to a recent post at Civil War Memory. The jest of the screed is over the recent news that some folks are upset over a gun display funded by the NRA at a Pennsylvania Civil War museum:
The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is taking heat from the mayor and others for a new exhibit on firearms sponsored by the National Rifle Association. While the source of the funding has come under scrutiny, the larger concern is the display of weapons, including William Quantrill’s colt revolver.Setting aside the fact that the author of this post (as well as some of his readers) once referred to NRA folks as "bat sh*t crazy"; why should this latest protest come as a surprise? Lest we forget, the Museum of the Confederacy refused to display any Confederate flag outside their Appomattox location and Lee Chapel removed Confederate flags from where they had hung above the Recumbent Lee for decades. And, of course, the ongoing effort to remove monuments is also part of this environment. The PC feeding frenzy has even led to the banning of books related to the Confederate flag.
While some of these incidents may have separate arguments and ostensibly legitimate concerns about historical accuracy, the larger issue of political correctness overshadows them all. The constant drumbeat evilizing the Confederacy, Confederate images, it's participants, 19th century Americans (and America's Founding Fathers as well) and all things associated has poisoned the well of American history. It's a classic case of "be careful what you wish for." Even one of Civil War Memory's readers acknowledged this connection:
Isn’t this a natural, though unfortunate, continuation of the recent movement to remove Confederate iconography from public areas? It starts with flags on state grounds, moves to monuments in public areas and eventually finds itself in publicly accessed (and/or funded) museums? It’s sort of the cliché “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.”Of course it is a natural continuation. And you're going to see more and more of it - thanks, in large part, to the current "moral reformer" class of historians. Pretending to be an innocent bystander ain't gonna work.
By the way, the National Rifle Association was founded by Union veterans:
Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to "promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis," according to a magazine editorial written by Church.I have no idea whether or not those veterans were bat sh*t crazy, though I have little doubt they would view much of what is going on today with the study of American history in that light.
After being granted a charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. senator, became the fledgling NRA's first president.