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Thread: Marion Hammer, the woman we can thank for the modern NRA mess

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  1. #1
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Lost in space. And meaning.

    Marion Hammer, the woman we can thank for the modern NRA mess

    This AM, I caught a radio interview with Mike Spies, who wrote this article on Hammer for the New Yorker.

    Hammer is the reason Florida has laws like Stand Your Ground and a policy that forbids local politician from passing gun laws that are stricter than the statewide laws. She's also considered to be the most influential gun lobbyist in the US. She's the reason gun culture has shifted in the US since the 80s, where any kind of sensible regulation of gun ownership at all has become impossible.

    From this office, Hammer has shepherded laws into existence that have dramatically altered long-held American norms and legal principles. In the eighties, she crafted a statute that allows anyone who can legally purchase a firearm to carry a concealed handgun in public, as long as that person pays a small fee for a state-issued permit and completes a rudimentary training course. The law has been duplicated, in some form, in almost every state, and more than sixteen million Americans now have licenses to carry a concealed handgun.

    In the early two-thousands, Hammer created the country’s first Stand Your Ground self-defense law, authorizing the use of lethal force in response to a perceived threat. Some two dozen states have adopted a version of Stand Your Ground, giving concealed-carry permit holders wide discretion over when they can shoot another person.

    In a recent book, “Engines of Liberty,” David Cole, the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, devoted an admiring chapter to Hammer and the N.R.A. As recently as 1988, Cole notes, a federal court maintained that “for at least 100 years [courts] have analyzed the second amendment purely in terms of protecting state militias, rather than individual rights.” The subsequent shift toward individual rights can be traced back to Hammer. “Florida is often the first place the N.R.A. pursues specific gun rights protections,” Cole explains, “relying on Hammer and her supporters to set a precedent that can then be exported to other states.”
    Obviously, one person can't lead people where they absolutely don't want to go, but it's amazing what dedication and persistence can do when paired with an understanding of how to present one's arguments to those who are most receptive.

    One question I have is whether it is possible for someone who isn't coming from a place of fear an intolerance to have such an influence.
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 03-01-2018 at 11:41 AM.
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