Light Over Heat #33: The Professor Reviews 4 Books on the NRA

In this week’s Light Over Heat video, I discuss four books on the National Rifle Association (NRA) in light of two persistent myths.

First, that the NRA was a benign, apolitical sportsmans organization prior to the Revolt at Cincinnati in 1977.

Second, that the NRA is “the most powerful lobby in America.” A PBS Frontline episode in 2020 managed to highlight both.

If you would like to buy any of the books I discuss in this post and support local bookstores, please use the links to my storefront. (I donate my affiliate commissions to Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC.)

Matthew Lacombe’s FIREPOWER:

Scott Melzer’s GUN CRUSADERS:

Tim Mak’s MISFIRE: (see also my review)

Frank Smyth’s THE NRA: (see also my review, part 1 and part 2)

Other documentation for this video:

On the supposedly apolitical NRA:

Gangster Capitalism podcast on the NRA:

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  1. Good reviews. Thank you.
    I’ve mentioned before that we were getting the American Rifleman in the sixties. The Armed Citizen was front and center in the magazine. Also, I think the Democrats becoming more the party of gun control and the GOP the party of less control (although the GOP did support the original AW ban) gave the NRA no choice but to gravitate to the right.

    That said, all this other culture war nonsense gets in the way of gaining allies on the Left. Voices such as Greg Camp, the Liberal Gun Owners, etc, must have a hard time stomaching some of the wacky positions that the NRA has taken on other issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There was definitely both push and pull factors affecting the alignment of the NRA with the Republican Party, including the alignment of gun control forces with the Democratic Party. It does leave liberal or left gun owners lacking political representation.


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