Meet the Two Texans Who Took Over the NRA and Made the Gun Rights Group a Feared and Powerful Force

Decades ago, before school shootings became a special American terror, before military-style weapons and ammunition were widely available at the sporting goods store, before guns became a reason for kids to march on Washington, two Texans decided the right to bear arms was the most crucial freedom afforded to Americans and they would ensure politicians knew it.Harlon Carter was a Border Patrol leader with a dark secret in his past. Neal Knox was a journalist for gun magazines with a deep suspicion of the federal government. The two Texans coupled their distrust of the government with an allegiance to the Second Amendment that was absolute. To them, the nation’s freedom rested, even depended, on the right of individuals to defend themselves. Against criminals. Against enemies. If necessary, against tyranny.Together, Carter and Knox would shift the National Rifle Association from a moderate hunting and shooting sports group that offered some support of gun control measures into an absolutist organization.  Continue reading...

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