President Trump is a Lifelong NRA Member: Understanding the nature and history of Genius and the relationship to guns

This attempt to paint National Rifle Association members as some fringe group, especially leading up to the big protest this week that occurred in Virginia is just as insulting as the Democrats attempting to impeach President Trump, spending literally millions of dollars of tax payer money over the simple issue that they are not prepared for the 2020 election with a proper, electable philosophy, or a platform that reflects America in a modern sense. I’m not big on memberships but my NRA membership is something I take great pride in, and yes, it’s very much mainstream. It shouldn’t be surprising for anybody to know but President Trump is a life member of the NRA, and he has joined Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon as presidents who all had NRA memberships. Then of course there was Ronald Reagan who embodied great respect for his membership as a shared value with the American people. The fringe element of gun control rather has been the exception all this time, not the mainstream, yet the attempts to overthrow this assumption has made things look quite the opposite.

As readers here know I have been working on a philosophy/business book called The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business for a while now. It’s not the writing that has been the problem, but rather the scope of the work. I see gun ownership as a fundamental philosophy to the success of American life—which of course extends into business. So, getting the themes down for this work has been interesting. To take complicated sentiments and paint them with words into a mainstream read that reflects life during one of America’s greatest defining moments, the period of 1870 to 1890 has pushed me into many re-writes which has been enjoyable. But the theme has been largely unexplored, and it really paints a value on the NRA as an organization and national treasure. Without the NRA, the domestic enemies that want to change the nature of American life would have long ago succeeded. And they are still at it which is why the NRA has been under so much attack. But in the scheme of things, most of our best presidents have found a lot of value in the NRA including our current one.

Many people just don’t know their history very well, and I have pointed to this wild west period as a point of great significance for a reason. It is clear that the ability of settlers to cross the western frontier with a gun at their hip gave way for the greatest expansion not just of human settlement, but of intellectual monstrosity. It was this very culture that produced Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of any age. It was during this period that Henry Ford came to be, and aviation first flew from a couple of bicycle manufactures in Dayton, Ohio. When we think of the wild west, we think of gunfighters, and I would argue that it was they who carved a path to great intellectual expansion by what professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi the great psychologists would term “flow.” For one of the first times in all of human history government was small enough not to get in the way of intellectual genius, and the rapidly expanding market needs of a growing nation with three major wars behind it, The Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War finally was coming into its own philosophically, and industrially. There would have been no time prior in history where a Thomas Alva Edison could have lived without being killed by the churches of Europe, or crushed by intelligentsia seeking to make aristocrats of themselves by holding society under their “in the box” thinking. It was in the wake of the gunfighters and the stories on the wild frontiers that Edison was able to live in something of a vacuum that gave light and radio waves to the world—and many other things that essentially built the world we live in today.

Its not that Thomas Edison was a huge supporter of guns, but he was of the philosopher Thomas Paine, who would be the figure who essentially launched the “American” idea and started the Revolution. But Edison much like Benjamin Franklin was a spirit that was born from the freedoms that came from being an American. It may take millions of tobacco spitting cowboys fighting it out in the dust and rain on an open plain to make one Thomas Edison, but the work was worth it. And without gun ownership, such figures would never find their way into the world. That is clear in my research and has emerged as the primary theme of my new book. The understanding of what makes genius is very much at the core of the issue and how we understand such things to come to be. I would point to the work Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi as one of the greatest breakthroughs, which has been very recent, as the primary cause of genius that we find in people like Thomas Edison, or even modern day examples such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. What makes genius is proper intellectual flow, not the stale embodiments of social conformity glued together by authoritarian rules and regulation. But rather the freedom to think and have a gun in the home to keep away those who might seek to bring chaos to your doorstep and interrupt the flow of thoughts by a mind on fire with its own passions.

Edison was a unique personality who was able to match his tireless energy and intellect to the needs of a rapidly expanding market due to western expansion and a government that hadn’t figured out how to stick their noses into everyone’s life yet. It was a perfect storm that created a genius that still is giving us gifts today. Although the world has shrunk since then and government has now figured out how to stick their noses into our business in every aspect. It is no wonder that we don’t have more people like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein emerging today. Regulation and too much interdependence does not produce genius, it repels it. Guns give genius a barrier from the idiot to the budding intellect and is a key part of American success that no other culture on the face of the earth has duplicated. The reason is complicated and elusive and is the subject of my new book. But the key is clearly something that the NRA understands of itself, and very smart people who have been presidents of the United States at least could sense about the importance. Guns aren’t so much for shooting people, but in preventing natural, intellectual looters so wonderfully displayed in Ayn Rand’s classic American novels, from taking over the efforts of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s “flow.” Some people find their flow in life, some people struggle with it always. But for those who do, we occasionally get a Thomas Edison, and from there great things happen.

I see a world where we could unleash many Thomas Edisons and the way to make them is not with our university system, but rather with NRA memberships who keep the looters away and free minds to think and be creative based on their own inertia. Not to force a mind to comply with inferior intellects, but to free them to the possibilities of tomorrow by asking the right questions and not being afraid of those who don’t want the answers revealed, because there is power for them in the ignorance of mankind. To get flow out of our society we need guns to serve as the barrier to allow genius to flourish. Politicians may join the NRA because they have an understanding that its important even though they may not know why. But I think we are coming to a time where we can define those needs better. And that could pave the way for a very exciting future.

Rich Hoffman

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