By Tom Dare
A SHOCKING video by America’s National Rifle Association (NRA) which uses World War Two-era Britain as an example of why firearms should not be regulated has resurfaced today, two days after yet another mass shooting at a school in the United States which left 17 dead.
Footage from a 1963 edition of ‘The Big Picture’, a collection of short documentary films produced by the United States Army Signal Corps between 1951 and 1964, presents the reasons why guns are necessary to the citizens of the USA.
In the video, the narrator explains how there will always be ‘bad guys’ and ‘careless people’ who use firearms irresponsibly, but that this shouldn’t lead to restrictions on the use of firearms, likening banning guns because of shootings to banning cars because of road accidents.
And, in a reference that will particularly resonate with the mostly anti-firearm British public, the narrator also uses wartime Britain as an example of why guns should remain unregulated. Speaking about the rescue of British troops from Dunkirk in 1940, which saw the British leave tonnes of military equipment on the beaches of France, he says:
“In Great Britain, gun legislation of this kind almost ended in disaster.
“The time: 1940. The British army after Dunkirk facing a terrifying shortage of arms. While the citizens of the nation threatened with imminent invasion by Hitler’s forces dug entrenchments in the cities and fields.
“There were only a few thousand rifles in all of Britain. The British arms industry, virtually legislated into oblivion in peace years, could not supply the needs.
“Ten Downing Street urgently requested aid from the White House. America responded and sent shiploads of arms to the embattled British, and helped turn the tide.”
While it is true that the United States supplied Britain with arms during the war, the film paints a picture of a nation on the brink of collapse, with no means to defend itself. This is in fact untrue, as the Battle of Britain during the early years of the war goes to show. Nazi Germany’s plans to invade were only in their infancy after Dunkirk, with a lack of superiority in the air above Britain and the English Channel meaning they were never seriously considered.
The video, supported by the NRA, has remerged just two days after the horrific mass-shooting at a school in Miami, Florida which left at least 17 people dead.
The shooting has already re-opened the gun control debate in America, as the nation reels from one of the largest mass shootings in its history.
Social media has been awash with comment and opinion ever since news of the attacks broke, with several people severely criticising the no-compromise position of the NRA.
The organisation was founded in 1871 and is a non-profit organisation advocating gun rights for Americans, based on the second amendment to the United States constitution which guarantees citizens the right to bear arms. The group, who have a membership of over five million people, is also one of the most powerful lobbying groups in all of Washington D.C., holding a great deal of power over the nation’s politicians.
The group endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S presidential election due to his self-declared love of the second amendment.
Trump has since assured the NRA, who donated more than $30 million to his presidential campaign, that it has “a true friend and champion in the White House.”
He has also signed a resolution blocking a ruling created under the Obama administration that would have prevented an estimated 75,000 people with mental health issues purchasing firearms.