In 1947 when I was 11 years old, I summered at a boys camp in Maine. Part of the program was rifle training and range shooting. The training, which was exciting and beneficial, was part of the NRA Junior program. I qualified for diplomas as marksman, pro-marksman and sharpshooter. This was my first exposure to the NRA, and it was the way the NRA was in 1947.
Being from the Poconos in Pennsylvania, I was brought up to be a sportsman and hunter. In high school, I received a used Remington 32-pump deer rifle, which I used hunting with my father and uncle, hunting deer and bear. I joined the U.S. Air Force and trained with the M1 carbine. I then purchased a new Remington 760 pump — as semi-automatics were not allowed in Pennsylvania. The NRA in the 1970s and 1990s got new leadership and turned from a sportsman, hunting, training organization to a political lobby for the gun-manufacturing companies.
In Austria, high school graduates receive nine months training in the army handling automatic weapons, but aren’t allowed to keep them in their possession at home. College students must take the nine months training sometime along the way.
The NRA isn’t what it used to be and I don’t contribute to them. I urge sportsman/hunters to do the same. I understand that Remington Arms a New York manufacturer in Ilion may have to declare bankruptcy. What a shame. It’s my favorite gun manufacturer.